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| Updated on November 21, 2019

Role of independent directors

This refers to ‘Crucial role of a boardroom dissenter’ (November 22). The co-relation between a karta of an HUF and chairman of the board made interesting reading.

Coming to the role of independent directors, one issue that has gained currency in the last few years has been why they don’t express their concerns over some plan or the functioning of the company at the board meeting.

This may be due to the fact that in a promoter-driven company, any dissent by independent directors may not be taken constructively and they may even lose their position in the company.

So it boils down to the board as well as promoters creating a conducive environment, where dissent and criticism are allowed and not brushed under the carpet.

Bal Govind


PSU divestment

This refers to ‘Strategic sale in 5 PSUs’ (November 21). The government’s policy on public sector units was not clarified by the Finance Minister while announcing the strategic sale in five PSUs. The government should have simultaneously announced the starting of new PSUs since the present sale will bring in good proceeds.

The PSUs, in general, have performed quite well and some of them have even been seen as role models for private companies. In the case of loss-making units like MTNL, the government should have kept a close watch on its performance when it started to show losses and quickly taken corrective steps including revision of tariff if found necessary. It is not late even now.

The unit should be subjected to a comprehensive examination by an expert panel to find out the causes for the losses and suggest measures for making it a profit-making company.

TR Anandan


Lacunae in governance

Amidst the vigorous efforts to tackle NPAs, the revelation of ₹95,760 crore being ripped off from government banks in April-September reflects deep systemic disorder. The IBC was rolled out to sort things out but none factored in the time-frame of resolution, thus making the entire process ineffective. The focus of every segment of governance is on being seen to be doing something rather than on when, how and in what time-frame.

R Narayanan


IFS losing sheen

The recent trend of the IFS losing ground to the IAS as a career choice is alarming. IFS officers enjoy the privilege of global appointments along with diplomatic immunity — enjoyed only by a niche segment in bureaucratic circles. With the growing importance of geopolitics and trade bodies likes WTO, BRICS and RECP, an IFS officer’s career is now much more exciting. The External Affairs Ministry has not expanded much by establishing more embassies and consulates and hence the number of candidates designated for the IFS has hardly gone up.

Varun Dambal


Demonetisation effect

It was intriguing to learn that as per the latest income-tax data, quoted by the Finance Minister herself in the Rajya Sabha, close to half of the unaccounted cash seized during this fiscal was in ₹2,000 currency notes; it was more than 60 per cent in the previous two fiscals. Many experts and economists had criticised the government’s move to issue ₹2,000 notes (in lieu of the ₹1,000 note) as a part of its over-ambitious ‘demonetisation’ plan, intended to strike at the roots of black-money. Three years after the ‘fateful’ announcement, the government is on a slippery pitch. The then RBI Governor, Urajit Patel, too had reportedly advised the government against such a move. But unfortunately he was ‘conveniently’ sidelined owing to excessive optimism over the plan.

No wonder then that the government’s persistence with its ill-conceived stance seems to have backfired. It has reportedly advised the RBI to stop further printing of ₹2,000 notes even as the same have largely disappeared from the circulation amidst reports that this currency note too may be ‘demonetised’.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula, Haryana

Published on November 21, 2019

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