Girish Sant Memorial Annual Lecture, 2015

The Third Girish Sant Memorial Annual Lecture titled "Accountable Regulators: A Key Requirement for Good Governance & Consumer Protection" was delivered by Ms. Sucheta Dalal in Pune on February 14th 2015.

The talk focused on issues related to financial sector regulation and how it is not tuned to protect the interests of small investors. It will draw from Ms. Dalal’s work with financial consumers, which shows how numerous products are launched without enough information or on false promises, leading to losses, stock manipulation and at times even insider trading. It will also touch upon the changing international discourse on financial regulation following the 2008 financial crisis and the increasing evidence from behavioural economics, which refutes the ‘rational consumer’ approach towards regulation. Considering such issues ranging from regulatory governance to implementation framework, the talk will also propose alternatives for making the regulators more accountable and protecting the interests of the small investors.

Transcript of the talk is available here. A recording of the lecture can viewed below:

Ms. Dalal is an acclaimed financial journalist, who has worked with several of India’s leading newspapers, including the Times of India and Indian Express groups at senior levels. She is widely known for her investigative reporting on the 1992 securities scam, CR Bhansali scam and the exposé of Enron. Among her works is the best-selling book "The Scam: From Harshad Mehta to Ketan Parekh" which was published in 1993 and last revised in 2005. She served as a member of the primary market advisory committee of SEBI and of the Investor Education and Protection Fund, Government of India. She has been accorded many awards including the Chameli Devi Award for outstanding journalism (1993) and Femina Woman of Substance Award (1993). Based on her outstanding investigative journalism spanning two decades, she was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006. Presently she is Managing Editor at Moneylife - a personal finance magazine that she co-founded in 2006 to serve the interests of consumers and investors. In 2010, she co-founded Moneylife Foundation to spread financial literacy.



Memorial Activities

Girish Sant Memorial Annual Event, 2021

A Panel Discussion on

Energy: Taxes and Transition

The energy sector, and in particular, fossil fuels are a significant contributor to the overall revenue of India’s central and state governments. For example, the GST Compensation Cess, which started in 2010-11 with a cess of ₹50/ton on all coal has kept increasing over the years and now stands at ₹400/ton. Further, governments have traditionally depended heavily on taxes from petrol and diesel, and recent increases in excise and VAT further demonstrate this. Roughly 60-70% of the final prices of diesel and petrol respectively are made up of taxes. The total contribution to public tax revenue from taxes on coal, petroleum & natural gas, and electricity sectors amounted to about ₹6 lakh crores out of a total revenue of about ₹34 lakh crores in 2018-19. The taxes on energy sectors contributed 25% of the total tax revenue of the Centre, and 13% of the total tax revenue to the states. Since many energy sources are outside GST, these taxes cannot be offset. Moreover, since the bulk of the tax revenues from the energy sector accrue from fossil fuels, the inevitable energy transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables and electric mobility will have a significant impact on public tax revenues.

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