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Showing posts from July 20, 2018

RS passes amendments to anti-corruption law

The legislation is aimed at helping bankers take business decisions without fear In a move aimed at providing relief to bankers and helping them take business decisions without fear, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2013. It comes at a time when bankers are facing intense scrutiny for their lending decisions with many former and current bankers arrested by investigative agencies over loans that have now turned non-performing. Bankers have been awaiting the amendments for a long time and have argued that they should not be prosecuted for lending decisions made honestly. According to the amendments, a police officer will now have to take prior permission from appropriate authorities while pursuing cases. Further, bankers cannot be pulled under the corruption law unless they have accumulated assets disproportionate to their income or have misappropriated assets entrusted to them. “The amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act is a welcome dev…

LS approves bill to bring back fugitive economic offenders

Bill seeks to give powers to centre to confiscate local, overseas assets of offenders such as Nirav, Mallya The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018, which seeks to bring back white collar criminals, who have fled the country, to face trial in India. The government has been facing severe criticism from opposition parties for its failure to prevent economic fugitives from fleeing the country. When the bill becomes law, it will empower the centre to seize both local and overseas assets of alleged offenders, such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who chose not to return to India to face the law even after arrest warrants were issued. It seeks to target fugitives for offences exceeding `100 crore. The bill will extend not only to loan defaulters and fraudsters, but also to individuals who violate laws governing taxes, black money, benami properties and financial corruption. According to the provisions of the bill, all individuals attempting to …

Won’t Prepare High-Risk List: Sebi to Mauritius

But custodian banks tell Mauritian officials Sebi told them to prepare list India’s capital market regulator Sebi has told the Mauritius government that it will not come out with a list of “high-risk jurisdictions”. Senior Sebi officials assured this at a meeting with a delegation led by the CEO of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius, Harvesh Seegolam, on Wednesday. “Sebi gave assurance that it is neither working on, nor contemplating to produce any list at its level, which will identify Mauritius as a high-risk jurisdiction,” FSC said in a statement. However, on Monday and Tuesday when Mauritian officials met custodians (of foreign funds) to understand the basis on which they had identified Mauritius as a high-risk jurisdiction, officials of custodian banks said they had prepared the list of high-risk countries at Sebi’s direction. In the light of a recent Sebi circular, tagging a country as ‘high-risk’ would mean large investors and beneficial owners of funds entering…

Narendra Modi govt pushes anti-graft Bills ahead of trust vote

BJP leaders also reached out to friendly parties to shore up the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) numbers for Friday's no-confidence motion On the eve of the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, the Narendra Modi government on Thursday built a narrative to showcase its efforts at curbing corruption, while the Opposition tried to punch holes in its claims. Aware that opposition parties would demand answers on the government’s purported failure on the anti-corruption front — a plank that helped the Modi-lead Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweep the 2014 elections — the government successfully pushed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill through the Lok Sabha, while the Rajya Sabha passed a Bill that seeks to amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. After criticism that it was attempting to dilute the Right to Information Act, including from Congress president Rahul Gandhi who said the amendments would make the law "useless", the government deferred its introduction in …

National GST appellate tribunal on anvil, Council to decide on July 21

The Centre and state governments would have to amend the GST law if the proposal is approved by the Council in its next meeting on July 21 The GST Council will consider setting up of a National Appellate Tribunal in Delhi with three regional benches with members from judiciary as well as tax departments to hear appeals against the order of the appellate authority set up by states under the GST regime. According to the proposal which will be placed before the Council on July 21, three benches of the national appellate tribunal would be set up at Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The proposal is aimed at dealing with the problem faced by industry on account of contradictory orders passed by Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) in different states. It has also been observed that most of the AAR orders are in the favour of the revenue department as these authorities are manned by tax officials. Industry has been demanding that an independent judicial member should preside over the functioning of t…