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Merger & Acquisitions to get a fillip as CCI facilitates e-filing

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Industry regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday said that it will facilitate electronic filing of documents, including approvals of merger and acquisition (M&A) proposals, from October 1.

“CCI will enable e-filing from October 1,” CCI chairman Ashok Chawla said at a CII conference in Mumbai.

He also said the CCI and its role would come into sharper focus in the current year which is expected to witness a 20 per cent increase in mergers and acquisitions as compared to the previous year.

“The CCI is not a quasi-judicial body, but a body of experts, and this sets apart its role as a regulator. It is not just about ensuring compliance, but rather about ensuring right ‘behaviour’, of ensuring that compliance is done keeping the right ‘spirit’ in mind, and not just the text of the law,” he added.

The move assumes significance as it would help the regulator in faster disposal of M&A cases, whose numbers have been on an upward trend.

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Cricket board caught in a cleft stick as DDCA rejects Lodha commitee recomendations

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New Delhi: BCCI is divided as The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) rejects the recommendations of the Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha Committee on fair governance and accountability.DDCA thus becomes the only unit affiliated to the Indian cricket board to have rejected almost all the recommendations.

It was only expected of the DDCA to reject the recommendations lock stock and barrel when others state units have problems with certain portions of the comprehensive report prepared at the Supreme Court’s will.

The DDCA has the temerity to say that so long as its directors- it is registered under Companies Act- do not feel that there is any justification to change the system for the sake of uniformity, it will remain as it is. Thus, it also wants to continue with the obnoxious proxy voting system.

The Delhi association has a problem with every clause and does not want to change as it has perfected the art of circumventing the existing laws/rules/regulations over the years.

The apex court did not stop at accepting the committee’s report suggesting structural reforms in the functioning of the board in a clean transparent manner. It is firm on its implementation.

Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla gave little room for the board to vacillate in implementing the recommendations without any reservations, saying since the committee held extensive deliberations with all stakeholders there should be no difficulty in accepting them.

The cricket board did not say anything immediately and had a long pause before murmurs started from state associations about the practical difficulties they will face in complying with the report.

The court kept the door ajar by asking the board to file its response before the next hearing on March 3. It also said in no uncertain terms that if the board has any problems in implementing the recommendations it will ask the Lodha Committee to ensure the implementation!

After the court has made its intention clear, the board has been left with little scope for any manoeuvre unless the committee agrees to listen to its pleas and tweak some of the recommendations.

Two weeks after the Supreme Court missive, the board called a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Friday but did not take up a clause-by-clause discussion, saying that the state associations sent on their observations and the board have its own.

So the board decided to file an affidavit with its secretary explaining why some of the recommendations are unimplementable and at the same time asked the state units to do likewise on the clauses affecting their functioning.

The board is identifying the people who have fed the committee with some weird inputs and want to impress upon it that most of the people who deposed before it have been at it for a number of years.

The board officials may name some lawyers, former players and event management companies who they feel have a grouse against the board and used the opportunity to settle scores.

The board anticipated the turn of events and will now flood the court with a spate of affidavits expressing their points of view over the implementation of the report in toto.

They may cite hurdles in implementing the one-state-one-vote norm, age cap and term of office and a cooling off period between two terms, funding players’ associations and including franchise owners in the Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

However, the board will explain the issues that can crop up in changing its registration and amending its by-laws as it claims it can not dictate to the state units to change their constitutions. That’s the reason the states have been asked to file different affidavits.

Maharashtra, Mumbai and Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Gujarat and Baroda are unwilling to lose their voting rights and so are the Universities, Railways, Services, Cricket Club of India (CCI) and National Cricket Club (NCC).

Removing Services, Railways and Universities will in one stroke take away the government’s influence over the board to a large extent. These three votes invariably tilted the balance in the election. One can understand the CCI remaining as a voting member, but certainly not the NCC.

Mumbai and Saurashtra also do not want to lose their key officials, president Sharad Pawar, 75, and secretary Niranjan Shah, 71, respectively under the 70-year age cap.

Most of the state associations have also expressed reservations about a three-member selection committee saying it is well-nigh impossible for them to cover the entire country with more and more states joining the board. Strangely, this is one of the demands made for ages to remove regional bias.

The court stated that it could keep the Lodha panel alive so that it could help the BCCI overcome difficulties it might face in implementing the recommendations. Justice Lodha might become to the board what Justice Mukul Mudgal is for the DDCA!

Some senior office-bearers of the board are miffed at one-man-one-post norm as they do not want to lose their grip over their state associations which give them the clout to get on the board.

As is the case in this country, someone is already working to circumvent the recommendations just as a loophole in then sports minister Margaret Alva’s government guidelines permitted the czars of Indian sport to retain their control over the federations in some capacity after finishing their term as president/secretary/treasurer. Here, the Lodha Committee is clear that there has to be a cooling off period after one term in any capacity.

It will not be easy for the board and its affiliates to convince the Committee to dilute the report, but at the same time, it will find it difficult to implement.

The board is caught in a cleft stick! (Veturi Srivatsa, IANS)

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Competition brings out the best in any company and leads to innovation: Narayana Murthy

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

“Competition and regulation are the two mechanisms which can ensure that the “Invisible Hand” works to the advantage of the society,” said Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy today during an event.

During the keynote address at the 6th Annual Day Lecture on ‘Creating a Better India – Musings on Economic Governance Ideas for India’ organised by the Competition Commission of India,  Murthy said that competition brings out the best in any company and leads to innovation, new ideas, services and products.

Referring to the role of regulation, Murthy advocated for swift and fearless regulatory decisions. He stressed that trust and confidence in the regulators are important to attract more and more entrepreneurs to start businesses.

Within such system, he indicated five roles which the government has to discharge viz. unanimity of conviction and integrity of belief among all political parties that solution to the problem of poverty is through elimination of friction to businesses and entrepreneurs and by creating more jobs; translating this conviction by speedy action to ensure growth of the economy and creation of better jobs; creating an independent and meritocratic judiciary with up-to-date technology, and knowledge of modern, global judicial practices and judgements; introducing transparent and stable taxation policy; and lastly using tax money wisely and efficiently to make life better for the poor by investing in education, healthcare, nutrition and shelter.