Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has announced Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. This bill is to tackle bank defaulters like celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, Vijay Malya who flee away from the country after making economic offenses. Accordingly, Central government has approved this bill. Henceforth, this bill will enable govt. to confiscate assets of bank defaulters without conviction.
Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill is approved by the cabinet committee on 1 March 2018. Henceforth, this bill aims at deterring economic offenders through confiscating their assets without conviction and pay off lenders by selling their fugitive properties. Subsequently, this bill will enable quick recovery of dues taken in the form of bank loans.
For its implementation, govt. will resolve such cases through a special court on absconding corporate defaulters. All the corporate person involved in the cases of fraud of Rs. 100 crore or more will have to face severe consequences. Moreover, Cabinet also approves setting up of National Financial Reporting Authority (NAFRA).
Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill – Details
The important features and highlights of this bill as approved in the Cabinet Meeting are as follows:-
- In the previous budget, govt. announces to bring a special law to confiscate assets of fugitives under economic offenses.
- Under this bill, Fugitive Offender is the person who is mentioned in the bill schedule or if the court issues a warrant against such person.
- Subsequently as per the definition of bill, economic offenses will include cases of more than Rs. 100 crore.
- Accordingly if a person is declared as fugitive offender, then his / her all assets in the country will get confiscated.
- In addition to this, overseas assets of such people can also get confiscated which will depend on the cooperation of such countries where assets are present.
- Moreover, any economic offender will not be liable for any civil claim inside the country.
- Central govt. will constitute a National Financial Reporting Authority (NAFRA). Accordingly, this authority will get the power to act on such cases under the rules specified in the offenders bill.
- Furthermore under first instance, NAFRA will cover all listed companies and unlisted large companies.
- However, small companies will get exemption and will still remain under the institute of chartered accountants.
Modi govt. has taken this step in order to ensure that corporate must not take away the money of the Indian people. Even such corporate persons does not return to the country to face trials. Accordingly, these corporates will now have to face court trials inside the country for their offenses.
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