Some private realty firms may face fresh case in loan scam

Mumbai: Probing into the kickbacks-for-loans scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday claimed that private realty companies were aware of the fraudulent measures by which loans were secured for them from LIC Housing Finance and may register a fresh case against some of these firms, reports PTI.

Investigating the multi-crore LIC Housing Finance scam, the CBI claimed to have found some documents and statements by few arrested officials which were indicative of some of these companies having knowledge of alleged malpractices being indulged into for getting the loans.

The CBI had on 24th November arrested LIC Housing Finance CEO Ramchandra Nair, Naresh Chopra, secretary (investment) LIC, RN Tayal, general manager of Bank of India (Delhi), Maninder Singh Johar, director of Central Bank of India, Venkoba Gujjal, deputy GM of Punjab National Bank (Delhi) in connection with the case.

The agency had also arrested Rajesh Sharma, chairman and managing director of city-based firm Money Matters and two of his employees—Sanjay Sharma and Suresh Gattani.

According to CBI, LIC and some bank officials colluded with Mr Sharma’s firm to sanction large loans to housing firms, overriding mandatory conditions for such approvals. They were also gathering confidential business information from financial institutions.

“We are examining loan details of all the 21 beneficiary companies. Irregularities were found in the papers of certain reality companies. These companies were aware of fraudulent measures undertaken by Rajesh Sharma to secure the loans,” a senior CBI official said.

All the documents and a final report have been sent to CBI headquarters in Delhi for approval to lodge a separate case against these companies, the official said.

According to CBI, DB Realty had secured a loan of Rs200 crore and Lavasa had got a loan of Rs400 crore. Mr Nair was given Rs45 lakh by Rajesh Sharma in November last year and in turn Nair had showed undue favour to DB Realty.


Uninor: ‘Rational appeal’ way to go

The mobile operator’s new ad dumps the tired lifestyle and emotions route for a different strategic direction that has a simple, earthy charm

Uninor, I think, has taken the sensible approach for its mobile services. They have dumped the tired lifestyle and emotions route and their new ad deals with good old logic and business. This makes sense, because if all other brands have taken the lifestyle path, it’s a wasted effort to join the herd and therefore not be noticed at all. Especially, when you are a newer entrant and have to compete with biggies like Airtel and Vodafone. The rational route may in fact help the brand stand out a bit in an extremely cluttered and hyper active segment.

It’s not just the strategic direction; I also like the advertisement for its simplicity and earthy charm. The film features two young pals, both male. One is seen whining that just because he gets a longer talk-time on his Uninor, it doesn’t mean people can whack his phone for their own calls. Clearly, he is pissed off that his buddy piles on to his phone. In the frame enters a girl and asks for the chap’s phone. And the dude quietly hands it over to her; in fact, he cleans the instrument on his shirt before parting with it. And all the embarrassed chap gets is a cold stare from his male buddy.

What works for me in the execution is the totally soft, understated treatment. No camera jerks, no fast cuts, no over the top expressions, and yet the humour comes through effortlessly. The simplicity of the treatment makes the ad an entirely pleasant watch. So, full marks all round.

Apparently there are sequels to the film, all appealing to the rational, but I have still to view them, and that doesn’t matter. The point is made, and made well.

So then, what’s the big lesson? For one, it pays to be brutally singular in your promise. If consumers can powerfully equate Uninor with cost savings and discounts, and not much else, then that’s a lucrative niche to occupy. It becomes Uninor’s own little place in the consumer’s mind. This is even more important in a category where lifestyle is de rigueur, and where nothing new is left to be said.

Even more significantly, as number portability kicks in, the brand with a clear promise will be the one best placed, especially on the rational front. So a certain segment of subscribers are already in the pocket. And yes, the creative delivers as well, with its simple, easy-to-understand delivery mechanism.

Good stuff. 



BSE makes changes in five indices; to become effective from 10th Jan

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday announced changes in five indices, effective from 10th January, including the inclusion of Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL) in the BSE 500 and PSU indices.

Among the mid-cap stocks, Ackruti City, Allahabad Bank, IDBI Ltd, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd among others will be excluded from the list, a BSE media statement said.

Meanwhile, A2Z Maintenance & Engineering Services, ABG Shipyard, SKS Microfinance, VA Tech Wabag, Punjab & Sind Bank, Ramky Infrastructure will be included in the mid-cap list, the statement added.

In the BSE-500 index, Gati and Koutons will be replaced with MOIL and Jubilant Life Sciences.

MOIL has also got a place in the BSE PSU index, while Jubilant Life Sciences has been included in the BSE Healthcare index.

Further, BAG Films & Media, Kingfisher Airlines, Technofab Engineering, Welspun India will be excluded from the small-cap list, while Aksh Optifibre, Jupiter Bioscience, Kesoram Industries, Texmaco will be included in the index.


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