Regulations
SEBI suspends stockbroker Shreenath Kapoor’s certificate of registration

SEBI, while passing the suspension order pointed out that the stock broker failed to furnish any documentary evidence to dispute the dues towards the registration fees 

 

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has suspended the registration certificate of Shreenath Kapoor, a stock broker from Calcutta Stock Exchange till he pays outstanding registration fee. Kapoor is a member of the cash segment of the CSE. 
 
Every stockbroker is required to pay fees as specified in Schedule III.  In accordance with the provisions of Schedule III to the Brokers Regulations, a stockbroker is required to pay the fees on or before 1st October for the preceding financial year as prescribed. It was observed that Kapoor made an initial payment of Rs5,000 on 7 January 1993 towards registration fees. Thereafter, no payment was received from Kapoor.
 
SEBI initiated summary proceedings in the year 2005, in terms of SEBI (Procedure for Holding Enquiry by Enquiry Officer and Imposing Penalty) Regulations, 2002, in respect of the alleged failure to pay the registration fees by the broker. The fee liability as on date of initiation of summary proceedings was Rs4.16 lakh along with interest at the rate of 15% per annum.
 
Subsequently, SEBI vide letter dated 7 April 2010 granted an opportunity to the broker to submit written representations. SEBI vide notice dated 11 January 2011 once again granted an opportunity to the broker to submit written representations. In the interest of principles of natural justice, an opportunity of personal hearing was granted to the broker on 4 September 2014.
 
In spite of repeated efforts by SEBI, the broker failed to make the payment. SEBI noted that during the personal hearing also the broker did not submit any details in respect of payment of fees as per the demand of SEBI. It is also pertinent to mention that the broker failed to furnish any documentary evidence to dispute the registration fees due to be paid by him as on date.
 
Finally, SEBI passed the order suspending the certificate of registration till the time the outstanding registration fee is fully paid.
 

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Asaram case: UP IPS officer demands fair probe in witness killing

Demanding a fair probe in the killing of witness in Asaram rape case, senior IPS officer Amitabh Thakur said the case should not be reduced to one of loot or personal enmity

 

Amitabh Thakur, senior officer from the Indian Police Service (IPS) has asked for a fair probe into the death of Akhil Gupta, a witness in the rape case against Asaram Bapu in Surat. Gupta was shot dead on 11th January by two assailants at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
 
Thakur sent a demand letter to Meerut zone IG, Mukul Sharma calling for appropriate attention to the case and stated that the investigation body should not fall prey to elements trying to convert the case into a petty issue.
 
The case should not be reduced to one of loot or personal enmity, Thakur said in his letter, adding that the family of the deceased is under fear and mental pressure.
 
Ashish Gupta, cousin of the deceased and the complainant in the case told Thakur that since police recovered Akhil's money and goods after his death, there was no case of loot.
 
He also said that there was no personal enmity of the deceased with anyone and people were trying to divert the angle of the case, the letter read.
 
Three police teams, led by SP (City) Sarvan Kumar have been formed to apprehend the two assailants who killed Akhil Gupta last Sunday.
 
Gupta was a cook and personal aide of self-styled Godman Asaram, who is in jail since September 2013 in connection with another case of sexual assault on a minor girl in Jodhpur.
 

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India exploring JV opportunity to produce urea in Iran
A consortium consisting RCF and other state-owned companies is planning a joint venture with a suitable partner in Iran, so that the entire production of urea-ammonia can be underwritten for supplies, back to India
 
In the past few months, we have been crying hoarse for India to set up fertilizer plants as joint ventures in some of the Middle Eastern countries, particularly Iran, because of the abundant availability of gas as a feeder stock. Urea plants in Qatar and Sultanate of Oman, which have been supplying urea, have assisted India in meeting its needs, which includes a shortfall of about 8 million tonnes every year.
 
The announcement by the government that a high-level delegation will visit Iran shortly to explore such a joint venture possibility is to be welcomed whole-heartedly. India’s urea needs are in the region of 29/30 million tonnes, while the domestic production has been around 22 million tonnes, necessitating the import of the balance.  It may be recalled that, due to the withdrawal of subsidy for the urea plants, in the South, which depended on naphtha as feed stock, and subsequent reinstatement, there was a public outcry. To overcome the shortage, urea had to be imported.  Gas supplies in the country have been erratic due to fall in production, and the coal bed methane supplies have also been unsatisfactory.
 
In the circumstances, it is gratifying to note that a Consortium consisting of state-owned companies like Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer Corp and Gujarat State Fertilizer Corp are planning a joint venture with a suitable partner in Iran, so that the entire production of urea-ammonia can be underwritten for supplies, back to India.  This, in the long run, would work out cheaper than importing the gas.
 
The details of the delegation to Iran to discuss the issue have not yet been announced.  However, it is safe to assume that this will be probably led by the Fertilizer Ministry and supported by the three Indian partners, mentioned above.  It is well known that Iran has also been keen to increase its trade with India.  When the discussions show signs of more than one such plant being set up, India should take this opportunity to plan accordingly.
 
It may be recalled that, in the last 14 years no new fertilizer plants have come up in the country and the government had also made it clear that they have no intention of underwriting the entire production.
 
Urea has been highly subsidised and at the same time, the government has also not been willing to let the manufacturers decide the marketable price.
 
In any case, the government has been working on a national fertilizer policy, but so far, this has not been announced.  Gas production continues to be erratic and it will take a few years more before the recently discovered gas reserves can be commercially tapped and supplied.  Imports will have to continue and such a joint venture, in Iran, to produce urea and supply to India, should be welcomed.
 
Time is of essence, and efforts ought to be made to ensure expeditious moves to set up the plant and make it operational. It is hoped that the Indian delegation can be sent well in time before the Iranian Nav Roz (New Year) which is a couple of months from now!  
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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