ARE WE WAITING FOR ANOTHER MAHMUD GHAZNAVI TO BREAK OUR SLUMBER

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Business Mantra : Faridabad

Author :- Sanjeev Surolia  (For any query or response author may be reached at suroliaparivaar@gmail.com)

India used to be called Golden Sparrow. This sparrow attracted thousands of people from traders to industrialists to investors to seekers of inner peace. But it also attracted the invaders and plunderers of the likes of Mahmud Ghaznavi. Our temples had the hoards of gold and money. Our kings had hoards of gold in their treasury. But could this prevent the attack by the looters? Answer is big NO. Why? Because we did not invest in building our infrastructure. We did not prepare our people to be able to combat the outside attack. We did not invest in new technology and new types of warfare. We did not take the people with us. We created classes demarcation as to who will fight for the country. What was the end result. The country of millions meekly surrendered before the bunch of looters headed by Mahmud Ghaznavi. The entire wealth of the nation was taken away. We were just praying to God to come out of the Somnath Temple Statue and protect us. We forgot the basic teachings of the scriptures ” God never works FOR you, he always works WITH you”.

If we go through the history of our country, it is replete with the bravery of great heroes. Many of whom have sacrificed their life for the motherland without any compromise on the basic principles. They were no less brave than their victors. Only difference was that we were trusting and continuing with the old technology and war fares while the rules of the game had changed. While we were still heavily depending on the personal strength and short range arms the Mughals brought the Cannons which frightened the huge army full of thousands of horses and elephants and brave soldiers. They never got the opportunity to show their strength. The horses and the elephants had never heard the noise produced and lethal attack delivered by the cannons. The war was lost without any fight. We lost because we were not aware of the new technology. Similarly when the Britishers came with the rifles it was much superior to the cannons. The another battle was lost and country became a colony for the Britishers. We became independent in 1947 and we have started building up Institutions thereafter. Today after 67 years of Independence we have a reasonably matured democracy in our country. But the danger of overlooking the basics which were responsible for our downfall since 10th century, are yet looming large in our thought process and policy formulation.

 The UPA Government has done the biggest damage to the country by implementing the policies of freebies. Their land acquisition bill and right to food, free medicines etc has done enough damage to the country. On economic front they have ensured the soaring gold prices from Rs. 5,850 per 10 grams in 2004 when they came to power to Rs. 30,000 per 10 gram when they went out of power. In India you do not require to teach people what is the best way of making easy money. The return of over 500% in just 10 years is more than any other return in any other business. The second biggest return was in land. So the entire country’s money got diverted to most unproductive assets that is Gold and Land and building. Every family got one land broker and the stock in gold increased. The promoters of land have also presented themselves as Industrialists and got the land allotted from the Govt. at very very concessional prices sometimes even at the 10% of the DLC rates. The end result is good. you just pretend to be an industrialist without any big industry for 25 years time and then the population pressure will force government of the day to convert your industrial plot into a residential one and then you can make money again. Shift your industry to a new area which will give you result 25 years later. So it is a good insurance for the family kith and kins in future. A good nexus between pretending industrialists and the Govt can be a win-win situation for both. The Andheri Industrial area of Mumbai which is now becoming a completely residential and commercial hub is one such example. The country is replete with the examples of the proposed SEZs which were taken up only to grab land for real estate promotions. The corrupt politicians – bureaucrats – industrialists are at their best of combination at the plight of poor farmers and poor countryman on the other.

Country has voted Mr. Narendra Modi, with great expectations, to power. With his clarion call of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas ” and Good Governance. But people are becoming a bit restless as the initiatives for the development and good of all and good governance is yet to be noticed. It was promised that Govt will remove all archaic laws of the nation. Till now no law has been repealed. It was promised that the black money will be
brought back from abroad but it seems that Govt has washed away its hands by constituting the SIT which was mandated by the Supreme Court of India. On the other hand the Income Tax officials have been let loose on
the small time businessman who have used the companies to convert the unaccounted money into white money to generate capital for their business. I don’t say that they should not be touched. But it is important to know
which one is the bigger evil in the eyes of the Govt. The money which is stashed abroad or the one which is in circulation in India and being used for business and employment purpose here. The kind of rules which the
Banks are following it is easier for the big people to take loans of thousands of crores and also dupe it, get it restructured and even go to BIFR and get packages but what about the ordinary person who is doing his small
business. He has no place to go.

The RBI has convinced the Govt that the cost of lending cannot be brought down as it will lead to inflation. The raising of capital by share market route has been stymied by the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the name of regulation. It was created to curb the fraudulent people entering in the share market and dupe money. SEBI has achieved good success in dematerialization of the shares and debentures. But in the process they have created such a havoc that an ordinary entrepreneur with good intention will not dare to enter the capital market for the fear of number of compliance. The end result is that only well organized people are entering in the stock market while the rest are dependent only on the lending of banks. Less capital make them eligible for less debt and the expansion and ability to convert dreams into reality also remains a dream alone. The Govt should do a performance audit of SEBI as to what it has achieved and also as to how many obstacles it has created. The SEBI need to be told to come with entrepreneur rating system akin to CIBIL being used by Banks. So far SEBI has not been successful in recovering the swindled money. The loss to the investors, be it by penny shares or other fraudulent companies, has been theirs alone. The case of Saradha, Rose Valley and Pearl type Chit Fund Companies have brought forth the culpability, connivance and patronage of SEBI officials leading to duping of thousands of crores of rupees from very poor and hapless people. The unbridled powers sometime lead to this. The checks and balances should be in place. SEBI should also unfold an agenda of minimum government and maximum governance. A maximum of 5,000 dubious character operators are there who have duped huge money of the innocent and gullible shareholders. They are still enjoying their post fraud life without any action from any side. The shareholders are yet to get any solution. On the other hand SEBI has tightened the rules so much that no genuine entrepreneur is getting opportunity to come to the market to get funds. They are forced to approach the PE fund of USA or elsewhere. There was a time hen companies like Reliance, Wipro and Infosys etc started from the funds from Indian people and gave returns to the Indian people only. But today the return is going back to the foreign equity investor who, in his own interest, is increasing the price of the shares and making a safe exit after 5 to 10 times returns. This advantage could have been of Indian people. What is going to happen otherwise is that the FII will take back the entire money when we will need it the most or will be in financial distress and the country can become bankrupt. This need to be revived. Govt should seriously order a Performance Audit into the affairs of SEBI to assess as to How many people were associated with the Stock Market when SEBI was formed. In order to achieve its goal of “Investors Protection” what has has been done by it. Whether it has basically ousted the existing Indian Investors to pave the way for FII and PE fund based Equity Market System in India only to benefit American companies and group of investors. Perhaps it has helped these FII and officials of SEBI and none else.

According to many estimates our temples have the reserve of gold of around 25,000 tonnes. The most conservative estimate put the gold with Indian public to be to the tune of around 50,000 tonnes. It means that around $ 1 trillion worth of gold is lying with the temples in India and around $ 2 trillion with the people of India. This dead and unproductive investment need to channelizing properly and put to productive uses. Recently the Govt has launched PAHAL scheme to tag all LPG Gas connections with the AADHAR Card for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of
the subsidy amount in the Bank Account of the beneficiary. The end result of the scheme is that not even 50 % Gas connections are getting tagged with AADHAR Card. It indicates that this much number of false connections or
benami connections were existing and the subsidy was being availed by unauthorized persons. The similar thing is existing in land and building. The artificial scarcity of land and building is there because of the assets in benami. If Govt makes it mandatory to tag all land and building with the AADHAR Card it will immediately bring forth the dubious entries. The market will be inundated with the offers of sale of properties which in turn will make the prices reasonable, affordable and within the reach of the common man. This will enable Govt to sincerely assess the housing problem and plan the “Housing for All by 2022” scheme. India is a spiritual country and would remain so for the foreseeable future. People would be making offering in the temples and other places of faith. This offering is recently taking shape of donating gold by putting plates on the wall of the temples called c hhatari or direct donation of gold. This chain of faith is not required to be broken. What is needed is to bow before the Temple Trusts and request them to come forward for setting up of educational, health, vocational training, affordable food like Akshaya Patra type system etc. The land can be given free of cost by the Govt. This will reduce the cost of setting up of such establishment. Govt can give awards for such initiatives which will ensure healthy competition among them. We
have around 700 districts in India. In all districts there is a 300 to 500 bedded District hospital. This hospital is always overcrowded. Minimum of 1,000 patients would remain admitted at any given point of time. Coming
to another point. A private medical college setting up cost is around Rs. 300 crores. Of which minimum Rs. 275 crore is the cost of setting up of the hospital. Most of the time they do not have patients. More so they have to
hire patients to complete the formality of inspection of Medical Council of India (MCI). Why as a Govt we should not think of linking these 700 district hospitals with a proposed new private medical college on PPP basis. The required 25 acres of land can be reduced to now 10 acres which can be provided in a 10KM radius. The college can be an Integrated Medical, Dental, Nursing and Para-medics college. This will ensure around 2,00,000 new doctors and 10 lakhs new nurses and paramedic every year. The AIIMS and State Medical Colleges can be converted in a post graduation and super speciality institutions only. This will increase tremendous supply and India will become a Health Tourism destination. Similar things can be done on engineering front. The IITs need not produce traditional engineers. Govt policy has created several reputed engineering Institutions. They should focus on the robotics and nano technology. The future warfare technology. The future digital world technology to achieve the Internet of Things (IOT). The objective of narrating the need of strides in these field is that Govt should encourage these temple trusts to come out to use their wealth and set up these institutions. Govt should focus on futuristic things.
The Govt should adopt a practical and persuasive approach rather than an authoritative and commanding approach to bring these temple trusts on board. Similarly the encouragement to private equity participation by the
general public instead of depending on FIIs, by controlling the over-archaic approach of SEBI, also need to achieved to give a boost to local investors on one hand and the Make in India on the other. Otherwise this huge storage
of gold by both our temples and public are an open invitation to another Mahmud Ghaznavi whose danger is lurking large in the form ISIS and Naxals. What people say that it is a rich country inhabited by poor would prove to be right more because of our poor mindset and closed way of thinking.

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