Monday, February 28, 2011

My Budget is huh????

Experts scratching their heads, said one 'expert' from Singapore on Times Now, when asked about the Annual Union Financial Budget 2011 and what one should make out of it.

This perhaps was a good way to sum up what was going on in the ramble of a speech that Pranabda (my favorite politician by far) dished out for three hours on a stretch, where he barely drank a drop of water, and bravely marched on, reading out page after page of absolute garbles (not to be mistaken with garbage, for Pranabda's accent makes it difficult to understand what he really means to say).

Social spending remains nearly the same, especially for NREGA, but taxing hospitals restaurants with AC? Seriously? What are you trying to achieve? Rob the poor people further?

Naina Lal Kidwai pointed out that the budget sends a green signal. The only green that I saw was the green of money that is being robbed from my pockets all the time. SO many taxes, and yet there is no improvement on services. In fact, Indian kids are barely able to add up in the land of Aryabhata and Brahmagupta. For no accountability, we are well on the way to deliver another dud (not to be confused with dude, who can be identified by sheer stupidity at times).

No tinkering, and fiscal deficit at 4.1%. Thanks to the sale of 3G, which makes me wonder why they did not do it for 2G spectrum in 2007. We would have been happier then, and the government could have spent more and perhaps won more seats then.

If they really want to be of help to industries, try and improve the structure, which is not the finance minister's purview. Reform reform blah blah blah - what is he achieving by talking about how ministries need more money, when they keep sitting on shitloads of it by not utilizing the funds given to them?????????

Overall, a bhery diphicult bhudget to undershtand phor me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When Stupidity Reigns Supreme

I must admit - I am not a big fan of the UPA or of Manmohan Singh as others are. And so the tone may seem biased here. But the issue was such that I could not refrain from commenting upon it.

http://www.indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/130549/india/food-security-govt-plans-to-limit-food-served-at-weddings.html

Today's news story carries the following article on the UPA government 'seriously' considering an Act that prohibits the number of people that can be invited for a function or social gathering. This is in support of the argument that food wastage can be reduced this way. Please read the story for more of this.

This is another way of the government trying to act Big Brother over us. It seems that personal liberty is not only going for a toss, so is common sense with it. Won't people simply bribe policemen to lie about this? Moreover, I do agree that the crass manner of wedding celebration needs to be controlled, but seriously people, is this any way to stop food wastage, when tonnes of food rots away in government silos across countries or gets destroyed by pests? There is only one way to describe this nonsense; STUPIDITY REIGNS SUPREME.

India's judicial system's motto translates into 'Truth Alone Triumphs'. Maybe the government's motto should read 'Stupidity Only Can Triumph'.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That Scandal Called Spectrum

Well this is perhaps an apt title. There are no heated debates on it anymore, neither are there front page covers on trying to understand what really happened in 2008. A Raja has been arrested; blood has been bayed; we can all go rest in peace now. Or can we?

Mr. Kapil Sibal has brought out a report under Former Justice Shivraj Patil (not to be confused with former Home Minister Shivraj Patil, that suit changing man), that states that the rot began with 2003 under the NDA. Also, he has been loud and upbeat in disrespecting the Comprtoller and Auditor General (CAG, the Indian government's accountant) report on the perceived loss due to allocation of 2G spectrum by trashing it on the grounds of 'accounting procedures adopted'. I don't know why people do not bring the following points to light:

1. Be it any government under whom the scam had begun, the truth is that there has been a scandal. Start investigating and stop hiding behind the curtains of allegation-counter-allegation amidst all the mudslinging people have jumped into. In that case, one should start with Sukhram under Mr. PV Narsimha Rao's government. Though he was sent to jail, what else changes happened? Nothing! (in retrospect, that INR 4000 crore scandal is peanuts compared to what happened in 2008).

2. The government response to the scandal and its investigation has been an absolute sham. There was no reason why it took the government and the CBI three years to arrest A. Raja when all the evidence was already in the public domain. Tehelka, Outlook and The Daily Pioneer had, for two and a half years, been highlighting the issue before the mainstream media decided to pick it up. Even the so called mainstream media is guilty of not raking the issue and highlighting it in time.

3.As to the perceived loss, Mr. Sibal saying that the loss is only INR 19,000 crore is laughable. Any third grade non-accountant can also tell you the fact that it is very easy to play with numbers. Having worked with balance sheets, I can vouch for the fact that the same balance sheet having a loss of INR 176,000 crore can be made to look like a net profit of INR 20,000 crore - it is all about number crunching. Even if the loss is only INR 19,000 crore rupees, a scam has taken place. For God's sake stop arguing about what the real loss is and get on with the case, its investigation and the prosecution!

4. Where are our laws to deal with corporate crimes? Nowhere! So what we really need is a legal framework to deal with such white-collared crimes as well as Mr. Rajeev Chandrashekhar has pointed out on several occasions. When will the government do something about that issue? Wait! Its busy pandering to the whims of the Ambanis and Tatas!

SO much so for calling ourselves a free and fair democracy; in reality we are an opaque system of governance where it is very easy to drown people in the din of shouting matched to mislead them big-time.

The Economic Slowdown Needs Immediate Address

The Buck Stops With the Duo (Courtesy: Bloombergquint) The fracas in Maharashtra notwithstanding, things are at a critical juncture ...