Sun, 25th June 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report


Archives of “rajasthan” Tag

Out of 690 new MLAs 192 have criminal cases, 540 are ‘crorepatis’: Report

Of the 690 newly elected MLAs to the five state assemblies as many as 192 have criminal cases against them, while 540 of the total are ‘crorepatis’, says a report.

National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed jointly the self-sworn affidavits of 689 out of 690 newly elected MLAs in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. Details of one candidate have not been analysed.

“Out of the 689 MLAs analysed, 192 (28 per cent) MLAs have declared criminal cases against themselves,” the ADR report said.

Besides, 140 MLAs have declared serious criminal cases including cases such as murder and attempt to murder, up from 100 in 2012.

Uttar Pradesh has 36 per cent MLAs with declared criminal cases, followed by Uttarakhand (31 per cent), Goa (23 per cent), Punjab (14 per cent) and Manipur (3 per cent).

Moreover, there are 27 per cent MLAs with serious declared criminal cases in UP, Uttarakhand (20 per cent), Goa (15 per cent), Punjab (9 per cent) and Manipur (3 per cent), it said.

Maharashtra’s Manchester hit hard, 70% of units shut; 80,000 workers affected

Exactly a month after demonetisation, powerlooms in Ichalkaranji, better known as the Manchester of Maharashtra, are struggling to come to terms with the effects of the currency ban. Over 70% of the units in the town are shut and more than 80,000 workers engaged in the looms and yarning, sizing and processing units are either leaving town or are reluctant to come back after Diwali as there is no cash for payment their wages.

Most of the workers come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. “The last two years have been very difficult for the industry and we have been barely managing to survive despite making losses because of high rates of the raw material. Powerlooms have been running at barely 30% capacity in the last 8-9 months because production lines cannot be shut. The scrapping of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes has brought the industry to a halt.

“Traders have cancelled orders and the units now have nothing to work on,” Satish Koshti, president, Ichalkaranji Powerloom Weavers Cooperative Association said. From a daily turnover of Rs 45-50 crore, business has sharply dropped down to barely Rs 10-15 crore, he said.

Demonetisation has affected the entire cycle of production and supply. Ichalkaranji has over 1.25 lakh powerlooms some 25,000 semi-auto looms and 7,000 shuttleless looms providing employment to over 80,000 people. Ichalkaranji produces some 1.5 crore meters per day generating revenues of Rs 45-50 crore crore per day.

Ichalkaranji has some 25,000 small units in this sector. Around 15% of this is direct exports while another 40% is exported indirectly. Located around 200 km from Pune, Ichalkaranji has been a major textile hub in the country and sends ready cloth to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal and Karnataka. According to Koshti, the season usually begins after Diwali and continues till June every year and this time after a two bad seasons, the industry was looking forward to a good season because of good monsoons.

“Initially for a fortnight, traders were forcing the industry to accept the demonetised notes.

India : With GDP of $370 billion, Delhi-NCR muscles out Mumbai as economic capital of India

The latest Oxford Economics data has crowned the Delhi Extended Urban Agglomeration (EUA)—comprising Delhi, Guragaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad—as India’s economic capital, with a GDP of $370 billion. Delhi EUA dislodges Mumbai EUA by a narrow margin—the former economic capital’s GDP fell short of Delhi’s by $2 billion—though Mumbai, on account of its smaller population, posts better per capita income. While there may be a host of reasons why Delhi is now the nation’s hub of economic activity, given the vast leaps the national capital region has taken in terms of improving physical infrastructure, this was also probably exepected. Factors like the extensive and efficient Metro rail network—though Mumbai has its time-tested suburban train network, and is moving on creating a monorail and metro network—proximity to policy-making, the coming up of top-notch education and research institutions over the past few decades, etc, have definitely helped Delhi gain the edge.

The other factor is also that the high-cost of undertaking economic activity in Mumbai—high land/realty costs and correspondingly higher cost of skilled labour—have made other cities, including Delhi, more attractive for business. The Delhi EUA’s rise is also, in no small measure, predicated on the efforts of neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, respectively, to project Gurgaon and Noida as hubs for services and manufacturing. Significantly, Delhi EUA’s ascent has imposed significant costs—pollution has reached unprecedented levels while the physical infrastructure could soon prove inadequate. This has underscored the need for better urban planning. Against the backdrop of the Union government pushing states to better their ‘ease of doing business’, there also needs to be a focus on improving infrastructural capacity.

33 deaths since government scrapped Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes

In the past week since the central government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in a bid to weed out black money, 33 deaths have been reported across the country that can be directly or indirectly linked to the sudden demonetisation move. While a few deaths have been out of shock, as alleged by the families of the deceased, some deaths are claimed to be owing to exhaustion after standing for long hours in serpentine queues. There have also been reports of suicide and even a murder over demonetisation in West Bengal.

On Wednesday, too, chaotic scenes and long queues were seen outside banks and ATMs across the country as people rushed to withdraw or exchange notes to pay their every day bills.

Here is a list of the reported deaths since the demonetisation was announced:

1. Four days before his daughter’s wedding, Sukhdev Singh died of a heart attack in Tarn Taran, Punjab, as he was unable to buy groceries and other items due to shortage of new currency notes.

2. A 17-year-old BSF Jawan’s son committed suicide in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, after his mother refused to give him smaller value notes.

3. A two-year-old died in Sambhalpur, Odisha, after an autorickshaw driver refused to take the family to hospital as they did not have lower denomination notes to pay the fare.

4. Lakshminarayana, 75, collapsed and was declared dead while waiting in a queue for over two hours outside a bank in Secunderabad, Telangana.

5. Surendra Sharma, a senior citizen from Aurangabad, Bihar, died while waiting in a bank queue.

ALERT- What Piyush Goyal calls a ‘zero’ financial impact is a Rs 8,000 cr annual hit to banks

Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal told Mint newspaper that the financial impact of the UDAY bonds on the Centre is ‘zero’. But the fact is that several state-owned banks are taking a big haircut immediately. The loss in net interest income, if one assumes Rs three lakh crore of loans will be converted, could be close to Rs 8,000 crore, annually—the average lending rate is 12% while the coupon on the bonds is 8.5%– and that’s a conservative estimate. Assuming the tenure of the loans is even ten years, that’s a hit of nearly Rs 80,000 crore. Given the government owns a majority stake in these lenders and is hard pressed to even infuse Rs 25,000 crore of capital, can this be called a zero impact?

The minister is overstating the case by passing off a mere re-arrangement of finances—and that too at unfavourable terms to one party—as reform. All that has happened is that the banks have been presented with a fait accomli to accept a conversion of their loans into bonds. The alternative would have been lose the money altogether. The unfortunate truth is that when lenders are owed large sums–the total outstandings of discoms is over Rs four lakh crore—and their owners are not willing to bat for them they have little choice but to accept the terms of the borrower or live with a default. That they have no say in the coupon rate—only 8.4% for the Rajasthan bonds irrespective of the tenor—is in itself shocking.
It is true that since the bonds will be issued by state governments they carry a lower risk and to that extent some capital will be freed up. But the bonds yield less than those of sovereign bonds when in fact it should be the reverse because these bonds will not qualify for SLR status. Without an SLR tag money market players like mutual funds or insurance companies will not touch them. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have allowed banks to hold these to maturity shielding them from mark to market losses. But would be little consolation to banks who want these off their books as soon as possible especially since there is a moratorium on principle payments.

India : Two-thirds of power discoms’ debt to stay

With several states that are set to take over the bulk of the short-term liabilities of their power discoms under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna (UDAY) contemplating to treat part of these as loans — rather than grants — to them, the discoms’ savings on this account could be significantly lower than estimated by the power ministry, analysts said.

Assuming that half of the discoms’ debt would show on the states’ books as assets, being loans advanced to the discoms carrying interest of 8-9%, the discoms’ savings on this front would be between R13,000-15,000 crore, instead of R27,000 crore, as put out by the ministry. So, the overall UDAY benefits — which includes, apart from the debt relief, the gains from government-assisted cuts in transmission and distribution losses, fuel supply reforms and demand-side management — for the discoms over the next two years could be R1.67 lakh crore, as against R1.8 lakh crore envisaged by the ministry.


And many states, given their fiscal constraints, have already shown their preference to treat parts of the discom debt as fresh loans to these entities.

“We would treat part of discoms’ debt that we are bound to take over as loans and the discoms will have to pay interest on the same. The rate could be 4% lower than the average interest cost of 12.5% currently incurred by these companies,” C S Rajan, chief secretary of Rajasthan, told FE. He added that the state has not yet decided the exact loan component as it still has over two months to officially sign up for the scheme. Rajasthan’s discoms are estimated to have a combined outstanding debt of over R80,000 crore as on September 30, 2015.

India -83% rainfall in July; situation grim in central, southern India: IMD

The country has received only 83 per cent of rainfall in July with the situation in parts of central and southern India remaining particularly grim, even as the weatherman predicted an improvement in the situation in coming days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

“Until now, July has witnessed minus 17 per cent of rainfall,” IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said.

He, however, said that there was no need to panic as far as overall agriculture is concerned. The total rainfall between June 1 and July 27 is just four per cent below normal, which has fallen steadily in the last few days due to good showers over some parts of central India.

Ghantewala: Why did Delhi’s ‘oldest sweet shop’ shut down?


When the Ghantewala sweet shop was set up in 1790, George Washington was the US president, Mozart was performing in Vienna, France was in the grip of French Revolution, Britain was ruled by King George III and Shah Alam II was the Mughal emperor who ruled Delhi.

It was at the time of such momentous world events that Lala Sukh Lal Jain, a small-time sweet maker from Nagaur in the western state of Rajasthan, arrived in Delhi to earn a living.

“He knew how to make sweets and always used the finest of ingredients,” says Sohail Hashmi, a writer and documentary filmmaker who conducts heritage walks in the city.


Govt sends Rs 23000 cr demand to telcos for excess spectrum

The government has issued demand notices totalling over Rs 23,000 crore totelecom companies including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL, for the excess spectrum they hold beyond the prescribed limit.

“The notices have been issued to the operators today,” an official source said.

The government is likely to get Rs 4,251.83 crore from retrospective charges, and Rs 18,925.82 from prospective charges for excess radiowaves held by mobile operators. 

In all, around Rs 23,177 crore is expected from levy of one-time spectrum fee, sources added. Read More