Stock Manipulation
Stock manipulation: Anar Industries
The annual report of Anar Industries states that it deals with trading of electronic goods. However, no further detail is provided about the type of electronic goods or the clients the company deals with. Negligible revenues were reported in FY12-13 and FY13-14; but they shot up to Rs15.94 crore in FY14-15 and Rs22.20 crore in FY15-16. 
 
Despite improved revenues, this Ahmedabad-based company continues to report a net loss. It registered a loss of Rs0.23 crore in FY15-16 and Rs0.71 crore in FY14-15. However, its strange financials could not hold the stock price down. Over the past one year, the stock shot up by a humungous 482%, to Rs89.05 on 30 June 2016 from Rs15.30 as on 29 July 2015. In June 2015, the promoters’ holding dropped to 47.33% from 75% in March 2015 as they allotted 3.7 million preferential shares to three entities—Tanya Estates, Shradha Cable Communication and Akhil Retail. Over this period, there was an exchange of shares between the promoters as well.
 
In September 2014, Anar Industries was suspended by the Bombay Stock Exchange for not complying with the listing agreement. However, the stock continues to trend upwards, with about 10-15 trades a day. Is the regulator watching? 

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Illegal Phone-taps, Gumshoes and How It Works
On 27 December 2002, Reliance Infocomm was launched with a phone call from then telecom minister Pramod Mahajan to prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The minister compared Reliance’s high-tech empire to the NASA space station. That was also the day when friction between the Ambani brothers first became public with the conspicuous absence of Anil Ambani at the function. Soon enough, a full-fledged war was being fought through the pages of newspapers and magazines. The dirt that spilled out subsequently included information that Pramod Mahajan was given a 1% stake in Reliance Infocomm, allegedly in exchange for permission to launch a wireless in local loop (WLL) without paying the appropriate licence fee. 
 
The dubious share allotment to Mr Mahajan was withdrawn, given to an alleged associate and soon became the subject of a major income-tax investigation. Many more details about other shady transactions and diversion of funds became public as the Ambani brothers spewed venom at each other. That was the exact period (2002-2006) when Essar was allegedly recording the scandalous deal-making of the entire top brass of Reliance with their neta and babu friends to bury a securities scam investigation by the joint parliamentary committee (JPC), or interfere in a murder investigation, or fix prices for their telecom operations. 
 
And, yet, when Reliance Infocomm was launched, corporate India was wary about subscribing to its attractive offers, precisely because of fears about phone-tapping. It is hugely ironical that the Ambanis, who ought to be under tight security cover, were completely exposed to private phone-taps, despite having moles and tentacles in all seven government agencies that were officially permitted to tap phones a decade ago. 
 
Why were the tapes buried for a decade? I find it hard to believe that the Ambanis were clueless, because even I was cautioned by well-wishers about my phones being tapped in that period. I attempted to check it out through a source in the enforcement directorate who told me how things really work in the snooping business. Since the home ministry had a strict procedure to permit phone-tapping (it is now done through a Central monitoring agency), the government agencies had found a dubious shortcut, he said.
 
In violation of home ministry orders, several private investigation agencies imported high-tech telecom surveillance equipment under false import classification. Private investigators claim to use it to track down errant husbands and cheating wives. But the police and investigative agencies turn a blind eye to their activities in return for conducting illegal phone-taps for them. A decade ago, my source said that only six private agencies were involved in such tapping and that my phone numbers were not in their list.  
 
Now that technological advances have made phone-tapping, and even video-tapping, more sophisticated, how widespread is the use of spyware in corporate warfare and political blackmail? A source, heading the security at a leading telecom company, says that it is, indeed, widespread because equipment is far easier to procure. Moreover, the sale of bulk SIM cards and numbered SIM cards also continues unabated, despite tightening of identification and KYC (know your customer) rules. This is primarily because successive governments have not had the inclination to ensure a real clean-up that would mean a war on India’s widespread corruption.

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Data: What India needs to end malnutrition by 2030
It may seem like a no-brainer to say that we need data to guide efforts to end malnutrition. Would you run an economy without a regular stream of credible data? You'd be flying blind if you did, and we know what happens if you try to do that. And yet this is precisely the situation that those trying to end malnutrition in India find themselves in.
 
 
Until the Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) data from 2013-14, seven years had elapsed since the last nationally representative nutrition survey, the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS 3). We hear that NFHS 4, the next big government survey, is in the field and we very much hope it will be out by 2018. If it is, that will be a gap of five years since the RSOC.
 
Why is data important?
 
As the 2016 Global Nutrition Report reminds us, it is important because it tells us which types of malnutrition are being reduced and how fast that is happening. If we know this we can adjust efforts and reallocate resources before it is too late. It is also important for accountability: We need to know how resources have been allocated and the effect they are having if we are to assess the performance of key stakeholders, whether from the government, civil society, the development agencies or businesses.
 
What type of data is critical? There are at least five.
 
First, we need to know the extent of malnutrition: Where it is and how fast it is (hopefully) decreasing. In India, based on the RSOC data and the Global Nutrition Report, the speed of decline in stunting rates has improved as has the speed of improvement in exclusive breastfeeding rates and this is great news. But the rate of wasting of under-five's remains high at 15.1%, adult diabetes rates are increasing and are currently 9.5% and women's anaemia rates are essentially static at 48.1%, one of the world's worst (170th out of 185; China and Brazil are under 20%, Sri Lanka is 26% and Nepal is 36%).
 
Data tells us where to apply the accelerator, where to try to apply the brakes and when to turn to different priorities.
 
Second, we need to know whether high-impact nutrition interventions are reaching the people they are supposed to reach. Interventions cannot work if they do not reach families at risk of malnutrition. India has a patchy record on coverage: Some interventions and practices such as exclusive breastfeeding have high rates of coverage but the coverage of infant and young child complementary feeding programmes is poor, with these infants and young children showing very poor diet adequacy and diversity. Coverage is where the rubber hits the road for nutrition action. We need to know whether the roads are seeing any rubber-and whether they are the right roads.
 
Third, we need to know more about how well certain sectors are doing in supporting nutrition improvement. Public distribution systems that use micronutrient-rich foods are more nutrition-sensitive than ones that do not. Water and sanitation programmes that have a child-centred focus are more nutrition-sensitive than those that do not. Cash-transfer programmes that incorporate some behaviour change communication work around nutrition will be more nutrition-sensitive than those that do not. The only way to assess the nutrition-sensitivity of these sectors is to go through the national and state and district budgets - as NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy recently said - line by line, and designate certain line items, say, 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% allocations to nutrition. If they are fully nutrition-sensitive they will be given a 100% weight. If they are not nutrition-sensitive at all they will score zero per cent. The challenge is to increase the overall percentage allocated to nutrition. To meet that challenge, we need data.
 
Fourth, we need the first three types of data at the state and sub-state levels. As the India Health Report clearly shows, different states and different districts have different nutrition problems, have different capacities to address them and show different levels of political commitment and leadership. Moreover, the distance between people and their leaders narrows as we move towards the district and community levels, and so, accountability is easier to build. To guide action and promote everyday accountability, we need more disaggregated data.
 
Fifth, we need to know what works. If we don't know whether a nutrition programme actually works, where it works, for whom it works, why it works and how it works, then we are, again, flying blind, wasting resources and acting irresponsibly. More research funding inside and outside India needs to be directed towards making Indian nutrition interventions more effective and more easily scaled up. Innovations need to be developed, piloted, tested and, if cost effective, scaled up. While the costs of evaluating interventions are not trivial, as the 2014 Global Nutrition Report showed, the benefit-cost ratios of identifying and scaling up the interventions that work to prevent malnutrition are huge: Over 34 to 1 for India.
 
The implementation of a national, state or district economic strategy without reliable and regular data would not be attempted-investors simply would not take any such strategy seriously. And yet this is tolerated for a nutrition strategy.
 
The signing of the Sustainable Development Goals by the Indian government provides the perfect opportunity for India to develop its own dashboard of nutrition indicators-one that is linked to specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) targets. The hardest thing for any government to do is to put in place measures for its people to hold it accountable. But all governments need to act confidently and match the bravery exhibited by the mothers, fathers and families that struggle to prevent and cope with the malnutrition that affects too many of the world's next generation.
 
A government that stands up and allows itself to be counted on nutrition is a government whose bravery will be rewarded by an incredible legacy-the ending of malnutrition by 2030.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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