Govt mulls bringing corporates under proposed anti-graft law

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice is examining the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Act-2011 aimed at criminalising foreign bribery and offences thereof

New Delhi: In view of complaints of corruption in the private sector, the government is considering bringing corporates under a proposed anti-graft law, reports PTI.

Official sources said the chiefs of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have been called in by a parliamentary standing committee next week to give their views in this regard.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, is examining the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Act-2011 aimed at criminalising foreign bribery and offences thereof.

The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is awaiting nod from the upper house of Parliament.

“A letter has been sent to the CVC, CBI and ED seeking their response through an in-person presentation/submission on the matter. They have been asked to appear before the Committee on 24th January,” a source said.

“The Committee is also considering bringing corporates or private industrial houses in the ambit of the proposed bill,” he added.

The Bill prohibits accepting gratification by foreign public officials as also giving gratification to foreign public officials, while also proposing provisions for rendering assistance and co-operation among nations and making the offence punishable to a minimum of six months jail term to a maximum of seven years.

It also envisages provisions for attachment, seizure and confiscation etc., of property in a contracting state or India and extradition of accused persons.

Foreign bribery is not covered under any domestic anti-corruption laws at present.

The sources said the committee is likely to finalise its recommendations within a month, and then the Bill will be sent to the Rajya Sabha for its nod.

They said that the committee has already met with the representatives of industries bodies like the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others, to discuss various provisions under it.

“Stakeholders are understood to have favoured legal net for corporates to ensure transparency and check corruption.

The proposed amendments will be in conformity with the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Anti Bribery Convention of Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” a source said.

The head of country’s anti-corruption watchdog CVC, Pradeep Kumar has also favoured a legislation to bring corporates under the purview of another anti-graft law, Lokpal.

Currently, no government body including the CVC has powers to check corruption in private firms. Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently rejected a proposal for donning the role of an anti-corruption watchdog for private companies—similar to the role of the CVC for government entities.

 

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COMMENTS

Shibaji Dash

5 years ago

UK and US have already done it. They have gone a mile beyond that., extending the country's territorial jurisdiction over their corporate wrong doings in other countries.

FIIs shop for stocks worth $1.16 billion in first 20 days of 2012

Between 2nd and 20th January, foreign investors infused $1.16 billion, or Rs6,007 crore, into the Indian equity market, but were more bullish on the debt market, making a net investment of Rs15,933 crore during the same period, according to SEBI data

Mumbai: Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) stayed away from Indian equities in 2011, but have already shopped for stocks worth $1.16 billion (or Rs6,007 crore) in the first month of 2012.

Between 2nd and 20th January, foreign investors infused $1.16 billion, or Rs6,007 crore, into the Indian equity market, but were more bullish on the debt market, making a net investment of Rs15,933 crore during the same period, according to data from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Market experts believe that rupee strengthening and easing concerns over inflation and economic growth have helped foreign investors step up buying in recent sessions.

Analysts said the weak earnings outlook is only a matter of concern in the short-term, as conditions may improve in line with changes in the domestic and global macro-environment.

FIIs purchased gross equities and debt securities worth Rs55,902 crore and sold shares and bonds to the tune of Rs33,962 crore during the period, translating into a net investment of Rs21,940 crore, SEBI added.

This is the third straight week of inflows into the Indian stock and debt markets by overseas investors.

Buoyed by sustained FII inflows, the stock market barometer BSE Sensex has gained around 1,284 points, or 8.30%, so far in January. In the last trading session, the key BSE index finished at 16,739.01, up 95.27 points from its previous close.

In the year 2011, FIIs purchased stocks and bonds worth Rs8 lakh crore, but sold securities worth Rs7.9 lakh crore, resulting in a net investment of Rs17,480 crore during the year.

Investors flocked toward the debt market in 2011, making an investment of Rs20,293 crore, but stayed away from the equity market, pulling out Rs2,812 crore.

 

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India’s growth likely to pick up strongly in CY 2013: E&Y

According to the E&Y’s Rapid-Growth Markets Forecast, growth in India is expected to accelerate strongly in CY13 at 9.5% as the global economy recovers, impact of previous interest rate tightening wanes, investment increases and exports pick up

Mumbai: India is expected to grow at 6.8% in calendar year (CY) 2012, in comparison to the previous forecast of 8%, but expansion is expected to accelerate strongly in CY 2013 to touch 9.5%, reports PTI quoting global audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young (E&Y.

E&Y had pegged GDP growth for CY 2012 at 8% in its first Rapid-Growth Markets Forecast (RGMF) released in October 2011.

“While growth in the current year has moderated, India’s medium-to-long-term growth prospects remain intact,” E&Y India partner & India markets leader Farokh Balsara said in a statement here.

According to the latest RGMF, growth in India is expected to accelerate strongly in CY13 at 9.5% as the global economy recovers, impact of previous interest rate tightening wanes, investment increases and exports pick up.

An improvement in both domestic and external demand will feed the recovery in growth, it said.

E&Y said slackening demand, turbulent and volatile markets and credit liquidity problems in Europe are beginning to squeeze rapid-growth markets (RGMs) but not to the extent of derailing robust economic performance.

The RGMs are expected to grow collectively by 5.3% this year, in stark contrast to the mild recession expected in the Eurozone in H1 2012 and modest growth in the US, according the latest E&Y report.

While growth in the RGMs will continue to be the envy of advanced economies in the near term, they are showing the strains from the fall in demand from the Eurozone, as well as the buffeting to financial markets and business confidence over the past few months, the consulting firm said.

“As a result, growth in 2012 is expected to be lower than forecast by RGMF in October. However, these markets will continue to contribute nearly half of the world’s growth over the next three years.” 

RGMF also observed a reversal in portfolio flows since July as investors became increasingly risk averse. Threats to liquidity and lending by European banks with a wide global reach are particularly disquieting for RGMs, it said.

Banks are selling assets and cutting back on loans under pressure to strengthen their capital which is weakening financial flows into and within RGMs with potentially depressive impacts not only on business operations but also business investment, the report said.

The immediate impact has been currency depreciations, most notably in Brazil and India. The sharp depreciation of the Indian rupee led to increased inflationary pressure on the economy, said the forecast.

“While growth prospects in the short-term have been dented by the turmoil in global markets, and could be further affected by the events in the euro area, growth in RGMs is set to rise about 6.5% in 2013-14, a pace of expansion that will be significantly higher than in advanced economies,” it added.

 

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