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The Doha Round Negotiations under the aegis of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is underway for the past decade or so since 2001. The Negotiations for the Uruguay Round which preceded the Doha Round were carried on for eight years between 1986 and 1994. The Doha Round is supposed to carry the agenda of trade liberalization further.

“Wal-Mart is crucial for America and India is crucial for Wal-Mart” – said the head of a consulting firm. And why not? American President Barack Obama is expected to raise the contentious issue of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail (FDI) during his visit later this week. As a prelude, Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke has already arrived in India to set the stage with a strong pitch for liberalizing this industry.

A tale of two regulators

The Bombay High Court recently dismissed a writ petition by an audit firm, challenging the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) to investigate the audit firm's role in the multi-crore Satyam accounting fraud. This once again raises questions about the functioning of regulators.

The case raises the issue of the power of one regulator (SEBI in this case) to regulate entities (the audit firm) which are ostensibly regulated by another regulator (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, or ICAI).

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