SEBI working on alternate model of corporate governance

The alternative model of corporate governance will be designed in such a manner that it will suit the needs of Indian companies, SEBI executive director Usha Narayanan said, adding the existing model is closer to international practice

New Delhi: In a bid to bring in greater transparency and enhance accountability of India Inc, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today said it is working on an alternative model of corporate governance, reports.

"A committee is working on it. We have also asked the MCA (ministry of corporate affairs) to broaden the scope of section 55 of Companies Act, 1956, which is now clause 22 of the Companies Bill," SEBI executive director Usha Narayanan said at an Assocham event here.

The alternative model of corporate governance will be designed in such a manner that it will suit the needs of Indian companies, she said adding the existing model is closer to international practice.

Corporate governance is maximising the shareholder value in a corporation while ensuring fairness to all stakeholders, customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders.

Corporate governance norms for listed and to-be-listed companies should be completely in SEBI's domain, she said.

The Standing Committee on Finance has also recognised the need for the sectoral regulator having more stringent rules than what is contained in the parent Act that governs companies, she added.

Under the present system, unlisted companies are governed by the norms prescribed in the Companies Act, while listed companies follow Clause 49 of SEBI's Listing Agreement.

Regarding jurisdiction on end use of IPO funds, Ms Narayanan said, it is completely in the domain of the MCA as SEBI deals with disclosures.

Besides, she said, the MCA also looks into it through its early warning system and exchanges provide the MCA with quarterly results, as and when required.

Former MCA director Manoj Arora said, "It is above all the responsibility of the shareholders to question whether their money has been duly utilised."

Further, Ms Narayanan said that SEBI is working on creating a unified platform which will enable companies to file their financial reports on just one platform.

"The reports will then be passed on to various exchanges.

Companies would not need to file reports with different exchanges separately," she said.

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Oil ministry seeks home ministry’s nod for RIL-BP deal

Upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has processed application made by Reliance for transfer of its 30% interest in 23 oil and gas blocks and sent its recommendation to the oil ministry

New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The petroleum ministry has sought security clearance from the home ministry for allowing UK's BP Plc to buy 30% stake in most of the Reliance Industries' (RIL) oil and gas blocks, including the giant KG-D6 off east coast, reports PTI.

Upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has processed application made by Reliance for transfer of its 30% interest in 23 oil and gas blocks and sent its recommendation to the oil ministry, an official said.

"DGH had sought some clarifications on the $7.2 billion deal which Reliance has already provided. Now, the petroleum ministry has approached the home ministry for a no-objection," he said.

Europe's second biggest oil company will pay $7.2 billion for 30% stake in 23 out of 26 exploration blocks held by Reliance, besides a performance payment of up to $1.8 billion if the tie-up leads to the development of commercial discoveries.

The official said the home ministry clearance is needed keeping in mind the strategic nature of the exploration and production business.

The home ministry may look into the shareholding pattern and organisational structure of BP besides doing a background check of board of directors and some of the key operational heads of the company before giving its no-objection certificate, he said.

Also, it may look how money is being routed by BP, which had in December last year sold almost all of its exploration and production assets in Pakistan to United Energy Group (UEG) for $775 million.

The official said after the NOC, the oil ministry may accord an in-principle approval to the transaction, after which amendments to the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) of the 23 blocks would be done by inducting BP as a partner.

Reliance will retain operatorship of all the 23 blocks.

It is hoping BP will help it reverse the sagging output from Krishna Godavari-D6 gas fields.

Output at KG-D6 fields has fallen from 60.5 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) achieved in March last year to around 50 mmscmd currently.

The $7.2 billion Reliance-BP deal is seen as the biggest FDI into India. The other proposed big transaction-Posco's $12 billion investment announced years ago for a steel plant in Orissa-is yet to take off.

Reliance is the operator (with a majority stake) in all the 23 blocks while Canadian Niko Resources and UK's Hardy Oil have minority 10% interest in a few. After the deal, Reliance's holding in the blocks will come down to 60%-70%. As many as 19 out of 23 blocks lie off the east coast while two blocks are onland in Assam and Gujarat.

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Qurat Office

2 months ago

Yes it is not a real company.

2G scam: Corporate honchos appear in court, seek bail

Corporate executives-Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, and three Reliance ADA Group top officials, Gautam Doshi, Surrendra Pipara and Hari Nair-appeared before the special court for the first time and sought bail on the ground that they were not arrested during the investigation

New Delhi: Five corporate honchos who have been named in the charge sheet in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, on Wednesday moved bail pleas in a Delhi court which asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file its replies, reports PTI.

"The CBI is granted time to file reply and put up the matter for arguments on 15th April," special CBI judge OP Saini said.

Top corporate executives-Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, and three top officials of Reliance ADA Group, Gautam Doshi, Surrendra Pipara and Hari Nair-appeared before the special court for the first time and sought bail on the ground that they were not arrested during the investigation.

"The accused are entitled for relief on bail," senior advocate Mukul Rohatagi, appearing for Vinod Goenka, said. Similar pleas were advanced by lawyers for other corporate honchos.

Senior advocate UU Lalit, who has been appointed as Special Public Prosecutor by the Supreme Court, vehemently opposed the applications, saying, "Accused are not entitled for release on bail ipso facto (by default) on appearance before the court. They will have to justify their bail pleas."

Citing legal provisions relating to the bail, Mr Lalit said, "The suspects have now become accused after the filing of the charge-sheet. Now it is between them and the court. The accused will have to justify their release on bail."

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for Unitech Wireless MD Sanjay Chandra, said, "Can the prosecution continue to change its stand? What is the change in circumstances except the change in public prosecutor?

"The accused who have not been arrested during the investigation are entitled to be released on bail on their appearance before the court of law," Mr Tulsi said.

After the brief arguments, Mr Lalit sought time to file replies to the bail applications of the accused. The plea was allowed by the court which fixed the matter for further hearing on 15th April.

The CBI had filed its first charge-sheet in the case on 2nd April against nine persons and three leading telecom companies-Reliance Telecom, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd.

The five corporate executives who were not arrested in the case had been summoned by the special court, specifically set up to try the 2G scam accused, to appear before it on Wednesday.

Former telecom minister A Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Mr Raja's personal secretary RK Chandolia and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa were arrested earlier during the probe into the case and are lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody.

Special CBI judge Saini has already taken cognisance of the charge-sheet running into 80,000 pages after it was filed in his court on 2nd April.

The CBI, India's premier investigation agency had filed the charge-sheet against them for allegedly committing offences of forgery and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and for offences of giving and accepting bribe and abusing official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI has indicted Mr Raja for conspiring with top bureaucrats, including a retired IAS officer, and corporate honchos to cause a loss of Rs30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of the 2G spectrum.

The agency, in its first charge-sheet, has alleged that Mr Behura, Mr Chandolia, Mr Balwa and Mr Chandra entered into a conspiracy for manipulating the procedure for allocation of spectrum with the aim of favouring companies like Swan Telecom and Unitech Group.

The CBI is likely to file its second charge-sheet in the case by 25th April and is to complete its probe by 31st May.

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