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Rahul Gandhi to be PM, corporate government geras for realty promoter raj!

 
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Rahul Gandhi to be PM if UPA wins a third term.After FDI win the corporate government geras for realty promoter raj even before the constitution of national investment board.India has set a share sale in state miner NMDC Ltd (NMDC.NS) for Wednesday, the company said, in a deal which sources said could add up to $1.1 billion to government efforts to ease its yawning budget deficit.On the other hand,The sale, part of the government's divestment programme to raise $5.5 billion by next March, will be the biggest by a state-run company since a $2.5 billion selldown in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) in March.

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time, Chapter: Nine Hundred Thirty Eight

Palash Biswas

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Rahul Gandhi to be PM if UPA wins a third term,now it is official.After FDI win the corporate government geras for realty promoter raj even before the constitution of national investment board.India has set a share sale in state miner NMDC Ltd (NMDC.NS) for Wednesday, the company said, in a deal which sources said could add up to $1.1 billion to government efforts to ease its yawning budget deficit.On the other hand,The sale, part of the government's divestment programme to raise $5.5 billion by next March, will be the biggest by a state-run company since a $2.5 billion selldown in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) in March.

he Finance Ministry has taken note of “gross under-statement” in returns filed by salaried persons, professionals, firms, families, companies, transporters and retainers with a taxable income of over Rs 10 lakh.

A statement by the Revenue Secretary, issued here on Monday, urged all assessees to disclose their true income ahead of December 15.

The statement said there was no advantage in suppressing the true income or avoiding paying income tax. “Sooner than later, the information available with the Income-Tax Department will lead the Department to the doors of such persons,” it added.

It said for assessees who have not yet paid the correct advance tax, there is an opportunity to rectify the mistake and pay the advance tax by December 15, 2012.

Signalling that it may be preparing for an early election, the ruling Congress on Monday announced that Rahul Gandhi will lead the party’s campaign for the next Lok Sabha polls.

The announcement indicates that Rahul Gandhi would be the Congress candidate for prime minister if the ruling coalition wins a third consecutive term in office.

The move serves up a challenge to the principal opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been riven by internal differences and had declined to name a prime ministerial candidate for the general election due in 2014.

“Rahul will take up important party responsibility soon,” Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko said, adding that Gandhi, who is a party general secretary, “will also lead Congress campaign in 2014 elections”.

The announcement came after two key regional parties, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), both of which provide key outside support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, released the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha election.
The Congress, too, indicated that it will finalize some of its candidates by June next year.

Rahul Gandhi, son of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is seen as a future prime ministerial candidate and could be the star campaigner for the party in the next election, said a Congress parliamentarian, adding that the party hopes that the 42-year-old would be able to attract both the young and women voters. The person didn’t want to be named.

Asked whether Gandhi will be projected as the prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections, the Congress spokesperson said the issue will come up after the elections and it was for party members of Parliament (MPs) to decide.

So far, Sonia Gandhi has been the party’s star campaigner, although in the 2009 general election it was Rahul Gandhi who won much of the credit for returning the UPA to office for a second consecutive term.

The Congress president had earlier appointed Rahul Gandhi as head of the Lok Sabha poll panel that will devise strategies for the party’s election campaign and work “cohesively” with the government for a “renewed mandate”.

Political observers said the Congress was clearly in an election mode.

“Congress is preparing for the election while other parties are far behind it... It seems it wants to make use of the disunity in the opposition,” said Balveer Arora, a former head of the political science department at Jawaharlal Nehru University. “With the opposition in disarray, the Congress is trying to catch them badly prepared,” he said.

Addressing an election rally in Gujarat, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said: “Congress is clear on the suitability and capability of party general secretary Rahul Gandhi for the post of prime minister. Senior and young party leaders have been projecting him for this post.”

“However, the BJP is undecided about its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections. BJP keeps on talking about L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi for the post,” he added.

The UPA recently announced its intent to roll out a regime of direct cash transfers of subsidies and welfare spending. It is hoping that the “feel good” factor associated with the move would sway voters, like when it had announced a Rs.60,00 crore loan waiver for farmers ahead of the 2009 election.

N. Bhaskar Rao, a political analyst who has been observing the Congress for more than four decades, said: “Congress is getting ready, better than ever before, early enough so that it can face any eventuality. It is also waiting for an emotional opportunity to go to voters.”

Pointing out that the announcement on cash transfer was a part of the preparation for general elections, a senior Congress leader said many party MPs were preparing for early polls.

“Many of us think the budget session will be the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha. A minority government cannot go on more than that,” said the leader on condition of anonymity.

The recent vote for allowing easier foreign direct investment in domestic retail showed that the government, which eventually won the vote, got fewer votes than the 272 required for a majority in the Lok Sabha. Abstentions and the support of the BSP helped it win the vote.

Arora also said the UPA government could use the next Union budget to get its act together. “With a people-friendly budget and substantial performance, the party will be more confident,” he said.

The 12 AIFs that have been registered with Sebi since October 10 included India Realty Fund, Dar Mentorcap Film Fund, Capaleph Indian Millennium Small & Medium Enterprises Fund and Capaleph Indian Millennium Private Equity Fund.

Sebi had already allowed nine AIFs to set up shops in the country.

As on August 31, 2012, a total of 20 applications were pending with Sebi for registration as AIFs.

The regulator had notified in May this year the guidelines for a new class of market intermediaries named AIFs, which are basically funds established or incorporated in India for the purpose of pooling in of capital from Indian and foreign investors for investing as per a pre-decided policy.

Sebi in August decided that the promoters of listed companies can offload 10 per cent of equity to AIFs such as such as SME Funds, Infrastructure Funds, PE funds and Venture Capital Funds registered with the market regulator to attain minimum 25 per cent public holding.

Under Sebi guidelines, AIFs can operate broadly in three categories. The Sebi rules apply to all AIFs, including those operating as private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds, among others.

The Category-I AIFs are those funds that get incentives from the government, Sebi or other regulators and include Social Venture Funds, Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds and SME Funds.

The Category-III AIFs are those trading with a view to make short-term returns and include hedge funds, among others.

The Category-II AIFs can invest anywhere in any combination but are prohibited from raising debt, except for meeting their day-to-day operational requirements. These AIFs include PE funds, debt funds or fund of funds, as also all others falling outside the ambit of two other categories.

Among other registered AIFs in the last two months are – Edelweiss Stressed & Troubled Assets Revival Fund Trust, IIFL Private Equity Fund, IIFL Opportunities Fund, IIFL Venture Fund, Quant First Alternate Investment Trust, Fulcrum Venture India Trust, Kedaara Capital and Arcus Opportunities Fund.

The government may on Tuesday announce a floor price for the NMDC issue in a range of 145 rupees to 150 rupees a share, said two sources with direct knowledge who asked not to be named as details are not yet public.

The government, which owns 90 percent of NMDC, will sell a 10 percent stake, NMDC said in a notice to the stock exchanges. At the top end, the sale will garner about $1.1 billion.

NMDC shares closed 2.3 percent lower at 154.75 rupees, ahead of the decision. The stake sale would be carried out via an auction to institutional investors, and will open on Wednesday morning and close later in the day.

New Delhi has so far raised $148 million from the sale of stakes in state companies in a process hit by volatile markets and wrangling among government officials.

The government is likely to step up its divestment programme in the months ahead amid concerns about its ballooning fiscal deficit, which is seen at 5.6 percent of gross domestic product in this fiscal year, above an official target of 5.3 percent.

The scale of the deficit will make it tougher for New Delhi to avoid a credit rating downgrade.

Other state companies in which the government expects to reduce its stake in the coming months include explorer Oil India (OILI.NS), power producer NTPC Ltd (NTPC.NS) and National Aluminium Co (NALU.NS).

Citigroup (C.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Indian investment banks ICICI Securities and Enam Securities are the bankers for the NMDC share offering.

India has set a share sale in state miner NMDC Ltd (NMDC.NS) for Wednesday, the company said, in a deal which sources said could add up to $1.1 billion to government efforts to ease its yawning budget deficit.

The sale, part of the government's divestment programme to raise $5.5 billion by next March, will be the biggest by a state-run company since a $2.5 billion selldown in Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) in March.

The government may on Tuesday announce a floor price for the NMDC issue in a range of 145 rupees to 150 rupees a share, said two sources with direct knowledge who asked not to be named as details are not yet public.

The government, which owns 90 percent of NMDC, will sell a 10 percent stake, NMDC said in a notice to the stock exchanges. At the top end, the sale will garner about $1.1 billion.

NMDC shares closed 2.3 percent lower at 154.75 rupees, ahead of the decision. The stake sale would be carried out via an auction to institutional investors, and will open on Wednesday morning and close later in the day.

New Delhi has so far raised $148 million from the sale of stakes in state companies in a process hit by volatile markets and wrangling among government officials.

The government is likely to step up its divestment programme in the months ahead amid concerns about its ballooning fiscal deficit, which is seen at 5.6 percent of gross domestic product in this fiscal year, above an official target of 5.3 percent.

The scale of the deficit will make it tougher for New Delhi to avoid a credit rating downgrade.

Other state companies in which the government expects to reduce its stake in the coming months include explorer Oil India (OILI.NS), power producer NTPC Ltd (NTPC.NS) and National Aluminium Co (NALU.NS).

Citigroup (C.N), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Indian investment banks ICICI Securities and Enam Securities are the bankers for the NMDC share offering.

Uproar over Walmart lobbying report forces adjournment in RS, Oppn demands PM's reply

The issue of FDI in retail came to haunt the government again in Parliament with a united Opposition demanding an inquiry and reply from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on reports of Walmart spending huge money to lobby for entry into the Indian market.

Bharti Walmart on Monday denied allegations that it spent money in India to gain market access in Delhi. "These allegations are entirely false.

Forcing two adjournments in the Rajya Sabha before lunch, members from BJP, CPI-M, CPI, SP, JD-U, Trinamool Congress, AGP and AIADMK said the measure should be withdrawn as "corruption" has come to fore now because lobbying is illegal in India.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Ravishankar Prasad (BJP) said apprehensions were raised earlier also about Walmart spending huge money to lobby for entering the Indian market, which has now been proved true.

"Walmart has in its lobbying disclosure report to the US Senate said it has spent Rs 125 crore on lobbying and USD 3 million have been spent in 2012 itself for entering the Indian market.

"Lobbying is illegal in India. Lobbying is a kind of bribe. If Walmart has said that hundreds of crores of rupees were spent in India, then it is a kind of bribe. The Government should tell who was given this bribe. This raises a question mark on the implementation of FDI in retail," Prasad said.

He was supported by members from other opposition parties with TMC leader D Bandopadhyay waving a newspaper report and CPI-M member P Rajeeve asking for an "independent inquiry" into the whole episode alleging that there are some reports saying Walmart invested money even before FEMA was amended.

"This is bribery," he said as the Opposition members shouted slogans in favour of withdrawing FDI.

Amid din, SP members trooped into the Well shouting slogans against the government's move to bring reservation in promotion for SCs/STs. The government has listed the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012 for this purpose in the House today.

Earlier, Opposition members rejected the response of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla on the FDI issue that he will bring the matter to the notice of the minister concerned. They insisted on a reply by the Prime Minister.

T Siva (DMK) was also on his feet.

Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy was heard saying "what more they (the Opposition) want, when he (Shukla) has said that he will bring it to the notice of the minister concerned".

The issue, much to the discomfiture of the government, saw the Opposition uniting again against FDI, even as motions brought by it got defeated in both Houses last week with government securing numbers with the help of BSP and SP.

While BSP members today kept seated, those from SP were on their feet joining the issue with BJP and Left.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) urged the Chair to ask the government to consider the matter very important and come up with an answer.

D Raja (CPI) said a letter has already been written to the Prime Minister in this regard.

Ravishankar Prasad (BJP) also reminded that Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley had talked in detail about it but "then the government said that there was no such thing".

Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) said Prime Minister should reply.

The House was first adjourned for ten minutes. But similar scenes were witnessed when it reassembled. Adding to the pandemonium, SP members trooped into the Well on promotion in reservation issue forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till 2 pm.

Allowing insurers to invest up to 30% in a co is imprudent: IRDA
New Delhi, Dec. 10:

Raising the investment limit of insurers to 30 per cent of the paid-up capital of a company would be an “imprudent” move, cautioned insurance regulator IRDA.

Pegging the investment limit at 30 per cent would lead to insurance companies behaving like venture capital undertakings, which would not be warranted, according to IRDA Chairman, J. Harinarayan.

“The question is whether insurance investment must be as aggressive as venture capital companies.

“I think not. Insurance companies must be conservative in their approach”, Harinarayan said on the sidelines of a FICCI Health Insurance conference in the Capital.

The Government has circulated a draft that seeks to increase investment limit of Life Insurance Corporation from the current 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the paid-up capital of the investee company.

“The level suggested in the draft is very high. These are the levels at which venture capital companies invest as per SEBI norms”, he said, adding that raising investment limit to 30 per cent would also raise issues on SEBI takeover code.

Acquiring a 25 per cent stake in a company would trigger open offer obligations for the insurance companies, resulting in their taking controlling interest.

Insurance companies should not be in the business of running companies, he indicated.

Harinarayan also said that even at the current level of 10 per cent, there was enough room for insurance companies to invest.

Asked if IRDA will allow private insurers to invest higher than the 10 per cent level if the LIC’s investment limit were to be raised to 30 per cent, he replied in the negative. “No certainly not, I think it is very very imprudent”.

Demands tax breaks for pension products

The suggested that a separate bucket be introduced in the income-tax law to provide for tax breaks on investments in insurance policies.

This would encourage citizens to buy more insurance products, IRDA Chairman Harinarayan said when asked about his Budget wish-list.

He also said that the current provision in income-tax law that exempts the sum received under a life insurance policy should be extended for long-term insurance policies as well.

On pension products, Harinarayan suggested that pension products approved by IRDA should be given the same tax breaks as currently available under the new pension system (NPS).
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/banking/allowing-insurers-to-invest-up-to-30-in-a-co-is-imprudent-irda/article4185161.ece

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