News & Notes 776:Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC) Quarterly Report July - Oct 2018
Funds and Assets Management Committee (FAMC) Quarterly Report July - Oct 2018
FAMC ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES
We would like to report to the community that at present FAMC has 7 active members. Also, Vijaya Shankar, our financial secretary resigned recently due to personal reasons. We would also like to request the community that, as far as possible, when reporting an issue, please send us supporting documents, if any, as attachments. This helps our secretariat to easily convert them to add them to our google drive — our main administrative tool. Thank you for your collaboration with this.
Office hours are:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 09:30 - 12:30 & 2:30 – 4:30
Location: FAMC office, 2nd floor, Town Hall
Contact: adminfamc (at) auroville.org.in; Ph. 0413-2623649
Tuesdays 9:30am.-12pm. and Thursdays 2pm.-4:30pm.
UNITS AND TRUSTS
- Palayam Trust: Reappointment of Trustees: Trustees V. Gunaseelam, Juergen Puetz, and Michael Kai were approved for reappointment for a term of five years.
- Altecs Trust: Trustee changes: The following trustee changes have been approved: Re-appointment of Clemens Gruttmann, Christa Ursulla Gruttmann (Coco), appointment of Divya Kapoor and resignation of Bernard Grenier (Nadaka). The current trustees have a term of five years.
- Functional Forms (ADPS Trust): New unit: FAMC issued a resolution approving the creation of a new unit Functional Forms with executives Shama Dalvi and Monica Tobar. As new executives, they have an initial term of 3 years. Scope of work: Architectural Design, landscaping, interior, interior products and construction management.
- Shri Arohan (Artisana Trust): New unit: FAMC issued a resolution approving the creation of a new unit Shri Arohan with executives Sanjay Kusale, Meena Kusale and R. Sreevatsa. As new executives, they have an initial term of 3 years. Scope of work: Weaving eco-friendly fabric by on solar power looms from certified organic cotton yarn.
- Services United Network (Service Trust): New Unit: FAMC issued a resolution approving the creation of a new unit SUN with executives Chandresh Patel, Paula Murphy and Angelo Salerno. As new executives, they have an initial term of 3 years. Scope of work: To help Aurovilians and teams to start services as small activities which can later become a full-fledged unit; To help such activities with administrative functions (with no profit motive), Auroville processes, accounting structures, transactional and business process setups.
- Integral World (ABC Trust): New Unit: FAMC issued a resolution approving the creation of a new unit Integral World with executives Manisha Munjal, Lakshay Dharan and Jurgen Axer. As new executives, they have an initial term of 3 years. Scope of work: Consultancy and solutions for the development sector such as: Long-term communication strategy; Turnkey outreach implementation; Production and publication; Reporting and documentation; Brand Building/positioning; Marketing and promotions; Fundraising tactics and solutions; and Event Management.
- Worktree (Discovery Trust): New Unit: FAMC issued a resolution approving the creation of a new unit Worktree with executives Luk Gastmans, Shanti Gastmans and Jana Early. As new executives, they have an initial term of 3 years. Scope of work: Wooden kitchenware and tableware; Soft dolls
- Needam Guesthouse (Guest House Trust): Executive appointment: FAMC issued a resolution approving Charanjeet Singh as a new executive. Howard S. Iriyama (Amrit) is the other executive. As a new executive, Charanjeet has an initial term of 3 years.
- Cynergy (ADPS Trust): Executive appointment: FAMC issued a resolution approving Ruchir Sharma as a new executive. Monica Tobar Alverez and Heimlick Akash are the other executives. As a new executive, Ruchir Sharma has an initial term of 3 years.
- Auromode Apartments: Change of Trust: The unit, Auromode Apartments with Andre Hababou and Louis Cohen as executives was moved to Hospitality Trust. FAMC issued a resolution for the same.
- Martuvam Healing Forest: Building asset issue: A long-pending issue about a building asset between Housing Board and this unit were resolved with the help of Working Committee members and the Secretary, Auroville Foundation. The unit is currently directly under Auroville Foundation, but it is hoped that the unit moves to a suitable trust soon.
- Conscious Living (Artisana Trust): Executive changes: FAMC issued a resolution approving the following executive changes: 2 years reappointment for Fabien Bontemps and 2 years appointment for Kumbha Y. Grenier, a new executive. A third executive is still to be identified.
- Auroville Online Store (ADPS Trust) Change in scope of work: FAMC issued a resolution approving as an extension in the scope of work for this unit as noted below:
- The unit is now authorized to:
- - Engage in Photo/Video Services both within Auroville and externally. However, any external work must be done under a brand name/credit that does not contain the name Auroville.
- - Engage in Marketing Support within Auroville and externally. However, any external work must be done under a brand name/credit that does not contain the name Auroville.
- Naturellement (Free Flow Trust): Unit contributions: Naturellement has an exemption from cash contributions to City Services as it supports Auroville with an in-kind contribution by supplying jams to schools. FAMC clarified to the unit executive that the exemption applied to the production unit does not extend to the restaurant. The unit must maintain separate accounts for the restaurant and production unit, and the eatery contribution policy is to be applied to the restaurant. The unit also needs to appoint 2 more executives.
- Buildaur (Kattida Kalai Trust): Unit contributions: Buildaur has agreed to pay its outstanding contribution to City Services of a total amount of Rs 28, 82,193/- over a period of five years. As pointed out by Buildaur, it was noted that the unit has made significant in-kind contributions to Auroville over the years, including creation of building assets. However, as per current policy, barring specific exemptions, the current policy is that any in-kind contribution by a unit should be done from the remainder of the profits, after the 1/3 profit contribution to City Services. So Buildaur’s in-kind contributions were not taken into account in calculating their pending City Service contribution.
- Youth housing selection approval: The third and fourth batch of residents, qualifying for youth housing for Humanscapes and Project X & Y, as recommended by the subgroup, was approved by FAMC.
- Satyavan’s stewardship for a house in Reve: FAMC and Housing agreed given the fact that Satyavan now has a registered activity for vehicle (including cars) repair and maintenance and there is no objection from others at Reve, Satyavan can be given stewardship of the house he occupies in Reve, under “AV Youth” allocations. Allocation of stewardship is currently provisional and will be made permanent, with the issue of Stewardship Papers, in January 2019, after review.
- Repatriation funds for Anamika: FAMC approved for a repatriation amount for Anamika, a long-term Aurovilian who left Auroville in August 2018 to settle back in Holland. We wish her all the best in this next phase of her life!
The City Services budget for the year 2018-19 was approved in July. We trust that BCC and FAMC will collaborate to ensure more timely approval of the annual budget.
- Creation of a new farm: Manvasam Farm: The Farm Group requested stewardship of land marked R 98/1B, IR 96/3A, IR 96/3B, IR 96/4 and to have Selvam - erstwhile working at Annapurna dairy farm - as a caretaker who wants to set up a dairy farm called Manavasam farm. FAMC agreed to give stewardship of these plots to Farm Group, but clarified that the roadside plot not be brought under farm development, without further approval from FAMC.
- Building Applications: TDC recommended and FAMC reviewed and approved the following projects:
- - Soffio Housing Project in the Residential Zone for blocks C1, C2, D1 & D2. (Submitted by Dorle)
- - A small dis-mountable capsule, made mainly from natural materials at Aurogreen for use by volunteers. (Submitted by Suzie, Aurogreen community)
- - Building extension and roof renovation at Pump House (Submitted by Nagappan and Grace)
- - Building extension and roof renovation at Realization (Submitted by Jayaraman)
- Presentation by the Land Board: The new Land Board made a comprehensive presentation of their work to a joint meeting of the FAMC and Working Committee.
- Due diligence procedure: FAMC created, with input from the Land Board and the Working Committee members, a due diligence procedure and checklist to ensure all land purchases are made as per process.
WORKING COMMITTEE RELATED
- Contested land (IR 426/1C2): Working Committee (WC) gave us an update of the legal proceedings undertaken about the 8.17-acre plot (IR 426/1C2) that Auroville purchased, and which was then contested.
- 100% tax exemption status for research projects: Specific research projects may qualify for 100% tax exemption. Tax exemptions for Research Projects or Research Units will be granted only by Auroville Foundation at the recommendation of FAMC. The Secretary’s view was that Research need to put any surplus income back into their research in the next financial year. He also proposed the idea that Research Projects seeking tax exemption can be organized under a distinct entity or umbrella that only has research-based projects. The Secretary mentioned the need of a Secretariat for overall coordination of sharing eligibility, application process and submission of reports of research projects that request 100% tax exemption status. Specifically, clarifications were made about the following projects/units enjoying this status:
- Kalpana housing project: The tax exemption is only for the housing project not for the non-housing entities moving into it. As the project had 4 units only earmarked for offices it is not advisable to use the tax exemption status for more office spaces. As an exception, (given the fait accompli by project holders) the 4 units may be accepted in the exempted category, but this benefit may not be transferred to other projects via subsequent Housing Service or Trust transfers.
- CSR and the Industrial Scientific Research Certification: It was clarified that currently tax exemption under this certification is issued to the Auroville Foundation as a whole and not specifically to CSR as it was originally. As per standard practice, for the exemption for Income Tax and the Certification for Industrial and Scientific research, organisations are expected to account for the income and expenditure in a standard format and surplus revenue must be subsequently utilised for applied research. Discussion is still ongoing with CSR, FAMC, and Auroville Foundation to better understand how Auroville and CSR can meet its goals and meet all the necessary requirements for continuing to avail this certification.
- Tamil Heritage Center Monitoring Committee: The Auroville Foundation office, the Working Committee and the FAMC have constituted a Monitoring Committee (MC) to oversee the construction and timely completion of the Tamil Heritage Center building. The MC currently consists of:
- - Mr. Chunkath (Secretary AVF)
- - Mr. Srinivasamurthy (Under-Secretary AVF)
- - Shankar (Bharat Nivas Trustee-WC Nominee)
- - Ranjith (WC member)
- - Prabhu & Dhruv (FAMC members)
POLICY AND GUIDELINES
- Maintenance guideline: Routing of maintenances: ALL maintenances MUST be routed through the Financial Services Collection system. Information was disseminated to all units, trusts, the Unity Fund and Financial Services about this requirement.
- Trial balance sheets guideline: Trial balance sheets to be submitted after every 6 months and after every 9 months of the financial year: Every year, late submission of Balance Sheets by some units and trusts delays the consolidation of the Auroville Foundation’s Balance Sheets for submission to the Government of India. In order to improve timely submission of Balance Sheets, the FAMC has decided that beginning this financial year (2018-19), all the units and trusts will submit periodic trial balances. The first is for the first 6 months (April to September) and is due by 15th Nov. The second is from April to December and is due by 31st January. The Trial Balances will show correct opening and closing balances for all ledgers and will not be subject to change without reasonable, written explanation to the FAMC upon submission, with the exception of stocks/inventory, which is not required for the Trial Balances.
- Credit card guideline: Units and trusts cannot possess or apply for credit cards without approval of Governing Board: The FAMC has been advised by our Chartered Accountants Advisory Panel that credit cards are considered as external loan instruments and subject to the same rules as loans. Consequently, the issuance of credit cards is governed by Article 25 of the Auroville Foundation Act which states: “...the Governing Board shall have the power to borrow on the security of the properties of Auroville...” As the Governing Board has not to our knowledge discharged this power to any other group, body, or office, obtaining a credit card at this time can only be approved by the Governing Board.
- The FAMC will be approaching the Governing Board:
- 1. To allow the FAMC to approve credit cards for units via the loan policy.
- 2. To allow Financial Service to maintain a credit card for Auroville units in need of the use of a credit card for specific purposes (e.g., car rental, online purchases that do not allow debit card use).
- Those units or trusts that have credit cards issued by banks, are requested to share the following details with the FAMC
- 1. Unit/ Trust / individual name if issued via unit
- 2. Bank name and credit agency (eg. SBI/Master or visa or Rupay etc.)
- 3. Date of first issued and current expiry
- 4. Credit limit in Rupees
- 5. Authorised users who have access to the card etc.
- With the growth of Auroville and its units, it becomes more and more important for us to have full compliance of rules laid down for Auroville Foundation. We request the cooperation of all units regarding this.
Chartered Accountants Advisory Panel (CAAP) members: As mentioned in our last report, CAAP has now been constituted and offers advice to FAMC on a need basis. CAAP currently comprises: Sri Bremnathan of Brem Nathan and Associates, Pondicherry; Sri P Prabakaran; Sri Venkata Subramanian from KNR Associates
Bindu, Chali, Daniele, Dhruv, Lyle, Prabhu, and Nicole (Active FAMC members)