Direct selling firm Amway's India Chairman and CEO William S Pinckney, an American national, and two company directors, arrested in connection with three cases of alleged fraud, have been remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a local court at Kalpetta in Kerala.
Pinckney and directors Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja were arrested by the Wayanad Crime Branch (Economic Offences) wing from Kozhikode yesterday in connection with three fraud cases registered in Wayanad district.
Kalpetta Judicial First Class Magistrate N Ravishankar last night remanded them for 14 days.
They were booked under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act based on complaints filed by two persons in 2011.
The Crime Branch (Economic Offences wing) had last year conducted searches at the Amway offices at Thrissur,Kozhikode and Kannur districts as part of its crackdown on money chain activities.
Amway, for its part, said it was cooperating with the investigations of the Kerala Police CB-CID further to the complaint filed in 2012 and Pinckney, Budhraja and Sanjay Malhotra have always been present to answer any queries of the police.
"With respect to the Wayanad case of 2011 for which it is believed that arrest warrants have been issued, the company or its officials have not been issued any summons to join the investigation nor was any information sought".
"In this respect, the company management would have been happy to cooperate with the Wayanad Police in that matter as well, as we always have as a law abiding corporate citizen, following all laid down laws of the land," it said.
The Wayanad Police had received four complaints against the firm.
Although the three executives had obtained anticipatory bail in one case filed by Vishalakshi, for which they appeared for questioning, they were arrested on the basis of three complaints filed at another police station in the district.
The three complainants Jafar, T Ashraf and P Hareendran had alleged that in 2002 Amway India attempted to collect money from them with the intention to deceive them by involving them in a money-chain scheme.
Vishalakshi alleged in her complaint that Amway agents collected Rs.3.5 lakh from her for products sold by the companies and asked her to add more members to the chain.
As she could not add more members, she sought a refund but the agents refused.
Following her complaint, last year, the Economic Offences Wing of CB-CID arrested Raj Kumar, who was in-charge of Amway's Kerala operations, and seized products worth Rs 17 lakh.
Digital Transactions in India to Cross $1 Trillion a Year by 2025
Demonetisation and cashless drive has pushed the growth trajectory of digital payments in India significantly, and by 2025, digital transactions in the country could be worth USD 1 trillion annually, says a report.
According to a white paper by ACI Worldwide along with AGS Transact Technologies (AGSTTL), digital transactions in India could be worth USD 1 trillion annually by 2025, with four out of every five transactions being made digitally.
“The user base for digital transactions in India is currently close to 90 million, but could triple to 300 million by 2020 as new users from rural and semi-urban areas enter the market”.
“Flexible, scalable and reliable technology will be critical to the future of payments in India as the market continues to experience incredible growth,” said Manish Patel, Vice President, ACI Worldwide.
Meanwhile, with the rise in digital payments, cybersecurity costs for companies in India is also rising.
Mahesh Patel, Group Chief Technology Officer, AGS Transact Technologies said, “we understand that rapid rise in internet users nationwide is spurring an increase in digital transactions. However, the Indian market unlike many western nations is still to mature and remains threatened due to lower awareness levels”.
As per the report, Cyber attacks cost India an estimated USD 4 billion annually and could rise to USD 20 billion by 2025, with the digitisation of payments presenting new challenges for cybersecurity.
“It is necessary that the rise in digital transactions remain holistic thereby supporting growth with scalable processing platform. Also, it should be accompanied by allied precautionary measures such as cybersecurity and fraud prevention,” Patel said.
Mass adoption of e-payments and a thriving fintech scene, combined with regulatory policy, are set to propel India into a leading position in the global payments landscape, it said adding unified payments interface (UPI) transactions are a key driver of greater financial inclusion.
The white paper titled “Transactions 2025” noted that India’s smartphone user base is likely to double to 500 million by 2020 as affordable devices and data will spur safe, fraud-resistant digital transactions based on biometrics and multi-factor authorisation.
ACI Worldwide is a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, while AGS Transact Technologies (AGSTTL), is an end-to-end payment solutions company.
World Bank Report Praises the Impact of GST, Projects 7.5% Growth in 2019-20
The World Bank Report points to macroeconomic stability of the Indian economy.
World Bank’s publication ‘India Development Update‘ has noted credible signs of a further uptick in Indian economic growth.The rebound in industrial activity including manufacturing sector is critical for job creation in the years to come.
The report says that the Indian economy is set to revert to its trend growth rate of 7.5% as it bottoms out from the impact of GST and demonetisation. The World Bank Report points to macroeconomic stability of the Indian economy.
The report expects the Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7% in the current fiscal.rise to 7.3% for the next financial year and accelerate further to 7.5% in 2019-20.
Besides pointing to enhanced macroeconomic stability.on sectoral growth, the report says that services will continue to be the main driver of economic growth.agricultural growth has become more stable with slow acceleration.and industrial growth has seen some acceleration.
World Bank report has lauded India’s recent record in controlling inflation.fiscal discipline despite revised budget estimates, declining debt to GDP ratio even after accounting for the recapitalisation of banks, stable balance of payment situation and higher macroeconomic stability as compared to recent years.
The report refers to the impact of reforms on the Indian economy from composition of deficit, energy subsidy reforms, GST, ease of doing business, FDI liberalisation, infrastructure generation, inflation targeting framework, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, to access to financial services and digital payments.leading to better governance, and delivery of services and benefits.
The report says that oil prices could impact the Indian economy.as India is increasingly integrated with the global economy.
The report appreciated the impact of GST on the formalisation of the economy and for making economic growth sustainable.
As one of the fastest growing emerging and open economies.global growth impacts the Indian economy.With global growth picking up.it is expected to infuse further momentum into the Indian growth story.
The World Bank Report is an endorsement of economic reforms undertaken by the Modi govt.and India’s growth is expected to have a salutary impact on the global growth scenario as well.
Piyush Goyal Meets 110 Professionals from 54 Firms for Station Redevelopment Program
The Union Minister of Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal met with Architects and Planners to discuss issues related to Station Redevelopment Program. A total of 110 professionals from 54 firms participated in the meeting.
The Minister was categorical that in view of the financial condition of Indian Railways and the paying capacity of public, there is a need for finding solutions that meet the aspirations of travelling public at low cost.
“We shall work on providing innovative solutions tailored to uniquely Indian conditions. I am confident that we will eventually be in a position to share the expertise in other countries as well,” Goyal said at the meeting.
This consultation meeting held with Architects was aimed to understand the issues and difficulties in participating in development/redevelopment of railway stations. The discussions were held on a wide range of issues from the difficulties that the architects and planners are facing in participating in station redevelopment program; modifications required in various documents guiding the station design; general direction that station redevelopment program shall take.
Goyal assured the participants that as desired the empanelment will be made in more categories; the name of the Architect will be included in the plaque. The Minster also directed IRSDC to take up capacity building of Consultants as Station Development is as yet a new field.
Goyal also stated that young architects and planners shall also be involved in the station development program and they may be engaged in smaller/simpler stations.
It may be recalled that Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC), as the nodal agency, is taking up redevelopment of around 600 major Railway stations across the country. Towards this objective of stakeholders’ consultation, an idea competition for development of 635 stations of Indian Railways, ‘SRIJAN’ (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint ActioN) has been launched at MyGov portal since 26.01.2018.
This mammoth exercise will kickstart the program worth Rs 1,00,000 crore investments and requires extensive involvement of engineers, planners, architects and other professionals besides the contractors and developers. To prepare the plans for stations, IRSDC has taken up multiple initiatives:
- International Design Competition for 3 Railway Stations, namely, Nagpur, Gwalior and Baiyappanhalli
- IRSDC has empanelled experienced consultants with multi-disciplinary teams
- IRSDC has also invited professionals to take initiatives and share their vision for railway stations for a token fee and in response, eleven architects have registered themselves for development of 74 railway stations.
- SRIJAN (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint Action), an Ideas competition has been launched by IRSDC, where users and young minds are invited to put across their ideas for implementing “Low-Cost High Visibility” items at station areas. Around 450 entries have been received so far.
The last date for submission of entries in this competition is 26.03.2018. The winners will get certificates and worthy ideas will be incorporated into the designs.
IRSDC has also launched competition through Mygov portal for IRSDC logo and tagline. The winner for logo competition will get a cash prize of Rs 75,000/-and for tagline also will get Rs 75,000/-. The last date for submission of entries is 26.3.18.
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