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Dogras of Jammu want Modi government to abolish public holiday on July 13

Newsroom24x7 Network

Brig Rajinder Singh's brave soldiers

Jammu: The dogras of Jammu, including retired Army top brass and leading citizens  are seething with anger and want July 13 to be observed only as a “black day”. They want the Modi Government to abolish the public holiday on July 13, which is observed as the ‘martyrs’ day’ in memory of the people killed on 13 July 1931.

Members of a Whatsapp group,  devoted to the Dogra heritage and military heritage of Jammu and Kashmir are in agreement in pointing out: “India perhaps is the only country where holidays are observed in the memory of traitors and the integrationists are treated with contempt.”

This day in 1931, it is being underscored, the Jihadis in Kashmir revolted against the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, and killed many innocent Hindus in Kashmir, looted their business establishments and burned down their houses demanding “azadi” from Jammu and today July 13 is officially a holiday.

The Dogras and other natives of Jammu are proud of the legacy of Maharaja Hari Singh, who acceded J&K to India on October 26 1947 as per the constitutional law on the subject. Unfortunately there is no holiday in his memory. In fact, he was forced to die in exile in Bombay and Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for this, they are pointing out adding on the contrary, Sheikh Abdullah, who hobnobbed with Pakistan and wanted to establish a Switzerland type independent Kashmir and who hated Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh from the core of his heart, is treated like a hero. It is being emphasised that “time has come to expose and defeat the present day Jihadis in Kashmir and their supporters in Delhi and Lutyens media.

Such days should never be allowed to be celebrated by one section against the other in the same State. What about Kshmiriat or pluralism of the KASHMIRIS, a large section of people are asking.

One of the members of the whastapp group has drawn attention to the Pakistani Razakaars and recounted how the sleeping Dogras were butchered on the border so that the Pakistanis could enter the state without any problem. This is a historical fact and can never be forgotten.

Early last year, late Bobby Jamwal had introduced the documentary – “The Saviour of Kashmir” which highlights the “untold story of the British planned invasion of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan Army personnel disguised as civilians assisting the Tribals called Kabailis/Raiders in 1947”. Bobby wrote on facebook: “Its a one of its kind of battles fought on uneven grounds and how the combine of British and Pakistani attack of over 6000 trained and well armed troops was foiled by a Die-Hard 100 Dogras of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces under the Brave Brig Rajinder Singh Jamwal, which enabled Maharaja Hari Singh to accede the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India.” It is a gripping story of the gallant Officer who fought to the “Last man-Last Bullet” thus saving Kashmir from the unscruplus British and dishonest Pakistanis.

Check: Saviour of Kashmir: The gripping story of valour and accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India

PM Modi, FM & Investment: Can investor confidence be won over a Budget?

Bhagyashree Pande

 

These are some prominent reasons why private investors continue to be wary of the government. This government would do well to look at the 80’s and 90’s of the 20th Century, when most investments took place in India. What the government in those days did well to inspire investor confidence. For beginners the ambivalent attitude that ‘every businessman is a swindler ‘ has got to go. Can this socialist mindset be broken by the government? PM Modi has to take the lead to bring the fresh approach to usher in the much needed confidence. Can he is the point?

 

If there is one issue that stands out in the Budget of 2019-20 it is the FM urging the private sector to invest in the India growth story. It has been signaled by the FM that the $5 trillion economy that the PM has targeted needs the active participation of the private sector- to create jobs, manufacture goods, increase exports, generate revenue for government through taxes etc. If one has to look at Modi 1.0 the five years budgets were concentrated on various Yojnas for the hinterland. During this period the government set about what it felt were the mistakes of the UPA government it brought bills like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Indradhanush scheme (remonetising the banks), amendment to the SARFESI and Debt Recovery Tribunal Act . Today after five years of setting the house in order the FM is actively seeking private participation by seeking their opinion at various round tables, hinting at Global Investor Summit etc. However will it be easy to win the confidence of the investor that the Modi 2.0 government now seeks? Has the government done enough for investors to start investing?

Firstly,to begin with are the banks lending? Today most banks are unwilling to lend money for any project no matter how good. Why? There is an interesting history to this unwillingness . The Modi 1.0 government called UPA a scamster and this allegation brought it to power. But when the matter went to the apex court the government surprisingly furnished no proof of any scams. If the BJP then was so confident of scams by UPA why did it not furnish proof when it is in the government? Besides not furnishing proof it did not follow on the loss to the exchequer as was claimed by CAG. In this saga the biggest fallout was breaking of trust between banks ,businesses and above all the trust in the government. Most bankers had lent money to steel, coal, telecom, infrastructure companies in honest faith to do business. If the business goes bad because of lack of demand what is a bank or a businessman to do? The globally accepted norm is to revive the company by infusing capital. If it still does not happen look for changing the management. Only if there are no takers is there a move to file bankruptcy and liquidate the assets. But what happened in India? The first step was television and social media trial calling the failing businessman a thief and bankers a crook besides sparking insinuations of connivance. Only after sufficient damage was done that the government come up with a strategy of 4Rs – Recognition, Resolution, Recapitalization and Reforms . But did this formula succeed? Today the NPAs have risen to Rs 8.06 lakh cr on March 2019 as compared to Rs 2.35 lakh cr on March 2015 when the government took reign. Besides, the list of willful defaulters has risen by 60% in the five years. Add to this is a long list of those who fled the country or applied for foreign citizenship. There is a theory in economics called the flight of Capital, but in India its the flight of the Capitalists too!

Second, has the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act really worked? The Act was brought in 2016 to solve the issue to resolve corporate dispute mechanism especially for companies that are in steel, power sector. However there has been far from satisfactory results for the same. Nearly 1858 companies have gone in for dispute resolution of this more than 1000 are still under litigation. Only 94 achieved resolution and 243 were resolved by mutual consent. Given the slow process of judiciary it is highly likely that more cases will pile up rather than speed at which resolution is required.

Third, what is the cost of doing business in India? Typically a businessman today is offered an interest rate of 12-16% . So if in the cost of Rs 100 of a product Rs 16 goes to the bank only as interest compare this to any other country their rate is 2-6 %. But why is the money so expensive in India? One big reason is that the government is the biggest borrower. It has an insatiable appetite to meet its social and revenue expenditures (yojnas, welfare schemes). The government borrowing is the highest ever and stands at Rs 7.1 lakh cr for 2020. This has gone up by nearly 49% in the last 4.5 years. Add to this is the borrowing by PSU’s who are borrowing to meet government social needs (like NHAI for highway construction, NHB for Awas yojna, FCI for food subsidy etc). This borrowing stands at Rs 5.37 lakh cr a 100% increase from Rs2.73 lakh cr in 2016. Nearly all the money issued by the RBI is borrowed by the government (and PSUs) leading to high interest rates besides leaving hardly any money for the private sector to borrow.

Four ,the fear of the taxman. Every businessman is worried that if he makes any investment the tax sleuths will come knocking at his door asking for explanation of the money spent. Tax sleuths asking for arbitrary sums to meet their stiff tax targets is the continuing practice from the previous regime. The growing tax terrorism and arbitrations thereof which takes not less than 15 years or more to settle is keeping investors at bay. Add to this is the dishonoring by the government of international tax awards (like in Vodafone case) gives a signal that Modi 1.0 government is the law unto itself. After all the harassment the tax collection till March 2019 is full 1% less than the target set .

As if this is not enough the government continues to be in businesses that it should not be in. Despite claiming that it will disinvest it has not exited many business areas instead it chooses to run public enterprises inefficiently. The government continues to be owner of inefficient banks, bloated airlines, unviable fertiliser units, overmanned steel and mining companies etc. Not only does it run them inefficiently it distorts the prices of the end product thereby discouraging private investors to enter the fray. Why will any private player want to invest in these areas to compete with government inefficiencies?

These are some prominent reasons why private investors continue to be wary of the government. This government would do well to look at the 80’s and 90’s of the 20th Century, when most investments took place in India. What the government in those days did well to inspire investor confidence. For beginners the ambivalent attitude that ‘every businessman is a swindler ‘ has got to go. Can this socialist mindset be broken by the government? PM Modi has to take the lead to bring the fresh approach to usher in the much needed confidence. Can he is the point?


Courtesy: Poppolitics.com

India’s Budget Advances Economic Reform, but Fiscal Settings Unchanged

Newsroom24x7 Network

London/Hong Kong/Mumbai: India’s new budget outlined some economic reforms that could support the economy, but its fiscal stance was left broadly unchanged, with no plans for meaningful consolidation, says Fitch Ratings.

Overall, the budget points to policy continuity on the part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) following May’s general election.

Newly appointed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented India’s budget for the fiscal year ending March 2020 (FY20) on 12 July 2019. It is the government’s first major economic policy announcement since the BJP strengthened its political position by winning an outright majority in the lower house. The main thrust of policy measures and fiscal targets is broadly consistent with the interim budget announced prior to the election.

The budget indicates that the BJP will continue its economic reform efforts in its second term and avoid the fiscal loosening that might have been expected given the country’s sluggish growth, lower lending by non-bank financial institutions and election promises to support rural voters. However, it falls short of signalling prospects for significant fiscal consolidation in the next few years. The medium-term fiscal deficit targets of 3.0% deficits in FY21 and FY22 make it highly unlikely. Fitch views that the debt ceiling of 60% for general government debt will be met by FY25, as stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.

Plans to support growth include INR100 trillion (USD1.4 trillion) of infrastructure spending in the next five years and efforts to encourage foreign-direct investment in certain sectors, including electronics. The government also intends to reduce its ownership in some non-financial public-sector entities and modify its policy of retaining at least a 51% direct holding. It will also inject a further INR700 billion into public-sector banks.

However, the extent and timing of any benefits from the budget measures to GDP growth will depend on policy details that are yet to be announced and on effective implementation. Moreover, some measures could weigh on growth over time, such as higher import duties on many products to “provide a level playing field to domestic industry”.

In its most recent Global Economic Outlook – June 2019 Fitch Ratings reduced its FY20 Indian GDP growth forecast slightly to 6.6%. Fitch Ratings still see growth rising back above 7.0% in FY21 and FY22, partly because the agency anticipates monetary and regulatory easing from the Central Bank to support some recovery in credit to the private sector. Fitch believes the proposed capital injection will allow public-sector banks to meet minimum regulatory capitalisation requirements, but may not leave much space for the banks to accelerate credit growth in FY20, considering slow non-performing loan recoveries and ongoing provisioning.

The budget targets a slight narrowing in the fiscal deficit target, to 3.3% of GDP, from an estimated 3.4% in FY19 and in the FY20 interim budget. Fitch is of the view that the fiscal targets are broadly credible, although projected revenue growth, at 13.5%, may prove optimistic as it is based on the government’s higher 7.0% real GDP growth forecast and disinvestment targets might not be met. There is also a recent history of modest slippage relative to targets, but the government plans to continue increasing the number of registered tax payers and could reduce or postpone spending if revenue underperforms.

Fitch believes off-budget spending is likely to increase due to, for instance, the additional banking-sector recapitalisation, which is equivalent to 0.3% of GDP. This should not affect the deficit, but it will raise the debt level. Weak public finances are a key constraint on India’s ‘BBB-‘/Stable sovereign rating, which we affirmed on 4 April 2019.

Close Watch: Indian tax payers & pensioners draw a blank; Australia offers more tax relief to hard-working Australians

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi/Canberra: Hard working Indians who honestly pay their taxes were looking forward to tax exemptions, raising of the taxable income slab and other forms of relief but were disappointed when nothing of this was announced by in the Budget proposals presented before Parliament on Friday, 5 jULY 2019 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

In sharp contrast, More than 10 million Australians will start to receive immediate tax relief from next week following the passage of Legislation through the Parliament this past Thursday, 4 July 2019 .

The Coalition Government in Australia has delivered on its promise, as outlined in this year’s Budget, to build a better tax system and provide more tax relief to hard-working Australians.

As a result, low and middle income earners will keep more of what they earn and have more money in their pockets. This will ultimately boost household consumption, which will be good for the overall economy.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Relief so Working Australians Keep More of Their Money) Bill 2019 will deliver a further $158 billion in tax relief, building on the already legislated Personal Income Tax Plan announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

Starting from next week, low and middle income earners with an income up to $126,000 will receive up to $1,080, or $2,160 for dual income couples, with the increased tax relief to apply from the 2018-19 income year.

The Bill has also locked in the benefits of low and middle income tax relief by increasing the top threshold of the 19 cents in the dollar tax bracket from $41,000 to $45,000 and by increasing the low income tax offset from $645 to $700 in 2022-23.

In combination with the legislated removal of the 37 per cent tax bracket in 2024-25, the Government is delivering structural reform to the tax system by reducing the 32.5 cents in the dollar tax rate to 30 cents in the dollar.

Together, these tax relief measures will create a flatter and better tax system that will improve incentives for hard-working Australians and ensure that 94 per cent of Australians will face a marginal tax rate no higher than 30 cents in the dollar in 2024-25. Once our plan is fully implemented, around 13.3 million taxpayers will pay lower taxes.

Australians voiced their loud and clear support for our comprehensive tax package at the election. They supported a tax system that rewards aspiration and encourages effort, and today we have delivered it.

Lower taxes are part of the Australian Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy.