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SEBI cracks whip on defaulters



SEBI and RBI ,India’s financial sector watchdogs  took a grim view of the stress in the banking sector on account of loan defaults
, with the one dealing with equity markets announcing on Saturday a ban on wilful perpetrators from raising public money.

Loan defaulters  including individuals and the companies as well as their promoters and directors,would be debarred from setting up or being associated with the market entities like mutual funds and brokerage firms

“All wilful loan defaulters will stand disqualified from the board positions as listed companies under the new rules,” Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman U.K. Sinha said at a press conference here after the watchdog’s board meeting.

Sinha also said tainted people will neither be allowed to take over the management control of other listed companies, nor permitted to float mutual funds, debt or equity securities, or similar money-raising instruments.

In this regard, he said, the criteria for determining who constitutes a “fit and proper” person in the regulations was also being amended. The bar on wilful defaulters is also on floating instruments like non-convertible debentures and redeemable preference shares.

During the board meeting, which was also addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, officials were asked to remain alert on the supervision of the markets, particularly in the wake of global developments.
Jaitley, announced a multi-pronged clampdown on “wilful loan defaulters”, by barring them from raising public funds, as also from taking control of listed firms and holding board positions — a move that would disqualify beleaguered Mallya from various posts.

The issue of loan defaulters at the watchdog’s meeting followed the matter being raised at the board of governors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) meeting here with the top brass of the finance ministry.

One of the main topics of discussion at the RBI meeting was the issue of non-performing assets of banks — which primarily concern loan defaults and wilful defaults by industry.

“Non-performing assets are of two types,” Jaitley said after the RBI meeting, explaining that one is created as the result of a slowdown that can be recovered once the economy turns around, while the other is on account of individual misdemeanours.

“We don’t want to create a situation by overstating these incidents that, in turn, will hamper activities,” he said, alluding that banks should not be deterred from bona fide fresh lending. “But the rising levels of NPAs is a matter of concern for all of us.”

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said a due process will be followed in defining wilful defaulters.

Rajan said there is a need to be “careful” going forward, so that criminal actions are penalised, but there is no “broad fishing expedition which then becomes a reason for banks to get worried about making loans which then hamper the recovery and hamper the absolutely important infrastructure investment that have to take place”. “So as a country, as a system, we have to draw that balance very carefully and we are hopeful that we can manage that,” he said.

As per recent RBI estimates, the total exposure of commercial banks in terms of gross NPAs, the rescheduled loans and write-offs was 14.1 percent of deposits that works out to around Rs.9,455 billion (around Rs.9.5 lakh crore).

The government is also facing flak following the unexpected exit of industrialist Vijay Mallya from the country, even as a consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India, were seeking repayment of around Rs.9,000 crore that he has borrowed from them.


India extends $1 billion credit line to Central Asian countries for priority projects

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.



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India on Wednesday extended a $1-billion line of credit to Central Asian countries for priority projects in connectivity, energy, IT and health care, with the move being perceived as part of New Delhi’s efforts to boost its role as a transparent development partner.

The line of credit was welcomed by ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan during the second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held via video conference under the chairmanship of external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Acting Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar joined the meeting as a special invitee.

The meeting discussed cooperation in political and security matters, and all the countries called for settling the Afghan conflict on the principle of an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process”, according to a joint statement. The countries also condemned terrorism and reaffirmed their determination to destroy terrorist safe havens, networks, and funding channels.

In a tacit reference to Pakistan, the joint statement said: “They also underlined the need for every country to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks against other countries.”

Jaishankar told the meeting: “India and Central Asia share ancient historical and cultural linkages. We consider Central Asia as India’s ‘extended neighbourhood’.” He added, “We face common challenges of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking… All these commonalities make us a natural partner in our developmental journey.”

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.

The ministers emphasised the importance of connectivity in increasing trade and commerce between India and Central Asia, and appreciated New Delhi’s efforts to modernise Chabahar port in Iran as an important link in trade and transport between markets in Central and South Asia, the joint statement said. The ministers agreed to promote joint initiatives to create regional and international transport corridors.

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Failing to pay property tax by Oct 31 may land Gurugram property owners in trouble

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.




Gurugram: Property owners in Gurugram can lose their water and sewage connections if they fail to clear their property tax dues by October 31, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) said on Wednesday.

According to the MCG officials, as per the notification issued by the Haryana government, only three days are left to avail the benefit of exemption in the payment of property tax issued by the MCG.

According to the notification, the government is giving an interest waiver and 25 per cent rebate to those paying their entire property tax dues by October 31.

“We have given a last opportunity to the property owners to pay their dues within the next three days. If they still do not pay their property tax, the process of cutting their sewer and drinking water connections will be initiated by the civic authority from November 1,” MCG Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said.

“A special drive to seal commercial buildings will be carried out and the process of auction can also be adopted by sealing the building,” he added.

As per the government notification, property owners who deposit their entire outstanding property tax by October 31 will be given a 25 per cent exemption on property tax from 2010-11 to 2016-17.

“Property owners who have deposited their property tax in the last three years till October 31, will be given an additional 10 per cent rebate along with the regular 10 per cent rebate. Those paying by auto debit mode will get the benefit of an additional 5 per cent discount,” an MCG official said.

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.

The officials further informed that the civic body has also started an incentive scheme for all the resident welfare associations (RWAs) of the city. Municipal corporations will give an incentive amount of Rs 5 lakh to the RWAs which submit property tax of more than 80 per cent.

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‘Who the hell are you?’, US lawmakers scold Twitter, Facebook, Google CEOs

In opening statements, Dorsey, Zuckerberg and Pichai spoke to the proposals for changes to Section 230. Zuckerberg said Congress “should update the law to make sure it’s working as intended.”



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New York, Oct 29 : “Baloney!”, “sham!” and “who the hell are you” scoldings dominated a Senate hearing on Wednesday where the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google took heat in a talking match with US lawmakers over the idea of free speech and alleged anti-conservative bias on the companies’ mighty platforms.

The Congressional grilling quickly shifted into the realm of political circus around the social media content moderation dumpster fire.

With less than a week to go for the US election, Republican lawmakers got an earful from critics for the timing of the “sham” hearing.

At the heart of the heated arguments were 26 words tucked away in a 1996 US law – Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”.

Under American law, Internet firms are typically exempt from liability for content that users post on platforms. President Donald Trump has challenged this via executive order which threatens to strip those protections if online platforms wade into “editorial decisions”.

For 3 hours and 42 minutes, the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were at the receiving end of a firehose version of bipartisan alarm over their phenomenal power to influence behaviour at scale.

The Republicans’ drumbeat centered on Facebook’s and Twitter’s decision earlier this month to slam the brakes on an unverified political story from the conservative-leaning New York Post about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The story cited unverified emails from Biden’s son Hunter.

Trump acolytes jumped on the chance to prove their loyalty. One of them called Twitter’s action on the newspaper “a pattern of censorship and silencing Americans with whom Twitter disagrees”.

For their part, Twitter, Facebook and Google have struggled to frame exactly how they would intervene and in how many scenarios. And what about content that doesn’t fall into their precast rubric or categories of bad stuff? The answers have been less than clear.

Of the three companies, Facebook’s sway over behavioural targeting has raised a string of red flags in the context of the US 2020 election.

Multiple lawmakers pushed back against the idea of “unelected San Francisco elites” deciding if content makes the grade or not.

In opening statements, Dorsey, Zuckerberg and Pichai spoke to the proposals for changes to Section 230. Zuckerberg said Congress “should update the law to make sure it’s working as intended.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that if Google was “acting as a publisher”, he would be okay with the company being liable for content published on its platform.

Wednesday’s hearing comes barely a week after the US Justice Department’s landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google which argues that both advertisers and regular people are harmed by the tech giant’s position as “the unchallenged gateway to the Internet for billions of users worldwide.”

Warnings abound of the coming restrictions and for the “free pass” to end, maybe on the other side of the election results.

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