Moneylife Events
Sand Mining: Need estimates and mapping of demand and supply
The film ‘Line in the Sand’, on the rampant scam of illegal sand mining across the country was screened for the first time in Mumbai on Saturday. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has produced the 20-minute documentary. The screening was attended by its Indian Director Savitri Chaudhury and three Activists, which it featured, Sumaira Abdulali, Aakash Chauhan and Brijmohan Yadav. The film tells their stories while taking on the sands mafia including attacks, which all three of them faced.
 
The screening was followed by a panel discussion. The panelists included Dr Praveen Gedam, who, as District Collector at Solapur developed the sand mining approval and tracking system (SMAT) that has been adopted across India as the National Sustainable Sand Mining Guidelines.  Other panelists included Yashwant Sontakke from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Joy Thakur from Environment Department, activists Aakash Chauhan, Brijmohan Yadav and Nandakumar Pawar, an activist from Bhandup in Mumbai. Sumaira Abdulali, convener of Awaaz Foundation moderated the discussion. 
 
All panellist and participants agreed that the government must take steps to stop illegal sand mining that is endangering environment and livelihood of lakhs of people.
 
Mining of sand is considered a necessity under current situation where there are few alternatives available. However, little effort is made to find and implement such alternatives and the State has left it up to individual builders to use such technology if suitable. No efforts to map available sand stocks and match them with requirements for building requirements of the Development Plan –DP are made and the draft Regional Plan currently under circulation does not map the source of sand to supply the quantities needed to execute the DP. 
 
 
Solapur has always been notorious for the illegal sand mining and mafia gangs that operate without fear due to support from politicians. Describing his action against illegal sand mining, Dr Gedam, who is the Transport Commissioner at present, says, "The District Administration received good support from Police. We levied heavy fine on illegal sand mining, and also filed cases against those involved in this. We impounded the sand, vehicles and other equipment used in illegal sand mining.  These efforts from district administration also saw about 425 first information reports (FIRs) filed against the illegal cartels of sand mafias in FY2013-14 alone. In addition, the District Administration also intimated the Income Tax and Sales Tax department about these people involved in illegal sand mining. In short, we pounded from all sides and this helped us to curb illegal sand mining and boost revenues from sand mining to Rs78 crore in FY2013-14 from Rs22 crore a year ago."
 
Nandkumar Pawar, who works for protection of mangroves , wetlands and welfare of coastal community across Mumbai Metropolitan Region, feels people from his fishermen community are involved in illegal sand mining out of compulsion to survive. "With increased pollution, encroachment and killing of mangroves and wetlands, our community is unable to continue fishing for its livelihood. In the absence of any other alternative, they are now working in the illegal sand mining at lower rung," he says. They need rehabilitation into alternate legal activities.
 
 
Mr Sontakke from MPCB felt that complete ban on sand mining is not possible, but we need to think about alternatives to raw materials used in construction industry.
 
According to Mr Thakur, the builder is required to apply for permission stating his requirement for raw materials. "The Environment Department has allowed manual mining with use of suction pumps in exceptional cases. However, many a times, suction pumps are used for sand mining. In these matters, the District Collector as authority is vested with powers to take action," he said.
 
Ms Chaudhry talked about some of the dangers, loneliness and isolation faced by the activists such as Brijmohan Yadav and Akash Chauhan in remote areas. 
 
The audience, comprising students and senior academics, activists and concerned citizens signed a memorandum to the Prime Minister ‘technology is now available to create alternatives to sand, the government must take a lead by mandating the use of aggregates for its own projects, or explain where the sand is coming from.”
 
The event was organized by Awaaz Foundation along with Moneylife Foundation and Global Enviro Solutions.
 

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Nifty, Sensex Still Under Pressure - Weekly closing report
We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex may remain under pressure. The market closed in the red every day of the week, except for Tuesday, when the benchmarks ended with marginal gains. On Friday, the markets remained closed for Good Friday. Overall, for the whole week, the major indices closed with losses. The trends of the major indices in the course of the week’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Indian Equity markets closed in the red on Monday for the third consecutive session due to lack of any major triggers and apprehensions about the March quarter results. The S & P BSE Sensex ended 131 points lower, at 29575.74, with Infosys (-2.88%), Reliance Industries (-1.74%) and HDFC being the major contributors to the fall. The broader Nifty 50 Index closed below the 9200 levels, at 9,181.45. 
 
Tata Motors rose 1.51% after the company said group global sales, including Jaguar Land Rover, rose 9%, at 1.29 lakh units, in March 2017 over March 2016. The global sales of all commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range fell 6%, at 42,596 units, in March 2017 over March 2016. This was compenasated by 19% rise in global sales of all passenger vehicles. Breaking the three-day falling streak, markets closed in green on Tuesday, with S & P BSE Sensex rising by 213 points and Nifty ending above the 9,200 mark.  ITC was the leading contributor to the gains of both Sensex and Nifty, rising by over 3%, followed by Infosys, ICICI bank and Power Grid Corporation of India. 
 
Riddled with crippling debt and a tough operating environment, telecom companies have been laying off employees over the last six months. While bigger players like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India are managing to cut losses through consolidation, it is the smaller companies that are suffering the most. According to a CNBC-TV18 report, nearly 3,400 job losses have been reported in the last six months by telcos to cut down on costs and support falling margins.The head-finance of Asian Granito, Himanshu Shah, in an interview said that the promoters of the company have a acquired 5% stake in the open market in the fourth quarter.
 
The Indian equity benchmarks reversed gains of the previous day on Wednesday, despite positive global cues, as investors preferred to book profits ahead of Infosys earnings on Thursday and factory and retail inflation data to be released later today. S&P BSE Sensex fell 144.87 points, or 0.49%, to settle at 29,643.48. The Nifty 50 index shed 33.55 points, or 0.36%, to settle at 9,203.45.
 
IT major Infosys edged higher ahead of its Q4 March 2017 results on the next day, 13 April 2017. Vedanta and Cairn India advanced after Vedanta and Cairn India announced that the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta, pursuant to the scheme of arrangement, has become effective.
 
Tata Power Company was flat in volatile trade after the company announced that the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, conveyed its judgment on the Compensatory Tariff mailer on the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP). The announcement was made after market hours, 11 April 2017.The order, verbally conveyed, set aside the previous favourable order of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), which had allowed compensatory tariff on account of ‘Forced Majeure’ conditions in Indonesia. It did not mention the use of Regulatory Powers of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in adjudicating compensatory tariff as per previous order. The final order got uploaded in the evening and the company is studying it. The company will continue to pursue all alternative options at Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL), including sourcing of competitive coal from other relevant geographies.
 
The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 3.65% in February 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 3.17% in January 2017. The Indian Equity benchmarks ended in the red on Thursday, for the second consecutive day, ending at their two-week closing lows. Sensex fell by 182.03 points, closing at 29,461.45, and Nifty slipped 52.65 points to 9,150.80, dragged by technology, metals, infrastructure and auto stocks. However, buying in Reliance Industries and banking & financials controlled the fall. 
 
IT major Infosys fell 3.86% after the company reported weak Q4 March 2017 results before market hours today. Infosys's consolidated net profit fell 2.8%, to Rs3603 crore, on 0.9% decline in revenues, to Rs17120 crore, in Q4 March 2017, over Q3 December 2016. Consolidated operating profit fell 2.8%, to Rs4,212 crore, in Q4 March 2017, over Q3 December 2016. Infosys said that its consolidated revenue is expected to grow 6.5%-8.5% in constant currency terms in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2018, under IFRS. CEO Dr. Vishal Sikka said that unanticipated execution challenges and distractions in a seasonally soft quarter affected the company's overall performance. 
 
The BSE market breadth was bearish, with 1,793 declines, 1,115 advances and 128 unchanged. On NSE, there were 1,090 declines, 590 advances and 61 unchanged.

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Latur girl wins Rs 1 cr prize for digital transaction
Nagpur (Maharashtra), A 20-year-old electrical engineering student from Maharashtra's Latur town, Shradha Mengshete has bagged the Rs 1 crore Mega Draw for Lucky Grahak Yojana. She had made a transaction of Rs 1,590 through her RuPay card to pay an EMI for her new mobile phone.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday felicitated winners of a mega-draw of two national incentive schemes for digital transactions -- Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana.
 
Under the schemes, which have now ended, 1.60 million persons won varying prizes of a total of Rs 258 crore across India.
 
The second prize of Rs 50 lakh under the Lucky Grahak Yojana went to a 29-year-old primary school teacher, Hardik Kumar from Cambay, Gujarat, who used his RuPay card for a Rs 1,100 transaction.
 
The third prize of Rs 25 lakh was won by Bharat Singh of Sherpur village in Uttarakhand who made a transaction of only Rs 100 on his RuPay card.
 
Under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for merchants, Anand Ananthapadmanabhan of GRT Jewellers in Tambaran, Chennai, won the Rs 50 lakh top prize for accepting a Rs 300 digital payment. He immediately announced it as a donation to the Clean Ganga Campaign.
 
The second prize of Rs 25 lakh in this category was bagged by Ragini Rajendra Uttekar, who owns a small beauty parlour in Thane, Maharashtra, who had accepted a card payment of Rs 510.
 
The third prize of Rs 12 lakh went to 33-year-old Shaik Rafi, who runs a wholesale clothing store in Ameerpet, Telangana, for accepting a Rs 2,000 payment on his PoS machine.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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