The court has upheld the decision of the Central Information Commission which had declared that the stock exchange is a public authority
The Delhi High Court today said that the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is a “public authority” and is bound to reveal information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, reports PTI.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed NSE’s plea that it cannot be forced to disclose information under the transparency law because it is an autonomous body and not controlled by the government.
The court upheld the decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) which had declared the stock exchange as a public authority.
The CIC had in 2007 held that stock exchanges are quasi-governmental bodies which are bound to disclose information to the public under the RTI Act.
“A stock exchange being a quasi-governmental body working under the statute and exercising statutory powers has to be held to be a public authority under the Act,” the CIC had said while directing the NSE to put in place a mechanism for the purpose.
The NSE then approached the Delhi High Court, which had on 4 July 2007, stayed the CIC order.
Contending that it is an independent organisation and registered as a company, the stock exchange had submitted that it cannot be forced to comply with the transparency law as a private organisation and that it cannot be placed under the ambit of the RTI Act.
DM Capital Advisors plans to fund movies which have their themes revolving around a social cause
DM Capital Advisors, a financial advisory firm, is entering the market to support films with a cause. It will soon be launching a venture capital fund, Cause Entertainment, for this purpose. DM Capital plans to leverage equity funding for such films.
A number of movies—like Munnabhai MBBS, 3 Idiots and Rang De Basanti—have had socially relevant themes, and have also fared well at the box-office.
“We will be funding ‘cause-related’ movies which carry a message in them. We are not talking art films here, but films like Chak De! India, Munnabhai MBBS, 3 Idiots and Rang De Basanti,” said Uday Singh, corporate advisor, DM Capital.
“We are starting the venture capital (fund) to fund a niche sector. A number of corporate houses are seeing a lot of opportunity in this sector. We see a lot of potential in the market,” said Vicky Dhir, founder and director, DM Capital.
The company is currently in the process of raising funds and is looking at investing Rs200 crore in the venture. “We have raised a substantial amount through high net-worth individuals and institutional investors,” said Aditya Mehta, founder and director, DM Capital.
Compared to the funds that Hollywood manages to raise through financial institutions, the Indian entertainment industry has only a few sources of institutional revenue. Just three banks in India— IDBI Bank, EXIM Bank and Yes Bank—undertake debt funding for movies.
As far as equity funding is concerned, a few companies like Religare Film Fund and Cinema Capital Venture Fund invest in the entertainment sector.
“In the US, there are different kinds of equity funding (for films) and multiple layers of debt funding like ‘mezzanine debt’ funding. But in India, these options are not there. Very few banks provide debt funding to the entertainment industry. Equity funding is a big challenge,” said Mr Mehta.
The company is initially planning to fund a basket of 11-15 movies and is eyeing returns of 25%-30% (post expenses, before tax).
“Our first step is to cover as many downsides as possible and then monetise,” said Manish Bhatia, head of investor relations, DM Capital.
The company has shortlisted four movies, but is not willing to name them. According to DM Capital, a film will be selected for funding under these criteria: formulation of the formal business plan; valuation of intellectual property rights, estimation of box-office collections (both domestic and global) and estimates of revenues from various rights associated with a film.
The Centre is trying to push the New Pension Scheme. However, out of the 23 States which had notified adoption of the Scheme for public sector employees, only 12 have executed the plan so far
In the current Budget, the Central government had announced that it would contribute Rs1,000 towards each New Pension Scheme (NPS) account opened this year. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) plans to make the scheme more attractive. While various efforts have been made to make the NPS attractive, the Centre has failed to attract its own States towards the scheme.
Even after six years of its launch, only 12 States have executed the NPS scheme, eight have merely entered into an agreement with the NPS Trust. Administrative difficulties in identification of eligible employees and the difficulties of implementation of a payroll-linked programme are some of the difficulties that have been cited by various States for non-implementation of the scheme.
The NPS was introduced by the government in April 2004, to cover all entrants in government service. It was subsequently extended to the general public later. At that time, around 23 States in the country had notified adoption of the NPS for their employees.
However, even after six years, the implementation of the scheme has not taken off. According to the 13th Finance Commission Report (2010- 2015), only 12 States have executed their agreements signed with the Central Record Keeping and Accountancy Agency (CRA). In the case of NPS, the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) has been appointed as the CRA.The Report further states that an additional eight States have entered into agreements with the NPS Trust.
This lacklustre performance from the States has led to an abysmal transfer of funds worth Rs 133crore so far to the NPS. The amount is quite meagre compared to the total corpus that the government had transferred to pension fund managers. As on 31 March 2008, this amount stood at over Rs1,117 crore. Thus, the total amount transferred to the NPS stands at around 10% of the total amount that the Centre had allocated to the Scheme. According to the Report, this Rs113 crore is the transfer amount put together for only two States.
The Report states, “The contributions of State employees are lying in the State public accounts, earning a return equal to the interest rate allowed for the General Provident Fund. The migration to the NPS needs to be completed at the earliest.” The Report has also recommended a grant to assist States build a database for their employees and pensioners.
The Centre’s intentions may be noble, but if it can’t get the States to follow the NPS, how will it convince the general public to go in for what otherwise is a well-conceived scheme?