70,00,000 Crores Indian Rupees In Swiss Bank….wat a great achievement….!!!!

Our Indians’ Money – 70,00,000 Crores Rupees In Swiss Bank*

1) Yes, 70 lakhs crores rupees of India are lying in Switzerland banks. This is the highest amount lying outside any country, from amongst 180 countries of the world, as if India is the champion of Black Money.

2) German Government has officially written to Indian Government that they (German Government) are willing to inform the details of holders of 70 lakh crore rupees in their Banks, if Indian Government officially asks them.

3) On 22-5-08, this news has already been published in The Times of India and other Newspapers based on German Government’s official letter to Indian Government.

4) But the Indian Government has not sent any official enquiry to Germany for details of money which has been sent outside India
between 1947 to 2008. The opposition party is also equally not interested in doing so because most of the amount is owned by politicians and it is every Indian’s money.

5) This money belongs to our country. From these funds we can repay 13 times of our country’s foreign debt. The interest alone can take care of the Centre’s yearly budget. People need not pay any taxes and we can pay Rs. 1 lakh to each of 45 crore poor families.

6) Let us imagine, if Swiss Bank is holding Rs. 70 lakh crores, then how much money is lying in other 69 Banks? How much they have deprived the Indian people? *Just think, if the Account holder dies, the bank becomes the owner of the funds in his account.*

7) Are these people totally ignorant about the philosophy of *Karma*? What will this ill-gotten wealth do to them and their families when they own/use such money, generated out of corruption and exploitation?

8) Indian people have read and have known about these facts. But the helpless people have neither time nor inclination to do anything in the matter. This is like “a new freedom struggle” and we will have to fight this.

9) This money is the result of our sweat and blood. The wealth generated and earned after putting in lots of mental and physical efforts by Indian people must be brought back to our country.

10) As a service to our motherland and you contribution to this struggle, please circulate at least 10 copies of this note amongst your friends and relatives and convert it into a mass movement.

Note: I got this article as an email forwarded from my friend. I validated few of the points hwihc are correct as well but cannot claim to be fully authentic. But it is well known fact that their is huge amount of black money lying in the foreign banks.

And the farmer suicide continues….

BILL BRYSON once said that there are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age. He would have not mentioned only these three things, had he been to Vidarbha in Maharshtra.

Vidarbha has been in limelight for some time because of the farmer suicides in recent years ostensibly because of the falling minimum support price for cotton. The problem that Vidarbha farmers are facing is really complex and is precisely because of the lopsided policies of WTO and developed nation which has made cotton of Vidarbha uncompetitive in world markets.

India is a land where more than 60 per cent of population is into the farming but unfortunately the globalisation and better economy has failed to boost agriculture in the country. Last year, P Chidambaram in the Union budget announced Rs 72,000 crores relief package for the farmers but the recent figures clearly states the ineffectiveness of the same.

Figures available with the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swawalamban Mission, the authority implementing the loan-waiver package, show 1,139 farmers killed themselves in Vidarbha’s six most suicide-prone districts in 2008 — a mere 107 less than in 2007, when 1,246 farmers committed suicide.

Every passing day there is news of more farmers committing suicides.

The main reasons for the failure of the loan waiver scheme are that:

Only a handful of farmers have received the money to date

Because local banks are yet to receive the bulk of funds

Even worse, many here didn’t qualify the for waiver

The average land holding is above the 2 hectare cut off

What farmers need for their survival is income, and not so much debt relief; in other words, the country needs agricultural renewal and productivity improvement.

A farmer is being neglected in his own country. There is no body which can understand or is really interested to understand the problems of a farmer. Annadaata is starving and we are looking on callously.

We haven’t bothered to stand up for the cause of our fellow country men. Why? Why is it that the voices of our farmers are being over heard by all the bodies? What are we waiting for?

As a common citizen I know that we only feel the pinch of the situation when we start to get affected by the same. Probably, we are waiting for the time when farmers will pick up guns and explode bombs to make deaf people/government hear their voices. We have discussed about cross border terrorism so much but in process we have forgotten the ‘economic terrorism’, where the victims are farmers and only farmers!

Indian Economy Slightly Better Poised than other Emerging Economies

THE WORST ever financial crisis to have ravaged the United States since the Great Depression of 1930s, has taken a heavy toll on the world’s largest economy. There is rise in the number of job layoffs and cost cutting. In fact, all the economies of the world are facing crisis to tackle this global meltdown. The meltdown has led to shock waves across the world, with economy after economy gasping for breath to survive this financial tsunami.

Citigroup on Monday (November 17), decided to lay off 53000 employees in the coming months and slash its expenditure by 20 per cent next year. The measures are part of the Citigroup’s efforts to overcome the huge losses it has suffered in the last four straight quarters, including $2.8 billion in the third quarter.

Recently, HSBC announced its plan to shed 500 jobs in Asia, following the slump. The bank decided to trim its work force because of ’organizsational changes in a number of areas as well as the deteriorating economic conditions and our cautious outlook for 2009’, Peter Wong, an executive director for Hong Kong and China, said in an internal message released by the bank. Now DLF has also frozen few of its plans and has cut down few jobs as well. “We must have laid off some employees somewhere,” DLF chairman KP Singh told reporters on the sidelines of India Economic Summit, but did not give the number of jobs that were cut.

Our finance minister has maintained that India will not be much affected by the recession but the fact remains that Indian Inc are getting hit by this slump worldwide. The stock market in the country has crashed in last few months.

The Sensex fell 353 points to end at 8,937 levels while in the broader markets Nifty closed lower by 116 points at 2,683 today. The investors have been dampened by the global recession and corporate layoffs. Investors are discomforted by news, the financial sector is still struggling. The entire world seems to be sinking into recession. Indians all over the world are very susceptible to the recession and are living on edge. There are hardly any new jobs available in the market and retaining one’s job can be considered to be a luxury.

There is no doubt that if the global economies suffer then India is also bound to suffer. But the very fact that India is a domestic consumption- and investment-driven market where contribution of exports to the growth is not as big goes in its favour to tackle this crisis in a much better way than few of the other emerging economies. The inflation rate has also reached in some what comfortable zone and thus economists believe that the government has more room now to focus on the growth rate of our economy.

Indian Subcontinent after 61 years

Indian SubcontinentINDIA WAS divided in 1947. Sixty one years have passed since then, but still the countries of the subcontinent especially Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have still not been able to deal with their internal problems and security issues. British divided India into Dominion of Pakistan and Union of India before leaving the country. This was done in accordance with Jinnah’s two nation theory. Jinnah’s two nation theory was based on separate countries for Hindus and Muslims. There was support and opposition of the partition, but many believed that was the best way out. The partition led to violence and riots and millions of Hindus and Muslims migrated to the country of their choice. Based on 1951 census of displaced persons, 7,226,000 Muslims went to Pakistan from India while 7,249,000 Hindus and Sikhs moved to India from Pakistan immediately after the partition. The province of Bengal was divided into two separate entities of West Bengal belonging to India, and East Bengal belonging to Pakistan. Pakistan was declared an Islamic state while India became a secular state. There was no denying that partition was based on hatred and this is still imprinted on our minds. Kashmir issue has been the centre of problem between India and Pakistan. The issue has led to many wars between the two countries.

Pakistan, a nation which was formed after the partition, moved towards fundamentalism. It surprises me that in the last 60 years, Pakistan has took keen interest on happenings in India rather than looking after itself. This led to unrest in East Pakistan, which launched a language movement in 1952 to declare Bengali as national language. Dominion status was rejected in 1956 in favour of an ’Islamic Republic within the Commonwealth’. Attempts at civilian political rule failed, and the government imposed martial law between 1958 and 1962 and 1969 and 1972. The government was dominated by military and oligarchies all rooted in the west. Significant amount of national revenues went towards developing the west at the expense of the east. The people of the eastern wing began to feel increasingly dominated and exploited by the west. There was violation of human rights in East Pakistan and the people revolted against the dictatorial regime in 1969. Thus Bangladesh was formed in 1971 and became an independent state after Pakistani army surrendered to India after 1971 war.

Thus we had three nations formed from one and their present is somehow dictated by happenings on the other two. Bangladesh was formed with an intention to create a secular state but the fundamentalists and politicians gave up this idea and declared Bangladesh as Islamic state after eighth amendment in constitution in the year 1988. The situation worsened for non Muslims in the country and large number of people fled from Bangladesh to India. The religion is still one of the major political issues in all the three countries. But there is no denying that India has done well to large extent. The sovereignty of the country is based on the equality of the people in terms of rights. India has been successful compared to the other two. In fact, I will say that the other two nations have failed miserably.
One thing that India has done and Pakistan has been unable to do in all these years after formation, is build sound democratic structures. It is these structures, be it the judiciary, legislature, our electoral system or the media, with all their faults, which have ensured that we don’t stray from the path of democracy amid tremendous challenges. Pakistan on the other hand, which has had a few flings with democracy, mostly sham ones, have repeatedly reverted to military dictatorships, when the democratic experiment failed. No wonder even after 61 years, Pakistan is yet to inculcate the democratic ethos and has allowed no democratic institution to flourish. This took a toll on the economy of the country as well.

The biggest tension that is mounting between the subcontinent countries is that of terrorism. Pakistan has constantly supported and funded the terror organisation in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Bangladesh has also opened the gates to terror outfits lately. India is surrounded by two states whose credibility on the fight against terror are questionable. Pakistan is the country that is almost universally identified as constituting the most serious active threat to our national security.

India is on the path to become a superpower. Even the world acknowledges the progress that our country has made in these years. Clyde Prestowitz, president of the think tank Economic Strategy Institute said that India can become the superpower in 21st century. He also said that we need to maintain a constant focus on the problems that we, as a nation are facing. We still have to work very hard to ensure social-economic development of the people from all the sections of the society. The fruits of development should be shared by one and all. The problem of internal threat should not be neglected.

At the same time, we need to refrain from communalism as that can be the biggest hindrance in the path of the development of the nation. Love for one’s country does not vary in degree from person to person nor it is distinguished by caste or religion. Loving one’s country is a universal feeling. The fundamentalist will try to fly the flag of religion as it has been the easiest way to crust the spirit of humanity. This is applicable to both Hindus and Muslims in our country. We should not have repercussions in our nation of something, which has happened in other parts of the world. One must strive hard, contribute and participate in the revolution that will witness the emergence of India as a superpower.

India Starving on Mountain of Grains

The economists have predicted a growth rate of over nine per cent for India in the years to come. It is heartening to see that we are making progress. But one thing that I am unsure of is the implication of this growth rate.

Statistics and numbers are like mini skirts; they reveal a lot but conceal the significant bits. And the same is applicable to the growth rate story. There is no denying that in the last few years we have made substantial progress in many spheres, but the development has been concentrated in urban areas and the beneficiaries are those who belong to the elite group.

StarvationAgriculture, which supports more than 65 per cent of the population, is growing at the dismal rate of three per cent. India ranks 94th in the global hunger index according to a report released by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). India’s score is 25.03, compared with 8.37 for China, which is 47th on the list. Libya tops the list with a score of 0.87. Between 1981 and 1992, India’s score fell from 41 to 32 and then to 25 by 1997. This means that India has stagnated and has failed in feeding its poor in the last decade or so.

India claims to be a food surplus nation, which is true. Yet we feature amongst the hungriest nations. The ‘credit’ for this paradox goes to the change in the food policy of India in the early 1990s. At that time, the government of India decided to increase the price (or decrease the ’subsidy’) of grains and commodities in the public distribution system (PDS – the ‘ration shops’). It had two consequences. One, it made food out of reach for the poor. Two, it made India a food surplus nation, since those, who require it badly can no longer afford it.

The government presents a beautiful picture of the country, that we are a developing economy which will overtake China in the next decade and become a superpower. No issues with that. But one should be true to one’s assessment.

With the inflation soaring at 11.5 per cent, the life of a poor man has become more miserable. The people in villages (barely few hundred kilometers from our financial capital) have not eaten vegetables for the last few months. The adults have literally given up eating at night. This is perhaps the story of every household, which depends on daily wages or meager monthly incomes.

India also has the distinction of being home to the largest number of malnourished children. Child malnutrition is a leading cause of child and adult mortality. It is estimated to play a role in about 50 percent of all child deaths, and more than half of the child deaths are caused by malaria (57 per cent), diarrhea (61 percent) and pneumonia (52 percent). So we are failing to feed our children as well. What exactly does this growth rate imply when considered in accordance to the fact that the majority of the population of our country is unable to secure their daily bread?

Recently, the reply to an RTI (Right to Information) appeal filed by Dev Ashish Bhattacharya said that over 10 lakh tonnes of food grains worth several hundred crores of rupees – which could have fed over one crore hungry people for a year, was damaged in the godowns of Food Corporation of India (FCI) during the last decade. The damages were suffered despite the FCI spending Rs 242 crore to prevent the loss of food grains during storage. Ironically, another Rs 2.59 crore was spent just to dispose off the rotten food grains. Isn’t this a ridiculous situation where you waste your food grains – which could have supplied food for millions and on the other hand you cite the shortage of food and raise the price of grains 2-3 times in a span of few months.

I sometimes wonder what these policy makers do when they have failed to control inflation, food management, hunger and malnutrition. Their policies have just made the life of the poor even more pathetic. Yet they claim that we are growing at the rate of nine per cent!

Image Courtesy: www.karlgrobl.com

India has no credentials to pontificate!

The disparity between the two sides of India is appalling, to say the least. One side is witnessing sky-rocketing growth, while the other side is ebbing away. The India of today needs to be transformed into a powerful ‘people’s India of tomorrow’.

Poverty in IndiaRECENTLY, FORBES came out with a list of the richest billionaires in the world. For the first time in its history, four Indians figure amongst the top ten. The rankings clearly show that India is a dominating player in the world market and India is where all foreign investments are headed. Another set, which ranked the dirtiest cities of the world featured Mumbai and the national capital New Delhi. These contrasting rankings made me wonder which way the real India is headed.

On one hand, India is the fastest growing economy in the world and on the other it is still one of the poorest countries of the world. On the one hand, we have the ‘Incredible India’ campaigns running all over the world particularly in America and the UK and on the other even our best cities are among the world’s worst. On the one hand, we complain of racism whenever we migrate to the western countries, but here in our own backyard, the Biharis and migrants from Uttar Pradesh are being driven out of Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. The graph of India resembles a periodic sine wave where highs as well as lows occur periodically.

Take the tourism industry of our country. Cleary, if you were to go by advertisements then India is indeed a heaven on our planet. But when foreign tourists visit a city even in modern Goa, we cannot guarantee security; the chief minister himself admits that foreign tourists should be careful in Goa. Every state in India has come up with its own promotional plans to woo the foreign tourists. But whenever foreign tourists visit India, they get a bit anxious about their own safety.

This is one of the most beautiful places in the world – the unexplored regions of the North East, the backwaters of Kerala, the cold desert of Ladakh and the enchanting Ajanta Ellora caves in Maharashtra. But where is the infrastructure to take the tourists to such places? Thus every visitor has lots to say about nature’s delight but always adds, “if only the government had done a bit more for the tourists!”

None of the Indians should ever complain of racism, for what we face in our country is much worse than racism. A young Dalit boy is beaten to death for drawing water from the same well that the upper castes draw water from. The number of backward classes has increased since independence and exploitation of the people on the basis of caste is prevalent in almost all the rural pockets of our country. In Mumbai, the most developed and the most modern city of the country, migrants from different parts are beaten up and driven out – all because they have migrated from a different part of the country.

Why should have Mahatma Gandhi complained when he was thrown off the train at Petermaritzburg station in South Africa when apartheid was in vogue? Almost a century later, migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are being beaten up in trains by the goons of a political party. And make no mistake: Raj Thackeray is a very shrewd man; he is following in Bal Thackeray’s footsteps, though he plans to go further. The problem is that Maharashtrians have a history of capitulating to such theatrics. Dividing the country on the basis of caste, religion or now region has become the political mantra not just in Maharashtra but also in many of the states in India.

In the budget presented a few months back, Chidambaram gave away largesse worth Rs 60,000 crores to the suffering farmers of the country. A few days later, a village in the suicide belt of Vidarbha wants to sell itself off, for, the FM’s money cannot benefit it. Debt waiver is for marginal and small farmers, with less than five acres of land. But, in this village, most of the farmers have land-holdings in excess of that, at least on paper.

Jesus once said, “ To those who have, more will be given and those who have little, even whatever they have will be taken away from them.” Probably this is applicable to the people of our country where the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen.

Image Courtesy: dsrfoundation.org/images/poverty.jpg

Inflation and the stupid Economist

Child Psychologists say that a man who has got 20 years of formal education, has irrevocably lost or damaged 70% of his IQ. I have completed 18 years of formal education by 10 + 2 + 4 years (and 2 years in kinder garden) so I must have lost 63% of my IQ. Hence I have no qualms in saying “Main panchvi pass se tej nahin hoon” ( I am not smarter than a 5th grade kid.) Having said that, I hope the readers will spare me for my stupidity and mistaken concepts regarding Inflation and Economy.

Though I don’t have much of an IQ, I have my basic chemistry intact and a little bit of common sense.
Basic crude oil Refining

Basic crude oil Refining


As seen from the image, petrol being lighter and more volatile, distills out first at about 120˚C while the diesel comes out much later at 270˚C. Obviously more energy is required to extract diesel from crude oil and as such it must be more costly. However in India we get Diesel at about INR 34 and Petrol at about INR 50. Diesel is subsidised, as India being an agro-based country needs diesel for tractors, tube wells etc.

If that’s the case then I don’t understand what the Under Performing Alliance prime-minister and the famous economist Dr. Manmohan Singh means by “subsidy cannot be given forever”

Does he mean to say that Diesel prices will be raised by about INR 15? Does he mean to say that the successive government knowingly gave the Oil companies huge losses and deliberately planned a situation where they don’t have funds to buy crude oil? Does he mean to say that in last 60 years none of the oil companies ever made a profit? And ONGC being rated in Fortune 500 is a hoax?

Unfortunately, facts tell otherwise. In Pakistan, as on 16 March 2008 petrol was INR 39.64 where as Diesel was at 24.59 INR. In 2002, petrol in India was costlier by 22% and 45% compared to Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.

Anyways, as I said I am no economist, so before starting this post I looked up to the dictionary to know what the term subsidy means. Well, Webster defines subsidy as “a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public”. Unsatisfied with the definition I referred a second one and it defined the word more precisely as “an amount of money that the government pays to help reduce cost of product or service”.

Obviously the whole and sole aim of subsidy is to reduce the cost of product, so if the world wide oil prices are increasing, the best buffer can be to reduce the taxes on the fuel. And it is a well known fact, that if taxes are removed from petrol and diesel their prices will fall in India irrespective of the current state of the world market.

It follows that our government and Dr. Manmohan Singh thinks that leaving a tax of INR 20 on an item priced at INR 100 whose production cost is at INR 1 is also a subsidy and it cannot go on forever.

To show the greatness of our economist and our budget planners, let’s look at a very simple item. Milk in India costs about INR 20 while as a Soft Drinks are priced at INR 30 a litre or INR 42 per 1.5 litre. And before you jump to say that Soft drink is a Luxury while milk is a necessity, I haven’t finished yet. Mineral water is at INR 10 per litre!!!

Now, does the government thinks that drinking water is not as big necessity as that of milk? Or it simply wants to state that two litres of water are equivalent to 1 litre of milk? And don’t you think that 250 ml of carbonated water ( 1.5 litre of soft drinks) should be made cheaper???

It is pretty strange that we will fight with our grocer for charging 50 paise extra, fight out in court to avoid paying a rupee extra over MRP but never ever utter a single word when the government makes us pay through our nose in name of inflation. Like I said, we all have had formal education and has lost our IQ somewhere during our education.

So, what’s wrong if we pay more? We are making our country developed, Right? No wrong again!!! Let’s see how we spend the money! 5-year plan is turned into a 50-year plan of corruption. So our Under Performing Alliance (UPA) government takes pride in the sucess of the “Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna”. It is simply a waste of money. It’s an insult to labour and mockery of intelligence.

What kind of road do they build? Is it a pitched road? a concrete road?NO. It is a road that is made of clay. Motorable during summers and with monsoon it disintegrates, and the next summer the process is repeated again. Why can’t they sanction a pitch road?

I guess, our Prime minister has done a PhD.and thus has more than 20 years of formal education and has lost more than 70% of his IQ. He is incompetent to make his own decisions and thus needs guidance in everything he does. And the God Sent guidance in form of Under Performer’s Alliance chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi!!!

Middle Class: Economy Driver of India

Aristotle once said, “A good society is one where the middle class out numbers every one else.” And India is gearing forward to scale this height by 2025. The once upon a time middle class is playing weighing machine for the rest of India.

Children IndiaThe Indian economy has been doing fairly well for the last few years or so, and the most striking characteristic of India today is the explosive growth of the middle class. This middle class was branded as conservative and thrifty a few decades back. However now, India’s middle class is more dynamic, liberal and forms the pillar of a vibrant economy that we have been witnessing lately. This middle class is now playing a definitive role in emergence of India globally, which is full of energy and enthusiasm that is driving the economy towards success and development.

We have always believed that the population has served as the “big” problem for us. It might be true, but there is another aspect to it as well. Although there is no denying that we need to control our population, the youth, which comprises 60 per cent of the total population of the country, can be an asset. Former President, APJ Abdul Kalam once said that large populations created demand for goods and services and was the basis for economic growth. However, we need to give equal oppurtunities to everyone, including the lower strata of the society through good education. A high population creates large markets, which is further advantageous if people are educated. A rise in the level of education gets translated into rise of income. This growth of our middle class has changed our society and politics distinctively. Its worldview is different and if the middle class organises itself in a better way, it has the power to revolutionize the society. Middle class is more conscious about what is right or wrong. They know what their rights are and how to fight for them. Till date, the story has been good, but we cannot be complacent and need to strengthen our middle class.

With the rise in numbers, it is important for us to realise that we (the middle class) have the control of the steering and need to drive our nation forward. We need to develop a better social and civic sense. The middle class was lauded for its action in the Jessica Lal case, Reservations, RTI act but still we respond to only those issues with which we can co-relate ourself. There are thousands of acts of injustice, corruption and unethical behaviour to which, many a time, we become party or beneficiary. We cannot distance ourselves from the range of issues that concern our nation and we must realise that our views, opinions and actions can do wonders. It is equally important to keep the moral and social fabric of the society intact and present a true image of a united India.

The management consultancy firm, McKinsey predicts that India’s middle class will reach 583 million by the year 2025. India will reach Aristotle’s ideal by then, and the middle class will constitute 50 per cent of the total population. With the increase in the size of middle class, India is bound to scale new heights and avenues.

Agriculture And Indian Economy.

Farmer

AMIDST ALL the software and the IT boom, the one sector that has been most ignored is the agriculture sector. What used to form the backbone of the Indian Economy is not being given enough privileges by the government now. The sensex and certain sectors of the economy have seen unprecedented growth, but yet the most important sector to the country has been lagging behind. And with more than half the population in the country still associated with agriculture, urgent reforms need to be made so that this sector in itself can grow rapidly. Contributing to almost one fourth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), it provides employment to millions of people living in the rural areas.

P Chidambaram’s latest Rs 60,000 crore debt waiver to the farmers having less than five acres of land comes as a sigh of relief to most of the farmers all over the country. But yet this scheme is not applicable to all the farmers. Chidambaram could have played a masterstroke through this scheme, but from an economic point of view, it is a disastrous one. The same banks and financial institutions that used to give away loans to all farmers will have to think twice before doing that, as it may not be such a profitable decision after all.

The agriculture sector has seen a growth of about one per cent in the past few years as against the anticipated growth of four per cent. The main problem affecting agriculture is that farmers themselves don’t see it as a profitable option today. With the tremendous increase in population, the land holdings of farmers have shrunk to abysmal levels. The farmers themselves have become grossly indebted and if the rains are not on their side and the crop fails, then they are often staring at unemployment and mere survival.

International trade could play a major role in the rejuvenation and the transformation of this sector. The forward contract Regulation Act, which was having adverse effects in the production of wheat, has now been amended to cater to the problems of the farmers and to help achieve a single common market across the length and breadth of the country.

Public private partnership could augur well for the development of this sector and private investment could get rid of the problem of poor infrastructure. The market as well as the state should work hand in hand to ensure higher returns to farmers and better services to consumers. The private sector would both encourage cooperation and competition and would offer better value for money. The APMC act should be amended by all states and the Mandi taxes could be removed to allow for sustainable results for the farmers.

The Essential Commodities act has already been modified to permit the storage, marketing and movement of agricultural commodities. A unified or an integrated food law should be formulated to bring convergence in the food laws and to encourage the food processing industry. The tax on processes food could easily be lowered further. India is currently a medium sized agricultural exporter, but it could well become the main food supplier to the rest of the world if the agriculture sector could grow rapidly. Foreign buyers who prefer Indian food could be targeted to enhance the exports of such products.

Coming back to the budget, though it may be one of the most popular budgets designed to fetch votes in the upcoming elections next year, but at least it offered incentives to the farmers. If the right measures are taken now, the Indian agricultural industry has the potential to make India the leading agro economy of the world. We need to be able to compete on a global platform with respect to both cost as well as quality. A holistic and integrated approach is the need of the hour to attain sustainable development and growth in this sector.

The “Inflation” Effect

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has completed almost four years in the office. Kudos to them for providing a stable government so far. The growth rate has been approximately 8.5 per cent according to the various reports. I don’t know what exactly this term “growth rate” means, but I have observed many changes in my daily life. The change has been very significant in the last few months post that populist budget.

Surging prices of vegetable, fruits and pulses hit the common man hard while dearer steel and metals pushed the inflation to a 40-month high of 7.41 per cent, prompting the government to take more price control measures like ban on cement exports, and now may be ban on steel exports as well. “Whatever I make, must be affordable to the common man.” These were the words of Chinni Krishnan, who is acknowledged as the father of the sachet revolution in India. But is the common man’s problem being addressed in our country?

Empty WalletBeing a student and living in the hostel, I need to manage my expenses well. Previously, my daily expenditure was Rs. 100, which has increased to Rs. 150 now, despite my having cut down my expenditure on some fronts. I have to ask my parents to deposit more money in my account now. My father, who has taken a home loan, has to pay more Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) and the return period has gone beyond his retirement. The college has increased the fees citing more expenditure. The mess fees has increased following the rise in essential commodities such as vegetables, edible oils, etc. In all, my life has changed a lot in the last few months. It is not just me; in fact, all of us must have faced the heat of rising inflation week after week. The condition of the people who depend on the daily wages is much more pathetic because they are the first and the worst victims of inflation.

Despite this growth rate, the common man’s problems are not attended to. The cup of woes of the common man across the country seems to have reached its brim, with rising prices of fruits, vegetables and other essential commodities leaving a deep hole in the pocket, forcing us to re-frame his already back bending budget.

This is an issue, which is core to the Indian government right now as it knows that the soaring inflation, if not curbed will eat away the entire success story (if any), which it has woven since the past four years, certainly something it does not need when it is going to the polls. The Prime Minister has said that the government will try their level best to curb the inflation but that has not happened till date. The government needs to curb the growing price at the earliest; else it will have to face the consequences in all the upcoming elections scheduled later this year.

This government is definitely by the people but not for the people. I say that whatever reasons the government might give for inflation but the end of the story is that the common man does not have either the time or the money to read or know about that reasons. The failure to curb price rise and inflation has been a major blot on the government totally neutralising the 8-9 per cent growth rate. As the UPA completes its fourth year in the office, the government headed by PM, Manmohan Singh, may be known more for what it has not been able to achieve rather than what it has.

Image courtesy-Icelandexpress