India has been ranked at 76th position in public sector corruption out of 168 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2015, improving its slot from 85 in 2014 and 94 in 2013.
Although corruption is still rife globally, many countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of the corruption index, a Trasparency International statement said on Wednesday.
Overall, two-thirds of the 168 countries on the 2015 index scored below 50 points on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
Despite an improvement in the overall ranking, India’s corruption perception score remains the same as last year at 38/100, which is seen as insufficient improvement. Brazil, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Tunisia and Zambia are the other countries that shares the same ranking as India.China fared worse than India and Brazil at rank 83 with a score of 37.
On the other hand, Pakistan is the only country among the SAARC countries, to have improved its score this year, though its rank remains poor at 117
Late President A P J Abdul Kalam was a tad cautious about ‘Make in India’ campaign saying though it’s “quite ambitious”, it has to be ensured that India does not become the low-cost, low-value assembly line of the world. On Digital India, he felt it has the potential to activate the knowledge connectivity needed in villages and remote areas and “we need to bridge the gaps of lower level of literacy, language and customised content, though”. These views are expressed in the soon-to-be published “Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity”, one of the last books written by Kalam along with his aide Srijan Pal Singh.
The book, published by HarperCollins India, also has his unfinished speech of July 27 at IIM-Shillong where he collapsed only to breathe his last hours later. The NDA government launched ‘Make in India’ in September last year. The programme aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. “Well, let us be clear on this. ‘Make in India’ is quite ambitious. But we need such high aspirations… I agree with the infrastructure concern. “India has seen an unbalanced infra growth -variations are rampant across states and sectors. For instance, while the telecom and Internet sectors have made remarkable progress, many villages still are not connected with roads and power. Physical infrastructure cannot be ignored for manufacturing growth,” he wrote.
A few major power, infrastructure, metals & mining companies are planning to consciously hold back capital expenditure to “create an economic slowdown”, according to a report by Ambit Capital Research released on Wednesday. Quoting sources close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the report said the move has been prompted by their disappointment over the PM’s crackdown on crony capitalists.
The Ambit report also launched a spirited defence of the PM and talked about its “growing conviction that the PM is prioritising a clean-up of the system over pursuit of near-term GDP growth”. The report repeatedly quotes “sources close to the PM” as saying that Modi has got multi-decadal ambitions and will not be panicked into generating short-term results which could compromise his longer-term goals.
Claiming that the findings are a result of the research team’s repeated visits to Delhi and other state capitals, Ambit made other startling allegations against a section of Indian companies, without naming any. “The forthcoming Black Money Bill seems likely to result in an exodus of Indian businessmen seeking residentship abroad. We have already heard about promoters of several prominent small-midcap companies who have taken tax residentship abroad in the past few weeks. Also, a significant proportion of white collar professionals working in India for MNCs are contemplating leaving the country,” the report said.
The sheer lack of clean and capable civil servants, public sector chiefs and contractors means that public sector and government capex growth will disappoint in FY16, the report said. “Our sources in Delhi say that the government has realised that if it hastily kicks-off major capex projects without cleaning up the ecosystem of corrupt officials and bent contractors then it will simply perpetuate the rot that had set in over the past 10 years”,” Ambit said..
To tackle insider trading menace, a new set of norms will come into effect from tomorrow that provide for strict penal action for illicit transactions in shares of listed firms by promoters, key management personnel, their relatives and all connected persons.
The new norms, which would revamp nearly two-decade old regulations, would also ensure that genuine trades are not impacted.
Besides, greater clarity on concepts and definitions has been put in place along with a stronger legal and enforcement framework under the new set of norms called — Prohibition of Insider Trading Regulations, 2015.
The tightening of norms assumes significance in the wake of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) coming across cases of insider trading not just at small companies but at big corporates as well.
Sebi, in January, had notified the new regulations on insider trading.
Most international bribes are paid by large companies, often with the full knowledge of senior management, the Organisation of Cooperation and Economic Development said in a report.
The OECD study – based on analysis of data emerging from all foreign bribery enforcement actions concluded since the introduction of its own Anti-Bribery Convention in 1999 – also found that most bribes are paid in advanced countries instead of emerging markets.
The OECD report cast doubts over the frequent corporate defense to graft claims that senior executives were unaware of the bungs.
Most international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management.
The report defined a large company as one with more than 250 employees. It added:
There is widespread corruption in India in all levels of the government including judiciary, said a US Congress-mandated report.
“Corruption was widespread,” said the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 released yesterday by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to the report, though the law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, the Indian government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Corruption was present at all levels of government. The CBI registered 583 cases of corruption between the months of January and November. Read More
Today, jury selection will begin in the insider trading case against Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager at embattled hedge fund SAC Capital. But before attorneys could argue before the jury, Martoma’s lawyers tried to set an interesting term – they wanted to ban the use of the word “greed” during the trial.
In a ruling on Monday, the judge presiding over the trial, Paul G. Gardephe, barred prosecutors from introducing evidence of Mr. Martoma’s fainting spell. But he decided to allow prosecutors to use the word “greed” during the trial, despite concerns raised by Mr. Strassberg that the word could be used as a way to “tap into the anger out there against Wall Street.”
Martoma is accused of passing inside information to Steve Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital, that made the firm $276 million. It’s the latest in a string of cases against SAC, which last year pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges, returned outside investor money, and became a family office. Read More
Having done a bang up job on the Healthcare.gov rollout (after retaining virtually every private sector company with relevant skills to fix the 500 million-lines-of-code monster), Jeff Zients, as we reported previously, is set to become director of the National Economic Council (perhaps he will next roll out a database where America’s unemployed sign up). But what is more notable is that his replacement in leading the overhaul of the Obamacare exchanges is a former executive from Microsoft. Kurt DelBene, whose wife just happens to be Democratic Congresswoman Suzan DelBene. What could possibly go wrong as cronyism brings Blue Cross together with the Blue Screen of Death?
India’s insider trading rules have been tightened just over two decades after they were first framed — raising the prospect that the country will soon have its own gallery of rogues who have made oodles of money by trading on information that only they were privy to.
On Tuesday, a committee appointed by market regulator Sebi overhauled insider trading regulations that were framed in 1992 by widening the definition of the term insider trader. For the first time, public servants, judges and immediate relatives of company insiders have been brought within the ambit of the definition.
The committee, headed by former Chief Justice of Kerala and Karnataka High Courts N.K. Sodhi, today came out with a 74-page report that defined terms such as insider trading, connected persons and unpublished price-sensitive information but admitted that it might still be hard to prove the charges. “The initial burden to bring home a charge could be heavy,” the report prophesied. Read More