DailyPost 2160

From Watergate to Coalgate, gate by its very perception has become synonymous with scams in public perception. If you add gate to any word, it becomes self-explanatory. It is because this public connect with gate that every big scandal generally gets gate suffixed to it. While scandals have with own life cycle and one gives way to the other, most of times, some or other keeps playing in the public space. But when it companies; creation, management, operations, links, murky dealings by a large number, shares, stock market positioning and the like, there is feeling that the company gate is always on.

The business companies which form the bulwark of any economy and also the harbingers for technological change and wealth creation in every field, have their own dirty underbelly, which keeps showing up in the public domain quite a few times. Nearly every single scandal finally comes to the doorsteps of one company or the other. Companies are even created for scandals. The political scandals too finally end up with politicians who business enterprises, in way they should not, and / or supporting companies which are both against the rules and detrimental to governance. While religion and politics cocktail can have its own limitations, political and business has turned out to be a deadlier cocktail of nemesis.

Clean promotors are a rarity is what the Indian businesses have conclusively proved. If the cross connections of the directors of companies are unraveled, the business history and geography will be totally different. Skeletons will start tumbling out of the cupboard. With that if we get into the shareholding pattern, the picture would get much clearer. Every single company is dealt with as a single entity, providing them the comfort of law, while they work in unison favoring and indulging in all sorts of business practices which are unhealthy and at times blatantly illegal. The Indian business fraternity has developed its own ways to simultaneously and comply.

There is no beginning or an end to this underbelly, it keeps working as efficiently as it can, ceaselessly and relentlessly. It shows up even in internationals journalistic / whistle-blowers’ / hacking revelations. The Pandora and Paradise Papers have thrown off the lid of the dirtiest it all – the dark web of the shell companies. One is ready to do anything to supposedly save tax. The funder / investor game has been companies undoing over and over again. The start-up ecosystem has now been at the same receiving end. Effortless financial euphoria is our curse, we have seen it over and over again. Over to the stock market and we the have the co-location criminal game and the generic problem of all time, NPA, the bottomless banking due diligence, the less said the better. A large-scale financial cleansing is a must for this country.

Sanjay Sahay

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