Friday, February 26, 2010

Wow .. thats real loot

Mid-day lists the items that it says were recovered from the PostMaster General's house and we thought indian post office's are loosing value

The loot: Spectrum fixed deposit receipt of the Punjab National Bank, New Delhi for Rs 1,10,000
Over 12 debit and credit cards

Foreign currencies including 10,722 dollars (Rs 4.97 lakh), 3,050 pounds (Rs 2.16 lakh) and 3,470 euros (Rs 2.17 lakh)
Over Rs 34 lakh in cash in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 500, Rs 100 and Rs 10
Gold ornaments, along with seven passports, 12 mobile phones, seven high-end laptops valued at over Rs 5 lakh
45 imported liquor bottles. Apart from the alcohol, details of 22 bank accounts and PPF accounts with a cash balance of over Rs 26 lakh, two luxurious cars and imported cigars were seized from Bali

Irony is one of the post office clerk has been caught for a bribery of Rs 500.

Their arrests also exposed the different levels of greed between a senior and junior postal staffer. Bali was nabbed accepting Rs 2 crore as bribe, while the clerk was caught taking a bribe of Rs 500 on Wednesday.

Lesson learnt : study hard and be at top otherwise chances are that you will be caught with rs500 only

walked out!!

You have got to read this to believe it


"Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala delivers his budget speech sitting on chair for last two years. He sits next to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Congress alleges that Vajubhai delivers budget speech sitting on chair to accommodate Narendra Modi in photo and video frame of budget speech. If he delivers his speech standing on foot, only his face would be visible in photo and video frame and Chief Minister would be left out!

After coming out of assembly house, Congress MLAs burnt copies of Gujarat budget. Earlier Congress walked out during discussion on law and order situation in Southern Saurashtra’s Kodinar area. The walk-out staged on camera-frame issue was second one on Thursday."

At the same the the media is lecturing BJP on its walkout from parliament... :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wheat & Rice Economy

Quoted from an
worth read article in Business Standard

what is it that makes wheat and rice special, such that even though they contribute barely 3.3 per cent to the country’s total GDP, they absorb something approaching 2 per cent of GDP as subsidies? It could be that they form the bulk of the consumption basket for the poor, but then the poor are separately being promised food security (which, if there is total coverage, will probably cost another 1 per cent of GDP).

Nor can it just be that you need to protect/subsidise millions of poor farmers (70 per cent of the 100-plus million land holdings in India are under a hectare), because only about 40 per cent of the country’s cropped area is under wheat and rice. The rest is under coarse cereals, oilseeds, pulses, cotton, fodder, sugarcane and the like. How is it that farmers can grow all those other crops without the scale of government support that wheat and rice growers get?

Most of these Wheat & Rice growers have strong lobbies or share enough mind space to sway policy decisions. And i think this same subsidy game is what keeps some of the states like Bihar poor. I do not have direct correlation but if you look through the grain storage capacity of two states Bihar & Punjab and two further data like their Grain production & GSDP (gross State Domestic Product) Data for each of these two states you can notice the disparity. I believe because of this substantially high proportion of subsidy for these two corps some of the central money again goes to states which produce more of wheat & rice.

Grain Storage Capacity based on FCI data : Punjab = 57.66 Lac Ton, Bihar = 5.1 Lac Ton (almost 1/10 of Punjab)

Production Foodgrains During 2000-01(Could not find later years data there although this link has 2006-07 data) : based on Central Govt data: Punjab = 24.89 Mil Ton, Bihar = 11.85 Mil Ton (almost half of Punjab)

GSDP (gross State Domestic Product) Data due to agriculture : Punjab = 26 Bihar = 16

Just goes on to show how this subsidy has created a kind of disparity which forces Biharies to Migrate & Search for Agricultural work in Punjab.

Further on .. i have not read anyone paying any attention to forest dwellers (many of them categorized as adiwasis) and i believe most of these forest dwellers are in our most backward areas like Jhharkhand, Chhatisgarh or Orisa (incidentally they all are mineral rich as well). One reason of Govt not paying enough attention to Forest dwellers is that they are still not organized or they do not have formed associations to look after their welfare. So the govt is while keen to dole out subsidy to Wheat and Rise growers its does not care much for others.

Quoted from the same article

In any case, it is not just farmers who are poor; there are 50 million forest dwellers (to take another category of poor) who make do as best they can without state support. If anything, the forest department is hostile to them. Besides which, it is the success of dairying that has helped boost rural incomes far more than growing wheat and rice; milk is now the single-biggest commodity to come out of Indian agriculture, and most milch animals are owned by small and marginal farmers, landless workers and shepherds — all poor people.

Yet on one side we have growing food prices and the govt's cost on storage of wheat & rice has gone up as

The central exchequer is forking out an estimated Rs 132 crore every month on wheat and rice storage, thanks to the burgeoning stocks of these commodities. This is a jump of 76 per cent over what is estimated to have been incurred last year this time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Same Same but Different

Blast --> TV crew --> Police Comm --> Home Sc --> Chief Min / State Home Min --> Central HM --> Press Conf --> TV debates --> Dust out the old blast tapes

Same, Same
1. Following leads
2. Inputs / no specific input
3. Assurance: we will do something
4. Selective news telecast
5. TV news: how the Govt is seriously pursuing this

Different Different
1. Place is different
2 ....................??

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Olympic Medals for Money

Interesting read on Olympic medals vs GDP of diff countries

Australia & Russia has the best record for their Trillions and India (no surprise) has the worst record. Our tight fisted approach on spending money on sports is well reflected.

Friday, February 5, 2010

How successful is RG's visit to Bihar

Something which probably went unreported in leading papers and picked up in a bihar centric website

"Protesting students shouted, “There is Congress government in Maharashtra and you also have the government at Centre, but why do you keep your mouth shut when Biharis are beaten in Bombay. Don’t ever come to Bihar to play your cheap and hypocritical politics.

Gandhi had to apologize as Congress leaders present at the venue failed to calm down the angry students. He, finally, had to leave the campus as students refused to listen to him."

Also for a change Maharastra Govt was able to keep Sena folks in check!!

The same Govt, during the Rail board exams or during the time when the same S went around smashing the taxis in Mumbai, had failed to keep Sena folks in check (??)

"Referring to the tight security blanket thrown for Rahul Gandhi's four-hour trip, Thackeray said Shiv Sainiks all over the city were prevented from their democratic right of protesting by waving black flags."