What is wrong? What should be done?

Is lowering of cash amount in the hands of the people a valid reason for Modi to demonitize Indian currency?

The Modi government has listed out a number of reasons for demonitizing the Indian currency. Lets analyze one one of them.

One of the reasons given by Mr Jaily was that demonotizing the currency was a necessary step towards achieving a digital economy, that is, demonotization will assistin reducing cash percentage out of the banking system thereby leading to growth like in the western developed world.

First, we are already progressing very fast towards digital economy. I am not sure the government needed to disrupt the very economy it wanted to digitize. Mr Jaitley referred to developed economies and gave data as to the “cash percentage outside the banking system” (CPOTBS) in developed economies as compared to India. Is that a factor which affects growth? Did America demonitize its currency to achieve its low CPOTBS. Is low CPOTBS the factor that will drive growth? If this is how is the growth rate of US lower than India? Mr jaitley’s logic suggests that we could resolve all the economic problems of the world by just lowering the CPOTBS. I doubt if this is true or this is what Mr Jaitley meant. Does the government have a right to cause pain and suffering to the whole country just to lower the cash in the hands of the people? Can’t they just withdraw the money after depositing the same? I think they can.

Does the government have any right to demonitize currency just to lower the CPOTBS? Is it even legal? I know RBI has the power to demonitize but I am sure they have to do it in certain circumstances but not to lower the CPOTBS. Can the the government force us to become part of the digital economy? Last I heard we were living in a free country.

It is great that the Modi government wants to use technology but it should first use it to set its house in order. It should first use technology to bring the real culprits who evade sales tax, income tax etc to book. Actually, you do not even need technology. Just ask the respective government departments. They know who is evading taxes.

Even assuming that this reason for demonitizing the currency is valid, do we have the legal infrastructure to handle it? I don’t think so. There is a dire need to upgrade the IT law as well train the law enforcement agencies to handle IT related crimes. Digital dream is OK but we need to proactively provide the environment in which it will thrive. Just today evening, we saw evidence of our government’s capability to handle IT related issues when Mr Jaitley said in an interview that it will take 2/3 weeks to get the ATM modified to accept the new currency.

A counter argument given by some is that one of the main objective of demonitizing the currency was to infuse funds into the banking system by forcing people to deposit money in the banks. Recently, Modi government infused over Rs. 20,000 crores into the PSU banking system and another Rs. 125,000 crores is required. Why are the PSU banks in trouble? Three alphabets NPA or non performing assets. Some NPAs are normal but our PSU banks have abnormal NPAs. Big time industrialists cannot pay the amount. We do not want to put pressure on the banks and the defaulters as that will have an adverse effect on the market sentiments. We do not want to take action bank officials because there will be collateral damage as the loans may have been given not on merit but under pressure from powers to be. However, making the common man stand in line to get money for milk and to feed his family is certainly good for the market sentiments. Once the money of the common man is deposited in the banks the same will be loaned to more industrialist friends of the politicians and the cycle will continue.

As mentioned in my previous post, the government before it causes the common man any inconvenience it should first do its duty. Has the government streamlined the banking system? Has it taken serious action against defaulters and bank officials? Has the government done any analysis as to how many of these defaulting loans were given at the recommendation of the political director appointees on the board? Has it taken any action against the directors for not performing their duties properly? I doubt very much.

The best part is that Mr Jaitley regretted inconvenience to the public and said that they had factored the same while making the decision. I am really happy to hear this because it gives me the confidence that our government is not incompetent but just does not care about the citizens of this great country so long its objectives are met. After all, what is important is what the government wants to do and not whats good for the people of the country.

So the reason for demonitization to reduce cash in the hands of the people makes no sense from any angle and most importantly, it does not make sense logically. Its just hogwash.

So what’s next? Another blog to analyze another reason given by the Modi government for demonitizing the currency. Our search for a good reason to do what was done continues.

Avinash Narula

Demonitisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes by Modi Government

I am blogging after a long time. Actually, thanks to Modi Government, I woke up to smell the coffee. There are many people who have commented on the advantages and disadvantages of this action of the Modi Government as well as on how it has been implemented and I thought that I might as well add my 10 cents to the discussion that is going on.

First, I would like to make it clear that what I am going to say, as usual, will be based on logic. Its not about politics. Its not about BJP vs Congress or one political party against another or a group of them vs another group of them. I am sorry to make a generalisation here, that is, as far as I am concerned all politicians are the same.

Second, we all know that we have a dual economy. Also, that it has been in existence for the last at least 50 years. I doubt anyone will dispute this fact.

Third, we would all like to know who is responsible for this dual economy. I think I can safely say that we are all responsible for creating the dual economy. We all participate in it directly or indirectly. For instance, we all want to buy goods without paying sales tax. It has become a way of life in our country. Of course, some of us would want to know who is to blame for this mess or who started it or who should be proverbially shot for creating this mess. Well the answer is also simple. Politicians, bureaucrats and corrupt businessmen. If I had to guess, the starting point was the licence raj.

Today, I am sorry to say but corruption has become a significant part of our DNA. If you would like to know how something that is legal is made illegal with the involvement of black money, such illegal activity is being carried out openly with the connivance of all, has ultimately become part of our way of life which even the government (because of vote bank politics) or the courts (because of difficulty in reversing the illegality) find it difficult to resolve, please read my article in this blog titled “DNA of Corruption in India.” The disease of corruption and illegality is so widespread and ingrained in our way of life that even people who do not want to get involved in it have got involved in it one way or the other. Its a complex issue and cannot be resolved by one single action or in one day or one month.

Fourth, we all know that India is a very diversified country in terms of practically everything. As such, implementing an across the board policy would be a nightmare and should be approached with caution.

Lastly, governments (irrespective of the political party) should realize the poor implementation skills of the government as well as the inadequate availability of infrastructure and resources in India before implementing any across the board government policy.

Irrespective of the political party which is in power, I have seen that any government policy when it is implemented, it is the people who suffer and the poor and the weak suffer the most. Just take the odd-even plan implemented by the the Delhi government. It was the poor who travelled on buses who had to face the difficulties. Though the government promised more buses but we know what happened. Once I remember UP govt stopped operation of Delhi buses going to UP. Who suffered? The common man. The second thing that gets violated is the rights of the people.

Apart from the above, lets look at what our constitution says. Only people who have read law and few others would know that the directive principles of our constitution which serve as a guiding force for the government say that we should have compassion for all living beings including animals. I think you all will agree that it is the duty of our government while implementing its policy to be compassionate towards all its people especially the weak and the poor.

So what is the point that I am trying to make. Its simply involves four points as follows:

1. The poor and the middle class which constitute the majority of the Indian population are already a troubled lot. They lead a difficult life. Most of them survive on a day to day basis. Lets not create more problems for them by implementing across the board policies in a hurry. In my 63 years of living in India, I have not come across any government policy that could not wait for a month or two taking into consideration that practically every policy taken out by any government is always late by couple of years anyway.

2. The Government should first do what it is supposed to do, that is, fulfill its responsibility of good governance before asking the common man to suffer. For instance, no action to curb pollution is taken by the Delhi government and when push came to shove, it shoved the odd-even plan down the people’s throat.

3. The government should accept the nature of our economy, characteristics of rural economy, government’s implementation capability and our way of life before implementing any across the board policy like demonitization.

4. Rights of the people should not be violated. For instance, we cannot inconvenience the total population of the country and infringe upon their rights even if a few crooks with black money got away. We cannot punish an innocent man even if a few guilty get away. It is the job of the government to target the crooks but not the whole population. If robbery is taking place in one town, government cannot arrest all the people living in that town as that would amount to dictatorship and breach of an individual’s fundamental rights.

I am simply proposing that the government of India should follow some guidelines before implement across the board policies some of which are given below:

(a) is it absolutely necessary?
(b) can it be implemented in stages ?
(c) if its implementation can cause hardship to the poor and weak and or the general population, suitable steps should be taken to counter the same.
(d) will it affect their daily livelihood? This is very important. If there is even the slightest chance of adversely affecting the livelihood of people, appropriate measures should be taken to absolutely minimize the same.
(e) will the policy be easily understood by all those who will be affected? If yes, again the implementation should be done in stages.

The key being that the people of the country especially the poor and the weak should not be inconvenienced unnecessarily to implement a government policy like the demonitization of the currency has done by the Modi government. Of course, I will use some the above principles to examine if the decision to demonitize the way it has been done was not correct or not .

Avinash Narula

Did Arvind Kejriwal read the Indian constitution? I doubt it.

Arvind Kejriwal stated that he has read the constitution and that nowhere in the constitution it is written that the Chief Minister cannot protest. Let me give Kejriwal a short lesson in what the constitution of India states.

First, Kejriwal should understand that the constitution lays down the broad principle and does not list what CM of a state can do or not do.

Second, The Fundamental Duties enumerated in the constitution states that every citizen “shlould abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.”

Third,the Article 14 of the constitution states that every citizen is equal in the eyes of law including the CM. Arvind Kejriwal has broken various laws when he held his Dharna. According to the constitution, Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters should be put behind bars. Also, today AAP representative protested illegally in front of Arun jaitly’s house and as such they should also be put behind bars.

Fourth, Article 22 of the constitution provides sageguards against arbitrary arrest and detention to prevent people like Somnath Bharti to order the police to arrest people at their whims and fancies.

My humble submission to Arvind Kejriwal is that he should understand that the primary reason behind corruption that he wants to tackle is just one, that is, lack of rule of law in this country. Dharnas, 800 numbers and setting traps will not solve the corruption problem in a systematic manner. All we have to do to stop corruption is establish Rule of Law and the first person who needs to obey the law is the CM of the state.

Avinash Narula

We are in serious trouble by voting for Aam Admi Party

The major problem that we wanted to get away from was ministers telling the police what to do. We wanted the police to do their job without interference from their political bosses. We wanted rule of law applied without any discrimination.

It seems that by voting the Aam Admi party to power we have shot ourselves in the foot. I don’t think anybody wanted an emergency like situation to prevail in the country again. Now Minister Somnath Bharti wants the police to raid the house that he thinks is involved in some illegal activities without any due process. What I heard today on the TV shocked me that women were taken to the hospital and forcefully made to submit to tests and illegal body search. This is happening inspite of Somnath Bharti being a lawyer who should know better.

Thank God that the Aam Admi Party does not have control over the police as I am not sure what he would end up doing. Thank God we do have the constitutional checks and balances as otherwise Shri Somnath Bharti would end up being the accuser, judge and the jury also.

What is more disappointing and scary is that Arvind Kejriwal thinks that the police officers should be suspended because they did not listen to the minister. Arvind Kejriwal has a legitimate demand that the police in Delhi should be under the control of the Delhi Government and that he should push for this reform with the help of the people of Delhi. However, if this is any indication as to how the AAP will handle the police, I think it would be better if the present situation continues.

I think Arvind Kejriwal and the whole AAP team should spend time understanding what democracy is all about. I think they should also understand not only our constitution but also the constitution of other countries before they are allowed to govern. How does the act of Somnath Bharti fit in with Arvind Kejriwal’s concept of swaraj. You are only free if you have right to rule of law and your freedom does not depend on the whims and fancies of a law minister.

What more. The latest is that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP think that Khap Panchayats should be allowed to exit as they are a part of our social structure. So a Khap Panchyat in Bengal thinks that the women should be raped and that is OK with Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal should understand that no where in the world there is a punishment in the form of rape. Corruption is part of our social structure in India and so why is Arvind Kejriwal saying it should be removed? Sati and Dowry is part of our social structure then why should the same be removed? Is there a due process or an appeal process in Khap Panchayat? I think I can get some elders in Delhi, form a Khap Panchayat and order Arvind Kejriwal to be removed from CM’s post sinec he has not fulfilled his promise.

It is very clear why Arvind Kejriwal wants to support Khap Panchayats. He wants them to vote for the Aam Admi Party in the Lok Sabha and the state assembly polls in Haryana and UP. In fact, all his actions so far have been directed in building a perception about AAP so as to win LS elections. I cannot take credit for this insight. A friend of mine suggested that the Dharna was all planned. Now Vinod Binny announced that he is going to have a press conference the next day. The same night two ministers of AAP got into tiff with police. Now Binny’s press conference was overshadowed by the two events of the ministers. Also, AAP took these two events to protest against the central government for not giving them control of the police force. Arvind Kejriwal is seen spending the night on the road. Imagine the publicity AAP received as well as the perception AAP tried to build without caring what difficulties the people of Delhi went through. I will let you decide if anybody is doing the drama and if yes who.

My suggestion to all is that let us not vote for AAP in the Lok Sabha. Let them prove themselves in Delhi first.

Avinash Narula

What media could not figure out about Kejriwal, Binny and I did

In my earlier posts, I have clearly stated why Aam Admi Party and Kejriwal have not done what they had promised with respect to water and electricity. I have also stated the reasons and evidence why there seems to a conspiracy between AAP and Congress. Well, I must say one thing that Vinod Binny who held the conference has figured it out just like I did. I feel that Binny seems to be a logical man with clear thinking. At least, I was impressed.

Also, I feel that media is not doing its job properly. Even though, media had figured out the disconnect between what was promised and what was done, still their headlines were always favourable to AAP. Their headlines were “AAP fulfills their promise of free water within 2 days.” Such headlines are not only incorrect but they have resulted in misleading the people of the country. The job of the media is to report the truth or the facts and not mislead the people.

I have heard from other sources also that there is no democracy as far as Kejriwal is concerned. What Binny has said is probably not off the mark. Media should look into the matter and report on it. Media’s involvement is important in this matter. First, people of this country need to know if Kejiwal is going to run the state / country like a dictator. Also, whether all the talk about involving janta in decision making and holding janta darbars is just to fool the people and in wasting tax payer’s money.

I would like to thanks Binny for doing what he did. The people of this country have been continuously lied to by the politicians. We need more people to take a stand and stop politicians from lying.

In the end, I would also like to state that there is nothing wrong in seeking a lok sabha or vidhan sabha seat. I would like to say that what I heard from Binny, I do not see any reason why he was not made a minister. However, most probably why he was not made a minister is because he is not towing Kejriwal’s line. Ultimately, Binny will be out of the party now because he has spoken against Kejriwal and Kejriwal does not like cricism.

Avinash Narula

AAP actions have saddened me

It seems that the only light I saw at the end of the tunnel was the hope that Aam Admi party would take rock solid steps towards effective governance and removing corruption. I feel sad today because the actions taken by AAP have primarily been to somehow position itself for the lok sabha elections. They are indulging in gimmickry.

Lets talk about their gimmicks one by one. Their action of free water and 50% off on electricity is absolutely is not according to the promise they made. For instance, they promised 20000 litres of water free to everybody which is not what they did. The subsidy is also not targeted. In addition, there are more pressing issues to resolve with respect to water problems in Delhi than giving free water. We were promised 50% reduction in prices with no conditions and that is not true either. The problem is that they have achieve their purpose of getting favourable headlines from biased media. No newspapers have reported with a headline “AAP didn’t keep its promise.”

Now lets talk about corruption. Before the election, all Kejriwal talked about was the corruption of Congress leaders and unscrupulous power companies. What has it done so far. Just opened a hotline which and will remain one of the most stupid ideas. First, they want you to provide evidence by filming the corrupt taking bribes which is not sustainable because it may not only be illegal but also it is also dangerous for an enthusiatic citizen. This will create more problems for citizens who are trying to get things done in a government department. All Kejriwal has to do is the following in every government office:

(a) Log every request for a job on the computer irrespective of whether all formalities completed or not.
(b) Another team checks the papers/formalities and discrepancy if any and send to the citizen who has applied.
(c) Response is received by another team which processes the papers.
(d) The computer will decide at random which particular officer will complete a specific process.
(e) Teams could be located at different locations also.

Computer will track each case. Any delay is not possible because you have taken the authority away from the corrupt individual. Also, no corrupt person will be able to easily ignore deficiency in formality because more than one person will be involved with the same. No on will know who will be involved in the resolving the case.

If I am not mistaken, the passport office is doing this in Ghaziabad. I don’t know why AAP is not using IT. IT is supposed to be the biggest equaliser in controlling corruption. A flexible software can be developed which can be used for all the departments. The same software can be used for complaint resolution also. Now such things would only happen when AAP and Kejriwal are thinking of resolving problems instead of gimmicks.

The last action of AAP to call people to the janta Darbar was and will always be a waste of time. The main point is that even when you meet people, you will not be able to resolve the problem nor will you have the time to understand it or write down all the details. You will just take the papers given by the complainant. The meeting would be a waist of time. Instead of calling people, they should have asked the people to either upload their complaints with scanned copies of the documents or asked them to submit the complaint with respective departments after taking a receipt. Some simple complaints would have been resolved. Complaints where clarifications were required, the complaint should have been called on the telephone and where face-to-face meeting was required only then they should have bee called to the department’s office. Complaint resolution systems or what is known as CRM systems are available all over the world. Every call center has a system for complaint resolution. It keeps track of every complaint and all records.

Let me also address the issue of corruption of Shiela Dikshit and power companies. Most people do not realize that power companies accounts have already been audited by CAG. Based on its report, I believe formal recommendations to file cases against top Congress leaders have also been made. Now all Kejriwal has to do is pursue the findings of the report. Similarly, CAG has also blamed the Congress government for losses for CWG games. Now what does Kejriwal do, orders another audit.

After the government in Delhi was formed, have you heard of Kejriwal blaming the Congress party or Shiela Dikshit of corruption? I think one should tabulate the number of times Kejriwal took Shiela Dikshit’s name before the government formation and after it and it should tell us something. Instead, Kejriwal has gone about arresting a couple of constables.

I think people should look at facts before blindly following a wave or newspaper headlines. We need to keep APP and Kejriwal honest in terms of what they promised and what they are giving. Right now we are just pursuing a perception but perception is what marketing is all about.

Avinash Narula

Taking strict action against corrupt DJB officials the Right Action by APP government

The first good action taken by AAP government against corrupt DJB officials is the step in the right direction. Filing of FIR is very important. These officials should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

I am not sure what the punishment is. I hope the punishment is severe otherwise law should be changed to make sure that the punishment is strong enough to serve as a deterrent for others. I somehow have a feeling that the applicable law must be old and the punishment not severe enough.

Also, the AAP government should ensure that justice is served fast and quick. If it is going to take 19 years as it took for Sukh Ram to get punished then it is of no use.

What did Arvind Kejriwal promise? What did he deliver?

If I am not mistaken, Kejriwal promised the following:

(a) 50% drop in electricity bills / electricity rates.

(b) 700 litres of water free every day or 20000 litres a month.

I am not sure, he laid down any conditions in terms of number of units consumed not did he mention about the 10% increase in water rates. The above was a blanket promise to everyone.

I think Arvind Kejriwal has fooled the people. He has reduced the electricity rates by 50% for only those consuming 400 units or less. Second, water upto 700 litres is free but even a litre more will result in the person paying for all the units and that too at a 10% higher rate.

What is more astonishing is that the people who should get subsidy would probably not get as a lot of these individuals or families are living in unauthorised and resettlement colonies and quite a few of the households do not have metered connections or where meters are not working.

It seems Arvind Kejriwal / AAP has done what more other political parties have been doing to us, that is, taking us for a joyride. I think the people of Delhi and the whole country should decide if they want to be taken for another joy ride when they vote for in the Lok Sabha Elections.

Avinash Narula

Let’s talk about Arvind Kejriwal’s principle?

With respect to the free water issue, I read that Arvind Kejriwal tweeted something to the effect, “One can dispute the amount of water but not the principle behind it as water is the lifeline of people.” Let me dispute the principle behind it.

There are many things which are basic for a person to survive. Roti, Kapada aur Makan is something we have all heard about. You can include electricity and healthcare into it. Now what all is Arvind Kejriwal going to dole out as free and who is going to pay for it.

Arvind Kejriwal should know that the system of the government providing everything for its people has been tried and tested before. If he wants he can borrow the system from China and Russia who have abandoned the system long time back and will be happy to give it to him. However, even these systems made people work. I don’t think people received things free.

Now I agree that the government has a responsibility towards the weaker section of the society. Taking the example of drinking water, the government has the following responsibility:

(a) To run the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in an efficient and cost effective manner (no water wastage and no corruption) to supply safe drinking water to all the people of the state. If DJB is run properly, the cost of supplying water will come down and a larger percentage of people can afford it.
(b) To make sure that water is available through PIPES and no tankers. It is the weaker section of the society which spends a lot of time to get water which they can utilise productively to improve their standard of living.
(c) To make sure that the water is supplied 24 hours. If this is not possible, supply water at fixed times. I think somebody in AAP should find out what problems this would solve for the weaker section and even the not-so-weaker section of the society.
(d) AAP should also ask itself, how many people in the weaker section of the society can buy and maintain water pumps and water purifying systems. The government needs to first work on these.

First, the responsibility of any political party in control of the government is to carry out the above actions and if after that some people without access to water or cannot afford water, I am all for giving free water to them. So the principle of giving free water as a first step is a little difficult to understand. However, even this has to be done in a targeted manner so that nobody can take advantage of the system.

Let me also address the issue where AAP has claimed that this step of giving free water will also save water. I would like to hear the logic behind this claim by AAP. Just because water is free, people will use it less.

Avinash Narula

Arvind gives free water. What are the other CMs waiting for?

I think all the political parties have received such a shock with the AAP victory and its growing popularity that they seem to have gone off to sleep. They are not even thinking. It seems all their political strategists have gone on a holiday. Arvind Kejriwal is giving away freebies at super speed to win the Lok Sabha elections and they are just waiting for a miracle to happen.

You know what I think all the CMs of differents states and political parties should do? They should also give away free water just like the Delhi CM has done. In fact, they should give away more water free water than what Arvind Kejriwal has given away. When Arvind Kejriwal subsidises electricity 50%, they should also do it. By the way, I am not saying this lightly and that there is a good reason behind it. Both Arvind Kejriwal, the media and the people of this country should realize that its the most easy thing to do. Just like Arvind Kejriwal can pass an order, so can the other CMs. This should either put a stop to Arvind Kejriwal giving the nation’s resources away for free or at least suggest to the media, the people and the politicians that this is not the way to govern the nation and the state. Also, people should realize that once every CM does this, how will AAP be different?

I hope it does not come to this because the last thing that we want is for our resources to be wasted or given away free. But I think Arvind Kejriwal should realize and so also should the other CMs that winning elections by giving things away for free will not be acceptable by the people of this country. What we want is somebody who, for instance, reduces waste, eliminates corruption, modernises water infrastructure and makes DJB efficient and then passes on the cost savings to all the people in terms of the cost of water. Once DJB is working efficiently, the cost of purifying water to each and every citizen of the state will come down and the benefit passed on the consumer. The idea is very simple. Businesses have been doing it since ages. Its not rocket science.

By the way, the above model is applicable to all the government organizations, institutions and departments. This is why the people of this country have been looking for an alternative political party anf that is why AAP has received the success it has achieved. I very much doubt if the people are looking for a party to give the country’s resources free which Congress, BJP and the other parties were already doing.

I also doubt if the people were looking for a party to increase taxes or cost of government services which AAP has done. They have accepted increase of 10% for water charges from Jan 1, 2014 primarily because “there is no free lunch.” I was wondering if Shri Yogender Yadav’s research had shown this and if it did why didn’t AAP reveal the same to the people before the elections. Did they purposely misled the people.

In may earlier post, I had mentioned that being a professional politician meant taking all actions in the interest of the country and its people. I am sure you will agree that starting a competition amongst all CMs to give country’s resources free and inequitably are not in the interest of the country, state or its people. Well, this is what AAP could have started. I am just wondering when the other CMs would come out of theit hibernation.

Avinash Narula