SEBI deserves a specialist

A new India requires a new mind-set.

A new India requires a new mind-set.
A new India requires a new mind-set.

SEBI deserves to have a specialist with intimate knowledge of the new technologies such as 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. It is high time generalists like IAS Babus are kept out of posts such as these. A new India requires a new mind-set. These are the necessary conditions to prove good governance.

SEBI missteps

I am astounded by the missteps by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the last few years, especially in the cases involving the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Some of the actions handed down by the members are nothing short of diabolical, such as fining NSE Rs.1000 crores but not finding any fraud in the co-location scam, thus making it easy for NSE to appeal and stay the ruling in SEBI Appellate Tribunal (SAT). A day after the SEBI order, R Balakrishnan, one of the founders of CRISIL had predicted this[1]:

“These guys (NSE execs) have managed to fix everything – from postponing the investigation to meddling with it, with the SEBI order coming out to be in haste because of elections I don’t know; but what I can see is that this order is legally untenable. All it needs is one challenge and the SAT will throw it out lock, stock and barrel. If you see the order, there is one place where the SEBI member says that there is no evidence of any fraud…”

This charade has gone long enough. MoF must stop funding retired IAS officers for their personal defamation cases.

Some of the major honchos of NSE such as Ravi Narayan and Chitra Ramakrishna also got reprieves and have not paid a rupee to the government.

If there is a way an organization can set a low bar for itself and achieve it, it would be the SEBI. And this degradation of quality lies squarely at the door of the SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi. He has spectacularly achieved what Dr No could have only dreamt of – snatching defeats from the jaws of victory. And it is widely believed that he is angling for an extension. Irony died a thousand deaths.

Who else wants this post?

For sure the C-Company gang would be at the top of the list. P Chidambaram (PC) and his head minions (both recently retired from IAS – K P Krishnan and Ramesh Abhishek) would like to head SEBI so they can absolutely ensure that PC will go scot-free in the NSE co-location scam. It is a well-known fact that C-Company cabal is trying to encash its investment (benami of course, through blind shell corporations) in NSE, which would benefit the lot to close to Rs.30,000 crores (about $4.2 billion). This is not small change and every effort is being made to ensure that the head honcho and his entourage cash out on this.

Did PMO know what the Ministry of Finance (MoF) did?

All three have been sued by Jignesh Shah for Rs.10,000 crores for ruining his group of companies. Worse, the government is funding the legal expenses of Abhishek and Krishnan, even though this is a personal defamation case[2]. This begs the question if the government will also reimburse the former Finance Minister’s legal fees (which would most likely consist of a team with a few Congress stalwarts) and worse, if the trio were to lose, will the government foot the Rs.10,000 crore bill[3]? What were the babus thinking when they agreed to foot the expenses?

My book C-Company details all the skulduggery these minions did to decimate Shah[4]. And every time an article appeared in PGurus on this, I got a ton of invective-filled comments from paid sewer rats who seemed to belong to a troll factory. When challenged, they would slink back to the holes they came from.

Other Babus in the fray

Others who might be in the mix are the current secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCS) Injeti Srinivas, Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, Neeraj Gupta, Central Information Commissioner and C K Mishra, Secretary Environment, Forest and Climate Change[5].

Modi needs to act

This charade has gone long enough. MoF must stop funding retired IAS officers for their personal defamation cases. Action must be taken against those officials who ordered this. India is on the verge of attracting a lot of investment from the United States and it behoves it to keep the financial markets clean and transparent. SEBI must act swiftly and efficiently – it represents the interests of the shareholders, not the company owners, and should ensure that the markets are vibrant, transparent and robust. Will Modi act? Only time will tell.

References:

[1] SEBI ruling on NSE – Will the SAT strike it down? R Balakrishnan’s thoughtsMay 2019, PGurus.com

[2] DEA approves funding for former IAS officer, Ramesh Abhishek’s legal case against 63Moons TechnologiesDec 4, 2019, The Hindu Business Line

[3] Funding Chidambaram’s blue-eyed boys: Ramesh Abhishek, K P KrishnanDec 5, 2019, PGurus.com

[4] C-Company: How Jignesh Shah became the No.1 target of P. Chidambaram – Amazon.in

[5] Madhabi Puri Buch, 3 top bureaucrats in race to be next SEBI chairpersonFeb 11, 2020, The Hindu Business Line

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3 COMMENTS

  1. India is short talent. They learn above the job after 2-3 years of posting by then water has flown under the bridge. They retire to give lectures on the TV media channels

  2. Wishful thinking!PM istoo dependent on IAS babus who will lie on their back of you tell them to sit.. he is enormored by the intellects and domain experts..

    • Every day that goes without having the right Finance Minister is going to add more pain and suffering. Things were bad before Coronavirus – now India is lurching towards the abyss.

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