An Open letter to the Prime Minister


13th September 2010

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister

Government of India

7, Race Course , New Delhi-110011

An Open letter from a common man

Dear Dr.Singh,

Namaskaar

I wrote you a letter on 14th February this year asking about creating wealth and employment ( available on my blog www.rajendragupta.wordpress.com ). Post that letter , i did hear Pranab da stating that we need to create wealth ……..but as always, i have not seen a concrete action plan post that “loaded statement”

For the past few months , i have been wanting to communicate to you what an ordinary Indian thinks about the current state of affairs, so that you can take appropriate action. Since so many things have happened, i will just randomly start than prioritizing any particular issue

Wastage of Food grains : In India , it has been a tradition of not wasting food on the plate . But we are wasting more than 50000 of tons of food grain and on the other side , we are having unprecedented and unchecked inflation. Conditions are revolting for the common man. If i was born in a deprived family , i would have become a ‘Civilian with a gun, out there to seek revenge’; what you can call as a naxalite !! But i have a very decent corporate job , i live with my family in Mumbai and i have a more sophisticated way to vent my anger with this note ( i presume that is the reason why we say that the Pen is mightier than the sword ! ). Else , for sure , i would be a more dreaded naxalite that Koteshwara Rao !! My social & financial standing prohibit me to think on those lines for moment  …………

Back to the point of the wastage of food grains , i am quite surprised that supreme court ( knowing well , that our courts are the most inefficient & corrupt  ). Still they felt that the government should distribute grains free than letting them rot and even passed an order . Not just the citizens but the court also believes that the government is a laggard when it comes to addressing the issues of the common-man & So it had to pass an order !)

What are the steps you are taking to ensure that this wastage does not happen again ?  Have you taken the FCI & Ministry of agriculture to task for a poor job on forecasting the production , planning storage and facilitating distribution of grains or exporting them rather than letting them rot when the country is facing a double digit inflation ? If i were in your position, i would sack the minister , the secretary of the Ministry & a bunch of senior officials responsible for the criminal waste and start the legal proceedings to penalise them & disqualify them from holding any post ever . So that no one would ever repeat this even for one KG of food grain, leave alone 50,000 tonnes. You seem to be enjoying as a silent spectator !!

Dr.Singh , how would you feel if your children or grand children slept hungry for a few days or just had one meal a day ? Do not forget that , 4 lac of children have their first birthday as their last  & 56 % of the women suffer from anaemia . All this is easily preventable . I wish your children were malnourished and then you became the Prime Minister

Honesty , inefficiency & Corruption : Dr.Singh, i sometimes wonder why people call you honest ! In my view , you are not  honest at all . Yes you might have some integrity ( though you have become morally flexible to a large extent ). Let me quote your silence on ministries handled by Mamta , Lalu, Raja,  Sharad and others……..if you were honest , you would never tolerate their incompetence and corrupt practices ! You are the patron ( rather the Head ) of this gang of inefficient ministers  . CBI has become ‘Congress Blackmail & Bachane ka institution” . When there is a show of strength in Lok Sabha or there is a need for support  , CBI goes to the Supreme court to withdraw cases against Mulayam , Maya and Lalu etc .  Whenever these people take congress to task , CBI starts knocking the door with charge sheets. Which honesty are you talking about Dr.Singh or are you selectively blind ?

Leadership abilities : You had once remarked that the history will judge you & not the opposition . Let me tell you that history would judge you as the most incapable leader who moved with the tide & sometimes it worked ( like in 1990’s ) and most of the time you failed miserably

Your party always projects you as the person who modernized India. Totally wrong !! In 1990’s , you were pushed against the wall with foreign exchange left for just a few days . Dr.Singh, you had no choice but to let the rupee devalue , and let the foreign investors bring money , and that too, was envisioned by PVNR ( who will never get his due share as he is was not from the Gandhi clan !! )

If you are such a great economist ( Look at your team: Finance minister is an economist , Home minister is a past finance minister , Montek is a finance man , In addition to this , you have Kaushik Basu, Raghuram Rajan etc….bunch of economic advisors ) . Then, why the hell are you all floundering !! You are all simply clueless about inflation and its solution!

I heard Pranab da saying yesterday that he was worried with inflation rising again !! He actually meant that he was failing ! I know that sometimes it is hard to put the right words, but public is not a fool Dr.Singh . We can make out what is underneath your statements .

Here is what historians would actually consider while rating you :

  1. Allegiance to the Gandhi clan and not to the nation
  2. Sharm-Al Shaikh & your love for Bush ( the residents of America hated the man and you loved him , i always fail to understand this one )
  3. Double digit Inflation ( You even failed as a astrologer here )
  4. Common Wealth Games fiasco
  5. Kashmir violence ( Worst thing to imagine is that house wives are on the streets pelting stones & Omar & you are on the same boat !! )
  6. Naxalites
  7. Relations with China ( Visa row clearly indicates that relations are at an all time low )
  8. US sanctions against outsourcing and increasing the VISA fees ( you just get flattered by Barack’s calling you ‘Guru’ , and you have gone overboard to get the nuclear deal through . Look at India’s past, and you will see that whenever India has faced sanctions , India has come out with its innovative research and developed the capabilities . Agni & Chandrayaan were built by Indian scientists. I don’t think that we should have surrendered our ‘Nuclear Sovereignty’ by signing the nuclear deal with a lot of riders and opening our sites for inspection to foreign powers …..You have let us down & undermined the capability of our scientists Dr.Singh ! Long term prospects of India of being the nuclear giant is gone with the deal . Without the deal , we could have taken longer but become stronger
  9. Relations with Pakistan , Nepal & Sri Lanka have gone at an all time low during your regime
  10. Farmers suicides are a blot to this nation
  11. Andhra Violence
  12. You are the only Prime Minister who has appointed & tolerated incompetent & disobedient ministers like Mamta , Sharad , Raja , Tharoor et al.

Under your Prime Ministership the political health, Social health & Economic health of the nation has touched a new low . I am not a fan of Advani , but when i see what Mani Shanker Aiyer did recently w.r.t. the Common Wealth Games or what Tharoor did a few months back or what Digvijay Singh has been saying about the Home minister or your own M.P’s criticizing the Kapil Sibal or Jagan defying congress and continuing with its Odarpu Yatra , i think Advani was right in saying that you are a weak Prime Minister . This is the worse government we have ever seen . The things have gone so bad that people curse you and your team . Even those who are well to do, are revolting in conscience and criticizing you …………you should be ashamed Dr.Singh  of still sticking in your chair . Media calls you night watch man !! I feel ashamed to mention the language common man uses for you .

Dr.Singh , you represent the ‘political culture’ of this nation . If you are silent ( or helpless  ) seeing  the corruption and inefficiency of the ministers who report into you , how can you expect the citizens of this nation to stand up against corruption and inefficiency ? You are leading by a wrong example . Please change it immediately or do not give talks that calls the people to stand up & raise voice , when you are silent and blind to acts of corruption , inefficiency and nepotism !!

Seeing what you have done , i can put here that you never could become a politician and failed , and also that the professor in you died as you could not convince your colleagues of looking after the nation as per the mandate given to your government .

Every minute you stay in office or every inch you move is financed by my taxes ( read common man’s tax money  ), and i have every right to question you about your indecision and decisions both . Please do not ignore the concerns of the common-man . Change your style of working , make changes in your cabinet , let the corrupt ministers go …….and do not do the mistake to pass off Rahul as a representative of youth for the nation ………He does not represent the youth , he represents the Gandhi’s

I expect you to act on this ……………you already have a detailed note sent out to you on Feb 14th about the steps you could consider to take in the interest of this nation . Else , resign and go. For sure , we will get a better Prime Minister ……..

Rajendra Pratap Gupta

Email: Office@rajendragupta.in

President@countryfirst.org

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Recession – Causes and solution – Rajendra Pratap Gupta


India & Recession – Why & When

It is more than one and a half year that we have heard and read about recession , slowing economy, reduction in industrial output , high inflation , negative agricultural growth , voluntary cut in production , lay-offs , reduction in wages , shutting down of companies etc . Prime Minister and other ministers kept assuring that we are a decoupled economy with very ‘strong fundamentals’, and that India will not be affected. In the interim budget they did not give anything as ‘Stimulus’. Suddenly, when Standard and Poor down-graded our economy ratings to one level above ‘Junk status’. Overnight, the government announced a stimulus for the economy, and still keeps saying that, the economy will grow around 7 %. Personally, I am compelled to be optimistic, as I can’t afford to see my colleagues losing jobs, factories shutting down, people dying of hunger. A country with a billion populations fights a blame game. Government will finally put it on the global crises. But India was supposed to be a self reliant economy? Right? So are we saying we are beggars to the world and when the world goes belly up we will be reduced to what we are? Shame on the politicians who are liars of the highest order and distorting facts

There are five big questions that need answers from all of us and not just the government whom we have voted to power. These questions are related to the so called recession

1. Why it happened
2. Who failed us or who let us down
3. Where are we today
4. What is the solution
5. What we can do to prevent the same

Why it happened?

Congress ruled India for around 50 years .They gave us the infamous license raj, where it was difficult to produce without a license, available only to a select few. Outcome , politicians became rich , corporate houses became richer and the masses in India remained poor. When it came to voting, it was easy to ‘Influence’ and ‘Buy’ votes by offering ‘Daaru’ and ‘Sarees and cycles’. 70 % of the population lives in villages and they are the people who count when it comes to voting, and not people like you and me who read these blogs are merely 40 million in a population of over 1000 million?

In the 1990’s, our economy’s balance of payments situation became worse and Manmohan devaluated the currency twice and opened the economy to the foreign sector. After that, there was no looking back. Our immediate problem was solved but long term problems started. We started measuring our economic strength in the foreign exchange reserves in the country. These foreign investors also got into the stock market. Over the years, we got a very high Sensex- 21000. WOW!

As a result, Mukesh Ambani became the richest man in the world (albeit for a few days!!).

Just a few Indians who left the Indian shores for abroad and made it big ( V.S.Naipaul, Amartya Sen , Indira Nooyi , Arun Sarin etc..) or Arcelor , Tetley, Land Rover & Jaguar , or Corus acquisitions . These were merely aberrations. In India, where 16 % of the world populations reside, why do we not have 16 % of the top executives and 16 % of the top class firms in every sector? So these achievements were not a part of the Indian government’s plan or strategy. Clearly, these were a few aberrations and we arrogated them to India coming of an age. If you are asked about five top Indian names in the global corporate sector, you would find it difficult to reach the number. If you were asked to name five Indian fortune 500 companies, you would start looking at the wall. Is this what a land of billion minds should have produced? So we went wrong in our human resources management

We measured India with how many contracts Infosys or Wipro’s signed in Europe and India, how many call centers started serving US and European clients, and how many dollars got invested into India.

On the other hand , Ambani’s , Birla’s & Tata’s were looking at these ‘News’ and assuming that the entire India is growing fast . The reports that Indian government churns out is nothing but a bunch of information that government wants the public to know ,so that the government remains in the good books of the public and makes it win the elections and give it another term.

While Manmohan had opened the economy, he did nothing for farmers or small scale industries or BPL people. The result, we created a huge disparity in the income generation and spread. This was the sowing of seeds for a long term economic failure that our economy is facing today. Ideally, 25 out of the 100 richest people should have been from India, 100 of the fortune 500 companies should have been from India and 50 % of all patents should have been from India. Our billion plus population is for a mere statistics. Actually, our effective population is not more than 150 million. Rest is mere numbers or rather they have been just treated as numbers. I recall a definition of a politician ‘One who promises to protect rich from the poor and poor from the rich on the pretext of extracting money from the rich and votes from both’

Who failed us ?

Government did not fail alone. Media, in my belief, which is the teacher of modern society failed by selling its ethics and focusing on yellow journalism. Most of the top journalists are known to enjoy privileges and selling their conscience to others and write what their ‘Actual employers’ pay.

Judiciary: I read a day before yesterday a judge having said that, they should not equate to politicians & judges should not be asked to disclose their assets. SHAME ON YOU MR. Judge. Hopeless is a charitable word to describe judiciary in India . All the pillars of democracy have failed as judiciary is corrupt to an extent of over 90 %. Can you imagine the rot when a judge issued the summons to the President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam? What worse can you imagine? If the president can be a victim of this inefficient judiciary what can a common man expect? If the judges have any shame they must quit en masse! You are a bunch of corrupt and inefficient people on the tax payer’s money and you don’t want to disclose your assets? Why the hell you want to keep them secret? Tell me a reasonable cause

Could you not try cases related to political corruption on priority things would have been different. But these greedy judges are not worth trusting for any worthwhile things for a suo moto action. They just keep passing judgments that gives them publicity.

No one trusts the government; everyone fears the judiciary and enforcement agencies. In all, the system has failed to deliver. I am not commenting the education and healthcare system as they don’t exists in the country

In all, I believe that our education system & more importantly teachers, media and judiciary have failed and delivered a fatal blow to our democracy

Teachers should be blamed for not being able to inculcate values amongst the students

Where are we?

A country is as strong as its citizens. When more than 80 % of the people are struggling to earn a two meals a day even after 61 years of Independence, have we gone the right way?

We are today in midst of two serious crises. One is the economic crises and the other is political crises.

Economic crisis can further be divided into two.

First, the one that has resulted into wrong economic policies blindly focused on FDI inflow and on making India a body shopping country. Also that, Indian government did not focus on developing the agriculture, infrastructure, SME, Retail & research based education. This had created a ‘Big economic divide’. Our politicians did not realise that the capacity building that could have resulted on building these sectors could have catapulted India to a different growth trajectory in the last two decades.

Second is the one that has been due to FDI, stock markets and the so called retail revolution. This was limited to about 35 towns directly and indirectly this gave employment to a lot of rural migrants. Knowing well that, most of agricultural families also depend on the members that work in towns and send money back home. These people have been affected due to reality and retail sector that is slowing down. All these are having a cascading effect.

Most important : Every one , right from the Reserve Bank governor to PM says that the worst is yet to come but they don’t tell what is the worst and when it will come and what is the solution ? It is like an astrologer telling you that you will die. Everyone dies one day , so what big a deal to tell that ? One should be able to tell when and how will you die .

I believe that , We are actually nearing the mid of recession cycle, and we will come of it in another year and a half.

Political crises: For more than 50 years, our country has been ruled by Gandhi family – A family of Kashmiri Pandits. This is enough to understand their commitment.

Who took the Kashmir issue to UN? Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, and we blame Pakistan for internationalizing the issue? Learn history

Congress lead by Gandhi’s has created a vicious cycle. Even today, Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson of UPA, constitutionally authorized to oversee the implementation of CMP. Why these dual centers of power? Ideally, the Prime Minister’s role should not have been decimated. Why in the first place this extra authority created? Gandhi’s love for power is not hidden and they will keep away anyone who comes in their way. Gandhi’s have never allowed anyone to be number one in the party or politics. Whether it was Sharad Pawar or anyone else. No matter what. Also, that they have paid the price for this? What the Gandhi family is doing is against the law of nature. Power is like sand being held in the fist. The more you tighten the fist, more the sand will flow out. I would not be shocked if the family suffers a few adversaries in the times to come. They have always paid the price for their misconduct and the country had paid more …………………..Till the country gets rid of this family in politics, nothing can change.

Also, every Indian citizen has failed by not being active in politics and just making politics a tea table and road side discussion item. It is such a serious issue and has been treated casually by the Indian population.

What is the solution?

Complex problems have simple solutions – Read my earlier blog – An open letter to the PM.

Economic crisis has a political solution and political crises have an Economic solution.

First thing that needs to be done is to cut interest and lending rates in one shot and not in installments. I have been telling our PM since last year that we don’t need ‘Baby steps’, we need firm and drastic measures

Secondly, we must announce massive investments in infrastructure, Education & Research and IT (Government should set at least 100,000 IT kiosks as Government’s touch points for public access). The work should be given to IT companies of small and medium scale to retain the young IT talent.

FDI In retail should be discouraged and stopped immediately. We need an Indian version of FDI – Finance from domestic institutions.

Agriculture should be given a big push with incentives for organic farming & cash crops. According to NSS (National sample survey), even if one works for a day in a field, he is a farmer!! Which inflates the number of farmers in the country?

Five sectors can relieve India of its miseries; Infrastructure, Agriculture, Education, Retail & IT. Fortunately, we are at a nascent stage in every major sector . Be it agriculture , SME, Retail , IT , Automobiles, industrial growth , urbanization etc . In the US , the problems are of plenty , saturation & wastage . We are just at the reverse . Whilst US might find it difficult to protect and grow , we can log on to a massive growth with the right initiatives . Infact, India and US are at the two extreme ends of the growth cycle. All sectors in India have a potential for phenomenal growth. The 800 million Indians have to be made earning class and a spending class, and this one thing will take India to a 10 % + growth for the next twenty five years . We have a long way to go . Right governance can help us . NREGA Is not the right solution for a long term growth

Where will money come from?

What do you do when your family gets into financial problems? You sell a part of your assets for temporary relief and buy them back or buy better things in the good times or when the financial condition improves

India needs to re-look at the ‘Navratnas’ and dilute the equity and follow a moderate privatization drive to raise money to invest in the five sectors mentioned above. This is the way India can come out of the recession faster and build an economy with 8-10 % GDP growth every year or more.

India’s parallel economy is much bigger than the economy of taxes ( Black money economy is for sure a lot bigger than our 1000 Bn USD economy ). This money needs to be brought back and invested . I am not at all mentioning the money hoarded in Swiss banks and other heavens. All this can solve India’s problems today evening. This is a must , if we want to build an economy based on solid Economic and social foundation.

Lay-offs are one part of the problem what about the fresher’s who are struggling for jobs. We need to create more job opportunities. No one seems to be addressing the issue knowing well that, we will have more 10 crore people who will get hunting for jobs in the next 5 -10 years

Defence spending should be cut and the same be invested in infrastructure. The defence strategy should be re-looked and reworked

All tenders for house-keeping, parking stands, vendors in public places and railways etc………should be reserved for both educated and uneducated youth irrespective of caste but on financial background

We must have guidelines where we build economy on 40 % services, 50 % manufacturing and 10 % on global trade. We must never exceed exports more than 10 % of our GDP

Need driven services never go slow or out of business? Indian economy must be ‘inward looking’ and should be build on essential services and these should not be imported. All the national demand should be met by domestic producers. Need driven sectors like agriculture , FMCG, Healthcare ,textiles , processed food , Education , Oil and natural gas should be country centric and needs more thrust for explosive growth .

Any tender worth 500 Crores or more should not be allotted to bidders who have a manufacturing outside India. This will increase capacity building within the country

Seeing that it is recession time, the EMI of housing and vehicle loans for people who have lost jobs should be adjusted for at least two years. If the loans of 65000 crore can be waived for an income class that does not pay income tax (farmers). Why not give a moratorium on payments for the income class that pays tax. The two years EMI that are deferred for payments should have the interest based on the PLR or at reduced rates.

Every Indian needs to spend 10 minutes a day for politics and community work – An hour a week. Go start a neighborhood-nation building programme to ensure good governance. Rest I will add in my next blog

There are three sources of growth for an economy, increase in capital, and increase in labour force, and improvement in productivity. We will have to address all three

There is a difference in Economic growth and economic development. Economic growth is purely GDP but economic development is a broader concept that includes not just GDP but also indicators like social justice , income distribution, political freedom, pollution , Equality of income …………GDP captures average national income , but do not reflect how that income is spent.. Even increase in aids and cancer incidences in the country will add to the GDP expenditure on health services , Also, calamity will lead to the increase in GDP due to increase in reconstruction activities.

Moreover, GDP growth rate is inadequate measure of growth as it is calculated largely on the basis of rate of growth of income of the upper 20-30 % of the population who receive disproportionately large share of income. It calculates only money transactions and leaves many important activities and social measures and conditions like adult literacy rate, life expectancy and HDI rank

We must change our economic measurement methods from Economic growth to economic development

India needs to re-look into the growth measurement model. We have a solution for economic crises. We need to act fast and grow faster. Rest in my next blog

Good luck

Rajendra Pratap Gupta
President
Country First
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