JSW Steel, NMDC, Adani named in Lokayukta report - ET

JSW Steel, NMDC and Adani Enterprises have been accused of paying bribes and engaging in other unethical corporate behaviour in the Lokayukta inquiry, according to an Economic Times report.

FP Staff December 20, 2014 04:06:29 IST
JSW Steel, NMDC, Adani named in Lokayukta report - ET

JSW Steel, NMDC and Adani Enterprises have been accused of paying bribes and engaging in other unethical corporate behaviour in the Lokayukta inquiry, according to an Economic Times report.

"Law of the land was seemed to have been suspended and oral whip was used to keep silent. Consequently, administration has allowed the loot of natural resources, in this case iron ore, which continued without any opposition. Huge bribes were paid. Mafia-type operations were the routine practices of the day," the newspaper said, quoting the inquiry's report.

JSW Steel NMDC Adani named in Lokayukta report  ET

On Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa resigned, after being implicated in the Lokayukta inquiry. PTI

The report said several companies in the mining sector had paid bribes, under-invoiced exports and used fake permits.

NMDC, the public-sector giant, is accused of under-invoicing sales.

Adani Enterprises, led by Gautam Adani, is also accused of paying bribes and permitting illegal iron ore exports through Belekere port in Karnataka.

The Lokayukta report recommended the company be blacklisted and barred from bidding for any government contract.

Another company, JSW Steel, is accused of not only paying bribes but also of colluding with state tourism minister G Janardhan Reddy to buy illegal iron ore.

The JSW group has also been accused of paying money to the Yeddyurappa's family members for a land transaction in return for pushing the company's case with the central government for acquiring new licences.

Quoting the report, the Economic Times also said that 215.12 crore has been stashed in tax havens by the Reddy brothers and their confidant B Sriramulu and recommended a thorough investigation by the IT department.

On Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa resigned, after being implicated in the Lokayukta inquiry.

Land Acquisition Bill to ensure uniform compensation rate

The Land Acquisition Bill will ensure that the rate of compensation is uniform for everyone affected by land acquired by private developers or the state on behalf of developers, an Economic Times report said.

However, the Bill is unlikely to set a threshold for government intervention in land purchases, leaving it to the states to frame policies on this politically volatile issue, the report added.

In addition, the draft places the responsibility of compensation on the party directly acquiring more than 100 acres.

The new bill is expected to end the anomaly in the current system, under which the government pays the compensation to the landholders and then passes on the acquired land to private developers, the report said.

The existing law requires private companies to directly acquire at least 70 percent of the land before seeking government assistance for acquiring the balance 30 percent.

The Bill seeks to replace the colonial law of 1894, which gave powers to the government to acquire land at lower-than-market rates. It aims at offering farmers and other landowners market or better rates for land acquired for industrial projects.

The Bill is also likely to ban the acquisition of multi-cropped land for 10 years. This clause will effectively put about 55 million hectares, or 40 percent of arable land, out of the reach of private developers, the newspaper report said.

Uncertain environment forces Tata Steel to end benefits for UK workers

Tata Steel will end the benefit schemes offered to UK employees and limit the contributions of existing staff to manage pension risks, according to an Economic Times story.

The move is aimed at protecting the company from any unfavourable market changes, the newspaper said.

Quoting the company, the newspaper said the market value of Tata Steel Europe's net pension assets were substantially higher than its net assets, adding that any adverse change could have an impact on the company's financial statements and pension funds.

Defined benefits are pension plans under which the employer promises a specified monthly benefit on retirement, which is calculated based on the employee's earnings history, tenure of service and age.

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