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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora