Thursday, July 5, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



US-64: a big blow to small investors

Genuine investors at this point of time are a confused lot. Interest rates are on a downward slope. The stock market is in the doldrums after the recent scam and the end of badla trading. Now the biggest blow to investors is the fallout of the US-64 scheme which is the most popular scheme of the UTI.

Now the UTI has declared a meagre dividend of only 10 per cent which translates into an effective yield of only 7.4 per cent considering the July 2000 sale price of Rs 13.50, which is much lower than the interest rate on bank deposits.

Also the decision to suspend the sale and repurchase of US-64 units till December 2001 is not justifiable. It is a big blow to small investors. It is clearly mentioned in the offer document that the scheme provides instant liquidity throughout the year except during the book closure. The suspension of sale and repurchase of units till December 2001 clearly defeats the purpose and objectives of the scheme.

The justification that UTI gives regarding liquidity that the scheme is listed on NSE will also not provide any relief to small investors as the US-64 scheme is listed at only the wholesale debt market segment (WDM) of NSE. Since small investors cannot trade directly on WDM, they have to approach brokers who are members of the WDM segment and who are available only in metros.


Also more than 90 per cent of small investors have not got these units dematerialised. So it would be difficult for them to trade on NSE. The volume of trading in the scheme is also very thin. It is also not possible to find out the market value of these units as UTI doesn’t disclose its NAV.

The other blow to the investors is since US-64 units are transferable and pledgeable, the suspension of sale and repurchase will result in illiquidity of these units. Banks and financial institutions which have given loans and advances against these units may recall their loan amounts.

I request investors, CEOs, brokers, fund managers, analysts, traders and employees to oppose the UTI’s foolish decision of suspending the repurchase of the US-64 scheme.

HARTAJ SINGH, Chandigarh

The way the govt works

Apropos Talveen Singh’s write-up “Wanted: a govt that works faster” (June 16), I would like to recall an anecdote of the British days with regard to red-tapism.

A Viceroy was taking a round of Delhi along with his ADC. On seeing a huge government building, he casually asked his ADC about accommodation available in the building.

The ADC wrote his enquiry on a note which was sent to the Secretary, PWD. The Secretary marked the note to the Chief Engineer, who passed it on to the SE/Exen. Ultimately down the padder, it reached the chowkidar of the building.

The chowkidar recorded the information on the note and then the note travelled upwards through all the channels and ultimately reached the Viceroy after about a month.

The Viceroy on reading the note wrote that at this stage he did not remember to have asked for the information; but now that it had come, he “is pleased to observe that the only useful person in the whole organisation is the chowkidar”.

O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Railway inefficiency

The Railways is an excellent example of inefficiency and waste. Things like “customer service” do not appear on their planning agenda.

Giving it any more money will amount to feeding this irresponsible monster and encouraging existing inefficiencies.

They should break up the huge system into manageable operating units and let each unit measure its performance against industry and internal bench-marks. Many successful multinational companies (e.g GM) have done this very successfully.

JASBEER SINGH, by e-mail

Drivers & traffic police

I frequently travel in buses. I have observed that bus drivers take undue advantage of their unions and on even minor issues they use their buses to block the road, thus harassing the public.

The place for the settlement of a dispute is the table, not the road.

Policemen perform a very hard duty of 12 hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the sun to control traffic. Instead of being appreciated, they are looked down upon by drivers of buses, trucks, three-wheelers and other vehicles.




Abortion & tubectomy

This refers to the news item “Tubectomy death blamed on doctor” (June 18). Government doctors don’t like to send the patient back even if she is 10 weeks pregnant, especially if targets are to be met. Abortion is a common cause of death in women in India.

In our hospitals we permit our doctors to do MTP and tubectomy only in patients up to six weeks of pregnancy. It is for the Director, Health Services, to issue orders that tubectomy should not be combined with pregnancy of eight weeks or more. Do the abortion first and then tubectomy after six weeks.

Doctors should also keep in mind that perforation of uterus can occur at the time of abortion which can result in serious complications. In this case it is possible that abortion complications have been overlooked and the blame has come on tubectomy.

Dr T. S. CHEEMA, Ludhiana



Pensioners’ demand

The Government of India decided more than two years ago in respect of Central Government pre-1.1.1996 pensioners that where the amount of revised pension falls short of 50 per cent of the minimum of the relevant revised scales of pay of the posts held by them at the time of retirement, it should be stepped up to that. This has been done to bring some sort of parity between post and pre-1.1.1996 retirees.

The Punjab state services pensioners have not been given this benefit in spite of representations being made from time to time. Haryana has already given this benefit to their pre-1.1.1996 pensioners.

SHIV SINGH, Jalandhar

Triphala wonders

Apropos Dr T. Vatsyayan’s article “Triphala — an age old ayurvedic medicine” (June 27). This is a very cheap, easily available and wonderful medicine. It should be used throughout life. I have also carried out research on this medicine and I would like to add the following two things for the benefit of patients:

The preparation should be in the ratio of harad-one, baheda-2 and amla-4. The dose should be one gram for 10 years of age. It should increase with age. It should be taken in the morning with fresh water and one should avoid eating anything for about 45 minutes after this. It can be taken with honey, jaggery, sund etc. The preparation should not be more than four months old.



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