Citizens' Issues
Parliament stands unit, rallies behind people from northeast

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sent a clear message that people of northeast had nothing to worry and everything will be done to make them feel safe

 
New Delhi: Standing united, a concerned Indian Parliament on Friday rallied behind people from northeast state after their exodus from some states with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowing to crack down on rumour mongers who have spread panic among them, reports PTI.
 
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha (Lower and Upper Houses) sent a clear message that people of northeast had nothing to worry and everything will be done to make them feel safe with Rajya Sabha adopting a resolution demanding a thorough probe into the spread of rumours of impending attacks against them in the wake of the Assam violence.
 
"We will do everything to provide them security," Singh said, warning of stern action against the rumour mongers behind the "most reprehensible" act of creating insecurity.
 
"We must curb all the elements which are out to create trouble on this sensitive issue," he said, adding a message has to be sent out to all those who want to disturb peace.
 
"We should send a clear message that we will do everything to provide security to people from northeast living in various parts of the country," he said, asserting they have "as much right" as anybody else to study and work in any part of the country.
 
As members in both Houses cut across party lines to voice concern at the panic created in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Rajya Sabha passed a resolution seeking investigation against those creating panic.
 
"The House expresses its serious concern at the feeling of persecution of our brothers and sisters of the North Eastern states, who are leaving various cities and returning to the North East.
 
"...The mischief mongers and anti-national elements behind the electronic campaign to create panic should be urgently investigated by the authorities," the resolution read out by Chairman Hamid Ansari said.
 
Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj stressed on the need to rise above party lines and send a clear message that people from the northeast have the freedom to live, work and study wherever they wish in the country.
 
Both the Houses took up impromptu debate on the issue amid demands for suspension of Question Hour. While Question Hour was suspended in the Upper House, Kumar took up the issue without any suspension in the Lok Sabha.
 

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Ratan Tata says land and coal availability challenges for power sector

According to the Tata group chief, shortage of domestic coal and expensive gas are among the concerns which need to be sorted out and there should be policy action to encourage gas-based power projects

 
Mumbai: Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata on Friday called difficulties on land acquisition and coal block auctions as challenges impeding the growth of the power sector in the country, reports PTI.
 
"The main fuel (for meeting the increasing energy needs) will be coal...there is a question on coal and land auction which will be the concern and has to be addressed later," he said at Tata Power's annual general meeting (AGM) in Mumbai.
 
The remarks come on the same day as the government tabling the CAG report on coal block auction, said the national exchequer lost up to Rs1.86 lakh crore on parting with land, rather than auctioning it.
 
Tata Group companies Tata Steel and Tata Power have been named in the report as among the 25 companies which have got the blocks in various states.
 
Ratan Tata, who is scheduled to retire towards the end of the year after being at helm for over two decades, said the principle challenges for Tata Power emanate from land acquisition and environmental clearances.
 
Earlier, Tata said the increasing population and higher standards of living are expected to double the demand for power by 2030.
 
As we face the task, shortage of domestic coal and expensive gas are among the concerns which need to be sorted out, he said, stressing on the need for policy action to encourage gas-based power projects.
 
"Availability of energy at affordable rates will be an area of challenge," he said.
 

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SEBI allows seven alternative investment funds to operate in India

The seven AIFs registered with SEBI includes IFCI Syncamore India Infrastructure Fund, Utthishta Yekum Fund, Indiaquotient Investment Trust, Forefront Alternate Investment Trust, Excedo Realty Fund, Sabre Partners Trust and KKR India Alternate Credit Opportunities Fund

 

New Delhi: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed seven alternative investment funds (AIFs) to set shop in the country under a newly formulated route, which allows pooling of funds for investments in areas like real estate, private equity and hedge funds, reports PTI.

 

The approval has been given to all the seven AIFs by the SEBI in a period of less than one month, as per the information available with the market regulator.

 

SEBI had notified its guidelines in May for AIFs, which are funds established or incorporated in India for the purpose of pooling in of capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy.

 

As per SEBI data, six AIFs have got registered with the regulator during August 2012, while one was granted registration on 23rd July.

 

In a board meeting held yesterday, SEBI had decided that the promoters of listed companies can offload 10% of equity to AIFs such as such as SME Funds, Infrastructure Funds, PE funds and Venture Capital Funds registered with the market regulator to attain minimum 25% public holding.

 

Under SEBI guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories and it is mandatory for them to get registered with the regulator. The SEBI rules apply to all AIFs, including those operating as private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, among others.

 

The seven AIFs that have got registered with SEBI include IFCI Syncamore India Infrastructure Fund, Utthishta Yekum Fund, Indiaquotient Investment Trust, Forefront Alternate Investment Trust, Excedo Realty Fund, Sabre Partners Trust and KKR India Alternate Credit Opportunities Fund.

 

The Category I AIFs are those funds that might get certain incentives or concessions from the government, SEBI or other regulators in India and include Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds and SME Funds.

 

The Category III AIFs are those trading with a view to make short term returns and include hedge funds, among others.

 

The Category II AIFs are those funds which can invest anywhere in any combination but are prohibited from raising debt, except for meeting their day-to-day operational requirements. These AIFs include PE funds, debt funds or fund of funds, as also all others falling outside the ambit of Category I and Category III.

 

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