The government announces a slew of projects for the NE region
General VK Singh, Minister of Development for North Eastern Region (NE region) said today that enabling infrastructure shall be provided to develop external markets for agricultural produce from NE region. Steps are being taken to ensure that 10% non-lapsable funds earmarked for the North East are actually utilised for the region, said General VK Singh. Each project is being reassessed in terms of utility, money already spent he said in the context of committed liabilities exceeding Budget. He however conceded that the progress on rail links in the last 10 years has been very tardy, and impetus being given to this now. “We want the Trans-Arunachal Highway to be completed at the earliest,” added General VK Singh.
There is no hindrance in getting funds released from line Ministries or for getting things done for the North East, emphasized General VK Singh. “We are placing a special emphasis on infrastructure; liaising with shipping, civil aviation and transport ministry,” General VK Singh said.
He said that the government is discussing with the Railway Ministry the possibility of expediting ongoing rail projects on Rail corridor in NE region. To make air connectivity viable, a holistic approach was needed in the NE region, he added. Pricing of flights will have to be formulated so that it is affordable, General VK Singh suggested.
Among other promises from General VK Singh, the following are important: There is going to be a Centre for Entrepreneurship development in Jorhat University. Discussions with people in MSME sector; the government's aim is to promote the MSME sector in North East. JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) has come up with a proposal for a hostel for 1200 students of North East. Rural, economic and adventure tourism are aimed to be promoted in the NE region. Looking at tourism and knowledge of the North East are to be priority areas. There are talks with food processing ministry to establish a cold chain in the NE, and to develop irradiation facilities. The government aims to transform the whole of North East into an organic hub, which can service the rest of the country as well as world.
General Singh said that he is looking at the entry of private players like Apollo Hospitals (in Guwahati) in health sector. He is also looking at Medicity in North East; where we can have one medical college, one dental college and other ancillary facilities.
The EOW had arrested Susan Chatterjee, former daughter-in-law of Michael Ferreira in the Rs425 crore QNet scam. While Ferreira owns 80% stake in QNet's official franchisee in India, his son, wife and close relatives are also reportedly under the scanner
With the arrest of Susan Nikhil Chatterjee, former wife of Mark Ferreira, the focus of the investigators is now back again on the family of former world billion champion Michael Ferreira. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police last week arrested Susan in the Rs425 crore QNet scam.
While confirming the arrest, Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha told the Indian Express that, “We have arrested Susan Chatterjee in connection with the QNet case. She is Ferreira’s former daughter-in-law. We have found around Rs1.70 crore in her bank account, which were earned by QNet through its binary scheme.”
The former world billions champion has been under the EOW scanner following the exposure of the QNet multilevel marketing (MLM) scam. He owns 80% stake in Vihaan Direct Selling that handles QNet's MLM operations in India since 14 April 2012. According to unconfirmed reports, Mark Ferreira is allegedly absconding and may be staying in Hong Kong to evade arrest by EOW in the QNet scam. According to EOW investigations, Michael Ferreira's wife is also an active IR of QNet.
Calling the arrest of Susan as an act of 'high-handedness' from the EOW, a spokesperson from QNet, in a statement said, "It is quite surprising and wholly disappointing that the EOW has seen to protract and take further inappropriate action against Vihaan and its Independent Representatives (IRs)/ distributors yet again. In the latest instance, another act of high-handedness has taken place in the purported guise of 'investigations' where a lady named Susan Nikhil Chatterjee has been taken into 'custody'. It is shocking where levels are reached such that family members of distributors are harassed without any specific reason or any allegation."
Last month, the EOW, while making a sensational disclosure has told the Sessions Court that a document submitted by the seven QNet leaders in their anticipatory bail application was bogus and concocted.
According to EOW, the team leaders of QNet, including former world billiards champion Michael Ferriera, Srinavas Rao Vanka, Magarlal Viravali Balaji, Malcolm Nozer Desai, Navjyot Mahesh Das, Chinar Surendra Shinde and Mereilla Kamal Dutta have misled the Court by submitting a fake document while seeking bail. This is in connection with various charges made by the intrepid whistleblower Gurpreet Singh.
The EOW of Mumbai Police, which is probing the MLM fraud, had so far arrested 10 team leaders of QNet for allegedly duping investors by offering to sell products such as magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes through fraudulent practices. The accused have been charged with cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.
Another interesting aspect in the whole episode is all top officials (?) of QNet India do not want to reveal their identity and remain hidden. We repeatedly sent emails to the company's official PR agency and also some officials from its parent QI group. Till date, neither the MLM company nor its PR agency is ready to reveal identity of its top management or leaders.
According to Nomura, headline WPI inflation in India would moderate further over the next four months before rising again as favourable base effects wear off
India's inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) eased in August to a better-than-expected 3.7% from 5.2% in July on favourable base effects and lower global crude oil prices. While the headline WPI inflation is expected to moderate further over the next four months, it would rise thereafter closer to the underlying trend in first quarter of 2015 as favourable base effects wear off, says Nomura in a research report.
"From a broader perspective, the underlying trend in WPI inflation is around 5.0-5.5%, with volatility around this trend driven by supply-side shocks and base effects. Overall, we expect headline WPI inflation to average 5.0% y-o-y in FY15 from 5.9% in FY14," the report said.
India's WPI inflation fell sharply to 3.7% in August from 5.2% in July, lower than market expectations and the lowest reading since October 2009. This was largely on favourable base effects and a sharp fall in global crude oil prices.
The base effects, on an abnormal increase in vegetable prices in August 2013 were largely concentrated in the food basket, as food price inflation (primary plus manufactured) fell sharply to 4.6% in August from 7.0% in July despite an increase in prices across categories led by vegetables (6.7% month-on-month) and milk (3.1%). And the impact of lower global crude oil prices was evident in lower fuel price inflation, which eased to 4.5% y-o-y from 7.4% in July.
Meanwhile, core WPI (WPI manufactured ex-food) inflation eased only slightly to 3.5% in August from 3.6% in July, led by a moderation in inflation rates in textiles, rubber and plastic and basic metals sub-categories. Also, June WPI inflation was revised up to 5.7% from 5.4% earlier owing to an upward revision in the food and core components.
From a CPI inflation perspective, the sharp increase in milk prices at the wholesale level could spill over to the retail level and thus put some upside pressure on CPI inflation. Likewise, inflation in oilseed prices continued to climb at the wholesale level. Although price inflation in edible oils at the retail level remains contained for now, we reckon there could be some upside pressure in coming months, Nomura added.