Part 1 of this series is CVC says corruption charges against Ramesh Abhishek are “serious and verifiable”. This is Part 2.
I have written ad-infinitum about the C-Company, its minions, and how they have captured the Finance Ministry and consequently the financial policies of the country. You cannot fathom my disappointment at the inaction of the concerned officials, who despite being presented with copious proof continues to look the other way. If India had cleaned up the improprieties committed by various companies and presented a clear and transparent functioning of Equity markets, there would have been a flood of foreign capital by now. Hong Kong is in a meltdown and India would have been the perfect destination for the investors. But India continues to flounder as SEBI, even in instances of black and white malfeasance (e. g. National Stock Exchange co-location scam), passed such diluted orders full of loopholes that it gets struck down on appeal. This cosmetic exercise may fool some, but smart investors know better. India must get its act together. And for that it needs to know what skillset a SEBI Chairman must possess.
As the chairman of FMC, Abhishek did not attempt even the basic job of a regulator.
Essentials required to be a SEBI Chairman
I had written about six months ago on what the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) must have as a Chairman. It must be a specialist, with intimate knowledge of the new technologies such as Fintech, High-Frequency Trading, Derivatives, and its effects on markets, etc. In other words, someone from the business sector with a proven track record of honesty and integrity. But instead one finds the same C-Company minions being considered. How many babus know where Fintech is headed? Isn’t one Co-location scandal enough to convince the government that SEBI needs to be smarter than the entities it oversees? Lateral induction of specialists has been talked about for years now, yet there is no action on the ground.
Things remain the same…
Candidates with questionable conduct are in the fray. Take the case of Ramesh Abhishek. I can list any number of reasons on why he should not be the SEBI Chairman but here are a few salient ones:
- A regulator is meant to be fully impartial and unbiased, essential traits Ramesh Abhishek completely lacks. His record as Forward Markets Commission (FMC) proves this.
- As FMC head he miserably failed. His blatant favouring of big brokers and their misdeeds in the NSEL payment crisis is a shining example of this.
- Way back in 2015, as the FMC chairman, Abhishek completely ignored an investigation report forwarded to him by the then Additional Commissioner of Police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha that revealed how these big brokers rampantly indulged in KYC manipulation of their clients, forgery, miss-selling and misrepresenting of NSEL products to their clients, and also offered Wealth Management Services (WMS) and Portfolio Management Services (PMS) schemes through their NBFCs, in complete violation of FMC’s regulatory norms.
- Later, even the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in its investigation report has held the brokers responsible for the same misdeeds as reported by the EOW.
- As the chairman of FMC, Abhishek did not attempt even the basic job of a regulator. If such a person is appointed the chief of a prudent regulator like SEBI, the country will be grossly compromising the institutional integrity of the market watchdog.
Even before COVID hit, India’s economy was in a tailspin. When new ideas surface and need investment, the Stock Market is the place to go. But instead, the same approach of a generalist trying to do a specialist’s job is being considered. Jobs are not low-hanging fruit – all these have disappeared.
Please see below the interim report submitted by EOW’s Rajvardhan Sinha:
 NSEL crisis: Top brokers holding government to ransom – Jul 2019, NewsIntervention.com