Fri, 24th February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report


Archives of “political corruption” Tag

After night in cell, Samsung scion taken for questioning

Handcuffed and tied with white rope, the scion of one of the world’s biggest conglomerates, Samsung Group, was taken on Saturday for questioning by South Korean authorities after spending a night in a small detention cell.

Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday for his alleged role in a corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

 The 48-year-old Lee, who has a net worth of $6.2 billion, heads the technology giant that is the world’s biggest manufacturer of smartphones, flat-screen televisions and memory chips.

Lee arrived at the special prosecutor’s office at about 2:20 pm (0520 GMT) clean-shaven and expressionless. He was wearing a dark suit, white shirt and no tie as he was escorted by officials from a justice ministry van.

The special prosecutor’s office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of the president to gain government favours related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. It said on Friday it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

New Reuters Poll Shows That 70% Of Republicans Think The Election Is Rigged

Certainly, new polling data from Reuters/Ipsos would seem to support that thesis.  A new poll of 1,192 Americans, conducted by Reuters, found that if Hillary wins only 50% of republicans would accept her presidency as legitimate while 70% would attribute her victory to voter fraud and/or vote rigging of some type.  Moreover, only 20% of republicans surveyed felt that the final vote tallies would be accurate.

 Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly 70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

Conversely, seven out of 10 Democrats said they would accept a Trump victory and less than 50 percent would attribute it to illegal voting or vote rigging, the poll showed.

 For example, nearly eight out of 10 Republicans are concerned about the accuracy of the final vote count. And though generally they believe they will be able to cast their ballot, only six out of 10 are confident their vote will be counted accurately.

Obviously, this data is fairly alarming, to say the least, but not terribly surprising in light of the staggering, systemic corruption recently exposed through WikiLeaks and the ongoing Congressional review of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary’s private email server…not mention DNC operatives openly talking about committing massive election fraud on undercover Project Veritas videos and working behind the scenes to incite violence at Republican rallies.  For those of you who still haven’t seen the videos, they’re worth a look.

The following video takes a look behind the scenes of the DNC’s efforts to incite violence at Trump rallies:

Mera Bharat Mahan : India improves ranking at 76 /168 in global corruption index

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

Visualizing The World’s “Hot” Money

Every year, roughly $1 trillion flows illegally out of developing and emerging economies due to crime, corruption, and tax evasion. This amount is more than these countries receive in foreign direct investment and foreign aid combined.

This week, a new report was released that highlights the latest data available on this “hot” money. Assembled by Global Financial Integrity, a research and advisory organization based in Washington, DC, the report details illicit financial flows of money from developing countries using the latest information available, which is up until the end of 2013.

A P J Abdul Kalam’s word of caution on ‘Make in India’ -In His Final Book :“Advantage India: From Challenge to Opportunity”

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.

Ex-Treasurer of Brazil’s ruling party given 15-year jail term

The former treasurer of President Dilma Rousseff’s ruling Workers’ party, João Vaccari Neto, has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in jail for corruption and money laundering.

In a blow to the left-leaning Ms Rousseff, who is facing calls for impeachment, Mr Vaccari was accused of channelling money from alleged corruption at state-owned oil company Petrobras to the Workers party, or PT, in the form of corporate donations.

“The money laundering involved a considerable amount of $4.26m,” Sérgio Moro, the judge leading the court proceedings in the long-running Petrobras investigation, said in his ruling which was available on the court website. “Worse than the money laundering is the impact it had on the democratic political process, contaminating it with criminal resources, that I think is especially reprehensible.”

Mr Vaccari is the most senior political figure to be convicted in the damaging scandal, in which former politicians mostly from the ruling coalition are accused of colluding with one-time Petrobras managers and contractors to extract what the company estimated was R$6bn in bribes and kickbacks.

The troubles at Petrobras have put the brakes on investment in Brazil’s oil sector, deepening a recession in Latin America’s largest economy even as it reels from the end of the commodities supercycle.

Major firms creating slowdown to hit back at PM: Ambit report

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..

Shanghai bans leaders’ family members from business

The Shanghai government has introduced rules to restrain the families of senior city officials from running private businesses, in a pilot measure that will eventually go nationwide in China’s sweeping campaign against corruption.

The rules are among the most direct attempts to short-circuit the cycle of graft in China since President Xi Jinping launched an anti-corruption drive after coming to power more than two years ago.

Xi gave his blessing to the new rules in March during the annual session of parliament, “requiring that Shanghai run the pilot and lead from the front,” state media reported late on Monday.

The rules cover officials at the level of deputy bureau director and above in government, the ruling Communist Party, the judiciary, the local parliament as well as state-owned enterprises, the city government announced on its website.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” an article on the website quoted Han Zheng, party chief of the city of more than 24 million, as saying. “If you choose to be an official, you can’t go into business and strike it rich.”

India fails to mitigate graft risk

The top five risks that impact Indian business environment include ‘corruption, bribery and corporate frauds’, ‘information and cyber insecurity’, ‘terrorism and insurgency’, ‘business espionage’ and ‘crime’ in that order according to the ‘New Age Risks 2015’ report released on Fri-day and done jointly by Ficci and Pinkerton Corporate Risk Manage-ment.

In 2015, ten months into the Narendra Modi government, ‘corruption, bribery and corporate frauds’ continue to be ranked as the topmost risk for doing business in India.

This has been further highlighted by the recent corporate espionage case involving some of India’s billionaire industrialists among others.

The rise in ranking of the risk of ‘business espionage’ from ninth position in 2014 to fourth in the current survey validates the stand to bring attention to this shifting concern of business organisations, says the report.

The risk of crime ranked the same at Number 5 in 2015, but the report adds this is supplemented by the growing instances of crime against women in India.

“This has not only come in for severe criticism within the country but has also been a topic of discussion in all international forums, affecting the image of India as a suitable business destination,” the report said.

The change that has happened under the new government is that risks of ‘strikes, closures and unrest’ and ‘political and governance instability’, have dropped from No. 2 and No. 3 positions to No. 6 and No. 11 respectively.

“This is a major shift in the yearly trends primarily due to the positive impact caused by a perceived stable government coming to power at the Centre post the 2014 general elections,” says the report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

Out of 146 Countries ,India Ranked 93 in the List of Best Countries For Business

India has not fared well in Forbes’ list of the ‘Best Countries for Business’ this year, ranking 93rd out of 146 nations, behind countries like Mexico, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka as it cited challenges like poverty and corruption that the country needs to address.

Denmark topped Forbes’ 9th annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland and Sweden.

The US lags behind many other developed nations when it comes to its business climate, and the gap is growing, Forbes said.

The US ranks 18th in the Forbes list, down four spots from last year.

It marks the fifth straight year of declines since 2009, when the US ranked second.