Saturday, June 6, 2015



शादी उस मंहगी सिगरेट की तरह है जिसके अंत में ढंग का फ़िल्टर लगा है... इमोशंस अंदर फ़िल्टर होके जाते हैं. इसलिए कुछ सालों में सब इश्क़-विश्क उड़ जाता है... और बचता  क्या है… वही फ़िल्टर ... जिसे सड़क पे कुचला जाने के लिए फेंक दिया जाता है.

पता है फ़िल्टर का नाम क्या है?


कुर्ते की जेब से
नज़्में तुम्हारे नाम की
पानी में बहा दीं.

पानी गुलाबी हो गया,
'लव पिंक कलर' का.

उफ़! ये आर.ओ.  ( R. O. )
सब फ़िल्टर हो गया.
तुमने पिया साफ़ पानी
इश्क़ और नज़्में सिंक में तड़प रही हैं.

छत पे कूँदती लड़की

छत पे ऊंघती चाँदनी दिखी क्या
तुम्हारी आँखें चांदी की है
रेगिस्तान में पानी पहचान लेगी.

धूप से कहो, रात के अगले पहर
रेत ठंडी हो जाती है,
प्यासा राँझा इश्क़ पीने तभी आता है.

धूप को बादल खा गए हैं.
छिपकली से डरती लड़की
धूप से बचा लाई
चांदनी ओक में भर.

धूप राँझा का कुछ न बिगाड़ पाई
लड़की बादल हो गई,
धूप ही खा गई.

छत पे कूँदती लड़की
चांदनी चूम बड़ी हो गई.

Difference between regular bank lending and capital markets

Regular bank lending is not usually classed as a capital market transaction, even when loans are extended for a period longer than a year. A key difference is that with a regular bank loan, the lending is not securitized (i.e., it doesn't take the form of resalable security like a share or bond that can be traded on the markets). A second difference is that lending from banks and similar institutions is more heavily regulated than capital market lending. A third difference is that bank depositors and shareholders tend to be more risk averse than capital market investors. The previous three differences all act to limit institutional lending as a source of finance. Two additional differences, this time favoring lending by banks, are that banks are more accessible for small and medium companies, and that they have the ability to create money as they lend. In the 20th century, most company finance apart from share issues was raised by bank loans. But since about 1980 there has been an ongoing trend for disintermediation, where large and credit worthy companies have found they effectively have to pay out less in interest if they borrow direct from capital markets rather than banks. The tendency for companies to borrow from capital markets instead of banks has been especially strong in the US. According to Lena Komileva writing for The Financial Times, Capital Markets overtook bank lending as the leading source of long term finance in 2009 - this reflects the additional risk aversion and regulation of banks following the 2008 financial crisis.

Role of Industrialisation in India

Industrialisation is the process of manufacturing consumer goods and capital goods and of building infrastructure in order to provide goods and services to both individuals and businesses. As such Industrialisation plays a major role in the economic development of underdeveloped countries like India with vast manpower and varied resources. Let us discuss, in detail, the role of industrialization in the Indian economy.
1. Raising Income: The first important role is that industrial development provide a secure basis for a rapid growth of income. The empirical evidence suggests a close correspondence between the high level of income and industrial development. In the industrially developed countries, for example, the GNP per capita income is very high at around $ 28,000. Whereas for the industrially backward countries it is very low at around $ 400 only.
2. Changing the Structure of the Economy: In order to develop the economy underdeveloped countries need structural change through industrialization. History shows that in the process of becoming developed economy the share of the industrial sector should rise and that of the agricultural sector decline. This is only possible through deliberate industrialization. As a result, the benefits of industrialization will ‘trickle down’ to the other sectors of the economy in the form of the development of agricultural and service sectors leading to the rise in employment, output and income.
3. Meeting High-Income Demands: Beyond certain limits, the demands of the people are usually for industrial products alone. After having met the needs of food, income of the people are spent mostly on manufactured goods. This means the income-elasticity of demand for the manufactured goods is high and that of agricultural products is low. To meet these demands and increase the economy’s output underdeveloped countries need industrialization.
4. Overcoming Deterioration in the Terms of Trade: Underdeveloped countries like India need industrialization to free themselves from the adverse effects of fluctuations in the prices of primary products and deterioration in their terms of trade. Such countries mainly export primary products and import manufactured goods. The prices of primary products have been falling or are stable whereas the prices of manufactured products have been rising. This led to deterioration in the terms of trade of the LDCs. For economic development such countries must shake off their dependence on primary products. They should adopt import substituting and export oriented industrialization.
5. Absorbing Surplus Labour (Employment Generation): Underdeveloped countries like India are characterized by surplus labour and rapidly growing population. To absorb all the surplus labour it is essential to industrialise the country rapidly. It is the establishment of industries alone that can generate employment opportunities on an accelerated rate.
6. Bringing Technological Progress: Research and Development is associated with the process of industrialization. The development of industries producing capital goods i.e., machines, equipment etc., enables a country to produce a variety of goods in large quantities and at low costs, make for technological progress and change in the outlook of the people. This results in bringing about an industrial civilization or environment for rapid progress which is necessary for any healthy economy.
7. Strengthening the Economy: Industrialisation of the country can provide the necessary elements for strengthening the economy. In this regard the following points may be noted.
(a) Industrialisation makes possible the production of goods like railways, dams, etc. which cannot be imported. These economic infrastructures are essential for the future growth of the economy.
(b) It is through the establishment of industries that one can impart elasticity to the system and overcome the historically given position of a primary producing country. Thus, with industrialization we can change the comparative advantage” of the country to suit its resources and potentialities of manpower.
(c) Through industrialization the requirements for the development of agriculture can be met. For example, improved farm-implements, chemical fertilizers, storage and transport facilities, etc., appropriate to our own conditions can be adequately provided only by our own industries.
(d) The industrial development imparts to an economy dynamic element in the form of rapid growth and a diversified economic structure which make it a progressive economy.
(e) Providing for Security: Industrialisation is needed to provide for the country’s security. This consideration becomes all the more critical when some international crisis develops. In such situation, dependence of foreign sources for defence materials is a risky affair. It is only through industrial development in a big way that the national objective of self-reliance in defence materials can be achieved.

GST: Good for business, snag for federalism? | G. Sampath

It might be useful to begin by quickly summarising the business case for GST.
The GST is a tax reform that has been on the cards for more than a decade. In principle, it is the same as the Value-added Tax (VAT) — already adopted by all Indian States — but with a wider base. While the VAT — which replaced the sales tax — was imposed only on goods, the GST will be a VAT on goods and services.
In the current tax regime, States tax sale of goods but not services. The Centre taxes manufacturing and services but not wholesale/retail trade. The GST is expected to usher in a uniform tax regime across India through an expansion of the base of each into the other’s territory. This is why a constitutional amendment was necessary — to give concurrent powers to both the States and the Centre to make laws on the taxation of goods as well as services.
Not surprisingly, the economic arguments trotted out in favour of the GST are basically the same as were given two decades ago for the introduction of VAT. These are twofold.
First, the GST, by subsuming an array of indirect taxes under one rubric, will simplify tax administration, improve compliance, and eliminate economic distortions in production, trade, and consumption. Second, by giving credit for taxes paid on inputs at every stage of the supply chain and taxing only the final consumer, it avoids the ‘cascading’ of taxes, thereby cutting production costs, and making exports more competitive. According to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, thanks to these efficiencies, the GST will add 2 per cent to the national GDP.
Only time will tell whether the GST will have a positive impact on the GDP. But there is one thing the GST will not have a positive impact on: the States’ fiscal, and therefore, political autonomy.
A losing proposition for the States?
Things don’t look all that dire on paper. As per what’s being referred to as the GST Bill – which is actually the Constitution (122 amendment) Bill, 2014 — passed in the Lok Sabha last month, India will have not a single federal GST but a dual GST, levied and managed by different administrations. The Centre will administer the central GST (CGST) and the States, the SGST. The monitoring of compliance will also be done independently at the two levels.
However, as Kavita Rao, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and member of one of the Working Groups constituted on GST by the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, points out, when you move to a GST regime in a federal set-up, some curtailment of the State’s freedom is inevitable. “All goods and services will be divided into certain categories. The rates will be fixed by category, and if I am a state, I cannot shift a commodity from a lower to a higher rate, or put it in the exempt category.”
This is not the only limitation. The rates for both, the CGST and the SGST, will be fixed by the GST Council, whose members will be State finance/revenue ministers and chairman will be the Union finance minister. Once the rates are set by the GST Council, individual States will lose their right to tax whichever commodities they want at the rates they want.
This development needs to be viewed in the context of a steady erosion in the states’ freedom to decide on taxes and tax rates. The economist Prabhat Patnaik points out, “According to the Constitution, the States have complete autonomy over levy of sales taxes, which, on average, accounted for 80 per cent of their revenue. An attempt was made to curtail this autonomy with the introduction of VAT. But it did not totally succeed because the VAT still had four different rates that states could play with. But with the GST, which mandates a uniform rate, even this limited autonomy would be gone.”
In other words, while the loss in revenue of the States may well be compensated by the Centre (as provided for in the GST Bill), how does one make good a State’s loss of the political right to fix its own tax rates?
Ms. Rao believes this is not necessarily a bad thing. “Individual States are always catering to some interest group or another. By placing limits on what they can do, we are effectively empowering them to resist interest group politics, where someone or other is always lobbying for concessions or exemptions.”
But this is a problematic argument. “The underlying assumption here,” says Mr. Patnaik, “is that political representative bodies are irresponsible. So give them less power, less discretion. This is a fundamentally anti-democratic vision of development.”
Moreover, the restrictions imposed by a uniform tax regime could adversely impact States that may be more committed to welfare expenditures. “The AIADMK or the Left Front or Mamata Banerjee may have their own development philosophies,” says Mr. Patnaik. “In order to express these philosophies, you have to be able to control your tax revenue. Why should I give up this right which I already have — and be sitting in some Council where I will be outvoted by other states or the Centre telling me what I can or cannot do?”
Perhaps it is to allay this concern that the draft GST bill speaks of the GST Council fixing not just rates but “rates including floor rates with bands”. A band would, at least on paper, give some room for states to vary their rates depending on their need.
A floor-rate-with-band model (as opposed to a uniform rate) of GST is also what Ms. Rao is rooting for. “To my mind, it is the procedures, definitions, and credit rules that should be uniform for a harmonised tax regime. We should let the States figure out what rates they want.”
However, a GST regime where each State has a different tax rate for different goods and services doesn’t sit well with the industry demand for a single national market with a uniform tax regime. Besides, if rates will be different, the taxes will be dual, and the dual taxes will be administered independently by the States and the Centre, why not just streamline the existing tax architecture instead of erecting a new one?
The social dimension
The answer to this question leads us to the other aspect of the GST, to do with why it started to get widely adopted (as VAT) from the 1970s, paralleling the rise to global dominance of neo-liberal economic thought.
The GST, even in the diluted version proposed in the GST Bill, would still accomplish one thing: widen the tax base and make it identical for both the Centre and the States. That is because, unlike, say, an excise duty (whose base consists of manufacturers) the GST is paid only by the final consumer. The seller of the good or service remits this GST to the State after deducting the taxes already paid by him earlier in the supply chain.
In other words, while the GST, like all indirect taxes, is a tax on consumption, in seeking to institute a uniform rate on all forms of consumption, it tightens the tax net — currently riddled with numerous holes in the form of multiple rates and exemptions and classifications — in addition to widening it.
Many countries that have embraced the GST have also exempted essential commodities from it, or kept lower rates for select goods. But the very logic of GST is such that it works best when the exemptions are zero or minimal. New Zealand comes closest to the GST purist’s dream — with very few exemptions. Once implemented — in however compromised a form — this is the direction GST regimes gravitate toward: fewer exemptions, higher rates. New Zealand introduced GST at 10 per cent — today it is 15 per cent. In the countries where the GST rate was reduced over time, it was made possible by a broadening of the base by minimising exemptions.
This brings us finally to the question that has monopolised the GST debate of late: what should be the taxation rate? The report of the 13th Finance Commission’s Task Force on GST recommended 12 per cent (7 per cent for SGST and 5 per cent for CGST). That was in 2010. In 2014, a panel of State government representatives mooted a revenue-neutral rate or RNR (rate at which tax revenues for states and the Centre will remain the same as before GST) of 27 per cent ( 12.77 per cent and 13.91 for CGST and SGST respectively.
Both these rates might be unrealistic. A 12 per cent GST will most definitely mean substantial revenue losses for states, as the general VAT rate for many states hovers around the 13-14 per cent mark. And from this week, the service tax (levied by the Centre) has gone up from 12.36 per cent to 14 per cent, a move, ironically enough, intended to smoothen the transition to a GST regime.
A GST rate of 27 per cent, on the other hand, would impose an enormous tax burden on the wage-earning classes, and could prove fatal for any elected government. Understandably, Mr. Jaitley has been quick to clarify that the GST rate would be much lower than 27 per cent.
In fact, the ideal way to bring down the GST rate without incurring revenue losses is to widen the base by including as many goods and services under its purview as possible. But this could mean that some essential goods currently taxed at a lower rate could end up being taxed at a higher rate under a GST, but it would hit the lower income groups harder.
This might explain why in some developed countries, including Canada and Australia, the introduction of the GST was opposed fiercely by the local working classes, especially the trade unions. The resistance to it was so strong in Canada that the then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had to invoke an obsolete, colonial era provision of the Constitution — drawing on special powers of the Queen — to get the law passed in the Senate.
At any rate (pun unintended), the GST can only be implemented, believes Ms. Rao, by “a leap of faith”. She elaborates, “You can’t do a calculation to the last penny and say only at this revenue-neutral rate will I implement GST. It has to be acceptable to the masses, because at the end of the day, it is the average citizen who has to cough up the money.”
The shift towards indirect taxation
Around the world, governments, faced with declining tax revenues, and too fearful that higher corporate taxes will lead to capital flight (or capital slumber), have been turning their attention to indirect taxes, which have a wider base than direct taxes, are more difficult to evade, easier to administer, and not income-dependant beyond a point.
It’s because the poor and the working classes spend a greater proportion of their income on essential consumption compared to the classes that are better off, that indirect taxes are considered regressive compared to direct taxes, which are typically proportional to the ability-to-pay. India isn’t immune to this global shift in favour of indirect taxation, accompanied by lower taxes on capital and reduced social spending.
The National Democratic Alliance government has already ticked two of those boxes. The 2015-16 budget, which fixed a roll-out date for GST (April 1, 2016), also abolished the wealth tax, and announced a lowering of corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over a four-year period. According to Mr. Patnaik, the same budget also grants direct tax concessions to the tune of Rs. 8,315 crore, while planning to raise Rs. 23,38 crores through indirect taxes.
This is despite that fact that India’s direct taxes contribute only 37.7 per cent of total tax revenue, according to a 2013 study by the Center for Budget and Governance Accountability — which makes India’s taxation regime already more regressive than that of other emerging markets such as South Africa (57.5 per cent from direct taxes) or Indonesia (55.85 per cent). When the third box, the GST, is ticked, it could become even more so.
GST: The Arguments
The business argument
--> Simplifies tax administration
--> Makes compliance easier
--> Prevents 'cascading' effect
--> Could add to GDP

The political argument
-->Reduces States' fiscal and political autonomy
--> States can't exempt some goods and services
--> Lowers States' source ability to raise money for welfare
--> Indirect taxes burden lower income groups more

What's a right GST Rate?
--> In 2010, the 13th Finance Commission recommended 12 per cent GST. This will mean revenue loss for States, as VAT is already 13-14 per cent
--> In 2014, State government representatives mooted a revenue neutral rate of 27 per cent. This will be an enormous tax burden on wage earners


Iqbal Masih

Iqbal Masih Pakistani

In the mid 1990’s, a bright young youth made a global impact on Child Slavery. Iqbal Masih’s life was cut short just shy of 13 years but his powerful and eloquent speeches encouraged thousands of bonded laborers and child slaves to follow his example. He brought awareness and promoted education so that others could stand up for their rights and end the injustice in sweat shops around the world.
In 1983, Iqbal Masih was born in the poor community of Maridke outside of Lahore, Pakistan. His family was financially burdened, and his father Saif Masih decided to leave when Iqbal was young. When he was 4 years old, Iqbal’s mother Inayat needed funds to pay for his older brother’s wedding. Because the family was already in debt, she took out a loan in Iqbal’s name from a local businessman. However, when their debt went unpaid for two years she was forced to “loan” Iqbal as a laborer to pay off the debt.
Iqbal became one of the many child bonded laborers at the carpet factory. Despite working 14 hour days six days a week, Iqbal never earned enough money to pay off the debt, the cost of his “apprenticeship”, his tools, his food, fines for his mistakes or the rising interest. Though considered “debt bonded” he was really like millions of other children who were enslaved to their employers without hope of earning their freedom. Bonded labor, child labor and slave labor were all outlawed in Pakistan. However, it ran rampant due to a corrupt government and a police force that was living off the bribes of local business men.
“Children should have pens in their hands not tools” – Iqbal Masih
When Iqbal was 10 years old he made up his mind to escape. He had endured hot, cramped conditions, air filled with wool debris and countless whippings, beatings and cuttings whenever his work slowed. Though stunted by malnutrition and weakened by lack of exercise, Iqbal and a few of his friends escaped. He ran to the local police and explained how the employer was beating the children and keeping them as slaves. Unfortunately, the police officer was more willing to receive the “finder’s fee” for escaped slaves and returned Iqbal to Arshad, Iqbal’s owner. At the direction of the police officer, Iqbal was chained to the carpet machine and Arshad forced him back to work with a combination of physical abuse and starvation.
At the age of 12, Iqbal found away to attend a freedom day celebration held by the Brick Layer Unions. There, Iqbal heard about his rights as a laborer and that debt slavery was outlawed a few years before. In addition to the law against slavery, the government had cancelled all debts with businesses so they could in turn free those in debted to them. However, very few businesses actually released their slaves. When others were asked to speak before the crowd Iqbal volunteered. After hearing Iqbal’s story, one of the union leaders named Ehsan Ullah Khan organized an effort to free Iqbal from bondage. After much convincing about the illegality of his factory, Arshad freed Iqbal and some of the other child slaves.
The 12 year old Iqbal became a prominent leader of the anti-slave movement in Pakistan. He attended the Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) School for former child slaves and quickly completed a four year education in only two years. As his understanding of labor laws and human rights grew, he began using his energetic personality to speak on behalf of the enslaved workers. He would sneak into factories and begin asking the children about their experiences and if they were slaves. Even though this was an incredibly risky job, his malnourished body and stunted growth made him appear to be only around six years old so he was rarely perceived as a threat.
The BLLF sent him to speak at businesses and demonstrations all over Pakistan where bonded slavery was known to exist. With his powerful personality he educated the slave laborers and encouraged them to escape. Despite death threats from the organized business mafias that dominated the communities, Iqbal continued to speak against their practices with confidence and eloquence. It is estimated that over 3,000 Pakistani Children escaped their owners after visiting rallies, hearing speeches and attending meetings put on by the BLLF that year.
Because of his powerful story, Iqbal Masih began visiting other countries, raising awareness of child slaves and advocating for their freedom. Everywhere he went he inspired others (especially children) to become involved in the mission to end child slavery.
“I would like to do what Abraham Lincoln did… I would like to do it in Pakistan” -Iqbal Masih
After a visit to speak in the United States in December of 1994, Iqbal returned home to Pakistan. He would spend his last few months of life attending school in hopes of becoming a lawyer to fight on behalf of bonded laborers.
On Palm Sunday, (the 16th of April, 1995) Iqbal was assassinated after being shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun. He was riding home on a bicycle with some friends after attending mass earlier in the day.
The official police report claims that it was an accidental firing by a local farmer named Ashraf Hero. They claimed he confessed to the accident after hours of being tortured. Because Iqbal was a prominent enemy of the local Carpet Manufacturer Mafia, The Pakistani Human Rights Commission looked into the murder but quickly agreed with the police story. Despite the official report, most everyone believes that Iqbal Masih was assassinated by an agent of the Carpet Manufacturer Mafia who already held influence over the police and that Ashraf Hero was framed for the murder.
Iqbal Masih is our hero because he took courageous action on behalf of child slaves and bonded laborers in Pakistan and around the world. Despite his short life, his passionate and powerful message encouraged thousands to seek freedom and inspired many more around the world to join in his efforts. There are still an estimated 75,000 slaves in Pakistan Today. One organization, Free the Children was started by a Canadian youth named Craig Kielburger who had heard about Iqbal’s story and wanted to help make a difference.


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