Saturday, October 10, 2009

TRANSPARENCY IN OUR RULES.



In contrast to other large capital markets, the Indian market makes it all too easy for annual reports to be published many months after the financial year has ended. Since quarterly reports are un audited, do not contain a cash flow statement and a balance sheet.

Even do not provide consolidated numbers, the annual report is keenly awaited as it is the only document that gives a full picture of a company’s financial health. These practices have become very common if you remember how much time it takes to get the original hard copy of the Annual Report and by the time you get it is the turn of another annual report.

Companies with weak cash flows delay annual reports for sometimes 6, even 12 months after the year end by which time the market’s focus has moved on to the other things. Hence we happily jump on the corporate figures declared and take our decision of doing investment without actually reading or at least going through the papers. When we face problems in future we simply blame the system or the government.

Sebi allowed listed companies to send abridged annual reports to their shareholders. Companies, particularly those that had millions of shareholders, had been pressurizing the government to allow them to send only the salient features of the balance sheet, instead of the full report, to save on stationery and postage charges.

Shareholders can ask companies for the full balance sheet (then the company has to mandatorily send it).Can any body please tell me how many of you really called up the company and asked for the annual reports or and other financial reports. If we are the shareholders and our minority interest needs to be protected then where is the protection.

This process is reveals that who ever comes and tells what ever profit figures we jump on the sea from the boat with empty hands and don’t demand for any life saving boat. Among the details that an abridged annual report does not contain are statements on internal audit, director’s report and schedules of the balance sheet, none of which make the balance sheet bulky or cumbersome. Hence giving annual reports without supporting documents is meaningless.

Fantastically we are fooled by mere excuse of Wastage Of Paper. Moreover how Sebi approved this type of demand of the corporate India. We should understand that we are not doing business of selling pan and guthka to the investors.

The Indian law says Caveat Emptor: Let The Investor Beware. So what does the investor do? What is his rights before making investments in a company. Believe any ones words and do investment of his hard earned money. The global consulting firm, urges investors to read the auditor’s report in companies’ annual report very carefully and see whether any qualification exists that pertains to the figures in the balance sheet and profit and loss (P&L) account, along with changes to accounting policies .

If corporate India is making a journey towards Globalization then it should better pull up it socks .The regulator should regulate and not become a regulator in the hands of Corporate India. If Sebi itself forms rules which snatches the protection of the investors who will replace him and what is the fate of corporate India. So the conclusion which is drawn is this that India will continue like this as we have become habituated. So enjoy loosing money.

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