SEBI sets up committee to find ways to utilise IPEF

 

The panel is entrusted to recommend whether investor education and protection activities that may be undertaken directly by the board, or through any other agency, for utilisation of the SEBI Investor Protection and Education Fund for the purposes stated in the SEBI (Investor Protection and Education Fund) Regulations, 2009

New Delhi: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a committee to find out the ways and means to best utilise the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF), reports PTI.

“We have set up a committee. It is guiding us in how this fund (IPEF) is spent,” SEBI whole-time member Prashant Saran said.

The panel is entrusted to recommend whether investor education and protection activities that may be undertaken directly by the board, or through any other agency, for utilisation of the SEBI Investor Protection and Education Fund for the purposes stated in the SEBI (Investor Protection and Education Fund) Regulations, 2009.

The IPEF, set up in July 2007, had Rs13.15 crore as on 31 March 2008 which increased to Rs16.63 crore a year later.

However, until 31 March 2009, SEBI had not spent even a single penny from this fund.

The eight-member committee is headed by ICICI Bank chairman KV Kamath. Apart from Mr Kamath, the other members include retired bureaucrat PK Ghosh, IIM Ahmedabad professor Abraham Koshy, communications consultant Ramesh Narayan and managing director of Shri Mahila SEWA Sahkari Bank, Jayashree Vyas.

SEBI will be represented by executive director Ananta Barua and chief general managers GP Garg and VS Sundaresan.

 

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BNP Paribas cuts India growth projection to 6.5% for FY11-12

“Our FY11-12 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast is cut to 6.5% and that for FY12-13 at 7.1% expectation underlining that the economy will not quickly regain its prior dynamism thanks to sliding capex spending,” BNP Paribas said in the latest issue of ‘India Economics: Eye on the Tiger’

New Delhi: Global finance major BNP Paribas has revised downward its growth forecast for the Indian economy to 6.5% for 2011-12, down from its earlier projection of over 7%, citing sliding capital expenditure and the country's exposure to European banks, reports PTI.

“Our FY11-12 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast is cut to 6.5% and that for FY12-13 at 7.1% expectation underlining that the economy will not quickly regain its prior dynamism thanks to sliding capex spending,” BNP Paribas said in the latest issue of ‘India Economics: Eye on the Tiger’.

“India’s relatively high exposure to European bank de-leveraging leaves the risks to even these downbeat forecasts still skewed to the downside,” it added.

BNP also said the Indian rupee is highly exposed to accelerated, and potentially disorderly, de-leveraging by European banks and over the next 3-6 months the risk is clearly for further weakness which may worsen growth.

BNP said that while a healthy monsoon has boosted agriculture output, with the farm sector expected to grow by around 5%-6% in the current fiscal, non-agricultural GDP is projected to be unusually weak with.

Its GDP growth projection is almost a full percentage point below the Reserve Bank of India’s 7.6% forecast made in its October review and the government’s recently reduced 7.5% expectation for FY11-12. The Indian economy had expanded by 8.5% in 2010-11.

“As we have long warned, with the weakness concentrated in the end of the fiscal year and weak capital spending inhibiting supply-side developments, FY12-13 is unlikely to see a rapid recovery,” it said.

Economic growth in the second quarter (July-September) was a meagre 6.9%, the lowest in over two years, because of poor performance by manufacturing and mining sectors.

Industrial production entered negative zone in October and contracted by 5.1%.

In its mid-quarter policy review released on Friday, RBI said that the domestic policy uncertainties and the tight monetary stance are among the factors leading to slowdown and cautioned against downside risks to growth.

With regard to its growth projection of 7.6% for the current fiscal, RBI said, “considering the global and domestic macroeconomic situation, the downside risks to the RBI growth projection, as set out in the second quarter review (in October), have increased significantly”.

BNP said, meanwhile, that the overall inflation in India will moderate to 7%, as projected by the government and the RBI, by the fiscal-end and may fall even below that.

“A collapse in food inflation through November leaves Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation on course to meet, even undershoot, the RBI’s 7% March 2012 forecast, increasing the central bank’s scope to cushion these downside risks,” BNP said.

Headline inflation has been above the 9% mark since December 2010. However, it fell to one year low of 9.11% in November this year.

Food inflation also moderated to a four-year low of 4.35% as on 3rd December. It has witnessed a declining trend since late October when it was in double-digits.

RBI has increased interest rates 13 times since March 2010 to tame inflation. India Inc has blamed the repeated rate hikes, which have led to an increase in the cost of borrowings, for hindering fresh investments and industrial slowdown.

In its mid-quarterly review on Friday, the central bank kept its key policy rates unchanged and hinted at rate cuts in future.

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2G scam: Swamy deposes as witness, seeks Chidambaram’s prosecution

Testifying as a witness in support of his private complaint seeking prosecution of home minister P Chidambaram, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy said former telecom minister A Raja could not be held guilty ‘alone’ of the charges that he fixed the price of spectrum licence in 2008 at the prevailing rates of 2001

New Delhi: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy told a Delhi court on Saturday that Union home minister P Chidambaram should be made an accused in the second generation (2G) case as he had jointly taken the decision of spectrum prices with former telecom minister A Raja, the key accused in the case, reports PTI.

Testifying as a witness in support of his private complaint seeking prosecution of Mr Chidambaram, Mr Swamy said Mr Raja could not be held guilty ‘alone’ of the charges that he fixed the price of spectrum licence in 2008 at the prevailing rates of 2001.

“Raja could not be guilty of this (fixing the rate of spectrum charges at nominal price fixed in 2001) charge alone but he committed this offence with the active connivance of P Chidambaram,” Mr Swamy told special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) judge OP Saini.

He said that as per a 2003 cabinet decision, Mr Raja and Mr Chidambaram, who was the then Finance Minister, were empowered to determine the spectrum price jointly.

Mr Swamy said that the prime minister, in his statement made on the floor of Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) on 24 February 2011, had said that pricing of spectrum was taken on the basis of a cabinet decision of 2003 which specifically said that the issue would be determined by the ministry of finance and department of telecommunication.

The court had on 8th December allowed Mr Swamy to testify himself in support of his private complaint seeking Mr Chidambaram’s prosecution in the case.

The special judge had allowed Mr Swamy’s plea, saying that in view of his knowledge of “fresh evidence” on the identity of other conspirators, he be allowed to depose again in the case.

It had said Mr Swamy “was not prevented in law” from bringing fresh evidence about the roles of “other conspirators” in the scam.

The court deferred recording Mr Swamy’s further statement till 7th January, the next date of hearing.

The court had earlier partially allowed Mr Swamy plea and had said that his plea to summon other witnesses, including some government officials, in the case shall be allowed only after relevance of their testimony is explained by him.

Mr Swamy, who first deposed in January before another court, had sought permission to testify again on the ground that he was not aware of Mr Chidambaram’s role.

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