After a 7-week stay in India, I am glad to be back home, in familiar confines. Seven weeks in which a lot was promised but nothing happened – a cabinet reshuffle that astonishingly left key ministries under the same set of underperforming individuals (Figure 1).
The “C” Father-son duo
Karti continues to cock a snook at the authorities, avoiding meeting government agencies, citing specious reasons. This jobless bully with an IQ of a 15-year old in the skin of a 40-year exoskeleton continues to boast about his invincibility to Twitterati who dare to question him.
One of his tall claims is that he has a net worth of Rs. 6 lakh crores ($93 billion) and that he does not need a passport to land anywhere in the world(see Figure 2 below)! Luckily, thanks to endless egging a Lookout Circular (LOC) is now in place but Karti continues to challenge this in every court. Much money to spend on expensive lawyers while a patient nation looks on, in the hope of a better tomorrow.
Another claim of his is that he has enough information in his possession to bring down some high and mighty in the current government. That the Chidambarams continue to cast a long shadow over the current regime is proved by the almost glacial speed with which the government is moving doing what a common man would have experienced in a 24-hour period.
Mr. Modi, it is time you called this upstart’s bluff. Trust me when I say this, there will be no tears of sympathy from the public when the C family will scream from every rooftop of political vendetta. Maybe a few crackers (Diwali is just around the corner!) may even go off!
Who is Ajay Singh?
The capital has been rife with rumors that Ajay Singh, the Chairman of SpiceJet is about to buy NDTV (numbers being bandied about are in the range of 100-280 crores), while the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) continues to indulge in Masterly inactivity, despite being provided compelling evidence of Stock manipulation, dubious transfer of ownership to a shell company etc. It bears mention here that we should take a look at how an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) amassed so much wealth that he could buy SpiceJet, then sell it to the Marans and then buy it back for a song!
As Sherlock Holmes would have said when everything else has been eliminated, whatever remains, however improbable it may be, must be the truth – and the truth is that Mr. Ajay Singh must be a benami for some politicians, perhaps even some in the current cabinet. Mr. Modi, there is cancer creeping into the body of the current government and it needs to be excised immediately. As they say in Hindustani, Akalmand ko ishaara kaafi hai! Who wields the real power in your cabinet is becoming rather apparent, like the 70s hero in disguise, whom the entire audience with the exception of his love interest and mother can spot.
Jis desh mein GSTN rukti hai
I was among the earliest to warn of the consequences of an underprepared GSTN platform, the backbone of GST, months before it went online. One quick look at the sites that were providing support for the GSTN APIs (Application Provider Interface) would have made it abundantly clear that this software is not ready for a rollout. Which raises the bigger question – what the heck did Infosys do with the Rs. 1400 crores that it got from the government to develop the back end? The outgoing government of UPA-2 ensured that the ownership of GSTN was majority owned by private entities (many of whom can be traced back to be loyal minions of the UPA-2 Finance Minister) and also ensured that all the payment was done by the 24.5% owner, the Centre. The current Finance Minister defended his predecessor’s decision saying that only a private entity can handle the thousands of processes that will be done on a daily basis. Why does India choose so many lawyers as their Finance Minister? What did Bharat mata do to deserve this cruel punishment? More importantly, Mr. Modi, who is the real Finance Minister in your government?
These are but a few problems that are facing the nation. UPA-2 does not deserve to come back to power for another… 50 years! But the self-goals by the current government have made it vulnerable and it needs to steer the ship in the right direction very soon or it may go the way of NDA-1. (Shining for some but actually lit up someone else’s home!)
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 64.94 Rupees.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.