The investigations are being conducted to probe allegations that Wal-Mart put money into the domestic multi-brand retail chain despite a ban on foreign direct investment in the sector
New Delhi” The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon issue notices to American retail giant Wal-Mart as part of its probe against the company’s investment in an Indian firm for alleged violations of forex laws, reports PTI.
“The agency has received a communication from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to probe the investments in this regard. Notices for want of documents with regard to financial investments and remittances will be issued by the Bangalore office of the agency,” a source privy to the development said.
The agency, which has registered a case under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), will also ask the commerce and industry ministry to furnish it with clearances that were given to the company to route the investment in 2010 in a subsidiary of Bharti ventures via a Mauritian arm, the source said.
The investigations are being conducted to probe allegations that Wal-Mart put money into the domestic multi-brand retail chain despite a ban on foreign direct investment in the sector.
Bharti Enterprises has, however, rejected the allegations that it had violated any rule in this regard. The company had said all the procedures were as per the “law of the land”.
The Rs455.8 crore investment by Wal-Mart in Cedar Support Services, a subsidiary of Bharti Ventures, had come under attack from CPI Rajya Sabha member MP Achuthan, who wrote to Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh earlier, saying it was ‘illegal’ and flouted FDI rules.
The ED, a central investigative agency mandated to probe violations under the FEMA and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was asked by the RBI to check the alleged violations made by the US-based retail giant in an official communication earlier this month.
In a letter dated 30th October, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had asked that RBI may take action as appropriate as per provisions of FEMA rules and regulations.
The DIPP deals with all the FDI related matters.
“...there is a need to examine/investigate as to whether illegal investments have been made by Wal-Mart/Cedar in FDI prohibited sectors. Accordingly, the matter is being referred to the ED for further investigation and appropriate action, if necessary, in consultation with the government in accordance with the provisions of FEMA upon noticing violations if any,” a source said.
In a letter to the prime minister, Mr Achuthan, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of Parliament on IT, earlier this year had alleged that “the entire FDI has been diverted and illegally invested by Cedar in its 100% subsidiary Bharti Retail, which is carrying out multi-brand retail operations.”
According to the RBI Governor it will take at least eight-nine months to issue the first new bank licence if the Act is amended in the Winter Session of the Parliament
Ramesh said India is unique country in the world where 70% of the health expenditure is private expenditure and in many parts of the country public health system simply does not exist
New Delhi: Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said public health system in the country had 'collapsed', noting that even poorer countries like Bangladesh and Kenya have superior health indicators, reports PTI.
In a candid assessment of the country's health sector, Ramesh also said 70% of the health expenditure is met from private sources, making it a "unique" country. This was the "single most important" reason for indebtedness in rural areas, he added.
"Today the single most important reason for rural area indebtedness is expenditure on health. We all know that the health system in India has collapsed. India is unique country in the world where 70% of the health expenditure is private expenditure," he said at the Hindustan Times leadership summit.
In many part of India, he said, public health system simply does not exist.
Ramesh also noted that countries all over the world are debating the issue of increasing public spending on health to improve the social indices. The outspoken minister wanted states to make a fundamental commitment for creating elected institutions and institutions of participation, noting that such measures has helped states which have abided by this commitment.
In this regard, he noted that in large parts of India where elected representatives are strong or participating institutions are strong, they have better social outputs.
He said the secret of success of Bangladesh and Kenya who have superior infant mortality rates and sanitation facilities are due to empowerment of women. "They have been able to deliver than richer country like India".
Asserting that health would remain his top priority, Ramesh said improvement in hygiene and sanitation has led to improvement in infant mortality rates.
He emphasised that the state cannot abdicate its role in poverty alleviation.
The minister also noted that degradation of the environment contributed to poverty.
During the last 25-30 years, with accelerated economic growth and the pressure that economic growth has brought to bear on our natural resources, it has created this "new animal of ecological poverty that we have to now address," said Ramesh, a former Environment Minister.