The long-pending Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, which will pave the way for 26% foreign investment and will encourage the private sector participation in the pension sector, is among the 16 economic bills
New Delhi: Amid concerns of a policy paralysis expressed by a section of industry, the government will seek passage of 16 key economic bills in the Winter session of Parliament starting tomorrow, to give a clear signal that it is moving ahead with the second generation financial reforms, reports PTI.
The long-pending Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill (PFRDA), which will pave the way for 26% foreign investment and will encourage the private sector participation in the pension sector, is among the 16 economic bills.
The Direct Taxes Code Bill and the Goods and Services Tax Bill, are unlikely to be taken up in the month-long session as the government has not received reports of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The Insurance Bill which seeks to raise the foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from 26% to 49% is also pending with the committee headed by senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha.
These bills are considered important for the next generation reforms and the government has been making requests to the Parliamentary panel to expeditiously complete the work.
The government needs to take the opposition parties on board, particularly for the GST since it would require two-third majority in both the Houses of Parliament and ratification by at least half of the state assemblies.
In the recent past, a section of India Inc had blamed the government for inaction on the policy front, especially at a time when efforts were needed to fight slow down and combat the impact of the global crisis on domestic economy.
India started the economic reforms in 1991 when the country faced critical foreign exchange problems.
Bharti Airtel, the largest GSM player, added 0.94 million users, taking its total subscriber base to 173.73 million, the data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) showed. The company had a 27.78% market share at the end of October
New Delhi: GSM operators added 7.12 million new subscribers in October, compared to 6.52 million additions in the previous month. With this, the GSM subscriber base in the country stood at 625.41 million on 31 October 2011, reports PTI.
In October, Bharti Airtel, the largest GSM player, added 0.94 million users, taking its total subscriber base to 173.73 million, the data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) showed.
The company had a 27.78% market share at the end of October.
Vodafone Essar, with a 23.33% market share, notched up 0.92 million new subscribers during the month. Its subscriber base reached 145.91 million in October.
Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular saw the highest number of additions during the month, with 1.63 million new users taking its total subscriber base to 101.81 million, while Aircel added 0.48 million customers to take its subscriber base to 60.28 million.
State-owned telecom firms BSNL and MTNL added 0.51 million and 34,919 new users, respectively, taking their subscriber base to 91.58 million and 5.36 million.
In addition, MTS added 0.79 million customers in the month of October 2011, taking its total customer base to 14.06 million.
The COAI data excludes data from Reliance Communications.
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is the most popular standard for mobile telephony systems in the world.
The other technology platform on which Indian telcos offer services is CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), where players such as Tata Teleservices (TTSL), RCom and MTS are the main operators. TTSL and RCom offer both GSM and CDMA services.
Hearing a writ petition filed by IPG, the HC asked Delhi Police to investigate into the alleged scam and file status report by 1 March 2012
The Delhi High Court has asked Commissioner of Police and the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) to investigate into an alleged scam committed by Religare Securities, its directors and officials and file a detailed status report by 1st March next year.
The Delhi-based Investor Protection Group (IPG) had filed a writ petition in the high court against the Commissioner of Police and EOW for not acting on their complaints against Religare Securities. The IPG alleged that Religare Securities had done some unauthorised trading without the consent of its clients to the tune of Rs200 crore to Rs500 crore.
Criticising the inaction of investigating authorities despite providing evidence, IGP, says that “interestingly, the victims themselves have brought the evidences that are deliberately not seen/ignored by the police. Some of the victims have carried out sting operations and made an audio-video recording of the racket that is being carried out, but the police are deliberately and intentionally not taking any action against the ‘powerful and influential’ brokerage”.
According to IPG, the brokerage is duping and defrauding people by carrying out trading without taking any instructions from its clients for earning more brokerages per transaction and the total amount of trading could be between Rs200 crore to Rs500 crore. Despite thousands of such complaints filed by number of investors across different police stations in the capital, no action was taken, the group claimed.
According to the petition, one such investor, Sunil Aggarwal lost Rs55 lakh because of the illegal trading that was carried out in his account by Harpreet Singh, an employee of Religare. Mr Singh is also a habitual offender and a case was registered against him while he was in India Infoline and yet he was never been interrogated by the police, the petition said.
Another person named Sachin Bhardwaj was allegedly defrauded by the brokerage by carrying out trading in his account, without his consent in derivative segment while he had chosen only cash segment. He was sent his account statements through e-mails and after tracking the IP address, it was revealed that the mails were sent from Religare servers. In other instances, people have complained about misuse of their power of attorney (PoA), where shares from their account were sold.
In one particular case, IPG alleged that Religare Commodities was involved in money laundering. “It was highlighted with evidence that different pay orders of about Rs11.36 lakh favouring Religare Commodities were issued by Standard & Chartered Bank and ICICI Bank given on behalf of Gaje Singh (proprietor) and duly credited to the company account. However, the entries were not shown in Mr Singh’s account but reflected in a third party account in the name of Punjab National Bank, which certified that it never issued the said drafts or pay orders. After that, the Forward Market Commission (FMC) held Rs11.36 lakh as security from the Religare’s account,” the petition stated.
Sachin Bhardwaj, honorary secretary, IPG says, “Religare is invading the right to privacy, a fundamental right to life under article 21 of the Constitution by not taking proper authorisation from its clients. The brokerage is secretly recording personal and private conversation it had with the client or any family member of the client after carrying out trading. It also fails to inform and warn them that their conversations are being recorded.”
Comparing the fraud to the Citibank scam, IPG in a statement alleged that, “Certain employees of Religare were found to be directly involved in cases of misappropriation of funds and doing discretionary trading in derivative and commodities to the tune of Rs500 crore, and yet there is no action against them. In the Citibank scam, the money was invested in Religare and the trading was done in derivatives with the brokerage being main beneficiary but Citibank employee was convicted in this case.”
Moneylife contacted Religare Securities proactively, with a press release and all other documents related to the issues which were sent by IPG.
Addendum - Religare on 23rd November 2011 replied to the query sent by Moneylife. Below is the official verbatim reproduced...
“We would like to emphatically state and go on record that this is absolutely baseless and untrue and an attempt to malign our corporate reputation. However, It has been brought to our notice that the honorable High Court has issued a notice to the Police Commissioner and EOW in response to a writ petition filed by a group of individuals. The petition though has been projected as public interest has been filed in vested interest mainly by those clients who are either pursuing or have exhausted their respective legal remedies by initiating proceedings conducted by the exchanges for redressal of their grievance through conciliation or arbitration mechanism. The matters pertaining to some of the Clients namely of Mr Sachin Bhardwaj are even currently pending with the arbitral tribunal, and are due for hearing in the next few days/weeks and in the news item statements have been given by the above vested interest with a view to overreach the due process of law after many of the above vested interest group members have either failed or finding it hard to prove their claim/case against Religare Securities Limited. It is evident that this action is an attempt to exert undue pressure on Religare Securities Limited so that it succumbs to the undue demands of people with vested interest. Religare Securities Limited strongly discourages such interpretation/ reportage that mislead our existing clients and public at large.”