Market will remain flat to down until the Nifty closes above 5,590
The markets gained today, as stocks worldwide got a boost following the US debt breakthrough. However, this positive move after four consecutive days of losses that eroded nearly 200 points on the Nifty, cannot be seen as the end of the fall. We could expect an upmove only if the Nifty closes above 5,590 in a day or two. Today's gains were on lower volumes; a total 53.01 crore shares were traded on the National Stock Exchange, which is below the 10-day moving average of 61.09 crore shares.
The domestic market opened 46 points up at 5,528 and the Sensex resumed trade 155 points higher at 18,352. Buying activity in realty, banking, power and technology stocks pushed the benchmarks to the day's highs in early trade, as the Nifty touched 5,552 and the Sensex went up to 18,440. The gains in the Asian pack also supported the domestic market in its upmove.
However, higher levels soon lured investors to take profits off the table, pushing the indices lower as trade progressed. The market fell to its intra-day low in noon trade as the Nifty slipped to 5,486 and the Sensex fell to 18,219.
The market bounced back from the day's lows, as a positive opening in the major European indices lifted sentiments again. The markets closed in the green with the Nifty gaining 35 points at 5,517 and the Sensex finishing at 18,314, up 117 points from its previous close.
The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was a negative 673:1050.
While the benchmarks reported decent gains, the broader indices underperformed the Sensex with the BSE Mid-cap index shedding 0.02% and the BSE Small-cap index losing 0.26%.
The BSE IT index (up 0.86%) was the top sectoral gainer. It was followed by BSE TECk (up 0.81%) and BSE Auto (up 0.79%). The losers were led by BSE Metal (down 1.25%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.30%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.11%).
The major gainers on the Sensex were Larsen & Toubro (up 2.14%), Jaiprakash Associates (up 1.80%), ONGC (up 1.73%), Bharti Airtel (up 1.72%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (up 1.71%). The laggards on the index were led by Jindal Steel (down 2.26%), Sterlite Industries (down 1.28%), BHEL (down 0.73%), Cipla (down 0.42%) and Hindustan Unilever (down 0.37%).
The top performers on the Nifty were Ranbaxy (up 4.48%), L&T (up 2.38%), IDFC (up 2.10%), Tata Steel (up 2.04%) and Power Grid Corporation (up 2%). SAIL (down 5.10%), Reliance Capital (down 4.09%), Jindal Steel (down 3.07%), Sesa Goa (down 2.29%) and Sterlite Industries (down 1.35%) were the top losers on the index.
Asian markets also gained today, as the US debt deal eased the pressure that had caused some turbulence in the global markets over the past week. However, gains on the Chinese benchmark were restricted on weak factory output data for July. China's official Purchasing Managers Index fell to 50.7 in July from 50.9 in June, a sign that the growth in manufacturing continued to slow down following a series of tightening measures adopted by the country's central bank. But China's central bank said it would maintain a 'prudent' monetary policy as domestic inflation expectations continued to remain strong.
The Shanghai Composite added 0.08%, the Hang Seng surged 0.99%, the Jakarta Composite jumped 1.52%, the KLSE Composite increased by 0.59%, the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.34%, the Straits Times advanced 0.82%, the Seoul Composite jumped 1.83% and the Taiwan Weighted ended 0.66% higher.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs464.03 crore on Friday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs411.82 crore.
Realty major Unitech today said it has sold 450 independent floors for about Rs350 crore in a township project in Gurgaon. The 100-acre project was launched about a week ago. The company expects to generate revenues of over Rs1,500 crore over the next 3-4 years from this township. Unitech gained 3.44% to close trade at Rs31.60 on the NSE.
Fortis Healthcare (India) has unveiled a plan to launch six new hospitals in southern and western India. With these additions, Fortis marks its entry into four new cities-Pune, Hyderabad, Indore and Jabalpur. The addition of these six new projects will increase Fortis' bed capacity by 1,400 beds to 9,700 beds. The stock declined 0.57% to Rs165.80 on the NSE.
McNally Bharat Engineering Company has bagged an order worth Rs109.25 crore from Bhavnagar Energy Company for design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of ash-handling and disposal system package for the 2x250MW lignite-based thermal power project at Bhavnagar, in Gujarat. The stock lost 0.29% to finish at Rs153.20 on the NSE.
Dr Sadanand Nadkarni has a number of suggestions for improving the working of the medical system, and amending current academic practices. He is waiting for the Medical Council of India to act on his proposals
The academic system for producing medical professionals still has considerable scope for improvement. For example, many doctors use advanced technology for critical illnesses, but primary healthcare still remains a largely neglected area. Again, the complete medical system needs an overhaul—cases abound where professionals refer patients to expensive therapies where a simple prescription for a normal, OTC (over-the-counter) formulation would have done the task.
So how can the medical system be put through a complete overhaul?
Dr Sadanand Nadkarni, former dean of Sion Hospital (now called Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital) spoke to Moneylife on the suggestions that he had for overhauling the Indian medical system.
Dr Nadkarni said,”The Indian healthcare system is a mall, not a shop. It is an industry of repair and maintenance of human beings.” He added that there have been a number of cases where general practitioners refer patients to expensive procedures like brain and body scans. The tendency in India, Dr Nadkarni said, is to look at a doctor as a one-stop shop where all the patient’s ailments can be attended to.”
The former dean has penned a book called ‘Management of the sick health-care system’ in 2010. He had sent this book and a letter summarising suggestions for improvement to six members of the Medical Council of India (MCI). Out of the six members only one member, Dr Ranjit Roy Chaudhary, has replied to the letter on 8 November 2010. But none of Dr Nadkarni’s recommendations have been implemented. (Moneylife has a copy of Mr Nadkarni’s book, his recommendations sent to MCI and Dr Chaudhary’s reply).
The letter has eight suggestions for the MCI. First, Dr Nadkarni suggests raising the minimum qualification to 55% aggregate and 70% in PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) at HSC/premedical examinations. He believes that this will prevent incapable students from becoming doctors. In his second suggestion, he proposes to have only one CET (Common Entrance Test) at the centre and state level each which should be conducted immediately after the final MBBS exam—and not at the end of the internship. He feels that allowing private practice to senior medical teachers outside the hospital premises is disastrous.
He advises that it should be strictly prohibited and instead 25% beds in each unit should be kept for paying patients with incentive payment authorised for senior teachers.
Since these beds are a part of the same ward, students can examine these patients, which will help them learn medicine.
Hospital training is 75% of medical education—so the method in which a hospital functions assumes importance. Dr Nadkarni told Moneylife, “Hospitals should work from 8am to 3pm where incentive-paying classes should be conducted between 4pm-10pm. One unit should be divided into two sub-units including a professor/assistant professor, lecturer and three resident doctors. Also, a part-time consultant should be allowed in each sub-unit.” Dr Nadkarni says that more applications will be available for the post of full-time professor or associate professors if the above process is adopted.
He adds, “OPD (out-patient department) and emergency should be clearly divided. In order to reduce overcrowding, cases referred from primary health care centres should have separate priority and timing while those coming directly should be charged moderately.”
Dr Nadkarni urged that unless the senior staff is occupied till 4pm, the tendency to move out for private practice cannot be effectively curbed. Only doctors who show efforts in research or writing textbooks should be granted the non-practising allowance.
Dr Nadkarni said, “MBBS should be taught for three terms instead of two and there is an urgent requirement to start certification or post-graduation for general practice. The PSM (preventive & social medicine) branch (could) possibly be renamed as the health care and social medicine department and conduct the course. And the primary health care (PHC) and the PSM department should conduct a social awareness and management course throughout the internship program and post graduation course.”
He told Moneylife,”Non-allopathic doctors should be given two years’ training in district hospitals before being allowed to practice allopathy. However, MBBS and non-allopathic general practitioners should be prohibited from prescribing very costly or recently introduced antibiotics and drugs and also from advising CT scans and MRI isotope studies. Instead, they should refer such cases to consultants who should be allowed to prescribe them. A list updated every two years that provides details about very costly drugs, investigations and drugs introduced in the last two years should be made available.” This, he says, will reduce health-care costs for the common man and prevent abuse.
Apart from MCI’s Dr Chaudhary, it has been eight months since Dr Nadkarni hasn’t got a reply from the other five members.
Former power secretary EAS Sarma complains to the environment ministry also against similar clearances to other projects like the Gangavaram Port, an SEZ and a luxury resort
At a time when industries and mining corporations are coming under increased scrutiny, the government authorities themselves seem to be in a strange hurry to sanction large-scale projects without getting the assessment reports and overlooking the loopholes in information furnished by companies.
The Andhra Pradesh government recently granted coastal regulation clearances to a host of big projects in the Visakhapatnam area, the most prominent among these being the thermal power project proposed by the Hinduja group. Environmentalists allege that the clearances have been wrongfully granted, as many of them violate several laws.
The Hinduja power project appears to be the worst case. The group had asked for permission to desalinate sea water for cooling purposes and laying down of railway tracks for the plant.
Concerned that the clearance has been granted on the basis of misrepresentation of facts by the company, former power and finance secretary EAS Sarma has written to the Centre, asking for an immediate reversal of the clearance and an inquiry into how the clearance was granted by the state.
"I have requested the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) to inquire into the misrepresentation of facts by the company to obtain a "revalidation" certificate for a lapsed environment clearance," Mr Sarma said. He has complained that no public consultation has taken place regarding the project, thus denying the local people the opportunity to raise objections.
According to information available, the Andhra Pradesh Coastal Zone Management Authority(APCZMA) gave the green signal for the power project, even after the Hinduja group encroached on CRZ land which was declared off-limits. A compliance report from Hinduja National Power Corporation (HNPCL) in April 2011, shows that it had started work on 622 acres out of 1,122 acres of non-CRZ land. However, a survey list shows that 730 acres of the 1,122 acres is within the CRZ, which means that the company has encroached upon the no-go area that is largely agricultural land and sand dunes.
"The company admitted to have drawn water from groundwater sources, an activity prohibited in the CRZ. HNPCL stated that APIIC (Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation) has 'allotted' water to it. HNPCL cannot get the promised water from APIIC and since no desalinated water to the extent needed will be available, the company is perhaps trying to tap groundwater from CRZ survey numbers covering an area of 730 acres in its possession. This is clearly prohibited," Mr Sarma pointed out.
The situation of water shortage first came to light when Mr Sarma filed a write petition in the High Court against water committed to Jindal Alumina Refinery. It was shown that water drawn by existing industries and localities is already beyond the limits prescribed by the authorities for 'future' enterprises, impacting the environment negatively. Till date, the government has not responded to the court's notice. However, the Hinduja group has already invited tenders for construction of a cooling system and allied services.
The land allotted to HNPCL has also stirred up more controversy. Mr Sarma says that this is Wakf property and that the courts have questioned the propriety of the government to hand over Wakf lands to a private party. "The intake facility covers D-Patta lands in Appikonda and other villages, the alienation of which attracts action under the AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfer) Act,1977," he wrote in his letter.
Also, if the railway track materialises, the area will be affected severely by coal dust pollution. Mr Sarma said, "Hinduja Power Corporation's compliance report of October 2010 requires that the company should work out a common railway facility with the adjacent Simhadri power plant of NTPC, so that the stress on the local environment is minimised. HNPCL has evidently not complied with this requirement, making it mandatory for the MOEF to invalidate its clearance for the project."
The Visakhapatnam industrial area has already been identified among the top 40 highly-polluted industrial complexes in the country by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Apart from the Hinduja project, APCZMA has also granted clearances for the Gangavaram Port (GPL), an SEZ of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, a luxury resort of Brook Fields and Resorts, and a 1,600 MW thermal power project in Nellore. The clearance for the Nellore power project was granted even though a writ petition filed by local inhabitants is pending before the High Court. The authority also seems to be oblivious of the massive amount of explosive substances like ammonium nitrate being stored by Shravan Shipping Limited in the area.
The authorities have been directed by the High Court to pull down unauthorised structures in the CRZ area, but they have not done anything. Instead, the APCZMA has decided to reduce the CRZ area along Meghadrigedda Creek. The National Institute of Oceanography(NIO), the custodian of the CRZ, seems to have turned a blind eye to all this, which makes it a party to the wrongdoings.
"I request the MOEF to return the proposals straightaway," Mr Sarma says. "I would also earnestly request the MOEF and the National Coastal Zone Management Authority to introspect on their role and responsibility as custodians of the CRZ. They should provide a vision to the states, not become rubber stamps to legalise illegalities."