Citizens' Issues
MP CM spent Rs1.39 crore on foreign trip, took child specialist as personal physician

Interestingly, the documents also reveal that the chief minister's office had requested the principal secretaries of the commerce as well as health and family welfare departments that R.K. Ray, a child specialist at Jai Prakash Chikitsalaya here, be given permission to travel as the chief minister's personal physician

 

A nine-member delegation led by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spent Rs.1.39 crore (nearly $210,000) on a nine-day trip to Japan and South Korea between September 29 and October 7, which also included giving gifts to investors and political leaders, the reply to an RTI (Right to Information) query has revealed.
 
Interestingly, the documents also reveal that the chief minister's office had requested the principal secretaries of the commerce as well as health and family welfare departments that R.K. Ray, a child specialist at Jai Prakash Chikitsalaya here, be given permission to travel as the chief minister's personal physician.
 
The reply, received from the Madhya Pradesh Trade and Investment Facilitation Corporation Limited (TRIFAC) by activist Ajay Dubey in November, stated that gift items of Mrignayani MP Emporium and MP Laghu Udyog Nigam Limited, both owned by the state government, were carried for distribution to political leaders/VIPs/investors/ delegates during an interactive session in Tokyo chaired by the chief minister. These gifts had no commercial value, according to a document accessed through the RTI reply.
 
The RTI reply revealed that Rs.18.50 lakh was spent on airfare for the trip, Rs.35 lakh on hotel charges (Rs.23 lakh in Japan and Rs,12 lakh in South Korea), Rs.20 lakh on local transportation (Rs.12 lakh in Japan and Rs.8 lakh in South Korea) and Rs.5.50 lakh on daily allowance (Rs.3.50 lakh in Japan and Rs.2 lakh in South Korea).
 
One of the documents showed that Rs.10,13,740 was approved for the interpreter.
 
The venues of meetings and sessions with investors, industry and companies cost Rs.40 lakh - including the cost of the interpreter - with Rs.25 lakh spent in Japan and Rs. 15 lakh in South Korea. This apart, Rs.20 lakh was spent on promotional material and goods (Rs.12.50 lakh in Japan and Rs.7.50 lakh in South Korea).
 
During the trip, Rs.76 lakh was spent in Japan and Rs.44.50 lakh in South Korea (not counting the airfare).
 
"At a time when the farmers are committing suicide in the state due to drought, the CM is making foreign trips. Moreover, when it comes to investment, Madhya Pradesh doesn't come in the priority list of Japan and South Korea among the other states in India," Dubey said.
 
Among the others who travelled with the chief minister were Yashodhara Raje Scindia, the minister for commerce, industry and employment; Mohammed Suleman, principal secretary in Scindia's ministry; S.K. Mishra, the minister's principal secretary; Hari Rajan Rao, the minister's secretary; D.P. Ahuja, the TRIFAC managing director; Kumar Purushottam, managing director of the Madhya Pradesh Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam Limited; a state representative of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and a representative of Ernst & Young, Bhopal.
 
This is the second time this year that Chouhan's foreign trip has raised eyebrows.
 
In August, the reply to an RTI plea by Dubey revealed that an eight-member delegation led by Chouhan spent close to Rs.3 crore ($465,000/$58,000 per head) on a five-day US trip in February, which included giving expensive gifts to investors,
 
Madhya Pradesh has been mired in the Vyapam scam for years, but the irregularities eventually came to light when 20 people were arrested in 2013 for impersonating candidates appearing for the 2009 medical entrance examination.
 
Forty-eight people associated with the Vyapam scam have died - mostly under mysterious circumstances. Following the chain of deaths, the Supreme Court in July directed the CBI to investigate not just the Vyapam scam but also the deaths related to it.
 
The most recent death was of an Indian Forest Service officer, Vijay Bahadur Singh, whose body was found close to a railway track near Odisha's Belpahad station on October 15. He was travelling by the Puri-Jodhpur Express. The CBI has started probing this death as well.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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COMMENTS

Krishnan

1 year ago

Why unauthenticated information is used in the article.Very funny.

India's power sector outlook remains negative: Moody's

Indian power generators' capacity utilisation will be limited by the financial weakness of offtakers

 

The outlook for India's power sector remains negative due to evident structural challenges, Moody's Investors Service said on Thursday, while assigning a stable outlook for the power sector in the Asia Pacific, except Japan.
 
"Moody's Investors Service says that its stable outlook for the power sector in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) is underpinned by steady demand, low input costs for most countries and transparent tariff mechanisms for some countries," the American agency said in a release here.
 
"However, the outlook for India's power sector remains negative, reflecting structural challenges," it said.
 
"The negative outlook for the Indian power sector reflects the persistent challenges from high, albeit moderating, fuel supply risk, and the limited capacity to pay on the part of financially weak distribution utilities," it added.
 
Indian power generators' capacity utilisation will be limited by the financial weakness of offtakers, in turn constraining off-take electricity demand, despite growing electricity demand and increasing domestic coal production, Moody's said.
 
Some Indian private producers are also locked into power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have become unviable, because they do not allow the high costs of imported fuel to be passed through, said the report titled, "Power Utilities - Asia Pacific ex-Japan: 2016 Outlook - Steady Demand, Low Input Costs Drive Stable Outlook".
 
It said that for state-run generator NTPC, its unfavorable business conditions are offset by India's central and state governments, the Reserve Bank of India's standing agreement to offset high off-taker risk, and the company's well secured fuel supply sources from domestic and overseas markets.
 
"The high off-taker risk in India will not be addressed over at least the outlook period, as the financial profiles of off-takers will remain weak," the report said.
 
Some state governments have also not paid all subsidies that the distribution utilities are entitled to, thereby constraining the utilities' liquidity positions, it added.
 
Moody's said, overall, 70 percent of rated power utilities in Asia Pacific, except Japan, have stable outlooks, reflecting the stable fundamentals and their adequate financial profiles relative to their ratings.
 
"Steady demand for electricity in most countries in the region, and low input costs under stable market structures will allow most power companies to recover capex and maintain adequate financial buffers," said Mic Kang, Moody's vice president.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Will LexisNexis Intelligence Exchange help life insurers reduce fraud?
Life insurers focus on better risk segmentation through data, analytics and technology. This new tool will help them predict and manage risk within the underwriting and claims management processes
 
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has launched a new data platform, Intelligence Exchange that helps life insurance companies predict, assess and manage risk better within the underwriting and claims management processes. A report by Indiaforensic estimates that fraud alone costs the insurance industry $6.25bn per year or around 9% of premiums. Insurers are often challenged with High Underwriting Expenses; Lost Premium Opportunities; Adverse Risk Selection; Not Knowing Sellers 
 
Intelligence Exchange will allow insurers to better mitigate risk by checking an insurance proposal against records in the database to confirm underwriting facts and check for misrepresentations, non-disclosures, policy stacking, declinations, surrenders, lapses and claims histories. Insurers can also review an incoming claim against claims made with other insurers for inconsistencies to ensure faster settlement of genuine claims and coordinated investigations of suspicious claims. The cost for insurers will be around 0.5% of the insurance premium. It would also look at lapse of data and analyse the reasons that, often, involve an insurance fraud:
 
  1. Misrepresentation and non-disclosure of relevant facts in the application 
  2. Collusion between agents / diagnostic centres / investigators and the applicant and/or beneficiaries 
  3. Stacking of policies by insured or the beneficiaries 
  4. Lapsing of a policy in 2nd / 3rd year either due to mis-selling or deliberate churning by an agent 
 
Time will tell if the new tool helps insurers tide the challenges it is facing with amendment to the Section 45 of the new insurance Bill, which states that a policy cannot be called in question after three years of it being issued. Insurers will find it almost impossible to repudiate claims after three policy years due to the amendment. It puts the onus on the insurer to do proper checks at the time of underwriting. There will be need for robust underwriting process so that all issues are flagged before the policy inception. Read - http://www.moneylife.in/article/will-life-insurers-now-bleed-with-fraudulent-claims/42596.html
 
Will a US-based leading provider of data, analytics and technology for insurers be successful in being a step ahead of Indian fraudsters who are out there to hoodwink life insurers? According to a senior insurance official, there are specific locations in India where insurance fraud is prevalent. “We are wary about underwriting policies from these locations. They work in an organised way with full set of forged documents to cover up the fraud. There can be cases of insurance taken in name of dead person with death certificate forged to put a future date after fraudulently buying the policy,” he said. 
 
Intelligence Exchange will also help insurers assess seller performance, patterns of mis-selling, and churning, and identify fraudulent linkages between various stakeholders. The platform will also be a gateway to other data sources that help with KYC/ AML verification, and credit history verification as such data sources become available from LexisNexis.
 
It leverages high-performance computing cluster technology called HPCC Systems®, which is one of the most advanced big data processing technologies available, using proprietary linking algorithms to improve match rates, with a long and successful track record of use in high volume and high response production environments.

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