Editors Column

IT is baffling that legislation to ensure protection against data mining for commercial purposes in violation of privacy laws has not seen the light of day.

Recently, two listed companies saw the resignation of their auditors. That auditors get changed is not new. However, in this case, the outgoing auditors were among the big four auditing firms and they gave no reason for resigning suddenly — it made news straightaway.

In the past, Air India divestment was stalled either due to opposition by staff, political interference or lack of political will. Now, disinvestment of India’s national carrier has hit a hump due to lack of interest from bidders, non-viability and sentimental value.

The worst seems to be over on the economic front for India and the BJP-led Narendra Modi government at the centre. If the January-March 2018 numbers are anything to go by, the Indian economy seems to be on a sound footing and on revival mode at 7.7 per cent GDP growth, the fastest in the last seven quarters.

If the combined opposition parties were to pose a serious challenge to prime minister Narendra Modi, they will have to sink their differences, close ranks and put up a united front in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. That is the nub of the message from the results of the Lok Sabha and state assembly by-elections on Thursday.

Corporate lobbying per se is not a crime in several countries. In some countries like the US, lobbying is recognised by both the Senate and the Congress. However, lobbyists have no such luck in India where their work is illegal, illicit and considered unethical.

The permanent closure of the Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin may not be the right option that the Tamil Nadu government exercised even if it was on environmental considerations. The economic impact on Tamil Nadu is expected to be significant with thousands of families losing their livelihood and possibly coming out on the streets to demand work.

There are some capital market violations that regulators can do little about despite their best intentions. One such violation is ‘dabba trading’ or what was called ‘box trading’ that has been happening for over three decades. This is not the first time that the finance ministry has raised concerns about the practice.

There’s an element of truth in prime minister Narendra Modi’s accusation that his government’s campaign against corruption in the last four years had driven the opposition parties into an unholy alliance. His charge assumes significance because Modi is, in some ways, still an outsider to the Delhi darbar — its other name is Lutyens politics.

A massive vishing racket that defrauded lakhs of gullible individuals and families across states is a grim reminder of vulnerability of online financial transactions. It is interesting that the online racket has its veritable command centre in a remote village of Karmatar in Jharkhand and is run by school dropouts, uneducated and unemployed youth.