Regulations
RBI Focus on Sahara

Will whistleblowers’ missives work?

 

Even as Subrata Roy is working on a 15-day extension to meet the Supreme Court’s condition to release him from jail, a whistleblower has, after many efforts, managed to catch RBI’s attention on the issues at Sahara India Financial Corporation Limited (SIFCL).

 

This is a residuary non-banking company which is under RBI supervision. SIFCL was barred from accepting any fresh public deposits in June 2008 and asked to repay existing deposits as and when they mature. In 2011, RBI issued a notice warning depositors about Sahara which also said it would not guarantee repayment of deposits by SIFCL or other group entities. A similar warning was issued by the market regulator.

Little information is available in the public domain about SIFCL, except a fact sheet which says that one Mr Madhukar and BM Chaturvedi are independent directors and Om Prakash Srivastava is a whole-time director of the company as of 5 September 2014. This means that Subrata Roy, who was the chairman of SIFCL, has also stepped down and there is no immediate family member on the board. Nobody is designated chairman either.

This means that the two independent directors, Mr Madhukar and Mr Chaturvedi, who are accused by the whistleblower of colluding with various entities to sell off assets belonging to depositors, form a majority on the board. He claims in a letter to RBI that over Rs500 crore had already been diverted until September this year. The whistleblower also alleges that the two independent directors have been improperly appointed without seeking prior approval from RBI.
 
Who are these directors? Mr Madhukar is on the board of several Sahara group companies including its mutual fund and Sahara Infrastructure & Housing Limited (SIHL). More importantly, he is a former whole-time member of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and former chairman of United Bank of India.

Mr Madhukar’s faith in Sahara and loyalty to the pariwar seems unshakable, despite all the allegations against the group. He has stayed on, even when another loyalist, Amitav Ghosh, a controversial former deputy governor of RBI, stepped down as independent director on the SIHL board in April 2013 (well after the path-breaking Supreme Court order asking two Sahara group companies to refund Rs25,000 crore raised through hybrid convertible bonds without SEBI approval). Mr Madhukar stepped in to replace by Mr Ghosh on that board.

On 20th August, RBI’s Kanpur office wrote to the whistleblower that the “two issues flagged by you are being examined by our Central Office at Mumbai.” It remains to be seen if RBI will act in time or take shelter behind a long-drawn ‘examination’ of issues. The whistleblower’s emails seem to suggest that nothing has changed at Sahara pariwar.

 

As for RBI, the stringent action by the Supreme Court has apparently not made this regulator more vigilant about the goings on at this controversial group.

 

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COMMENTS

Rajeev

2 years ago

Now RBI is after Sahara. It's really difficult to understand that person who always stood high to help India in every cause. He worked harder for welfare of India. There are people who fraud and never contribute for India and are still living respectful lives.
Why they are after such great person.

REPLY

Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to Rajeev 2 years ago

supreme court has exercised its independence as advocated by CJI. its judgement is penalizing the accused before proving his guilt.it is asking for 50% of the amount for a bail. it is nothing but extortion. further how it can facilitate and allow him to sell the company property for his personal bail. supreme court is siding with him to deprive other stake holders in the property or is forcing him to do one more offence. legal luminaries and supreme court itself must look into these aspects.

Aamir

2 years ago

I don't understand why every organisation is stretching this thing.....yet it is big question that whether Subrata Roy is a culprit or not. Just because he is paying all the money doesn't mean that he is the culprit. It is unnecessary to stretch such issue.

Ravindra

2 years ago

Woke up at last.

Dayananda Kamath k

2 years ago

it is really an improvement on the part of rbi to inform the complaint that issue is flagged. but it has not told whether it is re flag or green flag. rbi who is custodian for foreign exchange transactions issues a circular that third party gold imports are irregular. but do not initiate action against violators. it may be time enforcement director initiate action against rbi. what you can expect from such a regulator. it is the sponsror of all the financial scams in india.

REPLY

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 2 years ago

Unless guilty officials of RBI are punished at the regulator level,such financial scams shall continue.They should be held accountable and the officials responsible should go behind the bar.

TIHARwale

2 years ago

THE Chairman and Managing Director of United Bank of India, Mr Madhukar, will retire on March 1, 2004 after a career spanning 37 years in banks.

He started as a probationary officer in State Bank of India as early as 1967, became MD of State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur in March 2000 and CMD of United Bank of India in July 2001. In SBI he had assignments in Europe, West Asia and Africa for nearly 10 years, got out of turn promotions. When he accepted the United Bank of India, a few warned him against taking up the assignment as the bank had already been written off by various experts within the government and outside.
"The challenges were formidable. On the one side, there were 18,000 employees, a demoralised lot at that, and on the other end, he was fighting a lone battle. Even the Ministry declined any financial support and he took up the challenge.

United Bank of India was promoted by a group of individuals mostly based in the erstwhile East Pakistan and with the Partition, the bulk of the business was off. At the initiative of the then Chief Minister, Dr B.C. Roy, United Bank was created through amalgamation of a few small banks. More than 80 per cent of its branches were located in areas known for their backwardness.

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

2 years ago

How can RBI as a Regulator take action or be serious about their duties.They have number of such executives themselves who are claiming dishonest financial facilities.Only the officers having clean hands would take action but they are few and they would not be able to survive if action is taken by them.First the Regulator has to be cleaned,which can be done by CAG only.An audit by CAG will set the house of Regulator in order and generate fear which is missing as on date.If an dishonest EX-Regional director of Mumbai having claimed bogus overtime for his driver during absence from the headquarters be appointed as Administrator of Coop bank at Nasik, what can you expect from RBI.One should try to find out what was the compulsion of the executives who appointed such an person as Administrator in Coop bank at Nasik?Did The Ex-Regional director know too much of those executives secret? or is it a policy of RBI to reward persons who loot the nation with bogus intentions or corrupt mind?

Narendra Modi the Master Communicator

Narendra Modi set twitter records

 

Prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi is now acknowledged as a master communicator.

 

His massive electoral victory was a powerful and carefully choreographed multi-dimensional effort, but his big initial breakthrough was in bypassing a hostile mainstream media and reaching out to people directly through social media.

The PM is now using the very same tools to win friends and followers globally with spectacular results, so much so that his tweets to heads of State or the people of Japan (in Japanese) are rewriting the rule book for diplomacy.

After his 100 days in office, Twitter put out a blog post noting some of the new records set by Mr Modi. It says, @narendramodi is the second most followed politician in the world after US President Barak Obama on Twitter. Mr Modi’s election victory tweet, “India has won” (in Hindi and English) is the most re-tweeted tweet (70,620 times) of all times from India.
 
Today, following @narendramodi and @PMOIndia has become a necessity for diplomats, journalists, companies and policy-makers, since Twitter remains the primary communication tool of India’s prime minister. Given India’s population and the continuous accretion to the number of people acquiring smart phones, mobile connectivity and access to social media, it is only a matter of time before Narendra Modi becomes the most followed politician in the world.
 

User

COMMENTS

Bankimchandra Desai

2 years ago

NaMo's Secrets :
NaMo has literally laid siege on media with whose active support he created a mirage of NaMo wave. Media is yet to decipher this Gujarat model! There is one dictum ,"use & throw" that media is yet to experience fully. Media & media persons have to learn the art of not being used and then being thrown away. Till the ascent of NaMo @PMOIndia , media and media persons often succeeded in manipulating chief ministers and prime ministers to their requirements. Politicians were easy ploys. In turn politicians too manipulated media persons having corrupt inbuilt desires for wealth, wine and women ! Politicians as they are often took services of crony capitalists to invest on media and media persons. The dirty nexus or trio ruined India's journalism and journalists. The proprietors of media used their employees as contact persons to serve their ulterior motives in revenues in the forms of government advertisements, imported news print, realty dealings, often criminal activities like running a chit fund or rackets in stock market. The complete circle can not encircle NaMo because he has understood thoroughly all the secrets of strengths (sic) and weaknesses of media and media persons. He would prefer to rely on PR agency located abroad to sub serve his national and international PR needs. i don't see any media baron (sic) and media person in India who can stand with erect spine and talk to him eye to eye. NaMo knows how to handle them to his best benefits.
With the progress of social media and knowing well its importance NaMo has mastered its techniques too. He has a battery of loyal IT experts paid by/from unknown source/s. These professionals create a mirage of number of followers on Twitter ,Facebook and other such handles. It is easy, cheap, convenient ,ready at/on hand to communicate through this medium. Whatever news or no news can be generated in only 140 characters. The most of the rulers of the world are almost proxy rulers and rely upon secretaries and assistants to prepare publicity materials. This man, NaMo has concentrated all the powers of government and governance in himself so the others have to look at him for everything.
There is hardly any prime minister or president or head of state having no family or children or a woman friend having all assets of womanhood! Few of the rulers have more than one lady ,the other (spare wheel) in some hotel or guest house or resort on permanent basis.The 'other' remains always, the person might be different replacements. NaMo has all Indians as his only siblings and India is his home i.e PROPERTY !
There is hardly any politician, government officer, industrialist, media person, judge, advocate ,doctor or public figure who has NO"family worries & tensions" . NaMo is FREE from it. Other's weaknesses are his STRENGTHS much liked by the worst critic like me.
Media and media persons have to learn to live and sustain without politics, if they decide to boycott NaMo. Can you ever imagine any media without politics and films ? NaMo knows this very well. So he manipulated everyone with TWITTER.
If one likes or dislikes him that hardly is a matter of concern for him. He will have scores of ever disposables like Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani to supply black money 1 If he decides to go transparent by abolishing 60:40 and black money generated from it to be stored mainly in /within India,no one EXCEPT GOD can remove him from the highest seat @PMOIndia !

RBI Goes after Guarantors

Will it stop wilful default this time?

 

The notification of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)—that individuals and companies who fail to honour guarantees provided to wilful defaulters can also be charged with ‘wilful default’—is welcome and long overdue. Especially since the notification says that the ‘group concept’ will come into play when persons, or entities, do not honour guarantees to companies within a group. This is a huge step forward. For the 30 years that we have been reporting on business and finance, there has been endless debate about applying the ‘group concept’ to bad loans, especially when there is deliberate mismanagement of companies in a group. After all, corporates grow when new entities in a group (sister companies and subsidiaries) piggy-back on the parent’s goodwill to raise funds.  

But RBI has also said that the new norms would apply prospectively; this means that all the games companies played in the past will have no consequences. In India, corporate guarantees, including personal guarantees of well-known industrialists, had a magical way of disappearing from loan conditions after fund-raising needs were met, or the going got tough. Some of the most respected corporate groups in India have used this trick to evade responsibility for loss-making entities.


The change in loan conditions could not have happened without the active collusion of lenders which means that RBI’s new norms will also work only if the regulator puts in place a system to monitor crucial changes in loan conditions. Vijay Mallya, recently declared a wilful defaulter by United Bank of India (UBI) in connection with Kingfisher Airlines, also escapes the new provisions. While most industrialists used to keep room to wiggle out of the personal guarantee, the flamboyant Mr Mallya wanted to be different. He went to court to fight for the right to pay himself and UB Holdings a fat fee for the loan guarantees provided to Kingfisher. It is a mystery why lenders are still fighting shy to invoke that guarantee.

RBI governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan, recently said that the “wilful-defaulter tag is a powerful weapon in the hands of creditors for resolving distressed assets.” Indeed, it is; but a weapon is powerful only if used correctly and effectively.

One recalls that RBI, bankers and government officials were just as gung-ho about the SARFAESI Act (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act) 2002 which was touted as the ultimate statute to end the bad loan problem by giving banks a powerful recovery mechanism.
 
Strangely, RBI has never been called to explain why the monumental failure of SARFAESI was not anticipated or how just 50 corporates have run up a combined default of about Rs40,000 crore under its watch. If 33 debt recovery tribunals (DRTs) under SARFAESI failed to deliver (as of March 2012, there were 67,000 cases involving over Rs1,36,000 crore pending before the DRTs), will the new norms make a difference? After all, companies will still misuse the judicial system to delay any recovery action.

User

COMMENTS

Veeresh Malik

2 years ago

The ground level reality of RBI and banks going after guarantors is also that a large number of now elderly people who stood guarantee whether knowingly or out of ignorance or were simply tricked into standing guarantee in their earlier days with their clear title assets then are now going to lose everything they thought they owned while those who they stood guarantee for and are often their own children have long ago flown the coop or are simply not interested in solving the issue.
It is more than sad to listen to them.

bankruna

2 years ago

What RBI and Bankers have failed to realize is that stricter laws do not necessarily translate into a healthier credit portfolio. As a Banker involved in credit dispensation for last 3 decades, my experience has been that 50% of bad loans are created because of faulty credit decisions by Bankers either because of pressure of target, deficiency of knowledge or plain corrupt measures. In such cases, the securities are either less or allowed to be diluted so that not much is left when the related SARFAESI laws are invoked. What the laws can do to augment recovery when security itself is defective or inadequate by design?

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