A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir granted one more day to Sahara which sought additional time to make a statement on when it would return Rs27,000 crore invested by people in its two companies
In 2008, SEBI declared that art funds are collective investment schemes as per its regulations issued in 1999. In 2012, it dismissed a complaint filed by an investor against Osian's Art fund saying that the case does not fall under its purview. What exactly is happening?
Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) are rampant across the country but the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which regulates CIS is unable to spot them. But when it does a flip flop over the most celebrated recent case of CIS, on wonders does it really intend to apply the CIS rules seriously. Indeed, the way it has changed its stance over the years regarding regulation of art funds, especially Osian's Art Fund, makes one wonder, whether the market regulator is under some kind of amnesia.
You wonder what will be SEBI’s next step and when it will take that step. After all, the regulator is not accountable to work within a specific timeframe. Osian’s Art Fund was a three-year close-ended fund launched in June 2006.
It raised Rs102.40 crore from 656 unit-holders across 39 cities, most of them high net-worth individuals (HNIs). The scheme used to declare NAVs showing 30% returns, but when it was time for redemption, the money wasn’t forthcoming. The scheme was wound up on 10 July 2009.
The turn of events, change in stance by SEBI in the Osian's case makes one wonder, what exactly is happening. Is the market regulator under amnesia so much so that it does not even remember its own regulations, advisory and stance taken earlier? Or are Osian’s lawyers too ‘persuasive’?
In the last eight years when Wen Jiabao was the Chinese premier, nothing worthwhile was achieved. On the other hand, China has been asserting its rights on Indian territories as well other regions in Asia. India must be on guard before it is too late
In the last few weeks, China has been on the front pages of newspapers all over the world, mostly for wrong reasons.
The outgoing premier, Wen Jiabao, who had met Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh fourteen times in the last eight years, has reassured the latter that the new Chinese leadership will give ‘importance’ to ties with India! Jiabao will be demitting office by March next year.
It is a different story altogether that in the last eight years when Jiabao was the premier, nothing worthwhile was achieved. Though there were no border skirmishes (as such of the 1962 scale), Indian airspace was violated several times; repeated claims were made on Arunachal Pradesh and Indians from this part of the country were “treated as persons not requiring visa to visit China” and so on. Initially, they were refused visas to visit China because they were carrying Indian passports.
In fact, when Dalai Lama visited the area, there were ‘protests’ and considered this as an ‘unfriendly’ act! Now the latest documentary onslaught involves the Chinese citizens visiting India have maps of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin being shown as parts of China. It may be recalled that Aksai Chin has been illegally occupied by China.
In an immediate retaliatory move, when the Indian Embassy in Beijing issued visa to Chinese nationals visiting India, these very areas are shown as Indian territory. So far, China has not responded to this counter move! The passports of the visiting Chinese nationals will show the conflicting maps, regardless.
To complicate the situation internationally further, even the disputed areas in South China Sea, claimed by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan, are shown in these maps as ‘Chinese’ territory.
In fact, on some of these islands, China has even started construction work! American leadership has not sent the 7th fleet to the region!
And the latest brazen move in this regard is the announcement by the Hainan Provincial authorities that they will exercise the right to inspect vessels on the South China Sea, even if they are outside the 22km international sea border!
Except for verbal protests and suitable utterances by some western spokesmen that these “unilateral actions” are ‘unacceptable’, and expect the Chinese leadership to settle the matter ‘peacefully’, as we go to the press, nothing really has happened so far....
None of the claimants like Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines or Taiwan can match China in any way. Besides, the trade involved with China is too big a prize to lose and yet protest they must, which is what they can do at best!
Closer at home, Pakistan is a puppet and a close ally of China. And the Chinese encirclement of India is actually tightening. The all-weather port work at Baluchistan is in full swing; the Myanmar military government is heavily dependent upon Chinese support; Bangladesh has economic ties as does Sri Lanka in many ways.
Read more India and China, here.
Set against these Chinese moves, the Indian government has not been able to gather much real support from these nations.
One cannot venture even to speculate what might happen if there is a break-away situation in Baluchistan or the Taliban from Afghanistan makes sudden moves in that area. How would the Chinese react?
In any case, India must now be on guard also against the strong possibility of China trying to occupy or making intrusions in the uninhabited islands in the Andaman group.
Chinese assurances are not worth the paper they are written on—if they write!
Read more from the same writer.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)