The proposed law will give statutory powers to CBI specifically to look into corruption cases and prosecute offenders all over the country without the consent of the state governments
New Delhi: Taking a step forward in its fight against corruption, the Indian government is considering a recommendation to give more powers to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by enacting a law which will empower it to probe graft cases nationwide without the consent of the state governments, reports PTI.
If it comes into being, the proposed law will give statutory powers to the investigation agency specifically to look into corruption cases and prosecute offenders all over the country, highly placed official sources said.
As per the proposal, which is at a nascent stage, the law will be enacted close on the lines of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.
Sources said the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions will soon hold a meeting with Ministry of Law and Justice and certain officials of the CBI to devise a road map for the legislation.
"The government is considering a proposal for giving statutory powers to CBI. Its main thrust is to minimize overlapping powers of state and central government investigating agencies," a senior Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) official said.
However, the official said "no decision" has been taken by the Ministry on it as yet.
At present, the Central Bureau of Investigation functions under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act. As per the Act, CBI requires consent from the state governments to probe and prosecute an official working under their control.
The proposal was also discussed by a Parliamentary Standing Committee which had in May this year recommended a legislation giving statutory powers to CBI for the purpose terming it as a "dire need".
Regulators in developed countries are proactively taking measures to protect their investors while our regulators are oblivious to the real problems investors face
The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), America's financial watchdog is soon coming out with a report which will outline the steps taken by retail investors before they hire financial advisors and products. The SEC is mandated to do this under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was enacted by president Barack Obama on 21 July 2010. It is one of the most sweeping reforms the US has undertaken since the Great Depression. Section 917 of the Dodd-Frank Act directs the SEC to conduct a study of retail investors' financial literacy and submit its findings to Congress by 21 July 2012.
Unfortunately, there is no such sweeping legislation nor is there any serious intent on part of Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to do the same for Indian citizens. The Swarup Committee Report had highlighted the decline of retail investors in India. Moneylife had also submitted a position paper on it. The government and regulators have been lukewarm to it. The regulators continue to come with a patchwork of measures to combat poor financial literacy and mis-selling-which has seen a fall in investor population in India.
Mis-selling continues to occur everyday; complaining to the regulators is cumbersome and thankless while SEBI pays only a lip-service to financial literacy. The government is coming out with half-baked idea such as the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme, which it thinks will be able to increase financial penetration, even if financially illiterate consumers do not know the meaning of 'share' or 'equity'.
The spirit amongst Indian mutual funds is also missing while the American corporates are serious about improving financial literacy. In May, The Vanguard Group, a pioneer in index funds, had rolled out a product called My Classroom Economy, which helps teachers to instruct children money management. Similarly, according to Bloomberg, Allianz Life Awarded $475,000 to local organizations to promote financial literacy in the Minneapolis-St Paul area in the US. We haven't seen this sort of serious initiative from the corporates in India yet, while they have continued to take advantage of bull markets from time to time.
The Indian government isn't interested in being proactive and pro-consumer, and neither are our regulators. On the other hand, the American government seems to have learnt from the lessons of the 2008 sub-prime crisis and immediately swung into action by passing the Dodd-Frank Legislation to protect retail investors and improve awareness and literacy. President Obama hosted the Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment, in May earlier this year, at which it announced public-private partnerships designed to promote financial education. One of the most notable parts of the legislation is that children and consumers must possess financial education before they can take out school loans and before consumers can sign mortgages, and allow parents to establish retirement savings accounts for their children when they are born.
And it is just not America that is being proactive. Even United Kingdom's watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is being transformed in order to protect consumers. Most of the power currently held by the FSA will be taken over by the Bank of England, with a Prudential Regulatory Authority established to oversee corporates and their ethical decision making while the Financial Policy Committee will be set up for consumer protection.
L&T's Malaysia unit bought electrical equipment maker Henikwon Corp, the leading manufacturer of low and medium voltage busduct systems in that country
New Delhi" Engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) said its unit bought Malaysia-based electrical equipment maker Henikwon Corporation for an undisclosed sum, reports PTI.
The acquisition was made by L&T's wholly-owned subsidiary Tamco Switchgear, a part of the engineering major's electrical and automation (E&A) business, the company said in a statement. Tamco is also head-quarterd in Malaysia.
"Based in Malaysia, Henikwon Corporation is a leading manufacturer of low and medium voltage busduct systems. The Henikwon acquisition brings a string of customer base of large corporations to Tamco," L&T said.
Busduct is a cost effective means of providing power and replaces the conventional cabling system.
The product range of Henikwon Corporation, incorporated in 1982, comprises light voltage sandwich busduct systems form 440 Amp to 6,300 Amp and medium voltage busduct systems for ratings from 400 Amp to 5,000 Amp.
"The acquisition will be complimentary to E&A's portfolio and make comprehensive offerings for the building and infrastructure systems," Tamco's Chairman SC Bhargava said.
"It will further enhance our presence in South East Asia and in catering to Indian and Middle East markets," he added.