Former Indian finance minister faces bribery accusation

Former Indian finance minister faces bribery accusation
India’s economic intelligence agency has accused an opposition Indian National Congress party leader of conspiring with a Mauritius-based firm to illegally obtain money for his son’s company while serving as the country’s finance minister in 2006. (AFP)
Updated 25 October 2018

Former Indian finance minister faces bribery accusation

Former Indian finance minister faces bribery accusation

NEW DELHI: India’s economic intelligence agency has accused an opposition Indian National Congress party leader of conspiring with a Mauritius-based firm to illegally obtain money for his son’s company while serving as the country’s finance minister in 2006.
Judge O.P. Saini on Thursday said he would rule on Nov. 26 whether to formally charge P. Chidambaram in the case.
His son, Karti Chidambaram, has already been named a defendant in the money-laundering case involving 11.6 million rupees ($157,750).
Chidambaram denies the allegation and accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of pursuing a political vendetta.
Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party came to power after defeating a Congress party government in 2014.
Corruption in business deals is rampant in India.
The Enforcement Directorate filed a report to the court marking the completion of its investigation of the senior Chidambaram. It accused him of exceeding his powers as finance minister by approving an $800 million investment proposal by the Mauritius-based company.
It said he should have sought the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs because rules only permitted him to approve investments of up to $80 million.


Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
Updated 6 min 7 sec ago

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

Quake death toll at 73 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters
  • More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake
  • On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard

JAKARTA: At least 73 people have been killed after an earthquake struck Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province on Friday, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, the latest in a string of disasters to hit the Southeast Asian country.
More than 820 people were injured and over 27,800 left their homes after the 6.2 magnitude quake, BNPB spokesman Raditya Jati said. Some sought refuge in the mountains, while others went to cramped evacuation centers, witnesses said.
Police and military officers have been deployed to crack down on looting in several parts of the region, Jati added.
An emergency response status, intended to help rescue efforts, has also been put in place for two weeks, he said.
Dwikorita Karnawati, the head of Indonesia’s meteorological, climatology and geophysical agency (BMKG), has said that another quake in the region could potentially trigger a tsunami.
Straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is regularly hit by earthquakes. In 2018, a devastating 6.2-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck the city of Palu, in Sulawesi, killing thousands.
Just two weeks into the new year, the world’s fourth-most populous country is battling several disasters.
Floods in North Sulawesi and South Kalimantan province each have killed at least five this month, while landslides in West Java province have killed at least 29, authorities said.
On Jan. 9, a Sriwijaya Air jet crashed into the Java Sea with 62 onboard.
East Java’s Semeru mountain erupted late on Saturday, but there have been no reports of casualties or evacuations.
Dwikorita said extreme weather and other “multi-dangers” of hydrometeorology are forecast in the coming weeks.