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Cabinet clears Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill to target big defaulters

Government will confiscate properties of fugitives who fled the country, said FM Jaitley

Agencies  |  New Delhi 


The Cabinet today cleared Economic Offenders Bill to target big defaulters.

Corporate Affairs Minister said the new bill will apply for economic crime of over Rs 1 billion.

"Courts may declare anyone if he flees the country to avoid arrest in a scheduled offence where arrest warrant has been issued. All assets, not just proceeds of crime, will be confiscated of an offender fleeing the country and the offender cannot pursue any civil case," said Jaitley.

"Economic Offenders Bill 2018 has been brought to confiscation of assets of a fugitive, including Benami assets. There will also be the provision to confiscate those assets outside India but co-operation of that country will be needed," he said.

New and old cases of persons who have fled the country to avoid prosecution will be covered by the new Economic Offenders Bill, said Jaitley.

The Cabinet also approved setting up of the Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), which will be an independent regulator for the auditing profession.

The decision comes against the backdrop of various auditing lapses in the banking sector, including the Rs 127-billion fraud at Punjab Bank.

"The will act as an independent regulator for the auditing profession which was one of the key changes brought in by the Companies Act, 2013," said.

The jurisdiction of the -- which would be an oversight body for auditors -- would extend to all listed companies as well as large unlisted public companies.

The regulator would have a chairperson and three full-time members. Besides, there would be a secretary.

Jaitley said would help in improving foreign and domestic investments as well as support globalisation of business by meeting international practices.

First Published: Thu, March 01 2018. 18:53 IST