Colors Infinity

TUV 300

Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) will make yet another attempt to regain its stronghold in the SUV segment as it readies an all-new compact off-roader, to be christened TUV 300. The company said the new vehicle will be launched in September and help it counter growing competition from rivals like Renault, Ford and now Hyundai (which has driven in Creta).
Continuing with its tradition of naming vehicles with alphabets that end with `O', Mahindra said the new vehicle will be pronounced as “3 double O“. Vehicles that end with the alphabet O are seen as lucky by the company , which has products such as Scorpio, Bolero and the XUV 500 (5 double O). The alphabet T in the new SUV stands for tough, M&M executive director Pawan Goenka said.
The company has been trying to ward off growing competition and will launch two new compact SUVs towards this end, the TUV300 being the first one. “TUV300 will be a compact sub-four metre SUV ,“ Goenka said.
M&M had introduced a compact SUV Quanto in 2012 but it did not meet with the success that the company's other models had seen

Cyclonic storm Komen

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted “heavy to very heavy“ rainfall in parts of West Bengal and north Odisha in the next 48 hours due to the cyclonic storm `Komen' and advised fishermen in both the states not to venture into the sea along and off the coast during the period.
Komen hit the Bangladesh coast on Thursday evening, bringing with it heavy rainfall in Gangetic West Bengal and Odisha. In its latest forecast, the country's national weather forecaster also predicted “heavy to very heavy“ rainfall in Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and south Assam on Friday and at isolated places in Jharkhand over the next two days. “The entire process of landfall would take a few hours. After landfall, it (Komen) would move initially northwestwards and then west-northwestwards (Gangetic West Benal) and weaken gradually ,“ said the IMD while predicting that the cyclonic storm is in the process of crossing Bangladesh coast between Hatia and Sandwip.
Referring to West Bengal and north Odisha, it also noted that both the states would face wind speed of 50-60 km per hour (kmph) gushing to 70 kmph mainly in the coastal area till August 1.
“Sea condition would be high over north Bay of Bengal during the same period,“ said the IMD.
Meanwhile, the depression over Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh that brought heavy rains to the states leading to a flood-like situation has now reduced to a “well marked low pressure area“ over West Rajasthan and neighbouring areas. “Rainfall would occur at many places with isolated heavy rainfall over Gujarat region, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Saurashtra, Kutch Diu, West Madhya Pradesh during next 48 hours.

Death @Dawn

He finally came back to Mumbai after eight years, but not to give his daughter the promised hug. On Thursday , when the body of Yakub Memon, the only condemned convict out of 100 held guilty in the 1993 blasts case, reached Mahim, the sky remained overcast, mirroring the sombre mood of thousands who would soon gather there to pay their last respects.
After he was hanged on his 54th birthday at 7 am at Nagpur Central jail, Yakub's body was brought to Mumbai on an Indigo flight and was later laid to rest at Bada Qabrastan at Marine Lines.
Before being taken to the cemetery , his body was taken to his mother Hanifa's house at Bismillah Manzil at Mahim, where, according to a confidential police report, a crowd of over 10,000 gathered for the namaz-e-janaza (prayers for the dead). The crowd at the Qabrastan swelled to over 15,000 when another prayer session was held and he was, at 5.15 pm buried beside his father Abdul Razzak's grave The crowd was peaceful and disciplined and when stray voices were raised, announcements were made on the public address system to keep the peace; they were reminded that they were there to pay respects to a departed one and to pray for the family .
Mumbai on Thursday woke up to news of the execution and to the sight of the city's en tire 41,000-strong police force out on duty to ensure that no untoward incident took place.
Shops in several areas including Null Bazaar Dongri and parts of Dharavi and Kurla downed shutters as news spread of the execution. On Mahim's Cadell Road, where Yakub once stayed, many people skipped work, choosing to attend the funeral prayers instead.
Yakub's mother, wife Rahin and daughter Zubeida read the Quran and prayed for him as his body was kept for a while at the mother's home. His brother Suleiman and cousin Usman accompanied the body for the burial.
From Nagpur, the Memons flew into Mumbai onboard IndiGo flight 6E 544, which departed at 11.06 am and landed at 12.10 pm.The body was carried in an open coffin, labelled “human remains“, in the cargo hold. Suleiman, Usman, three cops and a lawyer accompanied the body .


Halol's horror

General Motors India, the Indian subsidiary of US auto giant General Motors, has decided to close down its manufacturing facility in Halol near Vadodara.
GM began its journey in India in 1996 by setting up the plant near Vadodara.The auto maker was one of the first to put up its facility in Gujarat, which is now being touted as the next auto hub.
The company conveyed to its workers at Halol plant that it will shut down operations at the facility from June 2016. In a communiqué to its workers, the company said that as per new business practice, running two plants is not feasible for the company.
It has also indicated that it may have to lay off some workers while the company is looking for possible buyers to run the plant.
The Halol plant, which witnessed labour unrests in last five years, is spread over 200 acres land and GM has invested over Rs 1,400 crore so far.
It produces Cruze, Enjoy, Tavera, Captiva CBU models and has capacity of making 1,27,000 units per annum. GM introduced its flagship Chevrolet in India from this plant.
Compensation package has also been worked out for those to be laid off.
The letter also states the management wishes that workers continue their work till the time production is stopped in June 2016.
However, the company also announced the investment of $ 1 billion (around Rs.6,300 crore) to double its market share in India by 2020. The investment will be made mainly to expand the capacity of Talegaon plant.

Cyrus Mistry's Vision 2025

The Tata Group is set to foray into e-commerce, digital health and data analytics as the 147-year-old conglomerate seeks new growth drivers. The new businesses are housed under Tata Industries, which is usually the vehicle for investing and promoting sunrise ventures.
The group's internal leadership meeting on Wednesday also saw its chairman Cyrus Mistry making a pitch for entrepreneurial talent to foster “experimentation and accept risks in the pursuit of new capabilities and next generation businesses“.
The group has, for the first time, spoken about its e-commerce venture, which will be a marketplace modelled on the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. It will offer both Tata and non-Tata brands across lifestyle and electronics. The omni-channel market place will seamlessly integrate store shopping and online buying and will be powered by technology platforms, systems and processes managed through collaboration with other Tata companies.
In digital health, it will connect hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and consumers, enabling preventive and predictive healthcare.The analytics foray will see the group mining customer data across companies and businesses helping to unveil new opportunities.
The entry of India's largest conglomerate, with revenue topping $100 billion, into e-commerce could raise the competitive stakes in a rapidly growing, but heavily bleeding online commerce sector. A recent Morgan Stanley report estimated that domestic internet market will touch $137 billion by the end of this decade.
The new businesses are part of Mistry's 2025 vision to be among the world's 25 most valuable companies. In March this year, the Tata Group had a market capitalization of $134 billion, up by 17% over the previous year, ranking it at 47 in the world. Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla and Arvind Ltd have unfurled plans to tap the country's consumer internet boom.
At the meeting held at NCPA in south Mumbai, Mistry presented a to-do list which includes measures the group needs to take to succeed in a VUCA (volatility , uncertainty , complexity and ambiguity) world. He stressed on the need to identify new opportunities in the face of discontinuity , a fact he clearly acknowledged to the 1,000-odd Tata executives.
Under Mistry's chairmanship, the group's revenues grew to $109 billion in fiscal 2015, up 5.3% over the previous year. The group invested about $10 billion in FY15, where 68% of its revenues came from outside India. Mistry, 47, said “sustainable profitable growth is the key building block for long-term stakeholder value creation“.
Tata group observers said there appears to be a sense of urgency in the manner in which Mistry is executing his objective of getting a quarter of the world's population to experience the Tata Group's commitment to improve quality of life of communities and customers.

ESIC 2.0

e-Visas for Chinese tourists

In keeping with an announcement made by PM Narendra Modi during a recent visit to China, the MHA will roll out the e-tourist visa facility for Chinese nationals on Thursday. The passport-holders of Hong Kong and Macau will also be eligible for e-tourist visa.
“The government has finalized arrangements to extend and implement the etourist visa facility for the passport-holders of People's Republic of China, Hong Kong Administrative region and Macau Special Administrative Region with effect from July 30, 2015...the total number of countries/territories covered under the e-tourist visa scheme will go up from 74 to 77..,“ a ministry release said on Wednesday . Modi had in May announced extension of e-tourist visa facility to Chinese citizens despite reservations of the intelligence agencies, which had warned that some of them could take up espionage activities in India in the garb of tourists. The objections were overruled by Modi as he was keen to strengthen `people to-people' contact between the two nations.
The e-tourist visa scheme  was launched by the government on November 27 last year. Citizens of eligible countries can apply for e tourist visa online, receive an authorisation by e-mail, and arrive with this printed authorization at nine designated airports -Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Cochin, Goa, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.

NIIF cleared by Cabinet

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of Rs.20,000 crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a sort of sovereign fund, for development of infrastructure projects, including the stalled ones. The Cabinet chaired by PM Modi also approved the proposal to allow foreign investment in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) set up under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations to facilitate domestic investment.
The NIIF is being established to maximize “economic impact“ mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brown field including stalled projects. The fund could also consider funding nationally important projects in the manufacturing sector.


Sebi Cancels Sahara MF's Licence

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has cancelled Sahara Asset Management Company's licence, saying it's not a “fit and proper person“ to carry out the business of mutual fund.
Sebi on Tuesday said Sahara's fund management licence would stand cancelled after 60 days from the date of the order.
It has directed Sahara AMC not to take any new subscription from the investors including existing investors in systematic investment plans and also not to levy any penalties on the investors for not depositing the installments.
Sebi has asked the fund house to transfer its activities to a new sponsor and a Sebi-approved AMC at the earliest.

SpiceJet snippets

SpiceJet swung to a profit in the June quarter from a year-ago loss with a revival plan put in place by returning promoter Ajay Singh seeming to take effect as the airline was able to fill a greater proportion of seats on its planes and pruned costs.
The no-frills carrier, still emerging from a brush with insolvency under previous promoter Kalanithi Maran, posted a profit of Rs.71.80 crore in the April-June period, having made a loss of Rs.124.1 crore in the year earlier.
This is SpiceJet's second profitable quarter in a row, having posted a net income of Rs.22.5 crore in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal.That was its first profit after six quarters.
The company said it has been able to improve its performance by making sure that fewer seats went empty and reducing flights.


EPF Money to be Invested in Equities

About Rs.6,000 crore of EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) money would be invested in equities by March 2016 with a view to get higher returns, said Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya on Monday.
The investment would begin with 1 per cent of EPF-related money which could eventually go up to 15 per cent, he said.

Project Insight

You may not have heard about Project Insight, but if you are a serial tax evader the finance ministry is likely to soon have the low-down on you through this exercise.
Insight is the ministry's flagship project, aimed at widening the tax base by catching tax evaders using technology.The ministry has floated a tender worth over Rs.150 crore to buy data analytics software and the infrastructure that goes along with it, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The ministry has also attached a non-disclosure agreement to the tender to keep exact details on the project from getting leaked.
The project is also expected to rank tax evaders based on the amount of tax that could be recovered, so that the authorities could go after the highest value targets first, the person said.
“The challenges faced in widening the tax base are proposed to be handled under `Project Insight' which will leverage data analytics, alert management and case analytics capabilities to prepare case profiles and select appropriate intervention,“ parliament's standing committee on finance said in a report in April.
The project will track the Permanent Account Numbers being quoted on financial transactions and tally them with income tax filings. It is expected to automate a number of processes that took a lot of time in the past and therefore speed up resolution of cases pertaining to tax evasion, the official said.
An advertisement states that representatives of bidders can collect it by submitting a letter of authorisation, a non-disclosure agreement and a prebid integrity pact. The revenue secretary did not respond to an email seeking comment. The Directorate of Income Tax (Systems) has also put out ads for recruiting staff for the project. “The project will integrate enterprise data warehouse, data mining, web mining, predictive modelling, data exchange, master data management, centralised processing, compliance management and case analytics capabilities,“ the directorate said in a letter seeking candidates for the project. As per the letter, the project is likely to have two additional joint commissioners of income tax and six deputy commissioners of I-T.
The ministry also plans to set up a Compliance Management Centralised Processing Centre to handle resource-intensive repetitive tasks, thereby outsourcing the manual aspects of the project to an IT company. “They have been talking about this for some time. Even the last government had talked about it. But they have moved ahead and put out the tender. It will be a complicated deal, so we are still evaluating it,“ said an executive with a technology company, who did not wish to be identified. A pre-bid meeting was held last week, he said.
The government wants to pay the bidders on a per-transaction basis, the person cited earlier said. “Probably not a lot of bidders are going to bid. They are saying they will pay for every account that you create, and some money will be paid for the next five years. You have to invest into it and then collect it over five years,“ he said.
Experts said the terms of the contract could restrict the interest of potential bidders.

Abdul Kalam: Tributes pour in

“People's President“ Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam has passed away , bringing the curtains down on a rich legacy that saw a man born into a poor family notch up exalted sobriquets such as rocket scientist and missile man before occupying India's highest office.
Kalam, 83, died in a hospital in Meghalaya to which he was rushed after he collapsed while delivering a lecture in IIM Shillong. Doctors said he suffered a heart attack.
He was the 11th President of India and the third one to be awarded Bharat Ratna. An architect of India's missile programme, Kalam was also involved in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
As news of Kalam's death spread, social media went abuzz with condolences from all and sundry , a testament to his popularity among ordinary Indians to whom he opened up Rashtrapati Bhavan like never before. “I salute his memory, it is an irreparable loss,“ said prime minister Narendra Modi as the news of Kalam's death came in. Describing him as a “margdarshak“, Modi said Kalam will continue to be an inspiration in India's forward journey .
Former PM Manmohan Singh said the country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to the promotion of self-reliance in defence technologies.
Political leaders joined eminent scientists and celebrities from all walks of life in offering tributes to a man who steered clear of all kinds of controversies in and out of office. A bachelor, teetotaller and vegetarian, his colleagues at ISRO and DRDO fondly recalled their association with the man who would be India's President.
V K Aatre, Kalam's successor as DRDO head, remembered a man who never lost his temper: “Even when he was very angry at someone, he would only say `you funny guy'.“
Kalam, even as head of state, was at home among students and the youth often inspiring them to dream big. In fact, he got the call from then PM AB Vajpayee inviting him to be India's President when he was at the Anna University in Tamil Nadu where he was teaching.
Eminent scientist RA Mashelkar recalled a man devoid of any ego. “In 2003 when I was DG of CSIR, my wife was seriously ill. I cancelled a meeting Kalam had fixed with the PM by calling him. I was so emotional that I cried on the phone. Within 15 minutes Kalam was in my office trying to console me.“
K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman, said Kalam was single-minded and was able to carry everybody with him.“When has was the project director of SLV 3, he knew everyone and what they were doing.“
Kalam was at IIM Shillong to be part of a two-day lecture series on the topic `Livable Planet'. The government has declared a 7-day mourning to condole his death.

Of compulsory voting in Gujarat

The Gujarat government issued a notification making voting in local body elections compulsory under the controversial Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment), Act 2009 (2014).
The notification dated July 17, 2015, will apply to over three crore voters who are expected to cast their vote in the upcoming civic elections in six municipal corporations, around 60 municipalities, 33 district panchayats and more than 150 taluka panchayats. State has recorded 45-50% voting in local bodies elections in the past. In 2010, six municipals corporations had recorded average voting of 44%.
Following this notification, any citizen abstaining from voting in civic elections will be penalized -the punishment could be monetary fine or noneligibility for certain civic incentives -which will be specified once the rules are framed, officials said.
Along with the compulsory voting notification, state government has also issued an ordinance for the addition of a clause the act for declaring the elected representatives disqualified if they do not vote.
In case of failure in voting the registered voter will be declared as the defaulter and against whom the designated authorities will take legal action as prescribed in the rules, which will be declared shortly .

Terror returns to Punjab

Three suspected jihadi terrorists armed with AK-47 rifles went on a rampage in Punjab's border district of Gurdaspur on Monday , killing three civilians and four policemen and marking the return of terrorism to the state which was ravaged by the Khalistani mayhem in the 1980s.
The terrorists, suspected to be members of either Lashkar-e-Taiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad, killed seven persons before Punjab police commandos gunned them down in an agonizing 12-hour battle.
Before storming the police station, the militants had also planted five bombs on nearby rail tracks.
This is the first time fidayeen attackers have stepped out of J&K and struck in Punjab, leaving security agencies both in the state and at the Centre concerned. The casualties included four cops--three young men of the Home Guards and superintendent of police Baljit Singh--all of whom were hit while staving off relentless firing from the attackers.
Civilian fatalities included 54-year-old Nirmala Devi, who was visiting a neighbourhood hospital for her pregnant daughter's checkup and was caught in the crossfire, and two others.
Railway trackman Ashwani, on his routine patrol, found five bombs on the railway track on the Amritsar-Pathankot section. He instantly alerted his superiors leading to diversion of trains that were to pass through the section, saving hundreds of lives.
The prospect of jihadi fidayeen venturing into Punjab took away from the sneaking relief that the Khalistanis were directly not involved. The three terrorists were holed up inside the two floors of a dilapidated brick-and mortar building after making a forceful entry at 5.35 am into a police station in Dinanagar 19 km from Pakistan's Narowal district. They were dressed in Army fatigues, a modus operandi common among Pakistani militants, and had Afghan nuts on them. The operation got prolonged because of the plan of Punjab Police to capture at least one of the terrorists alive in order to determine the identity of the terrorist organization that the trio were attached to and, as a logical corollary , ascertain the involvement of Pakistani state actors. Considering that Pakistan's spy agency ISI controls Lashkar, and has huge leverage with Jaish, the inquest will have a fallout for the efforts for resumption of peace talks with Pakistan.
Punjab police chief Sumedh Singh Saini said, “There are enough pointers to establish that they came from across the border. They were carrying grenades, Kalashnikovs and sophisticated GPS systems. They killed our brave men who went down fighting and as a result we eliminated them.“ The DGP , who fought Sikh extremists in the 1980s and 90s, ruled out any involvement of pro-Khalistan men in the attack. “We will be going too far to come to that conclusion. At the moment, we have ensured peace in Punjab,“ he said.


Syngene's IPO

Phase III Radio auctions update

Phase 3 FM radio auctions are slated to begin from Monday, four-and-a-half years after the policy was announced in July 2011, delayed due to policy paralysis. With the Sun Group's troubles with the government out of the way, the decks appear to have been cleared for auction of 135 frequencies in 69 cities, beginning 9.30 am on Monday.
Broadcasters are cheering. Linked to these auctions is the renewal of 245 existing radio licences, of which 21 are currently operating under an “extension“, which is set to expire on September 30.The renewal fees for these will be based on prices determined in the auctions.
However, broadcasters fret about several aspects in the FM policy . For example, they are not allowed to broadcast news, unless it's sourced from All India Radio. Industry officials wonder whether the government wants to control the dissemination of free and fair news to the public at large. The ban on news, industry officials say , could be removed soon, as the Supreme Court grapples with the issue in a case filed by NGO Common Cause.
There is also the 15% “national cap“ -no broadcaster can operate more than 52 channels. As a result of what most industry officials describe as an artificial and irrational cap, large networks like Sun (47 channels) and Reliance ADAG (45) are severely limited from expanding. This cap could hurt the government itself, and cause serious loss in revenues -estimated at 30-50% -apart from holding back the expansion of the medium, as many frequencies in smaller towns, which the big networks would have gone after, will possibly go “unsold“. High reserve prices will also make many of these unviable, say the people cited.
While bidding is generally expected to be rational, given the not-so-great financial returns broadcasters have seen, it could get heated in a few of the bigger metros, where there are few frequencies available for bidding. Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and mini-metros like Jaipur and Nagpur have only one frequency, while Mumbai and Pune have two. With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) having already recommended a simple way to double the number of channels, the government is expected to release more frequencies soon, according to industry sources.
Bidders will also be worried with the rapid advance of digital streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Gaana, and now Apple music).Though not immediately, digital could eventually cut into FM revenues.
But despite all the issues, the mood in the FM industry is cheerful. Having established its pre-eminent place in “local“ and “reminder“ advertising, and in targeting the “youth“ and “on-the-move“ audiences, FM radio has grown faster than TV, print and outdoor advertising in the past few years. More channels will help retain this pace. FM radio commands 15% of the ad pie in Sri Lanka. In India, it's just 5-6%. If one day Mumbai and Delhi have 25 radio stations each as Colombo has, FM radio should continue to grow faster than its other media siblings.

Delhi Metro Phase III snippets

Greater connectivity is not the only benefit Delhi Metro's Phase III project will offer. According to a study commissioned by DMRC, the new corridors will help decongest some roads, reduce air pollution and save fuel costs as well. The Phase III network comprises two new corridors--Mukundpur to Shiv Vihar and Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden--besides extension of several existing corridors of the network.o
Apart from helping cut the pollution levels, the Phase III of the Delhi Metro is expected to have an impact on the surface transport as well.
That's not all. The Phase III is expected to have an impact on savings in road infrastructure too. According to the RITES study , to accommodate the vehicles, the government will have to acquire 55 hectares of land for parking and another 106 hectares (530 km) to create additional road infrastructure.
The Phase III will also help towards savings on fuel consumption, which is expected to be in millions of rupees per year. These savings are, in fact, one of the primary aspects of the study , said officials.
Delhi Metro had in its previous phases also helped significantly in cutting fuel costs as well as reducing emissions. According to data by the Delhi Metro, in Phase I of its network (2007), the number of vehicles that went off roads daily was 16,895.This went up to 3,90,971 last year, by which time Phase I and II came about. Meanwhile, the annual reduction in pollutants was 31,520 tonnes in 2007 and 5,77,148 tonnes in 2014. The savings in time per trip was 31 minutes in 2007 and 28 minutes in 2011, when Phase I and II became functional. It was 32 minutes last year.


Amravati snippets

Of the four nodes of Andhra Pradesh's new capital -Amaravati Government Core, Amaravati Downtown, Amaravati Gateway and Amaravati Waterfront -the Downtown will come up first.o
This was revealed in the 122-page report titled `Seed Development Master Plan Report' prepared by Singapore on the basis of the recommendations of the stakeholders, including the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). Construction of the Downtown Road is Action Plan No 1, as suggested by CRDA. “Once the commercial district comes up, all other activity in the capital will automatically pick up,“ said sources. Hyderabad: According to the report, the Downtown Road will be special (with broad sidewalks and cycle lanes), the Central Boulevard and the River Krishna Boulevard being the others. Thus rather than government offices, it will be the Downtown area which will act as the central spine of the seed capital.o
Downtown will be connected through various means of public transit. The ground floor of the buildings in Downtown will house retail outlets, restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment centres, the plan revealed. Also, vehicular access will be discouraged along the central junction of Downtown. The buildings in this node will be designed in a way that they will have direct access to Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations through landmark towers.
After the construction of Amaravati Downtown, the next node to be taken up would be the Amaravati Government Core. The fourth node, Amaravati Waterfront, will house an Amaravati Plaza with amphitheaters and also leave space for streethawkers.

Somewhere in Patna....

Go Solar

Greenpeace India faces closure

Greenpeace India, debarred from receiving foreign funds since April, now stares at a shutdown with the Tamil Nadu inspector of registration issuing it a show-cause notice for cancellation of its registration as a society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975.
The notice, served on the Chennai-based NGO on June 16 following an inspection of its office and accounts on June 3, was issued on finding four major violations, according to home ministry sources. It was noticed that the NGO had failed to either file the required documents returns on time or file these altogether. Second, the terms of memorandum filed at the time of registration were violated when the NGO shifted its head office to Bengaluru from Chennai while remaining registered under the TN Act. “Greenpeace is working illegally from Bengaluru,“ an officer said. Third, even the Chennai office has been working from an address other than the one applied for at the time of registration.
Greenpeace also faces loss of its registration as a society ­ which would mean winding up of its offices in India, where it has around 350 employees.Its members have been taking instructions from their foreign bosses in day-to-day administrative matters.


Gold slump: snapshot

Retail participation in the Equity Market

Of smartphones, mobile data and Internet penetration....

Maruti outgrows Suzuki in marketvalue

Maruti Suzuki has achieved a feat no other Indian company with a foreign parent has ever done. The nation's No. 1 automaker has outgrown Suzuki Motor in market value.
Maruti's stock surged 65% in the past year, swelling its market capitalisation to $19.73 billion (Rs.1.26 lakh crore) based on Tuesday's closing stock price of Rs.4,158.80 on the Bombay Stock ` Exchange. Japanese parent Suzuki is valued at $19 billion. Maruti has recently also ousted Tata Motors as India's most valuable automotive company . Its stellar operational and financial performance and rosy outlook in a sluggish automobile market have driven Maruti's stock rally.On the other hand, Suzuki had a bumpy ride in recent years with sales weakening in all major markets except Asia. For the Japanese company, the brightest spot is the Indian unit, which has turned into its biggest money-spinner, accounting for a quarter of revenue and a chunk of profit.
Barring Maruti, no other constituent of the CNX MNC ­ an index that captures the stock performance of top MNC subsidiaries ­ has a market cap close to that of the parent. The market value of Hindustan Unilever, for instance, is 22% of its Anglo Dutch parent Unilever, while that of Castrol India is just 3% of BP. For Maruti, too, the parent held an upper hand historically. On average, Suzuki's market cap had been $5.6 billion more than Maruti's since the listing of the Indian unit in 2003.
But the lead that Maruti has now taken over the parent could widen, as analysts and investors remain bullish on the Indian company but not so much on the parent.Analysts have been consistently upgrading their earnings estimate on Maruti on multiple triggers, such as falling discounts that add to margins, higher efficiency as more vehicles roll out of its factories, and volume growth driven by new launches and an improving economy.
Maruti's earnings per share is expected to more than double to Rs 278 in fiscal 2018 from Rs 126 in fiscal 2015.
Suzuki's earnings performance, meanwhile, has been weighed by its weak performance in Japan and markets outside Asia. It reported a 4% decline in operating profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 and its outlook for a 6% increase in the operating profit estimate for fiscal 2016 was below consensus estimate. Analysts don't expect any major improvement in its stock price in the near future. The widening divergence between the performance at Suzuki and Maruti is leading global fund managers to pick the Indian company as a preferred play to participate in the Asian passenger car market rather than the parent.
Suzuki holds a 56% stake in Maruti. On a consolidated basis, as disclosed in Suzuki's fiscal 2014 annual report, 40% of its sales volume comes from India. In a vision 2020 document, the Japanese company said it expected the proportion of cars sold in India to reach 60% in 2020 from 40% now. This implies that the Indian unit will play an important role in achieving the target. Suzuki is gradually realising also that investment through the Indian subsidiary will yield better returns, not only for the Indian market but also for newer geographies such as Africa and Latin America.
India's passenger car market is expected to be among the top three in the next 10-15 years., said VG Ramakrishnan, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Being the market leader in such a big market would provide Suzuki a platform to leapfrog to the top fifth or sixth position in the passenger car market from ninth currently, he added.
Suzuki has taken several strategic steps which indicate the growing prominence of the Indian subsidiary. Its chairman, Osamu Suzuki, visits India every quarter these days compared with the earlier practice of attending only Maruti's annual general meeting. Maruti has been given a free hand to develop business in Africa and Latin America by using the existing dealer network of Suzuki.

Can't roll back Aadhaar scheme

The Narendra Modi government came up with a stout defence of the Aadhaar scheme, launched by the previous UPA regime, and told the Supreme Court that it was not possible to roll it back and there was no illegality about the functioning of Unique Identification Authority of India.

Hyundai launches Creta

Hyundai drove in Creta on Tuesday to fuel more competition in the compact SUV segment. The car will be pitched mainly against Renault's Duster, Mahindra's Scorpio and Ford's Eco Sport.
The Creta sports an entry price of Rs.8.59 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the 1.6 litre petrol variant, though the diesel version -which is expected to see high action as well as competition -starts at Rs.9.46 lakh. There are two engine options in diesel -1.4-litre and 1.6-litre.
The small SUV category was among the fastest-growing segments in the domestic car market just some time back, though it has slowed down recently . Lack of new products and narrowing gap between petrol and diesel prices are among the reasons behind the slowdown.
However, analysts expect that new compact SUVs coming from Maruti Suzuki, Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors and Tata Motors, along with existing models, will boost growth in this segment
Creta is the first low-cost SUV from the Korean manufacturer and has been developed on the platform that gave birth to `ix25' SUV , which is being sold in China.



Market regulator Sebi is working with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a smooth rollout of the proposed e-IPO process. This wil reduce paperwork in public of ferings to nearly zero, halve the timeline for listing a company to just six days and also reduce costs of listing substantially. Several banks are currently working to roll out the ASBA (Applications Supported by Blocked Amount system through all the branches, which is crucial for launching the e-IPO process. Sebi has set January 1, 2016 as the date for launch of this paperless public offering system.
“We are working with RB for further expansion of ASBA 's coverage,“ said a senior Sebi official. “Several bank staff are being trained so that ASBA could be offered through all branches,“ the official added. ASBA is a process for applying in IPOs under which funds equivalent to an investor's IPO application money is blocked till the shares are allotted. In case of partial allocation of shares in the IPO, an amount equal to the allotment is debited from his account and the balance is unblocked.
For e-IPOs to succeed, it is important for seamless and speedy transfer of money from investors to company's IPO account and, in this, the ASBA process plays a very crucial role. According to a recent Sebi analysis of IPO applications, more than 99.5% came from centres where ASBA facility was available and ASBA applications accounted for 99.9% of the total bid amount received from all investors.
“Considering the reach and advantages of ASBA, it shall now be mandatory for all investors to make ASBA applications. Amongst many other significant advantages, ASBA enables investors to give the mandate for payment of application money in the application form itself without suffering loss of interest for the intervening period. It also obviates the hassle of refund of money by the issuer as per the difference in application amount and the amount for which shares are finally allotted,“ a recent Sebi release noted.
In the run-up to the Sebi decisions, brokers had petitioned Sebi to allow them to take money from their customers who wanted to apply through the eIPO process and subsequently the brokers will apply in the public offering on their behalf.However, Sebi found that allowing such a process will be a risky proposition for investors and so the regulator declined the brokers' request, the official said.

Are we alone?

Bullet Train update

The proposed Mumbai- Ahmedabad high-speed corridor is estimated to cost Rs.98,805 crore and the one-way fare will work out to about Rs.2,800, about one-and-a-half times the cost of a first-class ticket of Rajdhani Express on the same route--Rs.1,920.
According to the final feasibility report submitted to railways by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), bullet trains on the 505-km route will achieve a maximum speed of 350 kmph, cutting travel time to 2 hours from more than seven hours it takes now.
The bullet train is a pet project of PM Narendra Modi. If work begins on the project by 2017, the corridor can be completed in 2023 and trains can be run in 2024. The railways will now examine Jica's report and decide on the course of action. A cabinet note seeking approval for the project is likely to be prepared next month, a railway official said.
Jica has suggested that the line be built on the internationally accepted “standard gauge“, though some sections of the railways want it to be “broad gauge,“ on which most of India's main-line trains run.The report states that high-speed trains of 300 kmph and above run on standard gauge world over. The Japan government has offered low-interest funds for the project, an official said. But the offer comes with the rider that 30% of the rolling stock be sourced from Japanese firms. SNCF of France has already carried out a separate feasibility study of the route and submitted the business model to the ministry .

Eros Now

LEDs to replace costly street lamps in Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has placed a massive order for Light Emitting Diode (LEDs) which will replace costly mercury and sodium streetlamps. The use of LEDs will also save electricity.
In the New West Zone alone, 17,215 streetlamps will be replaced with LEDs. In South Zone, nearly 8,528 streetlights will be replaced by LED lamps. East zone will have 6,815 streetlights replaced with LEDs while the Walled City will see 5,681 new LEDs. “The basic objective of the project is to improve the overall energy efficiency of street-lighting and associated systems of AMC,“ said a senior AMC official of the streetlights department. “This would lead to substantial saving in electricity consumption and improve operation and maintenance of street-lighting systems,“ the official added.


Tourist statz

Monsoon Watch

Aviation snapshot

Sensex snapshot

Somewhere in West Bengal....

Somewhere in Odisha....

Pro Kabaddi returns

Jammu-Kashmir constitution 'sovereign': HC

Jammu and Kashmir's constitution is “sovereign in character“ and its assembly exercises “sovereign power to legislate laws'', the state HC said on Friday . A division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey gave the landmark ruling amid fresh challenges to J&K's special status.