Thursday, September 23, 2021

Income Tax Notices to a Prominent Actor

The Income Tax Department conducted a search and seizure operation at various premises of a prominent actor.

I don't have any comments on what they found in the search. The actor, his accountants and lawyers would deal with that. But, I have an issue with one point that they said about his Charity Foundation. 

The Charity Foundation incorporated by the actor on 21st July, 2020 has collected donations to the tune of Rs. 18.94 crore from 01.04.2021 till date, out of which it has spent around Rs. 1.9 crore towards various relief work and the balance of Rs. 17 crore has been found lying unutilized in the bank account of the Foundation till date.

I absolutely do not see any issue with the information in the above paragraph. But, the Income Tax Department projected that information to defame him and it was widely published in the media as if he had done a fraud.

The Charity Foundation collected around Rs.18.94 crore in 6 months (From April to September of 2021) and they spent Rs. 1.9 crore. What is the Income Tax Department expecting? Is it expecting to spend everything within a month and not do any more charity work later on? 

If an organization receives more money than they need at that time, they would keep the money and utilize only the interest/income arising from that money. By that, they can do their social work regularly without depending on the donations from others later on. 

If the Income Tax Department has really found some fraud in the Charity Foundation, they should disclose those details, rather than blaming the foundation saying, "found lying unutilized in the bank account of the Foundation till date", as if it has been idle for decades, when it was just 6 months. 

With the present information that they disclosed and the news coverage, I could only say that they are trying to malign his Charity Foundation. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

National Judicial Appointments Commission

In "Shades of Truth: A Journey Derailed", Kapil Sibal supported, "National Judicial Appointments Commission" (NJAC) and said that the Executive also should have role in selecting judges for higher judiciary.

He also wrote about the unfair treatment of the judges for not favoring the BJP Government at different times.

When Collegium refers for the appointment of higher judiciary, the Union Government can send back the proposal once. If the Collegium refers the same candidate once again, they have to accept the appointment. 

Justice K.M.Joseph quashed the president's rule in Uttarakhand in April 2016. When Collegium referred his promotion, the Union Government did not accept his promotion. A year later, when Collegium referred him once again, then only they accepted his promotion.

The Union Government rejected the appointment of Gopal Subramanium as Supreme Court judge. He was amicus curiae in Kausar Bi and Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and persuaded the Supreme Court to entrust the CBI with the investigation.

Kapil Sibal also says, in another appointment, the Law Ministry raised fictitious complaints and delayed the promotion for two years in the name of enquiries etc. 

Kapil Sibal criticized the Modi Government in the case of Jayant Patel, who was not promoted at various times, eventhough all his juniors were promoted. Jayant Patel ordered CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case (When Narendra Modi was CM of Gujarat). He also criticized for the Arbitrary transfer of Justice Abhay Thipsay, who imposed life sentences in the Best Bakery Case during the 2002 Gujarat carnage. 

But, he did not mention how the Modi Government stopped the promotion or transfer. Did he mean, Modi influenced Collegium to stop his promotion?

If Modi influenced Collegium or could do within the powers of the Executive, then it clearly contradicts Kapil Sibal's initial support for NJAC. 

When the Union Government could do many things even when they did not have official powers, what would they do, when they get official powers in the form of NJAC. That would be a terrible idea.

Kapil Sibal mentioned a few drawbacks in Collegium, like giving high priority to people whom they know in promotions etc. But, that is there in any system. Also, many times, it is not unfair.

For example, in a private company, there are two equally capable people who performed equally in the organization. One is regularly in touch with his/her reporting manager, and the other one is not that much in touch with the manager. The person who was in touch with the manager gets the promotion and the other one does not get. Can we say that the manager unfairly treated the other person?

Not necessarily. For a manager to give or recommend for promotion, he/she has to show a lot of data about the candidate that the candidate is performing at the next level already and promotion is just making it official. To show the data, the candidate has to regularly meet the manager and appraise what is going on in his/her work. If the manager does not have enough data, then even if he/she wishes to promote the candidate, it won't be possible. 

Before 2014, after the elections, if a party or an alliance is short of the majority, they try to buy the legislators and then try to form the government. But, after 2014, BJP is forming the government without having the majority and then buying the legislators by using the power. Many times, courts interfered and stopped that or restricted a few things. If the judges were appointed by the Union Government, then it would lead to dictatorship. 

Even if Collegium has its own flaws, the flaws are negligible, when compared to giving power to the Government

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Crowd at Chennai Local Railway Stations

Yesterday Morning I went to Chromepet station in Chennai at 9 AM. There was a lot of crowd nearby the counter. The crowd is significantly more than the crowd in the local trains. The reason was, the tickets for male passengers would be given only from 9:30 AM and the law-abiding passengers were waiting at the station to get the tickets when they start issuing at 9:30 AM.

If the tickets were given to all of them instead of blocking till 9:30 AM, there would not have been any crowd at a small place and the crowd would have spread in 12 compartments every 5 mins.

Government thinks it does not need to solve the problem. But, it needs to convince the people that it is solving the problem.


Friday, August 27, 2021

If you are investing without having in-depth knowledge

If you are planning to invest anywhere and you don't have deep knowledge on the investment, then at least make sure of one of the following.

1. Either it should have a guaranteed future return. [Like Fixed Deposits in Banks or Post Office etc.]

2. If it does not have guaranteed future returns, it should have public data on the returns it gave in the past. [Open Ended Mutual Funds cannot guarantee future returns. But, one can check how much returns it gave in the last past one year, 3 years, 5 years etc. from the respective website of the AMC or in any third party sites like moneycontrol.com or valueresearchonline.com etc.]

If an investment does not have guaranteed future returns or no public data on the past returns, one must avoid that, unless one has full knowledge on the investment.

ULIP, NFO, Closed Ended Mutual Funds etc., cannot guarantee future returns at the same time they do not have public data on the past returns. 

For ULIPs, the insurance agent may say, it gave so and so returns in the last few years. But, you won't find public data on their company website. They may even take a policy of a random person, and show how much they invested and the present value now. 

For example, if anyone had taken a ULIP policy in March 2020, and checked the value in March 2021, the value might have increased by 20%. The agent may say, even if we take the worst case of 15%, in 15 years you would get so and so amount. 

In March 2020, if anyone had invested in any decent mutual fund, the investment value would have increased by 50% in one year. It was because of the crash happened in the stock market in March 2020. But, if you look at over 5 years, one can find that it varied from a negative percentage to 20%. 

If one looks at a single case, any investment can be projected as excellent by taking the investment that is made at the best time. One needs to check the investment over a period and decide whether it is a good investment or not. The agents of ULIP may provide specific cases which show excellent returns. 

If the investment does not have guaranteed future returns, one must insist on the public data of the past returns before investing.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Income Tax Saga

I filed Income Tax Returns.

In the last financial year, other than salary income and FD, there were only two things that I did voluntarily from a financial perspective. 

At the end of every month, I used to put the savings in the Liquid Mutual Funds and set up STP to the Equity Mutual Funds. 

Redeemed the Mutual Funds that were not performing well.

Others were kind of forced. 

Still, the process of filing returns was very tedious.

I used to invest in stocks. Whenever Arun Jaitley and Nirmala Seetharaman were changing the policies, I used to change my strategy of investments. Last year, I got fed up with the changes that they were bringing every year, and I stopped investing in the stocks altogether.

But, the investments that I made have an effect on my returns every year. 

Tax on Dividends:

Previously, dividends were tax free in the hands of the investor. The company used to pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) and give dividends. Now, the company does not pay DDT, but the investor has to pay the tax on the dividend at the applicable rate based on his/her tax bracket.

Now, I have to declare all the dividends that I have received in the last financial year and pay the tax. 

I cannot just ignore the dividend and submit returns, because many companies that pay the dividend submit all the details to the Income Tax Department.

If the dividend that I declare is less than the amount they expected, then the return would be rejected. 

In my case, there were multiple companies which submitted my details to the Income Tax Department with the amount of the dividend they paid, even when the dividend is less than Rs.10 for the entire financial year. 

Sold Stocks to Escape Tax on Dividend

I stopped buying and selling stocks, but I had to act in two cases.

I had shares of Majesco and it announced a dividend of Rs.974/share. Since the dividends are taxable in the hands of the investor, and if I receive the dividend, I would be bound to pay tax of around Rs.292/share. 

If I sell the shares, then I will have to pay tax on long term capital gains (since, I bought those more than 1 year before the sale date), if the capital gain is more than Rs.1 Lakh. My total capital gain was less than Rs.1 Lakh and no tax on that sale.

I chose the best option. I sold all the shares of Majesco at around Rs.980.

If any stock or mutual fund is bought on before Jan 31st 2018, then that needs to be reported separately with all the details. 

[On Feb 1st 2018, Arun Jaitley introduced taxes on Long Term Capital Gains in Equity. To save the people who already invested in Stocks and Mutual Funds, he exempted the profits upto Jan 31st, 2018.]

I got shares of Majesco when it went public and after that every year, I was getting a couple of shares.

For all the Shares/Mutual Fund Units that were bought after Jan 31st 2018, one has to report the cost of acquisition (of all the Stocks/Mutual Fund Units), Expenditure in Transfer (Like Brokerage etc), Sold Amount. 

But for all the shares that were bought on or before Jan 31st 2018, one has to report the following details for each share/Mutual Fund separately.

ISIN Code of the Stock/Mutual Fund

Name of the Share/Mutual Fund

No. of Shares/Units

Sale Price/Unit

Total Cost of acquisition

Fair Market Value/Unit on Jan 31st 2018

Expenditure for the transfer of the Share/Mutual Fund (Like Brokerage)

Since I bought a few shares of Majesco before Jan 31st 2018 and a few shares after Jan 31st 2018, I had to split them into two, get all the details separately and fill them.

Selling Stocks in Buy Back

I sold shares of TCS as well, because they offered buy back. Typically, when buy back is offered and if the price of the buy back is more than the market price, one would be at advantage by offering in the buy back. Of course, this is not always the case. TCS was one example, where those who did not offer in a buy back were better off. 

For TCS, I bought shares over the last couple of years, but all are after Jan 31st, 2018.  

If the shares are sold within one year after buying, then one has to pay Short Term Capital Gains (15%). If they are sold after one year, then one has to pay Long Term Capital Gains (10% above Rs.1 Lakh). 

I had bought a few shares of TCS within one year. 

To file the returns, I had to split into two parts, one set with shares that were bought more than a year back, and one set that were bought within that year. 

For both the sets, I had to calculate the following.

Total Cost of Acquisition 

Sold Amount.

Expenditure in Transfer [I just put 0 for this in all the sections, as it was a small amount]

Rights Issue

Whenever a company gives rights issue, we can either exercise the issue or sell it to someone else. The exercise or sale has to happen within a limited time after receiving the issue (around 2 weeks). If we don't exercise/sell within that time frame, it would lapse. So, those who are not interested in exercising the issue, can sell it for the market price. 

When you sell that issue, the money that you get is going to be Short Term Capital Gain. And, you have to pay tax on that. 

I got a few rights issues worth less than Rs.400 (in the entire Financial Year). Since I sold them, it was a Short Term Capital Gain and I had to report and pay tax. 

Mutual Fund Units that I sold 

Few Mutual Funds were not performing that good and I sold units in those. I sold a few others of Dividend type. Since, Dividend option is prone to more tax, I redeemed as soon as they were unlocked (Tax Saving Mutual Funds are locked for three years). 

All of them were bought through SIP and spanned before and after Jan 31st 2018. Just like stocks, for Mutual Funds also, for any Mutual Fund that was bought before Jan 31st 2018, needs to be reported separately with all the details. For the units that were bought after Jan 31st 2018, we can combine with all other mutual funds/stocks and report as a single number. 

Even if we are going to report it as a single number for the stocks/mutual funds, to get the final number, we have to calculate at each stock/mutual fund and then sum up to get the final number.

Profit in Liquid Mutual Funds 

Some time back, I switched investing from SIP to STP. 

In SIP, on the specified day, money is deducted from your bank account and invested in the Mutual Fund you choose. 

In STP, on the specified day, a few units would be redeemed from the Mutual Fund you choose, and invested in another Mutual Fund.

When I was investing through SIP, I was unable to manage my bank account, as I was not sure how much money I had to keep in the bank account for all my SIPs and how much money I can use for my expenses. 

Now, I put all the surplus money in Liquid Mutual Fund (Which is a safer form of Mutual Fund and gives returns little better than the Bank account). For example, if I put Rs.12,000 in a Liquid Fund, then I can put an STP of Rs.1000/month over 12 months to another Equity Mutual Fund.

In this process, the Liquid Mutual Fund generates some profit, and I have to pay tax on that. 

Short Term Profits in Liquid Mutual Funds are taxed at the highest tax bracket, unlike Equity Mutual Funds/Stocks which are taxed at 15%.

For Liquid Mutual Funds also, I had to calculate the total cost of acquisition, sale price.

Profit at different intervals

Calculating the total profit for each of the types of investments is not enough. One has to calculate the profit that they got in different periods.

All the profits need to be split into these periods. 

April 1st to June 15th

June 16th to Sep 15th,

Sep 16th to Dec 15th,

Dec 16th to Mar 15th,

Mar 16th to Mar 31st.

Any profit or dividend that you get needs to be separated in the above five periods and needs to be reported separately.

Dividend amount that you got in each of the above periods

Long Term Capital Gains in each of the above periods

Short Term Capital Gains in Equity

Short Term Capital Gains in Non-Equity

Long Term Capital Gains is going to be a little tricky, if we have Stocks/Mutual Fund units that were bought before Jan 31st 2018. We need to calculate taxable profit and split that taxable profit in those five periods. [Calculation of taxable profit of the Stocks/MF that were bought on or before Jan 31st 2018 is different from the Stocks/MF that were bought after Jan 31st 2018.]

Need Simplification of the returns

At the end of the day, after doing all those things, neither me nor the Income Tax Department is going to achieve anything significant. 

For Fixed Deposits, one can download their Interest Certificate from their bank, take that number and directly put it in the appropriate section in returns and they are done with it. 

Unfortunately for Stocks and Mutual Funds, the Income Tax Department is not accepting that. Most of the Mutual Fund AMCs offer capital gain statements, where they give the total profit in each of the funds they invested. But, that is not enough. They need the total amount invested, Sold Amount, and the profit they got in each of the five periods. For Stocks/Mutual Funds that were bought before Jan 31st 2018, it was even more work. 

If I can put four numbers in the four columns (Dividend, Long Term Capital Gains, Short Term Capital Gains in Equity and Short Term Capital Gains in Non Equity) and pay appropriate tax, then the process would be lot simpler. Government is not going to lose anything. If they want, they can directly ask the Stock Broker, Mutual Fund AMC and get the full statements and do whatever analysis they want. 

Few people may say, I am crazy. But, I like Chidambaram far better than many other Finance Ministers that we had (Except Manmohan Singh). 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Filed Income Tax Returns

I have filed Income Tax Returns. 

I was unable to start the process of Income Tax Returns because of one issue. I raised a complaint with the Income Tax site and they did not reply even after 3 weeks.

It turned out to be a Usability issue. 

Till last year, whenever you were going to file returns, you would select Financial Year and then ITR type like ITR-1 or 2 etc. In the new website, after selecting the Financial Year, the dropdown for ITR type is disabled. I raised the complaint and waited for 3 weeks and got no reply from the Income Tax. 

I was told by my colleague, Mohanakrishnan Gopalakrishnan, that we can continue even without selecting the ITR type. The ITR type is asked in the next screen. I could continue and filed returns.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Male Passengers are not allowed in Chennai Local Trains during peak time

 


Men spread Corona.

Women do not spread Corona.

That's why Southern Railways banned male passengers during peak hours in Local Trains in Chennai.

Cannot the government find some sensible rule rather than coming up with sexist/stupid policies?

If they think that there is too much crowd, they can restrict the no.of tickets sold. If they put some limit on the no.of tickets per train, after selling that many tickets, they can stop selling more tickets till a train departs.

Even with this rule, I can see many men during peak time in local trains. Of course, the Government may say, they all have permission letters to travel during peak time. But, it is possible that some of them would have found some woman to take the ticket for them. There is even more chance that many men might be travelling without a ticket, as there are no TTEs.

Before introducing this rule, I don't know whether the authorities saw the crowd in fast local trains or not. The fast local trains are fully crowded and closely resemble pre-covid days.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Advices of Economists in Manmohan and Modi's Governments

Technically trained economists and statisticians are like tools in a policymaker's kit. To use or discard advice is a policymaker's call.

Singh's government frequently ignored advice.

Modi's government got rid of the advisers. 

Courtesy: The Lost Decade by Puja Mehra 


Saturday, July 31, 2021

Who needs to be blamed for the Food Wastage during the end of UPA II

During the end of the UPA II, there was lot of food wastage in the godowns of the Indian Government. Who needs to be blamed for that? 

I don't blame Manmohan Singh's Government.

Manmohan Singh's Government regularly increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the food items. Many times, it was more than the Market Price. So, the farmers sold everything to the Government rather than the private entities. 

Towards the end of the tenure of UPA II, Government had more food stock and almost no space to put it in its godowns. What should the Government have done at that time?

Any good businessman would sell the excess stock at the market rate irrespective of the price at which the stock was bought. i.e., Even if they had bought the stock at very high price, they would sell it for very less price in that situation.

One can see the same situation, whenever anyone goes to a wholesale market, and finds a person who has very less stock and wants to move to his hometown soon, or on the last day of any exhibition where the vendors come from different states. In that situation, for the vendor taking the stock back to his hometown is going to cost him a lot. Instead, selling it for any price (even if it is far less than the purchase price) may be beneficial for them. 

If the Government does the same thing, where it sells the food stock at market price (less than the purchase price), what would happen? 

CAG comes up with a report of XXX crores of Loss to the exchequer due to that.

Opposition stalls the Parliament from functioning.

Media abuses the Government left and right for the huge loss.

There would be many cases in the courts against many people in the Government for the loss, and those people would have to face the cases for many years.

What is the best course of action for the person who is in the power?

Not selling the food stock is the best option. 

If the rats eat food in some godown, it is highly difficult to put a case against a Minister or a Secretary in the Ministry. But, if the Minister or the Secretary signs on a bill to sell at market price, it is very easy to put a case against them.

So, the Government chose the best option for them.

Chidambaram said, he wanted to sell the food stock at the market price. But, he did not get any support from the bureaucrats. And, finally, lot of food got wasted. 

Unless People, Media, Opposition and other Government agencies are ready to realize that, sometimes, realizing a loss is good for the country, these things are bound to happen. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Who Should Get Credit for Economic Reforms? Manmohan Singh or P.V.Narasimha Rao

Who Should Get Credit for the Economic Reforms? Is it Manmohan Singh or P.V.Narasimha Rao?

When Chandrasekhar became P.M., he realized the economic situation, and tried to get a good economist. He asked I.G.Patel to take up the post of the Finance Minister. But, he rejected.

Later he got, Yashwant Sinha, who wrote a great reforming budget (almost on the lines of Manmohan Singh). But, few days before the budget, Rajiv Gandhi asked Chandrasekar to present only Vote on Account Budget, and not full fledged budget. And, that budget never saw the light of the day.

Even if it was not Yashwant Sinha, there was Subramanian Swamy in Chandrasekhar's Cabinet, who was for the economic Reforms.

Eventhough, Chandrasekhar, Yashwant Sinha and Subramanian Swamy were ready to reform, the supporter Rajiv Gandhi was not ready.

After P.V.Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister, it is widely believed that, he offered the post of the Finance Minister first to I.G.Patel, who rejected it.

Later it was offered to Manmohan Singh and everyone calls that as the Masterstroke, and Manmohan Singh alone changed the course of the country.

The dismantling of elimination of the license raj was not part of the Ministry of Finance. But, it was part of the Ministry of Industry. Who was the Cabinet Minister of Industry? It was P.V.Narasimha Rao himself.

Another famous economist P.Chidambaram was a commerce minister during the first year of P.V., who had done significant contribution in the economic reforms.

On the other hand, Manmohan Singh has been working for a long long time in the Government of India. He worked under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and even with Chandrasekhar. Why there was no reform during that much long period? How come the significant reform happened within the first two months of P.V.Narasimha Rao's tenure as the Prime Minister?

P.V.Narasimha Rao had many options open at every level. If Manmohan Singh had rejected the post of the Finance Minister, he could have brought somebody else to reform the economy.

But, if there were no P.V.Narasimha Rao, there would not have been any economic reforms at that time.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Khaidi No. 150 - Who are Corporate People?

Who are corporate people?

The people who take our wealth for little money and sell it back to us in dollars. Once, it was Britishers and now these corporate people.

This is told by Chiranjeevi in the movie Khaidi No.150.

I never expected such a stupid definition by Chiranjeevi. If he is expecting some Corporate Responsibility, he should have some Social Responsibility to not mislead people. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Punjab's Policies on Agriculture

Some policies had become too 'baked in' to change. I recall pointing out to CM Badal that Punjab's policy of giving free power for agriculture (which he had introduced many years earlier) was having a very damaging effect, leading to excessive extraction of groundwater. This meant a steady decline in the water table and deterioration in water quality because of chemical and heavy metal content, endangering both soil fertility and human health. He agreed with the logic of my argument but said the policy had persisted for so long that it was now impossible to change! In my concluding remarks to the Punjab delegation, I read out a quote from Machiavelli:

At the beginning, a disease is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose: but as time passes, not having been treated or recognized at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. The same thing occurs in affairs of state. By recognizing from afar the diseases that are spreading in the state (which is a gift given only to a prudent ruler) they can be cured quickly. But when they are not recognized and left to grow to the extent that everyone recognizes them, there is no longer any cure.

Courtesy: Backstage: The Story Behind India's High Growth Years by Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Agriculture

 Agriculture was a sector where states could take several initiatives. They could amend the state APMC Act to allow private markets to emerge to compete with government-run 'mandis'. Corporate buyers could be allowed to pick up the produce directly from the farmers, thus giving farmers better prices, especially for perishable crops. They could liberalize tenancy laws that made leasing illegal in many states. Holders of small parcels of land, which were unviable to cultivate as separate farms, could then lease them out to others. The agriculture extension system could be revived to provide a powerful means of bringing the latest technology to farmers to improve yields and increase farm income.

Courtesy: Backstage: The Story Behind India's High Growth Years by Montek Singh Ahulwalia

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Politics and War are more important than Science, History and many other fields

I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

-- John Adams (Second American President)

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Stack Ranking - The Only Word That I Don't Like in English

Many companies which have stack ranking follow something similar.

Every year, they identify top 20%, middle 70% and bottom 10%. Those whoever are in top 20% would be given incentives, raises and promotions. Those whoever in bottom 10% either let go or they would be treated in such a way that, they themselves would leave.

Let's suppose, if you hire the 10 most brilliant people in the world, still, there would be one person in the bottom 10%, and that person would be asked to leave, eventhough, they cannot replace that person with anybody else in the world.

One should check, whether their employee is performing better than their expectations based on the position and pay etc. But, not, relative to others. If the company has the most dumb 10 people of the world, and still, if they give promotions to the top 20%, then it cannot survive in long run.

This policy would work only, if the company hires 10% of dumb people every year, so that, their main talent will never be in bottom 10%. But, if they hire equally talented people, then their main talent may leave.

In most of the companies, if the employee is on bench or in insignificant project, then most of the time, they would be in bottom 10%, unless, he/she has very good manager. Because, there won't be anything for them to show in the performance review.

In case of relative ranking, the employee has to prove that, he/she is better than his/her colleague. Many times, it would lead to unfriendly environment. It is not easy to see that, but, the project would be effected severely by that. For example, two employees are seriously discussing on the approach to follow, and both are giving pros of their approach and cons of the other person's approach. This looks like a healthy discussion for many managers. But, if one checks little deep, probably, that discussion itself may be useless. Both might be trying to prove that, they have better design than the other. Probably, if there had been no need to prove anything, then that discussion itself may not take place.

The companies that are too big with lot of cash thinks that, this process is working very well for a long time. For big companies which have lot of cash, even if they do 100 mistakes, but, if they do one thing correctly, it can survive without any issues. If the same thing is done by a startup, it would die immediately.

If your organization has stack ranking, don't expect any employee who does not care about recognition, to work with you for a long time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I have Covid Antibodies

I have Covid Antibodies. The value is 78. Asian Institute of Gastroenterology published a paper saying, they observed a value of 150, for those who have taken the first dose of vaccine without having history of Covid. Sometime back, I got fever, and I recovered in less than a day. When I got fever, I did not eat/drink anything except Honey and Water. I slept for more than 10 hours. By the next morning, I was completely normal. I did not take any medicine. Our body can cure many of the diseases it gets. Just that, we need to do whatever it requires to cure the diseases. Our body spends significant energy in digesting the food. If we do not eat anything, then it can use that time and energy to cure any diseases that it has. Honey is one item which can give energy to our body without burdening our digestive system. Water is required for internal cleaning of the body, and everyone must drink a lot of water. When we take honey and water, we get full energy, without any burden on the digestive system. Our body can spend all its time and energy in cleaning the body. If you do not feel like eating, then do not eat food. When you are not feeling well and not feeling like eating, and if you still eat, you are going to increase your disease. In the name of not wasting food, do not throw the food in your stomach. Your stomach is not a dustbin. The cost of the food is far less than the cost of the treatment. To get enough energy, one must take sufficient honey. The quantity of the honey varies based on the person, the illness, and the brand of honey. When I am fully healthy and if I don't eat anything, then I need around 400 grams of Dabur Honey or 600 grams of Honey of Patanjali, Himalaya or More (Aditya Birla). When I am not healthy, then half of that is enough. When you are fasting, and if you feel you don't have enough energy, it means you did not take enough honey. For more information, one can read the books of Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju at http://www.manthena.org.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Oke Okkadu by I.Venkatrao - Biography of N.T.Rama Rao

If anyone writes a biography of a person, the minimum common sense that they should follow is, they should write the biography from the perspective of the person about whom they are writing. If the author is very close to that person, then the author can write from his/her own perspective. 

Since, I.Venkatrao is not that famous personality, I thought, his book, "Oke Okkadu" (Biography of N.T.Rama Rao) is going to be from Neutral perspective or from the perspective of N.T.Rama Rao. But, this book is from the perspective of Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

Many others wrote their biographies involving N.T.Rama Rao or the Biography of N.T.Rama Rao from their perspective. 

There are mainly 4 books which deal with N.T.Rama Rao from different perspectives. They are not books of N.T.Rama Rao, but, it involves a lot with N.T.Rama Rao

1. Naa Jeevitha Prasthanam by Nadendla Bhaskara Rao. [Ex-Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh]
2. The other side of the truth by Daggubati Venkateswar Rao [Son-in-law of N.T.Rama Rao]
3. Telugu Tejam (Political Life Story of N.T.Rama Rao) by Lakshmi Parvathi [Second Wife of N.T.Rama Rao]
4. Oke Okkadu by I.Venkatrao 

The first three are written from the authors' perspective. The last book looked like, it was written from the perspective of Nara Chandrababu Naidu. 

The first three authors wrote very neatly about their life and their interactions with N.T.Rama Rao. If we read them with neutral mind, you would be convinced that, they are correct. 

If one reads, Naa Jeevith Prasthanam with a neutral mind, one may agree that, it was Nadendla Bhaskara Rao who founded Telugu Desam Party. Even if we talk technically, we can say that, N.T.Rama Rao and Nadendla Bhaskara Rao are the co-founders of Telugu Desam Party.

In the same way, the books by Daggubati Venkateswara Rao and Lakshmi Parvathi are beautifully written from their perspective, one would agree to them, if they read with a neutral mind.

But, the book by Oke Okkadu horribly failed in writing from the perspective of Nara Chandrababu Naidu. The author tried to project Chandrababu, but, when one reads with detail and knows other facts not mentioned in the book, one may even get negative opinion on Chandrababu Naidu. Of course, expecting him to write from the perspective of N.T.Rama Rao may be out of the question. 


Saturday, June 05, 2021

Manmohan Singh on Devaluation

If you look at the whole history of India's independence struggle before 1947 all our national leaders were fighting against the British against keeping the exchange rate of the Rupee unduly high. Why did the British keep the exchange rate of the Rupee unduly high? It was because they wanted this country to remain backward and they did not want this country to industrialize. They wanted the country to be an exporter of primary products against which all Indian economists protested. If you look at Indian history right from 1900 onwards to 1947, this was a recurring plea of all Indian economists - not to have an exchange rate which is so high that India cannot export, that India cannot industrialize. But I am really surprised that something which is meant to encourage the country's exports, encourage its industrialization is now considered as something anti-national.

Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha on 16th July 1991 (after the devaluation of Indian Rupee).


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Union Government on Privacy in Social Media

Government is asking Whatsapp to share the origin of any message. But, to share that information, Whatsapp has to disable End-to-End Encryption, which would make the chat messages prone to attack. If the chat messages are not encrypted, even the Government may hack them.

For a non-technical person, it may be hard to digest that, with Whatsapp End-to-End Encryption, even Whatsapp cannot read your messages. To read the messages, one has to get hold of your mobile (or data in your mobile), or the mobile of the other person with whom you chatted, or the backups (if they are enabled). Without that, it is not possible to read the messages. 

Whereas, for other social networks, if they can get hold of the servers where the site is hosted, they can get all the data. But, with Whatsapp, it is not possible. One needs to hack all the individual mobiles to get the data. 

When Blackberry phones were popular, Indian Government shamelessly asked them to reduce the no.of bits in the encryption key. When the encryption key has less no.of bits, it is relatively easy to hack the data even if it is encrypted. But, if there are more bits in the key, it becomes hard to hack the data. 

With the history of the Indian Government, on what it is doing with the social networks, it is very clear that it wants to hack the users' chat messages. Eventhough, it is saying that it wants to find only the origin, but, their behavior does not say that. 

If they really want to get only the origin of the message without disabling the End-to-End Encryption, then they need to show a way on how to do that. Whatsapp clearly says, they cannot do that (either because they do not know or there is simply no way to do that). Indian Government simply says, "You find out". It is like, Indian Government ordering a pharmaceutical company to find a table for corona which would cure the disease in a day. 

Science and Technology does not work by orders from the Government. Scientists and Experts need to spend time and finally they may find something. Government needs to ask scientists to check the feasibility of this. When the scientists find some solution, they need to publish it for everyone in the world to read and check. If no one in the world finds any loophole in that solution, then the Government can ask Whatsapp to implement that solution. Without doing anything, just asking them to find the origin of the message is nothing but asking them to not encrypt the chat messages and leave them for hackers to hack. [The first hacker could be potentially Indian Government itself.] 

In fact, in Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (Where Cryptography is a part), scientists may even prove that it is impossible. When they prove that it is impossible, we can never find the origin of the message by keeping the End-to-End Encryption. 

Even if the scientists find a way to find the origin, by keeping End-to-End Encryption, it is still a major privacy violation of the users. 

If I am talking to my friend personally, then I have full right to talk whatever I want, as long as myself and my friend are fine with that. Government or any other person/organization does not have any role in what I talk to my friend. Even if it is offensive/illegal/objectionable or whatever might be, as long as me and my friend are fine with that, no one should be involved in our matter. This is a basic privacy that everyone expects.

But, if I talk offensive/illegal/objectionable content in any public forum, then the law of the land would be applied and the Government may take appropriate action against me. But, if I am talking between four walls with a friend in the physical world, or in one-to-one communication in a digital world, no one should interfere in that. 

Now, whatever I talk to my friend, if my friend shares that information with his/her other friend, then even that communication between those two people should be between those two only. No one should enter between them. Even if the content that he/she shared with his/her friend was provided by me, I don't have any right to interfere. It is their personal communication.

Now, if my friend's friend shares that information with someone else and they share it with their friends and if it goes to many people, and at some point if one person makes it public, then who needs to be punished. It is the one who made that information public should be punished. But, Government wants to find me and punish me. 

Government should punish only those who have done that in public. It is not the Government's business to see what individuals are talking about in their personal life. It is a gross violation of the privacy of Individuals. 

If the Government comes to this level of interfering with an individual's life, then we cannot talk to others freely like how we are talking till now. Even with our very close friends, we may have to talk in a parliamentary language, and we may be prohibited from talking about gossip, unproven news and many other things. 

Government made a huge issue, when Whatsapp was trying to share unimportant information (Other than the chat messages) to its parent company. They said it is a violation of users' privacy. Now, it is asking for something by which there is a serious privacy violation of the people.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Review of "New Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins

I would have liked "New Confessions of an Economic Hitman" more, if it was written from the view point of a capitalist rather than from a view point of a communist or socialist. 

The summary of the book is, the big corporations, banks and US government are destroying many countries. IMF and world bank give loans to poor countries in the name of developing that country. They over estimate the growth and give more loans for projects that are not sustainable. The big corporations (mainly from US) get the projects to develop the infrastructure in that country. Essentially the entire loan money is going back to US. After that, the country is burdened with both principle and interest and eternally indebted to US for everything.

If any government does not accept, then US government brings CIA or others, and tries to topple the government or assassinates the head of the state and installs a puppet of CIA. The author gave many examples for this.

The part that I was not happy with the author is, he projected as if even giving loans and taking projects etc., is bad. He has shifted all the blame from the countries which are in poverty to the banks which gave loans. 

I feel only threatening is bad. If others are done in acceptance of that government, then it is not bad. In fact, that is very good and we must encourage that more.

If I were a head of a country, and if IMF/World bank is coming to me and offering me a loan and if I have option of taking a loan or not, then it is good. After taking loan, what do I do with the loan is my responsibility. If I don't use that money for the country and use it for my personal gain or waste money by investing in the projects that do not give any returns, then I am bad, not IMF or world bank.

Similarly for the projects that were given to US corporations. If my country is a poor country, most probably, my country might not be having enough infrastructure. I may have to import the technology. If US is ready to sell that technology for a fair price, what is the problem in buying from US corporations? 

If the price is more from US companies and the bank dictates me to buy from US companies, then may be I should not take loan in the first place. Or I should do the cost benefit analysis, like, if I take loan elsewhere, what is the additional burden on the interest and what is the savings due to less expenditure on the project and decide.

If I am threatened to take loan, then it is bad. If I am bribed to take loan, then it is not wrong from the point of view of US or banks. Because, if bribing is the only option for a bank or corporation to increase their business, they may do that. If I take bribe, people of my country should realize that, I am a corrupt person and should bring down me and my government.

IMF, World bank, US Government or US Corporations are not responsible for ending poverty in my country. The head of the state is responsible for the country (unless he/she is threatened). In the book, the author wrote as if the banks are responsible for ending the poverty in many countries.

In one instance, the author says, Boeing threatened Washington state to give huge tax breaks. If the state does not give, it would move the production facilities to another state. This is not threatening. Every company has right to decide where to operate. They decide based on many factors, which includes tax exemptions. It is unfair to comment on their decisions. 

In few places, the author said different companies stole money from US tax payers. Whereas, the correct terminology is in many of those contexts is, the companies found ways to avoid/reduce the taxes. Legally avoiding/reducing tax is not at all same as stealing tax money from tax payers.

He talked negatively about tax haven countries. Every sovereign country has right to decide their tax laws. It is unfair to comment on that. Each country can decide taxes on the business that is happening on their country's land. If the government thinks the companies are showing zero profit, they can impose more tax on their sales etc. and get the revenue by some other means. 

At one place, he used the organizations that collected the debt from poor countries as vultures. We take money from someone and when they ask us to repay the money, we say that they are vultures. This is very very unfair. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Taxing in Retrospective

The difference between Mafia and the Government is, whatever Mafia does is illegal and whatever the Government does is legal. Whether the activity is ethical/unethical or fair/unfair does not matter.

It is unethical to change some law in retrospective and penalizing the other party for the old transactions. 

When a law is introduced, people would act based on the clauses in the law. Once the transaction is completed, if the Government goes back in time and changes the law that negatively impacts the other party is absolutely unfair. 

Pranab Mukherjee introduced a draconian law that taxed many organizations in retrospective. By that law, all the old transactions are revisited and many organizations were asked to pay extra tax. His response to that law was, if the law was that bad, why the next Government did not change it. The implicit assumption was, the next Government is better than his Government (atleast in Taxation and related fields). 

Eventhough International Court and the courts of 9 other countries have stricken off (specific instances), Indian Government still did not learn and is continuing with unethical laws and harassing others. 

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Soft Copies of Books by Dr.Manthena Satyanarayana Raju

All the books of Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju are available at http://www.manthena.org and all of them can be downloaded for free in different formats like PDF (for both mobile and desktop), EPub and Mobi (for Kindle). They can also be read directly on the site as well as from Google Play Books.

I would like to thank Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju garu for giving permission to convert all the books to soft copies and distributing it for free. As soon as I told him that, I would like to convert to soft copies, he immediately said, it is good and useful to everyone. He was only worried about the amount of work involved in converting all his books to softcopies. 

[On a different note, when the same suggestion is taken to another Non-Profit Organization which is supposed to work only on spreading their ideology, they did not accept it and they said, they would lose revenue on the books, if they do that.]

Many people have worked in converting these books to soft copies. Eventhough, for the namesake, I paid some token money, if any communist/socialist comes to know the amount that I paid and the work they did, they would use me as a great example of exploitation of capitalism. 

I would like to thank the following people for their contribution in converting these books.

Anusha Chillapalli

Divya Gantela 

Manasa Chillapalli

Gayathri Ram Bavireddy

Lakshmi Vijaya Nadimpalli

Viswanatha Varma

Ramaa Pulaparthi

Sravya Sri Rama Dalli

Akella Durga

Aikya

Mani

Jaya Bharathi

Alekhya Goli

Ashwini Akurathi

Prudhvee Narasimha Goli

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Severe Punishment to the Decision Makers of IRCTC and Indian Railways

I donated Rs.1000 to Lord Krishna to give severe punishment to the decision makers of IRCTC and Indian Railways.

What I would prefer is, all of them should go to hell very soon and get all the punishments mentioned in the Garuda Puranam. But, I would let Lord Krishna decide appropriate punishment for them.

My accounts are blocked by IRCTC. 

When I raised the request, their reply was, I was hitting enormously and using auto-fill scripts.

I replied to them saying, in the last 9 months, I hardly used IRCTC accounts and no need to talk about hitting enormously or using auto-fill scripts. 

Then, they replied saying, my account is used for commercial purposes. 

I replied saying that I never booked even a single ticket in the last 9 months. When there is not even a single booking, what do they mean by using it for commercial purposes.

When I complained in RailMadAd, initially, they gave the same reason as the account was used for commercial purposes. After I refuted that, they gave the reason that my profile had junk values and I needed to submit my id card. 

I know that my profile does not have any junk values. Still, I submitted my id card. 

They closed the ticket saying, IRCTC is going to resolve it, and IRCTC did not resolve it. 

Their explanation was like, they wanted to block my account and inventing reasons to block it rather than checking whether they blocked with a valid reason or not. 

Even if I had done what they claimed that I did, if it was a private organization [without government support], they would have handled it a lot differently. 

For the issue with hitting enormously, one can have a limit of the no.of requests for a duration, and once the user reaches that limit, they will not be able to make any requests till that duration.

IRCTC is the only organization in the whole world, which says, "Auto-Fill scripts" is a software and used for hacking. 

When the organization does not want people to use it for commercial purposes, they limit the no.of bookings they make. IRCTC is already limiting the no.of bookings to 6/month. With 6 tickets per month, what commercial activities can one person do? Before Corona, I used to travel more than 10 times in a month, and when even 10 tickets were not enough for me, they put the limit of 6 tickets and even in that, they are saying, I am using it for commercial purposes.

If the profile has junk values, a typical private organization will force to fix the profile before proceeding. But, IRCTC just disables the account with no way to fix it.

I very rarely ask God to punish someone. Most of the time, I just leave them and wish Karma to take care of them. But, after a very long time, I am explicitly praying to God to punish someone. 

I wish all the decision makers of IRCTC and Indian Railways are severely punished in hell very soon for harassing me. I prefer them to get all the punishments that are mentioned in Garuda Puranam. But, I let Lord Krishna decide what to do with them.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Politicians - Converting Black Money to White Money

If you are paying tax and if you know any politician who wants to convert black money to white money for his/her political party, by helping them, you can reduce your tax burden.

You can take the cash from the politician (upto 10% of your gross salary), and transfer the equivalent money to that political party's account as a donation. With that donation, you can claim 100% tax deduction. That money is going to be white money for the political party. 

I used to wonder why people are donating to a few corrupted parties. Later I realized that it is very easy for the politicians to find people who are looking for tax exemption, and with their help they can get white money as a donation to their political party. 

Saturday, January 02, 2021

SEBI - Flexi Cap with old definition of Multi Cap

Few months back, I wrote criticizing SEBI for restricting Multi Cap Mutual Funds.

Recently, SEBI introduced new type of Mutual Fund, "Flexi Cap". The definition of "Flexi Cap" is same as old "Multi Cap".

They could have left the Multi Cap as it is, and created a new fund with the present definition of Multi Cap.

Instead they changed the definition of Multi Cap, and (after the industry cried over it) they created a Flexi Cap with the old definition of Multi Cap.