Companies & Sectors
Passenger car sales up 4.99 percent in 2014-15: SIAM
Domestic passenger car sales increased by 4.99 percent in 2014-15 and stood at 1,876,017 units from an off-take of 1,786,826 units in 2013-14, industry data showed Friday.
 
This is the first time in three years that passenger vehicle sales have recorded positive growth. High fuel and interest costs coupled with slowdown in economic activity had dented automobile sales.
 
According to data furnished by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), total passenger vehicle sales, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, went up by 3.90 percent at 2,601,111 units from 2,503,509 units sold in the corresponding fiscal.
 
SIAM data showed that sales of utility vehicles grew by 5.30 percent at 553,699 units, while the off-take of vans declined by 10.19 percent at 171,395 units.
 
However, the industry data for 2014-15 reported a 2.83 percent decline in the overall commercial vehicles segment sales, which is a key indicator of economic activity.
 
The commercial vehicles segment off-take stood at 614,961 units during 2014-15 from 632,851 units sold in the corresponding 2013-14 fiscal.
 
Three-wheeler sales rose by 10.80 percent in the fiscal under review at 531,927 units from 480,085 units sold in 2013-14.
 
Total two-wheeler sales in the period under review grew by 8.09 percent at 16,004,581 units from 14,806,778 units sold in 2013-14.
 
Scooter sales in the fiscal under review were up 25.06 percent at 4,505,529 units, while motorcycle sales were up by 2.50 percent at 10,743,549 units.
 
Exports for 2014-15 went up by 14.89 percent at 3,573,806 units from 3,110,584 units shipped out during 2013-14.
 
Total vehicle sales during the last financial year grew by 7.22 percent at 19,752,580 units from 18,423,223 units sold in the corresponding period of 2013-14.
 
Data furnished by SIAM showed that passenger car sales in March, 2015 were up 2.64 percent at 176,011 units as against of 171,491 units in the corresponding month of last year.
 
Total passenger vehicle sales in the month under review went up by 2.66 percent at 244,395 units from an off-take of 238,061 units in March, 2014.
 
For last month, SIAM reported a 2.14 percent increase in sales of commercial vehicles which is a key indicator of economic activity.
 
Sales stood at 65,470 units from 64,101 units in the corresponding month of last year.
 
Three-wheeler sales grew by by 2.68 units at 42,383 units from 41,278 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
 
However, total two-wheeler sales in the month under review marginally declined by 0.84 percent at 1,323,184 units from 1,334,450 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
 
Total scooter sales in the month under review grew by 11.14 percent at 395,901 units from 356,233 units sold in the like period of last year.
 
Total motorcycle sales decreased by 5.22 percent at 859,521 units from an off-take of 906,901 units in March last year.
 
Total exports for the month went down by 6.57 percent at 251,225 units from 268,891 units being shipped out.
 
Total vehicle sales in March slipped by 0.15 percent at 1,675,432 units from 1,677,890 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

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How CEOs inflate their salaries
The researchers were interested in testing the theory that business executives, who have strong networks among their peers, are more likely to inflate their colleagues' pay because they believe it will be reciprocated
 
If you have a strong network of business colleagues who sit on each other's board, your pay can be a lot heftier - but often at the expense of your shareholders, according to a new study by the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
 
The researchers were interested in testing the theory that business executives, who have strong networks among their peers, are more likely to inflate their colleagues' pay because they believe it will be reciprocated.
 
"There's a great deal of research trying to understand how a chief executive officer's pay is determined," said study's co-lead author professor Fei Song from the Ryerson University, Toronto.
 
"One school of thought is that their pay is determined by a corporation's board of directors," Song explained.
 
"However, people who make up these boards are often CEOs of other companies themselves and are more likely to receive higher compensation packages because of this exclusive network," Song added.
 
But what happens when CEOs are paid more?
 
"If executives of corporations receive a higher compensation, they may be taking the company's revenue from the shareholders' pockets and paying it to themselves," Song added.
 
Indirectly reciprocal networks are often overlooked and difficult to track, the study said.
 
"Imagine three CEOs from companies A, B, and C where A sits on B's board, B sits on C's board, and C in turn sits on A's board."
 
"In this example, there is no direct conflict of interest because A does not benefit him or herself by inflating B's salary and the same applies to the other two CEOs," said co-author professor Zhong from the University of Toronto.
 
"Nevertheless, our findings suggest that everyone in the network is likely to inflate salary for each other. Now imagine this network consists of hundreds of CEOs," Zhong said.
 
While it is difficult for shareholders to see the circle of reciprocity among CEOs, "as a start, giving shareholders more powers to monitor board meetings would help", the researchers said.

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Traffic violations to attract steeper fines; half-baked, say experts
In a bid to crack down on rampant driving violation and growing number of traffic related deaths and casualties, the Narendra Modi government has sought to drastically up the penalties for traffic violations
 
Dangerous driving that causes the death of a child would now attract a penalty of Rs.50,000 ($805) as well as imprisonment under proposed legislation that suggests an over 40 percent increase in existing fines for traffic infractions. However, BJP leader and former top cop Kiran Bedi calls it a "joke", echoing experts who find the hikes a half-baked solution and call for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to whip up a "national movement" for road safety akin to Swachch Bharat.
 
"A fine of Rs.50,000 for causing a death is a joke. Is life so cheap in India," Bedi, known for ruthlessly enforcing the law as the traffic head of Delhi Police in the seventies, asked while speaking to IANS, adding: "We need prevention and not collection of fines. Toughness of law and fairness in enforcement along with advanced technology for sound traffic management is the answer for road safety."
 
While such pecuniary penalties play a "vital role", experts say holistic traffic management must be complemented with strict enforcement, traffic police training, enhanced provisions like declaring drunken driving a "criminal" offence and a strong political will on the part of lawmakers who could become "ambassadors" of road safety.
 
With an average of 375 deaths per day (over 135,000 a year) due to road accidents in India, "we need to adopt road safety as a national cause. The prime minister must take the onus the way he is doing for Swachch Bharat or Ganga cleaning," road safety campaigner Prince Singhal, the founder of Campaign Against Drunken Driving, told IANS.
 
Singhal also urged MPs, legislators and village council heads to become "ambassadors" of road safety. "They must channelise government funds like MPLADS (for development in their respective constituencies) towards devising and executing programmes geared to ensure road safety," he said.
 
In a bid to crack down on rampant driving violation and growing number of traffic related deaths and casualties, the Narendra Modi government has sought to drastically up the penalties for traffic violations.
 
According to an official statement, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is consulting stakeholders before legalising the hiked penalties that are proposed in the fourth draft and reflect a substantial increase in the quantum of punishment that is way above those provided in the outdated Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
 
For instance, as per the draft Road Transport and Safety Bill, available on the ministry's website, first-time offenders of impaired driving may have to cough up Rs.10,000 and face a possible six-month suspension of licence if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is found more than 20.0 mg per 100 ml of blood.
 
Subsequent incidents will attract a fine of Rs.20,000 in conjunction with up to six months' imprisonment and one year of licence suspension.
 
A ticket for exceeding the posted limit by five kmph will see a 40 percent jump from the existing fine of Rs.400 in the 27-year-old act.
 
So, how does the proposed increase in fines stack up with the rest of the world? Take that for jumping a red light. If it is going to be Rs.1,500 in India, it's ($229)(Rs.14,300) in some cities in Canada and $145 (Rs.9,125) in, say, Paris.
 
Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) president Rohit Baluja exuded little confidence in such penalties without professional training of the traffic police and scientific road engineering because "over 30 percent of accidents happen due to road failure".
 
A National Crime Records Bureau report says 34.3 percent - or 137,423 - of accidental deaths in 2013 happened due to road accidents.
 
"Fines should be increased. But they are meaningless unless the road environment, including its geometry and traffic engineering, is also improved according to the law," Baluja told IANS.
 
He said road safety, however, does not always suffer due to untrained drivers but often because of poorly defined lanes and inappropriate road signage that confuse pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike.
 
The IRTE president also called for improving road engineering standards, regular road repairs and scientific traffic management that will serve the purpose only when traffic constables implementing the law are also well trained.
 
"There is no training of traffic police here. While issuing challans (tickets), they may not even have full knowledge of traffic rules and violations. They need to be trained to understand what can be categorized as violation," Baluja explained, based on his experience as a trainer for Indian Police Service officers as well as traffic
policemen.
 
"They often overlook the real reason that caused the violation. For instance, what's the fault of a driver who is unable to see the red light at an intersection because the traffic signal was hiding behind a tree?" he questioned.
 
Echoing this sentiment, International Road Federation chairman K.K. Kapila said efficient enforcement of legislation is the "single" key to ensure safe roads that must also be complemented with advanced technology like cities in advanced countries.
 
Kapila told IANS that a demonstration stretch between India Gate and the Badarpur border in the national capital is being worked out as an experiment to this effect.
 
The stretch will have several CCTV cameras and other gadgets needed for an intelligent technology system that will capture breach of lane driving, over-speeding, and other traffic violations, Kapila said.

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COMMENTS

Ankur Bhatnagar

2 years ago

The government wants to take an easy way out. After all, the easiest thing to do is to simply revise the pre-existing fine quanta upwards. Not only it doesn't take much effort, it makes the government 'appear' serious about traffic issues.

I expect the only outcome of these new fine amounts would be greater corruption at the ground. Now the people would be far more inclined to bribe the traffic cops. While it will certainly increase the black income of cops, their bosses and the politicians, it will only expedite the breakdown of law enforcement machinery. Cynics might even suggest more income for transport officials/politicians as the real motivator for the upward revision of fines.

The real need is to steeply increase the detection of traffic violations. If they are issuing 100 fines today, they should target 500 fines per day because the detection of violations is a very small fraction of actual violations. More than the amount of fine, the deterrent would be the certainty of a fine. Even a Rs. 100 fine can go make people follow the rules if they know that they *will* get caught.

In fact, the amount of fines should be reduced so that there is lesser incentive for the drivers to bribe the cops. That will strengthen the integrity of traffic cops and will make only make them more effective.

Of course, increasing the number of challans issued is a more tedious task than simply increasing the amount but that's what is needed.

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

Poorly written article. Not fit for MoneyLife standards.

Are you saying that stiff penalties won't be a deterrent? Then how do you justify Canada's?

Stiff penalties, education, better road engineering, police training - all need to happen. Penalties are the quickest , the rest take time.

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