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Was the IT Raid on Raghav Bahl an act of political vendetta? #BusinessTitBits

Akhilesh Bhargava

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It was last Thursday that founder of The Quint Mr. Raghav Bahl was subjected to what he calls a ‘gruelling’ Income Tax Raid. His offices were searched, along with his residence for straight 23 hours. His wife and mother as he says were confined and were not allowed any access to mobile phones or any kind of communication or the need to take advice from consultants. The Income Tax department on the other hand says that the raid was for Bahl’s bogus claims of long-term capital gains worth Rs. 100 crores, which he clearly denies. The question is, was this raid on him a political vendetta? Mr. Akhilesh Bhargava, Business Editor of HW Business and Finance shares his insights on the matter.

Business Tit-Bits

Siphoning of Sun Pharma Funds

Akhilesh Bhargava

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The importance of whistleblowers has been increasing recently in corporate India. Taking the example of Chanda Kochhar and how powerful and influential she was and the fact that she was brought down by a whistleblower, we can get a glimpse as to their importance. Another example is Dilip Shanghvi, MD of Sun Pharma. He was thought to have a squeaky clean reputation until the recent letter by a whistleblower revealed transactions involving a conflict of interest, related party transactions, auditors being compromised and other charges against him, his brother in law and his company. Related party transactions to the tune of Rs 5800 crore have been alleged. What Independent Directors, Auditors and Rating Agencies failed to point out, the whistleblower letter did. FIIs and DIIs are pulling out of the company and the price of the stock is plummeting in response to this.

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Business Tit-Bits

The Burden of Infrastructure NPAs

Akhilesh Bhargava

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As the country is the midst of an NPA crisis, we find that resolution are hard to come by. The only resolutions are from the Steel and Metal sector. The sector which forms the crux of the NPA crisis in India is the Infrastructure sector which accounts for roughly 25% of total NPAs. Infact, so serious are the NPAs in this sector that 1/4th of loans given turn bad and total around 2.5 lakh crore Rs. Loans given in the period 2009 to 2012 were found to be the worst. Infrastructure loans include loans given for construction of roads, bridges, highways, ports and power sector loans. Corruption, government not living up to its end of the deal and banks rushing to give loans without going through boanfides of the firm are the main reasons. The infrastructure sector bad loan problem has turned into a chronic one and no resolution worth talking about has taken place.

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Business Tit-Bits

The Diamond Cheats

Akhilesh Bhargava

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We take a look into the glamorous diamond industry in India, said to be the largest in the world. Being a very close-knit one in terms of belonging to a particular community and often only within family members, the scope for manipulation becomes easy. The diamond industry has become tainted with bogus exports, money laundering practices, massive NPAs, round-tripping of money etc. Names such as Jatin Mehta, Mehul Chokshi and Nirav Modi have become synonymous with the industry and hence banks are now restricting their exposure to the sector and implementing tougher conditions for lending money to the beleaguered diamond traders.

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