Friday, 30 September 2016

Kotak Mahindra Bank Acquires BSS Microfinance

By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 30th Sept:- Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (Kotak), today announced that it has executed binding share purchase agreement to acquire 99.49% of equity shares of BSS Microfinance Private Limited (BSS), a Non-Banking Finance Company, classified as a NBFC-MFI, from existing shareholders subject to regulatory and other approvals, including Reserve Bank of India. The acquisition has been approved by the Board of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank and is for an aggregate all-cash consideration of Rs. 139.2 crore. As of June 30, 2016, BSS has a net worth of approximately Rs. 73 crore and microfinance loans of Rs. 483 crore in its books. It will be a subsidiary of Kotak after receiving regulatory and other approvals.
BSS has a commercially established model in the microfinance segment. This acquisition gives Kotak access to BSS’s growing customer base which currently stands at over 2,17,000 and network of 78 branches (as of June 30, 2016). This acquisition offers Kotak a deeper reach in the low income segment, and also increases the access of BSS’s customer base to Kotak’s wide array of products and services. Further, BSS’s loan book also qualifies for Priority Sector Lending (PSL). Kotak and the BSS team will leverage their combined experience to scale up the existing platform.
Narayan SA, President, Commercial Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said that financial inclusion is one of the imperatives of our country, and this acquisition is a testimony of our commitment to cater to the needs of weaker sections of society in a commercially viable manner. The capabilities and processes required for this customer segment are unique, and cannot be created easily or organically in a short span. BSS is of the right size, culturally compatible with Kotak, and has proven its processes and value systems over a decade. He added that we will leverage BSS’s deep presence in the segment and related experience to ensure that customers’ needs are served best and consistent with the past culture.
 Dr. Ramesh Bellamkonda, Promoter, Chairman & MD, BSS Microfinance Pvt. Ltd. Said that our institution has an excellent team, with good systems and processes. Until now, we have been hobbled with constraints of equity capital. The deal not only helps us overcome this constraint but also allows us to offer savings products in conjunction with Kotak Mahindra Bank, once the deal is consummated.  We will now be able to expand, and provide better products and services to both existing and new clients across the country.

ROAD SAFETY:Advocates Urges PSC Recommendations Made for Further Strengthening of Bill

By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 30th Sept:- Leading NGOs working on road safety across India came together in the national capital to discuss the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016.
The Bill, which was introduced in the Parliament on August 9, 2016, by Union Transport Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari, aims to fill the gaps in the legislative framework that governs road safety in the country by amending the 28-year-old Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA).On August 16, the Bill was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Transport, Tourism and Culture for its review and recommendations.
During the two-day conference held in New Delhi, the organizations expressed appreciation for the Government’s commitment to introduce a strong road safety legislation in the Parliament, while urging that the Bill be further strengthened and passed in the winter session without delay. The NGOs discussed the provisions of the Bill and arrived at a unanimous view that the Bill is a significant step forward, while also highlighting specific policy gaps that still needed to be addressed.
Piyush Tewari, Founder and CEO of SaveLIFE Foundation said that as road safety advocates, we welcome the introduction of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Bill addresses various crucial safety elements such as child safety, improvements in driver licensing system, provision for electronic enforcement, and rationalization of penalties for various life-threatening offences.The provisions related to globally recognised road safety risk factors should be further strengthened in the bill. We urge the standing committee to address these gaps and submit its report at the earliest so that the Bill can be passed in the winter session.
The organisations that participated in the conference included Consumer Voice (Delhi), Centre for Road Safety-Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice (Jaipur), Citizen Consumer and civic Action Group (Chennai), CUTS International (Jaipur), Institute of Public Health (Bengaluru), Parisar (Pune), and Save Life Foundation (Delhi).
During the discussion, the group strongly urged the PSC to comprehensively address safety of children during commute. Ashim Sanyal, Consumer Voice, a Delhi based non-profit, said that in its report to the Parliament, PSC should recommend inclusion of mandatory use of child restraint systems in line with recognised safety standards, as well as provisions to ensure appropriate headgears for children under 4 years of age on two-wheelers in order to protect millions of children who use roads every day in India.
International experts on road safety from the Global Road Safety Partnership,a hosted project of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which participated in the conference, supported the Government of India's recent efforts to improve the country's road safety legislation.
Dave Elseroad from the GRSP, stated that while the immediate passage of the amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act is an important step, sustained political support for its implementation and enforcement is vital to reduce road crash fatalities and serious injuries in India.
Given that over 13 lakh people have been killed in road accidents in India in the past decade, of which 1.46 lakh people were killed in 2015 alone, this Bill with key provisions further strengthened will prove to be critical in addressing this epidemic. This is a crucial step towards achieving the target to reduce road crash fatalities by 50% by 2020 as committed by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways at the Brasilia Conference on Road Safety in 2015.

Short Film on Rising in Suicide Cases of Farmers Released

By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 30th Sept:- A Short film, "Antim Ichha" is one amongst its series that has been written to challenge negative attitude of the society.  The short films sometimes leave meaningful messages for society.  Short films are made to guide society.
The film is conceived by Hum Akaali Production, film is produced by Shivcharan Singh Bhangoo along with co-producer Jatin Singh Khalsa.  This Short Film is directed by Paramjit Ghumaan. The film's writer is Pulkit Kochar and dialogues are written by Parmailjot Benipal and Dharminder Dass Bawa.
The film's lead characters played by Jagdish Papra, Jasbir Kaur, Gurpreet Singh and Parmailjot Benipal.  The music of this film has given by Pargat Ghumaan whereas the songs are written by Sarab Ghumaan.
Film is an unique concept, where the main Character of this film Amarjit is weighed down by heavy load of bank loans which he is unable to repay.  In this crisis situation, even his own family and society is against him instead of giving their support.  Amarjit is struggling with life circumstances, but the actions taken by bank leaves him with a broken heart.
He has discouraged by life, chooses to die. But before dying he leaves a message for the family and society.   This film has a message for families, in harmony with the views expressed by Amarjit Singh about today's society for saving precious lives from suicides.
The film fights the human psychological and narrow-minded members to help move a positive message that the whole family should feel the burden of his personal and family duties.
Short film "Antim Ichaa" has given a positive message to fading relationships and unbalanced society. As of today, we desperately need such films.