Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Corporate Governance- Government of India style

With elections to come, the government is on an overdrive to get mileage. Advertisements are being released by PSU companies with photos of Sonia Gandhi, the PM, some Minister et al. Whether it is ONGC or SAIL, they all find some reason to splash the photos. The common thread is Sonia (as head of UPA) and Manmohan Singh.
As a listed PSU, how can these companies justify spending money on any advertisement which has Sonia Gandhi? She is not a minister nor is she formally anyone relevant to the working of the company. Of course, we all know that Sonia runs the country and the rest of the dummies are the faces on the rubber stamp.
How can these companies justify these adverts? How with the CAG (the statutory government audit board) permit these?
If PSU companies are forced to do this by the UPA which wants to highlight its 'achievements' during its five years of misrule, what right does any one in the ministry have to speak about governance?
There should be a strong case for these PSU's to recover the monies spent on these advertisements to recover them from UPA or from the Board of Directors of the companies concerned. Why should shareholders have to bear the burden of advertisements which do not give any value to the company?
This validates my stand that whilst most PSU's have great businesses, it is foolish to become a shareholder. The ones in power will make sure that very little reaches the shareholders.

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