Opinion

Below the line

| Updated on September 19, 2021

What’s in Zomato’s kitchen?

Zomato has never failed to deliver on a market buzz ever since it initiated plans to hit capital market. However, this time around the company did not disclose the resignation of Gaurav Gupta, co-founder of Zomato, on September 14, to the exchanges. But what surprised many is the lethargic attitude of exchanges, which did not seek clarification from the company immediately. According to market watchers, exchanges which send notices to many companies even on price rises for a couple days were quiet for four days and sent notice only on September 17.

But the response from the company was even more bizarre. The clarification said: “Gaurav Gupta is not designated as a key managerial personnel under the Companies Act, 20I3 and the Listing Regulations. He was neither a promoter nor was holding any equity shares in the company.” Zomato further added, “Therefore, his exit from the Company does not warrant any disclosure under the Listing Regulations”.

But marketmen point out that the DRHP filed by the company has clearly stated him as one of the key managerial personnel.

SEBI chief Ajay Tyagi recently expressed displeasure over companies treating the disclosure requirements just as a check-box exercise in their annual reports and added that their disclosures on material events were inadequate.

“In several cases, articles appear in the media which are followed by stock exchanges seeking clarification on the same from the companies and the companies then replying to the exchanges. This is surely not the right way,” Tyagi had said. May be as first line regulators time has come for exchanges to be more vigilant.

After Nipah search...

Sometimes people’s searches on the web also create fear among the public. Coastal Karnataka faced one such scare last week. One person from Karwar in Uttara Kannada district, who works in Goa, developed a fever and headache after getting drenched in rain. After searching the internet, he feared he had contracted Nipah and approached a hospital in Karwar. However, the medical authorities there referred him to a private hospital in Udupi district. From there, he was sent to the Dakshina Kannada district hospital in Mangaluru. Though he showed no symptoms of Nipah infection, the health authorities decided to send his blood, urine and nasal swab samples to Pune and Kozhikode labs to rule out doubts. The scare among the public abated once a negative report from the labs came in.

Clap your hands

Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in his media briefing to announce relief package for the telecom industry did something unusual and novel.

He started the briefing by acknowledging the tireless work done by all the supporting staff of telecom companies during two phases of pandemic and asked everyone including all the media persons to clap for them. Of course, stating that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi desired so.

Normally during such announcements, focus is more on sector/companies, its contribution to the economy, but acknowledging the workers’ efforts has been appreciated by one and all. However, one grouse remains. Why isn’t the Centre providing direct assistance to CPSUs such as BSNL and MTNL?

Reading between the lines

The CA Institute seems to have worked hard on its point-by-point response to the NFRA consultation paper on ‘Enhancing Engagement with Stakeholders’. The 120-page response was the longest and the most detailed among all the 17 respondents on the consultation paper. However, given the hostilities between the two regulators, the CA Institute’s comments were listed as the last entry by NFRA while making the respondents’ responses public. This prompted a CA Institute member to cheekily tell a hack that this fact showed where ICAI stood in the scheme of things for NFRA! Now, chartered accountants, adept at uncovering financial statements gaps, seemed to have also gained expertise in reading between the NFRA lines, remarked this hack. Our Bureaus

Published on September 19, 2021

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