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INDIAN MARKET TRENDS
The Sensex and the NIFTY rose 3% each during the period 11 March 2019 and 15 March 2019. ML Small-cap Index and ML Large-cap Index went up by 2% each. ML Mid-cap Index and ML Mega-cap Index inched up by 1% each. ML Micro-cap Index advanced 4%.
 
 
FUND FLOWS
Foreigners: Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of equities during the week...
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  • Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum Seeks Time-Bound Action, Freezing of Bank Accounts and FIR Against PricewaterhouseCoopers
    Delhi-based Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum (CWBF), headed by Justice AP Shah, has reiterated its demand for time bound action by government authorities against PricewaterhouseCoopers India Pvt Ltd (PwC) for allegedly posing threat to national interests.  
     
    In a letter sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Finance Minister, the former chief justice of Delhi High Court, has requested time bound action by all authorities, freezing of all banks accounts of PwC and registering first information report (FIR) against all partners and directors of the audit firm. 
     
    "Given the reluctance of various authorities to take stern action against PwC for the blatant violations of extant laws and regulations and to ensure that public confidence is not eroded in the rule of law, we request you to urgently issue necessary instructions to ensure that the pending investigations by all the authorities are completed within 45 days, bank account of all PwC entities in India and of their partners are immediately frozen to ensure recovery of taxes, penalties and fines on account of funds illegally brought in to India and FIRs are registered forthwith against partners and directors of PwC found guilty of various violations including criminal acts as already established by ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) and registrar of companies (ROC)," the letter says. 
     
    In the letter, Justice Shah also pointed out how CWBF’s writings were vindicated by the Supreme Court judgement on 23 February 2018. He says, “The SC found PwC prima-facie guilty of various offences highlighted by us earlier and expressed concern over the reluctance of various authorities to investigate them. The SC directed the enforcement directorate (ED), Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI) and Union of India (UOI) to complete their investigation in PwC within specified timeframe and suggest steps for effective enforcement thereof by the multi-national accounting firms in general.
     
    “The vindication of our findings by the SC underlines significant contributions that whistle blowers can make in fighting corruption, highlighting tax evasion, reporting black money and money laundering. Meaningful utilisation of such resources by the government can help it to enforce the laws effectively, save considerable time and expense, which otherwise be spent by law enforcement agencies and help enhance corporate governance in general. This was recently demonstrated in the high profile case involving ICICI Bank. A whistleblower's complaint with specific inputs to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has helped ED, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and other agencies to swiftly and effectively launch their investigations in the said case.” 
     
    "Regretfully, let alone complete their investigations in an objective and transparent manner within the time frame allowed, some authorities are yet to start the process and are only indulging in 'passing the buck'," CWBF added. 
     
    In July 2017, the Forum has request the PM and finance minister to take immediate action against PwC, which was found guilty of criminal acts by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) and by the Special CBI Court. (Read: Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum requests action against PricewaterhouseCoopers)    
     
    The Forum is headed by Justice Shah, with Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan as its member secretary. Other members of the Forum include Prof Aruna Roy, former Finance Secretary EAS Sarma, Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, Admiral Lara Ramdas and Wajahat Habibullah, former Chief Election Commissioner. 
     
    Here is the letter sent by Justice AP Shah on behalf of CWBF…
     
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    COMMENTS

    nilesh prabhu

    5 months ago

    Injeti Srinivas was investigated by cvc when he was Secretary ministry of sports. He himself has protected fraudsters when he was DG Sports Authority of India.

    AAR

    5 months ago

    1. US Audit firms are allowed to function in India but Indian Audit firms cannot work in US.
    2. When US companies enter Indian market, they bring their auditors along with them -PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, EY.
    3. These firm's primary interest is to protect American interest.
    4. As long as India is dependent on America for their defence and trade needs, India will not work contrary to American interest.

    11,995 Farmer Suicides in Maharashtra in the Past 3 Years, Reveals RTI
    Farmer suicides go unabated and shockingly, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which has been collating this data annually, has strangely stopped doing so since 2015.
     
    In Maharashtra, as per information recently received under right to information (RTI) act, from the revenue department, number of farmers’ suicides has doubled in the past four years. While 6,268 farmer suicides were recorded between 2011 and 2014, the number has almost doubled to 11,995 during 2015 to 2018.
     
    Mumbai based RTI activist, Jeetendra Ghadge, who has been using RTI for the last nine years regarding this issue, recently filed RTI applications to procure information for the period of  2015-2018 on the number of farmer suicides in Maharashtra; the number of deceased  farmers’ families who received compensation of Rs1 lakh and; the recipients of the upgraded compensation of Rs5 lakh as announced by the Maharashtra government in 2015, along with an insurance policy named after the late political leader, Gopinath Munde. He addressed his requisitions to the revenue department of Maharashtra.
     
    Mr Ghadge states that, the information available with the revenue department is generally perhaps one tenth of the actual suicides committed by farmers.  Pointing to a reply he procured under RTI in 2015, he states, “While the number of suicides provided to me in 2015 under RTI, was about 70 in Sangli district, the figure given by the district police department during the same period was 2,000. That is the kind of disparity in the records. The figures of suicides that are recorded are mostly those of family members of the farmers who have committed suicide. One can safely assume that out of every 10 suicides, only two to three are recorded. And now, since 2015, there are no national statistics available of farmers’ suicides since 2015.’’
     
    He also sought information on the number of people who received compensation of Rs1 lakh to be paid to the families of the deceased farmers. As per the RTI reply, 1358 farmers received compensation and 674 applications were rejected in 2014.  In 2018, rejected applications increased to 1050 and more cases have been rejected. 
     
    Following are the statistics of compensation and rejection in Amravati district which sees the maximum number of farmer suicides:
     
    The much tom-tommed `Gopinath Munde Accident Insurance Scheme’ launched by the then revenue minister Eknath Khadse in December 2018 has not taken off, as per the RTI reply. 
     
    Mr Ghadge received a reply from the revenue department stating the decision is still on hold. Also, due to the word “accident insurance” scheme, a suicide does not come into that category and hence there is confusion.
     
    This insurance scheme seeks to provide Rs2 lakh insurance safety to the 1.30 crore farmers of Maharashtra, as per information provided under RTI by the department of agriculture and animal husbandry.
     
    In a reply to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which in 2015, sought information on erratic compensations provided to deceased farmers’ families, the revenue department had stated in its reply that, `the prominent reasons noted for farmers’ suicides in the state of Maharashtra are debt, crop failure, inability to repay debt resulting in pressure from debtors, inability to procure enough money for daughter’s marriage or other religious activities, chronic severe illness, vices like alcohol addictions, and gambling. 
     
    As per the government resolution (GR) of 19 December 2015, debt, crop failure, inability to repay debt resulting in pressure from debtors are the norms considered eligible for financial assistance of Rs1 lakh to the family of the deceased farmer from the state government thus rendering suicides committed for other reasons, ineligible.’’ And therein lies the problem. Scrutiny is done by officials of the collectors’ offices leading to controversies over rejections.
     
    While fundamental changes to agrarian policy are long overdue, the compensation mechanism to the victims in the meanwhile too leaves much to be desired.
     
    (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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