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A Land of Dreams

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

We live in a land of pipe dreams…dreams that are woven every election year which just fizzles out with time. But we  live in the hope that for once we may dream a real dream and continue to sleep for that beautiful dream.
This is one of many dreams woven by our leaders to keep us all in a state of sombre nothingness….

 

A land of dreams…..

Day DreammingIn a land where I live,
to my people I shall give,
a life of bliss,
that none shall miss,
but my hands are tied,
The media has lied,
the judge was bribed,
the Maoist have tried
rains have failed
Trains derailed
Forget not your horrid past
remember my dream, that shall long last

O my fellow countryman, dream a dream
wake-up not from its sombre scheme
………………………………….sunil varma

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FDI Cartoons…

September 16, 2012 1 comment

An empty Chair Talking….Clint Eastwood and an Invisible Obama

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment

From dirty harry to crazy harry it did not a lot of time…..

Clint Eastwood,the Hollywood filmmaker who knows all about sticking to the script, turned in a bizarre, unscripted endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney Thursday night.
Standing on the convention stage with an empty chair, Eastwood carried on a sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama. The Oscar-winning director of “Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby” criticized Obama for failing to turn the economy around and for wanting to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.

“How do you handle the promises you’ve made? What do you say?” Eastwood asked the imaginary Obama. “I know even some of the people in your party were disappointed you didn’t close Gitmo,” the Guantanamo prison.
“What do you mean `shut up’?” said Eastwood, acting indignant. “I thought it was just because somebody had a stupid idea of trying terrorists in New York City.”

At another point, the 82-year-old Eastwood acted as if he were listening to the imaginary Obama unleash a diatribe against Romney, poking Vice President Joe Biden and letting the convention audience guess what the president said.

“He can’t do that to himself. You’re absolutely crazy!” Eastwood responded. “You’re getting as bad as Biden. Biden is the intellect in the Democratic Party. It’s just kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

Rachel Maddow was at a loss for words on Thursday after Clint Eastwood finished what was largely considered a bizarre and awkward GOP convention appearance.

“I don’t — I don’t — I don’t know what was going on there,” Maddow said, seemingly tongue-tied. “Clint Eastwood is 82 years old and I think that — I don’t know if that’s what was going on there.”

Maddow attempted to recap Eastwood’s speech. “It started off with him clearly off-prompter talking, rambling, about conservatives in Hollywood. He did make one point about the end of the war in Afghanistan and fake interviewed an empty chair as if it was Barack Obama, the President of the United States, swearing at him,” she said.

As Sen. Marco Rubio took the stage to deliver his speech, Maddow continued to react to Eastwood’s remarks.

“That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life, and it will be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen if I live to be 100,” she said. “Here’s Marco Rubio.”

Maddow was not the only journalist to wonder about Eastwood’s comments. Brokaw tweeted that Eastwood became famous as being a man of few words. “As a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he had too many words (I say as a friend),” Brokaw wrote.

After the convention was over, Maddow revisited Eastwood’s speech and said she did not understand why the video introducing Romney, which she described as “very good,” was left out of the prime time hour of coverage so that Eastwood could speak to an empty chair.

“I don’t mean to make light of other things, but I think the Clint Eastwood thing really, seriously blew [the Romney campaign’s] final night, and they’re making light of already, but I cannot believe that it happened,” Maddow said.

A street Fight gone wary…Mamta Banarjee

August 30, 2012 2 comments

A street Fight gone wary…Mamta Banarjee

For me Bengal always has a special place. Having lived for a small time in a quiet town Balasore, on the eastern cost of Orissa (which has a sizable Bengali population), I was extremely influenced by it and its culture. I was able to pick Bengali, loved their cuisine, stories and movies; thanks to all the wonderful people who lived around and helped me during my formative years. What fascinated me was the abundance of culture and history they had and their fascination to ensure that the legacy continues. It awed me that Bengal produced more leaders of independence movement than the entire India combined. It was a state which was considered the harbinger of new era intellectualism and gateway of India for trade, education, international collaborations. Calcutta was erstwhile capital of British India and was destined to be the cultural capital of the world once India got its independence. I loved it when I was still living in my own ivory tower. Then it all dawn upon me. Today the state is in shambles, with nothing more to be proud of other than their past legacy; Bengal has been relegated to backwardness and darkness that would have shamed even some of the failed states of the world.

It would not take enormous intellect to evaluate what went wrong, three and half decades of misplaced communist ideology and dysfunctional governance. Unruly and pampered labour unions, without a social agenda but a penchant to go on strike for all petty and political reasons; terrorizing the industries to complete nonexistence. If that did not take away what mattered to progress into a new era, the cultural and social fabric of the state was hijacked by the political l nincompoops and their petty goons.

The Porivartan

The average Bengali understood the issue but continued to opt the same ideology and ensured CPI(M) to be in power for almost an entire generation. There have been intellectual debates of what is going wrong in the armchairs of private households and intellectual clubs, but it never transcended beyond the four corners of the brick wall. There was an undying hope that someone will do the needful. Over the years entire state hoped that their beloved Didi with her porivartan agenda would bring the state out of the clutches of desperation. They banked their life and the future of their children in the rhetoric of a street fighter who promised CHANGE. It was a promise to bring porivartan (Change) in everything that has gone wrong in the last few decades. It was a dream to bring the past glory back to the people and set Bengal on the track of its destiny. A powerful populous election manifesto, fueled by the growing desperation of the aam Bengali, ensured rout of what was left of the left in the last election by the Trinamool juggernaut.

But the new porivatan has done little to bring about the salvation of the state. While CPI(M) has a failed ideology, one that is no longer relevant in the present economic scenario, the Didi phenomena has no ideology at all. The entire political career of Mamta Banarjee has been based on whining, with little or completely absent economic intellect. It is based on showing a dream, one that says “I will, I can, I want to…but”. When it is time to realize it, action it, there is nothing but ghastly smoke of nothingness. It is what I call the cry baby phenomena. When a toddler wants a toy and he is refused he wails, cry’s and creates a tantrum. When he finally gets it, he gets bored with it in less than an hour and refuses to play with it.

What  have we seen in the last one year in west Bengal?

We have seen nothing more than whiffs and puffs of development and holding the center at Ransom.

The curious Episode of Dinesh Trivedi:

We have seen the bizarre episode of Railway budget and a poor Dinesh Trivedi, who faced the ire of the national cry baby for suggesting to do what is the need of the time. The rail fare had not been hiked for nearly a decade putting Indian Railways in ICU as far as its financial viability was concerned. The proposed fare hike would have added 4200 crores to railways income, which while paltry compared to its expenses, would still have saved railways from becoming bankrupt. The budget received enthusiastic support from a wide cross section of society including the general public, industry groups and all five Rail Unions. However, the fare hike proposal in the budget was fiercely opposed by Mamata Banarjee. Although Trivedi initially tried to defend the budget by pointing out that it was necessary for making Indian Railways stronger, Mamata Banarjee forced him to resign as Railway Minister on 18 March 2012. The fact that the central government let it happen is another story altogether. There were some sharp reactions to this from the general public and industry stalwarts some of them are below.

Chairman & MD of Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted that

“Mamta is a dangerous, populist demagogue: economically illiterate but politically astute – deadly combo!” She added that “Mamta is a sad reflection on just how feudal our society and culture is – talk of human rights!” and “Mamata is behaving like a mad despot. Political leadership is in deficit with such irrational behaviour that can only harm the poor.”
Source : IBN Live , http://tinyurl.com/947mmy8

Industrialist Rahul Bajaj opined that “”It was a very bold budget and he is a brave man to take such a tough call of increasing fares after ten years. I would have wished to see him around as the Railways Minister. However, it is very unfortunate that his own party is now distancing him.”
Source : IBN Live , http://tinyurl.com/947mmy8

Veteran journalist, Vivian Fernandes reported that, “It is getting clearer by the day that Mamata Banerjee’s poribortan is not a change for the better. Like the communists, she can only tear, not build.”
Source : IBN Live, http://tinyurl.com/9z2y8ap

Trinamool MP Kabir Suman came out in open support for Trivedi and expressed his solidarity with him, saying “My respects for the Chief Minister and other party leaders notwithstanding, I must say that it defies parliamentary decorum to get a Railway Minister removed simply because he has acted in the country’s interest.”
Source: “Cong playing un-fare games, cries Mamata”. IBN Live.

Does it not answer the question why Indian railways is losing money in the first place,  Mamta inherited a profit making enterprise from her predecessor? It was an amazing turnaround  that is still being discussed in major business school of the world. Lalu prasad Yadav did manage to make it a profitable venture during his tenure, just to be fizzled away by the whims of an eccentric leader. Under Mamata Banerjee’s watch, the railways saw the worst operating ratio of 98 per cent: only two rupees were left in every hundred earned after operating expenses and appropriations for pensions and asset wear and tear. It was a funny incident which underestimates the basic federal structure of Indian government: A state minister was able to influence the national policy based on her whims and fancies without any national debate.

The king shall be mine

Out of nowhere there was an entire hallabulla about the presidential election. It made a complete mockery of the entire institution. Even for a layman like me it seemed evident that Pranab Da’s presidency was eminent. He had the majority support of the Electoral College and there was no strong opposition other than the wimpy Sangama playing the minority card. Even BJP was in a state of confusion because there was no viable alternate candidate. Mamta played her populist card of nominating APJ as her candidate. The funny part was Dr Kalam had not even confirmed his candidacy. She knew APJ was someone people wanted as president so she played it and came out looking like a political novice in professional ring with stars like Mulayam and Sonia on one side of the court. After holding the UPA to ransom for more than three years since its inception, Mamata Banarjee finally got the jolt from the Congress, and was shown its (Mamta’s) ‘irrelevance’ for the ruling dispensation in the Presidential election. The prize….Bengal lost a lot of clout in the center and the aid that it could have mustered had Didi played her cards rationally.

Porivartan…but no reforms

We oppose, because that is all that we know…. seems to be the philosophy of the Mamta Banarjee and her party. In the current bleak economic scenario, foreign investment which had been driving Indian dream has been progressively drying up. It is a prudent economic decision to ensure that we open new sectors in the economy to rejuvenate the sagging economy. While making a note that Indian entrepreneur should be protected, opening up Retail, Insurance, aviation and Pensions is the next logical step. But like a Saindhav in Mahabharata, Mamta blocked all economic reform at national level. TMC has emerged as a major stumbling block for the government, forcing it to backtrack on several reform proposals. More than 30 legislation proposals are pending in Parliament. The move to raise the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49% from 26% and open up the pension sector has faced political roadblocks for several years now. Result a complete policy paralysis at the center when it comes to FDI.

“We are not in favor of FDI in retails and all this… insurance and pension. We are not in favor of FDI in aviation also. Always, we are in favor of common people,” Banarjee told reporters after her meeting with Chidambaram.
Times of India, Aug 24, 2012

If you are really in the favor of common people, the state should know economic development is the only way to elevate the life style of the masses. Have a pro industry economic policy, get the industry into the state and generate employment… let people live. Didi, your stand on FDI rings more like CPI(M) than Trinamool ideology. STOP and STAGNATE

Thou shall not question me!

Finally what irked me to write this article? Mamta Banarjee has been a failed administrator, in whichever capacity she has worked. But she is absolutely intolerant to criticism. Her ascent to CM of Bengal made her extremely visible and when you are visible, you have to answer your critics. But like a toddler with a bamboo stick she wants to hit at everyone who points out where she is going wrong and there have been far too many incidents to ignore her fascist behavior

Law and order…that is just fine.

It all started in Feb 2012 with an unfortunate incident of rape in the upmarket Park Street in Calcutta or Kolkata if you prefer. It was an eye opener to the rest of India of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. But instead of addressing the core issue, Ms Banarjee had reportedly said the rape of an Anglo-Indian woman was a “fabricated story” intended to malign her government and had blamed some TV channels for airing reports on the incident. In a few weeks the police were able to apprehend the perpetrators putting the govt. in an awkward situation. In an Indian Express article on April 4th it was mentioned that the Irked Mamata govt. transferred IPS officer who cracked rape case http://tinyurl.com/9upx7ek

Cartoongate

In another bizarre incident, reminiscent of a dystopian state, a professor of the city’s Jadavpur University was arrested for forwarding e-mails with humorous reference to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banarjee replacing Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi with Mukul Roy. The arrest according to me is not only childish, but is a serious infringement of Freedom of speech. It is a jolt to the basic fabric of democracy. The action is authoritarian and completely undemocratic. The govt. faced a setback when the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) recommended departmental proceedings against two police officers connection with the arrest of Ambikesh Mahapatra, his neighbor Subrata Sengupta. But how many cartoonists can be arrested. I have curated some of the many cartoons that are doing rounds in the print media and internet below.

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Maoist Farmer

The bouncer attitude continued when a framer was arrested for questioning the government’s policy on farmer. In a public rally he stood up and asked what Banerjee’s government was doing for the farmers as they are dying because they have no money. The CM immediately labelled him as Maoist following which he was detained, quizzed and later arrested by the police. He was remanded to the judicial custody for 14 days.

Maoist Youth

The childish, immature and fascist attitude of Mamta Banarjee continues. In a more public display of erratic behaviour she walked out of a recent televised public interactive session blaming the audience to be moist. Well they were students from local university. In the video below you will witness the anguish of a leader who can whine but not debate. You will also witness a leader who does not have the clarity or the vision to run a political office. It also is a clear case of lack of respect for the people who have elected her to power.

Maoist judiciary

More recently Mamta Banarjee was under attack from political parties and eminent lawyers for alleging there were instances when court judgments have been delivered for money. Speaking at a seminar in the House on the platinum jubilee of West Bengal Assembly Didi said;

“Why will judgments be given only in favour of those who offer money? I am sorry to say this; people can condemn me for this. I can be arrested and put in jail for this, but somewhere I will have to express my opinion,” Ms. Banarjee said. She was speaking at a seminar, ‘Executive Accountability to the Parliament/Legislature,’ on the occasion of the Assembly’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
Source : http://tinyurl.com/8ztkygd

Didi wants to make a strong statement about what is going wrong in the judiciary, she lives in a democratic country and she has absolute right to show discontent, but i wonder why this privilege is only restricted to her, when other did the same they get to face the wrath of the state mechanism…is it not a tiny bit hypocritical…?

Eminent lawyer Soli Sorabji, posed an interesting question reacting to Banerjee’s controversial statement.

“…What about the cases, she has won in court? Who paid the judges? Mamata? This shows the absurdity of the allegations. I mean, one expects a mature reaction…I am very very disturbed,” Sorabji said.

Well the layers did what they are really good at, filed a contempt of court petition on Mamta for her unbridled rhetoric, I guess she not a tiny bit worried, she must be assuming she can buy this judgment too.

This is just the first year and there will many more to come. I do feel sad… Mamta Banarjee was a leader I really liked. She was a street fighter, though an emotional one, fighting for her people trying to break the shackles of a dysfunctional government. Somewhere in midst of the fight things have gone wary. The fighter is fighting the audience while the opponent sits calm waiting for the right time to hit, for that decisive Knockout. Mamta Didi do remember we are a democracy and there will elections in just about four years’ time.

A land of dreams…..

In a land where I live,
to my people I shall give,
a life of bliss,
that none shall miss,
but my hands are tied,
The media has lied,
the judge was bribed,
the Maoist have tried
rains have failed
Trains derailed
Forget not your horrid past
remember my dream, that shall long last

O my fellow Bengali, dream a dream
wake-up not from its sombre scheme
………………………………….sunil varma

I leave you with a very nice rendition of What is happening in Bengal with a viral video by Kabir Suman,a Trinamool MP. It is called SHILADITYO — WITH AN APOLOGY TO RABINDRANATH. It is a good song, do watch it. if someone can do a good translation do put it in comments, I will add it below.

The War Of the G’s : 2g Spectrum SC verdict and Kapil Sibal

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The Supreme Court’s summary rejection of the 2G review petitions filed by various companies whose licences were cancelled on 2 February should bring home one point: under SH Kapadia, the top court has become a no-nonsense arbiter of justice, and efforts by various parties to seek court indulgence on flimsy grounds will be blackballed.

A casual look at recent Supreme Court orders confirms this. The government’s Vodafone judgment review was thrown out. A Raja’s plaint against the 2G verdict got short shrift. Essar Oil’s review plea on Rs 6,300 crore of sales tax dues payable to Gujarat went out of the window. The army chief’s age review request was withdrawn when the court indicated what it would do. A public interest petition against Sebi chief and the finance minister was rejected since it was just making allegations without raising constitutional issues.

The only petition the Supreme Court has been willing to entertain is the limited government one seeking to claim back its right to make policy  in the spectrum case. The government wisely did not challenge the cancellation of 122 licences, and only wants the court to withdraw its comments that transgress into the policy-making domain. While the 2 February judgment said auctions were the best way to sell scarce natural resources, including spectrum, the government (correctly) claims that the court cannot decide how a government should farm out its natural resources – as long as the process is not vitiated by opaqueness and fraud.

However, Kapil Sibal & Co have managed to shoot themselves in the foot on this one too.

After claiming the right to keep the court out of the policy domain, the government wants to invite it right back by asking it questions that are directly about policy through a presidential reference.

Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati is said to have cleared some points in Kapil Sibal’s presidential reference that should normally fall in the policy domain.

According to The Economic Times, the presidential reference will ask seven main questions. Among them: will the 2 February judgment affect telecom licences given in 1994 – that is, retrospectively? What happens to those promoters who were issued dual technology licences (Reliance, Tata Teleservices)? What about the 3G spectrum given to those whose licences were cancelled? Should all spectrum allocations of the past be reworked? Should telecom companies be charged more for spectrum allocated in the past, and from what date?

The presidential reference also asks the court questions on how much can the court interfere in policy decisions, and whether auctions are the best method to hand out natural resources?

One is truly flabbergasted by the sweep and nature of this presidential reference. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has clearly pointed out that there is no point in it, and the Union cabinet should send it to the dustbin when it comes up for sanction.

The ridiculousness of the presidential reference is this: Should a government that has sought to claw back the right to make policy from court be asking the same court for directions on how it should be going about making policy?

This shows the bankruptcy of the government’s political thinking. What is it trying to achieve by making such a detailed reference when the Supreme Court cannot have all the answers? Despite its general observations on the importance of auctions, can any court rule that it is the best way? Can any human being, however wise, assert that auctions are right in all circumstances?

Let’s take each issue and see how the question contradicts what the government is trying to achieve with the 2G review petition, which will be heard on 13 April.

Question: Should the 2 February judgment affect telecom licences given in 1994 – that is, retrospectively?

The Supreme Court has not extended its judgment to those licences. It is up to the government to reopen the old cases if it so wants. Why should the court answer this question?

Question: What happens to those issued dual technology licences? What happens to the 3G spectrum given to those whose licences were cancelled?

The government has to chart a pathway from licence cancellation to reissue/rebids. It is not the court’s job to tell the government what and how policy should be reframed in the light of its judgment.

Question: The presidential reference also asks whether the courts can interfere in policy decisions, and whether auctions are the best method to hand out natural resources.

When the government is challenging precisely this right of the court in the 2G review petition, what is the logic in making a presidential reference for the same? It will get its answer with the review petition.

UPA and Sibal are upto no good in trying to lob questions back to the court when it is their job to evolve a policy and get telecom out of the mess it has landed in.

Under the NDA, when the government messed up by allowing Mukesh Ambani a backdoor entry into mobile telephony by announcing a wireless in local loop policy, Arun Shourie cleaned up the confusion by directly talking to the affected players and working out an effective policy compromise, thereby avoiding a court-delivered policy.

Sibal is trying to do the opposite and with confused intentions: he is both asking for policy making rights and asking the court to help him decide on policy.

India’s messed up telecom sector needs a problem-solver like Shourie, not a problem-creator like Sibal. He has the option of playing Shourie, or Shakuni, the trouble-maker of the Mahabharat.

The solutions have to be found through compromise, technocracy and honest political intent. Sibal is heading in the wrong direction.

Original post : 2G mess: Sibal can do a Shourie or a Shakuni on policy
By R.Jagannathan  Apr 6, 2012
FIRSTPOST INDIA

FDI In Retail Sector, The New Tamasha in town

November 29, 2011 4 comments

 India must be only country in the world where Political Right upholds Communist economics. Thought Right wing parties believed in free market?  Sagarika Ghose on twitter

FDI In multi brand Retailing

We always need something to make our parliament the most unproductive working space on earth. FDI in retail is the latest excuse our lawmakers needed to skip work. It is surprising to note, the parties which were advocating  FDI in retail during their tenure as government now seems to have a change of heart.

What we want now as citizens is a formal debate, not in the paid coffers of tabloids that are called news channels but where it really matters…In the parliament. Alas that is how traditional democracies work and India does not take pride in being traditional. We believe in slapping the ministers or going on hunger strikes but not in demanding a cultured debate in the parliament on an important decisions that govt has taken in recent years.

Like all Change, most of us are skeptical and some people like me in Retail industry have been eagerly waiting for this to happen, but neither of us have any clue on what the implications it would be have on the economy and society general.

I vaguely remember in the 1990’s when India was opening up its economy by an oft forgotten maverick prime minister and an extremely capable finance minister, there was the same kind of skeptic feeling. The doomsday predictions for the Indian entrepreneur. But twenty years ahead we agree almost unanimously,  that it was the best thing that happened to Indian industry. While I feel sorry, for my then favorite Campa Cola it makes me realise that it was a small sacrifice. We traded it for a Jaguar and Range rover. We also traded it for a steady 8% growth in the Indian economy over the last 2 decades and for an international outlook that India would be one of the countries that will bring the world out the current mess it got in to. We also traded campa cola for meteoric raise in the middle class income levels, a world class IT and telecom infrastructure and a putting India into an acronym called BRIC which is generally seen as the future of economic growth in the world. It is a small sacrifice.

FDI Retailing and its effects

FDI will also make the same kind of sacrifices.  It will bring the end of the great Indian middle man. Indian Retail is a complex business.There are so many layers of supply chain before the produce reach the retail floor and so many commissions that are exchanged in between that the actual producer… read farmer, is happy just to get his costs back  and some of his produce for his consumption. For a country that is being counted as the next global economic leader, we have  miserable infrastructure in the name of supply chain. We have tons of grain lost to mishandling and mismanagement every year. We loose a lot of perishable goods before it reached the retail floor.

If we expect that this infrastructure will be built by the govt we still live in fools paradise. But an organisation with a profit motive will ensure the supply chain is efficient and productive. this in turn will create new jobs, new businesses, new entrepreneurs. that is how economies grow.

 Would Indian small business be affected by FDI in retail

The biggest debate is FDI will kill the business of the local kirana stores. It will be the end of the sabjiwala at the corner of the street. There are few things against these arguments.

1. The super stores that will not come up next to a B block of Amar colony in Lajpat Nagar. These are super stores which require 30000-40000 Sqft. of retail space even for their smallest stores. so they are going to be destination stores in places where the real estate is cheaper. Since you would not be taking your car for a 5 km drive in our traffic (also with the cost of gas) to buy eggs and bread for breakfast, kirana stores will co-exist. Their assortment may change over time but they will profitably co-exist.

2. There will be a metamorphosis of the existing retail space. The Kirana stores will morph into more organized retail stores. The new investment into infrastructure in supply chain will assist this transformation. These store will be more retail efficient and more profitable.

3. The entrepreneurs who run these kirana stores have always been astute entrepreneurs. They have an amazing ability to acclimate to the business environment. That is why that sector has been operating successfully for ages. So they will as I said before morph and trade and trade profitably

But saying that, I  also agree that there will be a massacre. All inefficient retail space will be wiped out. Middle men who add no value to the supply chain will be wiped out. But this is  expected of a free economy. The market dictates and then it is the survival of the fittest.

We have always under estimated the Indian Entrepreneur. The license raj and closed economy era of the yesteryears has been designed to protect them. But we already have a precedence that once out of these shackles og government control the Indian entrepreneur  has always done well in the global competition.

The Industrial policy 1991 had crafted a trajectory of change whereby every sectors of Indian economy at one point of time or the other would be embraced by liberalization, privatization and globalization. FDI in multi-brand retailing is in that sense a steady progression of that trajectory. The Govt has by  far protected the domestic industry from the adverse effects of a change that both logical and essential.

The proposed change will require a more informed and inclusive support from the political parties and the Industry. One hopes that the government would stand up to its responsibility, because what is at stake is the stability of the vital pillars of the economy- retailing, agriculture, and manufacturing. In short, the socio economic equilibrium of the entire country. As this political space develops in the coming weeks lets sit back and watch the tamasha in our parliament

__________________________________________________________________________

“It is a win-win situation for everyone. With the amount of money to be invested in back-end, supply chain and farm sector will benefit,” Future Group Chief Executive Officer Kishore Biyani told PTI.

Even the small and medium enterprises will benefit. Eventually consumers will get a lot of choices and they will get products at better prices, he added.

Shoppers Stop Vice Chairman BS Nagesh said: “I welcome FDI in retail. Capital is required for the market whether it comes from domestic or foreign investors, it will help grow the sector in the next 3-5 years.”

Commenting on the impact of opening the sector to foreign players he said: “There will be no impact on the domestic industry as there is enough market. At the end of the day the consumer will benefit.”

This is an article by Nandan Nelkeni couple of years back on FDI. Cant find the source URL but i had a clipped copy, so i pasted it here for those who wants to read the views of someone from outside the industry.

https://sunilscove.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/nandan-nelkeni-on-fdi-in-retailing/

For a more humorous take on FDI have a look at a curation of popular cartoons on the net related to FDI, in this post. FDI CARTOONS

Battle of the Bills…Understanding the Lokpal Bills

August 20, 2011 1 comment

 BOBAs the two armies march into the plain fields of Ramlila grounds, the faceoff has just began. One armed with an election mandate of a few million, the other with the anguish of a frustrated billion. Close kin fighting a common enemy, fighting to decide the right armoury. Can there be more irony into this entire tragedy, while we fight and live in misery,enemy goes scot free. …………………………………..Sunil Varma

The two Lokpal bills, drafted by the government and the Civil society,  have been receiving some strong reactions from all corners of the country. Everyone seems to be fascinated with the coming of age of Indian public and their fight against corruption. Facebook, twitter and the entire social media are trending; with no one else to fill the empty space of a national leadership, Anna is our new DE-facto leader. But before I take sides I want to know what is prize of the battle, so this is an amateur analysis of the two Lokpal bills.

This is an analysis of the bills not the movement itself. An attempt to understand, if the  Anna’s suicide attempt is worth the cause or is it another of tamashas that we Indians are so found of. To make the post short, I have taken the key points of differences between the two parties and tabulated it with comments. ( I just hope in my zeal to keep the post concise I have not made it unreadable)

Lokpal bill analysis copy

Now that the moral ground to kill clearly in the favor the Jan-Lokpal bill, it is also clear why the Govt is opposing it. Their situation is akin to asking a carceral soul to pick his garroter’s hatchet. I am convinced if left to the GOVT (any one in Power) this bill will never see the light of the day. Even if the bill is passed, Lokpal as an institution will be another govt agency relegated to the caves of bureaucratic Moria.

Even though I like the Jan Lokpal Bill better, I am not sure if I agree with  Anna Hazare tactics of coercing the govt into accepting what the movement wants. This will set a new precedent of having a Jana-bills, for every bill that will be introduced in the parliament. The need of time demands one of the parties  take it up into the Parliament, and debate it like  mature people and pass a bill that can fight corruption. But knowing the level of intellect in our parliament, I know it is pipe dream and would rather have an Anna do that for us.

It is corruption that we are fighting against, in a society where it is part of our daily chore. We bribe everyone and envy the govt officer and his not so legal perks. We can afford to ride without a license, marry at the local park, sell a house at half the legal value, get our kids to the school and colleges and avoid our taxes because of our ability to corrupt people. We are the ones who look for a jack, a push or a pull to get anything done and feel proud that we are able to do it with our so called connections.

But we are the same people who in an alien country are exemplary citizens. We keep the city clean in Singapore, go thru the 10 tests to get a license in UK, do not drink and drive in Dubai, stand in queues everywhere. Reason: We are scared of the law, where as in our own country we know we can bribe our way through. So it is the law… clear, enforceable and incorruptible that will make a difference. So a strong anti corruption Law and a competent enforcing agency is paramount for us to win this WAR! and that is what this is all about. I vote for the Jan-Lokpal Bill or it closest equivalent that has been evaluated, checked and rechecked by a competent group of people with the objective of fighting corruption, even if it not supported by Anna and his billions.

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