Mallya among elders making most of corporate directorships

The Hindu Business Line, April 20, 2015

Business tycoon Vijay Mallya, an Independent MP from Karnataka, has 11 ?remunerative? company directorships. The companies include Bayer Crop Science, Mangalore Chemicals and Sanofi India. He also has ?shareholding of controlling nature? in United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders, Cineblitz Productions, Devi Investment and VJM Investments Pvt Ltd, among others.

According to the declarations made by 211 Rajya Sabha MPs, Mallya, whose grounded air carrier Kingfisher Airlines owes lenders close to ₹7,000 crore, got the highest amount from remunerative directorships, at ₹8.81 crore a year. He has declared assets of ₹615 crore.

Interestingly, the top three Rajya Sabha MPs getting the highest amount from such directorships are from Karnataka, according to an analysis of the Register of Members? Interest, containing details of business/pecuniary interests of 211 Rajya Sabha MPs, procured through RTI by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, another Independent MP from the State, declared total remunerative directorships of ₹6 crore a year from companies such as Jupiter Capital, Vectra Consultancy and Garden City Plantations.

D Kupendra Reddy of JD(S) has remunerative directorship worth ₹3.24 crore a year, but has not declared the companies? name. He has ?shareholding of controlling nature? in RGA Software System, Sireesh Auto and Primal Projects, among others.

The ADR report comes close on the heels of a ?conflict of interest? row over a BJP MP and beedi baron being part of a parliamentary panel on pictorial warnings on tobacco packs ? he insisted that there is no link between tobacco and cancer.

A total of 35 MPs declared having ?shareholding of a controlling nature? in companies, with the top three belonging to Maharashtra.

The highest number was declared by Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena), who holds shares in 31 companies, such as Videocon Telecom, Aristo Realtors, Century Appliances and Marathwada Medical Research. Kakde Sanjay Dattatraya (Independent) declared shares in 30 companies such as Kakade Constructions and Kakade Developers.

Paid consultancy

The highest amount for ?paid consultancy? was declared by Ashok S Ganguly (Nominated) with ₹36 lakh. A member of the Parliamentary Committee on Commerce, Ganguly has remunerative directorship in Wipro, Dr Reddy?s Lab and Diageo, and a ?shareholding of controlling nature? in ABP.

The second highest ?paid consultancy? was declered by KTS Tulsi (Nominated) with ₹27.50 lakh. He is a legal retainer with the Tata Group. Narendra Kumar Kashyap (BSP) has declared ₹10.53 lakh for paid legal consultancy.

When it comes to ?professional engagements?, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (Nominated) was among the top three and declared receiving total fees/remuneration worth ₹72.79 crore, followed by Tulsi with ₹19.13 crore and actor Mithun Chakraborty (Trinamool Congress) with ₹16.93 crore.

Welcoming the disclosures by Rajya Sabha MPs to avoid ?conflict of interest?, the ADR sought disclosure of financial interests of Lok Sabha MPs, too. It has written to the Prime Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker, urging them to adopt it at the earliest.

?Required disclosures by the MPs will pre-empt scenarios where conflict of interest may impede the process of policy making,? said the ADR?s letter to the PM.

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