Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
MSRDC ‘doubtful’ of recovering Rs6.1 pending dues

The information was revealed after Pune-based activist Sanjay Shirodkar sought details from MSRDC on the sundry debtors/bad debts for 10 years along with the name of the party and the outstanding amount

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is ‘doubtful’ of recovering Rs6.1 crore, of the total outstanding dues of Rs25.4 crore as of 31st March 2012, from toll collection centres, construction companies and other commercial entities, revealed a Right to Information (RTI) application. 

Pune-based RTI activist, Sanjay Shirodkar, sought information from MSRDC on the sundry debtors/bad debts for 10 years along with the name of the party and the outstanding amount.  

According to the RTI reply, of the total pending dues, Rs12.2 crore is by toll companies including Rs4.2 crore which is outstanding for more than six months. Some of them includes Thane Municipal Corporation for the toll station at LBS Road that has a pending dues of more than Rs93 lakh; Jai Bhavani toll station at Fursungi (Pune) has pending dues of about Rs1.07 crore; HB Pandhare, for toll station Ughadi, of Rs21.8 lakh; Balaji Enterprise toll station, at Pune-Jalgoan Road, is yet to pay its dues of around Rs23.8 lakh; while Senhship Construction for its toll station at Nakshatra Wadi (Aurangabad) owes Rs50.5 lakh to MSRDC. These dues are pending for the more than six months and MSRDC is doubtful of the recovery. 

The RTI reply also revealed that more than Rs23 crore is pending from other commercial entities. These includes Rs41 lakh from Adlabs Advertising at Airoli Toll Plaza, Rs63 lakh from Bharti Airtel, Rs4.2 lakh from Power Grid Corporation, Rs59 lakh from Reliance Communication, Rs2 crore from Rajdeep Publicity Pvt Ltd for advertising at Mahim and Rs59 lakh from The Deccan Retreat (Hotel Sanjgaon) among others. The pending dues from the commercial entities also include Rs10.8 crore from sundry debtors. However, no break-up for this was furnished in the RTI copy but MSDRC has mentioned that it is doubtful about the recovery of Rs1.5crore from sundry debtors. 

Speaking to Moneylife Mr Shirodkar said that, “I was wondering that only toll companies are connected to MSRDC, but here I could see lot of individuals as well as commercial parties as well. A recent report suggested that toll companies are earning 4% to 6% higher than their estimates. But the RTI query clearly shows that they are not paying their dues on time”

Moneylife reported that CRISIL Research, in its study of 23 of nearly 100 build-operate-transfer (BOT) toll road projects operational in the country, found that out of these projects, 17 are likely to earn equity returns higher than the typical equity return of 16% that developers target while bidding. Only three of the 23 projects are likely to record equity returns lower than 14%—project-specific factors such as delays and changes in engineering design have escalated the costs of these projects.



Economy & Nation Exclusive
V-Guard reports 70% higher Q4 net profit as it continues its growth trajectory

The electrical and electronic appliance maker has posted good results and plans to spend Rs25 crore on capex to expand capacities

V-Guard, the makers of electrical and electronic appliances, saw its net profit for the fourth quarter of the fiscal 2011-12 increase 70% to Rs19.17 crore over the corresponding period last year, excluding exceptional profits. Net sales for the quarter was Rs276.46 crore, a rise of 25%, from Rs222.35 crore recorded in the final quarter of the 2010-11.  The company’s net sales growth is below its average year-on-year (y-o-y) growth rate for the last three quarters, while its operating profit grew at an impressive 70%, which is a lot higher than its three quarter y-o-y average growth rate of 32%. It recently reached a new milestone of Rs1,000 crore turnover. 

The sales turnover of the company for the financial year 2011-12 was Rs1,006.53 crore, showing an increase of 36%, from Rs737.47crore it recorded in the previous fiscal. However, despite the vigorous expanding, its valuation remains somewhat subdued, at market-cap to operating profit of 4.37 times. This might sound quite undervalued considering the company has been making ambitious plans of expanding, over the last few years, as it tries to grow beyond its native home turf of Kerala.  Of course, there is a risk of losing steam while expanding too fast. Its return on networth stood at a healthy 30%. 

Mithun K Chittilappilly, managing director of the company said that margins for the quarter under review have improved mainly due to better product mix and cost control measures. He said that demand for all the product verticals were good and contributed to the robust sales growth. Margins were much higher in the company’s electrical department, with profit before tax (PBT) margins of 16.2% while its electronics segment recorded PBT margins of 8.3%.

Even though the company has increased its borrowings to Rs19.72 crore, up from a mere Rs2.63 crore, its debt-equity ratio is well under control, at 0.16 times. 

The company is planning to spend Rs25 crore as capex for the 2012-13 fiscal which includes doubling of its wire plant capacity at Kashipur. Meanwhile, the board of directors recommended a dividend of Rs3.50 per share, or 35% of its face value.



Public Interest Exclusive
Shailesh Gandhi to continue hearing RTI cases till 6th July


Shailesh Gandhi, the Information Commissioner under the RTI Act, would continue to hear cases till his retirement, except that he has requested the CIC not to send any new cases or fresh inputs so that no cases remain pending when he leaves the office 

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a circular clarifying that Information Commissioner (IC) Shailesh Gandhi, who is scheduled to retire on 6th July, will continue to hear cases till that day. However, fresh cases, from 12th May onwards, would be dealt with the reallocated public authority. The circular was issued following the rumours that Mr Gandhi was sitting idle after the CIC had asked him to stop hearing cases from 12th May. 

Mr Gandhi, in an e-mail, said, “Generally when commissioners leave the office, many files and papers becomes orphans. To avoid such a situation, I requested the Chief Information Commissioner that fresh inputs should be stopped in my office and I would attempt to ensure that very few files or papers would be left when I retire on 6th July. Hence such a circular was issued.” 

He adds that, “Incidentally, I have also released most of the staff so that they can work with the other commissioners. My office is only issuing letters for hearing and I am holding hearings. For 6th July the last hearing notices will be issued before 15th June. The chief commissioner had also issued a clarification on 25th May to squash the rumours. Incidentally, I am hearing cases of all the public authorities before me, including the CIC and have already cleared over 500 cases in this month.”

The CIC, on 11th May, issued a circular allocating the ministries and department held by IC Mr Gandhi to other information commissioners. Accordingly, the department of atomic energy, ministry of tourism, ministry of external affairs, ministry of environment & forests, ministry of information & broadcasting and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar have been allocated to IC Sushma Singh; municipal corporation of Delhi to IC Deepak Sandhu; all banks (expect State Bank of India and its associates) to IC Vijai Sharma and ministry of health & family welfare and CIC to IC ML Sharma. 

In the same circular the CIC also said that from 12th May, fresh receipts relating to the public authorities of the ministries and department held by Mr Gandhi would be sent to the registry of the allocated IC. 

Mr Gandhi, before becoming an information commissioner was actively involved in promoting RTI and using it effectively to improve governance. As IC he has given many landmark verdicts. This most important among them is to bring Public Health Foundation of India, which is private-public partnership, under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI). PPPs were out of the purview of the RTI Act by claiming they are not “public authorities”. 

In April, when the Chief Justice of India (CJI) SH Kapadia commented that irrelevant queries filed under the RTI hampered the work of the judiciary, Mr Gandhi wrote to him saying this may “dampen the RTI journey” of the country.




Nagesh Kini

5 years ago

When Babus can get extensions even when they don't delivery there is no reason why a non-Babu like Saliesh Bhai cannot be granted extension simply for being more than efficient!
We'll certainly miss him at the CIC!



In Reply to Nagesh Kini 5 years ago

I agree with you. Mr Gandhi gave so many good decisions in favor of common people. I salute him.

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