Investor Interest   Exclusive
Rot at the Top

The government-owned banks are plundered routinely and bailed out periodically. But RBI, SEBI and ministry of finance remain unaccountable and unconcerned

 

The arrest of SK Jain, chairman and managing director of Syndicate Bank, has sent shockwaves through the banking and corporate world. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accuses Mr Jain of allegedly taking a bribe of Rs50 lakh for increasing the credit limit of some companies in violation of banking rules. One of the beneficiaries was apparently Bhushan Steel whose managing director Neeraj Singhal has also been arrested. 
 
CBI followed up the Syndicate Bank case by launching a preliminary investigation into IDBI Bank. The Bank sanctioned Rs950-crore first-time loan to Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines Ltd when it already had a negative net worth.  
 
CBI’s actions have caused all lending institutions to tighten the screws on borrowers. Fear is running high because nobody knows how many more phones CBI is tapping. But will it lead to a serious, long-term clean-up that includes a focus on political corruption, top appointments at nationalised banks? Let’s take a look. 
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the banking regulator, until recently, remained content with issuing warnings about burgeoning bad loans. RBI governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan, in his early days in office, was more concerned that inquiries by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) that prevented bankers from functioning effectively. Is he now convinced that the bigger problem with Indian banking is the rot at the top? 
 
Dr Rajan recently announced that he is working with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to prevent wilful defaulters from accessing the capital market. We remain sceptical about this, for several reasons. 
 
First, it took five years for SEBI to bar B Ramalinga Raju and four others from the capital market for 14 years. Its order asking them to repay Rs1,849 crore is rather meaningless, when you recall that this is a straightforward case where Mr Raju confessed to the fraud only because he had no money.  
 
No forensic investigation has thrown up a clue about where this money went, although the corporate grapevine is sure that funds were diverted to Maytas (Satyam spelt in reverse), a group company, that was on its way to becoming a real estate and infrastructure giant. 
 
Second, we drew a blank when we tried to find out whether RBI was inquiring into the dubious Rs9,000-crore corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package to the politically powerful Lanco group. Our Right to Information applications were stonewalled. If pepper-spray Ladagapati Rajagopal (a member of parliament) fails to borrow more, it will probably be because his clout with the Congress leadership is irrelevant today. That is, probably, why he has been forced to sell his power plant to Adani Power recently.
If RBI were really serious about the quality of lending, it also ought to keep a watch on the mega-borrowings of two other groups—GVK and GMR. Instead, the chairman of the GMR group is on RBI’s central board of directors. 
 
Another Hyderabad-based family that remains unscathed is that of the Reddys of Deccan Chronicle who faced allegations of forging documents to raise Rs170 crore from Future Capital. Is the case buried? Or is SEBI doing another slow investigation that will lead to meaningless action in a few years from now? 
 
Then there is the flamboyant, Teflon-coated, Vijay Mallya, who joyously tweets about sporting events, while his bankers stew. Media reports say that Mr Mallya may, finally, be declared a wilful defaulter, but nobody reports why bankers have yet to invoke his personal guarantee. Remember, Mr Mallya went to court and won the right to pocket a guarantee fee, running into crores of rupees. He is in court again to stop United Bank of India (UBI) from declaring him a wilful defaulter. This is yet another example of how the powerful in India—whether government agencies or individuals—tie up matters in endless and, often, frivolous litigation and claims. They also get a patient hearing from the courts because of their ability to hire an array of ‘eminent’ (read expensive and politically powerful) lawyers. 
 
Supreme Court Justice JS Khehar recently observed, with some anguish, that there should be “consequences to fighting on after having lost in every forum” causing a “direct loss to the nation” in terms of cost of litigation and waste of the court’s valuable time. This applies to Vijay Mallya as well. 
 
The rot in nationalised banks is at the top and starts with the deal-making that precedes top appointments. RBI cannot avoid responsibility for poor supervision either. But it has remained strangely unembarrassed about the fact that bank officers and employees’ unions seem more concerned than RBI about escalating bad loans that threatening to turn banks sick. Bank unions have repeatedly pointed out that bank chairpersons get away scot-free, despite the worst kind of corruption leading to bad loans. 
 
In 2010, I wrote, “…most of us were seriously shocked to discover that Central Bank of India’s former chairman & managing director HA Daruwalla would not be punished after a series of proven corruption cases. 
 
Although charges against Ms Daruwalla were proved, all she got was a ‘letter of displeasure’ and only then did we discover that there are no provisions to hand out stiffer punishments to bank chairmen (except removal from service) who allow banks under their charge to be looted.” 
 
An RTI activist also uncovered the fact that Central Bank of India spent Rs70 lakh in defending itself against a whistleblower, of which nearly Rs50 lakh went to the Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi who was the Congress spokesperson. Nothing has changed since then. 
 
Cut to February 2014, when Archana Bhargava, chairperson of UBI, was allowed to take voluntary retirement under Dr Rajan’s watch. Not even a letter of displeasure was issued to her. In Ms Bhargava’s case, the Bank bounced back with improved financial results, immediately after her controversial exit, vindicating the allegation of senior bankers that she was deliberately and recklessly suppressing its performance. An inquiry revealed that she had bagged the post due to her political clout, despite a record of previous transgressions and investigations. 
 
This history makes us sceptical about a clean-up action. In 2012, writing in Moneylife under the pen-name Gurpur, a senior banker, said, “NPAs have to be taken seriously because loss-making banks are inevitably bailed out and capitalised with the taxpayers’ money in India. There is another major issue that most analysts miss—banks are allowed large write-offs against NPAs which reduce their tax liability. Lower taxes paid means fiscal stress that has to be borne by taxpayers either as inflation or by higher tax rates.” Finally, taxpayers have to bear the cost of frequent recapitalisation of banks that happens without fixing accountability. 
 
Let me end by pointing to the futility of corporate governance rules which are revised every few years. Every new scam exposes the hollowness of disclosure and compliance requirements. Satyam Computers failed, despite a glittering board, while Bhushan Steel was able to borrow a stupendous Rs40,000 crore (it is the country’s most indebted steel-maker), despite the most lacklustre board. It does have a former chief election commissioner in Brij Bihari Tandon, but the rest are faceless accountants and lawyers. MV Suryanarayanan, a former nominee of LIC, has clearly become so close to the company that he is now an ‘independent’ director. 
 
In Syndicate Bank,  a father passed on his directorship to his young daughter like a family right. That may only change because the new government will want its own appointees on bank boards. As for the middlemen in the Syndicate Bank episode their well-known shady past only requires a Google search. 
 
The new Companies Act places onerous responsibilities on independent directors with serious consequences for failure. But the ministry for corporate affairs probably needs to be reminded about its new powers and prodded to act on them for public good. 
 
Sucheta Dalal is the managing editor of Moneylife. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to journalism. She can be reached at [email protected]
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    COMMENTS

    sathya cumaran

    6 years ago

    sathyacumaran dhandapani
    hats off to madam sucheta dalal but the country is so corrupt if any person raises their vocie against corruption because of this mafia world where man power and money power all the effort is sabbotaged we have to think about our family rather the cause of others and i being an international media and channel when we raise any issue there is threat and men be targetted our staff so we never raise any issue in india including mine we need madam help if she can please help me persoanl request

    manoharlalsharma

    6 years ago

    Rot at the Top.Its not a news every one & all over INDIA ,may with BLESS of Media all WORLD knows but,who will tie BELL to a CAT?who will SPEND time,money and energy and even after spend all what will gain see a living EXAMPLE of ADRSH SOCIETY @ MUMBAI.

    shanti Patel

    6 years ago

    Eye opener for general people

    S.K.PATEL
    Chartered Accountant

    Xyz

    6 years ago

    When small borrowers approach bank for loan they are harassed in the name of Cibil credit score but banks giving huge loans to bankrupt companies and write off these loans,corporates can restructure loans with CDR with better terms and conditions but genuine small borrowers face difficulties in servicing the loans no restructuring available to them from banks and also banks put their name in Cibil so they will be harassed more in future by banks ,Cibil should be regulated by RBI also those with low cibil score shouldn't be denied credit should be given a second chance to improve their cibil score.

    REPLY

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to Xyz 6 years ago

    RBI has failed as a regulator,since its own house is in disorder,many such RTI's reveal that it does not have the various information viz.Perks of its executives,the number of employees recruited in its recent Private and secretive recruitment contrary to various decisions of Supreme court,of favoring an executive who was claiming bogus or dishonestly overtime allowances for his private driver even during the absence from headquarters and by appointing such executive as Administrator of a coop bank at Nasik. What can you expect from the policy makers or Regulators.?

    jaideep shirali

    6 years ago

    On one hand, we have banks with large NPAs from big companies, on the other hand, SMEs are refused credit on flimsy grounds. It takes some thousand SMEs to fail to reach the NPA level of just one Kingfisher or Winsome Diamonds. Yet I suppose because the 'payout' that SMEs give does not make it worth the while for these loans to be passed, the policies, funds and so-called good intentions of governments at State and Central level for the MSME sector remain only on paper.

    manoharlalsharma

    6 years ago

    u have seen 2 G and COAL SCAM by going through MEDIA ,Never gone 4 POOR families bought to SHELTER them self r under ATTACK by a HOUSING SOCIETY.if u do not believe open WP-8508/2003 at MUMBAI HC and see how JUDICIARY works.

    Dayananda Kamath k

    6 years ago

    do you think there is not rotin so called techno savvy private banks. it is hushed up and there is no mechanism to bring it out unless some thing drastic happens then also they might be protected as too large to fail. why is rbi coming out with this classification now is it preparing enabling ground for such banks to be saved.

    REPLY

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 6 years ago

    Yesterday the Deputy Governor of RBI has stated in Financial Chronicle, RBI to step up vigil on banks to check fraud and it was the same DG who as ED had approved the appointment of Ex-Regional director Mumbai as Administrator in a coop bank at Nasik,even though knowing very well of the dishonest acts of the said EX-Regional Director Mumbai of claiming bogus overtime for his private driver continuously five months as per RTI ,even during the absence from headquarters or negatively had exploited the driver for 5 continuous months without break of a weekly off,which is mandatory according to labour laws and Human Rights Act. Double standard of RBI,without setting its own house in order it wants to curb frauds of Banks.

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 6 years ago

    Officials of RBI are taken in employment of Pvt and foreign banks after retirement,if detailed research is conducted maximum executives children ,spouses etc would be found in employment of such Banks.

    sathya cumaran

    In Reply to Ramesh B Mhadlekar 6 years ago

    sathyacumaran dhandapani
    this is true this was said long time ago that officials of govt services such IAS and IPS and other top position people are appointed as consultant by top corporates inorder to brake the law and get their orders passed since thier juniors would be holidng their position so its easy to approach and get things done once this is curbed we cannot curtail the corruption and braking of rules is common and justice is denied for common man is surmise this is the plight of present india where justice is denied for common citizen

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to sathya cumaran 6 years ago

    It is the common man who is grinded in the wheels of Judiciary and common man expecting justice in this country is a dream, never coming true.Common man fears law not the unscrupulous cunning criminals who in the garb of discharging their duties loot and plunder the motherland and pretend to be honest citizen of this country and deliver lectures on honesty,discipline etc. etc.They are real traitors who loot the mother land.

    Dhoot Usha

    In Reply to sathya cumaran 6 years ago

    I fully agree with your views

    Gopalakrishnan T V

    6 years ago

    For Bankers to appreciate or realise the truth. There are five categories of NPAs.1) Abinitio NPAs. When loans are sanctioned simply based on the celebrity status of the borrowers or purely based on influence or contacts.These loans from day one will remain as NPAs 2)Hidden NPAs. These are loans by cleverly avoiding the inclusion of bad accounts as NPAs taking advantage of the interpretation of the definition of NPAs.3) Camouflaged NPAs. These are by helping the borrowers to evergreen the accounts by adhoc sanctions or by purchasing bills and cheques and giving credit to loan accounts. 4)Potential NPAs. Thess are nothing but restructuring of loans. 5) Disclosed NPAs. This is what is discussed about based on published data. To get the actual NPAs one should get the details of all the five categories. Then it will prove that the top is rot and NPAs are killling the banking system and many make money in the process.No one is serious about finding a lasting solution to discipline the bankers and borrowers. Depositors and other stakeholders bear the brunt.

    REPLY

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Gopalakrishnan T V 6 years ago

    They are not five. The four follow the first ab initio NPAs as a matter of course- ultimately ending up as disclosed NPAs in the end!

    pranjivan trivedi

    6 years ago

    As a retired bank officer who had put his entire carrier working credit dept. this was waiting to happen. Although a proposal to grant an advance is initiated at branch level but it actually proposed from top. I have seen many such cases in my service, wherein crores of money were to sanctioned to npa accounts. You should have proper links to have the proposal sanctioned at appropriate level.
    P.H.Trivedi

    REPLY

    Dayananda Kamath k

    In Reply to pranjivan trivedi 6 years ago

    i have seen as auditor sanction date is prior to application and that too co financing an already npa account in other bank. but at that time this npa concept was not there. and finally it was written off at a huge cost to the bank. but the reporting of the same in initial stage itself did not roll the heads in the bank.

    Veeresh Malik

    In Reply to pranjivan trivedi 6 years ago

    In almost all the cases that have come my way, I have spotted that some ex-bank employee (retired / sacked / resigned) let us call him "consultant" "brings" a proposal. That "consultant" will often choose a Branch which is headed by a pliant manager and once the proposal has moved sufficiently and gathered enough paper, the proposal will then move to the bigger special mid-corporate or large-corporate branches, where it will gather yet more paper to make the file even thicker.

    In the next level, when the consortiums is formed, the banks give each other comfort by building even more paper.

    Any normal human being trying to research this can go mad. But very soon one learns to spot the patterns, and the grand plan emerges, which is usually charted all the way to the whole 13/2, 13/4, DRT, SARFAESI, BIFR route.

    What's now changed is that these files are moving around outside the secretive purview of the banks thanks to soft copies and also thanks to some amount of fear in sme bank officials.

    Anyways, everyday, more rot opens.

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    You will find such consultants moving in RBI also,who guide companies after having retired from RBI.During service also they have good relation with the companies who on every Divali visit the premises with gifts and if prohibited from entry,then visit their residence.
    The greed for money continues and is nothing but abuse of knowledge gathered while in service and serve the companies.

    sathya cumaran

    In Reply to Ramesh B Mhadlekar 6 years ago

    sathyacumaran dhandapani

    this happens to most of the bank officers after they retire or go on vrs they have been abosrbed in big corporate either to get fresh loans unsing their influence and since they are rule abrasted they know the loopholes in the banks and this same happens in sebi nse and bse employees getting abosrobed in big corporate stock broking firms just to brake the rules and regulation framed by them the govt should come with strict rules that once an bank employss or any govt employees or judges retire they should not reappointed if such comes only the corruption in banks sebi nse bse would reduce without that there is no point on RBI governor saying that inflation is high and unable to control he knew the loopholes but he is unable to execute his proposal hence he is lameduck before the govt

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to sathya cumaran 6 years ago

    RBI's governors own house is infected with dishonest claims of perquisites by the officials,though he is honest,he may not be able to set his house in order,due to the dishonest being more powerful then him or unable to devote time for cleaning his own house i.e. RBI.

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    In every case of large consortium proposals involving a large number of banks each member bank believes the other member has gone through the papers and in the bargain no one does any due diligence and that is the beginning of the NPA without adequate security papers.

    Veeresh Malik

    In Reply to Nagesh Kini 6 years ago

    Nagesh Kini Ji, I have been through Minutes of about a dozen large companies, read along with individual letters from banks to said companies. All have been on "read only and no copies no photos" basis, which I respect, along with no names.

    Even the individual letters from the banks to the corporate, and the replies from the corporate to the banks, sound as though they have been written by the same person in some of the cases, down to the same mistakes of grammer/spelling/syntax/formatting.

    There are two specific banks which appear to buck the trend, one if a co-op bank and the other is a private bank, and their correspondence appears to be independent. It is also observed that these two specific banks have the lowest NPA %s, below 0.25%, and manage to achieve higher lender interest rates - which is obviously because their due diligences and forensics are way better than that of the other banks.

    In the case of one of these banks, staff sent on site visits and meetings are now asked to even carry their own tea-bags/coffee, sugar and milk powder sachets, so that they accept nil hospitality.

    Otherwise, as you have indicated, multi-bank consortiums are a gathering of nodding heads - even when one spots Directors and Mg Directors of banks attending these multi-bank consortium meetings.

    Multi-bank consortium meeting minutes should be made public with some parts blacked out at the earliest, that is the only solution, when the money belongs to the public.

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    Veereshji-
    I entirely agree with you. the bigger the consortium the bigger is the fraud. in all the recent, more particularly the defaulting cdr cases the numbers of the bank is on the increase. one believes the other has carried out site inspections and/or stock audit and the others sit tight with the borrower going scotfree to exceed drawing powers.

    Veeresh Malik

    In Reply to Nagesh Kini 6 years ago

    Dear Nagesh Kini, thank you, but I differ with your analysis in as much as a typical bank forms or joins a consortium for offering facilities in India to corporates ONLY after establishing that some hanky-panky is possible and that there is fraud money to be made up and down the chain. It is as clear as day if you read between the lines of site visits, stock inspections, type of L/Cs being opened, mixing of funded/non-funded and , costs of acquisition of capital goods.

    I have also been in shipping, and can spot fake B/Ls, L/Cs, contents and more from a mile away - but then, in that role in life, my objective was to ensure freight was earned and collected. Did not mean I was blind, nor was I anti-National, and more than once, containers have "by accident" fallen down and split open or seals have sadly been broken leadng to re-examination.

    Likewise, in banking, some amount of risk-taking and winking eyes is probably par for the course. But what has happened in the last decade in terms of totally destroying our manufacturing capabilities is something bankers are also majorly responsible for and this is my mission currently.

    You see, I have also been in commodities trading as well as made tech in transaction management which was used in banking, gaming and preventive security/defence - and can spot the flaws in all arguments being put forth on NPAs. My take is that the real NPA level in India is around 15%, and you can know what that means.

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    Veereshji,
    The NPA level of 15% put out by RBI is grossly understated. When the CDR and disguised NPAs are added thereto it becomes astounding.
    Before professional bank audit of over three decades i was in Voltas and headed the finance function ina Delhi based export company and very well acquainted 'practices' fair and unfair.

    Dayananda Kamath k

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    in a nationalized bank there was no participation by the branch which service the account in consortium meeting.and they were just filing the minutes of the meeting religiously without going through it. and in one case the branch was not knowing they were the leaders of consortium. and doing everything which is adversely objected or restricted in consortium meeting decisions. and has to pay a heavy price later because as a leader they failed to register charge with roc. but surprisingly all those involved were given promotions except the auditor who brought out the lacuna well in advance.

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    In every case of large consortium proposals involving a large number of banks each member bank believes the other member has gone through the papers and in the bargain no one does any due diligence and that is the beginning of the NPA without adequate security papers.

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Veeresh Malik 6 years ago

    In the case of multi-bank consortium

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to pranjivan trivedi 6 years ago

    As a RBI empanelled statutory auditor of banks I'm in entire agreement with the bank credit officer. though forced down the throats of branches every bad account emanates from the very top. an innocent branch manager becomes a 'bakra' in the bargain. There is an urgent need to pin point who and where the proposal came from, when it not a regular customer of any particular branch.

    SuchindranathAiyerS

    6 years ago

    There is nothing new about this. But, when you say "top", you must include the Department of Banking (GOI), The Reserve Bank of India, the ministers and so on who have, by their acts of omission and commission, enveloped in impunity and non accountability have constructed the culture of India, of "Bharath Sarkar ki Sampathi" being available as latifundia for political patronage and to be mulcted for the pleasure, pomp, pelf and perpetuation of the members of India's Neta-Babu-Milard-Cop-Crony Kleptocracy. The "rot" commenced with Indira Gandhi in 1969 and followed through by every Khangress minister thereafter. The rot does begin at the very top of India and percolates down through every arm and activity of Governance.

    REPLY

    Veeresh Malik

    In Reply to SuchindranathAiyerS 6 years ago

    I can understand it when a lower level employee, still rooted in the feudal culture that prevails in much of India, speaks like you do SuchindranathAiyerS Ji, that "everybody above me is corrupt so why pick on me alone".

    I can not agree with your submission that "you must include the . . . ." concept as an excuse to take forward your point of view. Jobs are secure, pension benefits are assured, what is the excuse for the top-layer of officials in banks to claim that they did this or that "under pressure"?

    sathya cumaran

    6 years ago

    sathyacumaran dhandapani
    As rightly said i have been saying that sebi nse bse are most corrupt organisation in india and they donot have proper accountability even if we produce with valid proof the sebi is not prepared hear our case since i happen to be associated with international media and channel group we have easy access for international platform in exposing india scam but it would speak bad about our country and indian administration and that to after the new govt taken up we are hesitant to publish this scam of sebi nse bse and my case itself is an fitting example for maladministration but we are not for back stabbing our mother land please as an noble organisation we request madam sucheta dalal to take special interest in the case sathya cumaran dhandapani and try to get justice

    coljpn

    6 years ago

    It shows how the big business houses r living on public money n how banks r used as fraud gates by these houses. Now pl tell who is supposed to take action against these people n the action against the failures. these frauds n pocketing of such public money may run into lakhs of crores of rs per yr. however when it comes to giving OROP to deffence forces, govt has no money.

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    6 years ago

    In Response to Nagesh Kini’s comment I would like to comment that RBI has a different Act for itself which is called “RBI’s No INFORMATION ACT” .Even they have stonewalled the information sought by Money life.
    As truly said by Nagesh RBI is not audited by CAG, if it would be audited, then the worms would come out of the can and many heads would have to roll.
    Why the Board of Director only, most of the retired executive are assured of lucrative employment after retirement which includes the one Ex- Regional Director Mumbai , who was claiming dishonestly the overtime for continuous five months for his private driver or negatively exploiting him without giving him a break of one day in gross violation of Human Rights and Labour Laws and also the claims were made for the period, while being away from headquarters as per RTI. It is an incentive for dishonest claims.
    In a shocking incident of outraging the modesty of woman police constable on duty in the premises of RBI, Fort Mumbai, during the Banking hours, by few goons of the union, known to terrorise the RBI, who were arrested in the premises by the Police taken into remand, released on bail and subsequently proved guilty and convicted by the criminal court and are roaming scot free in the premises of RBI.
    But when an RTI was used to seek information in the above said shocking incident, RBI stated no such information is available. Which proves the CCTV’s had stopped functioning in the main Building premises, Security officials at the premises went missing or were sleeping and the management was not aware of such incident having taken place during the Banking hours and to prove them wrong I provided the information provided by the Police department under RTI Act. But as usual no reply has been received from the RBI. Truly said “RAM RAJYA in RBI”.
    The 3 monkeys of Gandhiji are being followed by RBI. They won’t hear the voice of those who talk or raise issues against RBI, they will shut their eyes to the corruption or abuse of power in RBI and if pointed they will become dumb.
    It speaks of how safe the employees are in the premises of the RBI either from the goons who outraged the modesty of Police Constable or from a terror attack, since their CCTVS would not function, Security officials would go missing or would be sleeping, the management would pretend of not knowing any such incident etc etc, etc. .The less said of the rot it would be better, since rot are not bothered of their stink.

    REPLY

    Nagesh Kini

    In Reply to Ramesh B Mhadlekar 6 years ago

    When the state of affairs at the nation's oldest of regulators is so dismal what more can be expected of them in regulating the erring bankers? Had their so-called "RBI inspections" and Independent Directors on the boards of PSBs been more alert this present situations and frauds would not have happened.
    In the revised schemes the modus of Inspections and the role of RBI nominees calls for an urgent revisit.
    It appears not positively responding to valid RTI queries appears to be the order of the day. The Executive Director, the first Appellate Authority instead
    of giving a personal hearing for my appeal on CDR without applying her mind outright rejected the appeal.

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    In Reply to Nagesh Kini 6 years ago

    My experience with the AA is that AA simply upholds the decisions of the CPIO,without application of mind.The perquisites which are to be uploaded mandatory, are simply denied since they fear of exposure and could attract prevention of corruption act.Also the AA is aware that no action would be taken by CIC. There is no fear of CIC in the minds of CPIO's and AA of RBI.

    Sharad Jain

    6 years ago

    I sincerely hope someone is reading your expose's of the rot in the PSBs.
    I do get the sinking feeling that nothing is really going to change under Mr Modi's watch. There aren't even any stirrings of change.

    The NDTV/Chidambaram Scam, brushed under the carpet?

    Col Purohit's illegal incarceration?

    Full Page Ads in Newspapers announcing new Projects?

    I do hope I am proven wrong.

    But, I feel sorry I voted for Mr Modi,


    Hats off to you, Debashis and your entire Team at ML for relentlessly exposing the scams/shams of all.

    REPLY

    Arun Prakash Ambathy

    In Reply to Sharad Jain 6 years ago

    Well said

    Manoj

    6 years ago

    This article proves an old german saying "when a fish starts stinking, it stinks from the top".

    In a decently governed sector, these heads would have been sacked at the merest hint of their involvement. The brazenness with which FinMin & RBI have colluded to ensure the corrupt go scot free is proof that Modi must set heads rolling as the first step in his anti-corruption promise.

    No face-saving quiet exits and reappearance later as advisors, but a public name & shame campaign, with a punitive exit are the barest minimum Modi can do.

    Will he? As of now, Arun Jaitley appears to be a shield for the corrupt rather than a nemesis.

    Make SEBI to publicly disclose consent agreements and cases, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar

    According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, market regulator SEBI should be bound by law to publicly disclose details of its consent agreements and cases, with a view to enhance the transparency, accountability and efficiency of its functioning

     

    Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an independent member of the Rajya Sabha, who is also a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, has proposed some amendments in the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014. Participating in the debate on the Bill in the upper house, Mr Chandrasekhar said, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) should be bound by law to publicly disclose details of its consent agreements and cases, with a view to enhance the transparency, accountability and efficiency of its functioning.

     

    The Parliament on Tuesday approved the SEBI Amendment Bill to empower the market regulator to crack down on ponzi schemes, though it will not have the authority to tap telephone conversations.

     

    Sebi, however, will have the powers to seek call data records for investigation purposes, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while piloting the Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha.

     

    Lok Sabha had last week passed this Bill.

     

    Mr Chandrasekhar, the independent MP, also called for a for a revision of the criterion for classifying collective investment schemes (CIS), introduction of safeguards against the SEBI’s power of attachment and an increase in sums of punitive fines for defaulters. He said, the definition of CIS should specify the number of investors, as this would ensure that the regulatory gap for these schemes is bridged.

     

    Pointing out that the current penalties prescribed for defaulters under the bill were inadequate, Mr Chandrasekhar urged the government to consider raising these to Rs5 crore per day from the existing Rs5 lakh per day for insider trading related defaults. For defaults related to investor grievances, mutual funds, asset management companies and stock brokers, the penalties should be raised to Rs1 crore a day from the current Rs1 lakh per day, he said.

     

    Key points made by the Mr Chandrasekhar are:

     

    Criterion for Classification of Collective Investment Schemes: As per Clause 3 of the Bill, SEBI would have the power to regulate all schemes that have a corpus of up to Rs100 crore. Mr Chandrasekhar said there was a need to append to this clause, a specification on the number of investors. By specifying that all corpuses with to up to 500 investors are covered by the Bill, even smaller entities regularly pooling their funds under investment contracts would come under regulatory scrutiny.

     

    He also highlighted that the definition of CIS under the Bill is too broad, and therein posed the risk of facilitating harassment of legitimate, small-scale businesses. This would have to be considered in the light of the fact that the only existing CIS entity that has registered with SEBI (since the CIS regulations were introduced in 1999) is yet to launch even a single scheme, he pointed out.

     

    SEBI’s Power of Attachment: Mr Chandrasekhar also raised a concern regarding Clauses 21 and 35 of the Bill that relate to SEBI’s power of attachment. He asserted that the power to attach that SEBI has been bestowed with in this Bill must be moderated through a magistrate, just as in the case with search and seizure orders. This would serve as reasonable safeguards on SEBI’s power, he said.

     

    Transparency in the Functioning of SEBI: Mr Chandrasekhar pointed to the need for the Act to introduce an additional clause that would ensure that all consent agreements and cases of the regulator are publicly disclosed. Disclosure, he asserted, must be made legal and binding on the regulator as this would go a long way in enhancing the efficacy and transparency of SEBI’s functioning.

  • User 

    COMMENTS

    Nagesh Kini

    6 years ago

    All past consents ought to be put in public domain in SEBI website and there should be an end hereafter!

    SEBI seek clarifications on IPOs from Lavasa, Adlabs

    SEBI has sought certain clarifications from Lavasa Corp and Adlabs Entertainment on their IPOs

     

    Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought clarifications from Lavas Corp, a unit of Hindustan Construction Co (HCC) and Adlabs Entertainment on their proposed initial public offering (IPO).

     

    Without disclosing the details of clarifications sought from Lavasa, SEBI has said “clarifications (are) awaited from lead manager” for the proposed public issue of Rs750 crore.

     

    As per the latest weekly update to the processing status of draft offer documents, SEBI has said clarifications were awaited on the proposed IPO of Lavasa as on 8 August 2014.

     

    SEBI said that it might issue observations on Lavasa’s IPO document within 30 days from the date of receipt of satisfactory reply from the lead merchant bankers to the clarification or additional information sought from them.

     

    The regulator had received the draft offer documents on 1st July this year through Lavasa's lead manager Axis Capital.

     

    Lavasa has filed its draft red-herring prospectus with SEBI to go in for an IPO of its equity shares of Rs10 each aggregating to Rs750 crore.

     

    Lavasa, which is developing a large township (hill city) in 10,000 hectares at ‘Lavasa’ near Pune, is making a second attempt to raise money though IPO.

     

    In November 2010, Lavasa had got the SEBI clearance for an IPO to raise up to Rs2,000 crore, but bad market conditions forced the company to scrap the plan.

     

    HCC group owns 68.72% stake in Lavasa.

     

    Separately, SEBI has sought fresh clarifications from Adlabs Entertainment regarding the company’s proposed IPO. However, the regulator did not disclose about the details of clarifications sought from the lead managers.

     

    Adlabs Entertainment runs amusement park — Adlabs built by film producer and director Manmohan Shetty.

     

    The regulator had received the draft offer documents on 22 May 2014, through its lead manager.

     

    The company has proposed a public issue of 2.3 crore equity shares of face value of Rs10 each. The issue comprises a fresh public issue of up to 2.2 crore shares and an offer for sale of up to 20 lakh shares by the promoter Thrill Park.

     

    Adlabs Entertainment intends to deploy the funds raised from the fresh issue for payment of loans and general corporate. Besides, the company is considering a pre-IPO placement of up to three lakh equity shares for about Rs80 crore.

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