Expectations and speculations are rife that RBI may again reduce repo rate to get interest rates down, it must be remembered that on previous 2 occasions in less than a year RBI has reduced the repo rates but banks declined to pass it on to the consumers  till the RBI has stepped in, even than the reduction in interest rates have not been matching to that of repo rates, for suppose if repo rate is reduced by 0.75 basis points cumulatively in the last year, banks could reduce interest rates hardly by 0.15 to 0.25 basis points, its now evident to conclude that banks are using this reduction in repo rates as a tool to reduce their NPAs, unless RBI comes with strict riders, the repo rate reduction will not do any good to the economy


media hype

its been so surprising why media is creating so much hype about modi365, open any channel, there appears a big survey, why the media did not do such survey about manmohan singh tenure either in 2004 or in 2009, upa365 or sonia mania or cong 365 or manmohan365, coolly the media was in silence for a decade and now roaring for nda govt as if completing one year is a miracle, it would be better to allow the govt to do its duty for a sufficient period without disturbing them and without shouting on rooftops.

cow slaughter

Recently 17 cows whom we worship as gomatha have been ambushed by four men and a lady, near kanakadurga temple vijayawada, there cannot be more ghastly and dastardly as this one, what is more painful is the fact that none of them were caught, no motive established, no further investigation and no further updation, simply the media and the local establishment became silent, its time we demand a probe, it was first reported that they have been fed with wrong flour but later media reported it as a sabotage.

marital rape

it is really amusing to find that there is a growing demand that  a marital rape must be criminalised on par with sec 375 of ipc, i am really surprised that despite having several laws for women where the conviction rate is meagre just because of the failure of the prosecution to have a clinching evidence, and now how how one can establish that previous night episode was consensual or not, Can there be any evidence except her allegation, how can it be proved, already lots of cases are being misused, I do really empathise with women but I feel this will end their marital life once for all and both of them keep hopping to courts for decades, so this will do more harm than good to them.

black money

Narendra Modi and his government have had quite a fascination for the black money that leaves the country. Black money is essentially money that has been earned, but on which a tax has not been paid.

During the electoral campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi promised that all the black money that had left Indian shores would be recovered and Rs 15 lakh deposited in the bank accounts of every Indian. Later Amit Shah, the president of the BJP, dismissed this as a chunavi jumla.

In the Budget presented in February 2015, the finance minister Arun Jaitley focused on black money and said: “The problems of poverty and inequity cannot be eliminated unless generation of black money and its concealment is dealt with effectively and forcefully.”

At the same time Jaitley unleashed a series of measures to counter the menace of black money leaving the shores of this country. “Concealment of income and assets and evasion of tax in relation to foreign assets will be prosecutable with punishment of rigorous imprisonment up to ten years,” was one of the measures that Jaitley spoke about during the course of his speech.

Recently, the Income-Tax department issued new Income-Tax forms which asked for a plethora of information from individuals travelling abroad. This was again seen as a step to curb black money. These forms had to be withdrawn after a wave of public protests.

As per the Global Financial Integrity report titled Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2003-2012, around $439 billion of black money left the Indian shores, between 2003 and 2012. What is interesting is that in 2003 the total amount of black money leaving India had stood at $10.1 billion. By 2012, this had jumped more than nine times to around $94.8 billion. In comparison, the money leaving China during the same period grew by less than four times during this period.

Given this, one really can’t blame the government for being overly worried about the black money leaving the country. Also, black money that remains in the country has some benefits. Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang explains this in his book Bad Samaritans — The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity, in the context of a minister taking a bribe (which is also black money, given that the minister is not going to declare the bribe as an income).

As he writes: “A bribe is a transfer of wealth from one person to another. It does not necessarily have negative effects on economic efficiency and growth.” If the minister taking the bribe decides to spend/invest that money in the country, it has a positive impact on economic growth, as the spending creates economic demand and the investment creates jobs. At least in theory, the idea seems to make sense.

In comparison, the black money leaving the country is a total waste. As Chang writes: “A critical issue is whether the dirty money stays in the country. If the bribe is deposited in a Swiss bank, it cannot contribute to creating further income and jobs through investment — which is one way odious money can partially ‘redeem’ itself.”

Once we take this factor into account Modi government’s crackdown on black money leaving the shores of the country starts to make immense sense. But the question is how good are the chances of recovering the money that has already left the shores?

There is a great belief in India that all the black money is lying with banks in Switzerland. But this belief is incorrect. As Chang writes: “Switzerland is not a country living off black money deposited in its secretive banks. It is, in fact, literally the most industrialised country in the world.”

Data released by the Swiss National Bank, the central bank of Switzerland, suggests that Indian money in Swiss banks was at around Rs 14,000 crore in 2013. In 2006, the total amount had stood at Rs 41,000 crore.

The reason for this fall is simple. Over the last few years as black money and Switzerland have come into focus, it would be stupid for individuals or companies sending black money out of India, to keep sending it to Switzerland.

There are around 70 tax havens all over the world. And so this money could be anywhere. Getting all this money back would involve a lot of international diplomacy and cooperation. Also, the question is why tax havens would return this money. The economies of many tax havens run because of this black money and no one undoes a business model that is working.

An estimate made by the International Monetary Fund suggests that around $18 trillion of wealth lies in international tax havens other than Switzerland and beyond the reach of any tax authorities. Some of this money must have definitely originated in India.

Long story short — it would be next to impossible to get back any of this black money.

Now let’s get back to domestic black money. As per Chang, this money, if invested properly, can create jobs as well as economic growth. In the Indian case a lot of this money gets invested into gold and real estate. Money going into gold does not create any jobs. And money that goes into real estate has driven up home prices in particular, all over the country, to extremely high levels. Most middle class Indians cannot afford to buy a home now.

Given this, it makes tremendous sense for the government to crack down on domestic black money, instead of making noises about recovering black money that has already left the shores of this country. Further, the focus should be on ensuring that the number of people paying income tax goes up in the years to come.

In short, the black money menace first needs to be tackled domestically.


It is easy to be cynical of netas. So many of them have failed us that we now have little to feel sanguine about. So when a neta breaks down on live television, the first and most obvious reaction is that this is a political “nautanki” designed to gather sympathy. When the tearful neta happens to be from the Aam Aadmi party, then the scepticism seems to run deeper: Isn’t this the party which thrives on constant made for TV drama and histrionics? But when the neta who cries also happens to be a valued former colleague and fellow journalist for almost a decade, then you do sit up and take notice.

Anyone who has known Ashutosh in his journalistic days, will admit that he is a fine human being: honest and straightforward. Pugnacious too. When he was once slapped by the BSP supremo Kanshi Ram, he stood his ground and did not take a step back. He has firm ideological convictions and maybe at times that influenced his journalism in a manner that he became a quasi-activist, not always able to listen to the “other side” to an argument. But he wasn’t by any stretch of imagination a fixer or a sycophant like many other contemporaries have chosen to become. Even when he took the bold step of becoming a politician in early 2014, he did it out of a personal belief system, driven by his growing admiration of Arvind Kejriwal. Maybe, he could have made the switch a year or two earlier when the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement seemed to absorb him to the point where he could no longer distance his journalism from his ideology.

I have always believed that you must join politics when you don’t have an iota of self-doubt within, when you cannot separate your role as an observer from that of a participant, when the quest for public service is designed to give back to society not to take away from it. Ashutosh, I guess, had reached that stage. Yesterday, he found that maybe politics isn’t quite the rosy world he had imagined it to be. Politicians must have thick skins, they can’t breakdown every time their intentions are questioned. Get emotional and show your human side, but don’t do it in a manner where more questions are raised than answers.


Forced bachelorhood for 4.12 crore men in country as brides go missing

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Forced bachelorhood for 4.12 crore men in country as brides go missing
While the population of men is 16.92 lakh men,  the number of women in the 40s is barely 8.67 lakh which means a gap of 8.25 lakh women.
LUCKNOW: If you are in your 20s, 30s or 40s and have a wife, consider yourself to be very lucky. That’s because you are not among the 4.12 crore out of 6.50 crore men of marriageable age who have no choice as there are no brides in the country.

The finding may shock many on Akshay Tritiya, considered as the best mahurat to get married. It comes from the recently released Census Data on Marital Status of Indian Population. Consider this. Against 5.63 crore men in the 20s, there are 2.07 crore females present — indicating towards a gap of 3.55 crore brides.

Similarly, for men in the 30s, 70.1 lakh men in the 30s, only 22.1 lakh girls present. In this way, there are no brides for a whooping 47.91 lakh men.

The gap exists in case of men in the 40s as well. While the population of men is 16.92 lakh men, the number of women in the 40s is barely 8.67 lakh which means a gap of 8.25 lakh women.

Put together, there are only 2.38 crore brides for 6.50 crore grooms. In other words, three out of five men of marriageable age will eventually not be find to find a bride. Therefore, a forced brahmacharya is the only option most men have.