Saturday, December 11, 2010


By: Braj Kishor Gupta

Ours is primarily a volatile age. Everything seems to be in a state of flux. Change has become a reality perhaps much more prominent than ever before. Against this background, we need to understand the concept of occupational wellness. It was till recently we only talked about occupational hazards. The focus then was on the limitations and seamy side of life. For instance, the employer would look for an opportunity to find faults with the employee. Today the same employer looks for a chance to appreciate the work done by the employee. This is a case of paradigm shift. This shows a change in our mindset, our desire to explore the brighter side of life. This is a welcome change.

This change has taken place due to the explosion of new knowledge. We live in the knowledge bank society. We are getting enlightened every moment unlike Buddha’s Enlightenment that happened but once. Today we know for sure that human mind is the most precious gift to humankind. It is of paramount importance to have a tranquil mind. To be at peace with oneself is all about achieving mental wellness. There is a direct link between personal wellness and professional wellness. So, there is no point talking about occupational wellness without ensuring that the individual’s needs are met & her/his emotional intelligence is also well taken care of. It is then and then alone that the person besides being at peace internally can be in harmony with the outside world. After all, everything is truly created twice, first in the workshop of mind & then in reality.

Fortunately, occupational wellness can be improved. Among many factors that can contribute to it, the following deserves special mention:

SELF ESTEEM- A person is in fact the sum total of the self esteem. It is important that the employee is made to feel good. It is this feel good factor that would go a long way in maximizing both personal wellness & professional wellness of the person. The person needs to be told about her/his strength time and again. William James, a noted psychologist is right when he says; the greatest desire in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

LEARNING NEW SKILLS- In order to remain confident in life one has to keep learning new skills. After all, what was relevant till yesterday is fast becoming irrelevant today. We live in an age of obsolescence. There is a need to learn and acquire new skills & knowledge both for our survival and achieving excellence in life. This has a direct bearing on mental as well as occupational wellness.

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE- Life is indeed a beautiful blend of good and bad. We need to choose. Man is privileged to be a choosing creature. Hence, we can learn to count our blessings. The more we think of our blessings, the blessings will multiply. The Bible says what you focus on will multiply. Can we begin the day by thanking the Lord for heralding the new dawn & go to bed by showing our gratitude to Him for making our day.

Life is indeed the most precious gift of God. It is our birth right to smile & with smile around mental wellness and occupational wellness cannot be far behind

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mantri Square launches a unique retail training initiative - Mantri Square Edge

Bangalore, November 9, 2010: Mantri Square Shopping Mall today launched Mantri Square Edge, a unique retail training initiative conceptualized by the Mall’s management Team in close association with the Indian Retail School and RetailSpark. The Mantri Square Edge is the first-of-its kind retail training and mentorship initiative in the country by any shopping mall. The objective of this training program is to empower and add an edge to people employed in the retail sector by providing thoughtful mentoring, insightful training and meticulous grooming.

Realizing the importance of and the growing need for polished retail professionals in the country, Mr. Jonathan Yach, CEO Mantri Square Mall, said, “Well trained staff makes for a stronger workforce, better management teams, and impacts business hugely. We recognized the need-gap that exists in the fast paced Indian retail industry for adequately skilled manpower and decided to create this unique training program to meet the demand. We want the entire retail sector to benefit from this program and have therefore invited participation from our in-house retail tenants to enroll their staff members and kick-start the program.”

The Mantri Sqauare Edge training program comprises of an elite panel of some of the country’s finest trainers in the retail space, with practical hands-on experience in a wide range of niche categories. The trainings are holistically developed and begin with identifying specific training needs and then designing, developing and delivering suitable training solutions.

Corporate trainings at Mantri Square Edge include trainings on Retail Fundamentals, Personality Development, Sales & Marketing Skills, Smart U and Communication Skills amongst others. These trainings encompass all the key learning needed for a fulfilling career in the retail sector. Whether the employee is a new sales recruit or an experienced sales manager, the Edge has modules that will sharpen and hone their skills.

The In-store Retail Assessment and Training which is a part of the Mantri Square Edge training program includes observation, guidance and refinement in day-to-day tasks such as body language, communication and team work. The In-store training also focuses on specifics such as identifying the target customer to visual merchandizing, inventory control, conversion rate and even handling complaints. The training modules at Mantri Square Edge involve a rigorous honing of sales and marketing skills, unique personality traits, retail fundamentals, social etiquette, communicative abilities and inter-personal and business relationship skills. The Mantri Square Edge will empower your employees to take greater pride in their work and emerge real winners.

Perty Prices May Crash As Loan Scam Hits Funding

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s direction to state-run lenders to prevent a recurrence of the loans-for-bribes scandal, and banks’ decision to go for a critical appraisal of all real estate loans above Rs 50 crore may stall projects and drive developers to private funds.

Liquidity for the sector may dry up as bankers turn cautious in sanctioning fresh loans, forcing builders to cut prices to improve cash position, helping prospective buyers who have been holding on due to high prices.

DB Realty tumbled 10%, Indiabulls Real Estate lost 5.2%, DLF fell 3.8%, and Unitech declined 6% as a fund shortage threatens to derail their project execution, which had just started to show signs of recovery after the 2008 credit crisis.

The arrest of eight finance executives by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday on charges of taking bribes to sanction loans does not lead to a systemic risk since the amount involved is tiny, bankers and bureaucrats said. It is getting more attention than it deserves, they said.

“ banks and financial institutions should strengthen the NPA (non-performing assets) monitoring and management in their institutions to ensure that advance action is taken to identify incipient sickness and take appropriate action on it,” said Mukherjee.

A Bank of India official said, “All big-tickets loans, particularly to builders, will come under the scanner now. Recall of loans can happen if there is a fear that the quality of loans may suffer. But as of now, there is no such worry and hence it would not prompt us to recall loans.”

The arrest of finance sector executives for alleged corruption and passing on information regarding these transactions has shaken the banking sector. Bank of India, Central Bank of India and LIC Housing Finance , whose executives were arrested, have said they followed set norms and any violation may relate to individual cases involving specific executives.

“There is no chance of anything becoming NPA as a result of what has happened,” said TS Vijayan, Chairman of LIC, the parent company of LIC Housing Finance. CBI has said, in-custody LIC Housing CEO Ramachandran Nair, has confessed to the involvement of other board members, according to Times NOW news channel.

Some of the telephone conversations of these arrested executives have also been tapped, it said. “There will be repercussions in terms of increased caution by banks while lending to developers,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang Lasalle India. “Borrowing will become more expensive and the process involved in getting it will get lengthier as banks increase their vigilance levels.”

While the panicky bankers would stay from decision-making for a while, there is unlikely to be any recall of sanctioned loans that would be disruptive.

“There is no question of recalling loans since all the procedures of giving loans are followed,” said KR Kamath, CMD of Punjab National Bank , one of the banks named by CBI. “There is no need for any knee-jerk reaction. However, the loans that are sanctioned will be reviewed.”

An unintended consequence of the scandal could be lower prices for home buyers as developers look to sell at a faster rate to improve cash flows. “If one looks at the last three quarters, sales have been dropping and most developers have built lot of debt pressure on their books,” said Pankaj Kapoor, Managing Director of property consultant firm Liases Foras.

`This issue, along with tighter measures already announced by RBI in its policy review, may expedite the process of correction,” he said, estimating the correction to be at least 25%. This scandal need not necessarily be as bad as the ones in 1992 and 2001, when investors lost thousands of crores of paper wealth.

HDFC And JLL Fear Loans Will Be Dearer

NEW DELHI: Major realty players and mortgage leader HDFC on Thursday expressed apprehensions that bank loans would become costlier in the wake of housing finance racket coming to light, but State Bank of India sought to allay any such fear.

Hinting at a price correction in the realty sector as a fallout of the scam, the HDFC chairman, Mr Deepak Parekh said every lender will become “cautious” while lending to companies in the real estate and infrastructure sectors.

“Some developers will bring prices down and sell…The unsold stock with developers is huge across the country. In this scenario, prices cannot go up definitely,” Mr Parekh added.

Global property consultant Jones Lang Lasalle said bank loans would be dearer and lenders would be extra cautious in offering loans to developers following the housing finance scam racket.

“There will be repercussions in terms of increased caution by banks while lending to developers. Borrowing will become more expensive and the process involved in getting it lengthier as banks increase their vigilance levels," JLL India chairman and country head, Mr Anuj Puri said.

State Bank of India chairman Mr O P Bhatt, however, sought to allay any such apprehension saying that the housing finance scam would not have any impact on loans to the realty sector.

“We are always cautious when we lend and you know there are always bad loans… Why should it impact (lending to real estate sector),” Mr Bhatt said.

“I won’t say that (the current system) is perfect. But there is no need for any alarm. I don’t think there is any systemic risk that we are talking about. These are individual cases,” he added.

The Yes Bank managing director and CEO Mr Rana Kapoor too said “it (housing finance racket) is just an aberration. It is exception to the rule so it is not going to have a serious impact”.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Real Estate IREO under Tax Scanner for Black Money Roundtripping

Real Estate is the most Corrupt Sector in India regularly making news for scams and scandals.Most Real Estate Companies in India are under scrutiny for Tax Evasion,Contract Infringements,Siphoning of Pension Money,Consumer Harassment etc.However the game continues on without any conviction or prosecution.Politicians,Judges,Generals and Bureaucrats have all got a hand in this Real Estate Muck which was starkly brought out in the Adarsh Housing Scam.The Sector is riddled with inefficiency,ad-hocness,byzantine regulations which makes it an ideal hunting ground for corruption.

IREO,a new Real Estate Company which is making waves in India’s National Capital Region (NCR) with glitzy projects has now come under the tax scanner for illegal fund inflows from tax havens of Mauritius and Cyprus.It is alleged that black money from India has been roundtripped through these tax havens in the guise of Private Equity Money.It is an open secret that Black Money from India finds its way back to India through tax havens in the form of foreign investment when it just a roughtripping of domestic money.The figure quoted is around $1.5 billion of illegal money pouring into 26 companies associated with IREO.The company came into focus during the Commonwealth Scam and is linked to an Opposition Party leader.As usual their are denials,media circus and the whole thing will end as it does all the time with Nothing Happening.

India Real Estate: SEBI Asks AMCs To Keep Off Realty Debt

MUMBAI: Capital
market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has told
asset management companies (AMCs) to avoid exposure to real estate debt in
certain schemes. According to fund officials, SEBI has directed asset
management companies to mention a 'negative sector list' in their draft
prospectus, and give an undertaking that they will not invest in sectors
that appear in this list.

According to marketing officials at fund houses, the regulator is "prodding"
fund houses to include real estate in the negative sector list. However,
none of the fund houses ET spoke to, has received anything in writing on the
'negative sector list' or to limit their exposure to real estate companies.
"It is only conveyed to fund houses verbally. The directive to include real
estate in the negative list is happening more in the case of fund houses
that are launching capital-protected schemes," said the investment head of a
bank-promoted fund house.

The marketing head of a mid-sized fund house recently said at a press
conference that it has been asked by the regulator not to invest in bonds
issued by real estate companies. The fund house has also given an
undertaking that the capital protection scheme, which it recently launched,
will not invest in the black-listed sector, said the official. SEBI
officials were not available for comment. An email query to SEBI remained
unanswered at the time of going to press.

According to officials at fund houses, SEBI is worried about the debt
repayment ability of real estate companies, which often take on too much
debt. Also, the regulator is not satisfied with the reporting standards of
most real estate companies. Balance-sheet strength, land bank valuation,
authenticity of titles and project standards and execution are areas of
concern for SEBI. In October 2008, many real estate companies were unable to
meet their repayment schedule, forcing mutual funds to borrow externally to
meet redemptions.

"All regulators, including the RBI, are nervous about real estate," said
Anuj Puri, Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle India, a real
estate consulting firm.

"At a broader level, we don't expect any trouble for developers. With
respect to non-payment of debt, we've not seen real estate companies
defaulting in the thick of recession. There was some rollover of debt, but
that was there for a short period. Credit risks have reduced greatly, with
most lenders opting to fund individual projects than capitalising the entire
company," added Anuj Puri.

According to analysts, real estate prices, across cities, have witnessed a
significant appreciation in the recent past. In fact, prices in some regions
have surpassed their highs of 2008. Real estate funding has also been picked
up over the past 11 months. The period between January and August has seen
private equity investors closing 25 real estate deals, totalling $990
million. Developers have raised Rs 1,109 crore by way of debt placements and
Rs 2,225 crore by way of public issues.

Indian Real Estate: Documents That Need To Be Registered Compulsorily

The Indian Registration Act, 1902 and the Transfer of property Act, 1882 contain relevant provisions specifying documents that are compulsorily registrable, and those exempted from being registered. Under the law, some documents are compulsorily registrable.These include documents related to property. Registration of a document acts as a notice to the general public.

Under section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1902, there are a few documents that require registration compulsorily. These include:

A document of gift of property. Any gift deed irrespective of the value of the gifted property needs registration.

All non-testamentary documents that create interest, right or title in the property. All non-testamentary documents that extinguish any right, interest or title in the property.

Documents that declare, assign, limit or restrict interest, title or right in property.

All non-testamentary documents that acknowledge the receipt or payment of any consideration on account on a transaction pertaining to right, title or interest in property.

All non-testamentary documents transferring or assigning an award of a court which affects the interest, right and title in a property.

The documents may create, extinguish, assign, declare, limit or restrict interest, right or title in a property for the present or in the future.

Under Section 107 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882, lease of property from year to year, for a term exceeding one year, or reserving a yearly rent, must be done only under registration. The term “year to year” refers to a continuous lease from year to year – where the landlord has no option to terminate the lease at the end of the year without notice. The term “reserving yearly rent” means the lease has no definite period, but the annual rent is determined. The word “yearly” means the lease should run year after year or at least for more than one year. As such, any lease for over a year should be registered.


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