Loan Principle – RR Reading Sun, 02 Jan 2022 23:07:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Loan Principle – RR Reading 32 32 Unexplained silence over unexplained wealth – Hafiz Hassan | What you think Sun, 02 Jan 2022 23:07:57 +0000

JANUARY 3 – Malaysia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The UNCAC is an international instrument to combat the scourge of corruption at the global level.

The adoption of the UNCAC in 2003 sent a clear message that the international community was, and continues to be, committed to preventing and controlling corruption. He should warn the corrupt that betrayal of public trust will no longer be tolerated.

The UNCAC is the affirmation by the international community of the importance of fundamental values ​​such as honesty, respect for the rule of law, accountability and transparency to promote development and make the world a better place for all. .

A historic instrument, the UNCAC introduces a comprehensive set of standards, measures and rules that all countries can apply in order to strengthen their legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption. It calls for preventive measures and the criminalization of the most widespread forms of corruption in the public and private sectors.

It also obliges member states to return assets obtained through corruption to the country from which they were stolen – a major international breakthrough as the UNCAC provides a framework for effective action and international cooperation.

In his foreword to the UNCAC, then Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote of the provisions it contained:

“These provisions – the first of their kind – introduce a new fundamental principle, as well as a framework for enhanced cooperation between states to prevent and detect corruption and to return the proceeds. Corrupt officials will find fewer ways to hide their illicit earnings in the future.

“This is a particularly important problem for many developing countries where corrupt senior officials have plundered national wealth and where new governments are in dire need of resources to rebuild and rehabilitate their societies. “

Regarding illicit earnings in particular, Article 20 states the following:

“Subject to its constitution and the basic principles of its legal system, each State Party shall consider adopting the legislative and other measures necessary to establish as a criminal offense, when committed intentionally, illicit enrichment, that is, that is, a significant increase in the assets of a public official that he cannot reasonably explain in relation to his legitimate income.

Although Article 20 above recommends that Member States criminalize illicit enrichment, some, including Malaysia, have not yet legislated specifically on the issue. And there is “no unanimously applied definition of illicit enrichment”, although the term there is defined in Article 20 as a “significant increase in the assets of a public official that he cannot reasonably explain. compared to his legitimate income. “

So, based on his research on laws around the world, Andrew Dornbierer offers the following definition:

“The act of illicit enrichment can be broadly defined as the enjoyment of an amount of wealth which is not justified by reference to lawful income.” (Dornbierer, A., 2021. Illicit Enrichment: A Guide to Laws Targeting Unexplained Wealth. Basel: Basel Institute on Governance.)

The expression “not justified by a reference to lawful income” refers to the absence of evidence demonstrating the legitimate or non-criminal sources from which the valued wealth derives (such as salaries, profits from legitimate businesses, retirement payments, inheritances, gifts or even bank loans).

Dornbierer offers a simple example:

If a person worked as a public assessor from 2010 to 2020 and earned a cumulative total salary of US $ 400,000 during that time, but instead had US $ 4,000,000 in their bank account at the end of this period, then if it is not possible for the individual to demonstrate that the additional $ 3,600,000 came from other legitimate sources of income existing during that period (such as a loan from a bank, income from a side business or receipt of an inheritance) then under an illicit enrichment law the court may presume that this unjustifiable increase in wealth does not come from lawful sources and will impose an appropriate sanction , even if no evidence of underlying or distinct criminal activity is presented in court.

Simply put, illicit enrichment is wealth that is not lawful income in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

In his book, Dornbierer appends a compilation of illicit enrichment legislation and other relevant legislation which he categorizes as:

  • Criminal laws on illicit enrichment
  • Qualified criminal laws on illicit enrichment
  • Civil Laws on Illicit Enrichment
  • Qualified laws on illicit civil enrichment
  • Administrative laws on illicit enrichment; Where
  • Other relevant laws
Illicit enrichment is wealth that is not lawful income in the absence of evidence to the contrary.  - Photo by Bernama
Illicit enrichment is wealth that is not lawful income in the absence of evidence to the contrary. – Photo by Bernama

As the above indicates, the book provides a comprehensive guide to illicit enrichment laws and their application to target unexplained wealth and recover the proceeds of corruption and other crimes. The book covers both criminal and civil laws around the world.

Malaysia’s only entry in the compilation of laws falls into the second category above. This is a qualified criminal law on illicit enrichment because it requires the state to provide a court with evidence of a “reasonable suspicion” or “reasonable belief” that some kind of criminality under investigation. -jacent or distinct has occurred.

The law can be found in section 36 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act, 2009 which provides for the power to obtain information, based on an investigation by an official of the Commission. , indicating that a good is owned or acquired by any person. following or in connection with a breach of the Law.

In recent years, a concept has gained ground: unexplained wealth. It refers to valuable assets owned by government officials – or others in positions of power and influence – that are clearly out of step with their publicly declared income or known business interests. (See Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), “What is ‘unexplained wealth’?”)

At the heart of the concept is a very simple mathematical formula: Unexplained wealth = Total wealth minus legally acquired wealth.

Thus, a person whose total wealth is RM 5 million, and whose legally acquired wealth is RM 2 million, can be considered to have unexplained wealth of RM 3 million.

The concept is now a key part of the UK’s Criminal Finances Act 2017 (CFA) – dubbed the ‘McMafia’ laws after the BBC’s organized crime drama – which introduces new measures to help the forces of the United Kingdom. order to act on corrupt assets.

One of the measures is something called Unexplained Orders of Wealth (UWO).

UWOs give law enforcement authorities such as the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) the ability to seize assets suspected of coming from the proceeds. criminal activity.

A UWO requires the individual, rather than the executing authority, to prove how he or she has accumulated his or her wealth. He must produce evidence to verify the sources of the wealth, failing which the property may be recovered by civil forfeiture.

Orders freezing accounts or provisional (AFO / IFO) can also be taken and criminal penalties imposed. UWOs thus offer law enforcement authorities the ability to confiscate assets without ever having to prove that the assets were obtained through criminal activity.

According to Dornbierer, the two terms – illicit enrichment and unexplained wealth – are currently used interchangeably to refer to the exact same, or an incredibly similar set of circumstances.

Both are controversial legal concepts. Some see them as essential tools in the fight against corruption and other crimes and asset recovery while others see them as a violation of common legal principles. But they have both been effective in fighting corruption and collecting the proceeds of crime.

Dornbierer writes:

“[T]here there is no doubt that [the] laws have remarkable potential in the area of ​​asset recovery. Following the successful application of these types of laws in a number of jurisdictions, it is not surprising that an increasing number of countries are turning to these mechanisms to target corruption and crime in general, and to recover the proceeds. of crime.

Malaysia may not be one of this growing number of countries. But the government of Pakatan Harapan (PH) – to his credit – has considered introducing similar legislation to CFA with similar measures.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said measures such as UWOs would allow the government to seize “extraordinary assets” held by individuals, especially politicians.

“We want to get the government money back, which is why the Attorney General is studying this provision introduced in the UK,” he said during a 2019 budget dialogue session at the Equatorial Hotel.

Nonetheless, Malaysia should send a clear message that it is determined to require officials and individuals in positions of power and influence to ‘explain’ property belonging to them which is clearly out of step with their declared income. publicly or their activities known.

This by asking the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Tan Sri Azam Baki, to break his deafening silence over his alleged possession of millions of publicly traded shares.

It is an unexplained silence.

As Muhammad Mohan, President of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) said, this will affect the perceptions the rest of the world has of Malaysia and the MACC. These, in turn, will potentially lower indices such as the Corruption Perceptions Index and the Global Corruption Barometer.

* This is the personal opinion of the author or post and does not necessarily represent the views of Malaysian courier.

ECC authorizes grant of five essential items for one additional month – Journal Sat, 01 Jan 2022 02:02:21 +0000

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday approved the continuation of untargeted subsidies on five essential food items at outlets in utility stores for just one month – January 2022.

The decision was taken at an ECC meeting chaired by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.

December 31, 2021 was the deadline for the untargeted subsidy on wheat flour, sugar, vegetable ghee, pulses and rice effective July 1, 2021.

The ECC approved a proposal from the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) for the revision of customer pricing and mark-up subsidy period under Level I of the government’s low-cost housing program. and the inclusion of housing finance companies in the housing finance program. The meeting ordered that there should be no direct involvement of commercial banks in NAPHDA projects.

The meeting approved a proposal from the State Bank of Pakistan on incentives for foreign exchange companies against remitting currencies to the interbank market.

ECC approved Rs 8 billion funds from the government for the Sialkot (Sambrial) -Kharian highway project under the Public Sector Development Program – Rs 4 billion as initial financing of the deficit of viability (VGF) and 4 billion rupees for the overhead costs of the project.

The ECC approved a summary from the Ministry of Industry regarding the gas rate for the operations of SNGPL-based factories – Fatima Fertilizer and Agritech – from October 2021 to January 2022, and to maintain the rate at Rs839 per unit ( million British thermal units).

The meeting approved the issuance of a government sovereign guarantee for the National Commission for Engineering and Science (NECOP) project valued at $ 5.822 million for Lot IV and $ 26.154 million. dollars for Lot V in favor of China Electronics Technology Group, Beijing, to repay the loan in seven years, including the two-year grace period.

ECC approved Energy Ministry summary for issuance of Rs 24.188 billion sovereign guarantee to Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd and a syndicate of two banks led by United Bank Limited (UBL) for the remaining term of the loan and comfort letter to the lending banks for a new financing arrangement for the LNG-II pipeline infrastructure development project.

The ECC approved a summary submitted by the Ministry of Communication for an extension of the deadline for the National Highway Authority (NHA) to prepare a commercially viable business plan until June 2022 with the same conditions regarding the cash development loan than those decided by the federal cabinet.

The restructuring of the debt of the NHA will be linked to the outcome of the business plan. The ECC ordered the department to submit a regular monthly progress report and prepare the business plan well in advance of the deadline.

The aviation division submitted a summary of the financial challenges of the Roosevelt Hotel (RHC), New York, and PIA Investment Limited (PIA-IL) request for a renewal in principal amount of $ 142 million as well as mark-up payments by the National Bank of Pakistan. for a further period of two years ending on December 31, 2024.

The meeting was informed that PIA-IL is unable to pay the loan principal amount and mark-up payments on behalf of RHC due to its closure / suspension. The ECC discussed and approved the proposal with a directive for the aviation division to prepare a roadmap for a permanent solution to the problem.

The ECC approved, in principle, a summary from the Ministry of Economic Affairs on the overall transition of Libor to alternative benchmarks with a directive that benchmarks to be adopted in the future be submitted to the ECC for approval.

The meeting approved an additional technical grant (TSG) worth Rs 90 million (Chinese grant) for a 1.2 MGD reverse osmosis desalination plant in Gwadar. He also approved a TSG worth Rs 14.621m for the purchase of spare parts for the helicopter maintained by Sindh Rangers, and another TSG for the release of Rs431.880m of funds for the letter of implementation. Project work from Frontier Corps HQ (south), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dera Ismail Khan, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Pakistan.

The ECC has approved a TSG worth Rs751.486m in favor of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).

The meeting advised the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination to review its budget and the demand is expected to be met by reallocating funds in the budget for life-saving medicines for the Afghan people.

The ECC reviewed and approved a summary submitted by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for granting flexibility to the 19 PNSC subsidiaries from the applicability of public sector companies (Corporate Governance Rules).

The ECC meeting was attended by Minister of National Food Security Fakhar Imam, Minister of Planning and Development Asad Umar, Minister of Industry Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar , Minister of Privatization Muhammedmian Soomro, Minister of Railways Azam Swati, Minister of Maritime Affairs. Ali Zaidi and the federal secretaries.

Posted in Dawn, January 1, 2022

Bangladesh’s aid to Sri Lanka enhances the image and prestige of Bangladesh Thu, 30 Dec 2021 15:15:31 +0000

Other view

By: Hafizur Talukdar

A few years ago, debt-ridden Bangladesh is now a country of unprecedented success in debt relief. The world today looks at Bangladesh in amazement. Bangladesh only borrowed from other countries or organizations. Now that history has changed and has started lending. Bangladesh has provided loans to Sri Lanka and Sudan. Bangladesh first loaned a country by providing the first tranche of the loan pledged to Sri Lanka in August. Once upon a time there was a “bottomless basket” and an international donation seeker. It is now a lender country. It shows countries across South Asia how to rise from the ashes. Bangladesh is leading by example in South Asia of how to achieve economic growth amid various socio-political aspects.

Overcoming various hardships, Bangladesh is today a confident and promising country. Today, Bangladesh has climbed to the top of all economic indices. When the 10 on-going megaprojects are completed, the country’s economic growth trend will increase and prosperity will increase. It shows countries across South Asia how to increase their growth in the midst of various adversities.

The economy of Sri Lanka, a South Asian island nation, is currently under severe pressure from civil war injuries and additional foreign loans for development projects. At present, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $ 4 billion. Meanwhile, amid the epidemic, Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves have hit the $ 45 billion mark.

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was accompanied by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Dhaka last March to attend the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Bangabandhu. At that time, they made a proposal to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard. After the Prime Minister accepted the proposal, the Sri Lankan government sent a formal proposal to the Central Bank. Then, in May, the board of directors of Bangladesh Bank approved in principle a 250 million loan to Sri Lanka under the currency swap.

The Bangladesh Bank released 50 million in the first installment on August 16 based on Sri Lanka’s request. Bangladesh entered the list of lending countries by waiving this loan. And on, the second tranche of 100 million was released in June 2021. This money comes from the foreign exchange reserve of the Bangladesh Bank.

Reserves are over 46 billion after a 100 million haircut in favor of Sri Lanka in June. With Bangladesh’s current foreign exchange reserves, it is possible to cover import costs for more than eight months. Bangladesh ranks second among South Asian countries in terms of foreign exchange reserves. Bangladesh is donating dollars this way for the first time. The number of dollars that Bangladesh donates will be reduced from the reserve. It will make Bangladesh famous.

Sri Lanka has suffered from a foreign exchange reserve crisis in recent times. At that time, they only had $ 500 million in foreign exchange reserves. With this reserve, it was not possible to meet their import expenses for three months. In order to maintain risk-free reserves, at least three months of import spending must be kept equal.

For the first time in 50 years of independence, Bangladesh granted a loan to a country for the development of the country or to meet various needs. Bangladesh was on the list of lenders by lending Sri Lanka 50 million.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has gained this lending capacity due to enormous economic development, increased exports and increased expatriate incomes as the country’s foreign exchange reserves have swelled. Economists hope this will change the image of the country. And Sri Lanka will receive a total of $ 250 million. This money will be released in 5 installments.

Sudan, an African country, is unable to repay a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Bangladesh took responsibility for repaying this loan.

This information was highlighted in a notification from the Ministry of Finance on June 16, 2021. Previously, Bangladesh had granted similar benefits to Somalia, another African country.

Sudan’s external debt has skyrocketed to nearly $ 50 billion at the end of 2019. The IMF is known to get US $ 6 billion from Sudan. In other words, 5 lakh 10 thousand crore Takas in Bangladeshi currency. When the IMF called on all of its members to support the country in debt repayment, almost everyone responded. As a friendly country, Bangladesh has also agreed to cooperate with Sudan. In response to the IMF’s appeal, Bangladesh granted Sudan a Taka Taka 65 crore ($ 650 million) loan waiver on June 15, 2021

The next day, Wednesday, the finance ministry said in a statement that in response to the IMF’s appeal, Bangladesh had granted Sudan Tk 65 crore “debt relief”.

“Sudan is a very indebted and poor country,” the finance ministry said in a statement. The government hopes that the funding will strengthen Sudan’s fight against poverty.

Bangladesh has started to prove its economic potential in a very spectacular way. At one time the country was very poor. So US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has declared Bangladesh to be a bottomless basket. After 46 years, according to the American media Bloomberg, Bangladesh is now an address of surprising success. The country’s per capita income is now US $ 2,500. He is ahead of India. At present, the per capita income of India is $ 2,116. Pakistan is far behind. The per capita income of the country is $ 1,260. Currently, Bangladesh has 45 billion foreign exchange reserves.

However, what happened to cause Bangladesh to create one surprise after another? Economists say there are reasons for this. Exports, social progress and economic forecasting. There are three other reasons besides economic capacity. Sympathy, economic diplomacy and political will.

When this was the case, the sudden news came that Bangladesh had provided 200 million euros in financial assistance to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan media have raised the question of whether Bangladesh can be self-sufficient, why can’t we? In June, the Bangladesh Ministry of Finance gave more surprising news. Bangladesh is said to support Sudan, the poorest country in Africa. Bangladeshi taka 65 crore was provided to reduce the IMF debt burden. The country borrowed Rs 510,000 crore, Taka, from the IMF. The economic crisis was so severe that the country could not repay the debt. Bangladesh has come forward after sending messages asking for help from country to country. Bangladesh Ministry of Finance says Sudan is heavily indebted and poor. The government hopes that the funding will strengthen Sudan’s fight against poverty. At one time, Sudan was a British colony. The country gained its independence on January 1, 1956, by virtue of a treaty. Recall that last year, Bangladesh also provided over 80 million Tk to Somalia, another African country. It was also to repay the IMF loan. Sudan, a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, is crippled by debt and poverty, and financial assistance is expected to help overcome the crisis.

Bangladesh last year also donated Tk 80 million to help Somalia fight poverty under the IMF initiative. Everyone is fascinated by the development of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s image and respect for the people of that country has grown thanks to aid to Sri Lanka and Sudan from foreign exchange reserves. Now the question is valid. Bangladesh is now a lender country! If Bangladesh can be a self-sufficient, lending economic miracle in South Asia, why can’t others? Why isn’t South Asia taking lessons from Bangladesh? Of course, South Asia can learn a lot from Bangladesh.

The writer works as a teacher at a local school in Dhaka

]]> Carolina Fintech program offers training and jobs in Charlotte Tue, 28 Dec 2021 19:27:56 +0000

The Carolina Fintech Hub WIN program begins its fourth iteration early next year.  The 24-week program pays participants to learn coding skills, then places them in tech jobs with employers like Wells Fargo or Lowe's.

The Carolina Fintech Hub WIN program begins its fourth iteration early next year. The 24-week program pays participants to learn coding skills, then places them in tech jobs with employers like Wells Fargo or Lowe’s.

April Craig was 33 years old and working as an ESL teacher at Garinger High School when she started learning to code.

She learned on her own with YouTube videos and Google searches, using evenings and summers to learn languages ​​like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. She thought about changing careers, but didn’t know how to make it work.

Coding bootcamps were expensive, as was taking out another student loan.

“There were many days where I was sitting at my dining room table on YouTube, watching the video, but also (thinking)” Okay, yes, I’m learning, but how am I do it ? she said. “How am I going to get someone to take a chance on me and… get that first job?”

Then she stumbled across the app for the Carolina Fintech Hub’s Workforce Investment Network, a 24-week Charlotte-based program that would pay her to learn to code. It is one of the flagship programs of the hub, a non-profit organization that works to develop the FinTech sector in the Carolinas.

The initiative provides adults in underserved communities with technical training, professional development opportunities and, upon completion of the program, employment with local employers like Lowe’s, Barings and Wells Fargo.

“I applied, I walked in and here I am,” said Craig, who now works as a software developer for US Bank in Charlotte. “… I never thought of technology as something open to me, open to a woman, open to a black woman. It just was never in my sights.

Caroline Fintech photo.jpg
April Craige and Eyke Mendez, two participants in the Carolina Fintech Hub WIN program, work as software developers for US Bank.

Fight against inequalities

Pasha Maher, Managing Director of Carolina Fintech Hub, launched WIN in 2019. He wanted to address what he saw as a lack of a level playing field in the tech industry and create more upward mobility opportunities in Charlotte. .

Getting the right qualifications to land a high-paying tech job often comes with a lot of privileges, Maher said, like going to high school with computer lessons. “Our assumption is that these people have the potential, but lack the resources,” he said.

Participants spend 12 weeks honing their technical skills and 12 weeks completing on-the-job training. Members learn Java, soft skills in the workplace, and have access to resources such as housing, career coaching, and childcare.

The program was ambitious, Maher said. Now he’s getting ready for his fourth class and has placed 113 participants in tech jobs around Charlotte.

“I don’t see us as a non-profit organization,” he said. “I see this as a really highly skilled recruiting and placement company. “

‘Too good to be true’

Fah Pariyavuth was in WIN’s First Class in 2019. Prior to joining the program, she worked 10 to 12 hours a day in a food manufacturer.

After becoming interested in her husband’s work as a programmer, Pariyavuth looked for an opportunity to change careers. But every job posting she saw required a computer science degree and had thousands of applicants.

“It was almost impossible for me,” said Pariyavuth, a North Carolina state graduate with a degree in food science and biology.

When she heard about the WIN program, she thought that a program that would pay her to learn to code “was too good to be true.” She only half believed it, she said, until she sat down for an interview with Maher.

After graduating from the program, Pariyavuth accepted a position as a software engineer at Wells Fargo. One of the original sponsors of WIN, the bank employs 17 graduates of the WIN program.

Whether it’s being able to work fewer hours during the week or being able to get promoted down the line, the job “has opened up a lot more opportunities in my life,” Pariyavuth said. .

Look ahead

After a fully virtual third cohort class, Maher hopes to be in person again for the fourth iteration of the program, which is expected to start early next year. The deadline to apply is December 31st.

Maher said he hopes the program will become more self-sustaining in the years to come. The program has continued to grow, with seven other corporate sponsors who have signed up since WIN’s inception.

“I hope no one will ever say the words, ‘It’s too good to be true.’ He said. “

Ultimately, he wants to build on the fundamental premise that anyone can work in tech.

“I think so many people have convinced themselves that they can’t do it,” he said. “If you are smart, curious, creative and hardworking, there is a career in technology for you. “

This story was originally published December 28, 2021 6:10 am.

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Hannah Lang covers banking and finance for The Charlotte Observer. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same city as her alma mater.

Will India’s Data Protection Bill spell the end of all AI projects ?, CIO News, ET CIO Mon, 27 Dec 2021 01:30:00 +0000 “Data is the new oil” is a phrase so often used by governments, industrialists and technologists that every organization, tech or otherwise, has focused on collecting as much data as possible and then putting it together. use of this data to create AI models. These AI models are then used to improve process efficiency, gain insight into customers and markets, or even create new business units.

What if you were told that you can no longer use all this data you have collected to improve your AI practice? Well, if India’s first data protection bill is turned into law, you might as well be forced to do so. So, does this mean the end of AI projects in India?

“The success of any project, whether AI-based or otherwise, depends heavily on the data it collects, processes and its legitimacy. Thus, the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP) will probably have an impact on such projects, as the underlying principle is that data should be collected and processed only for legitimate purposes ”, underlines Manish Sehgal, partner, Deloitte India.

Another pivot point specific to AI and ML projects is about automated decision making. It is important to understand the implication of the global and local regulations that surround it and to design the system accordingly. “Global regulations such as the GDPR give individuals the right not to be subject to decisions based solely on automated processing. We will know of similar provisions, if any, in India’s PDP bill once it is enacted, ”Sehgal added.

Industry executives believe companies that have topped the charts with AI projects so far may be worse off than those that have just started just because of this looming law.

“This is an inconvenience for early adopters that many organizations now face in light of data protection law,” said Sharad Jambukar, Head-IT & IS, Aadhar Housing Finance. “For almost a year we have been trying to minimize data entry points into our systems and we have tried to ensure the minimum information required, only the data that we collect. People who have done a lot of digital transformation will have to struggle to reduce the capabilities of their AI projects in order to comply with the law. Companies that have fallen behind in the digital transformation process will have the advantage of starting their AI projects with only the required data instead of collecting too much.

Make alternative arrangements

After investing millions of dollars in an AI project, it can be difficult to shut it down completely. Experts believe there might be ways out of the situation where you could continue to run your AI projects with all the data you’ve collected so far, while still sticking to the new bill.

“If the bill passes, but says you can’t use the data directly, you can train an AI model using existing use cases the company is currently working on in the regions.” current. However, you can transfer the learning from this model to another, which is known as a weight file in technical terms. These weight files can be used to help develop future models, ”explained Rahul Vishwakarma, co-founder and CEO of Mate Labs.

According to Vishwakarma, the government can only impose restrictions on the data side, which is owned by the people, but not on trained machine learning models, which are the intellectual property of the company. “If there is no application, companies can transfer this intellectual property to different regions, subsidiaries or companies and then assemble various models to form a combined machine learning,” he proposed.

Go from collection to deletion

Once you receive a request from a customer to delete all of their records, it can be a nightmare to even locate customer data in different systems, logs, databases, or test projects. And any breach can cost your organization not only heavy penalties, but also reputational damage, which can be very difficult to repair.

Instead, it’s important to know where the data is before you even have to delete it. According to Saurabh Saxena, Site Manager and Vice President of Product Development at Intuit India, data classification is an important aspect of data protection compliance.

“We have been running a data classification exercise within the company for quite some time. This has helped us comply with the GDPR and will now make it easier to comply with the Indian Data Protection Bill. Businesses should start the process of classifying data early, as it can be a long and arduous process. During our trip, we deleted all the data we didn’t need. The process also makes it easier for our AI projects to run without any complications. We ensure that the AI ​​projects within Intuit use personally identifiable information, ”said Saxena.

Another important aspect that needs to be looked at is controlling the amount of data entering the systems. The less you have, the easier it will be to comply with data protection law. “I think we should change internal processes so that the data required for a certain process is used only for that particular process. Rather than making an effort to protect data, it’s important to minimize the amount of data we collect. For example, in loan processing, what are the minimum data required to process the loan. At Sriram Value Services, we aim to collect as little data as possible from the customer, ”said Prashant Deshpande, VP-IT, Sriram Value Services.

One shot AI

If all else fails, you can still continue pursuing new AI projects, albeit with a different approach. About a year ago, researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, pointed out that AI models can be trained on a problem using data sets as small as 1 to 10 records instead. tens of thousands and in the case even millions of records that are currently in use. The process is called “less than one” learning or LO-shot learning. With the growing number of privacy regulations not only in India but around the world, LO-shot or one-shot AI could be your last shot in AI.

“AI as we know it today is also on the verge of a radical transformation. While today we typically need thousands and in some cases millions of images to train an AI model on how to identify an object, in the future you will need a lot less. . Compare it with humans. A child doesn’t have to see a million cats before they can create the ability to identify any cat. AI is moving in the same direction, ”said K Ananth Krishnan, CTO at TCS.

Saxena from Meta Labs believes that companies could also use learnings previously implemented from one region / demographics to another. “But with this law, they will need more time to serve new geographies and demographics until they can collect all the data. To get around this limitation, new modeling methods such as One-Shot Learnings, which can be trained on a small amount of data, can be used. “

The mPokket loan application to recruit 1,500 Thu, 23 Dec 2021 09:09:29 +0000

mPokket, an instant loan app for students and young professionals, has announced that it will hire more than 1,500 employees in 2022, across all industries. Between April and December 2021, mPokket hired over 500 people to bring its workforce to over 1,400.

Over 80% of new hires would be deployed in operations, with the remainder spread across technology, products, data analytics, human resources, finance and marketing.

Hiring of agricultural units up 8% between January and November this year

For its flagship Tech Rangers program, mPokket is looking to hire premium tier 2 colleges – 20 out of 70 engineer hires. MPokket’s technical team includes PHP developers, Python developers, quality engineers and DevOps engineers, among others.

Sukhpreet Singh, Head of Human Resources, mPokket, said: “The new hire would put more emphasis on mPokket’s principle of being customer-oriented. “

Based in Kolkata, mPokket has offices in major cities including Bangalore and Hyderabad. Recent hires include Vikram Singh as Product Manager, who was previously Associate Director at Myntra; Maninder Singh Grewal for the newly created position of Director of Data and Analytics; and Sukhpreet Singh (formerly at Lenskart) as the new head of human resources.

“At mPokket, we foster a positive, people-centered work culture at all levels. Our new hires can expect a collaborative and stimulating work environment, ”said Gaurav Jalan, Founder and CEO of mPokket and Member of the Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE).

mPokket recorded 1,200 crore disbursements during the 2020-21 fiscal year. The app has over 10 million downloads to date.

Measures taken by the government to improve credit flows to the MSME sector Tue, 21 Dec 2021 12:50:08 +0000

Ministry of Finance

Measures taken by the government to improve credit flows to the MSME sector

Posted on: Dec 21, 2021 6:04 PM by PIB Delhi

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular dated 05.02.2021 and 05.05.2021, authorized regular commercial banks (SCBs) to deduct the amount equivalent to the credit disbursed to new micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) , who did not take advantage of any credit facilities from banking_system on 01.01.2021, from their Time Net and Passive Demand (NDTL) for the calculation of the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Finance, Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad, in a written response to a question posed to Rajya Sabha.

The Minister said that this exemption is available up to Rs 25 lakh per borrower, paid up to fifteen days ending 12.31.2021, for a period of one year from the original date of the loan or from the term of the loan, whichever comes first.

The minister listed the measures taken by the government to improve the flow of credit to the MSME sector:

  1. The Emergency Line of Credit Guarantee Program (ECLGS) was announced as part of the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package with the aim of helping MSMEs and enterprises to meet their operational obligations and resume their activities in view of the of the distress caused by the COVID-19 crisis, by providing lending institutions with a 100 percent guarantee against any loss they may suffer due to non-repayment of borrowers. As reported by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited, As of 10.12.2021, loans in the amount of Rs. 3.09 lakh crore have been sanctioned under the program.
  2. the psbloansin59minutes The portal was launched on November 2, 2018 to facilitate the approval in principle of loans up to Rs 1 crore (later upgraded to Rs 5 crore) to MSMEs without human intervention. As informed by SIDBI on 30.11.2021, loans amounting to 79,285 crore were sanctioned on the portal.
  3. RBI operationalized TReDS in 2017 to address the issue of late payments to MSMEs. TReDS is an electronic platform where the claims of MSMEs drawn against buyers (large companies, PSUs, ministries, etc.) are financed by multiple financiers at competitive rates through an auction mechanism. As of 12/03/2021, 26.64 lakh invoices amounting to Rs 56,694.14 crore have been updated since the creation by the three entities on the TReDS platform.
  4. Factoring transactions carried out via TReDS are eligible for classification as Priority Sectoral Loans (PSL). In addition, bank-sanctioned loans to NBFC MFIs and other MFIs (companies, trusts, etc.) that are members of the RBI recognized SRO for the sector for loans to the MSE sector, loans to registered NBFCs (other than MFIs) for Loans to MSMEs and bank financing to start-ups up to 50 crore are also part of PSL. The RBI also authorized co-lending by banks and NBFCs to the priority sector.
  5. The subordinated debt regime for distressed MSMEs was approved on 01.06.2020. As part of this program, banks provide struggling MSME promoters with subordinated debt of up to 15% of the promoter’s stake or Rs. 75 lakh, the lower of the two being infused as equity / quasi-equity. in the business.
  6. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) program was launched on 08.04.2015 to provide access to institutional financing to micro / small business units not financed with unsecured loans up to Rs 10 lakh for manufacturing, processing, trade , services and activities related to agriculture and contribute to the creation of income-generating activities and jobs.
  7. RBI had authorized a single restructuring for MSME accounts in accordance with the circulars of 01.01.2019, 11.02.2020 and 06.08.2020. Considering the need to support viable MSME entities due to the fallout from COVID-19, it was decided to extend the facility to restructure existing loans to MSMEs up to 50 crore classified as ‘standard’ without downgrading in the classification of assets subject to the conditions issued under circular vacuum, dated 05.05.2021 and 04.06. 2021 on ‘Resolution framework 2.0.
  8. For better transmission of monetary policy, the RBI advised banks to link all new floating rate loans to external benchmarks for MSEs from 01.10.2019 and medium-sized enterprises from 01.04.2020.
  9. The regulatory retail portfolio threshold for a single counterparty has been increased from 5 crore to 7.5 crore, allowing banks to assign a 75% lower risk weight to such exposure to MSME entities.



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Ministry of Finance of the Republic of India published this content on December 21, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on December 21, 2021 12:49:10 PM UTC.

]]> Singtel loses landmark Australian tax case Sat, 18 Dec 2021 08:30:25 +0000

(Bloomberg) – Australia on Friday won a landmark court ruling against Singapore Telecommunications, a victory in the country’s battle against tax evasion by multinational companies through cross-border financing deals.

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The Federal Court of Australia on Friday dismissed the company’s appeal against a tax assessment related to the financing of the 2001 acquisition of Singtel Optus.

Transactions between two 100% owned SingTel units “differ from what one would expect from independent companies dealing completely independently of each other,” Judge Mark Kranz Moshinsky wrote for the court.

Tax experts have warned in the wake of the ruling that multinationals should expect scrutiny of intragroup financing that does not appear to have taken place independently, as if they were two independent parties.

The arm’s length principle is an often contentious aspect of transfer pricing rules that govern transactions between companies within the same multinational group to ensure that they are not abused for tax reasons.

The Australian Tax Office “has focused for many years on cross-border financing of multinationals,” said Angela Wood, Melbourne-based tax partner at law firm Clayton Utz. “Transfer pricing, especially related party financing, has been the most important area of ​​interest for the ATO in recent times. “

“The Singtel case enshrined many key principles underlying various Australian transfer pricing provisions that have already been debated,” said Jacqueline McGrath, special advisor at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, citing Chevron’s multi-year disputes and Glencore.

Facts of the matter

The case dates back to Singtel’s 2001 purchase of Cable and Wireless Optus Ltd, which operated one of Australia’s largest telecommunications companies, known locally as Optus.

Singapore Telecom Australia Investments (STAI), a national company, subsequently issued shares and loan notes under a loan note issuance agreement (LNIA) to the British Virgin Islands registered subsidiary SingTel Australia Investments (SAI). STAI became a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAI in 2002, issuing loans and later paying interest to SAI, which is a Singapore tax resident. Both entities were wholly owned by parent company SingTel of Singapore.

The loan agreements put in place during the purchasing process set the interest rates owed on loans between the two entities, which the ATO disputed almost 15 years later. In October 2016, the Australian Tax Commissioner challenged tax deductions claimed for interest paid on loans in tax years ending March 31, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

This assessment meant that STAI had fewer losses to carry forward for tax purposes as of 2010, meaning it would ultimately be subject to just under A $ 895 million ($ 640 million) in additional taxable income.

In December 2016, STAI filed objections against the amended assessments, which the commissioner rejected in 2019. STAI’s appeal against the commissioner’s decisions was heard on Friday.

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd said in a statement: “After seeking to settle this matter in good faith with the ATO and failing to reach an agreement on law enforcement, STAI sought clarification on the judiciary process.”

Singtel noted that STAI’s holding company, SAI, would be entitled to a corresponding refund of withholding tax estimated at A $ 89 million.

Wider impact

Wood and other experts have predicted that other important transfer pricing disputes could arise over time, and these could take years to resolve, either in court or out of court.

Going forward, the Singtel decision suggests that intra-company pricing of major investment finance will continue to come under stricter regulatory scrutiny, said Kristie Schubert, tax partner at HWL Ebsworth Lawyer.

“If the arrangement in question would not have taken place if a member of a multinational group had incurred a debt with a third party, then it is subject to scrutiny and could prove to be hard to defend, ”Schubert said. “The case is a timely reminder of the heavy burden of proof in transfer pricing cases if a case goes unresolved and becomes the subject of litigation.”

“The merging of quantitative and qualitative considerations makes it increasingly complex to establish what an arm’s length rate is,” she added. “In the context of a loan, rating agencies may view credit risk differently and base their decisions on different assumptions, or give more weight to certain risks or considerations.

His colleague McGrath pointed out that such transfer pricing arrangements often require highly specialized factual knowledge and extensive documentation if a regulator reviews transactions years after they actually took place.

Singtel has 28 days to appeal, Wood said.

“The Singtel Group will review the details of today’s judgment, explore available options and determine next steps,” the company said on Friday. “It will also ensure that important updates are provided to investors in a timely manner.”

It is committed to complying with tax obligations in the markets in which it operates, he said, and noted that STAI is a significant taxpayer in Australia.

The ATO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The case is VID1231 / 2019: Singapore Telecom Australia Investments Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2021] FCA 1597.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Yeh in Taipei, Taiwan at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Meg Shreve at; Joe Stanley-Smith at

(Corrects the amount of tax obligations in the 11th paragraph)

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Rwanda: Nkundabarashi, president of the Rwanda Bar, on its agenda Mon, 13 Dec 2021 07:23:27 +0000

In November, Moise Nkundabarashi (partner of Trust Law Chambers) was elected the new president of the Rwanda Bar Association, succeeding Julien Kavarunganda who served for two consecutive terms.

Nkundabarashi is not new to the headlines as he was involved in a 2018 Supreme Court petition, represented Callixte Nsabimana aka Sankara in a recent trial, and was part of the team that prepared the Muse report .

In an interview with Collins Mwai of the New Times, Moise Nkundabarashi


As the new president of the association and muse of the legal fraternity, what do you think are the key missions that await you?

We wish to improve legal practice by promoting professionalism. We have a bar that was created in 1997 and then had 35 members. The number has since grown to 1,515 lawyers. The mandate of the Bar Association is to ensure that professionalism and competence are maintained.

One of our plans is to digitize and create tools to reach them and make sure they have easy access to services.

We would like to expand the cooperation we have with other bar associations to deepen the links to access training and capacity building.

We have women lawyers in our association and want to make sure we have fairness and equality. We also have young lawyers who will need support and mentorship.

We also have plans for programs like lawyers’ pensions and general social assistance. We have a working medical regimen, but we want to continue to be engaged to make sure we can further improve their well-being. If your well-being is well taken care of, you are less likely to get involved in sneaky activities. .

We also want to approach commercially, 1515 ideally organized people can engage and negotiate as a market. For example, if we go to the same phone company or the same gas station, we may have an impact on the bottom line and be able to negotiate a discount as an association. Even if we are negotiating for car purchase prices, among other things. We can ensure that lawyers have access to subsidized prices.

We recently acquired the Sports View Hotel in Remera, a bank loan that we repaid in about 5 years against 15 years planned. These investments will help us improve the livelihoods of lawyers.

There are also a few challenges ahead, which do you find the most urgent?

One of the challenges that comes to mind is mutual recognition. We have a challenge because of the challenge of the systems we come from, countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania would assume that we come from a civil law system that is not allowed to practice in a common system. law. However, it is a bit complex as opposed to a systemic problem. Some market players do not wish to open their markets to trade for various reasons.

What is happening now is that we are slow to make it legal, but it is already happening.

For example, I have friends all over the region who can send me work in Kigali and vice versa. We are overwhelmed by trends and lagging behind bureaucracies. All that is missing is the right of establishment to move to another country. We are also seeing another movement where regional law firms are opening up in different countries and using local lawyers. Can this be qualified as a cross-border legal practice? Yes it is.

In any case, I know that EALA is tabling a bill on the mutual recognition of legal practices, this is one of the aspects on which I am eager to follow up.

Speaking of mutual recognition, it was argued that this could also mean a perception of skill levels. Are your members qualified to practice anywhere in the region?

I don’t think we have a jurisdictional problem. If the market opened up, things would move forward and the skills of practitioners could adapt to the market. What would be considered limited skill is probably the language where if you have a lawyer from Kigali moved to Kampala or Nairobi where they have to practice in English as opposed to the Kinyarwanda they are used to.

However, there is no doubt that they would adapt to the language, but proficiency would not be a problem. By opening up the market, that would be put to the test.

Let’s talk about independence. Is the Rwanda Bar Association independent in its decisions, principles and positions?

The Rwanda Bar Association is an independent organization. It is independent with regard to the law which establishes it, independent in practice, on financial and economic aspects. We increase our budget through membership fees and use it to manage activities such as investment, health insurance, among others.

In legal practice, I will give the example of a recent case where a Belgian lawyer tried to appear in Rwandan courts without accreditation. Whenever a lawyer comes from another country and wishes to practice, he must apply for accreditation from the Rwanda Bar Association given by the president of the association. One of the aspects considered is reciprocity. In this case, we wrote to them and asked them if a Rwandan can practice in a Belgian court. The answer was that only lawyers from the EU region can practice in Belgium. With this answer, we gave the appropriate answer to the lawyer and he flew to Brussels. After a few months he came back and tried to train.

Our independence lies in the fact that we have principles, procedures and conditions of engagement.

You can also gain independence through leadership which is through the election of members

For many, you rose to fame when you were embroiled in a Supreme Court petition challenging five Criminal Code provisions that included the criminalization of adultery and publications that humiliate public officials, among other articles. What impact do you think this has had and are we likely to see more in the future?

When we took the initiative to challenge the penal code in the Supreme Court, we thought it was high time we did something in the public interest. It is important to consider the general public interest and to advocate such cases. There is an impact, for example, there have been people who were not prosecuted because of the petition and who started a conversation about how people perceive the law. It’s something that has an impact. After that there were many Supreme Court petitions after that and a major development was a ruling that lawyers can appear before the Supreme Court without having to justify their personal interest in cases as they are considered as stakeholders and well informed in the matter.

We will see this more in the public interest in a positive approach ensuring that it has a positive impact.

You also hit the headlines by representing Callixte Nsabimana alias Sankara, a former spokesperson for the FLN convicted of acts of terrorism. How did you come to represent him?

It is a principle of our constitution that anyone involved in legal proceedings has the right to be represented by a lawyer of their choice. This has been a frequently asked question. For someone who is charged with crimes like my client was, can you imagine that he has no representation?

If you were following the case and the arguments, it was someone who was coming back into society. This is not the only aspect to consider, however. The constitution gives us the right to represent people in court processes. I assessed the matter, reviewed his file and saw no reason not to do so as he was entitled to due process. The only body that would decide with the verdict was the court, which could only intervene at the end of the process.