Thursday, 25 August 2016

TS gets SC snubs on sharing common assets

As per AP Reorganisation Act 2014, institutions listed in Schedule IX and X are to to be shared by AP and TS in proportion to population i.e. 58% to AP and 42% TS. Since all these institutions are located in common capital Hyderabad and city police control is with TS, Telangana forcibly occupied these institutions compelling AP to approach courts. While HC upheld TS arguments, SC was in agreement with AP arguments. Also SC Bench upheld the AP contention. SC also rejected review petition by TS.

Now TS has to pay AP about Rs. 50,000-70,000 crores in order to keep its full control of these institutions.

My View:
The hurriedly drafted AP Reorganization Act 2014 (drafted by UPA regime in consultation with KCR) was heavily favoring Telangana leaving AP helpless and vulnerable. 

It is a matter of shame that TS Govt files appeals against SC judgement in the form of review petition and curative petition etc with evil intention of delaying payments to AP as much as possible thus defeating the provisions AP Reorganization Act 2014, in letter and spirit.

BJP's Modi's central government nurturing secret ambitions in AP and TS turned Nelson's eye to AP's grievances thus forcing AP to approach SC for every small thing and resolution is painfully time consuming.

Telangana's KCR administration shamelessly interprets wrongly the provisions of the Act resorting to looting of legitimate rights of AP everywhere. Common Governor, despite responsible for fairness in between two states, simply keeps quiet and enjoys going on pilgrimage every month, is practically useless for protecting AP's interests.

AP deprived of its capital, revenue sources, opportunities, institutions is not getting its legitimate help from central government and is saddled with huge  budget deficit. With hostile TS administration for Andhra people living in Hyderabad city is nothing short of hell. On other hand TS is celebrating festivities with surplus cash, at the fall of hat.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

PV Sindhu - Olympic Silver Medalist - Felicitations and Controversies

The Olympic Silver Medal 2016 winner PV Sindhu is no doubt resident of Hyderabad all through. By birth & domicile she belongs to Hyderabad the capital of erstwhile AP and these days to Telangana. But her parents hail from a village in West Godavari dist and Vijayawada respectively. And nothing wrong for Andhraites felicitating this girl from Andhra as well.

Soon after Sindhu won the silver, Naidu quickly announced a Rs 3 crore cash reward for her along with a 1,000 square yard residential plot in AP's upcoming capital Amaravati. He also offered her Group I officer's post of special grade deputy collector in the AP government. On Tuesday an appointment order was kept ready for her, but Sindhu declined the offer. Telangana government biggies who had tweeted that a Rs 1 crore cash reward would be given to Sindhu upped the offer to Rs 5 crore soon after Naidu declared his intent to give Rs 3 crore.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Aug 22, 2016 presented a cheque of Rs. 5 Crore to Olympic Silver Medalist PV Sindhu. He also presented a cheque of Rs. 1 crore to her coach Pullella Gopichand. Speaking on the occasion, KCR said that the State Government would introduce a new Sports Policy to encourage young players like Sindhu.

A day after being felicitated by Telangana government, Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu was accorded a rousing welcome by the Andhra Pradesh government for her stupendous performance at Olymics 2016 at Rio. A huge crowd lined up the streets of Vijayawada to greet Sindhu as she alongwith her coach Pullela Gopichand embarked on another open-top-motorcade from Gannavaram Airport to Indira Gandhi Stadium. Later, Sindhu and Gopichand was felicitated at the stadium by AP CM Chandrababu Naidu with a cheque for Rs. 3 crores, a 1000 sq yds plot at Amaravati etc.

Some controversies in social media are:

“Sindhu belongs to Telangana. Our name is world famous now because of her but Andhra Pradesh wants to steal her from us. Why are they interfering when we are honoring her? They must respect our statehood and back away from our state’s assets”, said a minister in Telangana government.

Meanwhile, P. Gopichand’s comment that Sindhu belongs to India has been dismissed by both state governments saying that nobody is Kabir Khan here and this is not a Bollywood film.

My View:
We are all Indians first and Indians last. It doesn't matter whether we belong to AP or TS or any other state. We are all national assets. I see KCR & Co spitting venom for AP's claim of Sindhu which in any way is inconsequential. His mouthpiece "Namaste Telangana" spreading false stories that Sindhu's father hails from Adilabad is despicable. This is nothing but poisoning the minds T people against Andhra people till the truth comes out little later.

I have no problem in KCR & Co claiming Sindhu as Telanganaite. But in the same way almost all Hyderabadis with AP origin should get their legitimate right as Telanganaite. In the recent past several people in TS Govt service with Andhra origin were identified and thrown out of their jobs of few decades and they were compelled to approach court for grievance redressal. This is contradictory.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Discretionary powers usage must have meritorious explanation

My View:
In democracy, people holding powerful positions, especially in public administration, are vested with discretionary powers. That doesn't mean they can take whimsical decisions. Even while exercising such powers they are supposed to document reasons & circumstances for arriving at such decisions, with merit as the sole underlying reason and process followed is transparent and all eligible candidates were given chance to apply and compete. They can't dole out favors to relatives and friends which come under category of 'nepotism & corruption' and consequences will follow sooner or later.

Absence of 'no time limit' doesn't mean that speaker can sleep over the issue brought for his consideration for several years or forever. Tantamount to abuse of authority vested in him.

In this world, everybody is accountable to somebody, without any exception.
As systems mature, discretionary powers should be replaced with transparent processes.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

China development model & Foxconn exploits workers

The suicides by employees at Taiwanese company Foxconn’s plant in China are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative social effects generated by the Chinese development model are a lack of human rights, high levels of exploitation and few social welfare benefits. China has been called the world’s factory. It sits at the end of almost every production chain in the world. The shiny exterior of the Chinese model is supported by hundreds of millions of workers laboring under the pressures of streamlined production and cost cutting. Many of these workers are not registered as permanent residents in the cities where they are employed and therefore do not enjoy the benefits granted to city residents.

The many foreign companies and the local Chinese export industry are exploiting this national brand with the support of the Chinese national government, which is seeking to strengthen and enrich itself by increasing its income. China has set a modern working hour policy, but the minimum wage is very low. The legal weekly working hours in China are less than 40 hours, and monthly overtime is limited to 36 hours. This superficially advanced work hour policy is used as a skillful cover for the exploitation. The official minimum salary regulations are very rigid, and the adjustment never keeps up with inflation. Someone on the minimum wage working only regular hours will have a very low income. Although illegal, it is very common to work more than 100 hours of overtime per month. Taking Foxconn as an example, an ordinary worker only earns 950 yuan (US$139) per month. However, if they work 98 hours of overtime — 66 hours on weekdays and 32 hours on weekends — they can earn about 1,840 yuan. Under this wage system, there is a 1:1 ratio between salary and overtime pay. The monthly GDP per capita in Shenzhen, where the Foxconn plant is located, is 6,637 yuan and the average nominal professional salary is 3,233 yuan per month. Life for a worker would be very difficult if he or she didn’t work overtime.

Chinese workers really like to work over time and that they would be unhappy if there was no extra work to be done. This is the situation at Foxconn. Chinese workers would ask the capitalist for overtime work. They would even flatter their line managers or team managers for the opportunity. Because the minimum wage is so low, companies request employees to work overtime to boost productivity. For the same reason, employees are forced to do overtime, resulting in employees doing too much overtime.

Another factor is social insurance. Guangdong provincial authorities offer outsiders very meager social welfare benefits. Enterprises are requested to sign a legal work contract with employees. According to Chinese labor legislation, companies must sign contracts with their employees, and once such a work contract is signed, the employee must be given social insurance coverage. However, the Guangdong authorities are not strict in this regard. Shenzhen divides its social insurance into two categories. About 2 million residents registered in Shenzhen are given “city workers’ social security,” while over 10 million non-­registered residents are either “ghost workers” receiving no coverage, or outsiders covered by “general social security for non-resident workers.” There are big differences in the premiums and benefits between the two. Similar dual systems are used in Shanghai and other big cities. In other words, China’s residence system saves capitalists around the world from spending a lot of money on social benefits.

The social insurance issue illustrates the Chinese model’s biggest problem — the dual system that differentiates between urban and rural areas and does not extend residency status to out-of-town workers. It’s easy to see why this system cannot be changed. Once residency rights are deregulated, who would pay for the cities’ increased social welfare expenditure for the workers? The national government does not want to foot the bill and local governments only care about the interests of their own city and residents.

Some may say that Foxconn is a victim because it offers good benefits, pays high salaries and has people lining up to work for them, but why has misfortune struck this “exemplary high-tech company?” Let us not forget that it is an industrial behemoth sitting at the end of the global production chain. It imprisons and alienates workers and compels them to work overtime in an inhumane enclosed park where they loose sight of the purpose of their work. Foxconn slashes prices to win orders, but who should take responsibility for the resulting problems? Who designed the system? We should be looking to the foreign manufacturing companies of the packaging industry, the multinational capitalists that earn huge profits and the Chinese government that only cares about increasing its wealth and strength.

Read also China's Growth Model Flaws

Read also China's Ten Grave Problems

Read also Life of taxi driver in China

My View:
China has 150 million industrial workers and out of which 120 million (80%) are internal migrant workers who are not covered by any benefits, rights or welfare measures. These workers are compelled to work about 90 hours a week and are paid wages* just sufficient for living in dormitory like accommodation (typically 6 workers sharing a single room). China's growth and prosperity is attributable to exploitation of these workers, destruction of ecological assets and unbridled pollution levels. Ultimate prosperity of a nation will have large middle class as its corner stone. China's prosperity depending on lower class exploitation is unsustainable and sooner or later bubble is bound to burst. 

*Typically, a worker in China earns about half of nation's per capita income for his 100 hour weekly working without any access to benefits, rights & welfare.

Open War between SC & Centre

Times of India dated Aug 13, 2016
The Supreme Court's frustration over its eightmonth-long face-off with the Centre found expression in an open courtroom on Friday Aug 12, 2016 with a bench headed by India's chief justice T S Thakur launching a scathing attack on the government, accusing it of bringing the judiciary to a standstill by stalling the appointments of judges to high courts.

Earlier in October 2015, SC struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act. The NJAC was an attempt by the political class to end the apex court's monopoly over appointment of SC and HC judges.

"There are 478 vacancies in HCs, which is 44.3% of the total strength of judges. HCs have 4 million cases pending. The entire system has collapsed. By the time an appeal can be heard, the accused would have already served a life sentence,“ the CJI told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.

The CJI gave Rohatgi a list of 74 names sent by the collegium for appointment and asked him to find out where the proposal was stuck. “If there is adverse material against a person recommended for appointment, please send back his name,“ he said. We will consider the objection. It can be dealt with. That is a legal process. But do not keep sitting on the proposals,“ the CJI said. Justice Thakur cracked the whip after finding out that his tearful appeal to the government in April, to speed up appointments, had not worked. The CJI said, “This log jam in appointment of judges to HCs is unacceptable.There is a stage when we have to ask for accountability. Where is the file stuck for over eight months?"

My View:
Judges appointing judges through Collegium is not only illegal but also unconstitutional. Central Government can't be just for typing and printing of appointment orders body for SC & HC judges appointments selected by collegium which is not a constitutional body and doesn't have even a secretariat. Collegium of judges came into existing through a SC Judgement in 1992 and continuing eversince with its illegal operations without accountability. Judiciary has to be independent after appointments and in their working but appointments is the prerogative of elected executive i.e. Union Government through a set transparent procedure with opportunities to all eligible candidates. In the system of collegium those eligible candidates who are not recommended by members of collegium (judges) will never even get considered undermining principles of democracy.

Today almost all the judges are appointed during Congress led UPA government and their inherent loyalty is towards Congress only. BJP led NDA government will not allow appointment of Congress lawyers as judges, by hook or crook. Hence this stalemate. A tit for a tat. While SC struck down NJAC Act, Centre is retaliating by keeping judges appointment file pending for nearly a year. In the meantime litigants are subjected to abnormal delays and existing judges are terribly loaded. Setting aside National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act enacted by parliament by SC, in Oct 2015 in the pretext of some technical issues is nothing but safeguarding their illegally and unconstitutionally acquired powers for appointment of judges in the name of collegium. Courts are meant for interpretation of laws, redressal of litigant grievances while preserving the basic character of constitution. Overstepping to other related areas without expertise and machinery is ridiculous. It would be interesting to see how this matter gets closed properly.

In a Democracy Elected Executive, Parliament, Judiciary and Autonomous Institutions must learn to work within their domain, respect and fear other Institutions. Then only systems will work properly. Otherwise stalemates and collapses would be inevitable leading to anarchy. 

Among all the institutions in a Democracy, Elected Executive stands taller than others.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Nayeemuddin encountered on Aug 8, 2016

  • Nayeemuddin is wanted in more than 100 cases of which more than 20 are murder cases. 
  • He was a former member of the People’s War Group and was reportedly involved in 20 murder cases. He surrendered years ago and later formed his own gang.
  • Among the many cases is the murder of IPS officer K.S. Vyas in 1993. 
  • He was also the main accused in the murder of gangster Patola Goverdhan Reddy in 2011.
  • He was linked to the murder of surrendered ex-naxalite K Samabasivudu and Konapuri Ramulu.
  • In May 1999, Nayeem's gang killed balladeer Belli Lalitha at Bhongir, chopped her body into 17 pieces and threw them in front of her sympathisers houses to send a stern warning to their enemies.
  • He had reportedly helped the police to nab Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife who were later killed in an alleged "encounter" by Gujarat Police in 2005.
  • Nayeemuddin, son of a driver who worked in the electricity department, was involved in settling land issues, blackmail. There are rumours that he acted as a hitman as well.
  • He had escaped police custody as many as 11 times and was adept at staying away from public and the law. Only once was he spotted attending the wedding of a close relative.
  • Not surprisingly, the police did not try too hard to nab this elusive gangster as they feared that he would expose them. However, of late, he was getting out of hand and so, the cops, with the help of Greyhounds, the elite group trained to fight against Maoists on any given terrain, took him down. He was at his friend Basha's house in the Millenium Township at Shadnagar in Mahbubnagar, around 50 km from the city of Hyderabad when he was murdered in exchange fire.
  • Police officials had evacuated the millennium township, Shadnagr late Sunday night before conducting the operation. Three people—Nayeemuddin, his bodyguard and a woman—was killed in the encounter on Aug 8, 2016. 
  • According to police sources, Nayeem had become a headache for ruling party legislators. Bhongir MLA P Sekhar Reddy was even given a bullet proof vehicle due to imminent threat from Nayeem and it came to light that several MLAs, businessmen and a few ministers had complained to the chief minister about the menace. "Nayeem has been threatening several legislators and key associates of some ministers. He even started blackmailing some ministers recently," a senior police officer said. Police provided bullet proof cars to the two MLAs.
  • Though, for the record, it was an extortion complaint lodged by an elected representative's husband that sounded the death knell for the 45-year-old gangster from Nalgonda, the real reason appears to be his threats to several TRS leaders, including some ministers, which forced police to go after Nayeem, who had been leading a lavish life at his four-storied residential building at Alkapuri Colony in Narsingi.
  • Till 2007, Nayeem moved freely and even attended many functions, but subsequently went underground and continued his illegal activities, mainly extortions from businessmen and politicians.
  • Police seized 600 original land documents from one of the houses of gangster Nayeemuddin. The land documents belong to several people from whom Nayeemuddin allegedly grabbed land through threats, intimidation and coercion.
  • The 45-year-old Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem, who earned assets worth more than Rs.10,000 crores, illegally, had a final desire to continue his lavish lifestyle after fleeing to Dubai along with his family members. He also requested some police officials to help him to get a passport after plastic surgery to his face. Police have also found business cards of famous plastic surgeons at Nayeem’s residence during the searches held recently.
  • Nayeem wanted to get a passport by creating fake ID proofs. For this purpose, he also purchased a house under a fake name. Based on the fake name, Nayeem obtained a sale deed of house, electricity connection, voter ID for getting passport.
  • The value of property documents seized from various residences and hide-outs of renegade Mohammed Nayeemuddin running in to thousands of crores and the recovery of a personal diary listing out payments to politicians and policemen.
  • The 67-acre land in Kondapur,recovered from his home, alone is valued at about Rs 1,675 crore in open market.
  • Rs.3.18 crore in cash, 1.9 kg gold ornaments, four weapons and 138 bullets were recovered from Nayeem’s residence.
  • Nayeemuddin's mother Tahera Begum alleged that police had taken her son alongwith three other family members two days ago and now his bullets-ridden body was returned to them.
  • Dropping enough hints that the police were watching Mohammed Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem for quite some time, Cyberabad police raided his city dens at Alkapuri Colony in Puppalaguda of Narsingi and Tulja Bhavani Colony in Injapur, Vanasthalipuram, on Monday morning, barely hours after his death in Shadnagar of Mahbubnagar district.
  • Police believe that Nayeem had been selling the tribal girls to human trafficking gangs in Mumbai and the Gulf countries for mind-boggling amounts. Cops also suspect that Nayeem might have been sending the minor girls to rich people visiting the city and certain powerful locals. Police gave custody of the nine girls, rescued from the Shadnagar den of Nayeem, to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Mahbubnagar.
  • Among the four girls found at Nayeem's house at Alkapuri Colony of Puppalguda in the city , a 17-year-old girl told Narsingi police that she was brought to Nayeem's bungalow against her wish. Based on her statement, the Narsingi police have added a kidnapping charge to the case registered at the police station.
  • However, preliminary HIV tests threw up a negative result.
  • Police on going search on his assets and liabilities comes into lime light that Nayeemuddin was actually going to open a TV channel where he had appointed an CEO and recruitments for the positions were going on.
  • One of the important recoveries made by the police during the searches was a purported autobiography penned by Nayeem, in which he talks about his desire to become an MLA and a ruler of Bhongir.

My View:
There is no question that Nayeemuddin is undesirable and harmful element in the society. He is a rogue but unfortunately he was propped by Police and Politicians for their selfish activities and when he expanded his operations encompassing these people, his killing was ordered. Most famous people in the city had slept with him in the past. Their details will never get revealed except some leaks to embarrass some anti establishment people. Unfortunately several good civilian families suffered his atrocities and some even lost their lives.

Knowing fully well about his activities neither politicians nor police never thought fit to take action on him rather used him for fulfilling their needs. Only when Nayeem threatened Etela Rajinder, KTR and some TRS MLAs from Nalgonda district, KCR ordered liquidation of Nayeem. 

Now the allegation made by Nayeem's mother that Nayeem was picked up by police few days ago and after killing his body was kept at Shadnagar with coloring of fake encounter has its own merits. First in an encounter Nayeem an experienced shooter simply died without killing or even hurting any policemen? Second when police started evacuating millennium township previous night how come Nayeem hasn't made any escape attempt but simply got killed next day morning. Third no one saw anything there except heard some shootout from very long distance. Fourth within minutes of Nayeem's encounter Police raided several of his dens and aids homes simultaneously and finally Fifth I don't think Nayeem will stay for several hours with his friend knowing fully well that since several months his life is at risk. Also why he visited his friend was not revealed so far.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Modi grants nothing to Telangana state as well.

  • For Godavari pushkaralu during 2015, centre has granted Rs.100 crores for AP and Rs.50 crores where as expenditure was several hundreds of crores. This discrimination was objected to by KCR.
  • For Krishna pushkaralu this year 2016, the expenditure is huge at Rs.1,080 crores by AP Govt and Rs.800 crores by TS Govt. TS demanded 75% i.e. Rs.600 crores grant from Centre. Centre has rejected its assistance for both the states.
  • Modi inaugurated Telangana's Mission Bhagiratha Phase I costing Rs.858 crores on August 7, 2016. KCR requested Modi for Central assistance of 80% for Rs.42,000 crore Mission Bhagiratha and Modi gave nothing.
  • Even though KCR spent more than Rs.50 crores for the Modi's inauguration and praised him a lot, Modi also praised KCR but didn't announce any specific support to any project much to disappointment of KCR & Co. 
  • KCR's non-stop praising of Modi is due to a CBI case pending and recent questioning of him by CBI for allegaed corruption in ESI Hospital construction case.
    None of the KCR's projects like Kakatiya Mission, Kaleswaram project, Hyderabad's ITIR project, Palamuru-Dindi LI scheme etc are awaiting Modi's mercy for funds. Of course TS hasn't followed any procedures for obtaining any clearances for these projects, is another matter.
  • Earlier in 2015 while laying foundation stone for AP capital Amaravati, contrary to expectations of people of AP, Modi announced nothing and gave only a pot of Yamuna water and Parliament house's pouch of earth and tried to arouse sentiment. While Naidu spent about Rs.200 crores for the function and got nothing in return from Modi.

So it is clear that Modi is only a taker and gives nothing to anybody.

  • During his two year regime crude oil prices fell by more than 80%. Modi passed on only 20% to people and retained 80% with centre by increasing excise duty.
  • He has minimized LPG subsidy and also removed subsidy for higher income people.
  • While 14th Finance Commission increased state's share of central taxes from 32% to 42% and centre accepted  the report in toto but centre has withdrawn from several jointly funded welfare schemes by much more amount. These schemes will have to continue at state's expense thus in totality centre is benefited financially by implementing the report.
  • Modi announced Rs.1000 crores help to Visakhapatanam destroyed by 'Hudud' but state received only Rs.400 crores whereas damages are in excess of Rs.8,000 crores.
Modi sanctions 'Bullet Train' to Ahmedabad-Mumbai route at Rs.100,000 expenditure while Rs.80,000 external soft loans and centre's contribution is in excess of Rs.25,000 crores. He has kept aside 6 priority routes identified by experts during UPA regime and sanctions Ahmedabad-Mumbai route.

Modi appears like 'PM of Gujarat' rather than 'PM of India' 
like Deve Gowda PM of Karanataka in the past.

    Sunday, 7 August 2016

    GST is great idea, but ...

    GST is an important tax reform that simplifies the tax structure, increases tax compliance, reduces corruption, increases government revenue and integrates states eliminating borders within borders in the country and provide a common national market. Corporate sectors’ decisions to set up production operations would be influenced not by tax benefits but on core business efficiency. GST could result in an initial increased inflation during first year and growth kicks in second year on wards. Asymmetric pricing behavior by firms where tax increases may be quickly passed on to output prices, while refraining from passing-on tax savings to consumers. However, in the long term, lower tax and logistic costs, productivity gains and higher investments under the GST should structurally reduce inflation.
    1. GST is great idea and is hailed as “co-operative financial federalism", and “one nation, one tax, one market".
    2. Trucks in India average just 270km a day against 800km in the developed countries because of checkpost delays at state borders, and GST could slash these.
    3. Economic optimists hope GDP will improve by over Rs 100,000 crore.
    4. Simplicity and uniformity in taxation is indeed an excellent idea. But implementation across the nation is not going to that easy.
    5. For corporates, the biggest change after GST will be improving the ease of doing business.
    6. GST being a destination based consumption tax the revenue resulting from interstate transactions will accrue to the consuming state. Thus, the manufacturing states will be at a loss.
    7. GST does not provide for one tax rate across India. An ideal GST would have one tax rate for each item across all states.
    8. One expert committee suggested four tax bands - zero for essentials, 12% for merit items, 17-18% as the standard rate for other items, and 40% for luxuries. Besides, alcohol and petroleum products are outside GST, with each state free to set its rates.
    9. Many states will demand that the GST Council allow them to decree substantial additional levies or exemptions.
    10. Once GST comes into force, the Centre's rights to determine the rate of national taxes will cease to be absolute. The proposed GST Council, in which the states together have two-thirds voting rights, will now have a direct say in the rates of taxation. 
    11. Once rates are set, changing it will become a herculean task. From budgets 2018 onwards, the finance minister's focus would shift from muddling tax rates to increase tax compliance & recoveries and reduce government expenditure. Revenue generation stands outside government's control.
    12. Octroi checkposts in cities will disappear, a great boon. 
    13. Checkposts at state borders will remain, but their scope for mischief will be restricted by the abolition entry tax. The checkposts will be retained for checking vehicle registration, criminal activities, and other grounds, so harassment, delays and corruption may not disappear. But will fall substantially.
    14. States will constantly be tempted to gain short-term benefits by fiddling with tax rates, ignoring the damage this may do to the idea of one single market.
    15. The states are to be fully compensated for loss of revenue because of GST and disputes will certainly arise. New GST law provides for quick dispute settlement mechanism. Historical experience in dispute settlements in India reveals long delays.
    16. Tax officials are constantly at war with companies in the existing system, and tax litigation is rife. GST should reduce litigation and tax disputes. But during transition increased misunderstandings and differing interpretations will cause spurt in litigation and disputes. 
    17. If any state feels aggrieved to get other states and the Centre to see its point of view, it can do nothing immediately. The frustrations of impotence could drive their politics in the direction of irresponsible adventurism.
    So, hold the euphoria. GST is a great idea, but many great ideas in the past have been damaged in implementation. Statesmanship and diligence will be needed to ensure that GST lives up to its high promise.

    My View:
    GST is no doubt a great idea not withstanding implementation difficulties during transition. The bigger problem is evasion of tax which is as high as 50%. My view is that GST for essential items should be 0%, for non luxury items 4% and for luxury items at 10%. Even petrol and alcohol should be brought under GST with special tax rates so that consumers will pay uniform and exact international market rates across all the states. Simplified and lowered tax rates are incentives for tax compliance. Penalties for evasion should be very high with high rate of convictions so that corruption and evasions are eliminated and in terms of recoveries, you will discover that state doesn't lose its revenues. No matter what you do, very high tax rates will never result in improved compliance of tax payments apart from breeding corruption. 
    While GST enables Centre becoming stronger and weakening of states, endangering unity of federal structure of our diverse nation.

    Saturday, 6 August 2016

    Sonia Gandhi - Then and Now!

    Sonia's parents, the Mainos were poor those days. Her father was a mason and mother a share cropper.

    Sonia Gandhi 5th std dropout. Sonia went to the town of Cambridge and first learnt some English in a teaching shop called Lennox School, which has been wound up in 1970. That is all her “education” which is enough English language to get domestic help jobs.

    Sonia Gandhi, when she was an 18-year-old student at a small language college in Cambridge in 1965, making ends meet by working as a waitress in the Varsity restaurant, when she met a handsome young engineering student Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi too failed to get his degree at Cambridge.

    Sonia and Rajiv avoided all involvement in politics. Rajiv worked as an airline pilot while Sonia took care of her family. When Rajiv entered politics in 1982 after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash on June 23, 1980, Sonia continued to focus on her family and avoided all contact with the public. Sonia Gandhi's involvement with Indian public life began after the assassination of her mother-in-law Indira Gandhi, and her husband Rajiv Gandhi's election as prime minister. As the prime minister's wife she acted as his official hostess and also accompanied him on a number of state visits. In 1984, she actively campaigned against her husband's sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi who was running against Rajiv in Amethi.

    During the 1971 war, Sonia with her family took refuge in Italy. Under emergency provisions, the leave of all Indian Airlines pilots were cancelled and the only exception was Rajiv Gandhi the great husband of Sonia and son of Prime Minister of India, a full-time pilot with Indian Airlines.

    After news came in that the Congress and Indira Gandhi had been defeated in 1977 elections, fearing consequences of emergency atrocities committed by Indira Gandhi and Congress, Sonia Gandhi decided to run away to Italy with husband Rajiv and children. To evade immediate arrest Sonia Gandhi with her husband and children in tow, took refuge in the Italian embassy in New Delhi's Chanakyapuri. It took the combined efforts of Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi, to convince her to return to the Gandhi home.

    She did not even apply for Indian citizenship for 16 years though living in Prime Minister’s house.

    It is rumored that Sonia and Madhavrao Scindia were seeing each other in the early 1980s. Even they were involved in an accident near IIT, Delhi. Madhav Rao Scindia was driving the car and Sonia was the only passenger. She was immediately sent to the PM residence and Mr. Scindia was admitted to hospital. Again, nothing official is about this relationship.

    Sonia, according to a Swiss magazine (published in 1991), Schweitzer Illustrate, Rajiv Gandhi, her late husband had secret Swiss accounts worth $ 2 billion. Sonia is known for her close association with Italian fugitive Quattrocchi.  Sonia and her family are believed to have looted country wealth worth billions of dollars.

    Many had hailed Sonia Gandhi when she refused to head the Congress party or become prime minister after Rajiv was assassinated in May 1991, thus paving the way for P V Narasimha Rao to head the government. Later more and more voices are heard about her 'indecent haste' and 'greed to become prime minister'.

    Sonia refused to be part of any toppling game, which once again enhanced her image. After the 1998 electoral defeat, Sitaram Kesri was stripped of his post of AICC President on March 14, 1998 by the Congress Working Committee. Sonia Gandhi was appointed president of the Congress party in his place. Kesari's removal from the Congress Working Committee is considered by some as a betrayal of the party constitution, considering how Pranab Mukherjee and others conspired to eliminate Kesri from the party for Sonia Gandhi. Congressmen and women had not really thought about the implication of having her as prime minister. Most party workers and leaders saw in her a chance of winning the elections and regaining lost ground. Many even believed that she would anoint her nominee as prime minister. Given these pitfalls why did Sonia Gandhi agree to become prime minister? It is believed that if she does become prime minister, even if only for a few days / weeks, her privileges as a former prime minister, Sonia Gandhi will be entitled to whatever other ex-prime ministers are, without question.

    Sonia is known for her vindictive nature. She is known not to spare even her party men and routinely humiliates them. She even humiliated the dead body by denying a respectful funeral, of former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao who did not encourage Sonia’s political growth.

    In Jan 2002, the activities of Vadra's father and brother came to Sonia's notice for the first time when Vilasrao Deshmukh referred to her a request from them for flats in Mumbai from his discretionary quota. Later, Sonia is said to have received calls from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and Karnataka's S.M. Krishna about Vadra's visits. Khursheed says Richard had approached him for a party ticket for a friend from Moradabad. As charges flew thick that money was changing hands for party tickets for the forthcoming assembly elections, Sonia got daughter Priyanka Gandhi's husband Robert Vadra to issue a public notice dissociating himself from his father Rajinder and brother Richard who have been "promising jobs and other favours in return for money". Sonia was hailed as a "stickler for propriety".

    But Sonia Gandhi's outlook changed after trouncing NDA in 2004 general elections. Even though she missed PM's position and has to satisfy herself with UPA Chairman's position, her misdeeds thereafter makes me wonder how much true this quotation of Abraham Lincoln was ... "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power... Abraham Lincoln"

    In 2006, the Indian government put Sonia Gandhi’s interest, to avenge the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE in 1991, above national interest and actively assisted the brutal Sri Lankan genocide of at least 70,000 Tamils between 2006-2009, by remaining deafeningly silent, that has culminated in liquidation of LTTE and murder of its chief Prabhakaran in May 2009.
    See LTTE, IPKF, Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and Murder of Prabhakaran.
    This has relegated Tamils as second class citizens in Sri Lanka permanently thus defeating them in their 40 year ethnic conflict for equal rights.

    Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra was exempted from pre-embarkation security checks in all Indian airports during UPA regime of 10 years.
    Robert Vadra started minting money in questionable business deals with DLF etc and their constructing Simla home circumventing laws. It is rumored that Vadra amassed a fortune worth over 10,000 crores in 10 years just by being the son-in-law to the most powerful woman in India.

    The National Herald scam is an ongoing court case against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. As per the complaint, Indian National Congress granted an interest-free loan of  Rs.90.25 crore to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), owner of the National Herald newspaper which was established by Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters in 1938. It was alleged that the loan was either not repaid or repaid in cash, which is in violation Income Tax Act. A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs.50 lakh and it acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties worth Rs.5,000 crore. It was alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. The courts have determined that a prima facie case has been established in the matter.

    Some other famous scams where Sonia Gandhi is linked are:
    1. Maruti scam
    2. Bofors scam
    3. Vadra DLF Scam
    4. 2G spectrum scam (2008): In 2008, the country issued 122 new telecom licences to several domestic companies that had little or no experience in the telecom sector, and at a price set in 2001. It is estimated that the spectrum scam led to a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government.
    5. CWG scam (2010): Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and nine others were charged for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer in CWG-related corruption case. 
    6. Coal scam (2012): Irregularities in auctioning 194 coal blocks created a massive uproar and government heavily criticised for causing a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crores.
    7. Chopper scam (2012): Former Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi was allegedly paid bribes to swing a Rs 3,600 crores deal for procuring 12 choppers from Italian firm Finmeccanica to ferry VVIPS.
    8. Tatra truck scam (2012): The Enforecement Directorate had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in April, 2013 against Vectra Chairman Ravi Rishi and few other firms after former Army chief Gen V K Singh had alleged that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe in September, 2010 to clear the purchase of a tranche of 1,676 Tatra trucks for the Army.
    9. Adarsh scam (2012): The Adarsh controversy had erupted with reports which alleged that the land belonging to the defence had been given away by the state for the society where bureaucrats got themselves flats. It was seen that even politicians and army personnel connived to grab apartments in this plush 31-storey Colaba building overlooking the defence area.
    10. IPL scam (2013): Three Rajasthan Royal players, S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, arrested for alleged spot fixing in the IPL by the Delhi.

    Friday, 5 August 2016

    Life of taxi driver in China

    Driving forces on the road

    ( China Daily ) 

    Taxis join the queues at Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai.
    Bad traffic conditions, rising rental and fuel charges make
    it harder for cabbies to make a decent living. Provided to China Daily

    Hangzhou: West lake dreams

    Hai Liang cannot remember how many times he has made a stop at Hangzhou's majestic West Lake since he started driving a taxi here six years ago.

    "At least once every day," the 39-year-old cab drivers says.

    And all those times he dropped off tourists visiting the World Heritage site, he had hoped that, one day, he could get out of his little cab and join the sightseers so he can take a photograph to send back to his family in Henan province.

    "They say those who fail to visit the West Lake have not really seen Hangzhou. In that case, I'm really not a 'qualified' resident," Hai says, tongue-in-cheek, although he can drive his passengers to every restaurant, hotel, or even public toilet around the lake.

    There is no time to linger.

    "All I do is work and sleep," he explains.

    Driving forces on the road
    "If you do not forge ahead, you are driven back. And in my case, if I take off even for a single day, I will lose 300 yuan at least."

    Like the other nearly 20,000 taxi drivers in Hangzhou, Hai works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. In return, he can bring home 3,000 yuan ($450) or so a month.

    "I have to pay 300 yuan to the company and 100 yuan for gas every day, which means I will start making money only after the first 400 yuan," he says.

    But for Hai, who comes from the most densely populated province in China, life in Hangzhou is more "isolated" and "monotonous".

    Since they arrived from Henan in 2005, Hai and his wife, a cleaner in a motel, have not had time to visit any of Hangzhou's many scenic attractions, nor have they enjoyed any of the city's famous cuisine.

    They have no time to make friends with the locals. Their biggest joy is a phone call once a week with two teenaged children back home who are about to finish high school.

    Hai is only one among thousands of Henan migrants who live and work in Hangzhou who account for about a quarter of the total number of taxi drivers in Hangzhou. Hai was told Hangzhou offered better opportunities, but he's not too sure about that now, especially where the living conditions are concerned. Living in a 10-square-meter room in the north of the city, Hai describes his home as "only better than a pig sty". There is only space in the room for a second-hand bed they bought, but no electric appliances. The kitchen and toilet share the same space, and the stove sits right next to the cistern.

    Hai rented the place for 600 yuan a month from a local farmer, who was using it as a storeroom. He used to pay 120 yuan a month for the room, but rental has doubled again and again as more and more cab drivers flooded the area looking for cheap rental space.

    "No one knows how many people are living here, but my neighbors are all taxi drivers from Henan," says Hai.

    "It's convenient. If one of us falls sick, we can easily find a replacement driver for the shift."

    Cai Guanyao, secretary-general of Hangzhou Urban Taxi Association, says taxi drivers in Hangzhou work the hardest and the longest compared to others in China.

    "Their income may be ok, but they toil far harder. It's very unfair," says Cai.

    As a result, thousands of taxi drivers went on a strike on August 1, calling for raise in taxi fare.

    The strike started a month-long debate among government, public and taxi companies and ended when by the end of October, it was decided that the waiting fee for cabs would be raised from 2 yuan every five minutes to 2.5 yuan for every four minutes.

    But the new charges leave the cab drivers unmoved. To them, the miniscule increase is a mere drop of water that cannot douse the consuming fire that is burning them up.
    It is a continuing crisis that may inspire cab drivers like Hai to move again.

    "Some of my countrymen left for Sanya in Hainan province), and they keep calling me to join them.

    "They say the tourism industry is booming there and taxis use cheap natural gas," says Hai, who is seriously considering his options before he makes the decision to stay because he likes Hangzhou or move to a better life.

    "But if I go, there is one thing I will do before leaving: Bring my wife to West Lake for a tour and take lots of pictures."

    Beijing: Dilemmas behind the wheel

    At 5:45 am, Sun Yongquan shakes off the three hours of sleep he has stolen while parked under Madian Bridge, gulps down a pancake and starts cruising for customers.

    This is how the 41-year-old taxi driver, who has already been on duty for 18 of the 24 hours of his shift, begins his Mid-Autumn Festival.

    He'll earn about 200 yuan fewer today, as people spend the holiday with their families. About half his usual business comes from ferrying workers between their offices and homes, he says. 

    "Traffic is great today, even during the 8 am rush hour," he says. "But if every day were like this, I'd be broke."

    Sun brings home a little more than 3,000 yuan ($450) a month after paying nearly 3,400 yuan for cab rental and about 9,000 yuan for gas.

    He usually gets up at 8:30 am and, starting at noon, works for 24 hours before sleeping 13 hours.

    "All I do is work and sleep," he says.

    He often naps from about 3 am until 6 am beneath Madian Bridge, a gathering spot for drivers in northern Beijing.

    He usually skips breakfast, delays dinner until about 9 pm and has adapted to drinking only a 550-milliliter bottle of water a day to avoid bathroom breaks.

    "Life's no fun anymore," says Sun, who used to enjoy fishing and jogging.

    "It's out of control."

    Such working conditions for drivers, and other factors, including Beijing's restrictions on new license plate issuances, have caused the demand for taxis to outstrip supply, allowing drivers to be picky about their fares.

    The Beijing Municipal Committee of Transportation responded to increasing customer complaints by issuing new requirements before September.

    Drivers must work despite bad weather, during holidays and refrain from switching shifts during rush hour. Beijing Today reports violators will be "severely punished".

    "I'll take any fare but understand drivers who don't want to go short distances or take someone way north of the city if they have to transfer their cab to another cabbie in the South because they might miss their deadline to swap cars," Sun says.

    "And some cabbies would rather nap during rush hours, when the road conditions are really bad."

    The fine for being the subject of a complaint is 2,000 yuan, Sun says. "That's about two-thirds of my monthly income!"

    Illegal or pirate taxis, known as "heiche (black cars)", are proliferating to fill the gap.
    A city inspector, who would only give her surname, Gu, explains she spends her workday cracking down on heiche but often must then hire one to get home.

    North Taxi Company officer Hu Xuesong tells China Daily the bureau's policies aim to ensure more than 95 percent of the capital's 66,600 cabs are operating at all times.

    "We will dispatch more taxis to important locations before special events and will develop specific plans to ensure there are enough cabs on duty if the weather forecast calls for rain or snow," Hu says.

    He says his company has received few complaints, but claims that more than 90 percent of calls are from customers hoping to retrieve lost items they left in the vehicles.
    Without much prospects on the road on Mid-Autumn Festival morning, Sun decides to clock out early to enjoy a holiday dinner with his family in Yanqing, 74 kilometers from downtown Beijing.

    "Usually, public holidays are like any other day for me, except I earn less," he says.

    "Of course I can rest anytime I like, but I'll lose money."

    The meter on what he owes the taxi company never stops, he says, "so I almost never see my wife and son".

    His wife, Xie Shangqin, appreciates the work Sun does to support them.

    "He looks run-down and sleepy every time I see him," she says. "His work is so tough. But because he only has a junior middle school education, he has no choice. I keep family problems from him. I don't want him to worry while he's driving around."

    It was for his family that Sun took the job. The tuition fees for his son, a middle-school second-grader, are 100 yuan an hour.

    In the three months since China Daily first spoke to him, Sun's outlook has changed. He had said then he was proud of his familiarity with the city. "A simple 'thanks' from passengers makes all my hardships worthwhile," he also said. But a few months and too many long hours later, he says: "Chronic pain in my waist and buttocks has killed my passion. I'm numb to passengers' gratitude."

    He has lost 10 kilograms in his first three months and started suffering pains and aches in the first few weeks.

    "My mother says the first two months as a cabbie added two years to my age," he says. His wife says she hopes he can quit when their son enters university.

    "All of the cabbies are driving around totally exhausted," Sun says. "The companies tell us we should mix work with rest. But that's impossible."

    The main cause is the hefty rental charges that have Sun on the road far longer than is healthy or safe. The government is paying cab drivers a small subsidy, but it is not enough.
    Drivers in Zhejiang's provincial capital Hangzhou won lower rental fees after a three-day strike in August.

    Shanghai also lowered the fees in May.

    Hu, the Beijing company officer, says there are no plans to lower fees in the capital. Sun believes paying a little more than 2,000 yuan would be more reasonable.

    "I hope the government will adopt some measures to relieve our pressure," he says. "That way, we may even get to rest occasionally."

    China Daily

    Wednesday, 3 August 2016

    China Economy - Fact Sheet

    • In 1978, Deng Xiaoping begins China’s opening up reforms leading to rapid economic growth.
    • In 1978 China per capital income was $155 where as in 2014 it is $7,590.
    • 300 million people have moved from rural areas to cities in the last 30 years, and the same is predicted for the next 30 years.
    • Lifted 800 million people out of poverty – an unparalleled achievement. 
    • In urban centers in China, poverty has been virtually eliminated.
    • China’s development has been driven by the coastal east.
    • Half of the world’s concrete and a third of the world’s steel is used annually in China.
    • China's development in the rural west is lagging behind. Its per capita income is still below the world average.
    • China's growth strategy was to assemble and sell cheap goods to the world.
    • The total value of world income is closing is $70 trillion per year, and there are seven billion people in the world, so the average income is heading towards $10,000 per person per year. (Mar 29, 2012)
    • No other country has averaged a growth rate more than 9 percent over a 25-year period. Consistently high growth rates are an anomaly limited to a handful of economies in East Asia.
    • Today China has become “The Factory of the World”.
    • China has contributed to 67% of the total reduction of global poverty during the last 25 years.
    • One Child policy, the policy has allowed China to reach goals of significant importance to its population, such as economic growth and stability. Despite appearing absurd and morally questionable to the outside world, the fact that is important is that it works for China.
    In China, all development is precarious and is at the expense of exploitation of workers without any limits not only for the prosperity of China but the whole world. While the world enjoys cheap goods produced by Chinese workers, he works and lives in most inhuman conditions.
    • China has been an attractive destination for global corporations due to its low wage rates and labor laws that disallow independent trade unions and limit the right to strike. But China does not yet meet international labor law standards.
    • Most workers in China’s factories, mines, mills, warehouses, docks and transport hubs still have little or no say in selecting their union representatives, and no means, short of stopping work, to bring recalcitrant employers into direct negotiations over industrial grievances. 
    • No freedom for Chinese workers to exercise their basic human rights.  
    • The wages of Chinese workers have been suppressed due to the lack of freedom of association. Wages would be higher and rising faster if the Chinese government secured the fundamental freedoms of association and collective bargaining for its citizens.
    • In Pegatron, iPhone manufacturer in China, workers earn about $1.85 per hour and pull significant overtime hours to make enough money to cover living expenses. The standard shift was nine hours a day, but that starting in September staff worked an additional minimum of 20 hours of overtime each week, usually split between an extra two hours each weekday and one 10-hour shift on Saturdays totaling 65 hours weekly. With overtime accounted for, the factory's workers earn about $753 in monthly wages.
    • Even though Apple is publicly committed to good employment practice and its supplier code of conduct demands that employees in its supply chain are treated with respect and dignity. But in reality illegally long hours and draconian rules for a very small daily wage. Many Foxconn workers manage to go home only once a year.
    • Up to 24 people can share one room and the rules are strict, even prohibiting the use of a kettle or a hairdryer. 
    • Anything between 60 and 80 hours of overtime a month was normal. One worker produced a payslip showing 98 hours of extra time in a single month – nearly three times the legal maximum (of 36 hours in a month) and in breach of Apple's own code of conduct. The rule that employees should have one day off in seven is often flouted.
    • During work, some employees claimed they were forbidden to speak to each other and some were forced to stand for hours without a break. Foxconn, a Fortune 500 company, does not deny it breaks the overtime laws, but claims that all overtime is voluntary.
    • A typical working day means getting up at 6.30am, catching a bus for the 30-minute ride to the factory at 7.10am and attending a compulsory – but unpaid – assembly at 8.10am, before starting work at 8.30am. Shifts, including overtime and breaks, end at 8.30pm. Night shifts follow a similar pattern.
    • Demand for the first iPad was so intense that workers claim they had to put in a seven-day week during peak production period. "We only had a rest day every 13 days," claimed one "And there was no overtime premium for weekends". 
    • They don't have a social life any more. Their life is just working in a factory and that is it.
    • In 2010, the most infamous incident of exploitation of workers happened in one of those Foxconn factories, where 18 workers attempted to commit suicide and 14 of them succeeded.
    • Despite evident and blatant worker exploitation, there is no legal battle against Foxconn. No one has successfully filed a lawsuit against Foxconn due to flaws in the law and its ineffective enforcement.
    • In the HP production unit in Foxconn must complete an action within 3 seconds, standing on the same spot for 10 consecutive hours per day. They were granted with only 10 minutes for a break in the middle of the day for drinking water and visiting restroom.
    • Overtime hours in excess of 100 hours was common, and some were even in excess of 200 hours. In 87% of the factories, one day of rest was not guaranteed and daily overtime work exceeding 3 hours was a norm.
    • The exploitation of workers is so stunningly pervasive that it virtually happens at ever corner. The firms exploit the workers blatantly, with no fear of being prosecuted.

    My View:
    Development is defined as simultaneous upliftment of all classes of society. The "Trickle-down theory" which emphasizes that money appropriated for the top would trickle down to the needy is only to characterize economic policies favoring the wealthy or privileged and is unacceptable non-sense. The day is not too far when Chinese workers will get fed up with the exploitation and start ascertaining their rights and rightful share of the cake and then Chinese model of economic development built around "worker exploitation" will crumble like pack of cards. With them companies/economies built around cheap Chinese work force will also crumble. 

    In his last interview JRD Tata said "I don't want India to become a super power or super economy. I want India to be a happy nation."

    Therefore it makes sense to build our economy, robustly, with fulfilling our national needs as the highest priority rather than chasing the fragile & fluctuating world supply demand chain with ample scope for corruption, laundering, manipulations and mismanagement etc.

    Arun Jaitley should be sacked for his lies & manipulations

    Jaitley stated in Rajya Sabha on July 29, 2016 that 14th Finance Commission has prohibited granting of Special Category Status to any state hereafter. Whereas Finance Commission deals with appropriation revenue sharing between centre and states and nothing else. This was confirmed by Y.Venugopla Reddy, ex-chairman of 14th Finance Commission to Jairam Ramesh, Congress member in RS in his private conversation that the matter of Special Category Status to states was never mentioned in his report which was later accepted by Centre. Where as AP status category status is a political assurance given by PM Manmohan Singh, in Rajya Sabha as a precondition set by BJP's Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu for passing AP Reorganization Bill 2014. Later Manmohan Singh's cabinet approved special status to AP and Planning Commission was directed to facilitate immediately and then General Elections 2014 were notified. Jaitley's lies and histrionics tantamount to conspiracy to deprive AP of its legitimate right only to please BJD, AIADMK & TRS in Orissa, Tamilnadu and Orissa for political gains.

    Jaitley as FM has not allotted any significant funds to Polavaram project in AP, which was declared as National Project in AP Reorganization Act 2014 in the budget 2014 nor budget 2015. Jaitley stated in RS that funds are being arranged through NABARD route. While budget grants are central funds and are non refundable, NABARD funds are interest bearing loans within the borrowing limits of AP and are refundable by AP. That is neither a favour nor any help from Jaitley and equating these two amount to manipulation for not allotting budget grants and violation of Act.

    Hence Jaitley should be sacked and court marshaled for (1) failing in his duties with his lies in Rajya Sabha misleading the house and nation and (2) manipulations depriving AP of its legitimate rights.

    Tuesday, 2 August 2016

    Modi's foreign trips

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited 38 countries (visiting some countries more than once) making 19 international trips till 8 June, 2016, traveling abroad for 97 of 743 days since he assumed office on 26 May, 2014.

    Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh visited 23 countries (visiting some countries more than once) leaving the country 17 times during his second term in office over a similar period, until 8 June, 2011, traveling 76 of 747 days since he assumed office on 22 May, 2009. During his first term, Singh travelled for 64 days over a similar period, visiting 15 countries making 16 international trips (visiting some countries more than once) between 22 May, 2004 and 8 June, 2006.

    The foreign trips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues cost the exchequer Rs.567 crore in the last financial year (2015-16), an increase of more than 80% from the previous year. This is besides the over Rs 500 crore his bureaucrats spend on their travel each year on an average. The total tour expenses of the PM and his ministers went up from Rs 269 crore as estimated in the budget at the beginning of the 2015-16 fiscal to Rs 567 crore, as per the revised estimates towards the end of the year.

    Ms.Sushma Swaraj, Union External Affairs Minister is doing excellent job as far as arranging Modi's visits to various countries. What else she is doing, I don't know. For this reason she got very high marks in the recent minister's evaluation got done by Modi.

    Some hilarious jokes on Modi's foreign jaunts:

    Someone asked what will happen after Modi's present foreign trip; answer is : another foreign trip

    There are two types of countries in this world

       a) Modi visited
       b) Modi not visited.

    Our last prime minister was on Silent mode, current prime minister is on Flight mode.

    The only gain from Modi's jaunt seems to be a temple in the UAE.

    My View:
    Not withstanding tall claims, the benefits of of PM's foreign visits can not be quantified or measurable. The announcements made at the end of each visit are only intentions but actual happenings later are quite different. Most don't happen at all. However, too many trips in short duration will be viewed with suspicion and must be avoided.

    Finally, what we are and do speaks more loudly than what we present ourselves.
    Meaning that we must do ground work for inviting foreign investments properly and FDI's will flow in like water in pipeline with little campaigning.

    Monday, 1 August 2016

    This son of a billionaire works as aam aadmi

    Rarely one comes across someone who depends on odd jobs to make his both ends meet despite being born in a wealthy family. Here is an example that will leave you totally surprised. However, after reading it completely you will definitely derive a very positive message out of it. The story was first published in The Times of India.

    It is a story of a Surat-based businessman whose company worth is Rs 6,000 crore and commands presence in 71 countries. He asked his 21-year old son to relocate to Kochi incognito and survive on odd jobs to earn his living for a month.

    Thereafter, his son Dravya Dholakia who is currently pursuing MBA in the US and on a holiday in India reached Kochi. He just carried three pair of clothes and Rs 7,000 with him.

    The only reason behind all this was to make Dravya understand hardships of life and struggles that a poor goes through in absence of money.

    Dholakia is the same businessman who had hit newspaper headlines after his company gifted cars and apartments to employees in form of bonus.

    Very rare in these days!!

    Money is needed to earn more money and that is called Capital.

    My View:
    While appreciating the attitude of Dholakia, I share with you my observation in a small electrical shop owned by a Sardarji in RP Road, Secunderabad. It was 9 AM in the morning and the shop has just opened. While Sardarji was sitting at cash counter a school going boy was there with him sweeping the shop. After asking for an item I was taken to a near by go down by that boy to deliver material to me. Surprisingly that boy was attending school some 6th standard and those were vacation days for him and he assists his father in shop and he is son of the owner Sardarji. I am sure as he grows up he will definitely gets emotionally attached to shop and with pride he will become successor to that shop no matter how many degrees he earns in due course. That is how business continuity in family is taken care of. 

    In stead of sending the boy for on the field training by Dhoalakia, this methodology is much superior inculcating great habits in young boys.

    High economic growth of 7.5% for 12 years, failed to change people's lives

    Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 14:32

    India's average economic growth rate of 7.5 percent in the last 12 years has failed to bring about any significant improvement in the quality of life of the common people, noted development economist Jean Dreze* said.

    "The Indian economy has been growing at around 7.5 percent per year for the last twelve years, with relatively small deviations up or down from this average.

    "...Few countries have grown so fast for so long with such limited results in terms of widely-shared improvements in the quality of life," Dreze told PTI in an interview.

    Dreze, a former member of UPA's National Advisory Council and now a visiting professor at the department of economics, Ranchi University, said the growth rates of the last two years are in line with this trajectory.

    "This is an achievement of sorts since the world economy is not doing particularly well at this time," he said.

    Dreze, who has done extensive work in India on issues like hunger, famine, and the NREGA said: "The main issue is not to raise the growth rate further, which may or may not be possible, but to ensure that growth is associated with rapid improvements in people's living conditions."

    Indian economy grew at 7.6 percent in 2015-16.

    *Jean Drèze (born 1959) is a Belgian-born Indian development economist who has been influential in the economic policy making of his country. His work in India include issues like hunger, famine, gender inequality, child health and education, and the NREGA. He had conceptualized and drafted the first version of the NREGA. 

    His co-authors include Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen, with whom he has written on famine, Nicholas Stern, with whom he has written on policy reform when market prices are distorted and Nobel laureate in economics Angus Deaton. He is currently an honorary Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, and Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, Ranchi University. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of India in both first and second term.

    My View:
    India's high economic growth of 7.5%++ for continuously 12 years in a row (while world economy is struggling and China, Russia, Euro Zone are facing severe problems) and no change or deterioration in common man's life style makes me wonder about the veracity of the figures published by Govt of India from time to time.