Citibank reports maximum cases of card frauds

Finance minister says RBI is working out measures to deal with the problem that has been reported by some other banks also

New Delhi: Citibank has recorded the maximum number of frauds in debit and credit cards, and the use of fake cards amounting to Rs1.89 crore between around 2007-08 to December 2010.

"The largest number of such frauds belong to Citibank from 2007-08 to December 2010...The Reserve Bank of India's committee has suggested a number of steps including replacing the magnetic strip on cards by a chip. All these aspects are being looked into," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour today, reports PTI.

While Citibank reported 92 cases, other banks that reported such card frauds are Syndicate Bank, Standard Chartered, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank (one case each), in 2010, involving a total amount of less than Rs 23 lakh. Bank of India also reported one fraud case in 2007-08, but the amount involved was Rs1.92 crore.

The amounts involved are relatively small and may not be too much of a worry for Citibank, which has huge operations worldwide. In India, Citigroup has 42 branches. Its chief executive Indian-born Vikram Pandit is currently in the country to examine the possibilities for business expansion. It's the first trip he has made to India since taking charge in December 2007.

On the card frauds issue, the finance minister said that criminal investigations had started against people involved in these frauds. Compensation to the victims who lost money in these frauds is another aspect that is being looked into by the banks.

Mr Mukherjee said the Committee, headed by an executive director of the RBI, that is looking into this matter has made various suggestions and a decision would be taken on this soon. The RBI has also issued a series of instructions relating to Know Your Customer (KYC) to banks, so that identification could be authenticated, before issue of debit or credit card, the minister said.

The RBI has issued a master circular on "Credit Card Operations of Banks" recently, advising banks to set up internal control systems to combat frauds and to take pro-active fraud control and enforcement measures, the minister said.

The central bank has advised banks to ensure that credit card operations were run on "sound, prudent and profitable" lines, "Know Your Customer" requirements are fulfilled, the credit risk of customers assessed properly, the terms and conditions specified in clear and simple language, and bills despatched promptly.


Crude imports down 2.2% to 11.2 million tonnes in Jan

While India's crude imports dipped by 22% to 11.28 million tonnes in January despite healthy demand, exports dipped by 44.3% to 2.661 million tonnes, with diesel shipments declining by 70.6% to 501,100 tonnes

New Delhi: India's crude oil imports dipped by 2.2% in January to 11.28 million tonnes, despite fuel demand growing by a healthy 6%, reports PTI.

Asia's third largest economy imported 11.286 million tonnes of crude oil in January, as against 15.123 million tonnes a year ago, official data showed.

Meanwhile, fuel consumption expanded by 6% to 12.045 million tonnes during the month. The expansion was mostly because of healthy 6.3% growth in diesel demand to 5.006 million tonnes and an 8.9% rise in petrol consumption to 1.141 million tonnes.

Reflecting buoyancy in the aviation sector, jet fuel demand was up 12.3% to 446,300 tonnes, while LPG consumption rose by 9.2% to 1.277 million tonnes.

Refiners boosted crude oil processing to a record 15.2 million tonnes in January, 8.7% higher than the achievement in the year-ago period.

Fuel imports jumped by 57.4% to 1.518 million tonnes during January. The inward shipments mostly comprised LPG, with the cargo volume increasing by 46.1% to 490,200 tonnes.

Exports, however, dipped by 44.3% to 2.661 million tonnes, with diesel shipments declining by 70.6% to 501,100 tonnes.


CBI registers case against Lalli, Dehlvi, carries out searches

Case over irregularities in awarding broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games. Investigative agency awaits permission to also prosecute former Doordarshan DG Aruna Sharma

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today carried out searches at the residence of BS Lalli, Prasar Bharti CEO who has been suspended, after it registered a case against him and some others for alleged irregularities in the award of broadcasting rights of the Commonwealth Games that is said to have resulted in a loss of Rs135 crore to the public exchequer.

The case was filed against Mr Lalli, director of Zoom Communications Wasim Dehlvi and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code late Thursday night, official sources said. CBI teams searched Mr Lalli's residence as well as the residence of Mr Dehlvi and two other places.

The CBI action follows the permission from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for prosecution of Mr Lalli on allegations of corruption relating to broadcast rights given to SIS Live. However, the government has not yet given sanction for prosecution of Aruna Sharma, former Doordarshan director general, for her role in this matter. The ministry is apparently examining the reply it has received from Mrs Sharma, a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer.

While Mr Lalli was suspended following the allegations, Ms Sharma was sent back to the state cadre.

Zoom Communication has denied all allegations against the company as set out in the report of the Shunglu Committee that inquired into the affair. The prime minister decided to refer the matter to CBI after considering the Shunglu committee report and one given by cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar.

"Based on documents made available, the committee has concluded that the actual cost of the contract awarded to SIS Live was at best about Rs111 crore, thus resulting in a gain of at least Rs135 crore to the company," the Shunglu report said.

The committee fixed the responsibility for providing "undue benefit" to SIS Live and Zoom Communications on Mr Lalli and Ms Sharma and said they cannot be recused from the acts of omission and commission.

The committee had also said that certain actions seem to attract penal provisions under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act which need to be separately investigated.

The prime minister had also directed the ministry to review the claims made by SIS LIVE, jointly with Prasar Bharati and in consultation with their financial advisers, to ensure that there is no over-payment.


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