Licence to foreign bank only if it gives investment detail: ICAI

Stating that ICAI is working on how banking sector could respond to the grave problem of black money, ICAI president G Ramaswamy said information which is in the interest of nation must be shared by the foreign financial institutions with Indian authorities

Chandigarh: Suggesting strong measures to track black money, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Monday said new foreign banks should be granted licences only if they agree to furnish details on “investment made by Indian people outside India,” reports PTI.

Apart from this, the ICAI also pitched for making it compulsory for revealing the source of funds of foreign donations coming into India to prevent money laundering.

The ICAI has constituted a group to provide necessary inputs on addressing the issue of black money, ‘benami’ transactions and money laundering and is expected to submit recommendations to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) by September or October.

“If any foreign bank comes to India we should get a declaration (from it) that any investment made by Indian people outside India, they (bank) have to provide details about it and they have to agree for it if they want a licence (to operate in India),” ICAI president G Ramaswamy told reporters on the sidelines of annual convocation held here.

Stating that ICAI is working on how banking sector could respond to the grave problem of black money, he said information which is in the interest of nation must be shared by the foreign financial institutions with Indian authorities.

The accounting regulator is also of the view that access should be allowed to know about the source of funds of any donation flowing from abroad into India.

“We must have right to collect information about who is giving money (donation) ... how this money is utilised ... if not then why it is not utilised. The main idea is that the foreign donation should not act as a case of money laundering,” he stressed.

Mr Ramaswamy further said, “We are requesting that trusts which receive foreign donations should get registered with the ministry of home affairs and they should file details about their accounts in order to bring transparency in their functioning.”

The ICAI has already submitted a report on ‘Uniform Accounting and Auditing Framework’ for political parties to the Election Commission, having a mandate of bringing about accountability of political parties by amending relevant laws.

Asked about the status of Rs14,000-crore Satyam fraud, the ICAI president said that it had already cross examined 12 witnesses, including banks, CBI and SEBI, in this case.

He informed that one of the auditors had gone to the Supreme Court to stay proceedings but their SLP was rejected.

“Now they have been asked to present before our disciplinary committee after 3rd October,” he said.

The ICAI had constituted a five-member disciplinary committee to carry out proceedings against auditors of Satyam Computer.

Earlier in his speech, Mr Ramaswamy asked chartered accounts to maintain corruption-free system while playing a role of auditors, tax consultants and liquidators.

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Doctors advise Anna not to venture into the sun

“Anna Hazare’s BP is normal. There is some weakness. His eyes are watery. Doctors have advised him not to venture into the sun as it could have an impact on his health,” Manish Sisodia, a close associate of Mr Hazare said in the wee hours today

New Delhi: Doctors have advised social activist Anna Hazare, whose fast entered eighth day today, not to venture into the sun as it could have a negative impact on his health, reports PTI.

The medical advice came after doctors examined Mr Hazare at the Ramlila Maidan, where he is sitting on an indefinite fast demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, late last night.

“Mr Hazare’s blood pressure is normal. There is some weakness. His eyes are watery. Doctors have advised him not to venture into the sun as it could have an impact on his health,” Manish Sisodia, a close associate of Mr Hazare, told reporters in the wee hours today.

Yesterday doctors had said Mr Hazare was fine though there were contradicting views especially by Mr Hazare’s two associates on the condition of his kidney. A close aide Kiran Bedi said that his kidney was ‘infected’ while another aide Arvind Kejriwal denied it.

Though doctors have been maintaining that Mr Hazare’s health is fine, his close associates expressed worries over the health condition of the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader.

As he became weak, Mr Hazare decided not to address people yesterday as he was doing the past few days.

Mr Sisodia had earlier said Mr Hazare had lost over 5 kg since he began his fast on 16th August.

“Doctors say his health is okay but we are worried,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Sisodia has urged MPs to reflect the views and concerns of common man on the Jan Lokpal Bill when Parliament reconvenes after a break today.

“MPs should take into account the concerns and views of the people on the Lokpal Bill and address it in Parliament. They should remember about the protest that took place outside the residences of some of them,” said Mr Sisodia.

When asked about the 30th August deadline set for passing the Bill, Mr Sisodia said Mr Hazare has announced it and it is for him to decide the future course of action.

“There is no change in our stand. Formal talks have not yet begun,” Mr Sisodia said.

Mr Sisodia said a close aide of spiritual leader Baiyyuji Maharaj, who has emerged as a mediator, went to meet Mr Hazare last night to submit a fresh proposal to end the standoff between the fasting activist and the government.

However, the aide could not hand over a letter from Maharaj to Mr Hazare as he was sleeping, Mr Sisodia added.

“The aide had come to meet Anna in the night. As Anna was sleeping, volunteers did not allow a meeting and the aide left without handing over the letter...,” Mr Sisodia said.

Earlier, a close aide of Maharaj claimed that the spiritual leader had a detailed meeting with Union ministers Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid following which the fresh proposal was sent to the Gandhian.

Maharaj, along with Maharashtra additional chief secretary Umesh Chandra Sarangi, both of whom are known to Mr Hazare, have been roped in by the government to initiate back-room negotiations to end the fast by 73-year-old Mr Hazare demanding a strong Lokpal.

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BPOs to grow by 17.9% in Asia, Asia-Pacific in 2011: Gartner

Gartner Research vice-president Cathy Tornbohm said that emerging markets are faring far better and, generally, multinational companies continue to look to BPOs as a means to reduce costs, as well as buoy their business operations

Mumbai: The worldwide business process outsourcing (BPO) market is forecast to grow by 6.3% globally and 17.9% in the Asia-Pacific during the year 2011, reports PTI quoting a study by market research firm Gartner.

"While growth remains strong in developing economies, the US, the world's largest BPO market, presents a mixed picture for the global market," Gartner Research vice-president Cathy Tornbohm said in a statement.

Ms Tornbohm added that emerging markets are faring far better and, generally, multinational companies continue to look to BPOs as a means to reduce costs, as well as buoy their business operations.

"We also see an increase in transaction volumes, especially in payroll, recruiting, accounts payable and customer data analytics and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) activities," Ms Tornbohm said.

Gartner said that growth in the Asia and Asia-Pacific BPO markets will be positive and is expected to be 17.9% in US dollars terms during the year 2011.

Gartner expects higher demand for services related to customer management (CM) BPO, HR outsourcing, banking, financial and billing BPO services and supply management BPOs through 2015.

Most growth will centre on the key regional economies of India, Australia and China, the statement said.

The firm identified scalability, the infusion of new processes and technology as the key drivers for the outsourcing business in emerging economies within the region.

Gartner estimates that North America's BPO market will grow by 3.8% in 2011.

"Key vertical markets poised for industry-specific BPO growth through 2014 in North America are retail, healthcare, transportation and utilities. Within horizontal sectors, dynamic growth is expected for customer selection in the customer relationship management (CRM) and human resources (HR) domains," Gartner said.

In Western Europe, Gartner estimates that the BPO market will grow by 8.9% in US dollars terms in 2011 due to healthy demand for services relating to customer management, finance and accounting and human resources.

Gartner sees the challenges of language, labour laws and trade unions and the lack of labour arbitrage benefits as limiting the growth of BPO business in continental Europe.

Gartner estimates that Japan's BPO market (expressed in yen terms) will decrease by 0.9% in 2011.

The research firm expects Latin America's BPO market to grow by 14.7% in US dollar terms in 2011, despite the slow growth of the region's IT services industry in 2009.

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