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Historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill passed

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Historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill passed

December 19, 2013

The parliament passed the historic Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, paving the way for establishment of an ombudsman to fight against corruption in public offices and ensure accountability on the part of public officials, including the Prime Minister, but with some safeguards. Welcoming the Bill’s passage, 76-year-old social activist Anna Hazare broke his fast, into its ninth day, in Ralegaon Siddhi,Maharashtra.

What is Lokpal Bill 2011?

The Lokpal Bill, 2011, also referred to as The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, is an anti-corruption law in India which “seeks to provide for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries and for matters connecting them. The bill was introduced in parliament following massive public protests led by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his associates.
Highlights of Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill 2011

  • The bill provides for the setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the States.

  • The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson and a maximum of eight members of which 50% shall be judicial members.The Chairperson may be either a serving or retired Chief Justice of India, or a Judge of the Supreme Court or an eminent person. Fifty per cent of the total members shall be from the higher judiciary.

  • The Chairperson and the members of the Lokpal shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Selection Committee consists of the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court judge nominated by him. One eminent person recommended by the Selection committee and nominated by the President will be its fifth member.

  • Lokpal will have the power of superintendence and direction over any investigation agency including CBI for cases referred to them by Lokpal.

  • A high powered Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will recommend selection of the Director, CBI. Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director of Prosecution under the overall control of Director.

  • The appointment of the Director of Prosecution, CBI will be made on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commission.

  • Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal with the approval of Lokpal.

The Bill also mandates setting up of Lokayuktas through enactment of a law by the State Legislature within 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act.

South India’s 1st high altitude cricket stadium inaugurated in Wayanad district, Kerala

December 19, 2013

South India’s first high altitude cricket stadium built in Krishnagiri in the hilly Wayanad district by Kerala Cricket Association, inaugurated by state Governor Nikhil Kumar.

The stadium spreads over 4.4 hectares area and is situated at about 2800 feet above the sea level. The Kerala Cricket Association had invested 6.5 crore rupees for construction of the stadium. The stadium has all amenities on par withinternational standards and can accommodate about 10,000 spectators. 

  • HPCA Stadium Stadium (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium) in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh is situated at an altitude of 1,457 m (4,780 ft 2 in) above sea level.

RBI outlines action plan to tackle NPAs; discussion paper open for public comments

December 19, 2013

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) outlined a corrective action plan to minimize rising Non-performing assets (NPAs). The plan include three steps:-

  1. To motivate early identification of problem cases.

  2. To restructure the accounts timely , which are considered to be viable, and

  3. Banks must take prompt actions for recovery or sale of unviable accounts.

As per the RBI discussion paper, “Early recognition of Financial Distress, Prompt Steps for Resolution and Fair Recovery for Lenders: Framework for Revitalizing Distressed Assets in the Economy”, which is open for public comments till January 1, 2014, it would set up a Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) to collect, store, and disseminate credit data to lenders. The credit information will include all types of exposures as defined under RBI Circular on exposure norms, and will also include data on lenders’ investments in bonds/debentures issued by the borrower/obligor.

Banks will have to furnish credit information to CRILC on all their borrowers having aggregate fund-based and non-fund based exposure of Rs.5 crore and above .

On the asset sales front, the RBI has shown readiness in allowing a lender to spread any loss over two years provided the loss is fully disclosed and allowing leverage buyouts by specialized entities. It also suggests takeout financing/refinancing possible over a longer period and not construing it as restructuring. RBI also proposed more expensive future borrowings for borrowers who do not cooperate with lenders in resolution.

What are Non performing Assets (NPA)?

Any asset, including a leasePDFd asset, becomes a non performing when it ceases to generate income for the bank are called Non Performing Assets or Bad loans.

Note: RBI proposed these rules to help banks to recover bad debts in an effort to ease the financial stress on banks as the economy slows. This discussion comes as there is fear of bad loans to gain a record high of around Rs. 2.9 trillion by the end of the fiscal or 4.5 per cent of the total banking assets.
Link for Paper:
  • Early recognition of Financial Distress, Prompt Steps for Resolution and Fair Recovery for Lenders: Framework for Revitalizing Distressed Assets in the Economy

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