Govt plans to introduce security features in notes

The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India has already taken steps to produce indigenous raw material for the production of bank notes. The move will lead to production of about 80-85% of the bank note paper in the country in the next three years as against import of about 95% paper at present

New Delhi: The government on Monday said it is working towards introducing security features in currency notes across all denominations to check the menace of counterfeiting, reports PTI.

“Counterfeiting of our currency is a matter of great concern for the government... to check this menace of fake currency, an exercise for introduction of security features in all denominations of Indian bank notes is under way,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

The initiative, he added, is being piloted by the Directorate of Currency.

The finance minister said that to tackle the problem of counterfeiting, Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) has already taken steps to produce indigenous raw material for the production of bank notes.

“This will lead to production of about 80%-85% of the bank note paper in the country in the next three years as against import of about 95% paper at present,” he said.

He added that fully computerised ERP/SAP system is being installed by the SPMCIL to bring in economy, efficiency and transparency.

Mr Mukherjee was speaking at a function after releasing the new procurement manual of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL).

He said that it was one of the recommendations of the Banerjee Committee that looked at the issues of improving the functioning of the corporation and BRBNMPL (a subsidiary of RBI), which submitted its report in March 2010.

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Panel discusses new ownership, governance rules for bourses

A SEBI-appointed committee, chaired by former RBI governor Bimal Jalan, had suggested last year sweeping changes in the way stock exchanges are owned and run and strongly recommended capping their profitability and not allowing them to get listed to safeguard their front-line regulatory role

New Delhi: The government on Monday discussed with the stock exchanges and other stakeholders a new set of rules for ownership and governance of the bourses, proposed by a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-appointed committee last year, reports PTI.

At the meeting, held by ministry of corporate affairs and attended by representatives from various bourses, industry chambers, accounting bodies and other market entities, the government sought a roadmap by 30th May for segregation of regulatory and commercial roles of the exchanges.

A SEBI-appointed committee, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Bimal Jalan, had suggested last year sweeping changes in the way stock exchanges are owned and run and strongly recommended capping their profitability and not allowing them to get listed to safeguard their front-line regulatory role.

However, the proposals met with stiff resistance and SEBI sought the government’s suggestion before implementing them.

Subsequently, the ministry of corporate affairs has set up a committee under its joint secretary Renuka Kumar to discuss the Jalan panel’s recommendations with various stakeholders.

In its first meeting held yesterday, the committee discussed segregation of regulatory and commercial roles of the stock exchanges to avoid any conflict of interest between the two functions, as also other matters pertaining to the listing and ownership pattern of the bourses, sources said.

The meeting was attended by Madhu Kannan, Ravi Narain and Joseph Massey, chiefs of three bourses BSE, NSE and MCX-SX respectively, as also representatives from industry chambers, accounting bodies and other market entities.

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RBI panel suggests holding company model for financial sector

The new model, which seeks to align the Indian structure with international best practices, is expected to provide greater flexibility to FHCs in raising capital and ensuring better utilisation of funds

Mumbai: A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) panel on Monday suggested a new financial holding company (FHC) structure to allow business conglomerates to operate banks, insurance companies and NBFCs as subsidiaries through an umbrella organisation, reports PTI.

The new model, which seeks to align the Indian structure with international best practices, is expected to provide greater flexibility to FHCs in raising capital and ensuring better utilisation of funds.

“The FHC model should be pursued as a preferred model for the financial sector in India,” said the report of the RBI working group headed by deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath on which the apex bank has invited comments by stake holders by June-end.

India mainly follows the bank-subsidiary model under which the non-banking activities are carried out by the subsidiaries of a bank or parent company.

The RBI panel has suggested that the FHC model should be extended to all large financial groups, irrespective of whether they contain a bank or not.

“There can be banking FHCs controlling a bank and non-banking FHCs which do not contain a bank in the group,” the panel said.

Making a case for enactment of a separate law to regulate financial holding companies, the panel said, “RBI should be designated as the regulator for FHCs.”

The FHCs, according to the RBI panel’s report, should be allowed to carry out all financial activities through their subsidiaries.

The RBI, it added, could come out with a list of permitted activities as well as the exposure limits with regard to different kinds of businesses.

The RBI panel has also made a case for amending the tax laws to encourage transition to the FHC model in a revenue neutral manner.

“Suitable amendments to various taxation provisions may be made to make the transition from bank-subsidiary model to FHC model,” the report said.

It further said that dividends paid by subsidiaries to the FHC should be exempt from payment of the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT).

All financial conglomerates having a bank, it said, should be asked to switch to the FHC model in a time-bound manner.

As regards the new banks and insurance companies, it said, they should be mandatorily asked to operate under the FHC framework.

The RBI panel suggested that a separate unit should be set up within the central bank to regulate FHCs.

Referring to the issue of listing of holding companies, the RBI report said that FHCs should be encouraged to tap capital market for their subsidiaries.

“If the holding company is to function as an anchor for capital support for all its subsidiaries, requisite space would need to be provided to the holding company for capital raising for its subsidiaries,” the report added.

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