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G20 Thinktanks: 2012 Global Go To Think Tank Index

In Business, Finance, India, Politics, USA, World on பிப்ரவரி 6, 2013 at 11:13 பிப

2012 Global Go To Think Tank Report– Click for Download

Member GDP (PPP) Population Think Tanks
Argentina $596 billion 41.769,726 137
Australia $882.4 billion 21.766.711 30
Brazil $2.172 trillion 203,766,711 82
Canada $1.33 trillion 34,030,589 96
China $10.09 trillion 1,336,718,015 429
European Union $14.82 trillion 492,387,344 1457
France $2.145 trillion 65,312,249 177
Germany $2.94 trillion 81,471,834 194
India $4.06 trillion 1,189,172,906 269
Indonesia $1.03 trillion 245,613,043 21
Italy $1.774 trillion 61,016,804 107
Japan $4.31 trillion 126,475,664 108
Mexico $1.567 trillion 113,724,226 60
Republic of Korea $1.459 trillion 48,754,657 35
Russia $2.223 trillion 138,739,892 122
Saudi Arabia $622 billion 26,131,703 4
South Africa $524 billion 40,004,031 86
Turkey $960.5 billion 78,785,548 27
United Kingdom $2.173 trillion 62,698,362 288
United States $14.66 trillion 313,232,044 1823

India

51.   Centre for  Civil Society (CCS)  (India)

54.   Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) (India)

81.   The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (India)

105. Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) (India)

119. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) (India)
110. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (India)

115. Observer Research Foundation  (India)

141. Development Alternatives (India)

  • Centre for Policy Research  (India)
  • Delhi Policy Group  (India)
  • Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) (India)
  • Center for Study of Science Technology and Policy  (India)
  • National Council of Applied Economic Research  (India)
  • Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (India)
  • Institute of Economic Growth (India)
  • United Service Institution of India (India)
  •  Liberty Institute (India)

 

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Most Read Books: Facebook 2012 Trends

In Books on திசெம்பர் 17, 2012 at 2:48 முப

Thanks: Facebook Stories – People using Facebook in extraordinary ways

  1. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) – Suzanne Collins
  2. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) – Suzanne Collins
  3. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) – Suzanne Collins
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) -E.L. James
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) – J.K. Rowling
  6. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  7. Twilight (Twilight, #1) – Stephenie Meyer
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  9. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  10. Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

The 10 Best Books of 2012: NYT Picks

In Books, USA on திசெம்பர் 7, 2012 at 8:58 பிப

Thanks: NY Times

FICTION

BRING UP THE BODIES
By Hilary Mantel.
A John Macrae Book/ Henry Holt & Company, $28.

BUILDING STORIES
By Chris Ware.
Pantheon Books, $50.

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING
By Dave Eggers.
McSweeney’s Books, $25.

NW
By Zadie Smith.
The Penguin Press, $26.95.

THE YELLOW BIRDS
By Kevin Powers.
Little, Brown & Company, $24.99.

NONFICTION

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS
Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.
By Katherine Boo.
Random House, $27.

FAR FROM THE TREE
Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.
By Andrew Solomon.
Scribner, $37.50.

THE PASSAGE OF POWER
The Years of Lyndon Johnson.
By Robert A. Caro.
Alfred A. Knopf, $35.

THE PATRIARCH
The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy.
By David Nasaw.
The Penguin Press, $40.

WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST?
An Existential Detective Story.
By Jim Holt.
Liveright Publishing/W. W. Norton & Company, $27.95.

Top Searches from Yahoo! News: 2012 – Year in Review

In Internet, Life on திசெம்பர் 3, 2012 at 5:50 பிப

Thanks: 2012 Year in Review — Yahoo! News

#1 Elections

#2 iPhone 5

#3 Kim Kardashian

#4 Kate Upton

#5 Kate Middleton

#6 Whitney Houston

#7 Olympics

#8 Political Polls

#9 Lindsay Lohan

#10 Jennifer Lopez

Top 10 influential Indian tweeters: Politics, Cinema, MSM Media Stars

In Blogs, India, Internet, Movies, Politics on செப்ரெம்பர் 24, 2012 at 9:15 பிப

According to the Burson-Marsteller study, the ten most influential Twitter accounts in India are (alphabetically):

  1. Kiran Bedi – @thekiranbedi
  2. Anand Mahindra – @anandmahindra
  3. Narendra Modi – @narendramodi
  4. Derek O’Brien – @quizderek
  5. Vir Sanghvi – @virsanghvi
  6. Jonathan Shainin – @jonathanshainin
  7. Digvijaya Singh – @digvijaya_28
  8. Dr. Subramanian Swamy – @Swamy39
  9. Sushma Swaraj – @SushmaSwarajBJP
  10. Shashi Tharoor – @ShashiTharoor

According to the Pinstorm India Influencers list, the most influential Indians are celebrities.

  1. Priyanka Chopra with an aggregated score of 85
  2. Sashi Tharoor
  3. Amitabh Bachchan
  4. Ram Gopal Varma
  5. Hrithik Roshan
  6. Akshay Kumar
  7. Madhuri Dixit
  8. Kiran Bedi
  9. Shahrukh Khan
  10. Actor Siddarth

Indian firm Pinstorm runs a similar ranking system called the ‘India influencers list’ which averages a users Klout score and Peer Index score. Peer Index, is like Klout, a social media analytical tool that measures influence.

Paralympic Medal Standings | London 2012

In Sports, World on செப்ரெம்பர் 12, 2012 at 2:00 பிப

Rank by Gold Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 95 71 65 231
2 36 38 28 102
3 34 43 43 120
4 32 24 28 84
5 32 23 30 85
6 31 29 38 98
7 21 14 8 43
8 18 26 22 66
9 14 13 9 36
10 10 10 19 39
11 10 7 7 24
12 9 9 9 27
13 9 8 11 28
14 9 5 5 19
15 9 5 3 17
16 8 19 18 45
17 8 18 16 42
18 8 12 9 29
19 8 3 5 16
20 7 15 9 31
21 6 7 4 17
22 6 5 2 13
23 6 4 11 21
24 5 5 6 16
25 5 2 3 10
26 4 6 9 19
27 4 5 3 12
28 4 4 7 15
29 4 4 4 12
30 4 3 6 13
31 4 2 2 8
32 4 1 1 6
33 3 6 4 13
34 3 3 6 12
35 3 2 3 8
36 3 1 3 7
37 3 0 3 6
38 2 6 6 14
39 2 3 0 5
40 2 2 2 6
41 2 1 3 6
42 1 6 4 11
43 1 5 4 10
44 1 3 8 12
45 1 2 5 8
46 1 1 1 3
47 1 1 0 2
47 1 1 0 2
47 1 1 0 2
50 1 0 4 5
51 1 0 1 2

Top 10 Hot Tamil Blogs

In Blogs, Lists, Tamilnadu on ஓகஸ்ட் 8, 2012 at 4:22 பிப

வலைப்பதிவுகளில் அனுபவமும் பட்டறிவும் பரிந்துரையும் தேடியதும் கொடுத்ததும் அந்தக் காலம். வம்பும் சினிமாவும் கிளுகிளுப்பும் புகழ்பெறுவது இக்காலம்.

அந்த மாதிரி பரபரப்பான ரசிகர்களின் அன்றாடத் தேவைக்கு பொழுதுபோக்கு தீனி போடுபவர் யார்?

இலக்கிய கிசுகிசு, திரைப்பட பார்வை, அரசியல் ஹேஷ்யம் போட்டுத் தாக்குபவர்கள் எவர்?

சூடான தலைப்பு, சுண்டியிழுக்கும் மேட்டர், ரங்கோலியான எழுத்து கொண்டு வரவழைப்பவர் பட்டியல்:

  1. வினவு – Vinavu – Tamil Forum – Revolutionary News
  2. IdlyVadai – இட்லிவடை
  3. adra saka – அட்ரா சக்க: CP Senthil Kumar
  4. kalakak kural: கலகக்குரல்
  5. true tamilans – உண்மைத்தமிழன்
  6. thamil nattu: நாற்று – புரட்சி எப்.எம்
  7. Cybersimman\’s Blog | இணைய உலகிற்கான உங்கள் சாளரம்
  8. வருண் – time for some love – ரிலாக்ஸ் ப்ளீஸ்
  9. suvanap piriyan – சுவனப்பிரியன்
  10. விமரிசனம்: vimarisanam – காவிரிமைந்தன் | இன்றில்லா விட்டாலும் நாளையாவது மாறும் அல்லவா ?

மொக்கை (அ) காமெடி (அ) லொள்ளு தமிழ்ப்பட லிஸ்ட்

In Movies, Tamilnadu on ஓகஸ்ட் 10, 2011 at 6:36 பிப

My Choices for Top Comedy Films in Tamil Cinema

  • தமிழ்ப்படம்
  • மகா நடிகன் (சத்யராஜ்)
  • தில்லுமுல்லு (ரஜினிகாந்த்)
  • புதையல் (அர்விந்த்சாமி – மம்மூட்டி)
  • போட்டா போட்டி 50:50
  • பொய்க்கால் குதிரைகள் (கே பாலச்சந்தர்)
  • இரும்புக் கோட்டை முரட்டு சிங்கம் (சிம்புதேவன்)
  • இம்சை அரசன் 23ம் புலிகேசி (சிம்புதேவன்)
  • இன்று போய் நாளை வா (பாக்யராஜ்)
  • சிம்லா ஸ்பெஷல் (முக்தா சீனிவாசன்)
  • அண்ணே, அண்ணே (மௌலி)
  • பொய் சொல்லப் போறோம்
  • சம்சாரம் அது மின்சாரம் (விசு)
  • ரெட்டை வால் குருவி (மோகன் – பாலு மகேந்திரா)
  • பலே பாண்டியா (சிவாஜி கணேசன்)
  • உள்ளத்தை அள்ளித்தா (கார்த்திக் – சுந்தர் சி)

Other Picks for Best Fun Movies in Thamil

  • ஆண்பாவம் (பாண்டியராஜன்)
  • ஆதவன்
  • வின்னர்
  • சின்ன மாப்பிளை
  • நடிகன்
  • சதி லீலாவதி
  • சிங்காரவேலன்
  • தாய்மாமன்

Top Indian Scandals: Most Expensive Bharat Scams & Corruptions

In India, Lists, Politics on ஒக்ரோபர் 28, 2010 at 8:01 பிப

The Scandals that marred India’s image – Business news

rediff.com: India’s biggest scams

1. Fraudulent CWG: The Commonwealth Games scam

  • Discrepancies in tenders and alleged misappropriation amounting to about Rs 8,000 crore.
  • Urban Development Ministry directed the Delhi Development Authority DDA to freeze the company’s Rs183 crores guarantee

2. Satyam’s corporate scandal:

  • Satyam Computers, the fourth largest IT Company of India with 53,000 employees was charged in manipulating the balance sheet by illegal means.
  • Satyam’s operating margin wasn’t the 24 percent as shown in its accounts audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, but just 3 percent.
  • Satyam had nothing close to the reported 5,360 crore ($1.1 billion) cash pile on its balance sheet. The real amount was just a measly $78 million.
  • On January 9, 2009, Chairman Ramalinga Raju surrendered to the police and confessed for the 7,100 crore fraud case.

3. The Harshad Mehta scam:

  • Harshad and his associates triggered a securities scam diverting funds to the tune of Rs4000 crore (Rs 40 billion) from the banks to stockbrokers between April 1991 to May 1992.
  • A Special Court also sentenced Sudhir Mehta, Harshad Mehta’s brother, and six others, including four bank officials, to rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from 1 year to 10 years on the charge of duping State Bank of India to the tune of Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion)

4. The 950 Crores Fodder Scam:

  • Animal Husbandry Department of Government of Bihar in which irregularities of nearly Rs 950 crores (US $ 210 million) were detected.
  • The scam was unearthed in 1996 during the regime of chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, but it goes back to 1980s and is believed to have started during tenure of Jagannath Mishra Lalu had ordered probe into these massive irregularities in accounts by constituting a committee.

5. The great Capital Market fraud of 1990s: ”

  • C.R Bhansali plundered and looted the trust and money of people which resulted in a loss of over Rs 1,200 crore (Rs 12 billion).
  • C R Bhansali first launched the finance company CRB Capital Markets, followed by CRB Mutual Fund and CRB Share Custodial Services.
  • CRB Capital Markets raised a whopping 176 crore in three years.
  • In 1994, CRB Mutual Funds raised 230 crore and 180 crore came via fixed deposits.
  • Bhansali also succeeded in raising about Rs 900 crore from the markets.

6. Bofors scam

7. Spectrum Raja

8. Ketan Parekh

  • A chartered accountant he used to run a family business, NH Securities.
  • He targetted smaller exchanges like the Allahabad Stock Exchange and the Calcutta Stock Exchange, and bought shares in fictitious names.
  • His dealings revolved around shares of ten companies like Himachal Futuristic, Global Tele-Systems, SSI Ltd, DSQ Software, Zee Telefilms, Silverline, Pentamedia Graphics and Satyam Computer (K-10 scrips).
  • Ketan borrowed Rs 250 crore from Global Trust Bank to fuel his ambitions. Ketan alongwith his associates also managed to get Rs 1,000 crore from the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank.
  • According to RBI regulations, a broker is allowed a loan of only Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million). There was evidence of price rigging in the scrips of Global Trust Bank, Zee Telefilms, HFCL, Lupin Laboratories, Aftek Infosys and Padmini Polymer.

9. Cobbler scam

  • Sohin Daya, son of a former Sheriff of Mumbai, was the main accused in the multi-crore shoes scam.
  • Daya of Dawood Shoes, Rafique Tejani of Metro Shoes, and Kishore Signapurkar of Milano Shoes were arrested for creating several leather co-operative societies which did not exist.
  • They availed loans of crores of rupees on behalf of these fictitious societies. The scam was exposed in 1995.
  • Officials of the Maharashtra State Finance Corporation, Citibank, Bank of Oman, Dena Bank, Development Credit Bank, Saraswat Co-operative Bank, and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait were also charge sheeted.

10. Dinesh Dalmia

  • Dinesh Dalmia was the managing director of DSQ Software Limited when the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested him for his involvement in a stocks scam of Rs 595 crore (Rs 5.95 billion).
  • Dalmia’s group included DSQ Holdings Ltd, Hulda Properties and Trades Ltd, and Powerflow Holding and Trading Pvt Ltd. Dalmia resorted to illegal ways to make money through the partly paid shares of DSQ Software Ltd, in the name of New Vision Investment Ltd, UK, and unallotted shares in the name of Dinesh Dalmia Technology Trust.
  • Investigation showed that 1.30 crore (13 million) shares of DSQ Software Ltd had not been listed on any stock exchange.

11. Abdul Karim Telgi

  • He paid for his own education at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya by selling fruits and vegetables on trains.
  • The fake stamp racket involving Abdul Karim Telgi was exposed in 2000.
  • The loss is estimated to be Rs 171.33 crore (Rs 1.71 billion), it was initially pegged to be Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 bilion).
  • Telgi’s networked spread across 13 states involving 176 offices, 1,000 employees and 123 bank accounts in 18 cities.

12. Virendra Rastogi

  • Virendra Rastogi chief executive of RBG Resources was charged with for deceiving banks worldwide of an estimated $1 billion.
  • He was also involved in the duty-drawback scam to the tune of Rs 43 crore (Rs 430 milion) in India.
  • The CBI said that five companies, whose directors were the four Rastogi brothers — Subash, Virender, Ravinde and Narinder — exported bicycle parts during 1995-96 to Russia and Hong Kong by heavily over invoicing the value of goods for claiming excess duty draw back from customs.

13. The UTI Scam

  • Former UTI chairman P S Subramanyam and two executive directors — M M Kapur and S K Basu — and a stockbroker Rakesh G Mehta, were arrested in connection with the ‘UTI scam’.
  • UTI had purchased 40,000 shares of Cyberspace between September 25, 2000, and September 25, 2000 for about Rs 3.33 crore (Rs 33.3 million) from Rakesh Mehta when there were no buyers for the scrip. The market price was around Rs 830.
  • The promoter of Cyberspace Infosys, Arvind Johari was arrested in connection with the case. The officals were paid Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) by Cyberspace to promote its shares.
  • He also received Rs 1.18 crore (Rs 11.8 million) from the company through a circuitous route for possible rigging the Cyberspace counter.

14. Uday Goyal :: Plantation firms’ scam

  • Since few firms in mid-90s were subject to no guidelines, the plantation companies during that time also got away with profit protrusions.
  • The plantation firms projected themselves as a part of IPO and assured massive returns.
  • The investors were lured and the companies accrued profits from fake campaigns of around Rs 8000 crores plus.
  • Uday Goyal, managing director of Arrow Global Agrotech Ltd, was yet another fraudster who cheated investors promising high returns through plantations.
  • Goyal conned investors to the tune of over Rs 210 crore (Rs 2.10 billion).
  • Over 43,300 persons had fallen into Goyal’s trap.

15. Sanjay Agarwal ::  Home Trade scam

  • Home Trade had created waves with celebrity endorsements.
  • He swindled Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) from more than 25 cooperative banks.
  • The government securities (gilt) scam of 2001 was exposed when the Reserve Bank of India checked the acounts of some cooperative banks following unusual activities in the gilt market.
  • the Public Provident Fund (PPF) was affected.
  • A sum of about Rs 92 crore (Rs 920 million) was missing from the Seamen’s Provident Fund.
  • Sanjay Agarwal, Ketan Sheth (a broker), Nandkishore Trivedi and Baluchan Rai (a Hong Kong-based Non-Resident Indian) were behind the Home Trade scam.
  • Initiated in 2000, Home trade invested rs 24 crore in promotional campaigns to attract investors.
  • The scam affected 8 co-operative banks that lost Rs.82 Crore in EPF scheme.

16. Telecom scam (Sukh Ram)

17. HDW Submarine
18. Bitumen scam
19. Tansi land deal
20. JMM Bribery Scandal
21. St Kitts case
22. Urea scam
23. Anantnag transport subsidy scam
24. 1971 Nagarwala scandal
25. Churhat lottery scam

26. Animal Husbandry Case (1990)
27. Kerala SNC Lavalin power scandal (1997)

28. Barak Missile Deal Scandal (2001)
29. Tehelka Scandal (2001)
30. Taj corridor case (2002-2003)
31. Nitish Katara Murder Case (2004)
32. Oil for food programme scam (Natwar Singh) (2005)
33. Jessica Lal case (2006)
34. Human Trafficking Scam involving Babubhai Katara
35. Gujarat Fake Encounter Controversy (2007)
36. Cash-for-vote scandal in the federal parliament (2008)

www.outlookindia.com | Scam India: While the Jain hawala case, the fodder scandal in Bihar and the ‘housing scam’ hog the headlines, other instances of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen getting caught with their hands in the public till are surfacing across the country. All this seems to justify the popular perception that corruption has got ingrained in our system. Ajith Pillai looks at some of the lesser known instances of misappropriation of public money.

37. ASSAM has never really been on the scam map of India. But the unearthing of the Rs 200 crore fraud in the state’s Veterinary Department, popularly referred to as the Letter of Credit (LOC) scam, has rocked Hiteswar Saikia‘s Congress government and its echoes are being heard as far away as New Delhi. Though no public figure has been implicated so far, over 30 officials from senior directors to minor functionaries have been either arrested or suspended. More heads are likely to roll as the CBI and the state police continue their investigations into what is being referred to as the biggest scam in the North-east.

In a nutshell, the LOC fraud relates to the blatant misuse of letters of credit by officials of the state Veterinary Department since 1985. The LOC is a regulatory mechanism devised by the state government to keep expenditure under control. When the Government earmarks, say, Rs 10 crore fora project, the entire amount is not handed over to the department concerned in one go. It is released in phases and LOCs are issued, which can be cashed when required. The system was introduced in Assam a few years ago.

But now it has come to light that the LOC facility was subverted and money to the tune of Rs 200 crore fraudulently withdrawn from government treasuries under the pretext of implementing welfare programmes.

According to estimates by investigating officials, of the 63 treasuries in the state, 19 have been tainted by the scam.

38.

IT may have been with tears in her eyes that R. Indirakumari, Tamil Nadu’s minister for handloom and social welfare, declared to the press that her ministry was in no way involved in the Rs 50-crore dhoti-saree scandal. But her emotional outburst has done little to clear the air and the Jayalalitha government in Tamil Nadu is extremely embarrassed that its much publicised ‘clothing for the poor’ scheme stands tainted because of a fraud perpetrated by persons closely connected to those in power.

At the centre of the controversy is Venkatakrishnan, personal secretary to Indirakumari. It was he who first mooted the idea in 1993 that yarn for the ‘clothing for the poor’ scheme could be procured from sources other than state government-approved cooperative mills. This change in the procurement policy led to a massive fraud where bills and invoices were raised for yarn which was not spun in the first place. Says DMK President M. Karunanidhi: “It is shameful that false invoices were used to loot the state exchequer. What is even more shameful is that the scheme for the poorest of the poor was misused.”

The scam came to light when the DMK secretary of Periyar district, N.K.K. Periasami, was issued a summons on February 6 from the superintendent of central excise, Coimbatore, in connection with certain dealings of Sri Karunambika Enterprise, a firm dealing in sugar run by Periasami and two of his sons.

At the excise office, it was revealed that the firm’s name and sales tax registration number were being misused and fake letterheads had been printed to show the purported sale of yarn worth Rs 97.50 lakh to the state-run Tamil Nadu Textile Corporation (TNTC), Coimbatore. The sale took place on August 11, 1995. Later an account was opened in the name of Sri Karunambika Enterprise in the Coimbatore branch of a nationalised bank and a total of Rs 96.85 lakh was withdrawn on various dates.

Periasami’s further enquiries to the TNTC elicited the reply that the entire sale was a mistake and that he was not on the list of suppliers of yarn to the Corporation. On perusal of the official list, it was discovered that all 17 firms supplying yarn to the TNTC were non-existent.

The scamsters operated at various levels. The TNTC on its part was buying non-existent yarn, which for the books it claimed it was supplying to bogus non-weaver members of government handloom cooperatives who did not even own looms. They, in turn, were weaving sarees and dhotis from all the yarn which they were not supplied with. In 1994 alone, the TNTC procured 110 lakh bundles of imaginary yarn. In all, in the last two years, close to 200 lakh bundles were thus bought.

So, where did the sarees and dhotis distributed every year at Pongal, the Tamil new year, come from? They were bought from the open market in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and sold to the Handloom Department and the TNTC at highly inflated prices. In 1993, sarees and dhotis worth Rs 18 crore were sourced from 14 such bogus suppliers. The following year, according to income-tax officials, cloth for stitching uniforms for children worth Rs 7.87 crore was procured from a nonexistent weaving outfit. Last year, Rs 2.07 crore worth of sarees and dhotis were provided by three fictitious companies.

All the transactions were conceived so that no rules governing the procurement of cloth for the free distribution scheme were seen as being violated. The scheme introduced by MGR in 1978 was meant not only to clothe the poor but also to help marginal weavers. The government rules have clearly laid down that the dhotis and sarees have to be sourced from weavers who are members of state-approved cooperatives and the yarn procured from cooperative spinning mills.

The state government has been strangely silent on the entire issue and Indirakumari is under pressure to resign. Speculation is rife in Madras that she may be asked to quit by the chief minister.

39.

A table, a typewriter and a bunch of fake bills is the prescription for success in central Bombay’s medicine market or Dava Bazaar. This spirit of enterprise is at the centre of a multicrore bogus billing racket in the pharmaceutical industry. It came to light when tax officials came across inflated bills in the course of a recent search and seizure operation. This led them to the pharmaceutical companies involved and from there to the streets of Dava Bazaar where companies are run from a single table.

The fraud involves 16 companies which manipulated a bogus Rs 112 crore turnover through inflated bills. In some cases the bogus bills showing a high sales turnover were motivated by plans to go public. Others were trying to reduce their taxable income by inflating purchases made. Raids conducted by the Income-Tax Department’s investigation wing in Dava Bazaar revealed that 11 companies were issuing bogus bills after charging a commission ranging from 5 per cent to 6 per cent for their services. Seven of these existed on letterheads printed by one of the accused, F.H. Rizvi. Another proprietor, Jhaveri, has letterheads of three drug companies involved in the bogus trade. Directors of the pharmaceutical companies involved have admitted to bogus sales.

40.

Yugoslav Dinar Scam: The Enforcement Directorate in Bombay recently busted a 560 billion Yugoslav dinar racket and arrested five persons involved. Information given by some Vysya and UCO Bank officials revealed that 560 billion dinars—worth Rs 400 crore—had come in through the hawala channel and efforts were being made to transfer the amount to a bank account in the Bahamas. The amount was acquired by Yogesh Mehta and Dinesh Singh by way of compensatory payments against the import of electronic goods.

A third person, Rohit Mody, who was trying to deposit the money in a Bahamas bank, said he had received some of the money in Singapore and Los Angeles. Another accused, Satish Barot, confessed he wished to open a restaraunt in the Bahamas with his share of the profit.

41.

IT was Food Minister S.K. Katare who—much to the great embarrassment of Chief Minister Digvijay Singh—took the lid off what is being referred to as the rice scam. According to officials in Bhopal, the fraud was detected at the food controller’s office in Raipur, which is considered to be the state’s rice bowl.

Under the state’s levy scheme, about one lakh tonnes of rice had been cleared for export in the past year or so. According to paddy distribution rules in the state, a producer is expected to sell 40 per cent of his produce to the district administration and the rest at the mandi of his choice after paying a levy.

Preliminary investigations reveal that in most cases almost 100 per cent of the total produce was palmed off to rice-buying companies that existed only on paper. These firms are reportedly the fronts for various influential rice traders in the region. What’s more, these fictitious companies had been issued levy paid certificates (LPCs). Sources in the food office in Bhopal claim that in the last few years LPCs have been issued for as many as six lakh tonnes of rice while the actual levy paid does not exceed that for more than two lakh tonnes.

On Katare’s instructions, on February 16 the food controller’s office was sealed. A special investigation has been launched by Katare, headed by his key aide Hiralal Dwivedi, who is camping in Raipur along with some officials. According to sources, this team has already prepared a list of LPCs issued during the tenure of food controller H.P. Saxena. Also under investigation are the ‘firms’ which were shown to have bought the rice and the quantity of rice given by these firms to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which also procures paddy from the firms listed by the district administration. Sources indicate that the number of these firms could tip the 100 mark.

The scam has not yet been exposed and the government is trying to dismiss it as a non-issue. Digvijay Singh told Outlook that too much is being made of the rice scandal. “I too have read about it in the papers, but there seems to be too much noise without any real substance,” he said. He downplayed the issue further, insisting it’s a matter to be handled by the district administration.

But many observers here say that the rice scam has all the potential to snowball on the chief minister, who is alleged to be involved in the dealings. Heading the tirade is BJP legislator Brijmohan Agrawal, who raised the issue in the state assembly. Agrawal, who claims to know the rice trade inside out, says he has information which he will use to his party’s advantage. Though it remains to be seen if the BJP can extract any significant mileage out of it, unfortunately for the chief minister, the BJP MLA’s efforts seem to be getting bolstered by Katare.

42.

AFTER months of suspense during which rumours flew thickand fast in the state, the Orissa Vigilance Department finally filed chargesheets against former chief minister and veteran Janata Dal leader Biju Patnaik under the Prevention of Corruption Act on February 28. He was charged with “abusing his official position, resulting in pecuniary advantage to Ballarpur Industries”—i.e. granting concessions on bamboo royalty to the Thapar Group-owned company in 1992, during his tenure as chief minister.

The specific allegation was that Patnaik had granted a concession of Rs 100 per tonne of bamboo for seven years. The chargesheet said the state incurred a loss of Rs 7 crore because of this. Central to the allegations against Patnaik is that he allegedly favoured this particular company because both his wife, Gyan Patnaik, and his son, Prem Patnaik, had “business interests” in, and financial transactions with, Ballarpur Industries and the Thapar group.

According to the chargesheet, the concessions were granted for seven years in violation of the National Forest Policy, which prohibits any concession on forest produce. It further states that officials in the state forest and industry departments, including the nodal committee headed by the Orissa chief secretary, had opposed the then chief minister’s decision to grant these “favours” but their advice was not heeded. Patnaik is also charged with having ignored notes issued by the forest and industry ministers of his cabinet stating that the concessions would result in huge losses to the exchequer.

Patnaik, in his defence, claims the favours granted by him were intended only to revive the Thapars’ “ailing paper mills”. But the Vigilance Department says the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, whose job it is to recommend such measures for sick units, had not suggested any concessions to pull the mills out of the red. The alleged “favours” made by Patnaik were for the purported rehabilitation of the Sewa Paper Mills in Koraput and the Titagarh Paper Mill at Choudwar.

The Janata Dal sees the entire episode as an effort that is politically motivated to discredit a senior leader like Patnaik.

To make matters worse, within the week the Vigilance Department filed another chargesheet against Patnaik, alleging that he used the Janata Dal party account as his own and possessed assets disproportionate to his income.

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