From the Editor : Anil Tyagi

anil-tyagi-editor-gfiles (1)THIS is another face of capitalism, albeit an ugly one. But it is as much an inherent part of the various moods and hues of ideology. Large companies, on the brink of bankruptcy, are trying to make last-minute deals to remain profitable, or survive. But if the logic of capitalism is that the government has no business to be in business, and the private sector should run to the policy makers to be bailed out, there is only one way – keep your head above the water, or declare bankruptcy. After the Supreme Court forced the telecom companies to pay their huge dues on revenue-share to the government, this is, in fact, the way forward for several reasons.

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FROM RAJ TO RAFALE 17: The Twin Curses Of Earth and Sky

Earth-And-SkySome of the biggest scandals in independent India took place in the cases of illegal mining, stealing oil and gas from neighbouring interconnected reserves, gold-plating of projects, and sale of such precious resources at rock-bottom prices. If one includes telecom spectrum, which too is a limited resource, the circle of corrupt, cruel, violent carnage, cashing-in through human labour, and the twin curses of the earth and sky is complete.

LOOK at some of unsavory global facts. There are possibly two dozen nations in the world that earn more than 50 per cent of their exports from oil and gas. None of them is a democracy. Even if some of these regions are part of the larger democracies, they are wracked by exploitation, corruption, resource-capture by elites, and poverty. This is a classic counterintuitive theory. The more resources you possess, more you sell, the more the people suffer.

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Surviving a financial storm

subhash-chandra-socialist-1Media baron Subhash Chandra had to fall back on the last resort of selling Essel Group promoter stake in November 2019 to save his jewel in the crown, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited from sinking under the debt burden of Rs. 11,000 crore. His fight back, though commendable, holds a cautionary tale for India Inc and promoters with overreaching ambitions who expended too fast, piggy backing on easy capital when the going was good. But when the economic slowdown triggered by the ill-fated demonetisation decision and dodgy financial practices came back to haunt the non-banking financial sector, trouble came storming at the doorsteps of these promoters.

ON November 21, 2019, at 9.15 am, media mogul, Subhash Chandra, must have felt like the skipper of a stricken ship who just spotted dry land after spending days and months enduring stormy seas that threatened to sink his overloaded boat. By noon that day, he docked his ship in the safety of the harbour and might have looked back at the raging waters over the dark horizon with a sense of remorse. After all, to save the ship, Chandra had to jettison the most precious cargo that he often referred to as the “jewel of his crown.”

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RANA SUGARS How they duped the investors

Rana-sugarTHE GDR (global depository receipt) scam, which was perpetrated by dozens of companies between 2002 and 2014, was as simple as it gets. Float a GDR issue—the amount raised is meaningless and can be a few million dollars. It is better if the GDR is listed in a not-so-prominent exchange like the Dubai International Financial Exchange. Before the issue, ink a deal with a single buyer to purchase all the GDRs. Arrange for a bank in a slightly shadowy nation to issue a loan to the buyer.

Through a board resolution by GDR-issuer, assure the bank that the entire proceeds will be deposited as security with it until the loan is repaid. As payments are made to the bank in instalments, it releases the amounts to the issuer. According to the stock market regulator, SEBI, this straightforward, yet reportedly fraudulent, plan was allegedly hatched by Arun Panchariya “in connivance with different issuer companies and their promoters/directors”. At present, SEBI has pinpointed 59 GDR issues by 51 companies.

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Land mafia runs for cover

land-mafiaMADHYA PRADESH has never seen such a sustained and coordinated crackdown on organised, white collar crime since the state came into being in 1956. Of course, there have been sporadic and selective campaigns against mafias, particularly land-grabbers, under previous governments but they evoked more cynicism than trust in the state’s people.

Razing down of the illegal Raj Tower in Indore under Digvijay Singh’s rule or Minal Residency of Bhopal under the Shivraj Singh government may have earned public encomium for the previous chief ministers but the actions proved a flash in the pan. Land mafias were not deterred by such limited demolitions. The mafia-bureaucracy-politician nexus continued to thrive.

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Miscued effort

Defence-officerTHE government release on the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) issued on December 26, 2019 says the CDS will be of the rank of a four-star General with salary and perquisites equivalent to a Service Chief. He will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence (MOD), and function as its Secretary. Apart from listing out the areas to be dealt with by the DMA headed by the CDS, the mandate of the DMA and the functions of the CDS as Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee (COSC), all of which boils down as responsibilities to be shouldered by the CDS, the notification goes on the say, “The CDS, apart from being the head of the DMA, will also be the Permanent Chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee. He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to Raksha Mantri on all tri-Services matters.

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Governance is an overarching concept with many dimensions

lecture-on-governanceVice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, while delivering Sardar Patel Lecture on Governance at IC Centre for Governance on January 24, 2020, stressed upon unity of the country and enumerated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s efforts in achieving this Namaskar!

I am delighted that the ‘IC Center for Governance Sardar Patel Lecture on Governance’ is being held at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Conference Hall at Upa-Rashtrapati Bhavan.

I welcome you all to the official residence of the Vice President of India. It gives me immense pleasure to deliver this lecture at this conference hall named after the great son of the soil, the unifier and the Iron Man of modern India—Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

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There’s Seven for You, Three for Me

bookMy book There’s Seven For You, Three For Me–Chronicles of a Taxman was launched on November 27, 2019.

My book There’s Seven For You, Three For Me–Chronicles of a Taxman was launched on November 27, 2019.

I am a former Commissioner of Income Tax and have offered a sneak peek into the life and work of the taxman. The objective is to demystify the taxman. I have based the book on my varied experiences in the tax department.

The book has received outstanding reviews so far and is doing very well.

It was featured in the Bhopal Lit Fest. I am mentioning some excerpts of the book to give a flavour of what it contains.

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Scindia hurt and angry

JyotiradityaJyotiradityaScindia is the angry young man of the Congress Party. Circumstances for him have taken a U-turn. Once he was considered a chief ministerial candidate for Madhya Pradesh but Kamal Nath and Digvijay jointly turned the tables against him and Kamal Nath took over as Chief Minister. Scindia had been annoyed with the party high command for past some time. Rahul Gandhi took him to Shangrila Hotel for dinner the day after Kamal Nath took over the reins of the state. Sources disclosed that Scindia pointed out to Rahul, you call me your friend and you took me with you to campaign in MP every where and when the question of selecting the chief minister came up, you chose Kamal  Nath. He asked Rahul, you are my friend or my foe. Rahul Gandhi consoled him by assuring that he will be appointed as the President of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee. 

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Struggling to make a mark

JAGAT Prakash Nadda, the Party President of the BJP, has a major task ahead in the reshuffle of office bearers. It is to be seen whether Nadda will have his own team or keep working under the shadow of Amit Shah. Nadda is not a mass leader and does not have much grip even in his home state of Himachal Pradesh but he is an experienced hand as he has been active since his student days in the RSS and Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad. The BJP has lost Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and recently Delhi. So, a change in office bearers is imminent to pump fresh air in the party. Ram Madhav, Bhupendra Yadav, Murlidhar Rao, Anil Jain, Arun Singh, and Kailash Vijayvargiya who are state in-charges but have not fought an election. Ram Lal who was the General Secretary of BJP till recently was transferred and BL Shantosh was brought in as General Secretary Organisation. Vasundhara RajeScindia, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, and Dr. Raman Singh, Uma Bharati appears on the party’s website as Vice-Presidents but they have been completely sidelined.

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