SFIO report on Reebok India affairs likely by November

Reebok India, in May, had filed an FIR, alleging that its former MD Subhinder Singh Prem and CEO Vishnu Bhagat were involved in a Rs870-crore fraud by indulging in “criminal conspiracy” and “fraudulent practices” over a period of time

New Delhi: The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), probing the alleged irregularities at Reebok India, is likely to submit its report by November as the sports wear maker is still finalising its accounts, reports PTI.
SFIO, under the corporate affairs ministry, is looking at the alleged Rs870-crore financial scam at the company over a period of time.
A senior corporate affairs ministry official said, “The SFIO is likely to submit its report on Reebok India by November since the company is in the process of finalising its accounts”.
The ministry had ordered a probe into the affairs of Reebok India on 29th May following media reports.
Reebok India, in May, had filed an FIR, alleging that its former managing director Subhinder Singh Prem and chief operating officer Vishnu Bhagat were involved in a Rs870-crore fraud by indulging in “criminal conspiracy” and “fraudulent practices” over a period of time.
The Income Tax Department is also probing the alleged financial irregularities at Reebok India.
Systemic management in business planning and running of the company were reportedly done by some officials at the company, according to agencies probing the issue.
Earlier, the company’s German parent Adidas had said global sales of its Reebok brand declined by 26% in the April-June quarter, mainly due to impact from Reebok India.
As per the group, it expected to take a hit of 70 million euro (about Rs490 crore) in its global operating profit in 2012 on account of ‘irregularities’ at Reebok India.


Is FDI in retail India’s most pressing issue today? Raise Your Voice -Part 3

Government’s contention that “FDI in Retail Trade” is the most pressing reform needed by the country is a laughable proposition. It shows how the political executive is far removed from the ground reality of the country

While the “coalition dharma” forced the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to go along with the perpetuators of 2G spectrum scam, the same coalition dharma was found to be far too much of a hurdle in the way of UPA rushing into opening the flood gates to foreigners to enter retail trade in the country. Such is the distortion of the priorities set by a government which seemed to be in total disconnect with the ground realities of the country. Could not UPA think of any other reform that has more far reaching implications for the majority of the people?
To tell the country that foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail trade alone is going to improve the lot of the farmers is patently laughable, in the absence of any attempt on the part of the government to understand the agrarian situation in the country and address the basic problems that constrain any fundamental change for the better in the lives of the farmers and a quantum jump in agricultural production. This is explained below.
According to the Census of 2011, 69% of India’s population lives in rural areas. Their main occupation is agriculture. Around 347 million acres of land is under agriculture. Anyone with a genuine sense of concern for India’s economic development should focus attention on the security of ownership of the farmers, the choices available to them to develop their own capabilities and involving them centrally in the decision making processes of the government.
The land records systems in the states are in a virtual mess. As a result, the small landholders and the tenants are often bypassed when the government ostensibly compensated the displaced farmers in forcible land acquisition. It is the absentee landlords or fraudsters who received the payments.
Ironically, this is the sector that continues to get battered with every ‘reform’ initiative of the government. Since Independence, as a result of ‘development’, more than 65 million people have been displaced from the rural areas and deprived of their agriculture-based occupations. Unfortunately, the rate of displacement has been on the increase.
Out of the 157 million acres of government land (including the ceiling surplus land taken over), only 20 million acres alone have been assigned to the landless farmers, often those already in occupation, and many more millions of such landless families, though they are cultivators of the government lands, have no secure ownership rights. Many land assignees have already lost their lands to the richer, more influential absentee landlords, despite the stringent deterrent laws in existence. In one state, a chief minister himself was found to be in illegal occupation of hundreds of acres of land given earlier to the poor!
Millions of acres of Bhoodan lands meant to be given to the landless are in the hands of the rich and mighty.
There are 12.4 million tenants without firm ownership rights, cultivating 15.6 million acres of land. The successive governments who are in the stranglehold of absentee landlords of an anachronistic feudal agrarian system have no time or inclination to address reforms needed in this vital sector that touches the majority of the country's population.
To think that a foreign multi-national company (MNC) will come with a magic wand to correct the situation betrays the ignorance of the leaders we have and the disconnect they enjoy with the masses. In an electoral system that is driven by money, muscle power and mafias, they are confident that they can come back to power anytime!
On the tribal front, despite the constitutional safeguards in force, millions of tribals have lost their lands to non-tribals and companies trying to illegally plunder the country’s limited but precious mineral resources. The mineral scams that have surfaced of late are enough evidence of this.
Should not the government first consider a comprehensive land reform programme that revamps and digitises the land records on a war footing, confers ownership rights on the tenants and the landless cultivators and enables them to come on the mainstream of the credit giving agencies? Even the newly introduced law on land acquisition and rehabilitation, thoroughly diluted by the vested interests, will prove counter-productive if these reforms are not grounded well before it is enacted.
Should not the government have announced a scheme to restore the lands to the tribals so that they may regain their confidence in the law of the land?
Instead of foisting industrial corridors that displace people and make no sense in the rural areas, should not the government consider more benign schemes that facilitate the setting up of ventures in which the farmers, the fisherfolk, the milk producers and others become partners in setting up modern agro-processing activity and air-conditioned retail outlets to sell their perishable ware in a way that enhances their dignity and self respect? They do not need Walmarts and Carrefours which benefit the politicians and the civil servants more than the common people.
 Read the previous articles in the "Raise Your Voice" series here:
(Dr EAS Sarma, IAS, is a post-graduate in Nuclear Physics (Andhra University) and in Public Administration (Harvard University) and a PhD from IIT, Delhi. As a Union Secretary he has held the portfolios of power, economic affairs and expenditure. He quit the government in 2000 over differences regarding policy issues with the National Democratic Alliance government. He is the convener of Forum for Better Visakha (FBV), a civil society group set up in 2004. Dr Sarma was also a member of Godbole Committee appointed by the then Maharashtra government.)



Bakul Gandhi

5 years ago

FDI in Retail will lead to competition between unequals for i) Interest Rate for foreigner is next to NIL compare to 14-15% to locals, ii) Available Fund to foreigner Multinational is 1000 to 1 for Local.
If National Big companies could not bring change, the solution lies in providing incentive for Cold Storage and Food Processing Industry. The Local Traders may be able to stand upto competition if they join hands and Forming Cooperative like Amul. For them this is a warning that you cannot continue to cheat consumers on quality (mixing-adulteration) and quantity ( weighing measures manipulation)

Ramesh Poapt

5 years ago

007-Licence to kill...was punchline of James Bond-but now exclusive owner is with..........................

you r tight,boss!


5 years ago

Can the Congress "core" group explain:

1. How many of their coalition partners support FDI in retail? (Are their coalition partners from Kerala, Indian Union Muslim League and Kerala Congress support FDI in retail? What about DMK? Do they support FDI in retail? What about NCP? How many of NCP MPs support FDI in retail? )

2. How many of their supporting parties (SP, BSP) support FDI in retail?

3. How many Chief Ministers support FDI in retail? Does the Congress Chief Minister of Kerala support FDI in retail?

4. How many of the opposition parties support FDI in retail?

5. How many Congress MPs support FDI in retail? (Plz name the Congress MPs from Kerala who support FDI in retail?)

6. Does the Catholic Church support FDI in retail?

7. Please name the NGOs that support FDI in retail?

8. Do the trade unions support FDI in retail ( Does INTUC support FDI in retail? )

Fitch lowers India’s growth forecast to 6% from 2012-13

Fitch also cautioned that volatile political environment poses risk towards implementation of various reform initiatives unveiled by the government earlier this month

New Delhi: Global ratings agency Fitch today lowered India’s growth projection for the current fiscal to 6% from 6.5% estimated earlier citing challenging economic outlook, reports PTI.
“India’s economic outlook remains challenging. The projections for real GDP growth (has been trimmed) to 6% for FY 2012-13 from a previous estimate of 6.5%,” Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook report.
India’s economic growth has slowed to a three-year low of 5.3% in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal.
The growth had fallen to 6.5% in the 2011-12 fiscal.
Fitch said the high fiscal deficit leaves little room for government for fiscal easing and increasing spending.
A breakdown of GDP by expenditure shows that domestic demand is stagnating as fixed investment and private consumption grew just 0.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) and 4% y-o-y respectively in April-June quarter, Fitch said.
It said weak investments are affecting supply capacity and thereby pointing towards weaker growth outlook.
Fitch also cautioned that volatile political environment poses risk towards implementation of various reform initiatives unveiled by the government earlier this month.
“The authorities have announced a range of reforms including liberalisation of FDI in multi-brand retail which may help to restore confidence and lift investment, although the volatile political environment points to implementation risk,” it said.
The government, earlier this month, opened the multi-brand retail chains to foreign investment, besides allowing foreign carriers to pick up stake in Indian aviation companies.
Besides, the government also hiked diesel prices by over Rs5 a litre and capped the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to six per family a year.
“Inflation pressures are likely to intensify following the government's long-awaited decision to hike diesel prices by 12% in mid-September.
“The recent rebound in international crude oil prices means that the government may need to raise the prices of other energy-related items,” Fitch said.
Experts have said that the hike in diesel prices would push up inflation by up to one percentage point.
“From a monetary perspective, elevated inflationary pressures suggest that the Reserve Bank of India may not be able to aggressively cut policy rates in the near term,” it said.
Both the wholesale price index (WPI) and the new consumer price index (CPI) show inflation pressures have again accelerated.
WPI rose 7.55% in August, up from 6.9% in July and CPI grew 10% during the month, up from 9.9% during July.
Earlier this week, Standard & Poor’s has lowered the growth forecast for India to 5.5% for this fiscal, from 6.5% projected earlier.


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