News / Asia

    India Probes Multimillion-Dollar Bribery Scandal

    Indian bystanders watch an art performance in front of a billboard for the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) outside the company's offices in New Delhi, India,  Nov. 25, 2010. Eight senior officials from some of India's top financial services comp
    Indian bystanders watch an art performance in front of a billboard for the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) outside the company's offices in New Delhi, India, Nov. 25, 2010. Eight senior officials from some of India's top financial services comp

    India is investigating a multimillion-dollar bribery case involving its banking sector, the latest in a string of corruption scandals that has rocked the country in recent weeks.  

    Indian officials say several leading public sector banks and financial institutions are being scrutinized over allegations that senior officials received hundreds of millions of dollars as bribes to facilitate large loans to private companies.

    Twenty-one companies, including several from the real estate sector, are being probed for possible links to the scandal.

    Eight people were arrested Wednesday in connection with the case. They include five senior officials of some of India's top banks, such as Punjab National Bank and the housing loan firm of the country's largest insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India. Three senior executives from a private sector company were arrested on charges of handing out the bribes.

    Domestic media reports say some of these loans were invested in the stock market and not used for the purpose for which they had been raised.

    The government is trying to contain damage to the image of India's banking sector. Officials say the alleged bribe-taking is a case of individual greed and not a systemic failure.

    The governor of the Central Bank, Duwuri Subbarao, said authorities are constantly working on tightening regulations.

    "Certainly there needs to be greater transparency in loan disbursement, there needs to be greater accountability in the loans disbursement system," said Subbarao.

    The chairman of India's Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, played down the alleged bribes involving public sector banks.   

    "I don't think the scale of what we are talking about should be lost sight of," he said. "It is very small as far as the banking system as a whole is concerned."

    India's financial system had withstood the global financial slump better than many of its counterparts in Western countries.

    However, confidence in the banking sector has been hit. India's main stock index, the Sensex, has recorded significant losses in the wake of the banking graft scandal.  Shares in the two sectors implicated so far in the probe, banking and real estate companies, have fallen the most.  

    The banking scandal erupted at a time when the government is under pressure to crackdown on corruption among its own officials. The biggest involves the alleged sale of telecom licenses by the telecommunications ministry in 2008 at cheap rates costing the country about $40 billion.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora