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Company corruption increases under Modi sarkar

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New Delhi: Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated vows to reduce corruption in India, a recent report shows that the country has one of the largest fraud problems in the world.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by New York-based risk consultancy firm Kroll Inc., surveyed senior executives from around the world operating in a wide variety of sectors and functions in order to assess the current fraud environment.

The survey of 768 senior executives from a broad range of industries worldwide this year yielded some surprising insights. The overall picture is that fraud has continued to increase, leaving businesses feeling more vulnerable and at risk than ever before.

In the report, fraud includes corruption, bribery, and stealing of proprietary information among other things.

India has one of the largest fraud problems of any of the countries covered in the report, according to Kroll. In fact, in the past one year the number of companies affected by fraud has increased. According to the survey, 69% Indian companies were affected by fraud in 2013-14 while in 2014-16 the affected firms were 80%.

India report card
Courtesy: Kroll

Its 80% overall prevalence is third in this group compared to Colombia’s 83% and Sub-Saharan Africa’s 84%. It also has the highest national incidence of corruption (25% of companies), regulatory breach (20%) and IP theft (15%). It also ties for the highest national level of money laundering (8%).

The outlook for the future, the report says, is also worrying: 92% of Indian respondents reported that their firms had seen exposure to fraud increase in the past year, adding that for every fraud covered in the survey, respondents from India are more likely than average to report that their firms are highly or moderately vulnerable.

In particular, they have the highest proportion reporting this level of exposure to a vendor or procurement fraud (77%), corruption and bribery (73%) and regulatory or compliance breach (67%).

While companies in India are willing to spend to improve their level of anti-fraud protection, it appears that such funds are not being invested appropriately, the report opines. For respondents that had identified the perpetrator, 59% indicated that junior employees were leading players in at least one such crime.

Despite these vulnerabilities and the high proportion of fraud perpetrated by insiders, only 28% of companies in India invest in staff background screening and only 55% invest in vendor due diligence.

Greater attention to employees and reputation-focused due diligence might significantly bolster other fraud efforts at firms in India, the report opines.

Globally, 75% of companies experienced a fraud incident in the past year. 81% of companies affected by fraud reported insider perpetrators and Whistleblowers were responsible for exposing 41% of fraud incidents.

Reshmi Khurana, a Managing Director and head of Kroll’s India office, says that corporate governance in India is evolving in a positive way, and this is being led by a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“They have experienced the many benefits of following sound corporate governance practices, from being rewarded by investors to seeing firsthand how transparency in their financial reporting helps them make the right business decisions.

“The question is, once these businesses grow to a particular size and scale, will these entrepreneurs and the corporate governance foundation they are establishing be able to withstand the external pressures that often accompany growth?” she says.

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Ex-Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif Indicted on Corruption Charges

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Muhammad Safdar
Muhammad Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, waves from a a vehicle as he arrives at an accountability court in Islamabad. VOA

Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”

The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Panama papers
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)

 

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Richard Thaler Supported Demonetisation, there is More to the Story

Demonetisation is what Richard Thaler had long supported. However, he remarked "Really? Damn," when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

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Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.Wikimedia

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to scrape Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler supported demonetization describing it as a policy that he had long supported.

Dr. Richard Thaler, a Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Chicago won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on 9th October.

Did Richard Thaler really support demonetization in the way BJP took it? There is more to the story than what meets the eye.

As soon as Thaler was declared the Nobel Prize winner, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started sharing Thaler’s tweet regarding demonetization on social media affirming that the move which was severely criticised by the members of the opposition was actually supported by a Nobel Prize winner. The BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya retweeted the old tweet within a fraction of a second.

However, Richard Thaler remarked “Really? Damn,” when he was informed about the introduction of Rs. 2,000 notes in place of the discontinued Rs. 500 and 1,000 note thereby highlighting how his joy of seeing a step towards a cashless economy and reduction of corruption was momentary.

It was not only the BJP supporters but also a large number of BJP leaders who were flowed away with incomplete picture depicted by Malviya and tweeted about it.‬ This included Union Minister Giriraj Singh, former BJP IT Cell Head Arvind Gupta, and many others.

Soon after, twitterati realized that the full picture of Thaler’s statement on demonetization was rather hidden.

Prime Minister Modi declared that the motivation behind scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to promote cashless economy and reduce corruption. This decision was severely criticised by different sections of the society putting on Modi the ultimate responsibility for heralding economic deceleration. Demonetisation pulled down India’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1% in 2016-17.

Some highlighted that the introduction of Rs 2000 note was an ephemeral panacea for remonetization and that its printing has been terminated.

-Prepared by Mohima Haque of NewsGram, Twitter: mohimahaque26