Monday, October 3, 2011

India after Independence

 A Review

(Please go through the article first)

ON THE POSITIVE SIDE: (Nine points are mentioned)


While launching Five Year Plans for raising the Standard of Living of our teeming millions, we failed to simultaneously plan for raising the Standard of Life.

Our population, in absolute numbers, is growing enormously - we will be one billion by the end of the century - and thereby all gains of progress are either being neutralised or our developmental plans are rendered ineffective.  The result is, with large outlays in the various sectors of the economy and their ineffective utilisation, a steep rise in the prices of commodities and services.

The number of people living below the poverty line, in absolute terms, shows no signs of any significant decrease.

Unemployment is increasing and it is compounded by the rise in prices, both contributing to the misery of the people.

We are getting deeper and deeper into a debt trap, the annual interest payment alone (Rs.60,000 crores) being as high as the fiscal deficit for the year 1996-97.

With no clear majority for any single political party in two successive national general elections, unstable governments at the Centre are left with the Hobson's choice of perpetuating themselves in power through money and even muscle power, playing a major sinister role in luring Members of Parliament from one party to another - the despicable phenomenon of Ayaram Gayaram; creating vote banks and exploiting the vile instincts of Communalism, Casteism, Linguism and Regionalism leading to endemic increasing social conflicts, violence and bloodshed.

Corruption, rampant and widespread, and, worst of all, loss of character, has robbed the polity of all values, particularly the most cherished of them all - Satya and Dharma, Truth and Righteousness.  The national motto, taken from the Mundaka Upanishad, Satyameva Jayate is mocked at almost every moment of our national life, in every segment of our society.  We have come to be looked upon as the biggest nation of sanctimonious humbugs and hypocrites.  What a fall my countrymen! 

*   *   *

Yatha Raja Tatha Praja: As the ruler, so the people. Has not the Indian leadership of the post independence era progressively failed, decade after decade, the people of this country?

The vital question is : How shall we guard the guardians?

- "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Pitirim A. Sorokin, who fought Czarism shoulder to shoulder with the triumvirate, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, points out that "social reconstruction, animated by sincere sympathy, competently planned and systematically carried on, turns out to be more successful in curing social sickness and improving the well-being of society than hate inspired violent measures". Yet how much of violence and hatred are being generated by the general run of our selfish, power hungry, politicians? (Sorokin, disillusioned by communism turned into a great sociologist later--Foot-Note, abridged by me.)

"Every people get the government they deserve" is an age old adage. Are our leaders alone responsible for the reprehensible state of affairs of our mother-land? Are not we, the people guilty of dereliction of duty as responsible citizens? How many of us can absolve ourselves from the unenforceable charges of gross indifference, neglect and undue tolerance of patent misdeeds and mismanagement of national affairs by those whom we have voted to power?

............The prime Minister of the country has to give the lead, by precept and practice, in providing inspiring leadership to the people.

(Words in Block style are exactly as those in the original article) 

These are the exact excerpts from the article "Forty-ninth Swaraj Day Reflections" by S. Rama Krishnan, published in the "Bhavans Journal", Volume 43; Issue No.1 dated August 15th, 1996--also the journal's Annual number. Please debate, if the relevance of the points raised in the article has 'reduced' in any way, after another 15 years thereon or has the state of affairs deteriorated further!

Think & Act!  

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Powerful Man (Or)


Yesterday, after my usual afternoon siesta, a thought flashed in my mind and I have implemented it immediately. 
That is--I have dialled our Prime Minister's Office. 
After several rings, a lower rung employee I think, answered and took my bio-data etc., besides requiring me to say the "purpose" of the call. 
I answered 'I wish to invite him for Tea at my residence......and.....' 
Bang came the reply, 'you may ring back in the year 2014 if........' 
'No no.....Don't cut the line. Actually, I was going to ask him 'How many masks does he use daily and what are they. And whether I have to apply for the answers through RTI Act?'! 
The man at the other end guffaed and said, "For that there is no need to apply at all. I can give you a straight answer. He wears only 2 masks. One gives a feeling that he is listening patiently to whatever his visitors are saying. The second gives a feeling that he is grim faced, listening seriously, and giving a thought to whatever is being said by the others". 
"May I invite you for lunch so that......." I was trying to extract some more information from him.
"Not necessary" he replied "Exactly one minute before the appointment comes to a close, his PA rings a silent bell which is heard by the PM only. He 'wakes up' and sees the visitors out!". 
"So, that is the secret behind his working more than 18 hours a Day, without batting an eyelid, unlike Deve Gowda!" I chuckled and profusely thanked him. 
My wife was gently touching my hand and saying, "why should you thank me so much for waking you up?" 
Alas! The Dream was complete!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our Banks - 4

So called "N P A"s

EenaDu's 'Banking Expert' writes, '(While)....on oneside the famous commercial Banks have increased their Net Profits and Net Interest Margins and travelled in progressive path, the SBI, which has stood as the icon of growth and strength for the last decade has stunned (the people) with results.'

His main allegations are, that the SBI has, unlike other commercial Banks which have appropirated the burden for the coming 5 years, provisioned Rs.7,927 crores towards payments of Gratuity and Pension to its employees, in a single year itself.

Also that The Bank's gross NPAs have increased from Rs.19,535 crores to Rs.25,326 crores. In 2009-10 it has provisioned Rs.5,148 crores towards "Lost Assets" and this year increased the provision to Rs.8,792 crores. This may continue in the commenced financial year also.

His main grievance is that with these results, its share price has gone down by a couple of hundred rupees.

But, is it the crieterion for the health of a Bank.....that too the largest Bank in India?

From the year (One & a half decades ago) the "prudential norms" as recommemded by the Narasimham Committee were made mandatory, all Indian Banks' endeavour is to compete with each other in 'showing' the minimum assets as NPAs.

A Bank's CMD says, "our Target for reduction of our net NPAs for this year is by ......%. Come what may the Target should be reached, surpassed rather!"

The Field level executives will be taken to task if they fail.

"Manage the annual auditors if necessary. We will take care of the hard nuts to crack!"

The Local Head Office Managers, Zonal Managers, Regional Managers pass on the message to the lower rung Managers. And Lo! the balance sheets of the branches are "white-washed" to that extant!

This year 2010-11, the RBI has "unofficially" instructed the Banks to "show" the "almost correct position" of their NPAs. (Our Duvvuri S. Rao is managing a tight rope walk between 'growth rate' and 'inflation' and GDP and inspite of guidelines from the Govt. of India, dared to find the "exact" position of our Banks.)

All other commercial Banks strived their level best and managed to white-wash their balance sheets as usual, to the extent as they could manage.

Only SBI has stood 'odd man out', thanks to its CEO.

It is rumoured, the net NPAs of any commercial Bank are more than 32% and Gross NPAs are nearly 47%. For how many years they can white-wash their balance sheets and sweep the truth under the carpet?

let us wait & see!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Banks - 3

Frauds & Wages

Of late, it has come into the open that "Bankers' cheques" obtained from Banks in other States for Rs.500/- or Rs.600/- were 'materially altered' to several lakhs of rupees by adding digits to the right of the figures on the BCs!

What's the problem?

Bankers' cheques/Pay Orders are issued by a Bank branch ONLY for the purpose of making internal payments like payment of Telephone/Electricity Bills; paying to suppliers on behalf of their loanees; at Customers' request--as there is no other branch of the Bank locally......(Drafts could be issued if available) etc. 

The difference between a DD & BC is that a DD is issued by a branch and is payable at ANOTHER branch. A BC is issued at at branch and is payable at the SAME branch. 

Okay. You have obtained a BC at a Grameena Bank, payable to such and such an account number and name. You have brought it to your Bank & Branch where you are maintaining an account. You ask the branch manager to 'purchase' the BC and credit into your account & draw the amount immediately. Okay!

But does the Branch Manager of your account branch question you, 'Why did the GB pay you such a large amount? Did you supply something to their loanee?' --as this is the only possibility left of obtaining a BC by third party. 

If the answer is "NO", there is something "fishy". So the things happen.

Indian Banks' Association makes so many calculations; the Unions make so many proposals; mathematical gimmicks; then only, after some all India strikes, dharnas, agitations etc. that the wage settlements are made. 

Chanda koccar is paid Rs.2.11 Crores annually as salary! She is awarded "padma bhushan" this year. 

Duvvuri Subbarao laments....."Yes. PSB executives/employees are paid very very less!" 

So, that's the crux of the problem! you see???!!!

Unless the staff of the branch/Bank collude with the culprits, there is no way a fraud be committed with Bankers' Cheques.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Global warming - 2

Story of Oils

During the last months of NDA Government, when international Oil prices were on a continual down trend, it decided, wisely enough, to abolish the Oil pool account and utilize the amount otherwise, as part of economic reforms. People enjoyed a reduction of a couple of paise in the Petrol prices every fortnight or 10 days!

Again, during the term of UPA government, when international oil prices started to be on a continual uptrend, they are not wise enough to restart the oil pool account! But they are wise enough to 'advise' State Governments to 'reduce' taxes! The State Govertnments, who are equal to 'Tigers accustomed to tasty blood' will never reduce Taxes! The ultimate victim is the consumer.

The only reason offered for the increase in petro prices is--'the oil companies are incurring losses!'. How far it is true?

The oil companies are maintaining seperate accounts for petrol, diesel, kerosene, naptha, gas etc. and they want none of these accounts to show losses! But every year, they are handing over "fat" dividend cheques to the Government, to a tune of several thousand crores! How is it possible? Only through bashing the heads of the consumers.

Even today, if the Government dares enough to "de-nationalise" these companies, the international companies can supply "gasoline" at not more than Rs.30/- a litre. They are doing it in the Western countries. But the "Dividend cheques" will go to America, or UK! So, we won't do it.

We surrender, our palms up, to the vagaries of the "market", as in the case of ONIONS!

God only save us.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Global warming

Story of Oils

Since time immemorial, man is using oils, which can broadly be classified as 'edible oils' 'fuel oils' and 'industrial oils'.

Edible oils--everybody knows, are Gingelly Oil, Groundnut Oil, Mustard Oil, Castor Oil, and now Palmolin oil, Rice brawn Oil etc.

Industrial Oils are--Vepa nUne, AviSanUne, kAnuga nUne etc. (which are used for production of some products like soaps etc. Castor Oil joined these oils, used as a lubricant.)

Then come Fuel Oils--Petroleum and its derivatives--Aviation Turbine Fuel, Gasoline, Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, naphthA, Parrafin etc. which are used for burning & getting energy to run certain things, including Aero planes and Tanks!

At the time of our Independence, there were 3 major oil companies, operating in India viz. CALTEX (California and Texas Oil Company); ESSO (Eastern and Southern States....or something....Oil Company);--these two are American Companies and   Burma Shell--a British Company.

In 1956 or afterwards, our Government Nationalised these Companies and formed Indian Oil Company; Bharat Petroleum Company; and HindusthAn Petroleum Company. (which became what I don't remember. Also, if there was a fourth Company I don't remember as I was just a 5 or 6 years boy at that time.)

Okay! Predominant was the use of Coal and Timber for running busses and Trains. Then Petrol costed a few "naye paise" (Diesel was not derived or not in use. Those were also the days when old paisa system is changed to "naya paisa" system and our country adopted metric system for other measurements). 

Much later, the Oil companies were granted independence and formed into "Corporations" ruled by Governing Bodies, in which Government representatives were also there as Directors. 

Everything was fine until, during the regime of Indira Gandhi, our External Affairs Minister Mr. Dinesh Sing was unceremoniously necked out of the 1st world Muslim conference held at Rabbat. (In the first place, we were not invited  but Indira, claiming we are having a considerable Muslim population, sent our delegation to the Conference!)

Later, OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Companies) was formed. They used to rule the World prices of Petroleum products. The world police, USA has worked out strategies, to break the organisation and was successful after the so called Gulf War.

During those years, our country used to maintain an "oil pool account" allotting some crores of rupees, to absorb the volataility of the oil prices. So, no effect on common consumers and prices. be continued.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Corruption in our Banks

Fraud in 'Citi Bank'

Associate vice president (Accounts) Mr. Sanjay Gupta of Hero Corporate Services was arrested on the allegation of 'diverting around 300 crores' from the funds of the promoters of Group Companies.

Out of the funds, around 250 crores are said to have been invested in the Stock Market!

For the purpose, he had set up 2 companies in the names of biji finance & G2S, colluding with Sivaraj Puri, relationship manager of Gurgaon branch of Citi Bank and paid him a commission of Rs.20 Crores.

Investigations are going on.