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No festive season hangover in November as car sales dip 8.25%

The carryover from the festive season was not there in November and auto market continues to be tough due to the same reasons such as the high interest rates and fuel prices, and low consumer sentiments

New Delhi: Passenger car sales in India declined by 8.25% in November as the festive season spirit failed to prolong enthusiasm among consumers, whose sentiments remained low due to high interest rates and fuel prices and other macro-economic factors, reports PTI.


With a subdued growth in sales of two-wheelers, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said it may revise the forecast downward for 2012-13 next month.


According to November sales data of automobiles released by SIAM, the total sale of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 1.79% at 15.15 lakh units last month as against 14.9 lakh units in the year-ago month.


In the domestic passenger car segment, sales fell by 8.25% to 1.6 lakh units last month compared to 1.7 lakh units in the same month last year.


"The carryover from the festive season was not there. Market continues to be tough due to the same reasons such as the high interest rates and fuel prices, and low consumer sentiments," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters.


This is the steepest decline since August 2012 when the sales dropped by 18.6%, he added.


Talking about the current month, Mathur said: "December month looks to be even worse as historically we never had higher sales in the month compared to October and November".


When asked if the industry body will revise the yearly car sales forecast for the fourth time next month, he said SIAM may not revise it as the April-November sales growth stands at 1.28%, which falls within the forecast of 1-3% for the fiscal.


"...but for the two-wheelers that (sales growth forecast for FY13) was at 4.05% for the period, is lower than 5-7% for the fiscal. Therefore, we may have to revise it," Mathur said.


He said the overall slow economic growth of the country and consumers becoming insecure about their jobs has compounded problems and has hit the entry level small car segment.


During the month, market leader Maruti Suzuki's sales rose by 2.35% to 74,793 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales, however, decreased marginally to 34,698 units.


Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' car sales were down by 42.5% at 13,538 units.


In the two-wheeler segment, total sales in November 2012 rose by 1.23% to 11.8 lakh units from 11.6 lakh in November, 2011.


Motorcycle sales last month went up marginally to 8, 67,518 units from 8,67,088 units in the year-ago month.


Indian woman sentenced to 20 years for healthcare fraud in US

Meera Sachdeva was charged for defrauding federal insurance programme Medicare by submitting false claims for chemotherapy services

New York: An Indian-origin woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay a penalty of over $14 million on charges of healthcare fraud in the US, reports PTI.


Meera Sachdeva, 50 of Mississippi, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release on charges that she defrauded federal insurance programme Medicare by submitting false claims for chemotherapy services, US Attorney Gregory Davis said in a statement.


Sachdeva, who owned and operated a cancer centre, had pleaded guilty in July this year to submitting claims for chemotherapy services that were supposedly rendered when she was out of the country.


She was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and restitution of over $8.1 million. The forfeiture of about $6 million and property was also ordered.


She had admitted billing for more chemotherapy drugs than she actually purchased from drug suppliers from 2007 to 2011.


Her patients believed that they were receiving an amount of chemotherapy medicine that was equal to the amount being billed to their respective health care benefit programmes, but she was not providing each patient with the fully prescribed dosage of many of the billed chemotherapy drugs.


"The health care fraud perpetrated by the defendant was an abuse of public trust motivated by greed," Davis said.


Special Agent in Charge of the US Department of Health and Human Services Derrick Jackson said Sachdeva violated her duty to provide appropriate care for the patients at the cancer centre.


"Our office takes quality of care concerns very seriously, and we will vigorously investigate any provider that shortchanges patients and steals from the Medicare Trust Fund".


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