Govt moots making CSR spends by private companies mandatory

Heavy industries minister Praful Patel's remarks come within a month of corporate affairs minister Murli Deora favouring CSR spends of 2% of net profits in the new Companies Bill

Mumbai: Another member of the Union Cabinet today batted in favour of making CSR (corporate social responsibility) spends mandatory for private companies with Union heavy industries minister Praful Patel saying it is necessary for the upliftment of the people, reports PTI.

"I think the corporate sector cannot avoid the responsibility of bringing about change in our country and should support initiatives not only of the government but also outside the government," Mr Patel told reporters here.

"It is not the government's responsibility alone which can ensure change in our country...corporate sector (should also help)," Mr Patel said, after inaugurating the National CSR Hub at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences here.

Mr Patel's remarks come within a month of corporate affairs minister Murli Deora favouring CSR spends of 2% of net profits in the new Companies Bill. Mr Deora's comments were met with sharp criticism from India Inc, with many calling it as "retrograde".

Speaking to reporters today, Mr Patel said the very purpose of mandating companies-both private and government-owned-is to deliver the benefits of overall economic progress which the country has made, to the backward people.

He added that the Department of Public Enterprises under his ministry will be working "proactively" and will see to it that the state-owned companies meet their CSR targets.

Meanwhile, when asked if loss-making public sector carrier Air India should be declared as a sick company, the former civil aviation minister said, "Let the ministry of civil aviation send a proposal before I can give you any comments."

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Final norms on new bank licenses after amending Banking Act

The government is considering amendment of the Banking Regulation Act to expand the powers of the RBI to enable so that it can seek information from entities involved in the insurance and asset management business, in addition to banks. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the Monsoon Session of Parliament

New Delhi: Corporates looking to enter the banking business will have wait for some more time, as the government is considering amendment of the Banking Regulation Act and Banking Laws Act before finalising the guidelines for giving new licenses, reports PTI.

The final guidelines on the new banking licences would be released only after the necessary amendments to the Banking Regulation Act and Banking Laws Act are cleared by Parliament, official sources said.

However, the draft guideline for the new banking licences would be out by the end of this month for public comments, sources added.

Sources added that empowering the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is essential for obtaining information about the other businesses of the corporate houses seeking banking licences in order to protect depositors' interests.

The government, sources said, is considering amendment of the Banking Regulation Act to expand the powers of the RBI to enable so that it can seek information from entities involved in the insurance and asset management business, in addition to banks.

Sources said this is relevant, as the risks of companies involved in businesses like insurance and asset management may sneak into the banks' account books by virtue of the same parentage, sources said.

The Banking Regulation Amendment Bill is likely to be tabled in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

At present, insurance companies are regulated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and the asset management business comes under the purview of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

After clearance of the Bill, the RBI would have the power to call for information and assess information, sources said, adding these powers are required if the private entities are allowed to enter into the banking space to protect the interest of depositors.

As per the current practice, India follows a subsidiary model where the non-banking businesses of a bank, like insurance and asset management, are subsidiaries. By virtue of this, risks attached to these businesses can impact the banking entity.

The apex bank had brought out a discussion paper in August 2010, on giving out new banking licenses to business houses and non-banking finance companies, besides regulations for the same to foster competition.

The RBI also sought to know "whether industrial and business houses could be allowed to promote banks."

Various entities like Reliance Capital, Indiabulls, Religare, IFCI and Aditya Birla Financial Services are said to be mulling an entry into the banking space.

India presently has 27 public sector banks, seven new private sector banks, 15 old private sector banks, 31 foreign banks, 86 regional rural banks, 4 local area banks, 1,721 urban cooperative banks, 31 state cooperative banks and 371 district central cooperative banks.

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COMMENTS

K Narayanan

6 years ago

Knowing all the problem faced by the customers on account of the new generaion pvt banks,RBI in its deliberate MMSingh style:don't know,not aware of it,not brought to my notice etc -is going ahead with the issuance of licenses after some discussion paper released.Public sector for the general masses and for politicians to loot by asking the banks to lend to people of their choice and pvt sector to loot the public by asking for a min bal of Rs10000 and no pass book,(who cares for RBI rules-they will be taken care of),lend as you like ,use rogues and thugs to recover loans no matter what Supreme court says and pay Rs3 cr p.a .to their MDs.Anyway nobody can stop govt and RBI in giving licenses to industrial houses -politicians can get laks of crores from them like spectrum license.if not in one shot but in installments.RBI -go ahead and enjoy.

chandra sekhar

6 years ago

money life is a good system

Rs700 crore fine imposed on telecom cos for violation of laws: Govt

The penalty was imposed by Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells till January 2011 on various telecom service providers operating in different licence service areas for non-compliance of subscriber verification guidelines

New Delhi: Acting tough, the government has imposed fines of Rs700 crore on various telecom operators for carrying out illegal and clandestine activities in their services, particularly for non-compliance of the subscriber verification process, reports PTI.

The penalty was imposed by Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells till January 2011 on various telecom service providers operating in different licence service areas for non-compliance of subscriber verification guidelines, a home ministry report said.

The fine was imposed on defaulting entities which did not comply with government orders despite repeated warnings that 100% verification of each and every subscriber was absolutely necessary for interests of the country's security.

There have been several instances in the past where terrorists used mobile phone connections, which were issued without verification, to carry out terror acts in India.

"Consultations are regularly held with the service providers to streamline the guidelines. Apart from the fine, wherever the shortcoming is serious in nature and whenever necessary, local police even register cases against the defaulter," a home ministry official said.

Because of non-compliance of the government rules, the Centre had in the past suspended operations of pre-paid mobile connections in Jammu & Kashmir.

Cellular services to nearly 38 million pre-paid cell phone subscribers in Jammu & Kashmir, who comprise 60% of total clientele in the state, was restored only after seven telecom operators-Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and state-run BSNL promised full compliance with the verification process.

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