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Air India and Hydrocarbon losses – “Honest” PM Manmohan Singh

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment

“Honest” PM Moneymohan Singh in action yet again. For an economist, seems surprisingly ignorant of profit/loss economics when it comes to serving the CONgress party. But wait! Profit for the party and loss for the country!

On December 30, 2005, the United Progressive Alliance government moved uncharacteristically fast. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concurred with a note sent by a select group of ministers on a commercial contract on the very day it reached his office.  Soon after, the aviation ministry under then minister Praful Patel informed the national carrier Air India about Singh’s decision. Air India promptly acted on it – all on the same day.

This contract was a Rs 33,197-crore deal Air India , signed with Boeing and General Electric to buy 50 planes. The sequence of events on that winter day is marked in red in a recent audit report of the aviation sector by the Comptroller and Auditor General, or CAG.

As it turned out, the plane acquisition deal triggered Air India’s nosedive. At the time of the deal, the airline was still in the black, with a net profit of Rs 96.3 crore on an income of Rs 7,630 crore in 2004/05. The airline had a Rs 1,801 crore balance sheet, of which debt was Rs 1,262 crore. Five years later in 2009/10, it would report a loss of Rs 5,552 crore – about twice the size of Sikkim’s economy – on an income of Rs 13,402 crore, along with a staggering debt of Rs 38,423 crore.

The single-day clearance is one of a number of dubious government decisions highlighted by the report. Similar revelations have also been made in another CAG report on the hydrocarbons sector. Both strongly criticise the government’s functioning, pointing out failures and systemic flaws in its processes.

http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/cag-report-indicts-civil-aviation-and-hydrocarbons-sectors/1/18990.html

Arnab Goswami’s art of Sangh baiting

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Arnab Goswami’s panel to discuss the Prashant Bhushan assault deliberately included two “village simpletons” — Bhim Singh of Panthers Party and Rakesh Sinha of the RSS, the kind that can be predictably relied upon to provide the incendiary material that the sophisticates cannot stomach. The rest are glib tongued “intellectuals”. Arnab knows the Bhim types will fall for the bait he has in store for them. Predictably falling for this bait, Bhim and Rakesh while criticizing the violence, also say that Prashant Bhushan has no right to ask for plebiscite in J&K. Arnab and fellow buddhijeevis tch, tch this “uncouth”, “violent” Sanghi behavior and suggest that by the secular law of associativity and by a neat jump in logic, Bhim is actually ok with this violence. Ergo, this is typical violent behavior from the Sangh and the root behind all this is BJP-RSS. Mission accomplished. No such super logic is used when Islamic terrorists blow up people on a regular basis to arrive at similar general inferences.

Bhim Singh and Rakesh Sinha could have turned this around to Arnab actually. Using the same jump in logic it could be argued that those who fail to criticize Prashant Bhushan for saying that Kashmir can be independent are actually ok with losing J&K. And by the same law of associativity these are anti-nationals who can be jailed for sedition.

Prashant Bhushan assaulted

October 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Prashant Bhushan was roughed up in his chambers supposedly by a youth of the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena. Karmic retribution perhaps. While Prashant has been baiting nationalistic Indians recently with his vitriolic and anti-national views, the correct course of action for those who would like to respond to the likes of Prashant Bhushan is to make them answerable in a court of law. A hundred cases of sedition and treason, around the country,  making him ping pong from court to court would work wonders. Also quite ironic that a maoist sympathiser should be so rattled by a few slaps.

Prashant’s father Shanti Bhushan has in the past defended the Arundhati “Gandhians with Guns” Roy and also the notorious Teesta Setalvad. Like Arundhati Roy, Prashant Bhushan has been critical of supposed armed forces excess (asked for DNA profiling of unmarked graves) in Jammu and Kashmir. Prashant has not so much as blinked for the 350,000 Pandits languishing in refugee camps in his native Delhi but is hyper active with “liberal”  causes — which in the Indian context is about pandering to the lowest common denominator in other religions/political systems.

Recently this column pointed out that the BJP/RSS should dump team Anna which has the likes of Prashant on its rolls. In light of his latest statement on plebiscite in J&K, this looks like a no brainer now.