Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Marginal / Peripheral / Incremental ?


Hindustan Times ( 01 Sept 2016 ) carries a news report titled :

 " Government approves permanent residency status for foreign investors "

Following are the highlights of the report  :


" The Centre approved on Wednesday a plan to allow foreign investors to settle, emulating a policy in countries such as the United States and Singapore to woo investment from abroad.



Foreigners need to invest 100 million rupees ($1.49 million) over 18 months, or 250 million rupees over three years, resulting in jobs for at least 20 resident Indians every fiscal year to be allowed to settle, the government said in a statement.


Those who meet the criteria would be eligible to stay for 10 years. The residency permit can be extended by a decade. Up to now, such investors have been eligible for business visas lasting up to five years.


NDA government has pointed to a 23% rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) to $55.5 billion in the fiscal year to March as proof the policies are gaining traction.


Investors with the permanent residency status would be free to buy one home, and spouses and dependents would be allowed to take private jobs and study, the government said "



QUESTION :

Other than some very poor people of nearby Bangla Desh , which other " foreigners " are " itching " to get a  Permanent Residency Status  in India ? - even without having to invest and pot holes not coming in the way !


ANSWER :

None  !

Even if some of that FDI ( $ 55.5 billion ) was made by " Individuals " , it was certainly not for getting a Permanent Residency !


On Sept 01 , 2017 , if someone files a RTI application , he will be informed that this new initiative has managed to attract 10 foreigners to come forward and invest Rs 100 cr  !


But , if NDA government is serious to attract , not Rs 100 cr , but Rs 100 LAKH*CRORE , then it needs to take some BOLD / GAME-CHANGING measures , such as one described in my following suggestion ( earlier sent as email to all central Ministers ) :


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Friday, 1 July 2016


FDI : By any other name ?



Many years ago , Shakespeare wrote :

" A Rose by any other name , would smell as sweet "

English-speaking Americans have turned this around to say :

" FDI by any other means , would work as well "

They are calling their FDI , " Invest in US and get Green Card " scheme

Officially called , " The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program " , it invites foreigners to invest in USA , through following routes :

#   " Direct Investment Route " , which requires,

     *  Starting a new Business and creating at least 10 full time local jobs by bringing in $ 1 million

        But this process is very cumbersome

#   " Central Investment Program " , which requires,

     *  Bringing in and investing $ 500,000 in a Government approved EB - 5 project in America

     *  Get your full money back after 5 years

     *  If you are lucky , you may earn 0.5 % - 1 % return every year


In 2015 , 18,000 foreign citizens invested ( approx ) $ 9 Billion in US under these programs  - peanuts compared to a total of over $ 231 billion worth of FDI in USA in 2014 . Among these were 111 Indians

Now , I admit that no foreigner is dying to get a " Green Card " in India - and therefore unlikely to take advantage of a similar scheme , if we were to launch one !

But , we can come up with a scheme that will motivate 111,000 Indians to bring in and invest $ 500 billion within ONE YEAR !
( remember that amount siphoned out of India illegally and stashed abroad by Indians , between 2005-2015 ? )


MY  SUGGESTION :


#  NAME  OF  THE  SCHEME :

    EB-3 Scheme ( Earn by Bring Back Black )


#  WHO  CAN  INVEST  ?

    Any Indian citizen who has stashed away undisclosed / illegal assets abroad


#  WHERE  CAN  THEY  INVEST  ? 

    Scheme A 

#  Repay those loans taken from Indian Banks forming Rs 7 lakh*crore of NPA

                        Willful Defaulters repaying bad loans will be spared prosecution

                        No need for Govt money ( er , Tax-Payer Money ) , to bail out those banks !
  
    Scheme B 

#  Invest in State-wise Infrastructure SPVs ( not Central SPVs ) , managed by Private Sector

                       These will be approved by each state for implementation of the following projects within the state:

    *  Roads / Bridges / Ports / Airports / Smart Cities / Dams / Lakes-Ponds for water conservation / Forestation

    *  Healthcare / Education / Skills Development / Swatchh Bharat / Methane from Garbage  / Digital India

    *  Renewable Energy / Manufacture of Electric Vehicles / Setting up of Electric Charging Stations etc 

   
    All such State SPVs will need to be approved by the Central Government , for which the State will need to agree
    for full cooperation in implementation of the Central River Interlinking Project


#  HOW  MUCH  MUST  THEY  INVEST  ?

    No upper limit but a minimum of Rs 10 crores


#  WHAT  PROTECTION FOR  INVESTORS  ?

    No questions asked as to the source of funds , whether brought in from abroad using official channels or
    deposits made in CASH from local lockers ! No penalty , nor any civil / criminal action against investors


#  WHAT  INCENTIVE  FOR  INVESTORS  ?

    All interest / dividends paid out by the SPV , will be tax-free for 10 years if re-invested in any other similarly approved SPV


#  HOW  LONG  CAN  THEY  AVAIL  OF  THIS  SCHEME  ?

    This scheme will open on 01 April 2017 and close on 31 March 2018



#  HOW  CAN  INDIA  BENEFIT  FROM  THIS  SCHEME  ?

   *  Inflow of $ 500 Billion ( Rs 34 lakh*crore ) within ONE YEAR

   *  Generate 50 million jobs by 2020

   *  State Governments will go all out to

        #   Motivate private sector to set-up Infrastructure SPVs within their State

        #   Vastly simplify government approval process

        #   Eliminate / Reduce , rules , procedures and permissions

        #   Introduce " State level Incentives " to attract those BLACK MONIES into SPVs



I believe , with introduction of EB-3 Scheme , there will be such fierce competition between the States that India's rank in " Ease of Doing Business " will jump from current 130 to within TOP FIVE !


And all of this without having to pass any law in the Parliament - and with least dependence on bureaucrats !

Dear Policy Makers :

With two years already gone without making much of a dent ,  I urge you to stop tinkering with  INCREEMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS

Promising freebies before State Elections , won't take you beyond 2019 !

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01  Sept  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs





Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Be-Aware / Beware !



Hindustan Times ( 30 Aug 2016 ) carries a news report titled :


Income Tax dept will ‘name and shame’ those defaulting over Rs 1 crore  "

 

The report elaborates :



" The Income Tax department, beginning this financial year, has decided to ‘name and shame’ all taxpayers who have a default of Rs one crore and above.



The department has begun publishing the names of tax defaulters in leading national dailies since last year and has named 67 such defaulters from across the country till now with their vital details like addresses, contacts, PAN card
number and shareholders in case of companies.



The earlier exercise was restricted to people with defaults to the tune of about Rs 20-30 crore but the new measure will bring to the fore those names who have defaulted a tax of Rs 1 crore or more.



“It has been decided to ‘name and shame’ all category of taxpayers, including personal and corporate taxpayers who have a default of Rs 1 crore and above by March, 31 which is the end of 2016-17 financial year.”



“The names will be published before July 31 next year,” a senior official said.

An order in this regard, also accessed by PTI, has also been issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).



The official said the aim of the exercise is to inform the public at large about such tax evaders whom the taxman has not been able to lay their hands on despite using various investigative and enforcement tools.


The IT department has also provided a list of such names an identities on its official web portal "



Now , if anything , IT Dept decision is a " too little , too late " !



For decades now , Housing Societies have been " naming and shaming " their Members who fail to make their monthly payment of Society Charges , even if by one day late ! By publishing their names on Society Notice Boards


And in a Society of say , 100 members , you are bound to look up that Notice Board , sooner or later !



But how many citizens will take the trouble to look up the IT department web site , when most do not even know that it exists !



News report says , " the aim of the exercise is to inform the public at large about such tax evaders whom the taxman has not been able to lay their hands on despite using various investigative and enforcement tools "



Does IT department want people's help in locating these defaulters ?


If yes , then it needs to go beyond just publicizing the defaulter info on its web site



It needs to launch a Mobile App ( called , " Be-Ware " ? )



Anyone can download it from the web site of IT dept by entering his Aadhar Number / Jan Dhan Bank a/c Number



" Be-Ware " will display ( alphabetically ) , names of those Tax Defaulters



Long press on any name , will reveal the person's data ( as seen currently on IT dept web site )



{  http://office.incometaxindia.gov.in/administration/Pages/tax-defaulters.aspx  }



Below each data-sheet , will be a button which reads " INFORMER "


Touching it will open a box , wherein the " Informer " can provide information leading to locating / arresting of that defaulter



Just click " SEND " button after typing in the info



That simple !



A return acknowledgement SMS from IT department will give a  REGISTRATION  LINK , clicking which will show the informer , info provided by him , on IT dept web site ( Proof of Pudding ! )



And every time he logs in at this LINK , he will get to know the progress made by IT department in the case



It will also enable him to submit " Supplementary Data " ( about the Defaulter ) , from time to time



A total transparency  , in an atmosphere of Co-operation instead of Confrontation !



Based on info provided , if - and when - IT department recovers any of that TAX DUES , that Informer's  Jan Dhan Bank A/c will get credited with 5 % of the amount recovered ! ( the most welcome and well-earned, DBT ? )



And , the INFORMER will NOT be required to pay any Income Tax , on such deposits  !



One simple rule will apply ( like " Terms and Conditions Apply " )



In case more than one Informer submits similar information about the same Tax Defaulter , the person submitting it FIRST , will get 5 % and each subsequent informer , will get a ENCOURAGEMENT PRIZE of Rs 1,000 / -



In such a case , the decision of the IT department will be final and binding on the informers

 

If implemented , rest assured that all smart phone manufacturers would want to pre-install " Be-Ware " on each and every phone shipped !


In such cases , the App can be " Activated " by the phone-owner , by registering his Mobile Number on the IT department web site



IT Dept Guys  !


Rope in millions !  Start a " Track-a-Crook " viral fever ! Get back Crores of public money with little effort !



Income Tax Free " manna from heaven " of 5 % , will launch a million sleuths into ,

" BRING  THE  CROOK  TO  BOOK " business !


No place for the Corrupts to hide !



But needed , one most important assurance for success :


All " Informers " must be fully protected under " The Whistle-Blower Protection Act " !


Way to Go , with some BOLD / OUT OF BOX , thinking !



Of course , I would keep batting for total abolition of Personal Income Tax - the only permanent solution to the twin evils of BLACK MONEY and CORRUPTION !


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31  Aug  2016


www.hemenparekh.in / blogs

 





Sunday, 28 August 2016

It is a MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, World !



Not many will remember this hilarious Hollywood movie of a few decades back


When the movie was nearing completion , it is said that  the production team in charge of the movie got together to decide upon its name


One team member suggested : Let us call it ,  " It is a  MAD, MAD , MAD , MAD , MAD  world "


After a lot of heated arguments , the team concluded :

" Repeating the word " MAD " for the fifth time , would be clearly " redundant  ! "



Hindustan Times ( 29 Aug 2016 ) , carries a report : War on Black Money : It's m-Wallets vs UPI

Dilip Asbe , CEO , NPCI is quoted :

UPI will be an enabler to existing wallets and in fact can be used to fund the wallets
   We have not got wallets under the UPI as it is designed for banks now. Also, wallets offer facilities beyond money
   transfer "



Question is :  How many m-Wallets are too many ?  Which is the next one , which would be " redundant " ?



Purely out of self interest ( to increase their own business - and with no love lost for BLACK MONEY ! ) , expect hundreds of  companies , in each of the following sectors , to come out with their own , branded  m-Wallets :


#   E-Com companies ( Online Market-places ) / Credit - Debit Card Companies


#   Companies making Consumer Goods and even Consumer Durables


#   Banks  / Insurance companies  / NBFC / Hospitals / Railways


#   Large Retailers with nation-wide presence ( Ambani - Adani - Biyani - Walmart etc )


#   Mobile Service Providers / Power-Gas-Water-Internet  Distribution Companies


#   Schools / Colleges / Universities / Coaching Classes


#   Online Entertainment / Service Delivery Companies / Consultancy Companies


#   In short , ALL companies trying to sell ( Goods or Services ) using a Mobile App


There is no doubt , all of this will help billions of  SMALL TICKET  CASH  transactions taking place daily , to become NON-CASH transactions



But neither UPI , nor m-Wallets can :


#   Move 100,000  Currency notes of Rs 1,000 each , from safe deposit locker of the person buying land / property
     / gold  etc , to the safe deposit locker of the person selling it !


#   Motivate a " hafta collector " to accept payment by m-Wallet  from footpath vegetable vendor ,  even if it is a
     single Currency Note of Rs 500 /-


#   At a slightly higher level ( of Corruption ) , which local dada / goon / mafia , has official bank balance of Rs
     10,000 , even though his numerous safe deposit lockers are overflowing with Rs 500 / 1,000 currency notes ?

    
#   And at considerably higher level , any idea how many billions currency notes of Rs 500 / 1,000 are lying locked-
     up in the lockers of corrupt businessmen / industrialists / bureaucrats / politicians etc , beyond the reach of UPI
     or m-Wallets ?


#   Following figures will give you an idea :
   
    Latest available figures for currency notes in India :


   *  Total number of notes ( Rs 1 onwards )........ 76.5 Billion pieces ( = Rs 12468 Billion in Value )

   *  Of the above , share of Rs 1000 notes...........39 % ( ie : Rs 4862 Billion , by Value )

   *  And the share of Rs 500 notes....................  45 % ( ie : Rs 5610 Billion , by Value )

   * Share of Rs 1/2/5/10/20/50 / 100 notes........ 16 % ( ie : Rs 1995 Billion , by Value )



   Therefore , it stands to reason that the predicted increase in those NON-CASH transactions ( going up to 59 %

   by 2025 ) , will mostly eliminate just 16 % of the TOTAL currency-value in circulation !



   There does not seem to be any likelihood of Mobile Wallets , encroaching on the balance 84 % of the currency !



As I have repeatedly suggested , the ONLY way to bring to surface those Rs 500 / 1,000 Currency Notes , is to

embed these with RFID micro-sensors !



I hope , someday , some powerful , non-corrupt , honest ( and dictatorial ? ) Policy Maker will show the courage to

take this  MOST POPULAR / RADICAL / TRANSFORMING / GAME - CHANGING  decision !

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29  Aug  2016

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs