Sunday, September 26, 2010

Anti Trust Law Against A.P.S.R.T.C

A big bank comes up with an offer that, if anybody purchases anything with their credit card, then they would get 2% cash back on the purchases. Other small banks cannot give the same offer, because, it would incur too much loss for them. With that, everyone takes the credit card of the big bank. Once, the small companies go out of business, the big bank cancels all the offers.

If there are multiple players in the market competing with each other, then the consumer gets the best deal. If a big player kills all the small players, and there is only one provider for the service, then the consumer never gets the good deal.

Anti trust law makes sure that, a big player does not kill the small players and becomes monopoly. Practically, Anti trust law is not required if there many players of equal capacity. It is required, if there is only one big player or all the big players are united.

In Hyderabad, everyday many people travel between Mehdipatnam and Gachibowli Financial District (where lot of IT companies are there). It is one of the few routes, where the no.of passengers is huge. Travelling by bus at any time is a pain in that route. During peak time, it is not even possible to enter the bus. That's why, most of the IT people take share autos to travel in this route. Few months back, suddenly, I observed the reduction in the no.of share autos in this route. I was wondering what happened suddenly. The reason was, APSRTC increased no.of buses significantly, and people can sit and travel during the peak time. I thought it was the greatest thing done by the APSRTC in years.

After a month or two, APSRTC reduced the no.of buses back to their normal. But, once in a while, I see many buses in that route, but, not everytime. After that, those who are travelling in that route by using public transport (bus or share auto) are waiting minimum half an hour to one hour.

When the APSRTC increased the no.of buses significantly, people started using buses instead of share autos. So, the business of share autos went down in that route, and probably, they shifted to different routes. Once the no.of share autos went down in that route, APSRTC reduced the no.of buses. For an auto person, who does not have any other income, he would prefer consistent income every day, rather than with ups and downs. If they are getting consistent income from the route they are traveling, they will not change their route to less consistent one. So, after the reduction of the no.of buses in that route, the share autos did not increase. Because of that, those whoever is traveling by that route are waiting minimum half an hour.

APSRTC is a very big player and it is a monopoly in public transport (in Andhra Pradesh). The share autos are very small players. When APSRTC increased the no.of buses, the share autos had to move to different route. Once they moved to different route, APSRTC reduced the no.of buses to their normal. It essentially killed the small players without increasing the service.

If this has been in US, APSRTC can be prosecuted and severely fined under Anti Trust Law. But, unfortunately, India does not have strong laws in this. If we have that law and really apply on everyone who violates it, then except P.V.Narasimha Rao, Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, all the prime ministers would be in jail forever.

Workaround for those who travel in that route

If you are going from Mehdipatnam to IIIT/Wipro/Infosys, take the share auto that goes to Kondapur, and get down at Gachibowli or Kothaguda. From there, you can take another share auto to IIIT/Wipro/Infosys. If you are returning from Wipro/Infosys/DLF, take share auto to Kothaguda, and from there, you can take to Mehdipatnam. Never get down at IIIT. If you get down at IIIT, you will be stuck, since, it is difficult to get share autos to Lingampally/Mehdipatnam/Kothaguda from IIIT. If you get down at IIIT, and want to go immediately, then the only option would be going to Infosys and from there taking share auto to Kothaguda.

This option will cost more. But, we don't have an option, since we elected the party which follows socialistic economics.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Unethical Behavior of Job Consultants

A person sent his resume to his friend in a big company for developer position. The employee of that big company forwarded his resume. The employee was told that, his resume is already there in their database (It essentially means, the employee will not get any bonus, if the candidate gets the offer). The candidate never sent his resume to that company through anyone else. Still, that company got his resume through some other sources. After few days, the candidate was called for the interview, and in the interview, the interviewer told the candidate that, they were looking only for test position. The candidate walked out of the interview, since he was not interested in the test position.

The employee of that big company forwarded resumes of few others, who did not submit their resumes to anyone. But, most of them were never called for the interview.

Whenever somebody posts resume on any job portal, there are few consultants who takes these resumes and forwards it to the recruiters of few big companies immediately. There may be some understandings between the recruiters and the consultants. By this, if the candidate is selected in the company by any means, the consultant would get the referral bonus. If the candidate goes through consultant, then entire process would be finished in couple of days, and if he/she goes through an employee in that company, it would take couple of months.

The behavior of the consultants and recruiters is causing loss to the company, potential employees, and the employees who are referring the potential employees.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Expectation Time For Promotions From Management

If the top management gives promotions to all the eligible employees in the top 20% in the annual review, and says, those who do not get promotion in 3 years are non-performant, it means, the top management is dumb and all those who are in the top management should join elementary school immediately.

Don't they know that, if they give promotions to at max 20% per year, there will always be atleast 40% people without any promotion at the end of the three years?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Acts for Rental on Agriculture Lands

In many states of India, the acts on agriculture lands are more supportive for the tenants and not at all supportive for the landlords.

If the agriculture land is given to a tenant, then the landlord would lose most of the powers on that land. Once the land is given to a tenant, the landlord cannot take back the land in many cases. In few states, the landlord can take around half of the land for farming on his/her own. In few other states, the landlord can take even half of the land only if the landlord does not have any other way of earning. If the landlord has to sell the land, then he/she can sell only to the tenant at the government price. There are many other rules like this, which takes all the powers from the landlord and gives full powers to the tenants. Eventhough the rules vary from state to state, but, overall, the rules are in such a way that, the landlord would always be at disadvantage by giving the land to the tenants.

There is another act by which the tenant can get loan from banks by pledging the crop.

All the socialists are very happy with the above acts. They feel like the person who actually does the farming would get benefit out of it. If there is any change in any of the above acts, then all the non-capitalistic parties would oppose to it.

Let's see the reality.

Since, the moment the land is given to a tenant, the landlord loses most of the powers on the land. So, nobody gives the land to a tenant officially. Everyone gives unofficially without any agreement. The tenants take the land just on word.

Since the tenants are not getting the land officially, they cannot get any loan by pledging the crop. Because, officially the crop is owned by the landlord.

The landlords get the loan from the banks for less interest (around 6% per annum). Many landlords take the loan, because the interest rate is very less. The tenants have to go to private lenders and the interest rate would be anywhere from 36% to 60% per annum.

Because of the floods or by any natural calamity, if the crop is damaged, then the tenants who made the agreements and got the loan by pledging the crop would be benefited. Since, nobody is having the official agreement, so, nobody is getting benefit by this.

Whenever there is waive-off of the loans, all the landlords get benefit, but, no tenant. Many landlords are taking the agriculture loans for personal use, and giving the land to the tenants unofficially. i.e., whenever there was waive-off, the actual waive-off was not for the agricultural purposes in most of the cases, but, for the personal uses of the many landlords.

The very simple solution for all these problems is, changing the acts for agriculture land, and not taking any power from the landlord. But, if there is any proposal from any government, then all the non-capitalist parties would oppose to it, and they make it so big issue. Since, in India, everyone including media (except two political parties and the president of another political party) sees capitalism as a crime, even if somebody wants to bring this kind of change, they would face many obstacles in implementing it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Don't Go With Google Blindly

If you had read my earlier posts, Can I live without google? and Google Products that I use, you would be wondering about the change.

I have been using Google analytics since jan 2008. Because of the blind faith in Google, I never tried to review any other competitors. Recently, in Apparao Blog, I saw the statistics, and came to know from ranjani that, gives detailed results. I have tested that for my site, and it gave very detailed results. After seeing those results, I realized that I missed a lot in the last 2.5 years by sticking to google analytics. With free account, statcounter stores only the last 500 results. If we don't upgrade to premium and we need detailed statistics, then we need to download it regularly.

Gmail is still one of the very good email providers. But, there has been no significant increase in the space in the last few years. Both yahoo and live are providing virtually unlimited space for the mails, and gmail did not cross 7.x GB in the last few years. It is increasing the space just by 4.26 bytes per second. With this speed, it would reach 11 GB by the end of 2037. There has been no increase in the space (from 1 GB) in google photos, which is used by the photos that are uploaded in blogger as well. Since, my usage has increased significantly, and if google does not increase the storage space, I may have to take premium account.

I am feeling like, I am going back to 2004, when I had to delete all the unnecessary mails and mails with big attachments. In 2004, Gmail came with the advertisement that, you don't need to delete any mail, and they had buried the delete button in one menu. Now, if I get any unnecessary mail or a not so important mail with a big attachment, I am deleting it immediately.

I hope Google thinks of consumers and will not become like another Microsoft.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Land Reforms in Andhra Pradesh

Land Reforms were introduced in late 60's, and different states implemented at various times between late 60's and 70's. In most of the states (may be in all the states), the way they implemented was really bad for all the landlords.

This act caused lot of problems to many people in Andhra Pradesh. The surprising thing for me was, P.V.Narasima Rao (Who started economic reforms in India) was the main person who implemented major part in Andhra Pradesh.

When this act came into rule, effective that day, a family was allowed to have only certain limit of the land. If any family had more than the limit, that was taken over by the government and given it to the poor people who did not have land. All the land transactions and divorce cases in the last 6 months were reviewed, and in many cases, they cancelled those transactions, and did not consider those. (Few people had taken divorce for the name sake, so that, they become two families, and hence can keep extra land.)

If the government does not want one person having huge land, then they should have given enough notice to all the people who have more than a limit to sell the land to others before the reasonable deadline. If they don't sell the land before the deadline, then the land can be taken over by the government. But, government did not do it, and they had done it in (almost) retrospective.

The way, they implemented was so bad that, it caused many problems in the state. There were many families who had bought land just before the act came into rule by taking loan. After this act came into rule, the government had taken over the excess land. To repay the loan, they had to sell the remaining land they had, and finally end up losing everything. Many families collapsed because of this act.

In those days, if the land owner dies, then the legal heirs were not pro-active in registering the land with their names. Because of that, according to the documents, the land belongs to someone who had died 20 years back. But, if they were pro-active in registering, now, the same land may belong to 5-6 people. If the government goes according to the documents, and if the land crosses the ceiling limit, the government will take over the excess land. If the government allows the legal heirs to register with their names, then there may not be any excess land.

After the government took over the excess land from others, it distributed evenly to all the poor people who did not have land. Because of the distribution to everyone evenly, the land that everyone got was very less (may be in the order of 10 cents (0.1 acre) or so). Farming anything less than 2 acres of land is unproductive. The farmer cannot live on land less than 2 acres. The expenditure for farming is very huge for small land when compared to the returns. When the government distributed the land to the poor people, nobody's life got changed because of that (may be except those who sold their land unofficially and got enough money to live for sometime).

After the government brought this rule, many people went to courts, and lawyers became very prosperous. The government spent more money in implementing the ceiling act (including the court cases) than the value of the land that it got.

Eventhough government knew these things before itself, but, changing any of those would have been suicidal for the political party. So, they went ahead with their plans to save their party and finally destroyed many families and made big loss to the state.

The insider written by P.V.Narasimha Rao is an inspired life story of P.V.Narasimha Rao from his birth till 1973 (When his term finished as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh). Apart from the general politics during that time, it dealt mainly with the land reforms. He wrote this book after his retirement from politics (after he implemented free-market economics). Still, he wrote that book as a supporter of the land reforms. On a side note, his close friend Aruna in his book was Lakshmi Kanthamma.

Asalem Jarigindante written by P.V.R.K.Prasad (Secretary to P.V.Narasimha Rao, when he was C.M. of A.P as well as when he was P.M.) also has few articles about land reforms. Most of the above points are taken from that book only.