Rail fares to go up next year: Minister

According to Kotla Suryaprakasha Reddy, it is necessary to increase the train fares as financial position of the Railways is not sound and there is a proposal to increase it in next railway budget

Visakhapatnam: Train fares might go up next year as an increase has become necessary to meet the financial situation of the Indian Railways which was "not sound", Union Minister of State for Railways Kotla Suryaprakasha Reddy said, reports PTI.


"It is necessary to increase the train fares as the financial position of the Railways is not sound. It is essential to raise the fares to take up developmental activities and provide amenities to commuters," he said.


Reddy was addressing a gathering after flagging off Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Visakhapatnam-Shirdi weekly express trains here Saturday.


He said commuters should appreciate this fact.


Later, talking to reporters at Rajahmundry, Reddy said there was a proposal to increase the rail fares in the next railway budget.


He also said Indian trains were the cheapest transport facility in the world and at the same time the number of mishaps on the tracks was very low.


Rs25,000 crore worth railway projects were pending in Andhra Pradesh, he said, adding, it would take some time to clear them because of financial constraints.


SEBI slaps Rs25 lakh fine on Triveni Management

SEBI said it found that the stock broker, Triveni Management Consultancy, had placed manipulative orders for Asian Star Company shares in the accounts of its clients

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs25 lakh on Triveni Management Consultancy Services for fraudulent trade in Asian Star Company Ltd (ASCL) stock and failing to comply with norms for stock brokers, reports PTI.


The regulator said it found that the stock broker had placed manipulative orders for ASCL shares in the accounts of its clients.


"Gains per se were made by the noticee (Triveni) in that it executed trades in the scrip in a manner meant to create artificial volumes and liquidity which is an important criterion, apart from price, capable of misleading the investors while making an investment decision," SEBI said in an order issued on Thursday, slapping a penalty of Rs25 lakh.


SEBI noticed a spurt of about 19% in the price of ASCL shares between 10th October and 20 November 2008. During this period, the BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, had dropped over 19%.


The market regulator observed that certain entities connected to each other had indulged in circular/reversal synchronised trading in a manner that led to creation of artificial volume in the scrips.


These entities are collectively referred to as the "Mehta Group" by SEBI.


Recently, in a separate order, SEBI had penalised one Sunil Mehta as being the main conspirator behind the manipulative trades in ASCL shares.


Besides charging Triveni for aiding and abetting Mehta, the regulator also found that it funded the transactions of Mehta Group and failed to abide by the code of conduct for stock brokers.


The broker was also noted to be the largest contributor to the volumes to the scrips.


Finance Ministry asks SEBI to abolish 25% margin money in PSU share auction

The Finance Ministry has also urged SEBI to extend the time for accepting bids by the stock exchanges to 1730 hrs from 1530 hrs during the auction process

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has written to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to do away with the 25% margin money requirement for institutions bidding during the PSU stake sale through auction route, reports PTI.


The Ministry, according to official sources, has also urged SEBI to extend the time for accepting bids by the stock exchanges to 1730 hrs from 1530 hrs during the auction process.


These suggestions, they added, will help generate more demand during the stake sale process as investors won't have to worry about providing funds upfront for making bids.


"We have written to SEBI to abolish margin money, at least for institutional investors. It will help in generating better response for PSU shares," the official said, adding that as these are off-market deals they need not be restricted to equity market timings. Trading in equity markets happen between 0900-1530 hrs.


"We have asked them to extend the time for share sale to 1730 hrs. Also, we have suggested that the OFS (offer for sale) process can begin around 1200 hrs, instead of 0900 hrs, as this is an off-market deal" he added.


As per the existing norms, institutional investors have the option of submitting bids with 25% margin money under the OFS or auction route.


Last week, the government raised Rs6,000 crore through 10% stake sale in NMDC. The issue got over-subscribed 1.73 times, with majority of the bids coming in from institutional investors.


The OFS of Hindustan Copper in October had generated demands worth 1.4 times the shares on offer, while ONGC share sale in March barely managed to get fully subscribed.


In the current fiscal, the government has fixed a target of raising Rs30,000 crore from stake sale in PSUs. So far this fiscal, it has raised over Rs6,900 crore.


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