The government tightening beneficial ownership rules under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, though a welcome move, only partly addresses the issue surrounding money laundering.
In reality the challenges which compliance officers face relate to the ownership pattern when they are incorporated in tax havens, leading to opacity of information.
In such cases, the regulatory threshold set to ascertain ownership control is not going to help in preventing money laundering due to lack of transparency in information shared. Hence there is a need to tighten norms related to money trail, facilitate exchange of information, mandate registration of beneficial ownership and free exchange of country by country information. The support of international organisations for intelligence sharing between financial intelligence units need to be further strengthened
This refers to ‘Time to rein in unsecured loans’ (September 6). Instead of tightening the purse strings on unsecured loans, banks should improve their follow up and recovery mechanism to reduce NPAs under these loans and continue to lend judiciously. It is erroneous to assume that unsecured loans would affect credit discipline, as it is well established that small borrowers are more honest in their repayment of loans than their richer counterparts.
This refers to the editorial ‘Follow the rain’ (September 6). One really wonders why India’s agricultural growth still depends on rains/monsoons. Had the successive governments in India (from 1951 when the First Five Year Plan began) adequately and effectively invested in agricultural infrastructure — such as irrigation, transportation and storage facilities — the sector would have been stronger than it is today.
EI Nino is only a recent phenomenon affecting the sector. It should be remembered that India is basically an agrarian country. It should have set high standards in the growth of the primary sector by this time for other developing nations to emulate. But unfortunately, it’s not there, albeit it would have achieved self-sufficiency in some farm goods.
It is unfortunate that even after 75 years of Independence we are still dependent on monsoon for our agriculture. This is because we have failed to construct dams, conserve water in a scientific manner, and provide water for agriculture through other means. Sensitising people to use water prudently, educating farmers for alternate employment and mechanised storage of foodgrains are some of the measures, which, if taken wholeheartedly, will save the country from drought-like situations. NGOs, government agencies, and retired bureaucrats should be roped in to provide support.
NGOs should be asked to spread the message of saving water. Unless people wholeheartedly take part in this mission we will have to face a tough situation due to erratic monsoons.