They are protesting against ‘fraud’ by National Textile Corporation by profiteering on realty deals
Nine associations of mill workers have organised a march on 1st March 2012 in Mumbai—from Currey Road to Gold Mohur Mills. About a thousand mill workers are expected to participate in the march, demanding that the land held by National Textile Corporation (NTC) be handed over to the authorities for constructing affordable housing projects for mill workers; instead of being given to joint ventures with private sector companies for development.
Maharashtra Girni Kamgar Union, Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti, Rashtriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh, Sarva Shramik Sanghatana, Girni Kamgar Karmachari Nivara ani Kalyankari Sangh, Girni Kamgar Sena, Girni Kamgar Union, Girni Kamgar Sabha and ST & SC Mazdoor Union will be participating in the march.
Mill workers have demanded that the entire NTC land should be used for public benefit, land of the six unsold mills be handed over to MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority) immediately for constructing an affordable housing project and that NTC must immediately scrap the joint ventures with private sector companies for developing the area of four mills.
Datta Iswalkar, president, Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti, told Moneylife, “We demand that instead of giving the land to private companies for joint ventures (JVs) or letting them lying vacant, NTC must give them to the government to provide houses for the workers.”
The few housing units which MHADA has constructed for the mill workers are unaffordable to the workers. “The number of mill workers who have applied for housing under the amended DCR, is over 100,000. To build tenements for all of them, MHADA needs 200 acres of land, which comes to a third of the total mill land in Mumbai, not counting the space taken up by the former cotton godowns. Out of the total land belonging to the NTC mills in Mumbai (i.e., around 266 acres), they have given just 6.07 acres for mill workers’ housing. An equal area has been given to the city, making a total of less than 13 acres. What is happening with the rest of the land? Can the NTC, which is a public sector company, amass unexpected and unaccounted profits? Why cannot it contribute more land to workers and the city?” said a statement issued by the workers’ union.
Ms Krishna Menon, an eminent activist, said, “NTC has handed over the India United Mill No 6 property to the government for constructing a memorial for Dr Ambedkar. That area is near Chaityabhoomi in Dadar and it is a good step, because during and after Ambedkar Parinirvan Divas (which is celebrated on 6th December), everyone flocks to Chaityabhoomi and the area becomes too crowded. If they can give land for a public space, why can’t they give more land for such purposes?”
NTC, which manages affairs of sick textile undertakings, aims at modernizing units via sale of assets, and had proposed to sell 15 mills in Mumbai—seven of which are already sold. NTC has entered into joint ventures with private sector enterprises, namely Bhaskar Industries, Alok Industries & Pantaloon Retail (India) for ‘revival’ of four properties in Mumbai: India United Mills No1, Apollo Textile Mills. Gold Mohur Mills and New City of Bombay Manufacturing Mills. Four mills are claimed to be operative and six NTC mills are lying closed; and are not sold yet.
NTC declares on its website that it has sold assets worth Rs6,480.71 crore under the revival scheme. “All the above mentioned JVs are earning net profits consistently since last three-and-half years,” says NTC on its website.
The mill workers’ unions, however, say that NTC has cheated the workers. They claim that NTC is more concerned with making profits than providing jobs or housing to the workers. “The entire revival plan that NTC has presented before Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), based on which they are selling and developing mill lands as real estate in Mumbai, is fraudulent. NTC through its sale of just seven mills in Mumbai has amassed Rs3,999 crore by their own admission. For the revival plan for mills all over India that they submitted to the BIFR, they need only Rs547 crore. They have made a staggering profit of Rs3,452 crore! What are they doing with this money?” the workers’ associations said in a statement.
The unions say that the joint venture projects, which are for ‘revival’, are actually being redeveloped. “For closure or re-development, these four mills would have had to give land to the city for open space and affordable housing under the DCR. They would have been asked what they are doing with the money. This is the reason they (NTC) are claiming that they are running the mills, as ‘textile–related’ activity,” said the statement issued by the unions.
The joint ventures, which NTC says are for “textile-related activities” are also lying mostly fallow, claim the workers. “In Gold Mohur Mills, Dadar East, which has a total land area of 7.05 acres, one small shed is being used for storing cotton. The rest of the land has been lying fallow since four years. In Apollo Mills, Lower Parel, with 6.41 acres, and New City (6.7 acres), Byculla, about 50 sewing machines each are running. In India United Mills No 1 (19.45 acres) in Parel there are 100 sewing machines. Cleary this is a sham,” the statement issued said.
All investors registered in the Dividend Plan as on 2 March 2012 will receive the tax-free dividend of Rs2.50 per unit.
Franklin Templeton announced a tax-free dividend of Rs2.50 per unit in its fund - Franklin India Prima Plus (FIPP). The record date for the dividend has been fixed as 2 March 2012. The fund invests in a diversified portfolio of wealth creating companies that generate a return on capital higher than their cost of capital.
All investors registered in the Dividend Plan as on 2 March 2012 will receive this tax-free dividend. Pursuant to payment of dividend, the NAV of the scheme would fall to the extent of payout and statutory levy.
The record date for the dividend is 2 March 2012 and any purchases on or before this date will be eligible for the dividend. Under the dividend reinvestment plan, the dividend declared will be reinvested in the fund at the NAV of 5 March 2012 and unit holders will be allotted additional units for the dividend amount.
SKS has already drawn down the first tranche of Rs78.7 crore comprising receivables from micro women borrowers from the weaker sections
SKS Microfinance, the country's only listed micro lender, today said it has securitised Rs354 crore of receivables from 18 states, except Andhra Pradesh. The securitisation was done by a major public sector bank, SKS said in a statement, without naming the lender. Under the pool securitisation, bundling micro loans made to borrowers like micro-entrepreneurs are sold to investors such as banks to raise funds.
The microfinance company has already drawn down the first tranche of Rs78.7 crore comprising receivables from micro women borrowers from the weaker sections, as defined by the Reserve Bank of India, the statement said.
"This is the largest rated pool assignment transaction in the Indian microfinance history," the company claimed.
The pool is well diversified with the average loan amount being Rs10,717. The pool is rated as CARE A1+(SO) (Highest Safety) by CARE, it said. Instruments with a CARE A1+ (SO) rating are considered to have a strong capacity for timely payment of short-term debt obligations and carry the lowest credit risk, SKS said.
Commenting on the transaction, S Dilli Raj, chief financial officer, SKS Microfinance Limited, said, rated pool assignment is an excellent instrument of confluence which achieves the amalgamation of the funding capabilities of the banking system and the credit delivery skills of microfinance companies.
"This sort of confluence may well be the real answer for financial inclusion. Our ability to consummate the largest rated pool assignment in the Indian microfinance history clearly demonstrates that funding concerns raised post the AP MFI Act are behind SKS Microfinance," Dilli Raj said.
Earlier this month, SKS completed another securitisation for Rs243 crore. The present transaction is SKS Microfinance Limited’s eighth assignment or securitisation transaction post the AP MFI Act. All the rated papers of SKS Microfinance have shown robust collection efficiency of more than 98%. Credit enhancement has not been utilised in any of these transactions, SKS claimed in the statement.
In the early afternoon, SKS Microfinance was trading at around Rs124.70 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2.81% down from the previous close.