ECONOMY

Monthly Archives: JULY 2017


Sea of farmers converges at Jantar Mantar, yards away from Parliament
Will it jolt the government into action?
18.07.17 - PT BUREAU
Will it jolt the government into action?



NEW DELHI: As mammoth waves of farmers came converging upon Jantar Mantar, the heart of India's power city of Delhi, merely a few hundred yards of Parliament, one political message was loud and clear: the Narendra Modi government can ignore the issue of farmers' plight only at its own peril.

But another message that would jolt the conscience of India came from the children of farmers who had committed suicide: "Please do not commit suicide. Or you will leave behind orphans like us."

Yogender Yadav at Kisan Sansad: "It is not the farmers who are under debt. Rather, the whole country is under the debt of the farmers."


More than 150 farmers' organisations came together in this Kisan Mukti Yatra that questioned the silence of Prime Minister Modi over Mandsaur shootings. The 13-day long yatra had begun on July 6 from Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh and brought determined crowds to the Kisan Mukti Sansad at Jantar Mantar. 

As speaker after speaker addressed the farmers, two specific demands emerged: Farming be made remunerative and farmers be made debt free.

Farmers of Tamil Nadu who have relaunched their agitation also joined the Kisan Mukti Sansad under the leadership of Aiyyakannu. 

The children of farmers from Maharashtra who committed suicide performed a skit at the Kisan Mukti Sansad to bring attention to their plight. 

Ashok Patil, one of such children present at Jantar Mantar said, "I am suffering because my father committed suicide. But I want to tell all the farmers of this country that suicide is not an option, the only option is that we have to fight for our rights.”
 
Responding to the appeal made by leaders of All India Kisan Sangarsh Coordination Committee to MPs, many joined the farmers, including MPs Raju Shetty, Tapan Kumar Sen, Dr. Dharamvir Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury, Sharad Yadav, Ali Anwar, Mohammad Saleem, Jitendra Choudhary, Arvind Sawant, B R Patil, Shailendra Kumar, Mohammad Murtaza, Shankar Dutta, Shri Moti, and Nagendra Pradhan.

Speaking at the event, MP Raju Shetty said, "I campaigned for Narendra Modi, I supported him only because he promised to waive off loans of farmers but later his government gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming that waiving off farm loans is not possible. I want to ask him that if this was not possible, why did he make this promise to me and in his election manifesto, to the people of this country.”

MP Sitaram Yechury said, "Along with all of you, I take the pledge to fight for the rights of farmers and I promise you that I am going to take this fight to the Parliament.”

Dr. Sunilam, who moderated today's event, demanded action against the police officers who shot dead 6 farmers in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. 

Sharad Yadav called it a fight of the whole country. 
Daughter of a farmer who is studying at an Ashram in Nasik appealed: "Please do not commit suicide. My father did, and here I am, an orphan. Do not commit suicide. Do not leave your children orphan." 

Prashant Bhushan said the government was deliberately designing policies that are anti-farmer and pro-corporates. 
 
Yogendra Yadav, one of the most prominent leader and a prime force behind this coalition of various farmer bodies, said: "It is not the farmers who are under debt. Rather, the whole country is under the debt of the farmers."
 
"The farmers have been giving a subsidy of Rs. 1,50,000 crores to this country and this has been happening since decades so we are not asking for a debt waiver but freedom from debt. It is not the farmer that is indebted to this country but the country that is indebted to the farmers,” the scholar-activist said.

Kisan Mukti Sansad is likely to continue tomorrow. Others who addressed the gathering include Chandrasekhar (VP-AIKMS. Telangana), Sundar Vimlnathan (Secretary-SIRFA-TN), PS Sharda (VP-Swaraj Abhiyan), Lingaraja (Secretary-Western Orissa Farmers Association), Prem Singh Gehlot (Vice President All India Kisan Mahasabha, Haryana), Purushottam Sharma (Secretary All India Kisan Mahasabha, Uttarakhand ), Ishwaree Prasad Kushwaha (Secretary of All India Kisan Mahasaba Uttar Pradesh), Upendra Singh (State President, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan - UP), Hemendra Chaudhary (State Vice President, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan), Bhagat Singh Verma (National President Rashtriya Kisan Mukti Morcha - UP), Ramvir Singh (President Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan - Meerut), Veerpal Singh (District President-Hapur), Zorwar Singh (District President Amroha), Bramhapal Singh (Organizing Secretary-Bulandshahr), Chaman Sinh (District Secretary-Amroha), Ravi Kant Tupakr (Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan-Maharashtra), Dasrath Sawant (Former President-Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan Maharashtra), Professor Prakash Pofle ( President-Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan) Deepak Pagar (President-Uttar Maharashtra Kisan Shetkari Sangathan), Bapusaheb Karande, Sagar Shambhushete (Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan - Kohlapur), Jagdish Inamdar (Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan), Ruldu Singh (National President of Akihil Bharitiya Kisan Mahasabha), and Gurnam Singh (Secretary, Akihil Bharitiya Kisan Mahasabha MP).
 
 
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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged. 
— Team PT




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Look who is defending Modi regime on RBI head fiasco
17.07.17 - PT BUREAU
Look who is defending Modi regime on RBI head fiasco



WAS NARENDRA MODI government unfair to Raghuram Rajan, the much celebrated RBI chief who was let go by the government? The sledgehammer decision of demonetisation came within days of Rajan's exit and the Modi government did precious little to counter the impression that he was denied another stint/extension in the hot seat. There was even talk that he and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not see eye to eye on many issues of economy.
 
Now, support for the Modi regime has come from rather strange quarters. An almost sworn critic of the saffron regime, senior journalist and TV personality, Karan Thapar has revealed that he has reliable information that the Centre did its best to retain Rajan, and also tried its level best to accommodate Rakesh Mohan, a former deputy governor, who was at the time considered the best candidate available.
-----------
 "It’s clear Mr Raghuram Rajan was not badly treated and the criticism the Modi government faced on this count was mistaken and unfair," said Karan Thapar. 
-----------
 
The job, instead, was given to Urjit Patel, whose men, it seems, are still busy counting the void currency notes that were returned to the bank.
 
Saying that he was "duty bound to be fair," Thapar, who became a household name with his TV show The Devil's Advocate, said, "Unimpeachable sources have told me that Mr Rajan was offered a two-year extension. However, the problem was his inability to get a further extension of leave of absence from Chicago University without losing his valuable tenure. Mr Rajan could only stay on for eight additional months." He made the claim recently in his weekly column 'Sunday Sentiments' in the Hindustan Times.
 
"(I)t’s clear Mr Rajan was not badly treated and the criticism the government faced on this count was mistaken and unfair," Thapar added. 
 
On the issue of why Rakesh Mohan was denied the top job at India's federal bank, the veteran journalist said, "I’ve very reliably learnt he was approached for the governorship and the government was extremely keen that he accept. Unfortunately, a personal and poignant problem prevented him from responding positively. It would be improper to go into further details."
 
Unfortunately, Thapar chose not to dwell further in this "personal and poignant problem" but long time practitioners of the craft of journalism vouch that Thapar is not given to making claims casually, or with a vested interest in mind. His word is taken very seriously by India's cognoscenti and when he writes that "criticism that Mr Mohan was overlooked is both mistaken and unfair," it carries more weight than any laborious explanation by any authority with an NDA tag.
 
Thapar's kindness, however, remained qualified. In his characteristic style, he warned the readers against reading more than he intended into his defence of the regime: "In these two instances its critics and opponents were wrong. I’m making no comment about anything else."
 
Now it is up to Delhi's chatterati to pick up the cue and dig deeper for juicier details, but the nagging question remains: Why did the NDA not defend itself if everything was so hunky-dory with its approach of choosing a successor to Raghuram Rajan? Will Karan Thapar reveal more? Over to the devil, may we say? 
 
-------------
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged. 
— Team PT




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Mastermind of group who pumped Rs 50 crore fake coins into India, arrested
07.07.17 - team pt
Mastermind of group who pumped Rs 50 crore fake coins into India, arrested



The mastermind of a fake coin syndicate has been arrested with around 8,500 counterfeit coins in denominations of Rs 5 and Rs 10. Upkar Luthra, arrested by the Special Cell from Kundli in Haryana on Tuesday , was operating out of Nepal.
 
Police said that the accused was also wanted for murdering his business partner and carried a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his arrest.
 
The gang, working across north India, was behind minting and circulating fake coins with the face value of around Rs 50 crore in the past few years. The making cost for a fake Rs 10 coin was Rs 4.5 and Rs 2 for a fake Rs 5 coin.
 
Police officials said that the modus operandi was ingenious. Sitting in Nepal, Luthra got metallic sheets delivered to his aides sitting in godowns located in Tilak Nagar and Mayapuri in Delhi. The godowns were then minted in coins worth Rs 5 and 10 denominations.The manufactured coins were then circulated through toll tax centers, weekly markets and small shopkeepers in various parts of Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana.
 
"In December, while working on a tip off, Sweekar Luthra was arrested from the Mohan Garden area and counterfeit coins worth Rs 17,390 in denomination of Rs 5 and Rs 10 were recovered from him. However, his brother Upkar Luthra, who was heading the module, was still at large. Information was received that he had absconded to Nepal and was organising the gang from there," said Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, DCP (Special Cell).

On Tuesday, following a tip off that Luthra was hiding in some hotel in Kondli, Haryana, a raid was conducted by a team and Luthra was arrested.




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Punjab Cabinet approves New Draft Transport Policy; Decides to crack down on Badal-controlled transport mafia
05.07.17 - team pt
Punjab Cabinet approves New Draft Transport Policy; Decides to crack down on Badal-controlled transport mafia



PUNJAB cabinet on Wednesday okayed the much-awaited new Transport Policy, while also abolishing the system of DTOs and restructuring the Transport Department, in order to streamline the issuance of permits and licences across commercial and private transport vehicles.
 
The cabinet decided that the state government will gradually increase the state transport undertakings’ share in the luxury bus service, currently controlled by the Badals’ bus services, to eventually make it state controlled. The share of State Transport Authority, Punjab Roadways and PRTC in the inter-state, point-to-point super integral coach service on contract carriage basis will be increased gradually, thus eventually ending the private mafia control over these high-revenue bus routes, a spokesperson disclosed after a meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
 
It was also decided to set up a special task force of the vigilance department and the state police to crack down on all illegally plying buses, over a period of two months, to weed out all such buses in a phased manner, said the spokesperson.
 
Under the Draft Transport Scheme-2017, formulated in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Punjab & Haryana High Court and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court, will be implemented after eliciting feedback from the public for 30 days and being fine-tuned according to inputs received from the general public.
 
The state government will seek a time period of 3 months from the courts to implement the scheme in a phased manner in order to ensure that the members of the public are not inconvenienced as a result of the large number of buses expected to be taken off the roads following its execution.
 
Once the scheme is implemented, permits of as many as 5432 buses indulging in extension/diversion of routes and another 6700 mini buses, besides 78 integral luxury coaches, will be cancelled and allotted afresh.
 
The new scheme, according to the spokesperson, was aimed at addressing the issues from which the system had been suffering, such as favouritism in allotment of permits, extensions given beyond the legal provisions on pick and choose basis, etc. It would also promote the use of technology to check unauthorized plying of buses, which results in huge evasion of Motor Vehicle Tax.
 
Besides fixing time slabs for buses, the new scheme will also provide for equitable distribution of halting time at bus stands between the State Transport Undertaking (STU) and privately operated buses. A monthly roster will be prepared for private operators on a single route. The state government would be required to enable computer generation of rosters by providing the necessary software and technology within one year.
 
The roster shall also ensure that all private operators on a route get to operate buses at lean and high traffic times of a day equally, and the timings of buses belonging to a particular operator on a route shall be clubbed to avoid unhealthy competition, provoking over speeding, concomitant discomfort to passengers and scare of accidents.
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 Once the scheme is implemented, permits of as many as 5432 buses indulging in extension/diversion of routes and another 6700 mini buses, besides 78 integral luxury coaches, will be cancelled and allotted afresh.
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Permits issued for a route shall carry the registration numbers of buses that are to ply on that route. The permit or a copy of the permit number shall be displayed on the vehicle in the manner prescribed by the State Transport Commissioner. The policy also lays down rules for allotment of permits and transfer, and the eligibility criteria and reservation to be followed shall be notified by the State Government in exercise of its powers under Section 71 of the Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
 
In case the number of eligible applications received for a particular route are more than the number of permits that can be granted for such route, the permits shall be allotted by way of draw of lots.  In case of private operators, not more than 25% of the total permits on a particular route shall be issued to one firm/party/person. Permits issued under this Scheme shall be valid for a period of 5 years from the date of issue. Upon renewal, the permits shall be valid for a period of 5 years from the date of renewal.
 
Permits issued by the State Government, that were valid immediately prior to the coming into force of this Scheme, shall be renewed for their balance period, at no extra charge, subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, as long as they have not been declared invalid by any court of law and the operator furnishes an undertaking to comply with all the terms and provisions of the present Scheme.
 
No transfer of permits shall be allowed, except in case of replacement of a bus, or, in case of inheritance due to death of an individual permit holder. Once granted, there will be no extension, or diversion, or curtailment of the route mentioned on the permit, save when a bus stand is shifted to a new location or a route is altered due to coming up of an over-bridge.
 
An operator may surrender his permit by way of notice of three months, or payment in lieu of notice of total dues payable for three months as assessed by the Secretary RTA.
 
A permit holder shall be liable for penal action and cancellation of permit, as prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and under the Punjab Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, in case of non-compliance of terms and conditions of the permit and/or any breach of conditions specified in this Scheme.  Any violation would be punishable under the relevant Acts and Rules.
 
The new policy also provides for stipulation of motor vehicle tax as proportionate to the reference fares notified by the state government, and where there exists a reciprocal arrangement with other States/UTs, rate of tax shall be equal to the rate charged by the other State/UT. For buses running on rural roads the tax shall be lump sum Rs. 30,000 per annum, which shall increase 5% every year in compounded manner.
-----------
The state government will gradually increase the state transport undertakings’ share in the luxury bus service, currently controlled by the Badals’ bus services, to eventually make it state controlled.
-----------
Elaborating on the restructuring of the Transport Department, the spokesperson revealed that besides doing away with the system of DTOs, it will provide for registration of personal vehicles by SDMs, with driving licences to be issued on 32 Automated Driving Test Tracks itself by Assistant Transport Officers.
 
The work related to commercial vehicles will be handled by 11 Regional Transport Authority (RTA) offices, which will do registration, licensing, permit issuance, and tax collection, besides registering personal vehicles. Six additional posts of Secretary RTAs will be created to fill in the gap created by the abolition of the 22 DTO posts.
 
As per new structure of the department, 10 Assistant RTOs will be posted in the office of Secretary, RTA and one each on the 32 Automated Driving Test Tracks. The ARTOs will exercise the powers of Registering and/or Licensing depending upon their office of posting. They will be responsible for enforcement duties in the same manner as the Secretary RTAs for their areas of jurisdictions.
 
The new Secretary posts will be created at the following locations, with their jurisdictions: Bathinda (for Bathinda, Mansa & Sri Muktsar Sahib); Ferozpur (for Ferozpur, Faridkot & Fazilka); Patiala (for Patiala & Fatehgarh Sahib); Sangrur (for Sangrur & Barnala); Gurdaspur (for Gurdaspur & Pathankot); Amritsar (for Amritsar & Tarn Taran); Ludhiana (for Ludhiana, Moga); Mohali (for Mohali & Ropar); Jalandhar (for Jalandhar, Kapurthala); Hoshiarpur (for Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahar).
 
The Secretaries will be tasked with issuance of registration certificates, driving licenses for transport vehicles, conductor licenses, private service vehicle permits and contract carriage permits, supervision and checking of Pollution Check Centres, enforcement duties with respect to tax collections, traffic/permit/route violations, Motor Vehicles Tax collection from the Stage Carriage Buses belonging to both the STUs and the Private Operators.
 
Apart from these, Secretary RTA would also be the Chairman of the Board of Inspection for fitness certificates to the transport vehicles, member of district condemnation board for vehicles, member secretary/convener of the district road safety committee, member secretary of committee formed under the safe school vahan scheme.
 
Besides, he would also be entrusted with the task of grant and renewal of national permits with respect to Goods Carriage under Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, grant and renewal of Goods Carriage Permits, grant and renewal of Stage Carriage Permits for Buses, enforcement work with respect of traffic checking on road in their region to implement the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and Rules framed there under and framing and approving time-tables to be followed by all stage carriage buses for the bus depots under their jurisdiction.




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Comment by: Kamal

I travelled in Mercedes Benz bus ac bus from chandigarh to Pathankot recently.bus was overloaded...centre area operator has put plastic benches and 15 passengers were seated..Ac was not working...poor service of bus...request to operators not to overload bus more than capacity for few rupees gain....also road safety hazard

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Comment by: Kamal

I travelled in Mercedes Benz bus ac bus from chandigarh to Pathankot recently.bus was overloaded...centre area operator has put plastic benches and 15 passengers were seated..Ac was not working...poor service of bus...request to operators not to overload bus more than capacity for few rupees gain....also road safety hazard

reply


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each and every employee, including laborers are multi-millionaires
In this Indian town, ‘Billionaires’ work as labourers and peons in factories
05.07.17 - team pt
In this Indian town, ‘Billionaires’ work as labourers and peons in factories



Can you believe that even factory workers can be millionaires? And not one, two or even ten, but most of them! Literally!

Yes. There is a factory which has each and every employee, including laborers, peons and watchmen who are multi-millionaires.
 
Factories in motown Sanand are faced with an unusual HR problem — handling crorepati labourers. There has been a windfall of Rs 2,000 crore for land owners in and around Sanand, where Gujarat government acquired over 4,000 hectares of land over the last nine years.

Many locals, who turned crorepatis overnight, work as machine operators, floor supervisors, security personnel and even peons in several units operational here.
 
As many as 150 workers, out of the 300 employed at Raviraj Foils Ltd in Sanand, have more than Rs 1 crore in their banks. 
 
The salaries of these crorepatis is between Rs 9,000 to 20,000, as they work only to keep themselves occupied. Locals residents have also invested in long term savings like gold and land.
 
The unexpected prosperity came when Tata Motors decided to bring its Nano plant to Sanand, after an invitation from then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

What followed was a flood of automobile giants, including Honda, Ford and Maruti Suzuki, arriving in, triggering a rapid rise in land rates. About 200 big and small companies have set up units in the estate run by Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, which acquired land in villages like Bol, Hirapur and Khoraj.
 
But the management of the factories admit that handling crorepati workers  isn't exactly easy.

"Retaining labour is a major challenge for us. We have to be very cautious in dealing with workers as these jobs are no longer their primary source of income. Only carrot policy works, stick has to be spared," one member of the management in a factory told Times of India.
 
Before Nano drove into Sanand, only two banks operated nine branches with deposits worth Rs 104 crore. Bankers say over the last few years, 25 banks have established 56 branches here, handling deposits worth Rs 3,000 crore.
 
"There are many units that employ crorepati workers. At one point of time, units were hit with high attrition as workers quit jobs after receiving crores of rupees for their land. Thankfully, many have got back to work," says Shailesh Thakkar, secretary, Sanand Industries Association.

Parixit Patel, managing director of Nami Steel, employs about a dozen such crorepatis. "We have high-net-worth individuals in our security and machine operations. Most of them work to keep themselves constructively occupied rather than earn money," says Patel.
 
But, with the wealth came problems.
 
Loaded with cash, most beneficiaries went on a buying spree, picking up expensive cars and gadgets, only to realize that empty mind was devil's workshop.
 
Local resident, Jagatsinh Vaghela told The Times OF India ,"After I received money, I quit my job to watch Cricket World Cup 2011. India won the cup and the tournament was over. I was left with a lot of money and no work. A man without work is nothing less than a live bomb," says Jagatsinhwho resumed his job as a pump manager in the same firm from where he had resigned. Vaghela, who has invested in industrial plots in Changodar and Shantipura, earns a salary of Rs 18,000 per month.
 
Narendrasinh Barad, a store officer with Rs 11,000 monthly salary, had received Rs 4 crore for his land. "Two of my relatives quit their jobs after they got money. I decided to continue working as it keeps me busy," says Barad.

Similarly, Dharmendrasinh Vaghela gets more than Rs 60,000 interest income from Rs 2 crore fixed deposit his family has. However, the 31-year-old continues to work as a grinding machine operator.




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