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Thursday, November 17, 2016

India Demon(itized)...Why Do We Get This Sinking Feeling?

When my friendly neighbourhood grocer informed me one night last week that currency notes of denomination 500,1000 had been declared non legal tender,I laughed it off as another one of those bizarre rumours like Lord Ganeshna drinking milk that circulate from time to time.

The maverick politician has seriously done the unexpected this time.The long queues,the disruption to normal life and weddings and deaths was n unexpected corollary.A few weeks hence all the din will be forgotten and life will resume its old course.

Has it really changed the 'shadow' economy or dealt a death blow as the Government would have us believe?

There will be an affect certainly.But from where I stand I rather feel that its the small fry businessmen and big farmers in the rural belt that would have faced the consequences and not the big politician-businessman-industrialist-lobbyist.

They have been into  real estate,diamonds or offshore banking for many years now.

But I laud this government for putting the gloss and winning brownie points in "The Fight Against Corruption" while at the same time leaving the backdoor open for the connected ones to get away without fear or favour.

(A)The whistle blower's list of HSBC, Switzerland has not been made public till date?
(B)Election funding is still opaque(as in dark)
(C)Reintroducing bigger denomination notes immediately recreates the 'cashpile'.

The common citizen is forced to join the move or their patriotism and everything in between is questioned and chided for not been able to take the hardship.As if the everyday hardships in life were not enough!

"The poor get hand out,the rich get bail out,its those in the middle that get left out"
  Navneet Munot,CIO,SBI Mutual Funds

This quote to me catches the dilemma of the middle class perfectly.Pay all the taxes,surchages etc,give up any subsidies and see the cost of living escalate without any social security.

Still any step to fight the trillion rupee 'black money' market is welcome.The best brains of the Indian Administrative Service could not make the (demon)itisation work and its only the bankers who have been going all out to keep riots and violence from breaking out.

When will the IAS which has become a cozy power club be reined in?

When will Ministers become accountable for their work?

Can this country bear to have high income tax where a .77% of the population pays taxes and the rest enjoy?

How can we develop our infrastucture with such a handicap?

China's  per capita income stands at approx $8,000 against Indians $1,340 which 20 years ago was in India's favour.

As a nation we are not evolving.Religion,building temples or mosques,tribe,caste,gender stereotypes are being used as an election card to win votes,always has and continuing.

Not a single leader of stature that seems to be able to rise above chest thumping self agrandizement.Yet we talk of turning Kolkata into London or whatever!

PM Modi may be lauded as he is trying to instill some reforms,time will be the judge.I hope for India's sake his "Make in India" campaign becomes real and not just any slogan as we seem to be becoming a nation of traders,buy from China-thailand-US-Germany and sell here.

Can you recall an Industrialist of note to have started any manufacturing behemoth?

Please do not include the Bansals of Flipkart who are shoving PE money into advertisements and showing GMV(Gross Merchandise Value) as business success while having losses for over 8 years yet travelling the Globe preaching on how to be a successful entrepreneur.

A whole class of 'real' entrepreneurs that get into moddernizing Agriculture,Supply Chains is the need of the hour.