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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid