Politics is BIG BUSINESS !

Candidates /  Spouses  /  Kids  :  Assets  ?


Economic Times ( 17 Feb ) carries following news :


“ Candidates Must Reveal Source of Spouse & Kids’ Assets Too : SC “




The Supreme Court on Friday expressed alarm over the undue accretion of assets of law-makers, a sure sign that they were misusing their offices, and made it obligatory for candidates to reveal the source of their incomes and that of their spouses and dependent children, apart from their share or interest if any in government contracts.

This, the court said, would go a long way in letting the electorate make an informed choice of the candidate. “In our opinion, such information would certainly be relevant and necessary for a voter to make an appropriate choice at the time of the election whether to vote or not in favour of a particular candidate.”


However, the bench baulked at the prospect of setting up a permanent mechanism to keep tabs on and probe the assets of law-makers and their immediate families, saying it may end up in a “political witch-hunt”.


Unfortunately, in our country, neither the Parliament nor the Election Commission of India paid any attention to the problem so far,” the bench said.


The judges attributed the sharp spike in non-performing assets and other such financial ills ailing the Indian state to such misuse of office by legislators to humour their own in bagging major government contracts.


Such undue accretion of assets was certainly a matter which should alarm the citizens and voters of any truly democratic society, it said, as it was a sure indicator of the beginning of a failing democracy.


“If left unattended, it would inevitably lead to the destruction of democracy and pave the way for the rule of mafia.” “Democracies with higher levels of energy have already taken note of the problem and addressed it.


Unfortunately, in our country, neither the Parliament nor the Election Commission of India paid any attention to the problem so far,” the bench said.


Legislators, the court said, are deputed by the people to get grievances redressed. “But they become the grievance.” The bench said that there was no reason why the election rules should not be changed by the government to make such undue accumulation of assets an electoral disqualification, besides a criminal offence.


“If assets of a legislator and his / her associates ( wife, dependent children ) increase without bearing any relationship to their known sources of income, the only logical inference that can be drawn is that there is some abuse of the constitutional office,” the court said.


The court said that the citizen, the ultimate repository of sovereignty in a democracy, must have access to all information that enables critical audit of the performance of the state, its instrumentalities and their incumbent or aspiring public officials.


Dear Hon Supreme Court :


There is no need for  “ setting up a permanent mechanism to keep tabs on and probe the assets of law-makers and their immediate families “



All that is required is to add one more field in the Income Tax Form ( revised one introduced in 2016 ) , which says :



“ If either yourself or any member of your near family ( spouse / children / son-in-law / daughter-in-law ) have held any position in Parliament or State Legislature or Municipal Corporation , at any time during past 5 years , provide full details below :…………………. “



For 2016-17 assessment year, the tax department has unveiled new income tax return form



For persons with income above Rs 50 lakhs, it requires submission of following details ( with cost of each item ) :



*  All immovable assets ( such as land / buildings etc )


*  All movable assets ( such as Cash, Jewellery , Vehicles , Yachts etc )


*  All liabilities ( such as loans )





For rest of the “ permanent mechanism “ and “ informed choice of the candidate  “ , find


Solutions at :


Electoral Reforms Through Backdoor ? [ 03 April 2016 ]




Filtering Candidate Information ?  [  18  Sept  2016  ]


Reforming Elections and Lok Sabha [ REaL ] [ 20 Dec 2016 ]


17  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs




Please ! Think Big !

Need :  More than an Judgement



Times of India ( 17 Feb ) carries following news :


“ Rivers national assets, no single state can seek rights over them, says SC “


The Supreme Court on Friday said waters of inter-state rivers were national assets and no single state could seek full rights over it, extinguishing origin states’ claim of exclusive rights over the waters of an inter-state river. “ (Rivers) Being in a state of flow, no state can claim exclusive ownership of such waters or assert a prescriptive right so as to deprive other states of their equitable share,” said a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.



The CJI narrated the gradual shift of the international river-water-sharing principle from the ‘Harmon Doctrine’ to the more equitable sharing propounded in the Helsinki Rules of 1966 and Berlin Rules of 2004. The ‘Harmon Doctrine’, based on an opinion of former US attorney general Judson Harmon issued a hundred years ago, holds that a country is absolutely sovereign over the portion of an international watercourse within its borders. The CJI said the principle of equality did not imply equal division of water, but equal consideration and economic opportunity for the co-basin states.



“To conceive that equality rests on equal sharing of water within an arithmetical formula would be fundamentally violative of the established conception of equitable apportionment because the said concept inheres multiple factors,” the SC said and asked all river water tribunals to follow this principle.




The SC also referred to the Campione Consolidation of ILA Rules on International Water Resources 1966-99, which advocated taking into consideration the inclusion of water of an aquifer, that is underground water or ‘fossil water’ intercepted by the boundary between two or more states, while determining the shares of basin states over an inter-state river.



During its exhaustive search for principles for equitable sharing of interstate rivers’ water, the SC cited the National Water Policy of 1987 and 2002, which more or less reiterated the Helsinkisss Rules. The policies stated that the “drinking-water needs of human beings and animals be the first charge on any available water”, the SC said.






While welcoming this judgement, I feel that the larger issues raised by me in respect of “ Natural National Resources “ in my following 4 year old blog , remain unanswered



I urge the Central Government to come out with a draft legislation for public debate


Needed – some Simple Answers !  [  17  Feb  2014  ]




17  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs




Fast Forward ?

Not  a  U –  Turn  :  a  Right  Turn



Today’s Hindustan Times , carries following news :


“ In breather for auto firms, govt drops idea of EV policy “



The government has decided against formulating an electric vehicle (EV) policy in an apparent U-turn from its position so far, providing a breather to many carmakers that are unprepared for an abrupt shift to the clean-fuel technology.


“There is no need for any policy now,” Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport, said at a press briefing on Thursday. He was addressing reporters along with Amitabh Kant, chief executive of government think tank NITI Aayog.


“What we need is just action plans,” said Kant, backing Gadkari’s stand on the policy.


“Everyday, new technology is coming into the market. Technology is always ahead of rules and regulations. And in India, it becomes very tough to change rules and regulations, so let there be just actions,” Kant said, explaining the reason behind the decision.


This is a welcome announcement !

All that was left unsaid to the Auto Industry , was :

“ Look ,

Focus on the goal – viz : no more sale of Petrol – Diesel vehicles from 01 April 2030

We leave it to you to decide :

  • How you want to “ phase out “ production of Petrol-Diesel vehicles
  • How you want to “ phase in “ manufacture of Electric Vehicles
  • How many months before April 2030, you will stop production of Petrol-Diesel vehicles , so that , on 01 April , you are left with NO INVENTORY
  • How you will go about promoting EV without subsidy ( to you or to buyer )
  • How you will solve the issue of Battery Charging Infrastructure ( ala TESLA ? )
  • How you will overcome “ Range Anxiety “ ( eg: using ISRO’s solar car roof ? )
  • Which Battery Technology you want to adopt
  • Why you should develop your own Solid State battery
  • Whether you want to continue to depend upon imported Lithium-ion Batteries or you want to get a license from ISRO for its small battery
  • How you wish to go about developing vendors for components for EV
  • Whether you introduce a “ Exchange Program “ ( New car for Old Car )
  • Whether you want to gradually move into “ EV leasing “ rather than selling
  • Whether you want to turn yourself into the business of “ Transporting Service Provider “ rather than “ Selling of a transport product “


Dear Shri Gadkariji ,


Congratulations on enabling market forces ( read : competition ) to shape the future course of Electric Vehicles by formulating their own “ Action Plans “ , rather than asking the actors ( manufacturers – buyers – ride share operators – dealers – owners of battery charging infrastructure – component suppliers – banks offering car loans etc ) , to follow a rigid government script

The rate at which EV technology is changing , it was simply impossible for any government script to remain valid for more than a few weeks !


17  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs


System Failure ? Without Doubt !

Who  is  Nirav  (  Silent  )  ?



Of course, no one expected Nirav Modi to declare his misdeeds from the roof top . He was expected to remain silent


But today’s news-papers are shouting with following headlines :


  • Nirav Modi virus spreading rapidly


  • Parl Panel asks for FinMin reply


  • ED seizes Rs 5,100 cr Nirav Modi assets


  • Diamantaire Modi left India with family in Jab 1st week


  • PNB sends two more complaints to CBI


  • More skeletons tumble out of PNB vault


  • Nobody will be spared : FinMin


  • Mehul Choksi, Gitanjali Gems under SEBI lens


  • Govt moves to revoke Passport


  • PNB exec tried to cover tracks before retiring


  • ED searches 23 premises


  • In 2016, Nirav paid Rs 48 cr in duty, penalty for smuggling
  • How PNB missed warning signs to avert Rs 11 k – cr fraud
  • Nirav Modi scam may lead to stricter norms for loans, credit
  • CBI, ED and Income Tax Dept taking speedy action : Prasad


  • CBI, Ed to look into others role in Bank Scam


  • Cong says : Nirav Fraud is “ System Failure “………( congrats for admitting ! )




What bothers common citizens is , the  deterministic regularity  with which ,


  • These scams keep surfacing


  • Culprits guilty of swindling the citizens manage to run away to safe havens


  • Agencies responsible for catching the culprits, facilitate the running away


  • Bankers responsible for ensuring prevention of scams, also manage to get away !


  • Those responsible for “ designing / implementing “ a FOOL-PROOF SYSTEM , just don’t care !




  • Opposition parties await with bated breath, such opportunities !



And the greatest pity is that , the Newspapers and TV channels do not think they have any duty / role to perform in reforming the SYSTEM , beyond printing bold headlines or conducting non-productive / mud-slinging / acrimonious panel discussions !



I urge them to act as the TRUE VOICE of the citizens and insist upon the Policy Makers to implement my following suggestions ( repeatedly sent as email to all concerned ) :



E – Governance ?  [  03  April  2014  ]




A Half-hearted Measure ?  [  07  March  2016  ]


Still a long way to go !  [  25  Aug  2016  ]


United we Succeed : Divided we Fail  [  29 Sept  2016  ]


Keep Trying  [  24  Dec  2016  ]


Break-down the Silos !  [  16  Sept  2017  ]


Blockchain  for  E Governance  ? [  04  Dec  2017  ]


Crime and Punishment  [  23  Dec  2017  ]


CyberCrimes / DigitalIndia / e-Governance [ 09 Jan 2018 ]



Dear Shri Jaitleyji,

When used for mining / trading of Bitcoins , that BLOCK-CHAIN technology is an evil application but if used for stopping Financial Frauds, it can be a Saviour !

Please , do not lose any more time !

16  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs




There is an Opportunity !

Car  Grave-Yard  of  World  ?





Countries all around the World, are in the process of phasing out Petrol-Diesel vehicles and switching over to Electric vehicles

Here are the target dates ( for change-over ) set , for some of the countries :


  • UK………………. 2040


  • Scotland…….. 2032


  • France………..  2040


  • Norway……….  2025


  • Austria……….   2025


  • Netherlands.   2030


  • China……….     2030


  • Finland…….     2030


  • India……….      2030



Now an electric vehicle has only 20 parts against 2000 parts in a Petrol-Diesel vehicle


With switch-over to EV , following parts will be no longer needed :

Engine – Transmission – Brake – Clutch – Levers – Fuel Injection system – Exhaust System – Lead Acid Battery – Pedals – Dashboard Instruments – some Wiring  etc


These parts will get replaced by :

Lithium-ion Battery – Electric Motors – Sensors – Electronics – Computers etc




  • Thousands of companies manufacturing components for Petrol – Diesel vehicles , will go out of business .


  • These include , Foundries , Forge-Shops , Machine Shops , Fabrication Shops , Sub-Assembly Shops , Electroplating Shops, Heat Treatment Shops , Wiring Harness Units etc


  • Currently , Indian Auto Component industry employs some 25 million people  ( directly and indirectly ) and contributes 7 % of our GDP


  • These Auto Component manufacturers are worried ! Over the next 10 – 20 years, no one will need to buy these current components .




  • A few hundred Auto Component manufacturers will , no doubt , switch over to manufacture of components required by Electric Vehicles but that is only 20 parts ( as against 2000 parts required currently ) .


What will / can , thousands of the rest do to survive ?




  • In order to survive, they need to ask themselves ( ala Ted Levitt’s seminal essay , “ Marketing Myopia “ ) :

“  What business are we in ?

Instead of considering ourselves as being in the business of  “ Auto Components Suppliers “ to vehicle manufacturers, could we think of being in the business of





  • World Scenario :


#  Car population    ( 2010 )………………………………………………….. 1  Billion

#  Car population    ( 2017 ) ……………………………………………………2  Billion


#  Cars manufactured in 2011……………………………………………….  80  Million

#  Manufacturing Target for 2035 ……………………………………….   127  Million


  • India Scenario :

#  Vehicle Population ( 2016 )……………………………………………. .  230  Million

#  Vehicle Population ( 2037 )……………………………………………….. 500  Million

( Source : https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/media/file/Strategyand-India-Automotive-Market-2020.pdf


#  Passenger Vehicles produced in 2016-17…………………………    3.7  Million

#  Total Vehicles produced in 2016-17…………………………………… 25.3  Million




  • USA ………………………………… 15 million


  • Europe…………………………..   9  million


  • Japan…………………………….. 6  million


  • China……………………… …….. 6  million




  • Developed Countries……….. 30 million ( generating 27 million tons of scrap )


  • India……………………………….. 4  million

( Transport Ministry wants to scrap immediately , some 28 million petrol-diesel vehicles which are older than 15 years , for which proposed tax exemptions are :

#  Rs  30,000 for passenger vehicles / Rs 150,000 for Commercial vehicles )

( Source : http://events.steelmintgroup.com/scrap-recycling-in-india-rise-of-a-new-phase-of-steelmaking/  )








  • But , if entire World wants to switch over to Electric Vehicles in nest 20 years, then the number of Petrol – Diesel vehicles to be scrapped could well be 200 Million per year !

Of this , India should target to capture a 25 % market share , at 50 million vehicles per year ( inclusive of scrapping of our own old vehicles )


( Current population + new Petrol-Diesel Vehicles that will continue to get

manufactured in next 20 years )


  • In India alone, that figure could be as high as 20 Million per year for next 20 years ( – as compared to current level of 4 million ) !





  • Car scrap/recycle yards around the World, just do not have the capacity to scrap / recycle 200 Million vehicles per year ( – a 7 FOLD jump from current 30 million )


  • In any case , car scraping / recycling is considered a “ dirty business “ in developed countries



  • In developed countries , labour costs are very high ( as much as 20 – 30 times of prevalent labour costs in developing countries ), making this industry , a “ high cost “ industry


  • That forces scrap Yards in developed industry to employ high level of expensive / automatic machineries ( scrappers / crushers / balers / sorters / grinders etc )


  • As against this , Indian scrap yards employ simple electric hand-tools and cheap labour , making them very competitive against scrap yards abroad




  • Take the example of ALANG SHIP BREAKING YARD in Gujarat , with following figures :

#   A small town ( population of 18,464 ) near Bhavanagar , Gujarat

#   Alang Ship breaking yard set up on a 6 mile beach in 1983

#   180  Ship breaking companies employing 40,000 direct workers and 200,000

indirect workers , who work 12 hours per day for Rs 400 per day ( or less ),

as compared with a Semi-Skilled worker in USA getting Rs 11,000 per day ( $

170 per day – $ 850 per week for a 40 hour week )

#   Alang companies generate revenue of Rs 6,000 cr / year and pay tax of Rs

2,000 crore to government

#   Breaks 60 % of World’s “ Ships to be broken “ ( 29 million tons in 2013 )

#   Broken 7,000 ships till date

#   As many as 200 ships lining up for breaking at any given time

#   10 % of all steel consumed by India comes from Steel Scrap from ALANG

#   No doubt working conditions at ALANG are miserable / safety standards are

sadly woeful / labour laws are flouted. All of these need big improvements

#   For the past few years , Shipping Industry has witnessed a downturn,

rendering ALANG under-utilized




  • Start a new initiative called “ Break  In  India “


  • Set up 100 Alang type “ CAR GRAVE YARDS “ all along the vast Indian coast , as part of already announced Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs), Coastal Economic Units (CEUs) and Port-Linked Industrial Clusters


( Source : http://sagarmala.gov.in/project/port-led-industrialization  )


Each Car Grave Yard to house 100 Car Braking Units ( total of 10,000 units )

Each unit would have ( mandated ) minimum scrapping capacity of 5,000 vehicles

per year , aggregating 50 million vehicles per year ( our 25 % market share )



  • “ Break In India “ must find meticulous / detailed, implementation schedule in :


#   EV  Road  Map  ( Policy Document awaiting Cabinet approval )

#   Automotive Mission Plan 2016-26   ( AMP 2026 )


  • Exempt CAR BREAK YARDS from payment of Corporate Income Tax for next 20 years


  • Encourage existing Auto Components units to set up such “ Car Break Yards “ by offering to them , free land ( in those CEZ ) and free electricity



  • From world over, encourage “ Cars to be Scrapped “ to get loaded onto “ Ships to be Scrapped “ and brought to these CEZ .

After unloading , those ships to be re-directed to Alang !

Foreign Ship Owners can make money ( by hauling cars to India ), even in the last journey !


  • Permit 100 % FDI ( automatic route ) in Car Breaking Units . This will help bring latest technology, safer working conditions and high productivity . It will also raise the wage levels


  • There should be no “ Import Duty / Customs Duty “ on cars imported for breaking


  • GST on sale ( domestic or export ) of salvaged materials should be only 5 %





  • 25 million persons currently employed by Auto Component Industry will be able to retain their jobs ( – of course , they must agree to be re-trained / re-skilled , in order to save their jobs )


  • Cost of our STEEL MANUFACTURING by Indian Steel plants will go down since they will get 45 Million tons of Steel scrap ( from those 50 million cars ) at very low input cost



The price of iron and steel has increased from Rs 30,000 per tonne 6 months ago to about Rs 48,000 to Rs 50,000 per tonne today without any such steep hike in input costs.

( Source : https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/roll-back-price-hike-of-iron-and-steel-builders-association-of-india/article10049757.ece  )


  • We will be able to salvage / recycle metals ( Grey Iron / Steel / Aluminium / Lead and precious metals such as Nickel – Copper – Cobalt etc )


I urge our Policy Makers  / PM-EAC / NITI Aayog /  Industry Associations ( ASSOCHAM – FICCI – CII – SIAM – ACMA ) to consider my suggestion


15  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs







Stop Tinkering !

No  Takers  ?   No  Wonder  !



Hindustan Times ( 13 Feb ) carries following news :



“ Poor response blocks parking policy “




The parking policy, which is meant to encourage citizens to use public transport and fine them for illegal parking, is delayed again, this time owing to lack of public response.

Under the residential parking scheme, the citizens are allowed to park on roads outside their housing societies from 8pm to 8am after six months’ payment.


After getting municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta’s nod for night parking in ‘A’ ward (Churchgate, Cuffe Parade, Kala Ghoda) in January, the BMC received applications from 235 car owners from 39 housing societies requesting parking space on roads.


Of them, 69 were rejected. The civic body sent payment notices of Rs 1,800 a month to 20 housing societies for 166 car owners who received the no-objection from the traffic police to park on the roads


However, only seven housing societies have paid fees , while three others refused as parking will be allowed for only 12 hours


The remaining have been delaying fee payment


Taking note of the poor response , the BMC will meet citizen activists in south Mumbai this week.


“ There was no deadline for paying parking fees . However, as it is a pilot project we only have no-objection certificate from Traffic Police for six months “ , said Kiran Dighavkar , assistant Municipal Commissioner, A ward


“ Many residents had doubts regarding parking timings, towing of vehicles and parking fees . We will also answer these queries in the meetings “


The area has a population of nearly 150,000 people and also a floating population of 800,000 daily


A ward is a prime location for commercial complexes and government buildings and sees a heavy density of vehicular traffic



In my following blog ( sent as email to BMC officers ), I had pointed out :


  • Why the proposed scheme is “ Un-implementable “ and can only be observed in its breach


  • Being “ Un-implementable “ , how it will serve as an assured means for “ Corruption “


  • What is a technology-based solution which will eliminate human ( read, “ Traffic Police “ ) intervention and automate annual collection of Rs 9,408 crores of parking fees


Un-Implementable Laws : Unstoppable Corruption  [  20  Feb  2017  ]





Further  References  :


Why don’t they park in their flats ?  [  01  Sept  2017  ]



Parking Mess ?  It will get worse !   [  01  Jan  2018  ]



Leveraging NaviC  ?  [  30  May  2017  ]


14  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs




Here is a Self Employment Idea !

A   Progressive  Yogi  ?



We have to admit that Shri Yogi Adityanath – CM , Uttar Pradesh , is a “ progress – minded “ person , going by the following news report :


“ UP to launch 700 app-based bike taxies “




The Yogi Adityanth government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to launch 700 app-based ‘motorbike taxis’ as a mode of public transport to solve traffic problems in the state capital Lucknow.


The state government has entered into an agreement with app-based cab services Ola and Uber to launch the motorcycle taxis before the two-day Investors’ Summit in Lucknow.


Lucknow is undergoing massive construction activity on thoroughfares in order to complete the Lucknow Metro Project, which has resulted in frequent traffic jams in the City of Nawabs.


The ‘motorcycle taxis’ were to be launched last month but there was delay due to conversion of motorbikes from petrol-based to CNG-based. Now the regional transport department has given six months to the two taxi companies for CNG conversion.


The two cab aggregators have been given road tax benefits. Instead of five years, the transport department has decided to charge road tax for one year only on the sanctioned permit.


The state government has also fixed rates for the new mode of transport. The companies will be charging Rs 8.10 for the first km and Rs 8.20 for every km travelled after that.


The mobike taxi drivers will carry one passenger at a time and will provide helmets as per the state transport rules. The service would be made available on all routes in Lucknow.


State Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh said the bike taxis, if successful, may be extended to tourist places and other cities.



Some 2 years ago , local transport authorities had banned “ bike taxies “ in Bangalore  !


I believe they have a ” change of mind ” ( – after reading this report ? )



Read :



How to Stop the Start Ups  [  28  April  2016  ]




I am not surprised why BJP asked Shri Yogiji to campaign in Karnataka for the upcoming state elections !


14  Feb  2018

www.hemenparekh.in / blogs