Executive Overreach and Make in India can’t co-exist

I’ve been a fan of Suhel Seth’s critiquing for a long time now and his ‘An Open Letter to the PM,’ is just another straight talk on issues that matter is the way to go about things. While he commends the govt. for delivering a budget not driven by populist measures and selective pandering, he also calls into question the handling of a few critical issues.

The government failed to check the JNU issue which became a bigger talking point than even the ‘Make in India’ week. Developments at JNU and the parliamentary response to it dominated discourses, debates and leaves more questions than answers.

Suhel calls out to the PM to instil at the core of his governance the spirit of the Constitution while putting out that nobody is above the law. And then, he delves into an area not many would dare to dive into — not publically at least — executive outreach.

It’s in fact worrying to know that the government was able to go beyond its own scope of powers in the forced merger of NSEL-FTIL. Nothing can be more disconcerting for a nation that looks to set new entrepreneurship benchmarks to have to deal with executive overreach.

Not only is the NSEL-FTIL merger enforced, it saddles FTIL’s 64,000 shareholders with a whopping Rs. 5,600 cr liability. It is already being viewed as unfair by foreign companies like Blackstone GPV Capital. Given the attention it has in the investor world, the govt. would do more harm than any good by imposing its decision on the issue.

Equally importantly, the govt is positioning itself into an uncomfortable corner — how else do you explain Jignesh Shah — seen by many as a good example of the Make in India objective — being under the punitive lens even while the matter is sub judice.

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