Citizens' Issues
Supreme Court allows iron ore mining in Goa

Workers on rolls of all mining firms will be paid 50% of the wage during the period for which they were out of work due to the stay on mining activity by the apex court

The Supreme Court on Monday while setting an annual cap of 20 million tonnes (mt) per annum allowed Goa to extract iron ore from the state. Iron ore mining was banned in Goa by the apex court for nearly one-and-a-half years.

A Bench comprising justices AK Patnaik, SS Nijjar and FMI Kalifulla, however, said the expert panel will give final a recommendation on annual cap on excavation of iron ore within six months.

It said there cannot be a deemed renewal of lease after 2007 of the existing lease deeds emanating from 1962 onwards.

It also said there will be no grant of lease for mining around one km of national parks and wild life sanctuaries.

The court directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months.

It said the Goa government will formulate a scheme within six months for utilising the funds generated by e-auction.

The Bench said that the workers on rolls of all mining firms will be paid 50% of the wage during the period for which they were out of work because of the apex court stay on the mining activity.

Further, within six months, the expert panel will recommend how the extracted dumps are to be utilised, it said.

On 27th March, the Bench had reserved its order on putting the annual cap on volume of iron ore to be extracted in Goa.

The Bench had said it cannot go into the policy matter and will only address the regulatory aspect involved in it.

The expert panel had recommended to Goa government to form a mining corporation or a public sector company in view of “illegalities” by private miners.

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Madras Stock Exchange to be history soon

Madras Stock Exchange, one of India's oldest exchanges, may close down because of low net worth and inability to have the right systems. A board meeting is scheduled for the 28th April to discuss its future

Madras Stock Exchange (MSE), the first stock exchange from South India, is likely to cease to exist following its failure to tie up with National Securities Clearing Corporation Ltd (NSCCL) and inability to raise a minimum net worth of Rs100 crore. The Exchange has called for suggestions and views from its stakeholders and would discuss ‘exit’ and other options in its board meeting on 28 April 2014.

Members of the governing board of MSE were categorically told by UK Sinha, chairman of Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that regional stock exchanges (RSEs) would not be able to withstand the vagaries of new challenging environment and would only collapse. RSEs would be unable to match the demands like huge investments on IT, resources and product differentiation and liquidity, the SEBI chairman had said.

SEBI made its intentions clear through a communication on 12 March 2014. It states, “…the approval for the platform was not possible mainly on account of not having a proper agreement with the clearing corporation, not having a requisite standalone online surveillance system, which could monitor position prices and volumes on real and not having sufficient net-worth nor having concrete plan to enhance the net worth as required under Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2012 (SECC).”

As per the exit circular issued by SEBI on 30 May 2012, MSE was expected to set up a platform and generate an annual turnover of Rs1,000 crore before 30 May 2014. MSE was way behind the requirements and was told by Sinha to take a quick decision to opt for exit without losing further time.

Speaking about the issue of in-principal approval for MSE with the clearing corporation, the SEBI chairman told the representatives of the Exchange that the main exchange providing clearing support should also need to guarantee default water fall of a high order and hence the same might not come through in the near future.

The representatives of MSE, then had a meeting with Rajiv Agrawal, the whole time member of SEBI, regarding non-operational exchanges, which had not submitted their exit applications. During the meeting, MSE sought an extension for commencement of platform, simplified procedure for entering into tie up with a clearing corporation and a centralised surveillance mechanism for all the exchanges managed by independent government agency.

However, Agrawal reiterated the stand that regional exchanges, including MSE, should decide early to take the exit route to enjoy lenient charges lest SEBI could take measures, which might go against the interest of such exchanges.

The governing board of MSE had called for an interactive session with its stakeholders on 10th April. Majority of views and opinions during the interactions were...
1. SEBI's mandate of minimum net worth of Rs100 crore has been envisaged, so that, continuous up gradation of technology could be made possible, that not being the case for MSE, it would not be sustainable to meet with regulatory requirements.
2. Legal course would further antagonize the regulators and might affect the final contribution to SEBI besides hurting the relations with SEBI.
3. The merger proposals the fellow RSEs taken up aggressively with Bangalore and later on with Delhi and Pune exchanges did not yield any material results even after taking all steps necessary in that direction.
4. Formation of the new Government would take some time and even then the Conditions of RSEs might not garner any interest for the new Government in the immediate present unless there is a political push.
5. Even then, without a sound business model in a competitive environment there was no guarantee for improvement of business of Exchange, even after spending crores of rupees on technology and other things.
6. Hence, by applying before the due date, if MSE could garner some benefit of lesser regulatory fee etc., MSE should consider availing the same without further delay.  
7. It would be a fitness of things that MSE take right steps to apply for the exit.
8. The management should take all steps to cut down cost and apply  

While speaking with shareholders, Justice KP Sivasubramanian (retd.), the public interest director of MSE, ruled out the possibility of taking any legal course as he felt it would be a futile exercise with time lag and unwanted expenditure without any fruitful benefits whatsoever to the MSE and the courts would give its ruling purely based on the prevailing rules and regulations.

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COMMENTS

saraf

3 years ago

What about investors who invested their hard earned money in scheme formulated by SEBI i.e. Corporatisation and DEMUTUALISATION of RSe . In case of BSE investors including LIC, FFI invested @ 5200/- per share in 2005 even after 9 years they still look for listing and liquidity for their shares / investment.
Why HSE was given Exit order after 5 years .....think, negotiate and obtain Exit Order and liquidity for Investors who invested trusting SEBI scheme.

saraf

3 years ago

SEBI LAN WAS WELL WRITTEN ON WALL, REFER THE CORPORATISATION & DEMUTUALISATION SCHEME....IF SOME ONE HAS COURAGE CAN QUESTION THEM INCLUDING FINANCE MINISTRY WHY FOOL INVESTORS WHO INVESTED THEIR MONEY DURING DEMUTUALISATION SCHEME AND NO RETURNS....SPECIALLY IN BSE INVESTORS (INCLUDING FFI) PUCHASED/INVESTED @ 5200/- PER SHARE IN 2005, NOW 2014 AFTER (9) YEARS THEY R STRUCK WITH NO LIQUIDITY...WHY LISTING IS NOT PERMITTED EVEN AFTER 9 YEARS... ANY ANSWER?

R Krishnamoorthy

3 years ago

D/s,

It is rather sad that MSE has been asked to follow the exit route.

well, w/o business, there is no point in continuing since it is the question of money earning through buying/selling of shares,and hence exchange should be very strong to safeguard the interest of shareholders, who solely depend on exchanges.

we are in 21st century and lot of awareness in regard to stock/share holdings are there with the public and presently the stock market is very high and volatile and in this situation if MSE cannnot command business, it is high time they call it a day.

MOHAN

3 years ago

I am feeling nostalgic. I still remember the days I bought and sold Orkay, TISCO, G V Films, Kothari Inds etc etc. from MSE through the Broker. The shares were ordered if activity was witnessed in any of the counters. The different quotes of the same share published in the Hindu news paper's stock price was the main source of information for judging whether a counter was active or not.

SuchindranathAiyerS

3 years ago

A Stock Exchange is based on a sound market which is dependent on rule of law. Not skewed "Dravid" law. We all know how the Dravids crushed "Brahmin" business houses such as Standard Motors and Amalgamations in the 1960s and the arm twisting that still goes on to stealBrahmin properties. Bombay guarded by Parsis and Shiv Sena is still somewhat insulated from Pawarism, Chavanism and Nehru-Gandhism.

PATTABHI

3 years ago

In the first paragraph, March to be changed to April..

Leela Group to sell Delhi, Chennai hotels for Rs1,850 crore

While sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia may pick up 74% interest in the hived-off entities for about Rs1,850 crore, Leelaventure will retain 26% stake

Hotel Leelaventure Ltd is in talks with sovereign wealth funds from Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia to sell its prime properties in Delhi and Chennai for around Rs1,850 crore to pare debt.

The company, which owns, operates and manages hotels, palaces and resorts, is likely to hive-off the two properties into separate entities.

While the foreign investor may pick up 74% interest in the hived-off entities, Leelaventure will retain 26% stake and continue to manage the five-star hotels. However, the deal is not yet finalised.

When it was first reported in February that Leelaventure is selling the two hotels, the company informed the stock exchanges: "In terms of corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package being implemented, the company has to reduce its debts through sale of assets."

It had stated that the company was "in discussion with various investors" and it continues to "evaluate proposals".

As part of discussions with the cash-rich sovereign wealth funds of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Malaysia, Hotel Leelaventure will still run and manage the Delhi and Chennai properties for 33 years for a fixed fee.

The Leela chain, in which ITC Hotels holds 12% stake, has been in the red for the past several quarters, hit by business slump, competition and demand-supply mismatch.

Part of The Leela Group, The Leela Ventures is looking to divest stakes in its bouquet, full of luxury hotels, resort properties, IT and business parks, as well as real estate development.

In 2011, it sold the luxury Kovalam beach hotel to industrialist Ravi Pillai for Rs500 crore and followed it up by selling the Chennai IT park building for Rs170.17 crore to Reliance Industries in 2012.

The company is now in talks to offload stakes in The Leela Palace, Delhi and The Leela Palace, Chennai to pare debt after moving the CDR cell.

CDR is a mechanism where borrowers seek extension of loan period and adjustment of interest rate. Hotel Leelaventure's debt as on 30 September 2013 was Rs4,295.15 crore.

Leela Delhi is a 260-room property in the heart of the capital for which the group had paid nearly Rs600 crore for buying land. Located in the diplomatic enclave at Chanakyapuri, it is the capital's first freehold property.

Leela Chennai is a 326-key property on the sea face in Chennai's MRC Nagar.

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