Money, money, money

Looks like you can get away with anything in India.

A friend of mine in Bengaluru was complaining that the school that his child goes to has a rule that all students should wear black leather shoes – and here comes the pinch – and the shoes should be Reebok and Reebok alone. What my friend could have bought for a hundred and fifty rupees from Bata or some other store, he ends up spending seven or eight hundred now. Can a school actually dictate the brand of shoe that a child should wear? I dont know, but this school does. Business as usual.

And then when I arrived at the Bengaluru airport, I encountered a new pinch. All passengers have to cough up a new tax – called ‘user development fee’ or something like that. Each passenger has to pay Rs 260/- as airport usage fee. I saw some mighty angry users that day! (btw: i think they really need the money, if the airport PA system is anything to go by. I nearly missed my flight, as the departure announcement could not be heard in one side of the departure lounge). More business as usual.

The Madras Chamber of Commerce had an interesting talk by Arun Shourie, a few days ago, as a part of the election jamboree. Vittal, the former Chief Vigilance Commissioner, also spoke. In his speech Vittal mentioned about the over trillion dollars stashed away by Indians in Swiss Banks – which is the highest among all nations. Now that the Swiss have agreed to divulge the names of the depositors in case the national government requests for it – he wondered, why Indian Government has not. In his talk, Shourie said that the leaders of opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had both written to the Prime Minister, asking him to do just that, and that the letter was not even acknowledged. Ah yes, politics…Business as usual.

Jai Ho!


4 Responses to “Money, money, money”

  1. GJV Prasad Says:

    the bengaluru airport charge — we had to pay that in feb, and i thought it could be used to hire someone to improve signages
    the p.a. system needs it as well
    perhaps we should get the money back from the swiss for all this

  2. DKA Says:

    This interview might help in getting some more insight: Devil’s Advocate – Arun Shourie on black money issue,

  3. BM Karuppan Says:

    India is at the top of the list of black money stashing to safe havens including Swiss bank. On a per capita basis, the position will be much lower. But the per capita basis is meaningless in the Indian context, due to the impermissible but real disparities between the average incomes of the lower 60–70% of the population and the higher 30–40% of the population in India. Arguing thus, it is clear that the scoundrels and antinationals who are stashig away their illgotten incomes, who are 90 to 95% among politicians including ministers at the centre and in the states, MPs and MLAs especially those who have been made chairmen or members of government bodies, and of course, a very large section among businessmen, and all high income earning Doctors, engineers, self-employed people, etc. To chastise all these sections of Indians, and to ensure that both law makers and the rest who evade the laws of the land, stop this evasive and routine malpractice, it is not going to be possible. WE MUST INTRODUCE RADICAL MODIFICATIONS TO OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS COMPRISING THE LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE AND THE JUDICIARY, so that these scoundrels can be effectively deterred from ever continuing with their antisocial ways. To my mind, the said modifications could mean, for example, once the names of the scoundrels are specifically known, they musrt be put in a special jail to wither away their lives until and unless they bring back the moneys, pay all the dues to the government as laws. For those having stolen amounts, exceeding say Rs.100 crore, rigorous imprisonment, and those having exceeded Rs.500 crore, joining the death row will be automatic punishment, if they do not bring back the money. We talk of terrorism as causing deaths and devastations, and we expend so much of our resources to fight it or prevent it. The rascals who thus mightily hinder our government — from removing poverty and accelerating economic development, strengthening our armed forces, upgrading our railways and conceiving and implementing numerous development schemes to ameliorate poverty and to ensure common minimum standars for the rest who are subjected to famines of all kinds, especially good water and power — deserve the severest punishment. However, since the law makers are also involved in these antinational activities, it is goig to be a tough challenge. Our youth is also effeminated due to their preponderant obsessions with frivolties and is unable to formulate daring changes to be wrought to our rotten political system.

  4. BM Karuppan Says:

    I am sorry I sort of digressed in my comments (visavis ‘money, money, money’), confining my thoughts solely to the scourge of money stashing criminals of our country. Largely this was because the Bengaluru airport, like any high valued infrastructure project, must have meant a huge goldmine to steal from, for the money stashing antisocials, comprising contractors and businessmen who supplied materials and equipment, as well as politicians above those two groups of criminals. Whilst huge amounts were charged for building the airport (which is by no means worth being called a first class one, for all the colossal cost of it), these antisocials must have skimped on quality in every possible detail, since they would have treated an exorbitant margin as profit as first charge, in their payments, and then used the inadequate funds remaining for buying equipment, materials, etc. and paying labour. This would have led toal just the minimum unavoidable facilities being provided at the airport and substandard items being used in the works. THE USER FEE NOW BEING CHARGED IS QUITE PROBABLY INTENDED FOR FILLING THE MANY GLARING AND GROTESQUE GAPS IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE AIRPORT (EVEN THE TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS ARE SAID TO BE NOT STATE OF THE ART AS CLAIMED TO BE). The Airport authorities, it stands to guess, had no way of admitting to the evil sources which led to the substandard quality of the airport in several sections, and the only way to cover the truth was to give the charge a vague name of ‘user fee’. What user fee ? If the airport is not used by passengers, who already pay huge airfares which DO include an element for the use of airport, how the airport’s cash flows

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