January 15, 2007

life in financial markets: global equity investors investing in indian equity & debt markets

For a story that that I recently wrote in the magazine (Outlook) I work for I collated data on global equity investors investing in Indian equity & debt markets. Global equity investors have to get themselves registered as foreign institutional investors (FIIs)--or sub-accounts of FIIs--with Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) (the capital market regulator of India) before investing directly in the listed equity shares and debentures on National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange, and unlisted securities. Out of this collated data there are three bits that I share below:

1. List containing names, phone numbers and addresses of 1020 FIIs that were registered with Sebi between June 1993 and December 24 2006. This data was taken from Sebi's website www.sebi.gov.in and it does not include about 2000 FII sub-accounts about which Sebi provides no information (as at the time of writing this).

2. A geographical summation of the above list.

3. The shifting undercurrents (from March 2002 to November 2006) seen in the exposure to--and value of investments--in Indian equities and debt by FIIs, domestic (Indian) financial institutions (insurance companies, others), domestic (Indian) mutual funds, domestic (Indian) corporates and domestic (Indian) banks.

January 07, 2007

"in SEZ scheme the tax exemption amounts to a loot..."

I attended a public discussion day before yesterday (January 5 2007, Friday) in Bombay's Xaviers College on 'State, Development and People's Movements' in which Medha Patkar was one of the speakers. I present below some excerpts from her talk which I could jot down in my notepad. at the discussion a note on the Singur issue was handed out which can be read here (in English) or here (in Hindi).
Medha Patkar: "after the secular-communal divide in the country is the divide on the issue of development...its not about Singur (in West Bengal where Tata Motors has been illegally given a 1000 acres fertile land belonging to farmers) only...in Weste Bengal itself, 38,000 acres of land is being given to New KolkataInternational Development Pvt Ltd (name cleverly changed from Salim Group of Indonesia against whom the government was made to back out earlier)...another 40,000 acres is being given for a nuclear plant...things are changing fast in the name of development...in fact, it is looting...things have reached at such a serious state that in in Narmada, Singur (West Bengal), Pune and Raigad (Maharashtra), Punjab and Haryana, landowners or land cultivators, whose lands are sought to be grabbed under the Special Economic Zones Act or for dams and other development projects, are forced to say that they will resort to anything but not give up their lands...meanwhile arrogant state talk on SEZs continue...
what we are seing today is that the state powers-that-be are playing out a dangerous game against the people themselves from whom they got the power in the first place...the legalised noose of land-grabbing is hanging on all our heads...do not the people have a right on the natural resources around them?...land-grabbing is done strategically and cunningly by politicians, industry and their agents...in Lonavla (Maharashtra), for example, the agents of politicans and industry heads are buying lands on the periphery of the disputed SEZ-declared area...every acre of land is a land of 'sabyatha' for farmers...when i and few others went to Nandigram (where a chemicals SEZ is being set up) in West Bengal we were continuously, without-a-break, accosted and watched by state police forces as if we were terrrorists...but i say that even the policemen and policewomen who are set after us day in and day out are victims of the state policies...
in SEZ the tax being exempted for the industry is a loot in disguise...the fights you read about in the media between Chidambaram and Kamal Nath or between Kadam and Deshmukh on the tax issue are not genuine fights...they do not emanate from conceptual oppositioin to SEZ...
talk of accountability is selective...if the ransacked office of CPM (Communist Party Marxist which is in power in West Bengal) office in Nandigram open to everyone (police, media and pubic) for investigation then why is Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure imposed on Singur making it illegal for anyone to even visit the area...if this goes on then there will be no choice but for protests like that seen in nandigram to take the shape of a confrontation...
equitable and sustainable land use policy is needed without delay..."

January 05, 2007

newsreport of gorai special economic zone

One more SEZ (special economic zone scheme of the central government) approval that is manipulative and illegal.

Here is a newsreport in 'Afternoon' newspaper on the matter:

Medha to lead protestors at Gorai
BY A STAFF REPORTER | Thursday, January 04, 2007 11:30:50 IST

As the residents of eight villages join to protest against the allotment of 5000 acres of land to the Essel world under SEZ Like the Shingur incident, a similar controversy may grip Maharashtra as the residents of Gorai would be holding a protest rally against the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) scheme of the government. The Narmada Bachao Activist (NBA) Medha Patkar would be heading the protest rally.

The rally would be organised protesting the allotment of 5,000 acres of land of eight villages to the Pan India Tourism ltd (Essel World) by the government, under its controversial scheme. This would be affecting over 75,000 residents living in the area since decades. The residents are furious as they would be displaced as soon as the land is allotted.

Manori, Gorai, Uttan, Dongari, Pali, Tarodi, Chowk and Morva, the eight villages that would be affected. The Koli community, tribals and slat producers mainly inhabit these villages. Lourdes Dsouza, Head, Dharavi Beth Bachao Samiti, said, “Today in the evening members of Jagatik Virodhi Kriti Samiti Maharashtra (JVKSM) will visit these areas and will join our protest. We have been doing our business here since many decades and we will not leave our land at any cost. JVKSM had recently visited the Pen area in Raigarh which is being planned to be allotted to the Reliance group under the SEZ scheme.”

January 01, 2007