After the arrest of its COO, Speak Asia is shedding 'crocodile tears' saying it cannot send surveys to its panellist from this week as its server has been taken over by the Economic Offences Wing of the police. The MLM company is now also unofficially talking about an exit option for panellists
Speak Asia, the troubled multi-level marketing (MLM) company, continues to spread false promises through other sites associated and maintained by its panellists. Following the arrest of its chief operating officer (COO) Tarak Bajpai by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police, the company is now trying to put the blame the police for 'not being able to send surveys' to its panellists. It also is talking about providing an exit option for them.
What is interesting is that Speak Asia is not saying anything officially. Instead, it is using Websites and blogs maintained by its agents to spread such news among panellists.
Citing an "internal, official" communication from Speak Asia, bizbasket.net, one such Website operated by an agent based in Bengaluru, says, "Please Go Through The Official Communication Received From SpeakAsia In This Regard." The communication is an image of a letter supposed to be sent by the company. The letter also talks about providing an exit option to existing panellists as well as not sending any surveys from Wednesday (that is 3rd August).
It says, "As communicated above, certain services including survey scheduling will be interrupted due to the EOW taking the access of our server. So the surveys will not be uploaded in the next schedule (starting Wednesday) till the server access is with EOW."
This ultimately means that all 19 lakh panellists of Speak Asia will not get their survey income of Rs1,000 per week henceforward. As we have mentioned earlier, the company has not paid a single paisa to panellists since 13th May and owes them about Rs2,280 crore. This is the very same company that had claimed it was backed by very good technology and had plenty of servers to send the surveys.
The letter published by Bizbasket also 'proudly' mentions the availability of an exit option to all panellists of Speak Asia, from 5th August. "This is a Very Hot News which is being shared by SpeakAsia Management. A Giant Step Towards Genuinity - The Exit Option. Those Who Feel They Cannot Earn From SpeakAsia Or Doubt Their Being Genuine Can Now Exit SpeakAsia - The Doors Will Be Opened Starting 5th August."
However, many panellists who are posting comments on Bizbasket and other sites are more worried about their money and nothing else. One panellist writes on SpeakIndiaonline.com, "This letter is fake, there is no name in signing and till now all pop ups are from Team Speakasia and now there is marketing department sending letter...all this is fake...."
On the Bizbasket site, another panellist writes, "What is this? When someone will exit company (pay) back amount? How? When they are not having any (money) payment gateway, how they will pay? If they have some manage to pay than why they are not paying normally? Something is fishy. One way they can pay, when someone exit other when someone want his survey amount that time they don't have any (money) payment gateway... Sorry can't understand this".
This exactly is the point. When Speak Asia is not paying any money to its panellists since 13th May, how is the company going to pay money to those who want to use the exit option? In addition, the terms and conditions mentioned are more beneficial to the company as those who have earned any reward points (RPs) would find that much less money if he opts for exit. This means, he must use the RPs to buy whatever is available on the company site or forget the amount equivalent to the RPs.
Moreover, the letter also tries to 'threaten' panellists who want to use the exit route that they would be on their own and would have to face the authorities themselves. It says, "If the panellists EXIT, it is his sole responsibility to satisfy the queries raised by any authorities of the money coming in his bank account".
This sounds funny because even at present, it is the responsibility of the panellist to provide satisfactory answers and pay taxes on the money earned through filing surveys of Speak Asia, as the company does not believe in the tax deduction at source or TDS system. From our interaction with some tax consultants and officials from the income-tax (I-T) department, we have learned that it would be mandatory for panellists to show the extra income earned in their I-T returns and pay the appropriate taxes applicable. In any case, they cannot hide the additional income or decide not to pay any taxes as the money transfers are recorded in their bank transactions.
The question about exit option to panellists of Speak Asia was first raised in the press conference called by the company's then legal advisor Ashok Saraogi. At present, Speak Asia does not offer any refund in case of cancellation of subscription, but the senior lawyer told journalists that he would raise the issue of allowing discontinuation of subscription with the Speak Asia management within a week.
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Last Friday, the Supreme Court had ordered suspension of all iron ore mining operations in the Bellary region on account of environmental degradation in the area. Steel and allied industries have said that this would lead to closure of their operations as they have no stock left
New Delhi: As a direct fall-out of the iron ore mining scam in Karnataka, JSW Steel today said it has closed down two blast furnaces of about 2.3 million tonnes steel production capacity at its Vijayanagar plant in Bellary district due to the unavailability of iron ore, reports PTI.
"I can confirm that two blast furnaces have been shut down as there is no iron ore available. Our production has gone down by 35% to 40%," JSW Steel director (commercial and marketing) Jayant Acharya said.
He added that depending up on the availability of iron ore, the company would decide when to re-start the blast furnaces.
However, the JSW marketing director refused to comment on the extent of losses due to the production cuts.
"We would not like to quantify it at this juncture," Mr Acharya said.
JSW Steel, whose iron ore requirement stands at about 60,000 tonnes per day, sources about half of its requirement from the Bellary-Hospet region in the state and has about two-three days stock left.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court had ordered suspension of all iron ore mining operations in the Bellary region on account of environmental degradation in the area. Steel and allied industries have said that this would lead to closure of their operations as they have no stock left.
Yesterday, Tata Metaliks, a subsidiary of Tata Steel, said due to the paucity of iron ore, it may close down its 2 lakh tonnes per annum pig iron plant in Goa in a week as the plant is dependent on iron ore supplies from the Bellary-Hospet belt in Karnataka.
The Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturers' Association (KISMA) gave a presentation to steel minister Beni Prasad Verma yesterday in this regard.
Moreover, in a separate statement, the Bangalore Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said the suspension of iron ore mining could adversely impact the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.5%, amounting to $8.5 billion.
"Karnataka-based iron and steel companies are approaching a critical stage of closure of their manufacturing activities in the next 2-3 days following the Supreme Court pronouncement last Friday halting iron ore mining activities in the Bellary region," it added.
Karnataka produces 16 million tonnes iron and steel in a year, which is a little less than 25% of the country's total production.
The state also produces more than a fifth of India's total iron ore production, which is around 220 million tonnes annually. Of this, about 80% comes from the Bellary-Hospet region.
Half of the production from the Bellary-Hospet region is consumed within the state, including the steel plants of JSW Steel, Kalyani Steel and Mukund Steel.
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As per a framework agreement, the two financial institutions will cooperate and explore opportunities arising from cross border business, investment and trade flows, with a focus on select countries in the India-ASEAN corridor. The cooperation would cover various businesses of mutual interest including M&A advisory, trade finance and other corporate solutions, and NRI banking & remittances, subject to relevant regulations.
CIMB Group is Malaysia's second largest financial services provider and one of ASEAN's leading universal banking groups. It offers consumer banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, asset management and insurance products and services.
On Wednesday, Kotak Mahindra ended 0.51% up at Rs458.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.94% to 17,940.55.