Partner’s Speak

Dear All,

India Inc, in 2011 went from a high growth phase to the current slow down and from a heady stock market to a crumbling one. India Inc is grappling with myriad issues such as steep increase in interest rates, status quo on reform agenda, government’s indecisiveness due to increased media vigilance and overarch of judiciary, global meltdown etc., As a result of this, the GDP growth estimates are lowered to 7.5%. India Inc feels that worst is not yet over. As per FICCI survey the global meltdown may snowball into a full-blown crisis in 2012 which will continue to impact our exports and FDI. Let us hope that the Indian economy will weather domestic and global challenges in 2012, emerge as a strong economy and get backs to GDP growth rate of 9%.

The another visible sign of sentiment is the trust deficit among various stake holders such as Government, Regulators, Corporates, Civil Society etc., which has to be rebuilt to take any agenda forward. I think the Government should play a constructive role and walk that extra mile to regain the confidence and trust of all stake holders.

Government has introduced the much awaited and talked about Lokpal Bill, 2011 in the winter session of the Parliament. The logjam between the Government and Team Anna continues and there is no consensus even among political parties on critical issues covered under the Lokpal Bill. Let us hope India will have an effective Lokpal as soon as possible.

The Government has introduced the following two importants bills in Parliament to improve its governance mechanism and gain the confidence of the citizens:

The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 — The Bill seeks to confer on every citizen the right to time bound delivery of specified goods and services and provide a mechanism for grievance redressal. The Bill makes it mandatory for every public authority to publish a Citizen’s Charter within six months of the commencement of the Act.

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 – The Bill seeks to protect whistleblowers, i.e. persons making a public interest disclosure related to an act of corruption, misuse of power or criminal offence by a public servant. The Bill aims to balance the need to protect honest officials from undue harassment for protecting persons making a public interest disclosure.

Companies Bill 2011

A lot has been discussed and deliberated over last one decade with regard to revamping of the existing Companies Act. The Companies Bill has been introduced so far three times (2003, 2008 & 2009) and withdrawn. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance deliberated and gave its comprehensive recommendations on Companies Bill 2009 (which is withdrawn now). The Companies Bill, 2011 has been drafted incorporating the same recommendations on Companies Bill 2009 and was introduced in Lok Sabha on 14th December 2011, and the same is expected to be referred to the Standing Committee. Of the 170 recommendations made by the Committee on the Companies Bill 2009, 162 have been accepted and as the same committee presently continues in office it should not take up much of Parliament’s time. Government expects to pass this bill in the budget session. The notable changes include at least one woman director on the board of certain class of companies, mandatory spending on corporate social responsibility, maximum tenure for auditors and independent directors, rotation of auditors, class action suits, setting up of National Company Law Board Tribunal etc.,

Wishing You a Wonderful Year, where Dreams become a Reality, Success becomes Routine & Happiness a Habit, Happy New Year, 2012.

With kind regards,
CS G. Raghu Babu

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