CBI files charge sheet against an MP, MD of a Hyderabad based company and some Punjab national bank officers

Newsroom24x7 Desk

cbiHyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a charge sheet in the Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases in Hyderabad under sections 120-B read with 420, 468 & 471 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against P Ramakoteswara Rao, the then Managing Director and his Hyderabad based Visweswara Infrastructure Pvt Ltd; then Assistant General Manager and Branch Manager of Mid Corporate Branch, Punjab National Bank, Hyderabad; then General Manager, Head Office, Punjab National Bank, New Delhi and two other persons, including Lok Sabha MP from Araku in Andhra Pradesh
Kothapalli Geetha.

The charge against the accused is that they had entered into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Mid Corporate Branch of Punjab National Bank in Hyderabad.  It is alleged that in the matter of sanction and availment of Short Term Loan of Rs.25 crores (approx). the then Managing Director and another person (now an MP) had allegedly misrepresented facts to the bank and got the loan sanctioned and disbursed in collusion with some bank officers. The accused persons colluded to create false documents over a litigated property. The accused persons diverted the loan amount for purposes other than it was sanctioned for and allegedly cheated the Punjab National Bank, resulting in a loss of approximately Rs.42.79 crores to the bank.

The above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it. Under the Indian Law, the accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial.

Net claims of non-residents on India went up in Q4-2015: RBI

Newsroom24x7 Desk

rbi gateMumbai: India’s International Investment Position (IIP) for the quarter ending March 2015 shows that liabilities of residents to non-residents went up as the net claims of non-residents on India (as reflected by the net IIP) increased by US$ 9.3 billion over the previous quarter to US$ 363.0 billion.

This change in the net position reflected a US$ 36.6 billion increase in the value of foreign-owned assets in India vis-à-vis a US$ 27.3 billion increase in the value of Indian Residents’ financial assets abroad.

Indian residents’ financial assets abroad stood at US$ 517.8 billion as at end-March 2015 exhibiting an increase of US$ 27.3 billion over previous quarter mainly due to increase of US$ 20.9 billion in Reserve assets and US$ 7.9 billion in currency & deposits, even as trade credit assets declined by US$ 3.6 billion during the quarter.

Foreign-owned assets in India increased by US$ 36.6 billion over the previous quarter to US$ 880.8 billion mainly due to the increase in direct and portfolio investments in India by US$ 12.6 billion and US$ 16.9 billion, respectively. Among other investment liabilities, currency & deposits increased by US$ 5.1 billion.

India’s External Debt

India’s external debt at end-March 2015 also showed an increase of US$ 29.5 billion (6.6 per cent) over end-March 2014, due to the rise in commercial borrowings and NRI deposits. Further, the increase in the magnitude of external debt was partly offset by the valuation gains resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar vis-a-vis Indian rupee and other major currencies. The external debt to GDP ratio stood at 23.8 per cent at end-March 2015, recording a marginal increase over its level of 23.6 per cent at end-March 2014.

Effects of Exchange Rate movement

Variation in exchange rate of rupee vis-a-vis other currencies affected change in liabilities, when valued in US$ terms. Equity liabilities increased by US$ 19.1 billion, from US$ 382.4 billion in December 2014 to US$ 401.5 billion in March 2015, partly due to the revaluation of the past liabilities on account of rupee appreciation during the quarter, while net inflow was US $ 14.7 billion during the period.

The ratio of India’s international financial assets to international financial liabilities stood at 58.8 per cent in March 2015 (58.1 per cent in December 2014).

Annual Variations

International financial assets abroad increased by US$ 34.1 billion during the financial year 2014-15 (Table 1). These included increase of US$ 1.8 billion in direct investment abroad and US$ 37.4 billion in Reserve Assets, even as trade credit declined by US$ 6.0 billion.
International financial liabilities increased by US$ 60.3 billion on a year-on-year basis. Of these, direct investment in India increased by US$ 22.0 billion whereas portfolio investment in India increased by US$ 30.6 billion. Among other investments, currency & deposits increased by US$ 11.3 billion during the year.
As a result of the above changes in external assets and liabilities, net claims of non-residents on India increased by US$ 26.2 billion during the financial year 2014-15.
II. Ratios of International Financial Assets and Liabilities to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The ratio of total international financial assets to GDP (at current prices) increased to 25.8 per cent as at end-March 2015 from 25.6 per cent a year ago (Table 2). Reserve Assets to GDP ratio increased to 17.1 per cent as at end-March 2015 from 16.1 per cent as at end-March 2014.

The ratio of total international financial liabilities to GDP rose to 44.0 per cent as at end-March 2015 from 43.5 per cent a year ago. Among the international financial liabilities, the ratio of Direct investment and Portfolio investment to GDP stood at 13.2 per cent and 11.4 per cent, respectively, as at end-March 2015.

The ratio of net IIP to GDP was (-) 18.1 per cent at end-March 2015.

Composition of External Financial Assets and Liabilities

Reserve Assets continued to have the dominant share (66.0 per cent) in India’s international financial assets in March 2015, followed by direct investment abroad (25.2 per cent).

Direct Investment (30.0 per cent), portfolio investment (25.9 per cent), loans (20.3 per cent), and currency and deposits (13.1 per cent) were the major constituents of the country’s financial liabilities.

Debt Liabilities vis-à-vis Non-Debt Liabilities

The share of non-debt liabilities increased marginally to 45.6 per cent as at end- March 2015 from 45.3 percent at end- December 2014.

International Investment Position (IIP) is a statistical statement that shows, at a point in time, the value and the composition of (a) financial assets of residents of an economy that are claims on non-residents, and gold bullion held as reserve assets; and (b) liabilities of residents of an economy to non-residents. The difference between an economy’s external financial assets and liabilities is its net IIP, which may be positive or negative. Such balance sheet analysis of international accounts is an important input for understanding external sustainability and vulnerability, and is also useful in analysing the economic structure.

Key points relating to India’s external debt as at end-March 2015 are set out below:

  • India’s external debt at end-March 2015 was placed at US$ 475.8 billion recording an increase of US$ 29.5 billion (6.6 per cent) over its level at end-March 2014.
  • Excluding the valuation gains due to appreciation of US dollar against the Indian rupee and other major currencies, the increase in external debt by end-March 2015 over its end-March 2014 level would have been higher at US$ 45.7 billion.
  • The increase in external debt during 2014-15 was on account of commercial borrowings and non-resident deposits.
  • The US dollar denominated debt continued to be the largest component of India’s external debt with a share of 58.3 per cent at end-March 2015, followed by Indian rupee (27.9 per cent), SDR (5.8 per cent), Japanese Yen (4.0 per cent) and Euro (2.4 per cent).
  • Short-term debt by original maturity at US$ 84.7 billion accounted for 17.8 per cent of the total external debt as at end-March 2015 as compared with 20.5 per cent at end-March 2014. Similarly, on residual maturity basis, the ratio of short-term debt to total debt worked out to 38.9 per cent as compared with 39.6 per cent a year ago.
  • The ratio of short-term debt (original maturity) to foreign exchange reserves declined to 24.8 per cent as at end-March 2015 (30.1 per cent a year ago). Similarly, on residual maturity basis, the ratio of short-term debt to foreign exchange reserves worked out to 54.2 per cent at end-March 2015 (57.4 per cent at end-March 2014).
  • Across borrower categories, the outstanding debt of both Government and non-Government sectors increased and their shares in total external debt were 18.9 per cent and 81.1 per cent, respectively, at end-March 2015.
  • Higher debt service payments during 2014-15 relative to the preceding year, were largely on account of higher repayments of ECBs during the year

Australia Today: Wave power for Australian grid

Newsroom24x7 Desk

wave powerBioPower Systems Pty Ltd (BioPower) has finished constructing its prototype wave power unit to be installed off the coast of Port Fairy, Victoria, later this year. ‘If successfully installed, it will be the second ARENA supported wave energy device supplying energy to a major Australian grid, feeding 250kW of renewable energy into the National Electricity Market.

Permanent Inspector-General of Biosecurity

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Interim Inspector-General of Biosecurity (IIGB) currently provided valuable independent oversight of Australia’s biosecurity system. With the successful passage of the Biosecurity Act 2015 the interim role will be replaced by a permanent Inspector-General of Biosecurity when the new Act takes effect in June 2016, Minister Joyce said. The existing IIGB position and the ongoing Inspector General of Biosecurity position are vital roles that help maintain the quality of Australia’s biosecurity system.

Joyce also announced that From 1 July 2015, all foreign investors who hold interests in agricultural land must register those interests with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regardless of the value of that land.

Chief of Navy response to Sun Herald article

The article in the Sunday edition of the Sun Herald on 28 June 2015 and other Fairfax Media publications entitled HMAS Stirling suicides: lack of action raised Navy Concerns’, is misleading and displays a lack of understanding of the support mechanisms which have been introduced by Defence since these reported deaths in 2011-12. The article failed to represent or understand the significant effort that Defence has undertaken to monitor and care for our service men and women with a range of supporting mechanisms.
Australian business cannot afford to ignore China’s rapidly growing online retail markets

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today announced a new initiative to assist Australian businesses capture opportunities in China’s rapidly growing online retail markets. This is a market Australian business cannot afford to ignore, Robb said.

Delhi Police busts International narcotics syndicate

Newsroom24x7 Staff

delhi police4New Delhi: A team of Special Cell of Delhi Police has busted an international narcotic syndicate.
Three members of the syndicate including a woman have been arrested with 15 Kg opium in their possession.The International value of recovered opium is estimated to be Rs. 15 crores. Three mobile phones with SIM cards used in drug trafficking have also been confiscated.

The 3-member gang comprised of Musfique Alam aka Babloo (37), Dipti Purtti @ Sumita ( 23) and Rahees (45). A Case (FIR No. 44/2015) was registered on 28 June in this natter under section 18/21 and 29/61/85 NDPS Act, by the Special Cell

The police team that busted the syndicate was led by Inspector Attar Singh, under the supervision of ACP Sandeep Byala. Attar Singh received an input regarding drug trafficking activities of members of this syndicate in Delhi, UP and North Eastern states for the last three months. Sub Inspector Rakesh Kumar along with staff were deputed to collect intelligence in this regard. Discreet surveillance was kept on movements of the members of this syndicate. Three months efforts by police delivered results when an information was received on 28 June. It indicated that two members of this syndicate had collected a big consignment of opium from Nagaland and both would come near ISBT at Kashmiri Gate in Delhi to deliver it to their contact. A raiding party was formed and trap was laid near ISBT, where both two drug suppliers Musfique Alam and Dipti Purtti were apprehended on 28 June evening and 10 kgs opium was recovered from them  (approx. 5 kgs opium from each).

The above case was registered and investigation was taken up. During investigation, both the accused persons were subjected to sustained interrogation upon which they disclosed that they were part of a big international narcotic syndicate and were in trafficking drugs in Delhi and UP from North Eastern states for the last many years. Both disclosed that they procured opium from a person named Chandan of Deemapur. It was also revealed by them that their handler Rahees had also accompanied them upto Delhi from Bareilly, UP on the day of their arrest and he too is having some opium in his possession. They also disclosed that Rahees would meet them near GPO, Kashmiri Gate at about 11 pm. Dipti Purtti is the carrier of Chandan’s deal and Babloo is the carrier of Rahees and Amir. Both disclosed about their network in detail.

Following the disclosure of Musfique Alam, Rahees was apprehended at about 11 pm near GPO, Kashmiri Gate, Delhi and 5 kgs opium was recovered from his possession, taking the total seizure to 15 kgs. Accused Rahees admitted that he used to get supply of opium from Chandan of Deemapur, Nagaland through these two carriers. Musfique Alam admitted that he was engaged in illegal drug business for the past five years. Musfique Alam aka Babloo had been arrested earlier in cases of auto-lifting in PS Hauz Khas, New Delhi. Accused Rahees too was earlier involved in cases of auto-lifting in UP and Delhi. He alongwith Amir was arrested in cases of auto thefts in Ghaziabad, UP back in 2007. In Dasna jail, both met with one Babloo, a drug supplier of UP who lured both to work with him in drug trafficking to earn fast money. Due to their poverty, both fell prey to his trap and got initiated into drug trade with him since five years.

During investigation,, it was revealed that Chandan who was living near Deemapur (Nagaland) is part of a big international narcotic syndicate. He was receiving supply of opium and heroin from neighboring country Myanmar through porus borders near Manipur. Chandan sends opium and heroin to UP and Delhi through his carriers. Dipti Purtti has been working as his carrier for many months. It has also come to notice that notorious drug suppliers of Manipur and Nagaland are sending big consignments of heroin, opium and other contraband to various parts of the country including opium growing areas of Bareilly, Badaun, Barabanki Mandsore & Jhalawar, which means, satets of UP, MP and Rajasthan. The opium and heroin smuggled from Myanmar is quite cheap and of good quality in comparison to opium grown in India and heroin is thereby illegally manufactured from it. This new trend has emerged since past couple of years. Further investigation to identify & arrest the remaining persons is in progress.