Below the Line

Updated on: Jun 12, 2022
TV Somanathan, Finance Secretary

TV Somanathan, Finance Secretary | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

Ratings firms roasted 

Credit rating agencies have been at the receiving end of all — companies (big and small), entrepreneurs and policy makers. At a recent event in Chennai, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan was asked about rating agencies and their work. His response was quick. Credit rating agencies have a perfect record of predicting a crisis after it has happened and an imperfect record of predicting things correctly, he said.

Rating agencies have some serious soul searching to do if the roaring applause to Somanathan's comment was any indication.

No front running please

Thanks to some yet to be proven adventurism by a few fund managers of a private fund house, the word ‘front running’ is now etched in the minds of SEBI officials over the last few weeks. So much so that when a hack in the capital this past week quizzed a top SEBI honcho, who played a key role in the order of co-lo scam, about who the next NSE chief was likely to be, pat came the reply: “Don’t expect me to do front running of news for your benefit”! This clearly caught the hack by surprise and was left fumbling for the next question.

‘Personal’ views 

A SEBI official, who was in the capital for an AZADI Ka Amrit Mahotsav event, started his address with a clever disclaimer: whatever he says were his “personal views” and not that of SEBI.

Reacting to this remark, someone from the audience murmured (bit loudly) as to why then did this SEBI official take the trouble of boarding a flight from Mumbai to land up in Delhi? Cheeky one this!

Protests in the past

On Friday, the country was surprised by protests across the country on remarks against Prophet Muhammad. But we have seen similar protests in the past, even for remarks or incidents occurring outside the country.

A similar protest took place in the country in 2012 against a US film that was considered “anti-Islam”. The protests took place continuously for a couple of days, starting on a Friday.

In one instance, the US Consulate General at Gemini Circle on arterial Anna Salai in Chennai was attacked by a mob. Soon after the prayers, a mob came in vehicles from suburban Porur and began throwing stones from the Anna flyover into the US Consulate.

Fortunately, the consulate had got wind of the things and all staff had left before the attack. The Consulate closed down for a week and the US even considered shutting it down for good. However, better sense prevailed and it decided to continue from where it is still functioning. On the other hand, Chennai police began posting policemen atop the Gemini flyover after the incident. It continues till today.

‘Fair’ suggestions for ICAI 

You must give it to Member of Parliament Arun Singh for his novel approach to commemorate the 75th year of India’s independence. As the chief guest at the CA Institute organised for celebrations of AZADI Ka Amrit MAHOTSAV under aegis of Corporate Affairs Ministry, Singh, who is a chartered accountant, had two requests for the ICAI.

First, he wanted the CA Institute to create a desk in all its offices across the country for the next 75 days where MSMEs could just walk in and get free assistance on compliance of statutory procedures and return filing under various laws. Second, he wanted ICAI to this year plant 75,000 trees across the country!

Both were novel suggestions and could prove to be a refreshingly different task for the ICAI, which is otherwise focused on mundane things like education, training, disciplinary action on members etc, quipped an observer at the event.

The two suggestions certainly seem to be a “fair” ask on the community that is in the profession of certifying “true and fair” view of financial statements, this observer noted. Our Bureaus

Published on June 12, 2022
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