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Ban Private Audiences
In those days of import compression anti dumping duties were imposed on PTA to protect DMT and Ambani had his men in Finance Ministry to leak an impending revision in customs tariff so that he could open Letters of credit to escape the tax. Even pre dated LCs were willingly opened by Public Sector Banks. BJP also stood by Dhirubai for Nusli Wadia is the grand son of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Dhirubai is son of Bharat Matha. Wadia sought the help of media baron Ramnath Goenka who used his financial wizard Gurumurthi to write a series of articles on the misdeeds of RIL. ambani even bought a news paper called Business and Political observer to contain the negative publicity. It is even alleged that Ambani went to meet Goenka with a Gun to stop publishing defamatory articles else shoot him. At that time, even mercenaries were employed to eliminate Nusli Wadia.the needle of suspicion was on Dhirubai. Another intelligent Businessman came to lime light at that time called Kapal Mehra of Orkay silks. He went broke later on. Arvind should now fear for his life for no one has dared to take on RIL after passing away of Goenka who had a huge media following and back up. Not even Gurumurthi is interested in writing about these scandals and the other reformist journalist Arun Shourie also does not write about corporate scandals.
What is the solution to break this politician businessman nexus? It is widely believed that RIL had a say in the shifting of Jaipal Reddy from his ministry to an obscure ministry. The stand off between Oil Ministry and RIL is new to India for in the past, RIL has always gotten away with all its arm twisting of the government with friendly people at the helm of affairs.
Supreme Court should lay down a rule that persond holding public office should not grant private audience to industrialists for in such face to face meetings only such deals are struck. It is the duty of the Parliament to enact an enabling legislation or better still such a private audience should be subjected to CVC scrutiny. If such an audience is given, it should be telecast live . Some time ago, Kerala Chief Minister set up cameras in his office so that any one could log on and see for himself what the CM is up to at a particular moment.
Industralists meet people in Public office to air their grievances on a policy or taxation issues. There are avenues in the present set up to have grievance redressal with bureaucrats designated to do acts of de bottlenecking. Only if all such legitimate avenues have not yielded results, they should seek meeting with the policy makers and the competent authority from whom they did not get justice should also bepresent in the meeting to present his own view point. Any decision taken at variance with the implementing authority should be transparent and subject to review by CVC.
Industrialists on their hand should realise that the people elected to govern have a larger mandate and accountability to people. They could lobby throgh their associations and petition the authorities avoiding one to one meeting with the policy makers. Their auditors should also have access to such issues and they should also declare that they have not violated the spriit of democracy by cornering un due benefits to them at the cost of exchequer. It is this method, that IAC should seek to evolve a consensus among all political parties across the spectrum. Arvind could do it.