Companies & Sectors
Trying to help revive Kingfisher: SBI

A week after the expiry of deadline that the lenders had set to Kingfisher management to come up with a revival plan, including a $1 billion capital infusion, State Bank of India has said the banks are trying everything to find an amicable solution

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI), the lead banker in the 17-lenders consortium that extended Rs7,000 crore loans to the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines, on Wednesday said the banks are "trying to do everything to find an amicable solution" to the carrier's financial troubles, reports PTI.


The SBI comment comes a week after the expiry of deadline that the lenders had set to the airline management to come up with a revival plan that includes a $1 billion capital infusion.


Kingfisher is a good company with a high brand value and lenders are trying to do everything to see that an amicable solution is found, SBI Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Diwakar Gupta told reporters on the sidelines of a PwC event.


After the regulator DGCA suspended the airline's flying licence on 19th October, SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri had set a 30th November deadline to the airline management to infuse at least $1 billion in fresh capital as part of the revival exercise for the banks to consider lending afresh or recasting the existing loans.


SBI has an exposure of Rs1,500 crore to the Bangalore based airline, which has not been serviced since January this year.


Launched in May 2005, the airline has not reported a single penny in profit and has bank debt over Rs7,000 crore and unpaid interest thereon since January, apart from over Rs1,000 crore in vendor and tax arrears.


It also has accumulated losses of nearly Rs10,000 crore, apart from the salary dues of the past seven months.


Labour unrest towards the end of September led to the airline suspending operations from 1st October  and on 19th of the same month, the regulator DGCA had suspended its flying licence.


If RTI Act empowers the citizens against the state, does Aadhaar empower the state against the citizens?

The report of the Group of Experts of the Planning Commission has submitted a set of recommendations for inclusion in the Privacy Act last fortnight. Is this a ploy by the government to use Aadhaar to counter the Right to Information Act? After all, Aadhaar reveals all personal data of an individual to the government, which may violate his or her fundamental right to privacy

In the seven years of the existence of the RTI (Right to Information) Act, citizens have been empowered to access vital information from government offices. Has the government now become empowered to access private information of individuals through the Aadhaar scheme being doled out to residents by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)? Experts opine that an information revolution in the form of RTI now has a counter revolution in the avataar of UID. The attempt to use Aadhaar to provide government subsidies by a more transparent network is allegedly just a cover up.

Nikhil Dey, leading RTI activist and founder member MKSS has stated in his article in the recently published book by YASHADA titled “Milestone 7: Journey of RTI Act” that, seven years down the line, the information revolution now has a counter revolution that is detrimental to citizen’s privacy. He writes: “There are new debates about the ideologies of information and democracy, and there are now attempts to counter attack that have elements of a ‘Counter Revolution’. There are new information laws in the making that give the state control over detailed information about every citizen. There are new draft privacy laws that claim to keep this information secure from the prying eyes of other citizens. There are secrecy clauses embedded into laws on data collection that once again seek to give the custodians of power exclusive control over information. And most threatening perhaps, are legal frameworks that legitimise the use of new technologies of information gathering to watch over every element of people’s lives under the guise of 'good' governance, ‘greater’ security, and ‘safer’ democracies!”


Dey further adds: “It is no longer a security agency gathering ‘intelligence’ about a select few, but a legal framework that allows those in power to watch all people all the time.


As Gopal Gandhi, former governor of West Bengal so incisively cautioned, “We must ensure that tools like the UID must help the citizens watch every move of government; not allow the government watch every move of the citizens.’ As they are today, the RTI and the UID stand on contrary sides of the information debate. If the RTI is a tool of the citizens to control the government and hold it accountable, the UID is a tool of the government to control the citizens.”


Venkatesh Nayak, programme co-ordinator, CHRI, who is researching on this subject, has appealed citizens to invoke RTI to find out details of actions planned by state governments on the basis of the finance ministry’s advice to expand the Aadhaar network where pilots of the controversial UPA government’s subsidy schemes will be rolled out linking UID to social development programmes. He states that, “there simply is no information about these issues in the public domain—only the rush and urgency of implementing the pilots. All this is hugely problematic because the government is not doing its mandated duty of complete proactive disclosure of facts and figures relating to the implementation of the UID as is required under Section 4 (1) of the RTI Act.”


Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to examine the legal sanctity behind the much hyped Aadhaar scheme, which is a direct pass for the controversial government scheme to directly transfer cash to eligible person’s account. The PIL has been filed by KS Puttuswamy, a former judge of the Karnataka High Court. His contention was that not only does the Aadhaar scheme bypasses the Parliament where the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, is being still discussed but it also reveals all personal data of an individual to the government, thus violating his or her fundamental right to privacy.


The objectives of the National Identification Authority of India Bill, prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance (2011-2012) chaired by Yashwant Sinha states: “ It has been observed and assessed by the government that the issue of unique identification numbers may involve certain issues, such as (a) security and confidentiality of information, imposition of obligation of disclosure of information so collected in certain cases, (b) impersonation by certain individuals at the time of enrolment for issue of unique identification numbers, (c) unauthorised access to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR), (d) manipulation of biometric information, (e) investigation of certain acts constituting offence, and (f) unauthorised disclosure of the information collected for the purpose of issue of unique identification numbers, which should be addressed by law and attract penalties.


To read about opinion on and coverage of Aadhaar at Moneylife, click here.

“In view of the foregoing paragraph, the government has felt it necessary to make the said Authority as a statutory authority for carrying out the functions of issuing unique identification numbers to residents in India and to certain other persons in an effective manner.  It is, therefore, proposed to enact the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, to provide for the establishment of the National Identification Authority of India (NIDAI) for the purpose of issuing identification numbers (which has been referred to as Aadhaar number) to individuals residing in India and to certain other classes of individuals and manner of authentication of such individuals to facilitate access which they are entitled and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

Former chief justice of the Delhi High Court, Ajit Prakash Shah—in the report on Group of Experts on Privacy constituted by Planning Commission of India—made a set of recommendations to the government for inclusion in the Privacy Act.

The report of 15 October 2012 states: “The ubiquitous use of personal identifiers, like UID, PAN, and passport, to complete transactions is taking place across India. As a result of this practice, centralised and decentralised databases that contain detailed records of individuals and their transactions are being converged by organisations and bodies on an ad hoc basis. The amount and granularity of information that can be converged through the use of these personal identifiers makes it possible for comprehensive profiles to be created of individuals and track individuals across databases via their personal identifier. In India, the use of personal identifiers across databases by third parties for tracing, convergence, or collation purposes is not addressed in the legislation that legally establishes the personal identifier (the NID Bill, Citizenship Act, the Passport Act, and the Indian Tax Act, etc) and is not addressed at the organisational or departmental level through policy. Thus, it is unclear if access is taking place in accordance with laws in force, and what standards are in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure/access/use of personal identifiers. Therefore, it is not clear which organisations/bodies are legally collecting and storing personal identifiers, for what purposes, who is accessing data based on personal identifiers, how personal identifiers are being secured, how long personal identifiers are being retained, and if/how the personal identifiers are deleted. This creates a situation where governmental and private sector organisations can potentially access and use information directly or indirectly connected to, or generated by personal identifiers for multiple purposes without explicit authorization, and without the individual being aware or consenting to such access and use. The use of personal identifiers across databases should be in compliance with the National Privacy Principles.”

To read about work done by Moneylife in the field of RTI, click here.

Even before the privacy of a citizen has been properly secured, the central government has gone ahead, putting up personal details of citizens in the technology space where not only others but the government itself can access personal data and misuse or abuse it. So while RTI Act empowers a citizen; the UID’s Aadhaar number scheme empowers the government.


To read more from Vinita Deshmukh, click here.


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)




4 years ago

There is also "Mission Creep". KYC (Know Your Customer) started with what might be pardoned as a necessary intrusion into one's privacy. And then it began to expand. Now they are asking for all sorts of intimate details of my personal life that are NO business of the State.


4 years ago

i am unable to comprehend as why so much noise is made against Aadhaar card like it empowers the State against person having Aadhaar card. could the author clarify by some live example? or is it a bogey by the well heeled who find fault with any well meaning Govt initiative after all Nandan Nilekeni has come out with a brilliant scheme where by ghosts/duplicates cannot draw anything and seepages is eliminated upto that extent. with my experience as a Banker over 25 years i can say Aadhaar will definitely eliminate ghost beneficiaries.


4 years ago

Could anyone enlighten me about PAN.
Is PAN mandatory?

For remitting cash (an amount of 500000 or more) in a Bank one must provide his PAN number. Is it legal?

Why should a person who doesn't have any taxable income be forced to take a PAN CARD? Can it be challenged in a court of Law?

Can a person use Aadhar / ration card / voters Id instead of PAN card in a banking transaction? If not why?



In Reply to Dev 4 years ago

Thanks for your comments.
Here are the links of RBI circulars regarding use of PAN for remittances or opening account with initial deposti of Rs50,000 and above.

Hope this helps.


In Reply to MDT 4 years ago

My query is not about opening of account. For remitting Rs. 50000 one needs to take a PAN Card (including purchasing a draft) . Why a person who does not have a taxable income should be forced to take a Pancard, if he can produce Ration card or voters identity to prove his identity. ?

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Dev 4 years ago

Your question is indeed valid, but the simple answer is because the RBI/ govt says so.

Frankly, I believe it is not about identity proof, its about the government treating everybody as a tax evader unless proved otherwise. Especially anyone who has more than Rs10,000 in a poor country like ours. So if you have 50K -- 5 times more, they want to be able to create a trail to verify whether you are falsely avoiding tax.
Sad isnt it? But do read some of our cover stories (by Ameet Patel) on how the Tax collection mechanism has been perverted to make is all work as tax collectors for the government on pain for crippling penalties -- that too free of charge. And all the while, being under suspicion that we are not doing a good job!


In Reply to Dev 4 years ago

for remitting cash (an amount of Rs. 50,000/- or more) one must provide his PAN number. Is it legal?

Centre not co-operating in complaint against websites: Court

A Delhi court made the observation after repeated failure of a Home Ministry official to appear before it in response to complaint filed against 21 websites for allegedly committing offences


New Delhi: The Centre is 'not co-operating' in its proceedings against various US-based websites, including Facebook and Google, accused of promoting class enmity and undermining national integrity, a Delhi court said on Wednesday, reports PTI.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja made the observation after repeated failure of a Union Home Ministry (MHA) official to appear before it in response to complaint filed against 21 websites for allegedly committing offences, including those of selling obscene materials to youths and hatching criminal conspiracy.

"I am getting the impression that the Government of India is not co-operating in this matter. The man (MHA official) has not yet come. I have called him several times but he is not coming," the court observed.

During the hearing, advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, who is representing one of the websites, said the court's impression that the Centre is not co-operating in the matter is "wrong" as the government had earlier given the sanction to prosecute these social networking websites.

The magistrate, however, told the defence counsel saying, "the time when sanction was given, the IAC (India against Corruption) movement was going on."

The defence counsel, however, countered the court's observation saying the government's sanction order had nothing to do with the IAC stir.

The court, meanwhile, issued a notice to the MHA's Under Secretary Amar Chand, who had failed to appear before it today, and posted the matter for hearing on 21st December.

The court had earlier directed MHA to verify the filled-up forms for service of summonses to the US-based websites after complainant's counsel SPM Tripathi gave it the forms, required to be filled under an Indo-US treaty for service of summonses.

The court had earlier told the MHA to check the forms submitted by the complainant and apprise it by today if the forms have been filled up as per the prescribed norms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.

Amar Chand had earlier told the court to start extradition proceedings to secure the presence of the websites based abroad and had referred to the MLAT between the US and India saying instead of issuing summonses against them, it should initiate extradition proceedings.

The court, however, had said it would not initiate the extradition proceedings and had asked the official to assist the complainant's counsel in filling the forms for service of summonses.

The websites named in the complaint include Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Yahoo, Blogspot, Google and Microsoft.

The court earlier on June 8 had directed the Union Home ministry to get the summonses served to various US-based websites.

The Centre had earlier told the court that there was sufficient material to proceed against the websites for the alleged offences.

The court had on 23rd December last year issued summons to 21 social networking websites on the complaint.



We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)