Tag Archives: PM Modi

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

Pakistan will soon blow up into pieces says Baloch freedom fighter

stop-genocide

 

25-year-old Mazdak Dilshad Baloch appears much more assured and confident than his age. Living in Canada since 2014, Mazdak and his wife arrived in India a few months ago to build public opinion in favour of freedom struggle for Balochistan. He spoke to Shitanshu Shekhar Shukla in an exclusive interview. Edited excerpts:

Are you in favour of talking to Pakistan?

No. We are opposed to talking to Pakistan as long as Balochistan is occupied by its army. Until we are an equal party, we will not talk. If the Pakistan army withdraws for a neutral force/power to monitor and oversee, we can talk to Pakistan and hold them accountable for their misdeeds.

China is investing huge in CPEC (China–Pakistan Economic Corridor). How do you look at it?

China is exploiting the resource-rich Balochistan. It is unacceptable to us. CPEC is a project that stands to connect China’s largest province Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan. It has got China’s boots on our ground. Balochistan is endowed with rich but largely unexploited reserves of copper and gold.

Pakistan has deployed 15,000 personnel, mainly serving army soldiers, to secure the corridor. China has been helping Pakistan carry genocide in Balochistan since ‘50s. In return, Pakistan awarded China with CPEC to loot the resources of Balochistan to the tune of 16 kg gold every day. It is a military corridor to give China naval base in Gwadar port. Instead of empowering us, it is killing us. Our consent is must. Our resources should be in our possession. Our land should be in our hands. Nobody should take our resources. We are under occupation of Pakistan. 150,000 people had been evicted from the route of the trade corridor by security forces to clear the way for roads and other infrastructure.

Would you call upon China to immediately shelve this project?

We have asked China to stop this. Naela Quadri Baloch has written a letter to the mothers/women in China. Mothers are all of the same kind. She reached out to the mothers in China to stop the genocide perpetuated by their government. But it has fallen on deaf ears. It serves China’s interest to kill us.

Would you call upon India to intervene and free Balochistan from Pakistan in the same way as India freed Bangladesh in 1971?

Yes, we will be happy whichever way India wishes to help us get freedom: militarily or diplomatically or otherwise. We need help at all levels. We need India’s moral and diplomatic support. We need India to internationally lobby for us at UN forums. If India directly intervenes to liberate us, we will be too happy. We will ask for it, because we are dying.

Do you support India’s surgical strike in PoK?

Yes. PoK is illegally occupied by Pakistan in much the same way as Balochistan is. Kashmir is burning because of Pakistan’s proxies and jihadis. India is much entitled to surgical strikes. We will welcome India to extend the similar surgical strikes into Balochistan and save us. More and more people are kidnapped and killed there every day. But the world remains a mute spectator.

Do you think Pakistan is a terrorist state?

Pakistan is very much a terrorist state. It is a manufacturer and exporter of terrorism. Terrorism is central to their economy policy. Pakistan is just four districts of Punjab. Sind wants independence, so does Balochistan. Islamabad westwards is dominated by the Afghans. Only Punjab and the army are left of Pakistan. It is not a country but a concentration camp to hold different nations by force and brutal butchery. Pakistan is an artificial country. Why would it have got torn in 1971 otherwise? Bangladesh bore the brunt. One lakh women got raped in Bangladesh. It is not an organically evolved nation. Pakistan was conceived in Cambridge as a proxy by the British to rule the whole subcontinent. We had been independent when Pakistan came into being. Balochistan became an independent country on August 4, 1947 and the declaration was made on August 11, 1947, days before Pakistan was created.

But we were occupied because they wanted to exploit our rich resources, water and land.

Can Pakistan hold for long?

No, it can’t. The pressure is building up and Pakistan will soon blow up into pieces. The more force is used to suppress, the louder will be the reaction. The day the world stops their financial, diplomatic support and put sanctions against Pakistan, it will disappear from the world map. Pakistan had created local al-Qaida and ISIS groups in the region, in the same way that it had once created al-Shams and al-Badr in Bangladesh.

Only 3 per cent people participated in last elections held in 2013 in Balochistan. How much support does it mean for the Baloch freedom movement? There is a government in the province after all. How much support do you enjoy among the common people?

It is not a tribal movement but a political movement led by the masses. The common man identifies himself with this movement. Three per cent participation is an axiomatic truth. People who participated in the 2013 polls had nothing to do with the freedom movement. They drew benefits from Pakistan. But 97 per cent people didn’t even cast their votes. If Pakistan had even an iota of faith in democracy, it would have granted us freedom. Democracy allows the dissenting people to choose their land. Brexit is an example. Europe is truly democratic. But we are held by force. We have been a free country, free nation for 705 years.

How can the world be sure of your claim to enjoy support of Baloch people for the freedom movement?

No international media or international inspection team is allowed by Pakistan to enter into Balochistan. That is a big handicap. People are allowed to travel only up to Karachi or Lahore. So, we have only our struggle and movement to prove the point. Three per cent people participated in the last elections held in Balochistan in 2013. It adds to the evidences. That is why Pakistan and China have joined hands in desperation to crush our movement. But they will fail and we will win. We have grown stronger without any support from anywhere of any kind.

Majdak Dilshad Baloch (R) with Shitanshu Shekhar Shukla
Majdak Dilshad Baloch (R) with Shitanshu Shekhar Shukla

Historically, whom do you blame for your slavery and dependence?

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, of course. He backstabbed us in 1948 even though Balochistan had paid Jinnah as much gold as he weighed against his fees as a legal counsel for getting back the areas of Balochistan under lease with the British. When the Balochistan approached India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru for help, he refused to help. Still, Balochistan refused to join Pakistan, only to be attacked. That attack has since continued till now.

Brahamdagh Bugti, the Switzerland-based leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, another major separatist outfit, has approached India for political asylum? Should India accept to undo the mistake committed by Nehru?

The leaders are different and so are the political circumstances. Political asylum should be a matter of policy and not a favour to an individual. I request India to formulate an asylum policy for Baloch freedom fighters. It will build a formal bridge of friendship between India and Balochistan. Always a friendly country, India is known for helping the people in distress. First Baloch leader in 70 years to come to India, Naela Quadri Baloch publicly asked India for help for freedom of Balochistan.

Did she meet PM Modi or Home Minister Rajnath Singh for help?

I don’t know. But she has been meeting several political leaders in India. India and independent Balochistan are in a win-win situation. Free Balochistan will be secular, democratic, peace-loving, nuclear free, terror-free, pluralistic, and gender-balanced. India needs an independent Balochistan. An independent Balochistan will be a friend of India and will serve India’s interests. Unlike Pakistan, we want to see a strong and prosperous India. We don’t want to see Pakistan at all. PM Modi has been kind to us. He has listened to us and spoke about us from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15. Sushma Swaraj followed it up in the UN. His team is working on it. As for Bugti’s asylum plea, it is between him and India to decide.

Pakistan accuses India of funding your movement through RAW, IB. Is it true? Who funds you?

I have never heard of it. I don’t know of any such help. If we had received any kind of help from India, we would have been free long ago. We have not yet got any help from India. But our leaders have come to India for the first time, publicly asking for help. We hope India will help this time. We are asking for help openly, publicly. We are not hiding. Pakistan tries to snub our movement by putting several tags on us. But we will openly admit if India lends any help. It is our right to ask for help. Whoever supports us, we will publicly welcome.

Is there going to be a Balochistan government-in-exile? How soon will it take the shape?

A couple of days ago, Naela Qadri and Baloch leaders in Afghanistan met in Kabul over this issue. They have agreed to form a Baloch government-in-exile wherever it is possible, terming it as need of hour. Besides, they also called upon Afghanistan to join India to help Balochistan become independent. Much depends upon who supports our government-in-exile. Because support will also mean standing up to the Pakistan, the terror capital of the world. Pakistan plays on fears of the world. Bluff is central to their policy.

People’s involvement can bring change in Rural India – PM Modi

Newsroom24x7 Desk

PMRDFNew Delhi : Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellows Scheme (PMRDF) is a platform for establishing people’s involvement in Rural India to bring about much needed reforms and change — was PM Modi’s central point of focus, when he interacted with more than 200 youths working in rural development initiatives, under the umbrella of PMRDF across the country. PM spoke at the event on Monday and emphasized on people’s involvement to bring about a change in rural areas as he interacted with over 200 youths working in these areas under a national scheme.

PM Modi interacted with 230 PMRD Fellows and observed that people’s participation emerged as core-focus among the presentations made by participants. PM said that he also received similar vibes from them during direct interactions with the Fellows, while they shared their field experiences with him. PM concluded from the feedback that this could emerge as the most important aspect of bringing about a ‘change’. PM extended an ongoing response-feedback mechanism by suggesting the participants to share their comments and suggestions on a continual basis, going forward, so that the PMRDF scheme could be strengthened on a regular basis and information be updated for implementing further refinement in the scheme. PM appreciated the achievements of the participants, and praised their dedicated devotion for working on the scheme despite the challenges these participants faced on a day-to-day basis vis-a-vis peer and family pressures.

11 young participants presented brief account of their works in remote, rural, tribal and Left-Wing Extremism affected areas, on women empowerment, maternal and infant health-care, education, nutrition, livelihoods, Swachh Bharat, Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat, and people’s participation in governance. Later, in an interactive session with the Prime Minister, several participants shared their thoughts on themes such as development of the North-East, rural education, tribal development, organic farming and welfare of the disabled.

PMDRF is an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) implemented in collaboration with state governments. It focuses on poverty alleviation and improving the lives of the population in backward and isolated regions of India. It was announced in September 2011 and inducted its first batch of Fellows in April 2012.During the two-year fellowship, the Fellows work closely with the District Collector of Additional Central Assistance and Integrated Action Plan districts, with an aim of bridging the gap between people’s needs and the system’s provisions by reducing developmental and governance deficits. After successful completion of the fellowship, the PMRD Fellow is required to spend one year in public service in the State to which she/he is assigned. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), as a knowledge partner of MoRD, facilitates the process of selection, recruitment, training, mentoring and monitoring the work of the Fellows.

PM Modi also released a book Scripting Change – which highlighted the essence of the work being done by PMRD Fellows across the country. Rural Development minister Chaudhary Birender Singh was also present on the occasion.

3 states, 3 days — PM sets off to Assam, AP and Odisha

Newsroom24x7 Desk

pm2New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today begin his three-day visit to the states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha where he is expected to participate in various events like inauguration of petrochem projects, adressing tea estate workers, attending an Annual conference at Sibasagar, inaugurating South Asian games, gracing the maritime exhibition, temple visit, NISER opening and oil refinery unit commencement.

PM Modi tweeted today that he would be making his presence felt in numerous events which are scheduled during his visit to the three states of AP, Assam and Odisha. PM tweeted — Will join several programmes in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha during my 3 day visit to these states.

The schedule of events have all been detailed out. In Dibrugarh , the Prime Minister would be inaugurating the first ever petrochemical project in the Northeast, and India’s biggest wax producing unit, which has been developed using indigenous technology. The project would give fillip to PM’s pet tag line — Make in India, as technology for the project has been home-grown and minds have met together on the drawing board to carve out the production unit based on technology rising out of Indian think-soil.

PM Modi shared his schedule of events via tweets. He tweeted further — Looking forward to addressing tea workers at Moran and attending 85th Annual Conference of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha at Sibsagar.

Additionally, PM Modi would be inaugurating the much awaited 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati. This event is expected to unite atheletes from all SAARC countries, and would extend a carpet for mutual strengthening of people-to-people ties between the closely placed nations. On this regard, PM tweeted — I welcome all athletes from SAARC nations who are participating in the games.

Tomorrow, a major event has been outlined which would witness Prime Minister’s presence and give the opportunity of showcasing achievements and future plans in an exhibition, which would find the attention of PM’s views, as an opportunity to present the works in front of Prime Minister of the country awaits in Andhra Pradesh, which is — the maritime exhibition in Vizak, as PM is scheduled to attend International Fleet Review and maritime exhibition in Visakhapatnam.

Day 3 would bring the Prime Minister to Bhubaneswar, where, on February 7, PM would dedicate to the nation — the National Institute of Science Education and Research campus. PM Modi, while in Odisha, would also visit Jagannath Temple in Puri. Proceeding to Paradip, the Prime Minister would be dedicating to the nation — the state of the art Indian Oil Refinery at Paradip.