“We are seriously considering to raise the bar further—that means to allow increased FDI,” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said. However, he did not elaborate on how much percentage it needs to be raised
New Delhi: The government is ‘seriously’ considering raising the 51% cap in foreign direct investment (FDI) in single-brand retail business, reports PTI quoting commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma.
“We are seriously considering to raise the bar further—that means to allow increased FDI,” he said at a CII event on Indian luxury market here.
At present, the government allows 51% FDI in single-brand retail businesses run by global chains like Adidas, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Gucci.
However, he did not elaborate on how much percentage it needs to be raised. “How much it is, only when we take the decision you will get to know.”
He promised that the government would create an enabling environment for investors. “You bring in FDI or partnership, surely it will be a game-changer.”
Mr Sharma said he would ask the finance ministry to lower tariff barriers as well. “It’s the domain of the finance ministry. I will be meeting some (officials) of them today and we will see what we can do.”
On India-EU free trade agreement, Mr Sharma said the chief negotiators are engaged. “This has taken us long. I have spoken to the EU Trade Commissioner. We must bring it down to a closure... Once the FTA is signed, it will open a pathway for greater cooperation among the nations.”
India is in talks with the EU, its biggest trading partner, since June 2007 for liberalising trade in goods, services and investment through a Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). Already 13 rounds of talks have taken place.
Dismissing Crisil’s lower GDP forecast of 7.6% for 2011-12, he said: “India will definitely have 8% growth because of its consumption patterns and higher saving rates.”
Crisil has scaled down the growth projections for India in view of the deteriorating global economic scenario and “grim investment climate in India on account of the policy environment”.
The new Companies Bill, which was tabled in the backdrop of the Rs14,000 crore Satyam fraud, promises greater shareholder democracy and stricter corporate governance norms. The Bill has introduced ideas like mandatory corporate social responsibility, class action suits and a fixed term for independent directors
New Delhi: Law minister Salman Khurshid today said the Companies Bill, 2009, which seeks to replace a half-century-old Act, has taken final shape and Cabinet will soon take a view on it, reports PTI.
"I think he (corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily) has sent the Cabinet note. It takes a while for the Cabinet note to go through various processes and then come to the Cabinet. I think the final shape has been given and it should come to the Cabinet soon," Mr Khurshid said on the sidelines of an event to mark the formation of the Corporate Knowledge Foundation here.
Mr Khurshid, who earlier held the corporate affairs portfolio, also expressed hope that the Bill would be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance had given its observations on the Bill in August 2010.
The new Companies Bill, which was tabled in the backdrop of the Rs14,000 crore Satyam fraud, promises greater shareholder democracy and stricter corporate governance norms.
For the first time, the Bill has introduced ideas like mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR), class action suits and a fixed term for independent directors.
Among other things, it also proposes to tighten the laws for raising money from the public. The Bill also seeks to prohibit any insider trading by company directors or key managerial personnel by treating such activities as a criminal offence.
Further, it has proposed that companies should earmark 2% of their average profit of the preceding three years for CSR activities and make a disclosure to shareholders about the policy adopted in the process.
The Companies Bill (2008), which lapsed with the dissolution of the 14th Lok Sabha, was re-introduced in August 2009.
Dhanlaxmi Bank denies all the allegations made by the All India Bank Officers Confederation, which had raised several questions over its business operations, first reported by Moneylife. But the market is not convinced by the bank’s denial
The share price of Dhanlaxmi Bank tanked by more than 20%, touching its 52-week low of Rs54.40, during today's trading session after Moneylife reported on the memorandum sent by the All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding the bank's wrongdoing and specifically, alleging that the bank had manipulated accounts and provisioning. (See: The stink coming from Dhanlaxmi Bank: AIBOC raises serious allegations).
Moneylife contacted the bank twice for its specific reaction on the various allegations, well in advance before the article went to press. First, the bank was contacted when the information was sought from the whistleblowers, and later, when the memorandum was sent by the AIBOC's Kerala State Committee to the apex bank.
However, Dhanlaxmi Bank refused to give any comment and said, "Like all banks, we are also regulated by the RBI and the growth is monitored by the regulator periodically. The baseless allegations are being spread by some people who are trying to spoil the image of the bank."
Interestingly, after Moneylife published the story, the bank has given its official version to news channels, where it denied all the allegations made by the union.
Bipin Kabra, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Dhanlaxmi Bank, was quoted in CNBC saying, "All (these) allegations are baseless.
"The union is getting marginalised every year. Currently, less than 10% workers are in AIBOC. Our current capital adequacy is at around 10%. We see non-performing assets (NPAs) dropping every quarter," he added.
Mr Kabra was quoted in NDTV Profit as saying, "Our financials are being audited and inspected by the regulators. We don't recognise the union-otherwise we would have invited it to go through the financials."
AIBOC had alleged in the memorandum that the bank had manipulated accounts and provisioning, has a mismatch in asset-liability resources, maintains poor capital adequacy ratio and has huge dependence on call-money borrowing. It has also accused the bank of ignoring social banking and financial inclusion.
GD Nadaf, General Secretary of AIBOC said to NDTV Profit, "In November 2010, we wrote a letter to the governor of the RBI that the profitability of the bank is coming down... We thought the RBI will initiate some action... the RBI has acknowledged (our letter) but we don't know its final stand."
Meanwhile, on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the bank's scrip was trading at Rs62.65 at around 2.35 pm, down by around 12%. Yesterday the stock closed at Rs71.60 on the BSE.