Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Time for " Out of Box " thinking ?

Of late , there has been a lot of debate on TV / Newspapers etc , on ,

>    What has caused current economic crisis

>    What needs to be done

>    Who is to blame

The crisis manifests itself thru ,

>    Falling Stock Index

>    Weakening Rupee

>    Increasing Imports

>    Decreasing Exports

>    Widening  CAD / Fiscal Deficit

>    Sliding Industrial Production

>    Falling GDP

>    Rising Unemployment  ......  etc 

Economists ( experts and otherwise ) are offering all kinds of solutions - often contradictory 

Only thing , they all seem to agree upon is that , current Central Government , is largely to be blamed for the current mess !

I am not an economist and unable to offer " Expert Solution " 

But I do have following simple , non-expert solution :

" Through  " No Questions Asked " , appropriate Amnesty Schemes , enable trillions of Black Money rupees to come out in the open , to fund the Infrastructure projects "

Our Government estimates that we need to pump in , every year , $ 100 Billions , for the next 10 years , into infrastructure development , ie , $ 1,000 billions

Our Commerce Minister , Anand Sharma , estimates that the Indians are hoarding 31,000 tons of Gold ( equivalent of $ 1,400 billions )

Given our current economic climate , I dont expect any foreign individuals / companies / financial institutions etc to come forward to invest such funds into India

What is worse , I expect , once again in 2014 , a " Coalition Government " to rule the Centre - fully paralysed by its Coalition Dharma and incapable of taking tough decisions !

Apart from that $ 1,400 billion worth of gold , it would be safe to assume that another $ 14,000 billion worth of cash Black Money is also lying locked up in Safe Deposit Vaults of Businessmen / Politicians and Government Officers !

Grant them amnesty and a 10 %  ( non - taxable ) return on such Infrastructure investments for a period of 10 years , and we won't need any foreign exchange inflow !

Some will argue :

You will be punishing honest tax-payers and rewarding the cheats !


But , in my opinion , this is the only practical / viable solution , in short term 

And , if incorporated in the Feb 2014 budget , it will get approved unanimously !

If those " Cheats " can help create 100 million jobs in 10 years , forgive them for their dis-honesty !

It is high time we did some " Out - of - the - Box " thinking !

Morality of creating jobs today , far outweighs the immorality of tax-evason in the past !

--  hemen


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Going Up in Smoke ?

Yesterday , Times of India reported :

India's tobacco industry supports 38 million people ( 380 lakhs )

Every year , some 6 million ( 60 lakh )people die in India thru use of tobacco ( mostly cigarettes )

Of these , some 6 lakh die by inhaling smoke of other cigarette smokers

So what can we do to save these 60 lakh ?

Immediately close down entire tobacco industry ?

And jeopardize the lives of 380 lakh  ?

Obviously , we cannot adopt a mutually exclusive solution !

We must find a solution that , not only saves those 60 lakh but also continue to provide livelihood to 380 lakhs

That cannot be done in one - or even five - years , but it is entirely possible to solve this problem over , 20 years , as follows :

>   Thru appropriate legislation , phase out tobacco industry by 2033
>   Immediately stop expansion of existing units
>   Do not allow new units to come up
>   Place a recruitment freeze in tobacco industry - no fresh hiring at any level
>   No replacement for retiring employees , after 2018
>   Provide incentives to industry to redeploy capital / manpower in alternate industries - especially those industries with large scope for creation of new jobs
>   Give generous tax-breaks to industry to remain profitable , even as they wind-up operations
>   Provide incentives to put up new-industry projects in less industrialized regions
>   Provide incentives for re-training existing workers in new skills in demand by others
>   Subsidize Voluntary Retirement Schemes of industry

This is just a partial list . I am sure , if there is political will , experts will come up with many more viable suggestions

Question :

With national elections looming on the horizon , which political party would want to alienate , a lucrative source of election funding ? 

Monday, 12 August 2013


[DNA  Money  /  Feb. 02. 2011]

First Advantage is a background screening company. For the resumes that got referred to them for background screening during July – Sept 2010, their findings are as follows :

·     10.8 % of these resumes contained some or other discrepancy

·     39 % of these provided false info re: company name / employment status / reasons for leaving

·     35% gave incorrect tenure

·     13 % inflated their designations

·     11 % received negative HR / Supervisor feedback

·     2 % inflated their compensation

If the idea is to impress the recruiters, why don’t jobseekers

simply customize their resumes instead of faking the data?  

  • There are no corrupt people in the village panchayat

  • My suggestions to Punsari Village Panchayat

  • Invite Management Institutes to prepare case-study

  • Request Peter / Steven ( Authors ) to write a sequel to their excellent book,” Abundance: Future is better than you think “

  • Build a 3 star hotel in village – then invite Panchayats from all over India to send delegations on Study Tours . One more source of income . The Panchayat has a name for it :

                      “ Development  Tourism “ !

  • Final Manifesto ( based on the feedback ) must be published , latest by June 2013 

  • Criteria for the selection of the Core Committee members as also for the selection of party candidates MUST be made public , latest by Oct 2012 

  • Since no individual can be expected to fulfill all the laid down criteria 100 % , once selected , those criteria where he / she failed , must be made public 

  • In selection of members of Core Committees ( both Central and State ), as well as party candidates for election , 50 % reservation must be made for women 

  • As far as possible , members of Core Committee ( Central and State ) , as also the party candidates , should be under 40 years of age
I hope others will come forward with similar suggestions and write to Anna Team

One last piece of “ Caution “ to Team Anna / Baba Ramdev :

You will fail miserably to bring about any change thru our Parliamentary system , unless your party gets an absolute majority and has to depend upon the Mulayams / Lalus / Mamtas etc ! Don’t even attempt !

And that will apply equally to Narendra Modi , should he become next PM

Coalition – Dharma is the worst kind of dharma!

Hemen  Parekh

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Birth Rights ?

In Bihar , even ghosts can vote !

( Although I suspect that it is not much different in other states )

Election authorities have detected 7.6 million " Ghost " voters on the electoral roles of 243 assembly constituencies in Bihar

These are fake entries on the rolls - persons who dont exist but who have been enlisted as voters

I expect some Bihar politicians to say  :

" Are Bhai , jaane bhi do !

  What is a mere 7.6 million in Bihar's population of 104 million ?

  And how are ghost voters any different than those ghost accounts in Swiss Banks ?

  Both are the birth-rights of existing and would-be , MPs and MLAs ! "

The argument is unbeatable !

Friday, 9 August 2013

Learning from Anywhere / Everywhere

Writing in Hindustan Times ( 05 , Aug 2013 ) , Dhirendra Kumar makes some very interesting observations as follows :

>   In March , the Pakistan Government promulgated an ordinance under which , investors who buy stocks from April 1 ,2013 to March 31, 2014 will not have to declare the source of the funds , provided they hold the stock for more than 120 days.

>   On an average , stocks on Karachi Stock Exchange gained more than 30 % over the last 3 months

No doubt , this step has helped divert black money into productive investments in the economy

But , why restrict this very innovative measure to only stocks ?

Over the years , I have recommended similar " No Questions Asked " type of incentives for funnelling black money into ,

>   Building Educational Institutions

>   Building Infrastructure Projects

>   Health and Sanitation Projects

>   Eco-friendly Green Energy Projects

If done properly , such incentives will bring out , at least , Rs 50 lakh Crores and change the face of this country , without any need for direct or indirect foreign investment

A State of Mind ?

It is only reported ( HT / 7 Aug 2013 ) :

It is reported that Rahul Gandhi said that poverty is a state of mind and has nothing to do with the shortage of food , money or material things !

Obviously , a " Misquote " - something for which , our journalists are notorious !

An inside , reliable source tells me that once , when Rahul Gandhi undertook an overnight " fast " , he actually suffered " hunger pain " the next morning , despite many scientists saying that , pain is a state of mind !

Who knows better than him , that shortage of food , even overnight , is a real pain !

Give the guy a break !

How to colonize a Distant Star

An Anti Corruption Bureau Court sentenced a peon with one year of rigorous imprisonment for taking a bribe of Rs 1,000 / -

What would happen if the punishments were to be " Linear and without an upper limit " ?

Then any Government servant taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh , would ( if caught ), go behind the bars for 100 years !

Now today's newspaper also talks about a Delhi Municipal Corporation officer accepting a bribe of Rs 30 lakhs , from a leading manufacturer , for allowing construction of a banquet hall

That would mean being behind bars for 3,000 years !

And a bribe of Rs 1 Crore would take you to 10,000 years !

At this rate , India can supply enough people to colonize a distant star , 10,000 light-years away !

And , we would save all the money to build so many jails !

That reminds me of a petty thief who got lynched recently, by an angry mob, for stealing Rs 75 , 000 /-

Poor fellow !

Had he stolen Rs 75 Crores , he would be out on bail , enjoying summer vacation in Switzerland !

Inscrutable are the ways of Justice

--  hemen

Friday, 2 August 2013

Awaiting a Messiah

Just read in newspapers :

With one voice , all political parties ( except Aam Aadmi Party ) , have requested the Central Government to amend relevant laws , in order to negate / nullify the Supreme Court orders , which will prevent persons locked up in jails to contest elections or those MLAs / MPs to contest elections who have been found guilty and awarded a jail term of 2 years or more .

Political parties also want Central Government to amend Right to Information Act , to nullify the order of the CIC , which would make the parties " answerable " to queries of the public

What surprises me is how come no political party has asked for amendment of laws that require them to file Income Tax return under Representation of People Act !

Could it be that this is because they need not provide any details ( or , keep any records ) of donations of less than Rs 20,000  ?

And , Lo and Behold !

None have received any donation of Rs 20,000 or more !

Do not ask how Congress has managed to build up a war chest of Rs 2,000 Crores and BJP , a fund of Rs 1,000 Crores !

Despite all my admiration for the achievements of Narendra Modi , I fail to see any difference between BJP and Congress !

Since I was old enough  ( around 10 years of age - in 1943 ) , I have not felt more cynical about our so called " Democracy " , ever being able to lift our 600 million , malnourished poor people out of their abject poverty

In the remaining years of my life , I await the arrival of a Benevolent Dictator like Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose or Ironman Sardar Patel