Citizens' Issues
SC grants bail to DU professor Saibaba

The apex court bench, headed by Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, granted bail to Saibaba noting that all the material witnesses in the case have already been examined and there was no basis for keeping him confined

 

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, accused of being associated with a front organisation of a banned Maoist outfit.
 
The apex court bench, headed by Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, granted bail to Saibaba noting that all the material witnesses in the case have already been examined and there was no basis for keeping him confined.
 
The court was not moved as counsel for Maharashtra expressed the apprehension that Saibaba would propagate his views if he is set free. 
 
The court said that does not hold as he would be doing so even if he was released later. 
 
Granting bail to Saibaba, the court said his release would be subject to the conditions by the trial court as he would make himself available as and when he was required.
 
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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'Panama Papers' link global politicians in offshore deals, several Indians named
In 2004, India legally allowed investments abroad by companies, and later individuals, through the Liberalised Remittance Scheme
 
Washington/New Delhi : A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and more than 100 other news organisations around the globe reveals the offshore links of some of the planet's most prominent people, including over 500 from India.
 
"In terms of size, the Panama Papers is likely the biggest leak of inside information in history - more than 11.5 million documents - and it is equally likely to be one of the most explosive in the nature of its revelations," the consortium said of its investigation published on Sunday.
 
In India, The Indian Express ran several pages of the investigation reports alleging among other names that bollywood superstarts Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai were directors in companies in Panama. The two did not immediately respond despite efforts to contact them. Rai's media adviser told the newspaper that the information was false. 
 
In 2004, India legally allowed investments abroad by companies, and later individuals, through the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.
 
Also named were Sameer Gehlaut of India Bulls, for properties owned by Bahamas, Jersey and the United Kingdom, and KP Singh of DLF about companies registered in British Virgin Islands. Vinod Adani, elder brother of Industrialist Gautam Adani and politican Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal of Loksatta Party were also alleged to have set up companies in tax havens. Bajoria told the paper that that "erroneous beneficial owner information" was given by mistake. 
 
The Express said it had carried out the investigations spread over eight month with several global newspapers. Many of the other persons named in the Express reports responded, some denying while others maintaining that they had worked within the laws of the country. 
 
According to the ICIJ, "the leak exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders (including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family members) and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies."
 
The files contain new details about major scandals ranging from England's most infamous gold heist, an unfolding political money laundering affair in Brazil and bribery allegations convulsing FIFA, the body that governs international soccer, the consortium said.
 
They also provide details of the hidden financial dealings of 128 other politicians and public officials around the world and show how a global industry of law firms and big banks sells financial secrecy to fraudsters and drug traffickers as well as billionaires, celebrities and sports stars.
 
"The Panama Papers expose offshore companies controlled by the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the king of Saudi Arabia and the children of the president of Azerbaijan. They also include the names of at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of evidence that they've done business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist organisations like Hezbollah or rogue nations, including North Korea and Iran."
 
The leaked data, the ICIJ said, pertains to over nearly 40 years from the late 1970s through the end of 2015. It allows a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world - providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.
 
The leaked records - which were reviewed by a team of more than 370 journalists from nearly 80 countries - come from a little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama, Mossack Fonseca, that has branches in London, Beijing, Miami, Zurich and more than 35 other places around the globe.
 
The firm is one of the world's top creators of shell companies, corporate structures that can be used to hide ownership of assets. The law firm's leaked internal files contain information on 214,000 offshore companies connected to people in 200 countries and territories.
 
The data includes emails, financial spreadsheets, passports and corporate records revealing the secret owners of bank accounts and companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions, from Nevada to Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands.
 
It is the largest cross-border media collaboration ever undertaken. Journalists working in more than 25 languages dug into Mossack Fonseca's inner affairs and traced the secret dealings of the law firm's customers around the world. They shared information and hunted down leads generated by the leaked files using corporate filings, property records, financial disclosures, court documents and interviews with money laudering experts and law-enforcement officials.
 
Most of the services the offshore industry provides can be used for legal purpose and are by law-abiding customers. 
 
But the documents show that banks, law firms and other offshore players often fail to follow legal requirements to make sure clients are not involved in criminal enterprises, tax dodging or political corruption. 
 
The files show that these fixers and middlemen protect themselves and their clients by concealing suspect transactions. In some instances, they work to head off official investigations by backdating and destroying documents.
 
The Panama Papers make it clear that major banks are big drivers behind the creation of hard-to-trace companies in the British Virgin Islands, Panama and other offshore havens. The files list more than 15,600 paper companies that banks set up for clients who wanted to keep their finances under wraps, including hundreds created by international giants UBS and HSBC.
 
The disclosures from the law firm's leaked files dramatically expand on previous leaks of offshore records that ICIJ and its reporting partners have revealed in the past four years.
 
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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COMMENTS

Mahesh S Bhatt

8 months ago

Can World India learn to Detax.

What happened to Bofors diaries/ WikiLeaks/Liechtenstein breach.

A study of 60 large US companies found that they deposited $166 billion in offshore accounts during 2012, sheltering over 40% of their profits from U.S. taxes


More than 50% of all U.S. publicly traded companies and 63% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware.

The state's attractiveness as a corporate haven is largely because of its business-friendly corporation law. Franchise taxes on Delaware corporations supply about one-fifth of its state revenue. Although "USA (Delaware)" ranked as the world's most opaque jurisdiction on the Tax Justice Network's 2009 Financial Secrecy Index, the same group's 2011 Index ranks the USA fifth and does not specify Delaware.

So have Minimum Laws & Values Based Society.We have glorified Money beyond a point & made life miserable & miserly.

View Values for Wealth at youtube.com/kirtidabhatt.

Amen Mahesh Bhatt

What a rate cut will not achieve
The possible rate cut of 25-50bps by RBI is unlikely to stimulate capex as there is a need for complimentary demand side policies, says a research note
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its first bi-monthly monetary policy review for FY2016-17 on Tuesday is widely expected to cut interest rates by at least 25 to 50 basis points. However, the monetary easing is unlikely to stimulate capex now amidst weak demand and there is a need for complimentary demand side policies, say a research note.
 
In the report, Religare Capital Research Ltd, said, "Going by RBI’s stated preference for maintaining real interest rate in the 1.5-2% range, there is room for 50bps rate cut. However, RBI may cut repo rate by only 25bps in April policy and rather wait for further development on monsoon and 7th Pay Commission implementation while also taking steps to improve transmission."
 
As per RBI’s latest order books, inventories and capacity utilisation survey (OBICUS), capacity utilization levels continue to remain low at about 70%. External and domestic demand, especially from rural India, continues to remain subdued. Thus, monetary easing is unlikely to spur investment demand, Religare feels. 
 
"FY2016-17 Budget did attempt to address the weak demand conditions by focusing on infrastructure and rural India. However, the wait may be longer. It may ultimately be a policy choice – to induce demand slowly in a low inflationary way leading to a lower but less volatile growth trajectory, or to induce demand in a stronger way, leading to high inflation and higher but more volatile growth path," the report says.
 
Elaborating the logic behind the possible rate cut, Religare said, multiple factors have converged during the last 30 days that warrant a policy rate cut in the upcoming monetary policy review on 5th April. These include, a sharper-than-expected fall in February Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation number to 5.2% from a 17-month high of 5.7% in January 2016, the government's decision to stick to the fiscal deficit roadmap in the Union Budget FY206-17 at least on paper, the sharp slowdown in Index of Industrial Production (IIP) post first half of FY2016 and the government’s decision to cut interest rates on small savings and thus strengthen the monetary policy transmission mechanism.
 
The RBI has stated its preference for maintaining real interest rate (T-Bill rate minus inflation) in the 1.5-2% range. The average real interest rate in FY2016 has been 2.5%. Thus, there is a 50bps room for monetary easing. 
 
However, Religare said, this is dependent on inflation trajectory. The RBI has set an inflation target of 5% by end-FY17. In order to achieve this, core inflation, which has remained sticky at about 5% during the last 12 months, will have to decline from current levels in order to cushion for the gyration in food inflation. The upside risks to CPI inflation is from poor monsoon, 7th Pay Commission implementation, particularly the housing component and a rebound in oil-prices from low sub-$40 per barrel. Inflation expectations are also inching up; as per the RBI’s household inflation expectations survey, 3-month and 1-year ahead inflation expectations edged up in December 2015 quarter. 
 
"Given the upside risks to inflation, the RBI is likely to cut repo rate by only 25bps in April policy and rather wait for further development on monsoon and 7th Pay Commission implementation while also taking steps to improve transmission," Religare concluded.

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COMMENTS

B. Yerram Raju

8 months ago

Religare's expectation is range bound and well argued.

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