Thursday, June 30, 2011

I am your unofficial PM

Amit Varma has a great piece on imagining of India’ Prime Ministers speech which is funny, hilarious, and that is what really happening now:

“Politics, at its heart, plays to the basest of all desires. As human beings, we are programmed to lust for power. That is in our genes. And there is no greater power than political power. Politics is a battleground of those who want power the most and those who want the most power. You do not rise accidentally in this battleground. If you do not feel that lust, and plan and connive and fight like an animal, you have no chance of survival here. And I have survived 20 years.”

I recommend all of you to read the full article.


I have always enjoyed the comments by T.R Ramaswami. It has been about five or six years now!! Here is his yesterday’s comment in the ET:

"This refers to your edit ‘No, Minister!’ (ET, Jun 28). You have stated that ideally civil servants owe their allegiance to the country and Constitution. But take a look at the history of our bureaucracy. Ever since independence they have been working not just for one party (except for a brief eight years — Janata Party and then BJP) but also literally for one family. The senior-most batches today joined in 1974-77 — i.e., bang in the middle of the Emergency and they have seen the merits in aligning themselves politically. That’s why we always hear of someone likely to get this or that seniormost appointment because he was Collector at Amethi or Rae Bareilly, etc. The entire bureaucracy has virtually become a PAS — Parivar Administrative Service. On the larger issue of regulators to be drawn from a larger pool, it is also imperative that even those in the lower levels of the regulators’ offices be drawn from the respective industry and not just recruited as regulators straight out of universities. That’s why today some of our regulators appear to be like virgins trying to redraft the Kama Sutra."

The confused left during this choices and competition era

“The left critics could never figure how to deal with Suresh as an unwavering advocate of economic reforms. So beyond reproach was his commitment to poverty alleviation that they did not dare try to dismiss him with the pejorative label "neo-liberal". With his impeccable credentials as a student of poverty, Suresh could fearlessly defend policies that he saw as in the national interest even if they made him unpopular with his peers. Thus, for example, as a member of the last Pay Commission, he became the lone dissenter to the recommendation of salary increase for civil servants without any consideration of merit.”

From With the passing away of Suresh Tendulkar, India lost a leading light by Arvind Panagariya

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Congressman's photograph of himself in his underwear"

Writing on democracy Prof Sowell says "That so many people are so willing to blithely put such an enormous and dangerous arbitrary power in the hands of politicians — risking their own freedom, in hopes of getting what someone else has — is a painful sign of how far many citizens and voters fall short of what is needed to preserve a democratic republic."

Propagating Ambedkar’s free market ideas is not that easy!

Professor Mohammed Arif says:

“It has become a lot easier to propagate Ambedkar’s ideas of the capability of moral force to challenge the powers of vested interests. Today, information cannot be controlled. Information has been democratised. The internet has changed everything. Technology has changed the parameters of political and social debate. Today we communicate via email, Face book and Twitter which are available to everyone worldwide. Babasaheb said ‘If the depressed classes gained their self-respect and freedom, they would contribute not only to their own progress and prosperity but by their industry, intellect and courage would contribute also to the strength and prosperity of the nation’.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Value of a man

God, give us Men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honour; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking.

-Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-81)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who would like to be a “child of Nehru's India!”?

The author of great book ‘The White Tiger’ said in an interview to Times of India:

Your novels are tense with the conflict between old and new India. As a child of Nehru's India, are you suspicious of liberalisation and what all that money's doing to us?

"I wish I were a child of Nehru's India! But I was born in 1974. I was a child of the harsher socialist regime imposed by Mrs Gandhi. I am not — and will never be — an opponent of the great economic boom initiated by Dr Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. In fact, I think it saved India from ruin and stagnation. I remember we had to bribe people in Mangalore in the old days just to get a confirmed ticket on Indian Airlines

In 1990, I stood first in Karnataka in the annual SSLC (year 10) exams. When I came to Bangalore to collect an award from the education minister, I was humiliated by the rich boys there — all of whom I had beaten — because I had a thick accent when I spoke English and I did not know who Lionel Richie was. 

The divisions between small town and big city India have been broken down by liberalisation. I'm grateful for this...I do think people have a right to question how fast liberalisation is going and whether it's damaging some sections of society. In the short term, India might lag China if we're more introspective about our growth — but in the long term, we will surely outrun them. Those who interpret my novels as opposing liberalisation are misreading them. They're marked by ambivalence, not opposition, to the changes... Money itself is amoral. It can liberate people as easily as it can destroy them. As I said, I'm not opposed to the great economic boom going on now. My role as a novelist is only to dramatize certain conflicts taking place because of the generation of so much new wealth. In "Last Man in Tower", I urge people not to regard the developer simply as the villain, but to consider his positive attributes as well. Nor is Masterji, his opponent, a spokesman for me. He has his failings."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The land saga of Singur and Poletown

“Private property is an essential concept in market-driven economies. Therefore, one must have a solid argument that demonstrates how the objectives of a market economy can be better served if private property rights are suspended. While there exist sound theoretical arguments to support the involuntary transfer of private ownership to public ownership in the construction of, say, public goods, there are no sound arguments for the government forcing a private party to give up land to another private entity. In other words, there is no reason for the government to act as a non-market intermediary in what is an essentially private transaction in the land market.

It is now up to us to come up with a land acquisition policy that is consistent with a market economy and the principles originally enshrined in our Constitution.”

See for full article here.

"This government is nothing but a useless loudspeaker"

“Using the NSSO employment statistics along with the Census of India population projections, it comes about that between 2004-05 and 2009-10, only 2 million jobs were added—compared with 55 million who joined the workforce aged between 15-59 years. The same calculation shows that between 1999-2000 and 2004-05, the economy generated 62 million jobs.”

From UPA’s legacy: jobless growth by Anil Padmanabhan

Multipolarity of modern India

“Indians are nationalists” but “not patriots”

“Indians are opportunists” but they are “religious and pious

“Indians are secular” but they are also “racist”

“Indians are communal” but they are also “hypocrites

Indians are not conservative” but they are “liberals” and also “not tolerant”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Professor Suresh Tendulkar (1939-2011)

I met once Prof.Suresh Tendulkar during a book launch in Delhi in 2010. He was alone! After the event he went in an Indica car. His car driver was a Sardar Ji!!

He will be remembered in my views for three things (leave the poverty estimation aside!) in broader context: 
  1. “In the 1980s and 1990s, Tendulkar cast his net far and wide. He was the great critic of planning, the protagonist of the market.”  For more see here.
  2. He concluded (a) that government servants were paid far more than the public realised through all sorts of hidden benefits and (b) that their emoluments needed to be linked to efficiency in some manner. But the others on the panel had a different agenda. In the end Prof Tendulkar was forced to write a dissenting note.” See here for more.
  3. His analysis on inequality

Words come so easy

  • The goal of that first freedom struggle was to free ourselves of a colonial power; the aim of this notional second freedom struggle should be to drastically reform the system that denies us freedom in so many areas of our lives. From the classical liberal/libertarian perspective, here are a few things I'd love a second freedom struggle to strive to achieve.

The STATE is drinking POWER like a fish in the deep sea

Actor Imran Khan says:

"Sometimes, inadvertently, our personal freedoms are curtailed. It's not only our right, but also our duty, to stand up and save it sometimes, in a democracy." 

Shabash Mr Surjit Bhalla!!

Dr.Surjit Bhalla is undoubtedly one of the leading Indian economists and a strong proponent of free market economics. He also delivery the 2000 F A Hayek Memorial Lecture! See "Hayek Rediscovered: The Road to Economic Freedom"

In his column in yesterday’s Financial Express, he snipped off some of the economists who some time clime to be an ‘expert’ the field of macroeconomics quite dismally!! His article is really “No Proof Required”

Why I say so? Read his column you will get my point! However, what interested me is the below paragraphs:
  • Dear Persons: We, at RBI, are dedicated to deliver both growth and stable low inflation. We have been doing our best, though I must admit that we have not succeeded in our efforts, to date. However, I must frankly admit that I have not been helped by various people providing arm-chair or self-indulgent advice. I have advice for them.
  • Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor, GoI: You are a very welcome addition to the policymaking body in India. Your fame precedes you, and your record as a microeconomist is at least first among equals. It is also hugely welcome that you are now espousing more ‘market’ oriented policies than before, e.g., cash transfers rather than corrupt government intervention programmes. However, try as I might, I cannot find much useful academic output from you on anything even remotely related to macroeconomics. It is never too late to learn, but in the meantime, can you stop offering me unsolicited advice on exchange rates, and interest rates, and stop making forecasts on inflation?
  • Subir Gokarn, deputy governor, RBI: RBI regulates the bank deposit savings rate in India (recently raised to 4% after 19 years at 3.5%). Fat cat bankers gain from this repressive policy of low and fixed deposit rates; pensioners and depositors lose immensely from this stupid regulation. Yet, my deputy Subir Gokarn had the gall to state that RBI may not deregulate this rate because “a lot of people see this (fixed savings rate) as a safe and reliable source of monthly income”. This implies that a “free market” savings deposit rate will decline after deregulation—an impossibility given the present inflation scenario. Subir knows, or should know, that the rate can only increase with deregulation. So Subir, either stop talking or stop being disingenuous.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thank heavens their phone monopoly has gone!

Sauvik has great piece in the Outlook Business. Some excerpts: 
  • Now, if corporations act in this way—serving the self-interest of their shareholders and customers—then, as Adam Smith says, “society benefits as though by an invisible hand.” The mobile phone with a built-in torch is a great example in India, where the socialist State, with all its social responsibility, cannot provide reliable, uninterrupted electricity, which it has monopolised. Thank heavens their phone monopoly has gone!
  • Indeed, all the goodies we enjoy consuming today are produced by private corporations—cars, phones, computers, software, beer, wine, fashionable clothes, and so much more. Because of these “selfish capitalists” the invisible hand ensures that the whole of society benefits. 

  • Indeed, all the goodies we enjoy consuming today are produced by private corporations—cars, phones, computers, software, beer, wine, fashionable clothes, and so much more. Because of these “selfish capitalists” the invisible hand ensures that the whole of society benefits.

  • “I have never seen much good come out of those who purport to trade for the public benefit,” added Smith, and this point is worth pondering in socialist India, where the State owns and operates hundreds of companies that “purport to trade for the public benefit”—from Air India and SAIL to ONGC and ITDC to banks, phone and electricity companies. Our experience with a State-owned industrial sector ought to have convinced us that private corporations serve us—the members of society—far better than public sector firms. The former produce for us our “common wealth,” while the latter are our “common loss”.
  • In other words, it ought to be apparent to all of us that “social responsibility” is a hoax, just as “socialism” is a hoax. If a socially responsible government were to take power, its first duty would be to liquidate all the PSUs. Social responsibility, indeed! Friedrich Hayek, the only Austrian School economist to win the Nobel prize so far, called “social” a “weasel word” —and we must watch out for it. The weasel is an animal that feeds by making a tiny hole and sucking everything out of an egg, leaving behind the empty shell. In precisely the same way, if any other word is attached to “social” then it loses its meaning entirely. For example, “social justice”. Justice, we all know, is fair exchange: “the principle of Justice is the principle of Trade.” But what “justice” is there in “social justice”—which means the State robs Peter to pay Paul? Social justice is just a “mirage,” said Hayek. Look at the MGNREGA.

What stops?

What stops to simply argue for private property right is not clear. Unlike in the past, many left-wing supports now understand the need for private property right but they refuse to defend property right. This is simply a bizarre.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BR Ambedkar is now 'exemplary figure' in Californian

From Amrik Singh article:  
  • In May 2011 California State Assembly adopted a Resolution in recognition of Dr. Ambedkar’s struggle for civil rights to lower castes and minorities of India.  California State Assembly Member Ms. Mariko Yamada, a signatory to the resolution states, “Resolved, That the California State Assembly-- 
(1) Celebrates along with all Californians of Indian descent the 120th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, which fell on April 14 of 2011; and

(2) Recognizes Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as an exemplary figure in the struggle for human rights and civil liberties for oppressed people around the world.”
  • In June 2011 Citrus Heights City Council signed a Proclamation to commemorate Dr. Ambedkar’s genius.  Council Members Jayna Karpinski-Costa and Steve Miller personally came to announce the Proclamation on behalf of the City Council.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what after 2014?

Nitin says many interesting things in his Yahoo! India column. One such a thing is "The first five Extra-territorial States thus created were Puthiya Keralam, New Jullundur, Jersey Pradesh, Paschima Kannada and Kizhakku Tamilnad."

Rich politics, not poor economics

Prof Abhijit Banerjee and Prof Esther Duflo have jointly written a new book on “Poor Economics”. Nothing more to say, but still poor understanding or rich politics is actually derails the good economics into poor economics.

Poor economics is poorly understood. Take the review in the HT newspaper:
  • So much for the method, what about the object of their scrutiny? The myriad ‘small’ answers to the ‘small’ questions posed by the researchers draw out a few broad themes. The poor lack information to make decisions. The poor have more decisions to make than the rich. Both the State and the market tend to keep the poor out. The rich do not conspire to perpetuate indigence. And finally, defeatism does defeat. In themselves, these inferences ought to shape society’s attitude towards poverty, and, to an extent, they form the guiding principles of most social welfare systems.
Also read the Authors interview here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Make mistakes

On free markets: Mamet loves conservative economists such as Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Sowell and the late Milton Friedman. “Milton Friedman pointed out that the cavil, ‘It would seem that a country that could put a man on the moon could provide free lunches for its schoolchildren,’ missed the point,” he writes. “The country could not supply the free lunches because it put the man on the moon.” What about, say, Karl Marx? According to Mamet, he “lived as a parasite upon [Friedrich] Engels, and never worked a day in his life.”

Says David Mamet who is a playwright and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My name is RE-FORM, the EVIL NO 1

  • "Here are the two questions you are most likely to be asked these days: One, when was the last time India looked so rudderless and angry? And two, do people of India bother about corruption? Hasn’t it just been a way of life for ever? 

  • The answer to all this is neither any apologies or promises from the government or the party, nor just locking up people in jail. It is not even the most draconian anti-corruption law and ombudsman ever in human history. You talk about hanging those involved in major scams? The Chinese execute hundreds for corruption every year, including governors of their provinces. Has that ended corruption? Transparency International ranks them higher than us on its scale of corruption: so even here the Chinese are ahead of us! 

  • The answer is governance reform. India needs to launch a massive reform in every area where a citizen comes in contact with the sarkar, from getting ration cards to driving licences and passports, birth certificates, property registrations, municipal clearances, tax assessments and refunds and so on. Availability of quality schools and colleges, something the aspirational young Indian and her parents value most of all, hospital beds, has to be quadrupled in the next five years, and a credible programme needs to be launched now. Land records, registrations must be computerised, and a new system ensuring deadline-bound delivery of routine government services must be set up. It is more complex than reforming the economy in 1991, but the gains will be enormously greater. More important, this is the only way to bring back some of the constructive, if competitive, calm we were just getting used to in our society.

Of course from Shekhar Gupta article!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

What to name this post?

From Shekhar Gupta article:
  • "You need the NAC to make sure power does not go even to his head, and also to keep him off-balance by attacking his government and policies, and continuing to throw one idiotic law after another in his court. Why blame Anna Hazare when it is the Congress party itself that outsourced law-making to its darbari jholawallahs? This is not a team of modern-day Ambedkars, but mostly of IAS drop-outs and retirees who approach law-making with the “wisdom” of sincere undergrads. You have any doubts, take a look at the draft of the incredibly stupid Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011 ( A Modi or Togadia can see in a minute the wonderful opportunity it presents them. It is totally violative of the states’ rights, is subversive of the Constitution, and will never pass parliamentary or judicial scrutiny. But it will polarise people on a communal basis just when they seem to be getting over that sad past. This bill will not pass. But if the UPA continues to push it, it is guaranteed to polarise the Hindu vote and give the BJP a shot at power that any appeals to Ram Lalla cannot in 2014. This could indeed become Sonia Gandhi’s Shah Bano moment."

Lamy’s Order

“Governing this globalized world can be messy and frustrating” writes World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy “but the fiction that there is an alternative is naïve and dangerous. Naïve because it ignores that we are becoming more — not less — dependent on one another. Dangerous because it risks plunging us back to our divided past — with all of its conflicts and tragedies.”

The cruel joke of 3 decades of CPI (M) rule in WB

The title of this post has many connotations to argue.

But I suggest you to read first the worst and crud jokes of argument by JNU Professor Patnaik here. Sorry, it will be a big punishment to read the articles of these people in this blog!!

And then you must read the piece by Mr. Aadisht Khanna. It is very well argued piece and worth to read and ponder it!

To start with Khanna writes: 
  • Professor Patnaik explains that one good thing the CPI(M) has going for it is that it's anti-imperialistic, and that it's the only anti-imperialistic party in India. I suppose that is important for people who are concerned about imperialism. Personally, I wish that they had concentrated a little less on anti-imperialism and a little more on the healthcare system in West Bengal. As things stand, they seem to have neglected healthcare to the extent that every Bengali with a mild cough and cold has left Bengal and come to Apollo Hospital in Greams Road, Chennai, for treatment. I was there this week and I was surrounded by Bengalis. It was like being at Eden Gardens, or Citibank, or Larsen and Toubro. Even the Apollo pharmacy's signboard was in Bengali, not Tamil. To read and hear Bengali in the home of divine classical Tamizh, Madras Bashai, and IITM Lingo is unexpected and alarming. But that's the price to be paid for anti-imperialism, I suppose. Such is life. 

  • I can see Professor Patnaik right now in my mind's eye. He's striding up and down impassionedly, wagging his beard (somehow, I imagine him with a beard - I don't know if he actually has one or not), and yelling at some hapless students. 'You bloody fools! Stop paying attention to what you can see and hear! Empiricism is not the way to go!' Like Majikthise and Vroomfondel, Professor Prabhat demands a total absence of solid facts.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

India's first reform economist!

His articles do not figure in University of Delhi’s reading list and nearly none of the post-graduate students from India’s premiere economics research institute including the Delhi School of Economics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Research and Development, and Centre for Economic and Social Planning of Jawaharlal Nehru University, have ever heard his name.

Read more here "India’s First Economist"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Miss understood messiah

I read the book Dr. B.R. Ambedkar: The Messiah of the Downtrodden by Mr.Janak Singh during my trip to Pune for the SHALA.

Bidyut Chakrabarty reviewed this book in the Pioneer today. What is missing in the review is that the Ambedkar’s thoughts in economics. Of course, Bidyut like others have shown no interest in knowing about it. But Mr.Singh himself covered a very little about it in the biography of messiah!! But I read a lot of new information from this book. In fact, if any one compares the messiah’s letters and an Irish lady (this lady worked at the London Office) who had long relationship with Ambedkar, there could potential misunderstand like the one is fluttering around the M.K Gandhi sexual issues!!!

Bolla's world

“My lifetime ambition is to become the President of India,” says Bolla, who was a member of Lead India 2020, a national movement to train youth in leadership, human values, and employment skills. The idea is that the transformed 540 million youth would lead India to become a developed nation by 2020. In 2010, Bolla received an excellence award from that organization from the former President of India."

Read more here and here.

Land debate: Patel and Nehru

According to Arun Shourie (read his book on Worshipping False Gods) Mr.Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel argued, if the government acquires land from farmer, adequate compensation should be given at market price along with additional 15 percent of the price of the land cost. Contrary to this, Nehru said there should be no compensation, which need to be given if government acquires land from farmer !!

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati seems to be learned a right lesson from Mr.Patel than Mr.Nehru.  

Grasp them

Waste of time, money and resources

The June Issue of Pragati (PDF) is out now.

Dr Anantha writes: 
  • “I have been watching US democracy over the past 15 years: Making a democracy function is hard work—it requires commitment of time, money, and resources in general even if one’s interests are only very indirectly affected” 

In the past (more before 1991) India ensured to waste all kinds of resources in the name of achieving political freedom.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Another forgotten day for B R Shenoy’s birthday!!!!

It is good that we celebrate Adam Smith's birthday (1 and 2). But it is extremely bad that we forget to celebrate our own great economist and Professor B R  Shenoy who fought for what we all enjoy the good social life with huge comfort!!! What stops to remember his name than the Adam Smith? I have no objection for celebrating the Adam Smith!!

Professor B.R.Shenoy was born on June 3, 1905. This year his 106th year birthday!!! It was even strange that the some of Indian liberals have celebrated Prof.F A Hayek's centenary birthday!!! And doing enormous injustice to Professor B.R Shenoy for his centenary birthday!!! I do aware of the lecture on Shenoy's Centenary year!! It was just passing one!!

Only time will tell the truths!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Land and knowledge problem

Vipin has great piece in today's Mint on land and knowledge problem where he says "It is economically inefficient and politically tyrannical to force all farmers to accept identical contracts."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Entitlement vs Freedom

From On the Relevance of Freedom and Entitlement in Development New Empirical Evidence (1975–2007) by Jean-Pierre Chauffou
  • "Reviewing the economic performance—good and bad—of more than 100 countries over the past 30 years, this paper finds new empirical evidence supporting the idea that economic freedom and civil and political liberties are the root causes of why some countries achieve and sustain better economic outcomes. For instance, a one unit change in the initial level of economic freedom between two countries (on a scale of 1 to 10) is associated with an almost 1 percentage point differential in their average long-run economic growth rates. In the case of civil and political liberties, the long-term effect is also positive and significant with a differential of 0.3 percentage point. In addition to the initial conditions, the expansion of freedom conditions over time (economic, civil, and political) also positively influences long-run economic growth. In contrast, no evidence was found that the initial level of entitlement rights or their change over time had any significant effects on long-term per capita income, except for a negative effect in some specifications of the model. These results tend to support earlier findings that beyond core functions of government responsibility—including the protection of liberty itself—the expansion of the state to provide for various entitlements, including so-called economic, social, and cultural rights, may not make people richer in the long run and may even make them poorer.
  • In line with the analytical framework of the rights-based approach to development, the paper conjectures that development is fundamentally rooted in the protection of some fundamental rights. It however further conjectures that all so-called “rights” are not necessarily equal and that the individual rights at the root of sound institutions and sustainable economic growth may not necessarily coincide with the rights embedded in the instruments of international human rights law. In particular, the pursuit of freedom rights (i.e., economic freedom, and civil and political liberties) and entitlement “rights” (i.e., right to food, housing, education, health, etc) may lead to different institutions and development outcomes over the long run.
  • These findings, which tend to support earlier results from the empirical literature, provide potentially important policy lessons for all countries. For developed countries, they suggest that prioritizing economic freedom over social entitlements could be an effective way to reform the welfare state and make it more sustainable and equitable in the long run. For middle income countries, such as countries in the midst of the Arab Spring but also countries in Asia and Latin America, they indicate that the quest for civil and political rights but also economic freedom implies the reduction of existing privileges and entitlements to create new social contracts. For low-income countries (as well as the international community), they provide an opportunity to reflect upon the achievement under the MDGs and the potential role of economic freedom, along with other fundamental freedoms, in a post-2015 MDG development agenda."

Blinking links

  • The first issue is that Baba Ramdev, like Anna Hazare & Company before him, is trying to legitimise the instrument of fast unto death by misappropriating Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. 

  • The right of only Magsaysay awardees to be members of a government-appointed joint committee for deliberating on the Jan Lokpal Bill is most ridiculous. 

  • One problem of liberal social thought is that it consigns a larger and larger proportion of the human race to the category of people driven into trouble. But there are other difficulties, too. Precisely because it is impossible to think of human life in consistently mechanistic terms, the liberal is soon led into contradictions. Moral evaluations are inseparable from thought about human existence, even if the metaphysical foundations of such judgments remain contentious; so it is not surprising that the article about Griffiths’s victims fairly oozes with morality, albeit of a saccharine and self-regarding kind, while at the same time pretending to avoid judgment.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cash for nothing

Mr.Minhaz Merchant who is the Chairman of Merchant Media Ltd writes in today’s ET that: 
  • The balance sheets hide more than they reveal. Large national political parties like the Congress and the BJP receive funds through donations. In 2008-09 (the latest available audited accounts), for example, the Congress had total income of 496.88 crore (see chart). The EC cap for a Lok Sabha candidate's expenditure is 40 lakh. Actual expenditure varies between 10 crore and 50 crore per Lok Sabha seat. A major national party contesting, say, 400 Lok Sabha seats as part of a larger coalition would spend at a conservative estimate at least 4,000 crore during a major election campaign. If a party's total income is 500 crore, the deficit of 3,500 crore is obviously made up through unofficial corporate donations. Illegal gratification from myriad scams - 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games , rice exports, PPP infrastructure projects, etc - also finds its way into the electoral system. 
The inner arrogant speaks that as the government audit the companies vis-à-vis is also true!!