On rallies, look out for resistance at 5,620 and then at 5,690
As expected the market carried on with yesterday's upward trend from the start of trading today. The Sensex and Nifty opened positive at 18,527 and 5,561. The Sensex soon hit its intra-day high at 18,636, but started falling immediately on profit-booking and hit the intra-day low of 18,515 (Nifty 5,559), which is above the lows in the past one month, on a drop in the HSBC Markit Purchasing Managers' Index.
The Markit Index, based on a survey of around 500 companies, edged down to 57.5 in May from 58 in April, weighed down by a slower expansion rate for new orders, surging prices and labour shortage.
On the positive side, data released by the commerce ministry showed India's merchandise exports rose 34% to $23.8 billion in April 2011 over the corresponding period last year, while imports for the month rose 14% to $32.8 billion over the previous period. Oil imports rose 7.7% to $10.2 billion. The trade deficit in April 2011 narrowed to $8.98 billion from $11.03 billion a year earlier. This helped the market to regain strength.
The six core sector industries showed reasonable growth of 7.4% in March this year over the 6.8% achieved in March 2010 to give ample indication that there is unlikely to be any further deceleration in overall industrial growth during the month.
An hour before the close today, the Nifty hit its intra day high of 5,597, which is close to the resistance of 5,600. The Sensex rose 106 points to close at 18,609 and the Nifty gained 32 points to close at 5,592. Look out for 5,620 and then 5,690 as next resistances on the Nifty.
The major gainers on the Sensex were Reliance Communication (up 4.81%), NTPC (up 3.43%), Larsen & Toubro (up 2.33%), Bharti Airtel (up 1.95%) and Reliance Infrastructure (up 1.81%). Weak passenger car sales in May 2011 saw Tata Motors fall the most (1.19%). Tata Steel (down by 1.17%), DLF (down 0.9%), Reliance Industries (down 0.53%), Bajaj Auto (down 0.43% were the major losers. In the 30 Sensex stocks, 22 gained, while seven fell, and ONGC ended flat. The Nifty had 31 stocks in the green, while 19 were losers.
The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 1093:593.
BSE Capital Goods index was the major gainer, up by 1.38%, and was followed by BSE TecK index that gained 1.06%. BSE Consumer Durables index dropped 0.56% and the BSE Healthcare fell 0.36%.
Cambridge Solutions was the top gainer on the NSE, up 20.03%. Cambridge Integrated Services Group Inc, USA ("CISGI") a 100% subsidiary of the Company has incurred operational losses continuously over recent years due to continued decline in revenue generated in the business. In view of the unsatisfactory returns and significant future commitments of the CISGI business, the board of directors at its meeting on 31 May 2011 approved the sale of the USA workers' compensation and third party administration operations of CISGI to Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. The consideration to be paid by Sedgwick is $22.7 million which was to be paid in cash on 31 May 2011. Of this, $3 million will be held in escrow for up to 18 months.
Clutch Auto was another top gainer on the NSE, up 20%. Subject to the requisite approvals, the board of directors approved the demerger of the auto ancillary technology division. The new entity is likely to seek listing. The scheme of arrangement between Clutch Auto, Clutch Developers and CA Clutch Vision has been approved. As per the scheme, the auto ancillary technology division shall be demerged to CA Clutch Vision.
Vikash Metal & Power, the major loser on the Nifty, fell 14.46%. The company has recommended a dividend at the rate of Re 0.25 per share (2.5%) for the financial year 2010-11. BEML fell 6.60% on poor FY11 earnings.
In the global arena, China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) hit a nine-month low in May, a survey showed, reinforcing evidence that economic growth is slowing under the weight of government credit curbs and power shortages. The PMI, which is designed to provide a snapshot of conditions in China's vast manufacturing sector, fell to 52 from 52.9 in April, China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said.
Except for Hang Seng, KLSE Composite and Seoul Composite, all other Asian indices ended positive. Europe was trading weak at the time of writing.
The Indian corporate sector has managed to turn in a surprisingly robust performance in Q4 of this fiscal, despite a gloomy outlook—operating profit of 1,094 companies grew by 20% and net profit grew by 17%
Despite all the talk of gloom and doom, the Indian corporate sector has performed better than expected in the fourth quarter of the year 2010-11. While a few negative factors were causing concern —like rising inflation and a tight interest rate regime—Indian companies have posted better-than-expected results. This brings out the inherent resilience in the country's corporate sector.
The sales growth of 1,094 companies of the sample size of 1,300 companies tracked by Moneylife grew by 22%; operating profit went up 20%; net profit was up by 17%. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd reported a 37% increase in sales to Rs7,969.75 crore; it also clocked a healthy 49% rise in net profit (at Rs2,149.18 crore). Its operating profit was also up by 48%. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd managed a 32% increase in sales (at Rs18,380.50 crore) and a healthy increase in operating profit (49% up at Rs4,293.60 crore).
Despite the fact that the current macroeconomic outlook has not been very bright for oil companies, and with pressure from under-recoveries, BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd) managed to post a huge 45% increase in operating profit at Rs1,664.55 crore.
Reliance Power Limited and Southern Petrochemicals Industries Corporation Limited have shown sharp growth in sales to Rs21.92 crore and Rs868.08 crore during this quarter (March 2010 sales were Rs1.32 crore and Rs119.90 crore respectively).
In the jewellery counter, Su-Raj Diamonds & Jewellery Limited has shown 75% sales increase to Rs1,567.69 crore and 20% increase in net profit to Rs33.81 crore.
But there were a few firms which did not perform in this quarter—Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited reported a 43% decline in sales to Rs1,095.81 crore. Moser Baer India Limited suffered a 21% decline in sales to Rs458.95 crore in the quarter ending March 2011.
Tata Communications Ltd maintained its sales performance with quarterly sales of Rs863.60 crore.
This is the story of a villager who has been fighting against land sharks in Pune district. He has used the RTI Act in his struggle to get back 74 acres that was fraudulently taken by three businessmen, in connivance with land records officials, and in total disregard of a high court order to restore the title to the rightful owners
The changing of ownership titles of large tracts of land in Mulshi and Maval talukas, in Pune district, without the knowledge of original title holders, most of them farmers, to build resorts and farmhouses for the urban rich, is a scandal that has been going on for over a decade.
A few years back, superstar Amitabh Bachchan made the headlines in one such deal, when he purchased land in Maval taluka on the basis of a certificate given by the district collector of Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, stating that he owned agricultural land there since 1982, which gave him the status of a farmer. Mr Bachchan subsequently returned the land to the Pune district collectorate, free of cost, requesting the collector to return it to the original farmers.
There are several land swindlers who have been engaged in changing original land titles in connivance with revenue officials at the taluka level and selling these properties to urbanites, who may not be aware of the scam. Hundreds of original title holders, mostly innocent and ignorant farmers have shown utter helplessness at the hands of this land-snatching mafia.
Nathu Sakharam Gaikwad, one such victim, has-without paying even a naya paisa of bribe to any government officer-bravely fought to retrieve 74 acres of land in Sadapur and Dongargav villages of Maval taluka, that was fraudulently transferred in the names of three Pune businessmen Surendra Anand, SN Birdi and SS Gokhale. The original landowners are members of his son-in-law's family-Ram Maruti Ghare, Ganpat Maruti Ghare and Laxman Maruti Ghare. The struggle to reclaim the rightful title to his son-in-law's family began in 1986, and was successful in 2010, thanks to the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Strangely the title of the land still eludes them.
Says Nathu Gaikwad: "In 1986, I came to know that the land title of 74 acres belonging to my son-in-law's family was deleted from the land records office without informing them. Their signatures were forged and the new title owners were Anand, Birdi and Gokhale. I soon found out that our family members were not the only victims, but that these businessmen had allegedly indulged in similar fraudulent practices in the case of several original title owners and grabbed vast tracts of land.''
Mr Gaikwad visited the tehsil office, the Pune District Collectorate, as well as the Pune Divisional Commissioner's office several times, but none of the officers entertained him. Finally, he knocked at the door of the high court, which gave a verdict in 1988 in favour of his son-in-law's family, directing the divisional commissioner to retain the original title of the land.
"However,'' says Mr Gaikwad, "to our utter disbelief, after about three months, the high court order was thrown to the winds by a letter from tehsildar of Maval stating that the land title should be reverted back to Anand, Birdi and Gokhale, as the matter was pending in the district court.''
Mr Gaikwad again went from pillar to post trying to meet officials in the collector's office and the divisional commissioner's office. "We were asked to give bribes if we wanted our original title back. Some land estate agents also approached us, saying that we should ask for adequate compensation as the land title is now a foregone conclusion. We decided to fight it out without bowing down to any threats or paying any bribes.''
Finally, after a long wait, it was the RTI Act that turned out to be Mr Gaikwad's saviour. "I had never used this Act, but when I came to know about its power, I invoked section 6 of the RTI Act and asked for a copy of the official communication from the tehsildar's office which had superseded the high court order and the document showing that the matter was resting with the district court, on the basis of which the land title was transferred back to the three businessmen.''
He filed an application with the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Maval taluka on 8 July 2009, then made his first appeal before the tehsildar (appellate authority) on 30 September 2010. Quite predictably, the PIO in the Pune District Collectorate, as well as the appellate authority, denied information to Mr Gaikwad, saying that the relevant papers were "missing".
Undeterred, Mr Gaikwad filed a second appeal before State Information Commisisoner Vijay Kuvlekar, on 18 May 2010, protesting against the "missing'' papers and the violation of the high court order. Mr Kuvlekar ordered the officer to produce the papers to prove why the land title was changed despite a high court order, and to establish that the matter was pending with the district court. If the papers were not available to show proof, the divisional commissioner should file a criminal complaint against the officers responsible for these vital "missing papers'' and for indulging in change of title without "proof''.
As a result of Mr Kuvlekar's order, the big lie was revealed. The supposed letter written by the tehsildar, overruling the HC order, turned out to be fake and forged. Also, a document which claimed that the matter rested at the court of Joint Civil Judge, senior division, Pune, was also a fake.
The land title has not yet been returned to the Ghare family and Mr Gaikwad is continuing his fight for it. Pune's RTI activists, led by Vijay Kumbhar, are helping him to take the case onward to a logical end. Mr Gaikwad's struggle is an example for all who are victims of land-grabbing and to use the RTI route to get vital information that is critical in battle.
Vijay Kumbhar, the RTI activist, says: "RTI activist Satish Shetty was killed because of the information he procured of massive land scams in Talegaon and Lonavala. The land sharks in Pune district are ripping off original land titles, but if more and more farmers invoke the RTI Act, just like Mr Gaikwad has done, it will go a long way to curb this fraudulent practice that has reached gigantic proportions.''
Mr Gaikwad's almost single-handed fight, is proof (if ever one was required) of how the Right to Information empowers all citizens, including those who may not be literate in the conventional sense of the term.
(Vinita Deshmukh is a senior editor, author and convener of Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She can be reached at [email protected].)