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Send SHO for six months’ training to learn law and manner of investigation: Madhya Pradesh HC directs DGP

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While mincing absolutely no words on the shoddy manner in which the investigation is done by the police, the Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court in a recent, remarkable, robust and rational judgment titled Rajveer Singh Jatav Vs State of MP in MCRC-18696-2022 delivered as recently as on April 25, 2022 directed the DGP of the State to send a police officer for a training for not less than six months to learn the law and the manner of investigation. It must be stated here that the Court passed the said directions pursuant to its observations on a regular basis that the police was filing charge-sheet only on the basis of confessional statements made by the accused persons without making any effort to collect any substantive evidence against them. It must be also stated here that there is no harm in making it mandatory for all police officers and so also constables to spend a minimum time of at least six months to learn the intricacies of law because if this is done, it will help the litigants to a great extent in registering their cases along with other works involving police.

Needless to say, time and again we keep hearing also that police refuses to lodge FIR and it is possible to prevent such unpalatable situations by training police more in this direction along with other spheres as directed by the Court. If this is done mandatory for all policemen then there will be no need for Courts to pass such order as we see in this leading case. There is just no harm in training policemen professionally so that they are better placed in learning law and the manner of investigation.

To start with, the single Judge Bench comprising of Justice GS Ahluwalia of Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court first and foremost puts forth in the beginning of this learned judgment that, “Shri Ram Kishor Sharma, Counsel for the applicant. Shri P.P.S. Vajeeta, Counsel for the State. Case Diary is available. This second application under Section 439 of CrPC has been filed for grant of bail. The applicant has been arrested 14.02.2022 in connection with Crime No.494/2012 registered at Police Station – Dehat, Distt. Bhind for offence under Section 392 of IPC, Section 25/27 of Arms Act and Section 11/13 of MPDVPK Act.”

Simply put, the Bench then states that, “It is submitted by Shri Sharma that this is a repeat application for grant of bail. First application of the applicant was dismissed by order dated 08.03.2022 passed in M.Cr.C. No.10793/2022 with an observation that the applicant has been produced after 10 years on execution of production warrant as he was in jail in connection with some other offence and Test Identification Parade has not been conducted and supplementary charge-sheet has also not been filed. It is submitted that now charges have been framed against the applicant. There is no evidence against the applicant except the confessional statement made by the co-accused under Section 27 of the Evidence Act. Accordingly, Shri Vajeeta was directed to explain as to why the Test Identification Parade of the applicant has not been conducted.”

As it turned out, the Bench then discloses that, “It was replied by Shri Vajeeta that although a letter has been written to the Tahsildar, but he has not given any date for holding the Test Identification Parade. On further query, it was pointed out by Shri Vajeeta that the letter has been written yesterday only. Therefore, Shri Vajeeta was directed to explain as to why the police was sleeping over the matter and why they did not try to hold the Test Identification Parade at the earliest in spite of the fact that the first application of the applicant was rejected only on this ground on 08.03.2022, then Shri Vajeeta replied that SHO, Police Station Dehat Kotwali, District Bhind would reply the same. Accordingly, Shri Rambabu Singh Yadav, SHO Dehat Kotwali, District Bhind, who was outside the Court, was called by the State Counsel.”

As we see, the Bench then points out that, “It is submitted by Shri Rambabu Singh that in fact, the applicant was not arrested and he was produced in execution of production warrant and now this matter has come to his cognizance that the Test Identification Parade has not been conducted and, accordingly, on 24.04.2022 a letter has been sent to the Tahsildar, Bhind and Test Identification Parade would be conducted.”

Quite glaringly, the Bench then states that, “Reply given by Shri Rambabu Singh was shocking. He was not ready to understand the implication of his submission that “now the matter has come to his cognizance”. First of all, this Court is unable to understand the meaning of “cognizance” in the language of the Investigating Officer. However, when a specific question was put to Shri Rambabu Singh as to when he came to know about the fact that the applicant is lodged in different jail, then he submitted that on a departmental letter issued by the Director General of Police, State of MP, Bhopal regarding execution of all pending warrants of arrest, a drive has been initiated and only in compliance of said drive, whereabouts of the applicant came to his knowledge and, accordingly, production warrant was issued by the Court. He fairly conceded that issuance of departmental letter by the Director General of Police, is in compliance of the order passed by this Court.”

Nonetheless, the Bench then also observes that, “Be that whatever it may. Since Shri Rambabu Singh Yaddav, SHO is not ready to understand the meaning of production warrant, then he was specifically asked as to whether the production warrant was issued on the application made by the police or by the co-accused, then he fairly conceded that the application for issuance of production warrant was made by the police. He also stated that in the month of December, 2021 he had come to know that the applicant is detained in different jail. Thereafter, again Shri Rambabu Singh was not ready to understand the meaning of production warrant, then again a specific question was put to him as to whether the accused was produced by the police in execution of the production warrant or not, then he fairly conceded that the accused was produced by the police in execution of production warrant. However, he maintained that since the charge-sheet against the applicant under Section 299 of CrPC was filed, therefore, there was no need to file any supplementary charge-sheet. Accordingly, Shri Rambabu Singh was asked with regard to the admissibility of confessional statement made by the accused thereby disclosing the name of the co-accused. With great hesitation, it was submitted by Shri Rambabu Singh that the said information given by the co-accused is not admissible and he fairly conceded that after the arrest or production of the applicant before the Trial Court, further investigation with regard to the identification was necessary, which was not done.”

Most forthrightly, the Bench then minces no words to hold that, “Initially, reply was given by Shri Rambabu Singh that only now it has come to his cognizance that the Test Identification Parade is necessary as the applicant has been arrested. Specific question was put to him that when the applicant had filed an application for grant of bail before the Sessions Court, then whether the case diary was produced before the Trial Court or not, then it was fairly conceded that the police case diary was submitted along with the Kafiyat sent by him. Thus, it is clear that the SHO, Police Station Dehat Kotwali District Bhind was aware of each and everything, but still he was sitting tight over the matter. That shows a lack of legal knowledge as well as lack of efficiency on the part of SHO. This Court is regularly observing that the police is filing the charge-sheet only on the basis of confessional statement made by the accused persons without making any effort to collect any substantive evidence against them. On earlier occasion also, this Court had marked the orders to the Director General of Police to take corrective measures in the matter, but the things have not improved and, therefore, it is clear that at least Shri Rambabu Singh, SHO, requires an immediate training of law as well as manner of investigation.”

As a corollary, the Bench then directs that, “Accordingly, the Director General of Police, State of MP, Bhopal is directed to immediately send Shri Rambabu Singh Yadav, SHO Police Station Dehat Kotwali, District Bhind for a police training to learn the law as well as the manner of investigation. Training must be of at least six months and not less than that. The training shall be conducted in any PTS of the choice of Director General of Police. The Director General of Police, State of MP, Bhopal is also directed to submit his report before the Principal Registrar of this Court within a period of 15 days.”

Truth be told, the Bench then stipulates that, “So far as the present case is concerned, it is true that the offence was committed in the year 2012 and the applicant has been produced before the Trial Court in execution of production warrant but there is no substantive admissible evidence against the applicant and nothing has been recovered from him. Under these circumstances, this Court is left with no other option but to grant bail to the applicant. Since the applicant is the resident of Dholpur (Rajasthan) and it appears that he has a criminal history and three criminal cases have been registered against him and he was detained in jail in connection with some other criminal case, therefore, he cannot be released on bail except on furnishing stringent condition. Accordingly, without commenting on the merits of the case, the application is allowed. It is directed that the applicant shall be released on bail on furnishing cash surety of Rs.1,50,000/- (Rupees One Lac Fifty Thousand) to the satisfaction of the Trial Court/Committal Court to appear before the Court on the dates given by the concerned Court.”

While adding a caveat, the Bench then remarks that, “This order shall remain effective till the end of trial but in case of bail jump, it shall become ineffective.”

For sake of clarity, the Bench then hastens to add noting that, “It is made clear that single default in appearance before the Trial Court, or in case of registration of new offence, this bail order shall automatically come to an end and the cash surety so furnished by the applicant shall automatically stand forfeited without any reference to the Court.”

Be it noted, the Bench then mandates that, “In the light of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court in the case of Aparna Bhat and others Vs. State of M.P. Passed on 18.03.2021 in Criminal Appeal No. 329/2021, the intimation regarding grant of bail be sent to the complainant.”

Finally, the Bench then while concluding directs in the final para of this notable judgment that, “Let a copy of this order be given to Shri Vajeeta for communicating the same to the Superintendent of Police, Bhind latest by tomorrow, who in his turn, shall immediately communicate to the Director General of Police, State of MP, Bhopal for necessary information and compliance. CC as per rules.”

To conclude, it merits no reiteration that the single Judge Bench of Gwalior Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising of Justice GS Ahluwalia has made everything quite clear as we can see also while taking a cursory glance at this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment. The Hon’ble Court has thus very rightly directed DGP to send the SHO for six months training to learn law and manner of investigation. There is no harm in doing so and no one will become small by undergoing such training. But I very strongly feel that this should not be done in isolation in a rare case like this but all police personnel must definitely be made to strictly undergo such professional training mandatorily and be taught that they have to conduct themselves totally in the most professional manner. Of course, the directives delivered by none other than the 3 Judge Bench of the Apex Court comprising of the then CJI YK Sabharwal, Justice CK Thakker and Justice PK Balasubramanyan in Prakash Singh & Ors vs Union of India & Ors in Writ Petition (Civil) 310 of 2006 should not just gather rust as we are seeing even after 16 years and must be implemented strictly in totality. Only then will we be able to see a sea change in police way of functioning which affects all of us and our nation as a whole also! Let’s hope so most fervently!

As we see, the Bench then points out that, “It is submitted by Shri Rambabu Singh that in fact, the applicant was not arrested and he was produced in execution of production warrant and now this matter has come to his cognizance that the Test Identification Parade has not been conducted and, accordingly, on 24.04.2022 a letter has been sent to the Tahsildar, Bhind and Test Identification Parade would be conducted.”

Finally, the Bench then while concluding directs in the final para of this notable judgment that, “Let a copy of this order be given to Shri Vajeeta for communicating the same to the Superintendent of Police, Bhind latest by tomorrow, who in his turn, shall immediately communicate to the Director General of Police, State of MP, Bhopal for necessary information and compliance. CC as per rules.”

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Policy&Politics

Govt extends date for submission of R&D proposals

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The Government has extended the deadline for submission of proposals related to R&D scheme under the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The R&D scheme seeks to make the production, storage, transportation and utilisation of green hydrogen more affordable. It also aims to improve the efficiency, safety and reliability of the relevant processes and technologies involved in the green hydrogen value chain. Subsequent to the issue of the guidelines, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy issued a call for proposals on 16 March, 2024.

While the Call for Proposals is receiving encouraging response, some stakeholders have requested more time for submission of R&D proposals. In view of such requests and to allow sufficient time to the institutions for submitting good-quality proposals, the Ministry has extended the deadline for submission of proposals to 27th April, 2024.

The scheme also aims to foster partnerships among industry, academia and government in order to establish an innovation ecosystem for green hydrogen technologies. The scheme will also help the scaling up and commercialisation of green hydrogen technologies by providing the necessary policy and regulatory support.

The R&D scheme will be implemented with a total budgetary outlay of Rs 400 crore till the financial year 2025-26. The support under the R&D programme includes all components of the green hydrogen value chain, namely, production, storage, compression, transportation, and utilisation.

The R&D projects supported under the mission will be goal-oriented, time bound, and suitable to be scaled up. In addition to industrial and institutional research, innovative MSMEs and start-ups working on indigenous technology development will also be encouraged under the Scheme.

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Policy&Politics

India, Brazil, South Africa to press for labour & social issues, sustainability

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The Indian delegation also comprises Rupesh Kumar Thakur, Joint Secretary, and Rakesh Gaur, Deputy Director from the Ministry of Labour & Employment.

India, on Thursday, joined the G20’s two-day 2nd Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting under the Brazilian Presidency which is all set to address labour, employment and social issues for strong, sustainable, balanced and job-rich growth for all. India is co-chairing the 2nd EWG meeting, along with Brazil and South Africa, and is represented by Sumita Dawra, Secretary, Labour & Employment.

The Indian delegation also comprises Rupesh Kumar Thakur, Joint Secretary, and Rakesh Gaur, Deputy Director from the Ministry of Labour & Employment. India has pointed out that the priority areas of the 2nd EWG at Brasilia align with the priority areas and outcomes of previous G20 presidencies including Indian presidency, and commended the continuity in the multi-year agenda to create lasting positive change in the world of work. This not only sustains but also elevates the work initiated by the EWG during the Indian Presidency.

The focus areas for the 2nd EWG meeting are — creating quality employment and promoting decent labour, addressing a just transition amidst digital and energy transformations, leveraging technologies to enhance the quality of life for al and the emphasis on gender equity and promoting diversity in the world of employment for inclusivity, driving innovation and growth. On the first day of the meeting, deliberations were held on the over-arching theme of promotion of gender equality and promoting diversity in the workplace.

The Indian delegation emphasized the need for creating inclusive environments by ensuring equal representation and empowerment for all, irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic background. To increase female labour force participation, India has enacted occupational safety health and working conditions code, 2020 which entitles women to be employed in all establishments for all types of work with their consent at night time. This provision has already been implemented in underground mines.

In 2017, the Government amended the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, which increased the ‘maternity leave with pay protection’ from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for all women working in establishments employing 10 or more workers. This is expected to reduce the motherhood pay gap among the working mothers. To aid migrant workers, India’s innovative policy ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ allows migrants to access their entitled food grains from anywhere in the Public Distribution System network in the country.

A landmark step in fostering inclusion in the workforce is the e-Shram portal, launched to create a national database of unorganized workers, especially migrant and construction workers. This initiative, providing the e-Shram card, enables access to benefits under various social security schemes.

The portal allows an unorganized worker to register himself or herself on the portal on self-declaration basis, under 400 occupations in 30 broad occupation sectors. More than 290 million unorganized workers have been registered on this portal so far.

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Policy&Politics

India to spend USD 3.7 billion to fence Myanmar border

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India plans to spend nearly $3.7 billion to fence its 1,610-km (1,000-mile) porous border with Myanmar within about a decade, said a source with direct knowledge of the matter, to prevent smuggling and other illegal activities. New Delhi said earlier this year it would fence the border and end a decades-old visa-free movement policy with coup-hit Myanmar for border citizens for reasons of national security and to maintain the demographic structure of its northeastern region.

A government committee earlier this month approved the cost for the fencing, which needs to be approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, said the source who declined to be named as they were not authorised to talk to the media. The prime minister’s office and the ministries of home, finance, foreign affairs and information and broadcasting did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Myanmar has so far not commented on India’s fencing plans. Since a military coup in Myanmar in 2021, thousands of civilians and hundreds of troops have fled from there to Indian states where people on both sides share ethnic and familial ties. This has worried New Delhi because of risk of communal tensions spreading to India. Some members of the Indian government have also blamed the porous border for abetting the tense situation in the restive north-eastern Indian state of Manipur, abutting Myanmar.

For nearly a year, Manipur has been engulfed by a civil war-like situation between two ethnic groups, one of which shares lineage with Myanmar’s Chin tribe. The committee of senior Indian officials also agreed to build parallel roads along the fence and 1,700 km (1,050 miles) of feeder roads connecting military bases to the border, the source said.

The fence and the adjoining road will cost nearly 125 million rupees per km, more than double that of the 55 million per km cost for the border fence with Bangladesh built in 2020, the source said, because of the difficult hilly terrain and the use of technology to prevent intrusion and corrosion.

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Policy&Politics

ONLY 2-3% RECOVERED FROM $2-3 TN ANNUAL ILLEGAL TRADE THROUGH BANKING: INTERPOL

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However, Stock highlighted the enormity of the challenge, noting that between 40% and 70% of criminal profits are reinvested, perpetuating the cycle of illicit financial activity.

In a press briefing held on Wednesday, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock unveiled alarming statistics regarding the extent of undetected money laundering and illegal trade transactions plaguing the global banking network. Stock revealed that over 96% of the money transacted through this network remains undetected, with only 2-3% of the estimated USD 2-3 trillion from illegal trade being tracked and returned to victims.

Interpol, working in conjunction with law enforcement agencies and private financial sectors across its 196 member countries, is committed to combating the rising tide of fraud perpetrated by illicit traders. These criminal activities encompass a wide spectrum, including drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms dealing, and the illicit movement of financial assets.

Stock emphasized the urgent need to establish mechanisms for monitoring transactions within the global banking network. Currently, efforts are underway to engage banking associations worldwide in setting up such a framework. However, Stock highlighted the enormity of the challenge, noting that between 40% and 70% of criminal profits are reinvested, perpetuating the cycle of illicit financial activity. The lack of real-time information sharing poses a significant obstacle to law enforcement agencies in their efforts to combat money laundering and illegal trade.

Stock underscored the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in exacerbating this problem, citing its use in voice cloning and other fraudulent activities. Criminal organizations are leveraging AI technologies to expand their operations and evade detection on a global scale. Stock emphasized the importance of enhanced cooperation between law enforcement agencies and private sector banking groups. Realtime information sharing is crucial in the fight against illegal wealth accumulation.

Drawing inspiration from initiatives such as the “Singapore Anti-Scam Centre,” Stock called for the adoption of similar models in other countries to strengthen the collective response to financial crimes. In conclusion, Stock’s revelations underscore the pressing need for concerted action to combat global financial crimes. Enhanced cooperation between public and private sectors, coupled with innovative strategies for monitoring and combating illicit transactions, is essential to safeguarding the integrity of the global financial system.

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Policy&Politics

FM defends Atal Pension Scheme, highlights guaranteed returns

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman defended the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) against Congress criticism, asserting its design based on choice architecture and a guaranteed minimum 8% return. She emphasized the scheme’s opt-out feature, facilitating automatic premium continuation unless subscribers choose otherwise, promoting retirement savings. Sitharaman countered Congress allegations of coercion, stating the APY’s guaranteed returns irrespective of market conditions, supplemented by government subsidies.

Responding to Congress’s claim of scheme misuse, Sitharaman highlighted its intended beneficiaries – the lower-income groups. She criticized Congress for its alleged elitist mindset and emphasized the scheme’s success in targeting the needy. Sitharaman accused Congress of exploiting vote bank politics and coercive tactics, contrasting it with the APY’s transparent framework. The exchange underscores the political debate surrounding social welfare schemes, with the government defending its approach while opposition parties raise concerns about implementation and efficacy.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s robust defense of the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) against Congress criticism highlights the ongoing debate over social welfare schemes in India. Sitharaman’s assertion of the APY’s design principles, including its opt-out feature and guaranteed minimum return, underscores the government’s commitment to promoting retirement savings among lower-income groups. The Atal Pension Yojana, named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was launched in 2015 to provide pension benefits to workers in the unorganized sector. It aims to address the significant gap in pension coverage among India’s workforce, particularly those employed in informal and low-income sectors. The scheme offers subscribers fixed pension amounts ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000 per month, depending on their contribution and age at entry, after attaining the age of 60. Sitharaman’s response comes after Congress criticism alleging the APY’s inefficacy and coercive tactics in enrolment.

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh described the scheme as poorly designed, citing instances of subscribers dropping out due to unauthorized account openings. However, Sitharaman refuted these claims, emphasizing the APY’s transparent and beneficiary-oriented approach. The finance minister’s defense focuses on three key aspects of the APY: Choice Architecture: Sitharaman highlights the opt-out feature of the APY, which automatically continues premium payments unless subscribers choose to discontinue.

This design element aims to encourage long-term participation and ensure consistent retirement savings among subscribers. By simplifying the decision-making process, the scheme seeks to overcome inertia and promote financial discipline among participants. Guaranteed Minimum Return: Sitharaman underscores the APY’s guarantee of a minimum 8% return, irrespective of prevailing interest rates. This assurance provides subscribers with confidence in the scheme’s financial viability and incentivizes long-term savings.

The government’s commitment to subsidizing any shortfall in actual returns further strengthens the attractiveness of the APY as a retirement planning tool. Targeting the Needy: Sitharaman defends the predominance of pension accounts in lower income slabs, arguing that it reflects the scheme’s successful targeting of its intended beneficiaries – the poor and lower-middle class. She criticizes Congress for its alleged elitist mindset and suggests that the party’s opposition to welfare schemes like the APY stems from a disconnect with the needs of marginalized communities. Sitharaman’s rebuttal also addresses broader political narratives surrounding social welfare policies in India.

She accuses Congress of exploiting vote bank politics and coercive tactics, contrasting it with the transparent and inclusive framework of the APY. The exchange underscores the ideological differences between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress, with each side advocating for their vision of social welfare and economic development. In addition to defending the APY, Sitharaman’s remarks shed light on the broader challenges and opportunities facing India’s pension sector.

Despite significant progress in expanding pension coverage through schemes like the APY, the country still grapples with issues such as financial literacy, informal employment, and pension portability. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach involving government intervention, private sector participation, and civil society engagement.

As India strives to achieve its vision of inclusive and sustainable development, initiatives like the APY play a crucial role in promoting economic security and social equity. Sitharaman’s defense of the scheme underscores the government’s commitment to addressing the needs of vulnerable populations and ensuring their financial well-being in the long run.

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Economic

Regulatory steps will make financial sector strong, but raise cost of capital

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India’s financial system regulator, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is demonstrating a serious commitment to improving governance and transparency at finance companies and banks, with the RBI’s recent measures aimed at curtailing lenders’ overexuberance, enhancing compliance culture and safeguarding customers.

While the global ratings firm has appreciated the RBI’s “diminishing tolerance for non-compliance, customer complaints, data privacy, governance, know-your-customer (KYC), and anti-money laundering issues”, it has cautioned that increased regulatory risk could impede growth and raise the cost of capital for financial institutions. “Governance and transparency are key weaknesses for the Indian financial sector and weigh on our analysis. The RBI’s new measures are creating a more robust and transparent financial system,” says S&P Global Credit Analyst, Geeta Chugh. “India’s regulator has underscored its commitment to strengthening the financial sector. The drawback will be higher capital costs for institutions,” Chugh cautions.

The RBI measures include restraining IIFL Finance and JM Financial Products from disbursing gold loan and loans against shares respectively and asking Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL) to stop onboarding of new customers. Earlier in December 2020, the RBI suspended HDFC Bank from sourcing new credit card customers after repeated technological outages. These actions are a departure from the historically nominal financial penalties imposed for breaches, S&P Global notes.

Besides, as the global agency points out, the RBI has decided to publicly disclose the key issues that lead to suspensions or other strict actions against concerned entities and become more vocal in calling out conduct that it deems detrimental to the interests of customers and investors. “We believe that increased transparency will create additional pressure on the entire financial sector to enhance compliance and governance practices,” adds Chugh. The global agency has also lauded the RBI’s recent actions demonstrating scant tolerance for any potential window-dressing of accounts.

These actions include the provisioning requirement on alternative investment funds that lend to the same borrower as the bank finance company. Amidst the possibility of some retail loans, such as personal loans, loans against property, and gold loans getting diverted to invest in stock markets and difficulty of ascertaining the end-use of money in these products, S&P Global underlines the faith of market participants that the RBI and market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, want to protect small investors by scrutinizing these activities more cautiously.

On the flip side, at a time of tight liquidity, the RBI’s new measures are likely to limit credit growth in fiscal 2025 (year ending March 2025). “We expect loan growth to decline to 14 per cent in fiscal 2025 from 16 per cent in fiscal 2024, reflecting the cumulative impact of all these actions,” says Chugh. The other side of the story is that stricter rules may disrupt affected entities and increase caution among fintechs and other regulated entities and the RBI’s decision to raise risk weights on unsecured personal loans and credit cards may constrain growth. Household debt to GDP in India (excluding agriculture and small and midsize enterprises) increased to an estimated 24 per cent in March 2024 from 19 per cent in March 2019. Growth in unsecured loans has also been excessive and now forms close to 10 per cent of total banking sector loans.

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