Regulations
SEBI has one woman member on its Board

Market regulator SEBI is gearing up to penalise listed companies not having a woman director on their boards

 

Correction: Rectified after clarification from IANS and SEBI

 

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is gearing up to penalise listed companies not having a woman director on their boards despite the Indian markets regulator itself not meeting the requirement. SEBI itself has just one woman director on its Board.
 
Clarifying to earlier reports that the market regulator does not have a woman member on its board, SEBI said: "secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Anjuli Chib Duggal is a member of the SEBI Board."
 
As per the company law, every listed company or every other public company having a paid up capital of Rs100 crore or more or a turnover of Rs.300 crore or more should have a woman on its board by 31 March 2015.
 
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai a couple of days back, SEBI chairman UK Sinha said it is very shameful that the listed companies were not able to find one competent woman to be on their board and the panel would take a serious view of those companies that do not abide by the stipulation.
 
He cited the penalties levied by SEBI on those listed companies that did not comply with the regulation of bringing down the promoter holding to 25 percent.
 
Supreme Court advocate D. Varadarajan, however, told IANS that the "SEBI Act does not provide for reservations in favour of women". 
 
"The law provides only for members," said the lawyer who specialises in insurance and company law.

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I-T department publishes names of big tax defaulters

The defaulters' names were put up on the department's website last week, while a senior official told IANS here that the newspaper notice, apart from being a novel way of shaming defaulters, would also help in tracing them

 

With the curtains coming down on the current fiscal, the Income Tax department on Tuesday for the first time issued newspaper notices on 18 tax defaulters -- 11 of them Gujarat-based -- who collectively owe over Rs500 crore to the exchequer.
 
The defaulters' names were put up on the department's website last week, while a senior official told IANS here that the newspaper notice, apart from being a novel way of shaming defaulters, would also help in tracing them.
 
In view of multiple cases of assessees not being traceable, which has reduced chances of recovery, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has provided the PAN number and the last-known address of these defaulters so that the public could give information about their whereabouts.
 
The list includes Somani Cement with tax arrears of Rs27.47 crore; Blue Information Technology with Rs75.11 crore in arrears; Appletech Solutions at Rs27.07 crore; and Jupiter Business with Rs21.31 crore.
 
The Gujarat-based companies in the list include Icon Bio Pharma and Healthcare Ltd., Banyan and Berry Alloys, Virag Dyeing and Printing, Poonam Industries and Kunvar Ajay Food -- all with arrears ranging from Rs15 crore to Rs19 crore.
 
Other companies in the list include Jaipur-based Goldsukh Trade India (Rs75.47 crore) and Kolkata-based Victor Credit and Construction (Rs13.81 crore).
 
The department will meet its projected target of collecting Rs700,000 crore in income tax in the 2014-15 fiscal, a senior income tax official told IANS earlier this month.
 
Meanwhile, at a time when unaccounted wealth of Indians stashed away in foreign banks is under the scanner, the income tax department has shifted its attention from civil consequences to criminal consequences in serious cases of tax evasion.
 
"In its crusade against black money and with a view to having credible deterrence against generation of black money, the government has shifted its focus to successfully prosecuting the offenders in the shortest possible time," the finance ministry said in a statement last month.
 
"During 2014-15 (up to December 2014), the income tax department had conducted searches in 414 groups and seized undisclosed assets of Rs582 crore," the statement added.
 
Undisclosed income of Rs6,769 crore has been admitted by the taxpayers during such searches.
 
Saying that the focus of investigation in the department had so far been on civil consequences, or revenue augmentation, the ministry said over 600 prosecution complaints have been filed in the current fiscal up to December 2014.
 
Reacting to an Indian Express report last month that 1,195 Indians were in the list of clients who have accounts in HSBC bank's Geneva branch from 2006-2007, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: "The details that have come out are the ones we already have."
 
The central government has completed assessment of 350 foreign accounts while tax-evasion proceedings have been initiated against 60 account holders, Jaitley told reporters here.
 
In this connection, at the G20 Brisbane summit in November 2014, leaders endorsed a new global transparency standard by which more than 90 jurisdictions will begin automatic exchange of tax information, using a common reporting standard by 2017-2018.
 
India has no official estimates of illegal money stashed away overseas, but the unofficial ones range from $466 billion to $1.4 trillion.
 

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COMMENTS

Pantulu

2 years ago

It is strange that big defaulters simply escape while
already taxed money saved in banks is taxed if form 15H is not submitted in April.Is it logical to concentrate on petty amounts while writing off huge amounts.ABC analysis is simply missing in our system.

Pantulu

2 years ago

It is strange that big defaulters simply escape while
already taxed money saved in banks is taxed if form 15H is not submitted in April.Is it logical to concentrate on petty amounts while writing off huge amounts.ABC analysis is simply missing in our system.

RAJKUMAR B PRASAD

2 years ago

GOVT IS HIDDEN THE NAME OF BIG DE-FAULT ER

SAVING THE BIG PEOPLE WHY

Vidul Nagda

2 years ago

Yes. Where has that name disappered?

Chandragupta Acharya

2 years ago

If I am not wrong, Hasan Ali was India's biggest income tax defaulter. When and how did he move out of the list?

Sharad Phadke, the unsung hero who took on banks through RTI, is dead
Pune-based Phadke fought against banks’ refusal to credit back wrongly debited amount from ATM, running into crores of rupees, till his last breath. His task remains unfinished
 
Seventy-three-year-old Sharad Phadke has been filing applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, in several banks, after Rs1,000 was wrongly debited from his ATM card in October 2010. Till he breathed his last on 7 November 2014, his fight against non-compliance by the State Bank of India (SBI) and Corporation Bank in crediting back the wrongly debited amount of hundreds of customers during ATM transactions, remains unfinished.
 
Just like his RTI work that was tenacious and relentless but hardly known to many, his death too was quiet, unknown perhaps beyond his near and dear ones. It was only when I did not receive a reply to my email to him last week, that I sensed something is amiss. For, Mr Phadke’s reply to any email from me would be prompt and to the point. So, I dialled his mobile number with fear in my mind. I felt relieved when a girl, perhaps his granddaughter asked me to hold on. On the line instead came his son, who said his father had passed away on 7 November 2014, peacefully in his sleep.
 
It was traumatic news for me. Phadke would quietly sit in a corner of his house, with a laptop and a heaps of documents through which he fired salvo after salvo at the banks and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). When all failed, he also went to the High Court in search of truth and justice. For that he would travel beyond Pune and Maharashtra.
 
His crusade to restore back his Rs1,000 wrongly debited by Bank of India (BoI), which came with added penalty that the latter had to credit to his account for its 65-day delay (the rule is Rs100 per day of delay beyond 12 days of wrongly debiting from any customer’s account), was highlighted by Moneylife. See Banks must pay Rs100 a day penalty for delay in reimbursement for failed ATM transactions
 
Similarly, he, along with Moneylife doggedly pursued the issue of mass deletion of voters’ names in Pune constituency, where his own name had been deleted and this writer along with him had conducted file inspection under Section 4 of the RTI Act and procured documents, which proved that his and wife’s names were deleted by cooking up false documents. Read: Missing voters: Pune Police refuses to register Phadke’s complaint as FIR
 
Mr Phadke continued to pursue the case of bank penalties running into crores of rupees, which were not being credited back to the customers’ accounts. Four months before he died, he has made a complaint against Corporation Bank for non-payment of compensation for delay in refunding the amount for failed ATM transaction, as mandated by RBI. The figure ran to over Rs5 crore, as per information Phadke procured under RTI.
 
Mr Phadke also conducted a social audit based on the information he got and wrote to the RBI Governor stating that, “Scrutiny reveals that a whopping amount of Rs9.79 crore is not paid by Corporation Bank as compensation for ATM failed transactions during 2010-11 and 2011-12. These transactions have failed at different ATMs of other banks with their own bank.”
 
“My complaint dated 5 June 2014 relating to customers of Corporation Bank whose transactions have failed ATMs of SBI is pending with Department of Banking Operation, RBI, Mumbai.”
 
“This is just a sample audit” he wrote. “RTI revelations are indicative of the fact that most Banks in the country are indulging in ditching its account holders as above, presumably with the blessing and connivance of higher management and auditors. This is generic in nature and not a single aberration. I think it is a serious matter for RBI to act decisively and firmly which is substance of good governance…,’’ he had said.
 
 
Mr Phadke also pleaded to the RBI to order re-scrutiny of quarterly returns that banks submit on failed transactions to RBI with bank board’s sanction. He also brought to the notice of the central bank that, “RBI’s counterpart has imposed penalty of Rs1.77 crore on Reliance Life Insurance Co Ltd for violation of various IRDA directives/legislations.”
 
He followed it up by writing to the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI). He wrote back to me disgusted, stating, Banking Codes appears to be of no use if this is their attitude. Why is this? Why to spend Rs50 for postage and printing? This was Mr Phadke’s reaction to a reply by HS Shetty, vice president, BCSBI, who wrote, “We have to clarify that BCSBI examines the complaint to see whether any systematic issue is involved and if so necessary action would be taken so that such gaps in customer service are rectified to all customers, in general. It is observed that you have already approached Reserve Bank of India, Corporation Bank and State Bank of India. You may follow up the matter with the banks concerned/RBI.”
 
 
Indeed sad, that none of the regulatory authorities took up the cause even after this single individual pointed out lapse in ATM failed transaction of over Rs10 crore. 
 
Mr Phadke’s son told me that some RTI replies have been received. This writer would soon visit his home. Moneylife salutes the valuable contribution of Sharad Phadke in working relentlessly on behalf of the bank customers.
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
 

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COMMENTS

Pradeep Kumar

2 years ago

Don't give in/up.
I am fighting for 45 days to decode the code, stating the reasons for deducting Rs 164/- from my account.

K.K. Middha

2 years ago

The fight must continue. Many more should join. Injustice, should not be tolerated.
Banks are increasingly adopting method of torturing the public.
IDBI Bank has wrongly debited Rs. 100/- charges for the first year of issue of ATM. The mistake was pointed out more than 3 months back with reminders butso far nothing has been done. They say it is too small a amount. Should I forget.
kkm

Pradeep Kumar

2 years ago

The fight must go on.
We know the history of RTI,
how that victory was won!

u k saluja

2 years ago

For kind attention of Ms Vinita Deshmukh, Consulting Editor of Moneylife and a renowned RTI Activist. It would be apppreciate if you could kindly take up with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs/liquidator at Mumbai with regard to the matters concerning non-payment by the managements of companies like Micro Technologies India Ltd. and Avon Corporation Limited, Mumbai since gone into liquidation after duping hundreds of senior citizens and others by not paying back money to their matured FD holders when it became due despite making committments in numerous communications to their small investors. Cases filed before CLB did not bring in any result, despite many orders issued by the CLB Member Shri A.K.Tripathi since the companies had been ordered to go for winding up based on orders of the Hon'ble High Court judicature, Mumbai because of failure of the companies managements to honour their committments to their foreign and domestic lenders also. Kindly take up with liquidators office for prompt settlement of claims of sick and old promptly. Thanks. U.K.Saluja, New Delhi.

nilesh prabhu

2 years ago

Rest in Peace.

Thanks for the fight.

Bhupesh

2 years ago

Banks have no fear!

We are listening!

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