Citizens' Issues
Voters want good governance but political parties are not interested
In every election, voters think they will get a good performance from the government and accordingly elects the party they deem fit for this. However, according to a survey conducted by Association for Democratic reforms (ADR) across Tamil Nadu, no one is interested in good governance or resolving issues of citizens.
 
"If voters expect good performance from the Government, they are likely to be disappointed. In democracy as played out today, one party has to merely defeat the other party, not necessarily deliver good governance. To win they seem to resort to freebies for voters rather than deliver good governance," the Survey finds out.
 
ADR conducted a Survey of over 16,000 respondents in every constituency of Tamil Nadu in February 2016, which it says is the largest Survey done so far in the state. The purpose of the survey is to find out what voters really want from the Government and how they rate the performance on the issues that are important to them.
 
When asked for their top three priorities, voters told ADR that traffic congestion, water and air pollution and noise pollution are their top priorities. "About 48.08% of voters said that traffic congestion was one of the top three priorities for them, 34.84% of voters said that for water and air pollution, and 33.73% for noise pollution. Clearly, they show that issues of traffic and pollution are the top priorities for them. About 83% of voters gave one of these three as their top priority," it added.
 
 
Better employment opportunities, lower food prices and facility for cyclists and pedestrians were also among the top priorities. It is also interesting to note what issues were not priorities for them. For instance reservation for jobs, education, terrorism, strong military, corruption, were not top priorities, ADR says.
 
 
Talking about performance rating of government, the Survey found that traffic congestion and pollution were rated as worst performers by voters. ADR says, "There were a total of 25 issues for which they gave priorities and then rated Government’s performance. Thus for the top three priorities, traffic congestion was ranked 24th and noise pollution was ranked 21st out of 25, better employment opportunities 12th, and drinking water 23rd. So, high priority issues for voters had very bad performance."

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COMMENTS

Mahesh S Bhatt

7 months ago

Before elections Sadak /Paani /Bijli.

After elections Aadhar card/PAN card /Sr Citizen cards.

Mahesh

The Curious Case of Vinay Rai, the Vijay Mallya of a decade ago
The names of Usha Ispat and Malvika Steel, promoted by Vinay and Anil Rai have figured among the top 10 defaulters on what is called Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s defaulters' list, published by news portal Newslaundry.com. The report says, Usha Ispat had been getting loans and defaulting on them for more than a decade despite raids by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), first information reports (FIRs) and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) initiating proceedings against the company promoters. But while Vijay Mallya is under tremendous scrutiny, Vinay Rai had reinvented himself. From a defaulter of mega steel projects he became an educationist but that venture also turned extremely controversial.
 
Vinay Rai, the promoter of Usha Ispat and Malvika Steel was reportedly close to Rajiv Gandhi and had managed to do a mega public issue of shares in 1989 that almost flopped. His steel venture in Gopalganj, Uttar Pradesh did not take off. He quietly went out of the limelight. But Rai, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee reinvented himself as an educationist. His website now describes himself as “A philosopher. A philanthropist. A visionary. An educationist.” His Ahmedabad-based Rai University is established by Gujarat State Legislature under Gujarat Act No12 of 2012. 
 
However, his education venture also ran into trouble last year. In January 2015, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties worth over Rs500 crore belonging to Rai Foundation that runs various colleges across the country under the aegis of Rai University. The case was related to alleged sale of 'fake' degrees by Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management (EIILM) in Sikkim, which is run by Rai Foundation.
 
According to ED, the money earned through sale of fake diplomas and degrees was used to buy property in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and West Bengal as well as invested in its campuses in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Ranchi. "While the purchase value of the attached properties stands at Rs160 crore, the market value has been pegged at around Rs500 crore by ED. The ED probe found that the management and owners of the university were "laundering" funds obtained from students as curriculum and tuition fees in purchasing large tracts of land and creating bank balances across the country," says a report from Times of India
 
The report from Newslaundry, says, Usha Ispat has defaults of Rs16,911 crore. However, "only Rs 5,093 crore of Usha Ispat’s total defaults are labelled as wilful according to the RBI’s list. Usha Ispat owes more than half of the total default sum to Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) at Rs8,619 crore," the report says.
 
Malvika Steel was owned by Usha Ispat before being conveniently taken over by SAIL in 2009. Malvika Steel had defaults of Rs3,057 crore, as per the list published by Newslaundry. The report says, "The steel plant (of Malvika Steel) is located in Jagdishpur, in Amethi district, and has defaulted on loans since 2007. All of its loans are owed to either General Insurance Corp or LIC. According to a Hindu Business Line report, the Modi government pulled the plug on the plant’s revival in 2014 and it may be up for sale now — Rs300 crore had been sunk into the project in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. We have to wonder how much of a part Rai’s political connections played in Usha Ispat staying under the radar for as long as it has, especially since the company seems to be about as substantial as Casper the Friendly Ghost."
 
Earlier in 2002, the CBI raided premises of both the Rai brothers for allegedly duping financial institutions for over Rs100 crore.  
 
In the same year, Financial Express, in an article had described lavish lifestyle of the Rai brothers even as there were huge debts. "The Rais have CBI FIRs for cheating — making fake bills and siphoning funds — registered against them, face investigations for income-tax evasion and will not repay their humungous loans — or even the interest on them. It was only in 2000 that Vinay Rai was among the 11 Indians in the Forbes list of the world’s 300 richest people with a personal net worth of Rs5,338 crore. Yet, this was the year that two Rai companies — Malvika Steels and Usha Ispat — defaulted on loans of about Rs2,400 crore," the report says.
 
"But the family’s political clout hasn’t waned," the report dated 12 December 2002 says, adding, "The Governing Council of the foundation boasts Oscar Fernandes and Subbarami Reddy of the Congress, Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party, actress and former TDP MP Jaya Prada and the BJP’s Anjali Rai. Then there’s PK Kaul, former Cabinet Secretary and Indian Ambassador to the US; KS Sarma, CEO of the Prasar Bharti and Justice Eswara Prasad, former High Court judge."  
 
The newspaper also gives details on how Information Technologies India Ltd (ITIL), another group company of the Rai brothers, had become an engine of growth during 2000 with a market cap of Rs2,000 crore. The report says, "In contrast, total investment in the company did not exceed Rs70 crore. But that was during the great tech boom, when each ITIL share, issued at Rs10, were being traded for a whopping Rs2,250. And then the tech bubble burst in 2001, and Rs2,000 crore of ITIL went up in smoke. This was the starting point for trouble in other group companies."
 
"In August 2000, when Kulwant Rai, the father of Vinay and Anil Rai, was on the board of IDBI, Koshika Telecom, another group company of the Rais, was sanctioned a loan worth Rs100 crore when it had three of its four licences cancelled by the government for non-payment of licence fees. The fourth licence, which was running by default, because there were no other cellular operators in that part of Uttar Pradesh, also owed money to the government. Yet IDBI sanctioned Rs100 crore against a personal guarantee of Vinay Rai and pledging of shares in ITIL," the report says. As on 12 February 2003, ITIL was traded last on the BSE at Rs1.05 or 16% down. 

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COMMENTS

Roy Aranha

7 months ago

whom do we trust neither any political party a new movement like kejriwal is required

Anurag

7 months ago

2009 purchase of Malvika Steels by SAIL - that is why we have so many PSU's in business. Hiding behind noble cause of providing self sufficiency of STEEL for India, SAIL is just a den of thieves, for looting Indian tax payers as well Indian public in general by high steel prices supported by tariff and non-tariff barriers for cheaper steel imports in India.

Gopalakrishnan T V

7 months ago

Banks are open to loot by those who are smart ,close to politicians, bureaucrats and Institutions like SEBI RBI , CBI and Income Tax keep prefer to keep their eyes and ears closed. But for media and some investigative Journalists public would never come to know that they are being looted day in and day out as tax payers , depositors and share holders of fraudulent companies. May God save the nation and its innocent people.

Ramani Krovi

7 months ago

The story of bank loan waivers and write offs is a Pandora'sbox.If opened it may bite all political parties and politicians.For a long time the bank loans,subsequent waivers and write offs were manipulated by influential politicians.Many defaulters do have dubious reputation of becoming educationists or philanthropists.These politically influential people are continuing their dubious activities behind the veil of secrecy of bank loans which prevents banks from declaring openly.Even Raghuram Rajan asked Supreme Court not to publish the list of top defaulters because he knows pretty well that public confidence and international reputation of Indian business and Industry will suddenly come down.Now the banks are in a tight spot as if they are between a devil and deep sea.If you open the box many skeletons come out of the cupboard.Most of the defaulters if cornered may reel out the political donations given ,causing embarrassment to all political parties.

REPLY

S Santhanam

In Reply to Ramani Krovi 7 months ago

RBI by trying to stall the release of defaulters list, he is doing a great disservice to the nation. He has also not taken action against erring RBI officials. When KYC is scrupulously followed for risk free savers, RBI failed to ensure it in cases of account holders of sahara nbfc and large number of similarly running FIs. Why should it allow special category of NBFCs thus helping dubious corporates like sahara. Earlier RBI take action better for the country.

S Santhanam

7 months ago

Sad but true politicians of hues have played havoc by misusing public institutions like LIC, GIC and helped dubious corporates. RBI also is guiltyfor the present pathetic state of affairs of PSBs. Sahara, peerless, mallayas, rais will continue to have joy rides as every political party has taken favours from corporates. Better send this article to PMO, FM, RBI.

Godrej Consumer reports 8.5% revenue growth and 16.5% PAT growth
Godrej Consumer products reported Q4FY15-16 revenue growth of 8.5% at Rs2,269 crore as compared to Rs2,092 crore on a consolidated basis. It reported profit after tax (PAT) growth of 16.5% to Rs310 crore from Rs266 crore.  However, on a sequential quarter basis, it numbers were less flattering. Its consolidated sales declined by 3.7% and PAT by 4%. On the profitability front, its consolidated gross margins expanded by 140 basis points (bps) to 56.9% due to soft raw material prices. However, its growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins was relatively muted. Its EBITDA margins expanded by 90 basis points. Its EBITDA grew by 14% as compared to the year ago period. It lowered its advertising spends by 150 bps.
 
On a standalone basis, GCPL reported a revenue growth of 7% to Rs1,208 crore. Its corresponding net profits grew by 12% to Rs211 crore. GCPL reported a volume growth in India business at 11%. Its international business reported a sales growth of 14% in constant currency terms. The management stated that urban growth was steadier though not enough to call it a recovery, but rural growth was under stress. It further stated that rural growth for Q4 was slightly ahead of urban growth, with an increased focus on distribution expansion.The management aims to increase the ratio of rural sales to 40% in the next 3-4 years from 28% currently.  
 
Household insecticides is a key segment for this fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) major with it accounting for more than half of its India sales in value terms. This segment performed well during the quarter. Its home insecticides segment in India grew by 10% year on year (y-o-y). Its margins in this division were positively influenced by low crude oil prices. Its soap segment proved to be a dampener with its revenues declining by 6%. According to brokerage firm Religare, it had carried out tactical price cuts in the range of 15-17% inorder to gain market share. It passed on savings in palm oil related inputs to its consumers. Its hair colour division grew by 7%. The 'other brands' segment delivered a stellar 28% rise in revenue terms. However, this segment accounts for merely 7.3% of its revenues in Q4FY15-16. 
 
GCPL derives 53% of its revenues from India, while the rest from other countries. Indonesia and Africa are the other key markets with a little less than 1/3rd of revenues coming from them. GCPL is focusing on Africa with its revenues from the continent nearly doubling in the last three years. The management has guided that it expects its Africa business to grow in double digits in the medium term.In Africa, the company is looking for growth through increasing dry hair care penetration, expanding into wet hair and extending its households insecticides business. It recently acquired US-based Strength of Nature LLC, a hair care products company for women of African descent. GCPL is also interested in pursuing Protekt range (health and wellness), Bblunt (hair care) and its portfolio of brands in Africa. Over the years, the contribution of international business to its revenues has increased. In FY08-09, it derived 78% of its revenues from India.  
 
 
The stock trades at premium valuations. The stock trades a price-to-earnings (PE) of 40.61 as per trailing 12 months consolidated earnings. On a standalone basis, the PE is at 61. The stock has had a good run in the past year with it delivering 26% returns with the Sensex declining by nearly 9% during the period. 

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