SEBI lifts ban on Welspun Group

Welspun has welcomed SEBI order lifting ban on it.

Market watchdog SEBI has vacated its earlier order restraining some of the promoter entities of Welspun Corp from buying, selling, or dealing in the securities of the company and other listed group firms.

SEBI, in a 16 March 2012 order, said based on the findings of its investigation no action or proceedings are recommended against Welspun Corp.
 
Following this, the interim directions issued vide order dated 2 December 2010 are revoked, considering the proposed adjudication proceedings and also the fact that the entities have already undergone debarment for a period of 15 months, the capital market regulator said.

The SEBI had barred Welspun Corp from trading on the stock exchanges for allegedly indulging in fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Welspun has welcomed SEBI order lifting ban on it.

"This is a landmark judgement which has exonerated Welspun Group promoters, and reaffirms the highest standard of corporate governance and ethical practices within the Welspun Group," Welspun Group chairman and managing director BK Goenka said in a statement.

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Kingfisher’s flying permit may be cancelled: sources

The sources said Kingfisher may be planning a quiet shut down and promoter Vijay Mallya being an ‘accountable’ person has been asked to meet the DGCA to present a clear picture. The whole picture is likely to become clear in few days, the officials added

New Delhi: Ailing Kingfisher Airlines Monday faced the prospects of its flying license being cancelled and its boss Vijay Mallya has been asked by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to present a clear picture of the cash-strapped private carrier, reports PTI.

The DGCA mulled cancellation of Kingfisher's flying permit after the airline today submitted to it the summer flight schedule with 15 to 16 aircraft as against 28 planes submitted last month.

“The airline not only lacks aircraft, they also lack funds for day-to-day operations. They are failing to meet their flight schedule, causing inconvenience to the passengers and also they failed to give salaries to their employees for past four-five months,” official sources said.

The sources said Kingfisher may be planning a quiet shut down and Mr Mallya being an ‘accountable’ person has been asked to meet the DGCA to present a clear picture.

The whole picture is likely to become clear in few days, the officials said.

The beleaguered airline was served a show-cause notice by the civil aviation regulator DGCA towards the end of February asking why its licence should not be suspended as it had made unannounced cancellations.

The 15-day mandatory notice period has already lapsed and they have failed to give a valid reason for curtailment of their flight schedule, most of their explanations are unsatisfactory and they have not given a definite recovery plan, officials said requesting anonymity said, adding the airline is presently operating only 15 or 16 aircraft.

Facing severe fund crunch, the Vijay Mallya-promoted airline has decided to curtail its overseas flights operations to avoid further losses and also return of a leased aircraft.

According to sources, the airline has planned to suspend its overseas operations from 25th March, except Delhi-London which it is withdrawing from 9th April. Also, the airline would return its wide-bodied airbus A 330-200 aircraft to a lessor in the United Kingdom.

Struggling to stay afloat, around 60 accounts of Kingfisher Airlines have been frozen by the tax authorities for its failure to pay taxes after levying it from the passengers.

Angry over not being paid for four months, airline pilots reported sick, forcing the airline to curtail its scheduled flights.

Mr Mallya at a meeting with the pilots last Friday said their grievances would be looked into but did not set a time frame. He had also said the airline would come out with a crystal clear roadmap for its future in a few days.

Kingfisher has a total debt of about Rs7,057 crore and accumulated losses of about Rs6,000 crore.

Earlier this month, global airlines body IATA suspended Kingfisher for not clearing its dues. This was the second time in just over a month that the airline was suspended on the same count from the IATA Clearing House (ICH) through which airlines and related firms settle accounts for services provided by them to other such companies.

Shares of Kingfisher Airlines today plunged by about 13% to a 52-week low of Rs17.50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) as the company faced prospects of its flying licence being cancelled. It was seen trading at Rs18.55, down 7.71% in noon trade. On the BSE, the stock declined 7.96% to Rs18.50.

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Mukul Roy sworn in as news railway minister

Mukul Roy, who parried questions on what he plans to do about the hike said, “Whatever I have to say I will say in Parliament as the Railway Budget is the property of Parliament”

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy was Tuesday elevated to cabinet rank to take over as India’s railway minister replacing Dinesh Trivedi, who was forced to resign after Congress succumbed to Mamata Banerjee’s pressure, reports PTI.

Widely expected to roll back at least the lower class passenger fare hike proposed by Mr Trivedi in the Railway Budget, Mr Roy, 57, was sworn in as cabinet minister at a special but brief ceremony by president Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He was currently serving as Union minister of state for shipping and had earlier served as minister of state in the railway ministry before Mr Trivedi took over last July.

The ceremony was attended by vice-president Hamid Ansari, prime minister Manmohan Singh, the UPA chairperson and cabinet ministers including ministers of Trinamool Congress.

Mr Trivedi was forced out by Trinamool Congress after he incurred the wrath of party chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was opposed to his proposal to increase fares in the Railway Budget last Wednesday. Mr Trivedi resigned on Sunday.

The Congress leadership caved in to the Trinamool demand for replacing him with Mr Roy.

On Monday, Ms Banerjee had indicated that the hike in the lower class fares proposed in the Railway budget may be rolled back.

Meanwhile, Mukul Roy today parried questions on what he plans to do about the hike.

“Whatever I have to say I will say in Parliament as the Railway Budget is the property of Parliament,” Mr Roy said.

He was asked if there will be any roll back in the hike in passenger fares.

“Since I am the railway minister, I will reply to the debate,” he said

“Safety, security and punctuality will be my priority as the railway minister,” he said shortly after being sworn in as a minister.

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