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Shoppers make a beeline as traders drop prices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With two days to go before the India International Trade Fair (IITF) concludes on Tuesday, visitors are making hay as traders are selling their merchandise at reduced prices. While a lot of participants rue that the GST hit their profits this year, discounted prices have added to the joy of shoppers at the 37th IITF.From Korean blankets, marble figurines, Turkish carpets to goods made from camel leather, the IITF has products to offer for every budget. While Chhattisgarh is attracting buyers with its native Dhokra art, which uses brass as the main element to make sculptures; the artifacts in the form of animals, religious figures and lamps showcasing a beautiful marriage between tribal simplicity and finesse, are flying off the shelves. The artifacts have a nominal starting price of Rs 250.From brass door handles, decorative items for walls and home decor, the stall at Saras market is drawing buyers in hordes. The visitors are also buying mugs, slippers and lamps made from bamboo, being sold for anything between Rs 100 to Rs 500, depending on the intricacy of work done on the merchandise. Talking to DNA, Saryu Bansal, a visitor said,”Though on the last days, most of the top quality products are already off the shelves, I have been lucky to have found some great deals on home decor and clothes this year. One can get a good deal if one has the right bargaining skills.”Products made from camel leather, bearing art stamp and craft of Madhya Pradesh are also popular among the shoppers here. These are priced between Rs 50 to Rs 5000 and range from beautifully crafted figures of animal, settees in shape of tortoise etc costing Rs 1,200, small animals at Rs 150 to other decorative items at Rs 250. The shoppers are also enchanted with the wall clocks, photo frames, wall hangings, jewellery boxes, pen stands etc, made from traditional cone ceramic art.Businessmen, however, are unhappy with their sales this year at the IITF, citing the GST as the main reason. Reeling under losses for the second year in a row, they rue that it was demonetisation which impacted their business last year.Radhika Choudhary, an artist from Indore, who was selling cone art decor products at the IITF, claimed that her sale was reduced to half this year because people were not willing to pay the tax. The lesser number of visitors this year since India Trade Promotion Organisation put a cap of 60,000 on them, also took the sheen away from the IITF. The number of participants also came down to half, at around 3,000 this year as opposed to over 6,000 stalls in previous years.

‘Ittefaq’ team served notice for promoting smoking

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Couple of days after the release of Ittefaq, Delhi health department slashed notices to the Director and Producer of the thriller movie under Section five of Cigarette and other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 for promoting smoking. The notice points out that a promotional poster shows one of the actors lighting a cigarette.”We have sent a notice under COTPA Act to Karan Johar, his production house, and the director of the movie for promoting smoking. One of the promotional posters show Akshaye Khanna lighting a cigarette, which encourages younger generation and promotes tobacco,” said Dr SK Arora, Additional Director, State Tobacco Control Officer, Delhi Health Department.”It has been three days since we sent out the notice via speed post (and e-mailed), but we have not heard anything from them so far. If we do not hear for another four days, we will send a strict compliance notice to take down this promotional poster from everywhere including social media sites,” he adds.Section 5 of COTPA act states: “No person engaged in, or purported to be engaged in the production, supply or distribution of cigarettes or any other tobacco products shall advertise and no person having control over a medium shall cause to be advertised cigarettes or any other tobacco products through that medium and no person shall take part in any advertisement which directly or indirectly suggests or promotes the use or consumption of cigarettes or any other tobacco products. No person, shall, under a contract or otherwise promote or agree to promote the use or consumption of Cigarettes or any other tobacco product.”Movie PosterThe promotional poster of the movie, which does not display any warning, shows actor Akshaye Khanna lighting a cigarette.

Govt seeks action against illegal hookah bars in city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Thursday wrote a letter to the Delhi Police commissioner seeking action against hookah bars running illegally from the national Capital.Amulya Patnaik, Additional Director (Health) SK Arora, in a letter, said that despite repeated requests for action, the hookah bars were still running in various restaurants, eatery houses, and hotels “illegally” in several parts of the Capital.A recent notification from the Ministry of Health on October 23 completely prohibits the use of hookah even in smoking zones. “A large number of hookah bars are operating from various parts of the capital. We have informed the Delhi Police about all these bars which are illegally operating from the Capital,” Arora said in his letter.He added hookah smoking was not allowed in non-smoking zones as per Section 4 of The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA).According to the officials, most of the owners of these hookah bars claim that they were using herbal materials but the seized material from these hookah bars, during several raids, showed the presence of nicotine in a significant amount in all the samples during chemical analysis.”This clearly indicates that in the name of herbs, they are using nicotine alone or as an additive to these herbal mixtures, so that people have an urge for repetition, and ultimately get trapped in the addicting potential of nicotine,” the letter said.Certain areas from where repeated complaints were reported such as Connaught Place, Hauz Khas village, Rajouri Garden, Janakpuri district centre, Greater Kailash 1 and 2, Defence Colony, cinema theatres and various shopping malls might be raided extensively in view of open violations, it said. Arora urged the police commissioner to issue instructions to the district police headquarters to conduct raids on all the restaurants and hotels to completely ban the use of hookah in Delhi and protect the younger generation from the menace of tobacco.FAKE CLAIMS?According to the officials, most of the owners of these hookah bars claim that they were using herbal materials but the seized material from these hookah bars, during several raids, showed the presence of nicotine in a significant amount in all the samples during chemical analysis.

Ban matchboxes, lighters in metro: Delhi govt tells CISF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has written to the CISF, asking it to prohibit passengers from carrying matchboxes and lighters in metro trains and on station premises as it “promotes smoking”.In its letter, the health department said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) does not allow such items at airports and for the same obvious reasons these items should not be allowed in the DMRC premises as well.The health department, last month, had issued a strict compliance notice to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in this regard.The DMRC had in January taken lighters and matchboxes off the list of restricted items. A commuter is now allowed to carry one matchbox and one lighter in metro trains and on station premises.”We have come to know that security to the DMRC is provided by the CISF as an independent government body under the Ministry of Home Affairs and these items (lighter and matchboxes) are allowed after the CISF security check of the commuters,” Dr S K Arora, Additional Director (Health), Delhi said.Arora in his letter sought an urgent action not only in public health interest to protect non-smokers from the hazards of the smoke but also in the interest of safety of commuters and staff as these fire-causing items may cause a big security risk any time in the present sensitive scenario.”It is worth mentioning that when the CISF doesn’t allow such items at airports then for the same obvious reasons these items should not be allowed in DMRC also,” he said in the letter.”Therefore, you are requested to look into the matter urgently in public health interest and also in the interest of safety of the commuters and staff in the DMRC,” he said.Earlier, a strict compliance notice was issued to the DMRC under Section 4 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, asking it to stop allowing matchboxes and lighters in metro trains and on station premises, or legal action would be initiated against it and the erring commuters.

Marine Quest 2017 quiz for school students in coastal states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aiming to create awareness among children about the importance of fish and fishery products in people’s lives, Marine Products Export Development Authority is organizing a national level quiz competition ‘Marine Quest 2017’ for school students across coastal states of India. The regional rounds will be held in coastal states, including Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The winning teams from the regional rounds will compete in thed Grand Finale, to be organised in Kochi on August 24. The contest is open for students of Classes VIII to XII, of all educational boards State/CBSE/ICSE. “We will host the regional level competition in nine coastal states, including Kerala.This is the fourth edition of the competition and MPEDA’s focus is on making children aware of the contribution of marine products exports towards our national economy,” said MPEDA Chairman Dr A Jayathilak in a release here. The winning team at ‘Marine Quest 2017’ finals stands to win Rs 25,000 cash award. The first and second runners up will get a prize of Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively, it said. “Around 60 per cent of the quiz questions will be related directly to the fisheries sector and the remaining will be mostly general knowledge,” the Chairman added. MPEDA will arrange for accommodation and food and reimburse the travel expenses (up to 3-tier AC train ticket fare) for the qualifying team and one accompanying person for attending the semifinal/final rounds.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Now there won’t be any corruption in dairy: Rupeng Patidaar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Were you expecting that you will become the chairman of RCDF as you were never being considered as a contender?I thank all the members of managing committee for this. I was never in race for the post of chairman of the federation. However, all the members of the managing committee decided on my name as the consensus candidate and I filed the nomination papers after that. I will take everybody along in running this federation.There have been cases of corruption in the dairy in past, hurting the image of this sector. How you plan to deal with this?I don’t know what has happened in the past but now moving forward I can say that there won’t be any corruption in dairy at any level .RCDF is also facing challenges in terms of market from competitors like Amul which has been gaining strength in the state.RCDF is no less. We will discuss our strategy in coming days for the development of federation. We will also be supplying our products in states like Gujarat, MP. RCDF will only gain further strength in the times ahead.The cattle owners have many issues including that of price of milk paid to them. What are your plans for them?We will take everybody along with us. The, federation can progress when the cattle owners are satisfied and all their issues will be resolved. Bigger reachRajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation (RCDF)is no less. We will discuss our strategy in coming days for the development of federation. We will also be supplying our products in states like Gujarat, MP. RCDF will only gain further strength in the times ahead.

ICCI urges TN govt to clear air on sale of adulterated milk

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The local chapter of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), today sought the intervention of Tamil Nadu government to put an end to the controversy over sale of adulterated milk in the state. Reports of adulteration of milk with water have been a part of the standard fare of humour from time immemorial and recently videos of adulteration of milk with more dangerous substances like blotting paper and detergents have been doing rounds causing much anxiety among public, President of the Chamber, Vanitha Mohan said in a statement here. The recent statement of State Minister for Milk and Dairy Products Development K T Rajenthra Bhalaji about adulterated milk sold in Tamil Nadu added muscle to all these claims, she said. With Tamil Nadu reeling under an unprecedented drought and agricultural income of farmers plummeting to an all time low, dairy farming has been the only saving grace and milch animals significantly help the farmers to keep their cash flows balanced to a large extent, she noted. The challenge to the minister’s statement by the milk industry and the data released by the minister have only increased the apprehensions in the minds of the people and it is high time that the government took steps to clear the air, she added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

First phase of malaria vaccine trials end

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though scientists at the ICGEB, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, in the Capital, confirmed the first phase of the human clinical trials of Malaria vaccine and the pre-clinical research of ‘Dengue’ vaccine have been completed, Delhiites have little cause to cheer. This is because both the vaccines undergoing trials will take several years to reach the counters.”The MVDP (Malaria Vaccine Development Programme) jointly setup with the Department of Biotechnology, has been working on these trials for over a decade now but it is still in early stages. It will take years for it to reach the people,” said Doctor Dinakar Salunke, Director, ICGEB.While the malaria vaccine has done some trials on humans, the dengue vaccine and tablet have only just finished their pre-clinical stages and have been transferred to Sun Pharma for the next round of research and trials.”We have completed pre-clinical research work for Dengue in mice and monkeys. Most vaccines that are being prepared have live attenuated virus but the drug research that we are working on has recombinant virus-like particles which resemble viruses but do not carry the DNA/genetic code with it,” said Dr Navin Khanna, Recombinant Gene Products Leader, ICGEB.The laboratory is researching for both tablets and injectable vaccines for dengue, where the tablets will be made from a botanical drug based on a plant called ‘Cissampelos Pareira’. It was found that the extract from this plant can destroy the virus without any side-effects.

Consultation discusses need for sustainable, scalable solutions for menstrual hygiene management in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>New Delhi India, May 29 (ANI-NewsVoir): Thought provoking and possible game changing discussions on access, use, disposal and treatment of menstrual hygiene products in India were presented at the one day consultation: Pushing the Boundaries on the MHM Dialogue held here on Monday. Organised by Dasra in partnership with WaterAid India, RTI International, PATH, Zariya, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and Development Solutions, the consultation focused on discussing sustainable and scalable solutions for Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) value chain, from normalising menstruation to the product landscape and waste management. “It’s not easy to push boundaries on what’s needed for menstrual hygiene management, this MHM dialogue is a unique opportunity to foster collaborative action among Government, Corporates and Civil Society for what needs to be addressed as a public health issue,” said Neera Nundy, Co-founder, Dasra. “Padman helped me understand menstrual hygiene a lot better than what I already knew. Things that I discovered while meeting people for the movie absolutely stunned me. There are lot of superstitions around menstruation and men can play a huge role in MHM. There needs to be a sense of authority, sometimes man’s authority can be used positively. Bollywood has started to address social issues. It is a challenge as educated people like to be entertained and not to be preached. However, it is essential to deliver the message in an entertaining way,? added R. Balki, Indian filmmaker and screenwriter. “Menstrual hygiene management is an important area of work for WaterAid in India and globally. Our approach is comprehensive, going beyond water, sanitation and hygiene services for MHM, to also focus on addressing taboos and creating an enabling environment to foster suitable change. Within MHM, an issue we are increasingly concerning ourselves with is providing information and access to a basket of choices and the management of menstrual waste. We believe that the disposal and treatment of menstrual waste have implications for the health of girls and women, as well as for the environment,” said VK Madhavan, Chief Executive, WaterAid India. PATH?s India country director, Neeraj Jain, while lauding the efforts of the Government for being among the clutch of countries spearheading this critical work, emphasised that PATH?s goal was to help reduce barriers to women and girls? health and development by increasing awareness, access and use of affordable, acceptable menstrual hygiene products at scale. PATH, a global leader in innovations envisions achieving this by working multisectorally with Industry, governments, standards division, partners and innovators, including the voice of girls and women, to bridge gaps between the supply and demand to ensure availability of quality products. Globally PATH has focused its efforts in menstrual health efforts on working with partners to optimise products, develop markets, advocate and implement and evaluate programs and envisions bringing technical expertise towards developing robust, feasible disposable options which are available to all. “The need of the hour is to break the silence around menstruation. We need to understand the special disadvantages that women face while menstruating and account for it across the sanitation value chain. The issue needs a holistic approach and all areas are equally critical, be it ensuring access to products, infrastructure and safe disposal. True success will be to establish menstruation as a normal life process and get rid of all social taboos and myths which make it difficult for women to deal with such a large portion of their life,” said Madhu Krishna, Country Lead ? Sanitation, India Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Zariya?s co-founder, Tanya Mahajan, highlighted the need to look at MHM programming from a holistic perspective. This included understanding the linkages between awareness, access, use and waste management for policy and program development. ?Putting a sanitary napkin in the hands of a rural adolescent girl, while a big win, is not sufficient. She and her family and community need to be made aware of the social norms surrounding menstruation, health impact of overuse of products and appropriate disposal of the product. Products have also become synonymous with non-biodegradable disposable pads which is putting a monumental load on our ecology and waste management systems. Zariya is leveraging its work on the intersection of sanitation and MHM in Rajasthan to inform and add to collective advocating for a change in how MHM is viewed,? she said. RTI International is involved in MHM issues through its multi-sectoral health, education and environmental work around the world. Information and conversations are paramount to help increase knowledge, build respect and reduce negative perceptions. In India, RTI is engaged in innovative water and sanitation solutions that integrate MH waste management along with the management of other human waste streams. ?It is vital for us to recognize, talk about and address the challenge to integrate MHM into sanitation work. Our mothers, daughters, sisters and all women deserve privacy, access and dignity,? noted Myles Elledge, Senior Director, RTI. The MHM Lab set up by WSSCC facilitated a demonstration on creating safe spaces to understand what menstruation is, discuss how to manage periods hygienically and learn about safe disposal. The Product Landscape Gallery displayed various types of products with basic information on products and commercial availability. ?MHM is not just an infrastructure issue. Why is it that even highly educated women are ashamed and embarrassed when they stain their clothes while menstruating even though we know that it is a natural process? To improve the lives of women and girls we need to address the stigma associated with periods and this means taking inequitable gender norms head on,?? said Kamini Prakash, Technical Officer – Equality and Non-Discrimination, WSSCC. ?For many, there are issues of access to hygienic menstrual products and this has an impact on their lives and this often has an intergenerational impact. The disposal of products have costs too. Through our research and interventions, we would like to focus on bringing significant improvements in the value chain of MHM to enable a change,? added Vasudha Chakravarty of Development Solutions. (ANI-NewsVoir) Ends SN NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Civic contractors’ work now a click away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By the end of this month, around 900 civic contractors’ details like their past executed works, penal actions or penalty imposed if any and past performances will be available at one click as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to link contractors’ registration code or vendor code with the Systems Applications Products (SAP) system. In the new system, apart from all details of vendors, officers who authenticate completion of projects, also have to grade the quality of work done by the contractors. “Qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation of all contractors registered with the BMC will be available with one click,” said a senior BMC official. The purpose of the initiative is to keep records of works executed by contractors. Such information will help civic officials while awarding future contracts. At present, work executing departments have to undertake a lengthy and tedious correspondence with each other for tender related remarks, which consumes a lot of time leading to unnecessary delay. “All details of contractors which are needed while evaluating bids will be accessible,” said the official. The new system will be operational from May 31.AnalysisCiting transparency in civic work as the main reason for the move, BMC chief stressed on implementation of SAP. Residents can now expect details of contractors to be made available in the public domain.

Think twice before you smoke in public places in Delhi!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Next time you wish to light a cigarette in a public place in the national capital, think twice! You could well be issued challan by Delhi Police which has launched an anti-smoking campaign under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). More than 700 people have been issued challans for smoking in public places since the drive was launched in mid-February. The Delhi Police is issuing challans directly for the first time under the COTPA which prohibits smoking in public places, sale of tobacco products to minors, and sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions. Earlier, the Delhi Police was using the ‘kalandra’ system wherein a slip used to be issued to the offender who would then go to a magistrate to pay the fine. “The ‘kalandra’ system was proving to be less effective as people often did not give their IDs and did not turn up to pay the fine. Under the COTPA, on-the-spot fine can be levied for violations which is making it more effective,” said Heena Shaikh of Sambandh Health Foundation which has been working on tobacco control. “We have so far caught over 200 violators and challaned them. Every day, 5-7 persons are being caught and challaned by policemen in areas under east Delhi,” said Omvir Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East). Singh said that police have also closed down five hookah bars in east Delhi. The north district police has issued over 263 challans under the COTPA so far, said Jatin Narwal, DCP (North). The southeast district police has also issued 250 challans under the campaign. Enforcing the COTPA will go a long way in reducing prevalence of tobacco usage. The police force is being trained to take action under the COTPA and the campaign will continue, Narwal said. “Prevalence of tobacco users in Delhi is 24.3 per cent with an estimated 10,000 people dying every year due to tobacco-related diseases,” said Mohini Daljeet Singh, CEO of Max India Foundation which is partnering in the campaign.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US Premium AG products associates with AAHAR; International Food and

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hospitality Fair to bring Finest Gourmet Exhibition New Delhi India, Mar 3 (ANI-BusinessWireIndia): In a bid to showcase the most delectable varieties of fruits and nuts from the American soil, U.S. Premium Agricultural Products have announced their association with ?AAHAR 2017? in Delhi. The 32nd annual international exhibition of this culinary extravaganza will be kicked off from7th to 11th March at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. The event is touted to host an exciting ?Culinary and Mixology Competition with U.S. Premium Ag. Products along with ?Culinary Art India?, organized by the Indian Culinary Forum (ICF) and Hospitality First. Reputed Chefs and Mixologists from around the country will compete for top honors with their innovative creations using the best quality U.S. Premium Agricultural Products such as U.S. Cranberries, California Walnuts, USA Pears, Washington Apples, and U.S. Pecans. While the attendees will get to witness the highest quality products and services from the food and beverage industry, the winners of the Culinary and Mixologycompletion will be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges including members of the organizing committee, reputed industry and USDA representatives. ?We are happy to be associated with one of India?s oldest and the most sought after trade show in the food and hospitality industry. As the ingredient partners, our aim is to expand awareness and knowledge of the availability, versatility and utilization techniques of US Cranberries, California Walnuts, USA Pears, Washington Apples and US Pecans in India. We are confident that this association will help us continues to evolve and engage passionate followers of food culture,? said US Cranberry Marketing Committee, Keith Sunderlal, India representative. (ANI-BusinessWireIndia) Ends KS NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Milk is India’s single largest agricultural commodity

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>in value terms surpassing even the combined value of the two principal cereal crops and has helped million of rural households pursue livelihoods, Rath said, adding, “we need to proactively protect our milk producers from the adverse consequences of climate change.” India is self-sufficient in milk and world’s largest milk producer accounting for about 18 per cent of the world’s milk production. As per market research reports, the value of the Indian market for milk and milk products are expected to grow at 15 per cent annually, Rath said. The three-day conference will have 23 technical and commercial sessions wherein the scientists and industry experts will present their research and findings. Nearly 180 exhibitors from India, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luthuania, Malaysia, Neterland, UK, USA and Thailand are showcasing their products, technologies and services.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Investigation: Rs 1,200 crore ‘ghost’ trail leads to Mayawati’s brother

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DNA investigates the elaborate empire of smoke and mirrors set up by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s brother Anand Kumar, who is believed to have created scores of companies to funnel illegal wealth accumulated between 2007 and 2012, when Mayawati was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The first of a three-part series:While Mayawati’s fortunes rose in Uttar Pradesh, apparently so did her brother’s wealth graph. Anand Kumar has emerged as the centre of an intricate network of ghost companies through which hundreds of crores of rupees were routed during his sister’s fourth stint as chief minister, and after that as well.Sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income-Tax (I-T) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed that they were examining close to 70 companies, all of them fake, created by Kumar to convert illegal money into legitimate wealth.Kumar and his wife Vichiter Lata scripted their incredible story of wealth accumulation between 2007 and 2012, reveal investigations by DNA. An analysis of the money trail, ending at Kumar’s door, shows that almost Rs 1,200 crore was received by seven companies and a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) that was opened after 2012, when the BSP was ousted by the Samajwadi Party (SP).Political opponents have alleged that the web of fake companies created by Kumar to mask the money trail actually runs into hundreds. According to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, “It’s unfortunate that in our country there is a nexus between black money and politics. This should be stopped. The country wants a transparent and clean administration.”None of these companies undertook any business activity. They had multiple registered addresses and kept changing their locations across India, show investigations.In fact, the trail created by Kumar is so complex that even investigative agencies are finding it hard to navigate it, an official admitted. Kumar’s companies have, it is learnt, been repeatedly pulled up by regulators for filing false balance sheets, declaring incorrect bank balances and following shady accounting practices.The story of DLA InfrastructureIn 2007, when Mayawati returned as chief minister, Kumar seemed to have hit a jackpot. He was operating in two ways – opening new companies or picking up stakes in other companies across the country, sources said.One of the companies opened by Kumar was DLA Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. In the very first year of its existence, the company had assets of close to Rs 75 crore. In the following five years, it had no business activity. Kumar’s wife Vichiter Lata was the only employee and drew a salary of Rs 30 lakh per year. Its expenses amounted to a few lakhs.Despite this, its assets grew to over Rs 100 crore by 2008. While the source of this money remains unclear, Kumar invested Rs 13.5 crore from DLA Infrastructure to buy shares in Blue Bird Hotels Pvt Ltd. Blue Bird Hotels belonged to none other than Kumar himself. It is through this company that he operates a hotel in Mussoorie. By 2013, almost Rs 124 crore flowed through DLA Infrastructure.So how did DLA Infrastructure rake in the moolah though it had no business operations? A look at the shareholding pattern suggests that DLA Infrastructure’s capital jumped from 1.5 million shares to over 20 million shares (roughly Rs 20 crore at a nominal value of Rs 10 a share) in 2008. Pumping money into them were companies believed to be fronts. These included Ratan Jyoti Credits Ltd, a Meerut-based company, Mumbai-based Darshnik Trading Pvt Ltd and a company called Pioneer Offshore Private Ltd, whose origins are unclear.In 2008, Pioneer Offshore almost doubled its shareholding in DLA Infrastructure while another company, Magnum Plasticiser and Allied Products, picked up 3 million shares. No details about this transaction were submitted to the regulator. The very next year, Pioneer Offshore and Magnum Plasticiser and Allied Products sold their entire stake of about 8 million shares to two companies – owned again by Kumar himself.These included Experience Infraprojects Pvt Ltd and Diksha Windsor Computers Pvt Ltd. Serious doubts remain on why three dubious companies would invest in Kumar’s ghost venture and then sell their stake to two other entities owned by Kumar himself.The LLPIn 2012, Kumar opened V&A Ventures LLP, a possible abbreviation of the names of his wife and his own, since only the two were partners in the entity. LLPs are usually not strictly monitored by the government since they cannot raise money from the public. In what seems to have been a panic reaction to the political reversal in Uttar Pradesh, huge amounts of money seem to have been routed through the LLP.In 2012, when Akhilesh Yadav came to power, Rs 200 crore were routed through the LLP, masquerading it as its income, sources said. This, despite the fact that V&A Ventures had virtually no business. Its registered office was in the upmarket Kasturba Gandhi Marg in central Delhi.The following year, Rs 374 crore was routed through it. In 2014, another Rs 347 crore was shown as income. And in 2015, V&A Ventures filing its financials with the authorities. In just three years, Rs 821 crore had been funneled through this entity.While probing a corruption case involving former Noida chief engineer Yadav Singh, the CBI found the names of several entries in his diary that referred to a man named ‘Bhai Sahab’. The CBI is investigating on the lines that this man could be Mayawati’s brother.Surprisingly, it was the Yadav government that reinstated Singh in 2013 after sacking him over corruption charges the previous year. His reinstatement came even as a CB-CID probe was going on against him.A detailed questionnaire on the transactions and operations was sent to Kumar and the management of these companies. Despite repeated reminders, they remained unanswered. Numerous attempts to reach out to Kumar were also unsuccessful.

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