Citizens' Issues
More names, underworld shadow in 'Panama Papers' Part II
The paper also gave glimpses of their alleged modus operandi
 
A now-deceased underworld don, a politician, an industrialist and an ex-cricketer are among those with alleged off-shore links, even as the agency that helped them set up the entities stonewalled New Delhi's probe efforts, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
 
In a series of articles under "Panama Papers Part 2" -- as part of the global expose on people with alleged offshore links -- the paper published its second list of Indian names, along with an article on how an aide of don Dawood Ibrahim used a set of 17 entities to buy properties abroad.
 
Named in the second list, with some repeats, are: Politician Anurag Kejriwal, industrialists Gautam and Karan Thapar, businesspeople Ranjeev Dahuja and Kapil Sain Goel, jeweller Ashwini Kumar Mehra, ex-cricketer Ashok Malhotra, and pharmaceuticals maker Vinod Ramachandra Jadhav.
 
Also named in the list are IT consultant Gautam Seengal, agribusiness owner Vivek Jain, retired government employee Prabhash Sankhla, and garment exporters Satish Govind Samtani, Vishal Bahadur and Harish Mohnani.
 
The paper also gave glimpses of their alleged modus operandi.
 
On Monday, after the first list, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had ordered a multi-agency probe team on the expose, conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) along with over 100 global media organisations, dubbed the "Panama Papers".
 
"A multi-agency group is being formed to monitor the black money trail," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told reporters here, after he met with the prime minister. 
 
"Details of assets worth Rs.6,500 crore have already been found," Jaitley added.
 
On Monday, the newspaper ran several pages of the investigation reports alleging, among other people, Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai as being directors in companies in Panama. The two did not immediately respond, despite efforts to contact them.
 
Others named in the report were Sameer Gehlaut of India Bulls and K.P. Singh of DLF. 
 
Them apart, Vinod Adani, elder brother of industrialist Gautam Adani, politician Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal of Loksatta Party were also alleged to have companies in tax havens. All of them since denied any wrong-doing.
 
Soon after Modi's order, the finance ministry announced that the probe team will comprise officers from the Central Board of Direct Taxes' Financial Intelligence Unit, its Tax Research Unit and also officials from the Reserve Bank of India.
 
"The group will monitor the flow of information in each one of the case. The government will take all the necessary actions as required to get maximum information from all sources including from foreign governments to help in the investigation process," the ministry statement added.
 
The expose by The Indian Express on Tuesday said Mossak Fonseca, the Panama law firm that helped in the setting up of off-shore companies, sought to stonewall every effort by New Delhi to get into the bottom of the issue, even as in some cases the Indian authorities themselves floundered.
 
This apart, the paper alleged, the elder brother of Gautam Adani, also wanted his name changed to Vinod Shantilal Shah, dropping the family name. The paper said earlier Vinod and his wife were two directors in the off-shore entity, and later his wife made room for their son Rakesh.
 
On Iqbal Mirchi, the associate of don Dawood Ibrahim, who died in London in 2013, the expose alleges that he and his family took the off-shore route to buy properties in countries like Cyprus, Turkey, Morocco and Spain.
 
Mossak Fonseca has 46 files on one such entity alone, Country Properties Ltd.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Business conditions improve in March, indicates PMI

In March, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a composite single figure indicator of manufacturing performance - rose to an eight-month high of 52.4 from 51.1 in February

 

Business conditions improved in March owing to strong inflows of new work leading firms to scale up output, and domestic demand improved along with rise in exports business, key macro-economic data showed on Monday.
 
In March, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a composite single figure indicator of manufacturing performance - rose to an eight-month high of 52.4 from 51.1 in February.
 
An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in the economic activity, and below 50, an overall decrease.
 
"PMI data suggest we should expect another quarter of robust economic growth in the last quarter of the 2015-16 financial year," said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey.
 
However on the price front, cost inflation accelerated, while charges rose to their greatest extent since November 2014.
 
In the reviewed month, production growth grew at the fastest pace since August 2015 with consumer goods posting fastest rate of increase.
 
According to the index, March witnessed the third successive monthly rise in order books as a result of improved demand from domestic and external clients.
 
Though new export orders saw sustenance, the rate of expansion was slight.
 
Similar is the case with buying levels linked to stock building initiatives in March, which though quicker than February, had only a slight overall growth.
 
"Despite gathering momentum, growth of production and new orders still remained below trend rates. On the export front, it was encouraging to see a sustained increase in new export orders, often attributed to the depreciation of the rupee," said De Lima.
 
Pre-production inventories expanded as a result of rising purchasing activity but the rate of accumulation was slight overall as seen in the current four-month growth sequence.
 
Finished goods holdings however slumped the highest in March since August 2015, with new and existing orders often fulfilled directly from the stocks.
 
Unemployment levels broadly broadly remained the same as backlogs of work fell in March.
 
Meanwhile a weaker rupee resulted in higher prices for raw materials increasing input costs while rates of cost and charge inflation were at a high of three months and six months respectively.
 
"Falls in commodity and oil prices were offset by the weaker rupee making imported raw materials costlier. This build-up in inflationary pressures may lead the Reserve Bank of India to hold off from cutting rates, especially as solid growth was seen," added De Lima.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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No plans to privatise Air India: Official

According to Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey, the government has no such plans, as the airline has improved its financial performance

 

The government has no plans to privatise national carrier Air India, a senior official said on Monday.
 
According to Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey, the government has no such plans, as the airline has improved its financial performance.
 
At an event held here on Monday evening to mark the airline's flight operations to Vienna, Choubey rebutted a recent news report that said the government planed to divest its stake in Air India.
 
The civil aviation secretary added that the national carrier has improved its financial performance in recent times. It has made operating profits since December 2015.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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