22&23, April 2018

  1. Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018

Source: PIB

The Union Cabinet has approved the Finance Ministry’s proposal of promulgating the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 which will empower authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters who flee the country.

Definitions:

  • A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
  • A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Ordinance.

Important provisions under the ordinance:

  • Special court: The ordinance makes provisions for a special court under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender. Scheduled offences worth Rs. 100 crore or more will come under the purview of the ordinance.
  • Power to Attach Properties: With the assent of the President of India, Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 is promulgated. The new Law lays down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and properties of economic offenders.
  • Trial In The PMLA Courts: Since the proposed law would utilise the existing infrastructure of the Special Courts constituted under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and the threshold of scheduled offence is high at Rs. 100 crores or more, no additional expenditure is expected on the enactment of the Bill.
  • No Immunity to Offenders: The ordinance would also enable the courts and tribunals to disallow the fugitive economic offender from putting forward or defending any civil claim.
  • Aim of Deportation: Major impact will be that the offenders will return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of the scheduled offences. Other Major Impact will be that it will help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.
  • The ordinance was mooted in response to the growing practice of debt-laden Indian citizens flying abroad in a purported attempt to evade the law-enforcement agencies of India.

Significance of this move:

  • The Ordinance is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

Background:

  • The government had in Budget 2017-18 announced that it was considering a law that would enable it to seize the property such absconders, following which the Union Cabinet had on March 1, 2018 approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018 to be introduced in Parliament. The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 12, but was not passed due to disruptions and adjournments in both Houses of Parliament.

  1. Meeting of the Development Committee (DC) and IMFC of the World Bank Group and the IMF

Source: PIB

Meeting of the Development Committee (DC) of the World Bank Group and the IMF and the Restricted Session of the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC) were recently held in Washington D.C.

Ministerial Committees:

  • The IMF Board of Governors is advised by two ministerial committees, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee.

IMFC:

  • Composition: The IMFC has 24 members, drawn from the pool of 187 governors. Its structure mirrors that of the Executive Board and its 24 constituencies. As such, the IMFC represents all the member countries of the Fund.
  • Functions: The IMFC meets twice a year, during the Spring and Annual Meetings. The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and also advises the IMF on the direction its work.
  • At the end of the Meetings, the Committee issues a joint communiqué summarizing its views. These communiqués provide guidance for the IMF’s work program during the six months leading up to the next Spring or Annual Meetings. There is no formal voting at the IMFC, which operates by consensus.

Development committee:

  • The Development Committee is a joint committee, tasked with advising the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank on issues related to economic development in emerging and developing countries.
  • The committee has 24 members (usually ministers of finance or development). It represents the full membership of the IMF and the World Bank and mainly serves as a forum for building intergovernmental consensus on critical development issues.

  1. South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF)

Source: PIB

 Pune hosted the 12th edition of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) meeting. The Forum was attended by meteorologists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. This was the sixth SASCOF meeting hosted by India.

SASCOF:

  • South Asian nations, supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), have been conducting the South Asian Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) since 2010.
  • SASCOF was established as a platform where meteorologists from South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries along with Myanmar, could discuss some of the common weather and climate-related matters.
  • All these South Asian countries — except for Afghanistan, which is located in extreme northwest — experience common weather and climatological characteristics, like Southwest monsoon.

Functions:

  • SASCOFs prepare consensus seasonal climate information on a regional scale that provide a consistent basis for preparing national level outlooks. Such forums also serve to interface with user sectors to understand and enhance the use of climate information as orchestrated and supported by the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).



Leave a Reply