BJP's Blitz continues


Phase VII today....

Work in Progress

In his farewell speech to the Planning Commission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India’s growth story is “work in progress” and there is still a long way to go.
“India’s development story is a work in progress…But there is a lot of distance that is still to be covered,” he said in his last interaction with members of the Planning Commission.
Singh, who is Chairman of the Commission, made a case for re-orienting the body to remain relevant in the globalised world.
“With an increasingly open and liberalised economy with a greater reliance on market mechanisms, we need to reflect on what the role of the Planning Commission needs to be in this new world,” Singh said while recalling his long association with the Commission.
Expressing satisfaction over the working of the Commission during the UPA’s 10-year rule, the Prime Minister hoped the panel would “subject itself to a critical review and will continue to play a leading role in the policy debate in government and in the development of our nation.”
The Commission, Singh said, needs to evaluate its approach to problems and challenges in the evolving economic scenario.
“Are we still using tools and approaches which were designed for a different era? Have we added on new functions and layers without any restructuring of the more traditional activities in the Commission?” Singh asked as he flagged some of the issues.
Singh’s association with the Commission started in April 1980, when he became a member-secretary. He was also Deputy Chairman of the body when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister.

Swindler's List revealed

After much dilly-dallying, the Centre handed the Supreme Court the names and documents of 18 Indians who have stashed black money in Germany’s Liechtenstein Bank.
After resisting for more than three years, the government told the apex court that its income tax probe is complete in all 18 cases and prosecution is on in 17 as one of those named has died.
Apart from the 18, there is another list of 8 against whom, the government said, there was no proof of wrongdoing. The name of K M Mammen of Webster Foudation, Arun Kochhar from Urvashi Foundation and Ashok Jaipuria from Raj Foundation is in the list of 18 account holders.
Solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told the apex court that investigations are over against the 18. “The information regarding deposits/outstanding amounts in the accounts maintained by 12 trusties/entities with LGT bank in Liechtenstein was received by the government from German tax authorities in March 2009 under the Indo-Germany Double Taxation Avoidance Convention.”
A three-judge bench headed by Justice HL Dattu said it would discuss the content of documents and hear the matter on Thursday.
Germany handed over the list on March 18, 2009, but the government refused to divulge the names as it had to honour the commitment given under tax treaties. Under provisions of the tax treaties, information exchanged is to be used only for the purpose for which it is sought. The court had earlier pulled up the government over its reluctance to share information received from Germany about individuals stashing money in Liechtenstein Bank and cautioned it against contempt actions.
The Centre also stuck to its stand of refusing a SIT probe into the matter. In 2011, the Supreme Court set up the SIT, which includes two retired judges of the top court and the chiefs of the Research and Analysis Wing and Intelligence Bureau.

NaMo tweets a selfie after voting

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi cast his vote, clicked a selfie and criticised the Congress, saying the time is up for the "mother-son" government.
Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have filed a complaint against the show of the BJP symbol by Modi, to the election commission, according to our sources.
EC has asked the Ahmedabad collector to submit a report regarding Narendra Modi's media briefing criticizing Congress at the polling booth.

In Purchasing Power Parity terms....

India has displaced Japan to become the world’s third-biggest economy in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), according to a World Bank report released early on Wednesday.
The 2011 round of the bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) ranked India after the US and China. The last survey in 2005 had placed the country in 10th place.
PPP is used to compare economies and incomes of people by adjusting for differences in prices in different countries to make a meaningful comparison.
India’s share in World GDP in terms of PPP was 6.4% in 2011 compared with China’s 14.9% and the US’ 17.1%, the latest ICP showed. The survey covered 199 economies.
“The United States remained the world’s largest economy, but it was closely followed by China when measured using PPPs. India was now the world’s third largest economy, moving ahead of Japan,” the report said.
Despite high inflation in India in recent years, prices in the country are still well below those in advanced economies, explaining the higher raking for India on the PPP measure. But according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India’s economy is 12th largest and only about a third of Japan’s in terms of absolute unadjusted dollars. “The economies with the lowest prices are either in Africa or Asia and the Pacific and include India, which has the third-largest economy,” the report noted.
“Because economies estimate their GDP at national price levels and in national currencies, those GDPs are not comparable. To be compared, they must be valued at a common price level and expressed in a common currency,” the report said giving out the rationale for the PPP adjustments.
For example, people in a country with higher average per capita income may not necessarily have a better quality life than a country with lower average per capita income.
This makes it a good tool to compare poverty levels across countries. “One major use of PPPs is poverty assessment using the World Bank’s international poverty threshold of $1.25 per day per person. National poverty assessments differ because the purchasing power of national currencies differs from one economy to another,” the report said.
In terms of per capita GDP, even in PPP terms, India ranks very low at 127 in the 199-country ranking. “The largest economies were not the richest, as shown in the ranking of GDP per capita. The middle-income economies with large economies also had large populations, setting the stage for continued growth,” the report noted.
In the latest ranking, India’s economy was 37.1% of the US economy compared with 18.9% in 2005.
The report said in terms of spending power, the differences have come down.

TDSAT okays 3G intra-circle roaming

In a major relief to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, telecom tribunal TDSAT has upheld their plea to provide 3G intra-circle roaming services, while also quashing the cumulative penalty of Rs.1,200 crore imposed on them by department of telecom.
“We are allowing all the petitions,” said a TDSAT bench headed by justice Aftab Alam.
The bench said that 3G ICR agreement signed by Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular is not violative of licence agreement.
Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular had approached TDSAT against department of telecom order to stop 3G intra-circle roaming agreement under which they had also agreed to acquire customers in area where they did not win spectrum.

Eastern Freeway updates

The construction of an up ramp on the Eastern Freeway at Panjrapol junction on the Panjrapol Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road that leads to the Panjrapole tunnel and a down ramp at the Anik Panjarpol Link Road junction near Mysore Colony has been completed. Both these ramps will be opened for vehicular traffic on Wednesday morning.
An MMRDA spokesperson said, “The up ramp near the Panjrapol Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road is 750 m long and 8 m wide. The down ramp on the Anik Panjarpol Link Road near Mysore Colony is 300 m long and 7.5 m wide.”
With both ramps operational, separate ramps will be available for north and south-bound traffic. With the down ramp at Mysore Colony being ready, independent access will be available for traffic heading towards Mahul village, RCF and Mysore Colony. 


Tax statz

Of GDP growth & Jobs....

Madras Stock Exchange set to shut shop

South India’s fountainhead equity trading house, the 76-year-old Madras Stock Exchange will cease to exist from May 30 after it failed to adhere to several new regulatory requirements, including increased net worth as outlined by markets regulator Sebi. The shutdown appears imminent unless there is a dramatic change in rules over the next couple of weeks.
A crucial board meeting held on Monday decided to call for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of the exchange by the end of May to inform them of the new requirements –– capital, technology and manpower –– which authorities feel are very difficult for a small regional entity like MSE to meet, and possibly start the process of a voluntary shutdown.
Regional stock exchanges have become dinosaurs, unable to keep up with the changes that swept the capital markets in the late 1990s with the advent of NSE. The final nail for MSE came on March 12 this year when Sebi did not accord sanction to MSE’s trading platform, supplied by NSE IT (a subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange). The regulator said the exchange also did not have sufficient net worth to undertake clearing operations or settlement of trades.
It all started with a May 30, 2012 Sebi circular which asked MSE to earn Rs 1,000 crore as annual turnover and have a net worth of Rs 100 crore or more by May 30, 2014, failing which the exchange should consider “exit” options. As MSE had not achieved either, with the deadline just 30 days away, the shutting down of the stock exchange may become a reality.
An informal meeting of trading members on April 10 had also laid the ground rules for voluntary exit, sources said. A section of them, however, wanted the stock exchange to take on Sebi legally for killing an age-old institution with rules that made it hard for smaller entities to survive. “One-size-fits-all does not work,” members said.
Directors of the exchange were not enthused and have decided not to move the court, at least for now.
The exchange has more than 1,000 companies listed on it. About 225 to 250 of them are fully compliant of listing requirements and another 700 are at various stages of compliance.



Motown snapshotz

BJP's Campaign 2014

Somewhere in Mumbai....

A Big Heart & Compassion needed to run India

Leading the Congress’s attack on Narendra Modi, Priyanka Vadra took a jibe at the BJP PM nominee and said it took a big heart and compassion, not a 56-inch chest, to run India.
Stepping up the attack on the saffron brigade, Priyanka, while campaigning for mother Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, said, “It doesn’t take brute force to run this country; it takes internal and moral strength, even a determination to lay one’s life for the unity of the country.”
At a rally in Gorakhpur, Narendra Modi had said it took a 56-inch chest – like his – to convert UP into Gujarat. The swipe, then largely aimed at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, was picked up by Priyanka on Sunday and used to Congress’s advantage. Referring to the use of brute force, Priyanka also made a quiet, but arched reference to the 2002 Godhra riots.
Priyanka called India a country of Mahatma Gandhi, where tribals and Dalits had also laid their lives for the nation’s unity. She said it was this culture of unity that she had inherited. “This is the blood that flows through my veins,” she said. Repeatedly telling people, as she has over her campaign trails, to protect and preserve the culture of unity in India, Priyanka warned people of the divisive forces at work, out to spread hate and dive people on the lines of caste, religion and community.
She said, “Vote for development, but also think about strengthening this country. Don’t limit your vision; think of your sisters, the youth. What kind of country do you want? This is a country that believes in mutual coexistence; it needs a government that will keep them together.”
Building the momentum of the electoral campaign ahead of April 30 polls in Sonia’s constituency, the Congress star campaigner urged people to vote for the Congress.
Telling people about the drastic improvements that Sonia had brought to Rae Bareli, Priyanka said, “People have the power to lead political parties on the right path. Rahul and Sonia’s politics is about empowering your hands. Everyone in my family, from Jawaharlal Nehru downwards, knew we are nothing without the support of the people. You make us. You matter. Nothing else is of any consequence,” Priyanka, striking an emotional note with the electorate, said.