Reliance Capital was ranked the topmost retirement fund manager overall by the EPFO for providing good returns and investing money in quality assets, while State-run SBI finished at the bottom
ADAG-promoted Reliance Capital Ltd was ranked the topmost retirement fund manager overall by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for providing good returns and investing money in quality assets, while State-run State Bank of India (SBI) finished at the bottom.
HSBC Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd and ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co Ltd, which are the two other retirement fund managers, have been ranked second and third respectively for their performance during the nine-month period ending December 2009, as per EPFO analysis, said a labour ministry source.
The analysis placed before EPFO's key advisory body, the Finance and Investment Committee, last week, pointed out that HSBC AMC churned out the highest yield (return) of 8.43% followed closely by Reliance Capital at 8.41%.
Interestingly, the country's largest public sector lender SBI has been placed at the lowest position on all parameters including yield, maturity profile and asset quality profile.
On the basis of the maturity profile, Reliance Capital AMC continues to perform the best on the said parameter followed by ICICI Pru AMC, HSBC AMC and SBI in that order. On asset quality profile, ICICI Pru AMC is ahead followed by Reliance Capital, HSBC AMC and SBI.
However, among all fund managers appointed in July 2008, ICICI Pru has been ranked first on an overall basis for managing funds since 17 September 2008 till 31 December 2009 followed by HSBC AMC, Reliance Capital and SBI.
A major chunk of EPFO's funds are invested in government schemes and securities having poor yields—less than 8%. Hence, the government brought in four fund managers to churn out better returns.
The EPFO manages PF deposits of over 4.71 crore subscribers with a corpus of around Rs2.57 lakh crore. Its incremental deposits every year are close to Rs25,000 crore.
EPFO is maintaining an interest rate of 8.5% for depositors since 2005-06 because of low return of government securities, schemes and instruments. Before that it was 9.5% for the three consecutive fiscals from 2002-03.
It gave 11% and 11.25% interest on PF deposits in 2000-01 and 2001-02, respectively. It maintained an interest rate as high as 12% for 10 years between 1989-90 and 1999-2000.
When paid information is presented as news content, it could mislead the public and thereby hamper their judgement to form a correct opinion and there is an urgent need to protect the public's right to correct and unbiased information, according to the government
Describing the 'paid news' phenomenon as a serious matter, the Indian government on Friday said the right of the public to correct and unbiased information needs to be protected, reports PTI.
"There exists strong circumstantial evidence of the malpractices," information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said in the Rajya Sabha in response to a Calling Attention Notice on the issue.
She said that the phenomenon of 'paid news' is a serious matter as it influences functioning of a free press.
"When paid information is presented as news content, it could mislead the public and thereby hamper their judgement to form a correct opinion. Thus, there is no denying the fact that there is an urgent need to protect the public's right to correct and unbiased information," Ms Soni said.
She said it was important that all sections of society should introspect on this issue as "it has wide ranging implications for our democratic structure."
Representatives of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) have named six newspapers, carrying numerous 'paid news' stories, she said in response to the notice given by CPI-M member Sitaram Yechury.
Concerned over the trend, leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said that there should be a regulator in the field which should impose 'deterrent' penalties on the malpractice. He said if political parties are found to be indulging in the same, there should be action against them as well.
He asked the government whether it would take steps against the problem or leave the menace of unlawful trade and business to the Press Council of India (PCI) which he called a 'toothless wonder'.
Giving clarifications, Ms Soni said the government did not view the 'paid news' syndrome as freedom of expression. The proposals to give more teeth to the PCI were 'under the consideration' of the government, she said.
She was responding to concerns expressed by Mr Jaitley, who said that the minister's statement seemed to be based on a premise that 'paid news' is freedom of expression. He wanted the government to show a will and solutions could be found.
Ms Soni said that the PCI has been writing to successive governments to enhance its powers but "for one or the other reason", it was not done.
While the government is committed to ensuring freedom of speech and expression, "all sections of society should introspect on this issue (paid news) as it has wide-ranging implications for our democratic structure."
She said that the report of the sub-committee on the issue would come by the end of this month.
Ms Soni said that the PCI is giving adequate attention to ensure editor's primacy in news organisations.
She welcomed a suggestion from Mr Yechury to stop government advertisements to media houses, which are found to be indulging in such malpractices. But even if she had given a hint in this regard, she would have been charged with arm-twisting the media, Ms Soni said.
Ms Soni agreed to look into the issue of Television Rating Points (TRPs), which BJP leader and former broadcasting minister Ravishankar Prasad dubbed as the "biggest fraud and the biggest incentive behind paid news."
The minister said she will be in the “front row to check” anything that affects “unadulterated news.”
Montek Singh Ahluwalia is among 19 members chosen for a high-level advisory group on Climate Change Financing tasked with mobilising funds pledged during the Copenhagen meet to tackle global warming
India's deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, is among 19 members chosen by UN chief Ban Ki-moon for a high-level advisory group on Climate Change Financing tasked with mobilising funds pledged during the Copenhagen meet to tackle global warming, reports PTI.
Apart from Mr Ahluwalia, philanthropist George Soros and British academic Nicholas Stern are among the members of the body co-chaired by UK prime minister Gordon Brown and his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi.
President of the Republic of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo and Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg are also part of the group, whose other members include diplomats, bankers, businesspersons and philanthropists.
The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in December last year had failed to produce a legally-binding treaty.
Instead, it settled for the Copenhagen Accord, whose key elements included a limit of 2 degree rise in global temperature; $100 billion in long-term financing to developing countries and $30 billion in short-term financing to the poorest and most vulnerable nations.
There is still no clear mechanism for the actual collection and disbursement of this aid, but the next round of formal negotiations on the issue are scheduled for May in Bonn.
The advisory committee on Climate Change Financing is tasked with presenting a report to Mr Ban on the best way to collect and dispense this money, before the next big Climate Change meeting scheduled for the end of the year in Mexico.
The advisory group will have its first meeting on 29th March at London.