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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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Research Reveals: It’s Your Friend’s Company That Can Turn You Obese

Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese.

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Unhealthy food promotes obesity. pixabay

Besides genes and an unhealthy diet, your friends can also play a role in making you overweight, says a study, which found that obesity can spread through communities like a ‘social contagion’.

The study showed social circles can influence a person to become obese, suggesting the risk of becoming overweight increases if one moves to an area with a high rate of obesity, the Daily Mail reported.

family
On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area. Pixabay

“Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your own chances of becoming obese. Subconsciously, you are affected by what people around you are doing,” said Ashlesha Datar at the University of Southern California.

“If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said.

For the study, the team included 1,314 parents and 1,111 children of US Army personnel at 38 bases.

The chances of becoming overweight or obese for a teenager increased four-six per cent for rise in every one per cent in the obesity.

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If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is the norm, you join that. There is this social influence,” Datar said. Pixabay

On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five per cent for increase in every one per cent of obesity in the area.

Also Read: Authorities Scroll Through Social Media Violations Of Laws Restricting Political Parties, As It Forms Thailand’s Election “War Room”

The longer the families lived there, the more likely they put on weight, the report said.

Obesity can be caused by many variables, and previous research has shown living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities. (IANS)