Mr Murthy and his protégé Nandan Nilekani have always been clever about managing their image. Consider this anecdote of 2005, just two years after the Narayana Murthy Committee had submitted its report to the Securities & Exchange Board of India
NR Narayana Murthy’s return as executive chairman is seen as so positive for Infosys that any talk about the serious breach of good governance norms in the manner of his return, or the appointment of his son, is seen as needless criticism. Well, Mr Murthy and his protégé Nandan Nilekani have always been clever about managing their image. Consider this anecdote of 2005, just two years after the Narayana Murthy committee had submitted its report to the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Janardhan Kothari of Kolkata, wrote to me expressing his ‘shock’ and ‘surprise’ that NRN Murthy, as an independent director of NDTV Limited had not attended a single board meeting in his first year. I forwarded the email to Mr Murthy asking if it were true. His response: “That is right. I am guilty. I had told them that my diary gets full a year in advance. I do not cancel appointments once made. That is why I could not attend the meetings. This year, I have attended all the meetings.”
This candour hides the fact that this is a complete violation of the corporate governance code, which places enormous responsibility on independent directors. Couldn’t Mr Murthy have joined the NDTV board a year later? Well, because NDTV was going public and having Mr Murthy on the board before its initial public offering (IPO) would help it extract a good premium from investors. NDTV repaid this debt in full when Mr Murthy was under serious attack from a vengeful HD Deve Gowda (during his son HD Kumarswamy's regime in Karnataka).
“We have taken number of measures to curb the import of gold. The government will never say its end of it,” Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan said
Within days of hiking import duty on gold, Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan today said government could take more steps to curb demand for the precious metal amidst widening current account deficit (CAD).
“We have taken number of measures to curb the import of gold. The government will never say its end of it,” he told reporters in New Delhi.
Last week the government increased import duty on gold to 8%, the second such hike within six months.
The monthly gold imports have averaged 152 tonnes in first two months of the fiscal as compared to an average of 70 tonnes seen in the 2012-13 financial year.
High gold imports is one of main reasons behind high CAD, which touched a record high of 6.7% of GDP in December quarter of last fiscal. The CAD is likely to be in the range of 5% for the 2012-13 fiscal. As per experts a CAD of 2.5% is sustainable.
The high CAD in turn affects rupee value. In early trade, the rupee hit life-time low of 57.54 against the US dollar today.
Rajan further said India has a large CAD, and currencies of emerging markets with large CAD have depreciated more.
“We are undergoing period of volatility (in rupee)... Obviously in the government, we don’t like to see volatility... This could be temporary phenomenon,” he said.
He, however, said government does not have in mind any specific level at which the rupee should be.
The chief economic advisor in the finance ministry also said the medium term measures taken by the government in past will continue and help rupee to find a level consistent with the sustainable growth.
There is a need to check this spreading menace of renting of NCFM certificates. The most unfortunate part of this renting activity is the reflection of corruption which has spread its tentacles all across the country
NSE Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) is an online testing and certification program in financial markets. NCFM offers various educational programs in various areas of finance including capital markets, banking, portfolio management, currency, etc. But the criticality of these statements lies in the fact that some of the certifications started by the National Stock Exchange (NSE) have regulatory significance also.
As per NSE guidelines for membership which is available on its website, it is distinctly mentioned that “At any point of time the applicant has to ensure that either the proprietor/one designated director/partner or the Compliance Officer of the applicant entity should be successfully certified either in the Securities Market (Basic) Module or the Compliance Officers (Brokers) Module or the relevant module pertaining to the segments wherein membership of the Exchange has been sought.i.e.
The guidelines obviously state the significance of these four certificates. For me the significance of these certificates lies in the fact that I have myself passed more than 10 modules of NSE certifications at different stages and helped many people pass this test. However, what pains me is the fact that these certificates which are supposed to be the benchmark for membership are openly available for renting in the market. There are various advertisements put on websites such as www.quickr.com ,www.olx.com, etc. People publishing these advertisements have the courage to publish the advertisements without any fear. One advertisement from Madurai states that it has wide network of 300 plus sub-brokers and also provides best rate for both buyers and sellers. Many other people are fearless, as well. They share their contact details without any fear. In some of the advertisements, rates are also mentioned which ranges from Rs1,500 a month to Rs3,000 a month.
There are some groups also created on Facebook’ which facilitate transactions in NCFM certification. Those people who have qualified NCFM certificates openly offer their certificates for rent. This process of renting NCFM certification goes beyond individuals and it is obvious that some middlemen are also involved in this process.
But the most important question is how these certificates are getting used if they are being rented. Does this mean that the people using NSE terminals at various locations are not themselves certified and hence need to use these borrowed certificates? If this happens to be case, then isn’t it a clear-cut violation of NSE guidelines? Though modus operandi of using these certificates which are obtained through online renting is not well known, this is how it supposedly works. If a person wants to start a broking firm and does not have a certificate, he borrows it from some person who already has these certificates and shows him as part of the broking organization in some way or other.
It is indeed surprising and shocking that such incidents are happening across country. There is a need to check this spreading menace of renting of certificates. The most unfortunate part of this renting activity is the reflection of corruption which has spread its tentacles all across the country.
(Vivek Sharma has worked for 17 years in the stock market, debt market and banking. He is a post graduate in Economics and MBA in Finance. He writes on personal finance and economics and is invited as an expert on personal finance shows.)