Citizens' Issues
Merchant tanker Pavit's route still remains untraced

According to officials, they failed in tracing the route because of the weather conditions between June-August and said the route will always remain a 'mystery'

Mumbai: Shipping authorities in India have still not traced the route that merchant vessel M V Pavit followed to reach Mumbai following unfavourable weather conditions, reports PTI.
The grounded oil tanker drifted from Oman coast to the city's Juhu-Versova beach in July last year.
According to officials, they failed in tracing the route because of the weather conditions between June-August and said the route will always remain a "mystery".
"We wanted to reconstruct the route with the help of satellite imagery, but at that time monsoon was prevalent and the entire area was covered with clouds. We are therefore not successful in tracing the route," said an official from the Directorate General of Shipping.
Also, no one even spotted this vessel drifting or else we would have alerted concerned authorities, the official said.
After the vessel ran aground at Juhu, an investigation was launched to ascertain the cause of it getting adrift unmanned to the shores of Mumbai.
The ship had started drifting off Oman coast on 29 June 2011 due to engine failure and ingress of water in the engine room.
All the 13 Indian crew members were rescued by a warship before it finally ran aground on 31st July. The ship was later moved to Dabhol Port.


RBI Governor Subbarao to appear before JPC on 2G

Subbarao has been called to appear before the Parliamentary Committee as witness. He was Finance Secretary when licences for the 2G spectrum were allocated

New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao, who was the Finance Secretary when 2G licences were allocated, will appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) examining the issue as a witness on 18th September, reports PTI.


He was the Finance Secretary between April 2007 and September 2008. The controversial 2G radio wave licences were allocated in January 2008.


Sources said the meeting of the committee slated for 14th September, in which former Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar was to appear, has been rescheduled. A fresh date will be decided to call Chandrasekhar, who was the top bureaucrat between June 2007 and June 2011.


The JPC meeting on 18th September is taking place after a gap of nearly a month. Bharatiya Janata Party (BPP) members had stormed out of the proceedings on 22nd August insisting on calling Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram as witnesses before the panel.


Sources said besides the former Cabinet Secretary, the other "essential witnesses" the committee seeks to examine before drafting the report are the Telecom and Finance Secretaries, former Law Secretary, the present incumbent and the Attorney General.


It is not yet clear whether the six BJP members on the panel will attend the next meeting.


Amid growing bitterness between ruling and opposition sides in the 30-member JPC, five out of the six BJP members present at the meeting had walked out, claiming that Congress members had used foul language when they pressed for calling Singh and Chidambaram. Congress had refuted the allegation.


SEBI probes brokers under money laundering, terror fund rules

About 35 brokers have been probed for their compliance to know your client (KYC) rules, their due diligence procedures and their compliance to various anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism related regulations

Mumbai: As many as 35 stock brokers have been probed by capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for possible lapses in controls related to money laundering and terror financing, and further action may be taken soon in these cases, reports PTI.


The inspections by SEBI follow actions taken by stock exchanges and depositories against more than 300 market entities for violations and discrepancies related to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML and CFT) regulations in the 2011-12 fiscal.


The brokers have been probed for their compliance to know your client (KYC) rules, their due diligence procedures and their compliance to various AML and CFT related regulations, while actions have been taken by exchanges and depositories after similar inspections of various market entities.


In its latest annual report for 2011-12, SEBI said that it conducted "35 specific purpose inspections of stock brokers to check their KYC process, the extent of due-diligence and compliance level with current regulatory and statutory framework in this regard.


"Action with regard to these cases is in progress."


The regulator said money laundering has been globally recognised as one of the largest threats posed to the financial system of a country, while "fight against terrorist financing is another such emerging threat with grave consequences for both the political and economic standing of a jurisdiction".


It added: "Rapid developments and greater integration of the financial markets together with improvements in technology and communication channels continue to pose serious challenges to the authorities, and institutions dealing with AML and CFT."


SEBI said it is also in touch with the global bodies and other Indian regulators in its attempt to keep regulatory framework for AML robust in the country's securities markets.


As part of efforts to keep the Indian capital market free of money laundering and terrorist financing activities, leading bourses (NSE and BSE) as also depositories (Central Depository Services Ltd-CDSL and National Securities Depository Ltd-NSDL) have taken action against a total of 322 members for violations or discrepancies related to AML/CFT regulations.


Of these, 45 entities have been fined a total of Rs2.5 lakh, while directions were issued to other entities without levying any monetary penalty, SEBI said.


Individually, the BSE observed discrepancies regarding AML framework against 110 members and took actions such as imposing a monetary penalty and issuing advice to them, while NSE found violations by 68 members.


Further, NSE and BSE imposed a fine of Rs1.75 lakh and Rs62,000 respectively.


In case of depositories, NSDL and CDSL have taken action against 102 and 42 members respectively.


Besides, NSDL charged a penalty of Rs11,850, while CDSL did not impose any monetary penalty and only issued advice to the members.


That apart, stock exchanges and depositories conducted trainings and seminars for their members to sensitise them with the significance of AML and CFT framework and the need to ensure continuous compliance with it.


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