Citizens' Issues
India to approach Swiss authorities in Hasan Ali Khan case

According to official sources, a team of three-four sleuths wants to place documents related to "criminal proceeds of crime" allegedly amassed by Khan in front of the Swiss authorities so that they allow them to obtain his bank accounts data and cash statements

 
New Delhi: The Union Government has asked the Indian Mission in Berne to get in touch with banking authorities of Switzerland for obtaining details of businessman Hasan Ali Khan's Swiss bank accounts in connection with the probe into one of the biggest tax evasion scams in the country, reports PTI.
 
The Finance Ministry has written to the External Affairs Ministry to approach the Swiss banking authorities to allow a team of investigators drawn from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax department who will place a "comprehensive money laundering and criminal tax evasion" report on the Pune-based stud farm owner and his associates.
 
According to official sources, a team of three-four sleuths wants to place documents related to "criminal proceeds of crime" allegedly amassed by Khan in front of the Swiss authorities so that they allow them to obtain his bank accounts data and cash statements, including one which he reportedly holds in a bank in Liechtenstein.
 
Khan is currently in jail after the ED slapped a money laundering case against him last year. This case has emerged as the biggest individual case of blackmoney stashed abroad.
 
The Finance Ministry, on the ED's plea, has sought to invoke the latest provisions of the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries which enables India to "get information even if it only has limited details regarding the person having bank accounts in Switzerland".
 
While the I-T department has raised a tax arrear demand of Rs50,345.73 crore on Khan, the ED has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). It is also probing him for alleged forex violations.
 
An alleged violation by Khan under the Passport Act is also being probed by the central agencies.
 

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SEBI extends bid deadline for verification job in Sahara case

SEBI has now decided to extend the deadline for bid submission to 21st December and would open the technical bids on the same day

 
New Delhi: Market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has extended the deadline by one month for submission of bids by public sector banks and know-your-customer (KYC) Registration Agencies (KRAs) to conduct "in-person verification" of about three crore investors in the high-profile Sahara case to ascertain their genuineness, reports PTI.
 
SEBI had floated a tender in this regard on 2nd November and had earlier asked the public sector banks and KRAs to submit their applications by 22nd November.
 
However, SEBI has now decided to extend the deadline for bid submission to 21st December and would open the technical bids on the same day.
 
Earlier, the technical bids were scheduled to be opened on 22nd November, while a pre-bid meeting was held by SEBI with the interested parties on 7th November.
 
The selected 'In-Person Verification (IPV) Agency' would be mandated to interact "face-to-face" with all investors in the Sahara case to ascertain their genuineness. SEBI has been mandated by the Supreme Court to facilitate refund of about Rs24,000 crore with 15% interest to the bondholders of two Sahara group firms after ascertaining their genuineness.
 
In its order dated 31st August, the Supreme Court had asked SEBI to ascertain the genuineness of an estimated three crore bondholders of OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures) of two Sahara group companies (Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd and Sahara Real Estate Corporation Ltd) and thereafter facilitate refund of the money with the interest.
 
In this regard, SEBI has decided to carry out in-person verification of these bondholders, for which it is seeking the services of public sector banks and KRAs.
 
The KRAs are authorised agencies to carry out KYC requirements for all the market entities, including brokerage firms and mutual funds.
 
The selected agency would have to meet the bondholders face to face to establish their existence, visit their given address to ascertain their residence proof and verify their original identity and address proofs vis-a-vis given details.
 
The IPV Agency would also have to get the copies of identity/address proofs signed by the bondholders and verify the documents related to investment in OFCDs vis-a-vis details provided by SEBI and its agencies.
 
SEBI is also in the process of appointing investigating agencies to assist it in this matter, while it is also hiring a Registrar and Transfer Agent (RTA) for investor data and payment processing related works in the case.
 
The RTA's job would involve scanning and verification of investor documents, setting up and managing of toll-free investor helpline and grievance redressal cell and processing of payments to the genuine investors.
 

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COMMENTS

Vikas Gupta

4 years ago

Sahara is a total fraud company. Now a days, its management is busy in transferring the funds from Schemes in Question by SEBI to its other schemes by its staff & Workers with a lot of incentives for them. Depositors must be warned about all these malpractices & Sahara must be penalised heavily for byepassing SEBI Orders.

RBI's Gokarn for dematerialisation to arrest rising gold demand

While global gold output has stayed stable at around 4,000 tonne per year, the domestic consumption of the yellow metal has doubled to 1,000 tonne annually since 1999, despite a massive rally in the prices, which is compounding the troubles for the central bank

 
Pune: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn said there is a need to 'dematerialise' gold like any other financial product to reduce its physical imports, the rise of which has been blamed for the high current account deficit that is feared to touch new record high this year, reports PTI.
 
"It (high gold imports) is creating some macroeconomic stresses and so the challenge is to find ways to replicate the financial characteristics of gold without necessarily causing physically importing," Gokarn told the last day of the two-day annual Bancon.
 
The current account deficit or CAD has been rising on the back of record trade deficits, which in October jumped to a 12-year high of $21 billion on the back of rising oil and gold imports.
 
Reeling out the high gold import data, Gokarn said a working group headed by KUB Rao of RBI will shortly be coming out with its report on the ways to deal with the problem arising from high gold imports on macroeconomic front in the form of balance of payments.
 
He said while global gold output has stayed stable at around 4,000 tonne per year, the domestic consumption of the yellow metal has doubled to 1,000 tonne annually since 1999, despite a massive rally in the prices.
 
"More expensive gold is being imported in larger quantities which is compounding the troubles," he said.
 
As gold imports touched a record high last year, pushing up the current account deficit to a historic high of 4.2% in the year, the Reserve Bank has unveiled a slew of curbs on gold purchase and financing.
 
Last fiscal, there was a 39% rise in gold imports and in gross terms, it constituted for 80% of the current account deficit, which reached an all-time high of 4.2%, Gokarn said, adding the net gold imports constitute for 1.8-2.4% of GDP.
 
This spike in gold demand was in spite of the record price rally that the metal witnessed last fiscal.
 
It can be noted that in April the RBI brought down the loan to value or LTV that gold loan companies like Muthoot Finance or Manappuram Finance could offer just 60% of the market value, from a high of 85-90%.
 
In the 30th October credit policy, the RBI also banned banks from funding gold buying by gold loan companies and NBFCs.
 

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COMMENTS

Veeresh Malik

4 years ago

With all due respects to the gent suggesting demat on gold, the experiences people have with other demat saving products like equity, non-bank savings like EPFO or Mutual funds, or similar, is so miserable that placing hard solid gold on demat is like seeing the buffalo gone into the lake, to use a turn of phrase.

In troubled times like this, it is back to pure hard physical gold, or fixed deposits with banks. Even real estate is no longer the safe bet it was, clear title being a myth soo very often.

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