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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

RIP APJ Abdul Kalam : End of an era

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, 11th President of republic of India. A name which garnered respect from every living soul who have heard about him. His simplicity, down to earth attitude, genuineness was something which has never seen in any Indian till date. Probably he is first and most apt person bestowed with honour of Bharat Ratan. All other recepients of Bharat ratan can be questioned on their ability, but Dr. Abdul kalam is miles ahead of all.

Such a great human being, rising steadily from small coastal town of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and reaching Raisina hills is a story which can motivate any body who feels low due to difficulties or feels burdened by Indian education system. With sad demise of Dr. Kalam an era of Indian missile mission has definitely came to an end. May god give peace to the departed soul. Every Indian would definitely remember you and that too as a role model.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The 1 Percent rule and social impact

Economic Inequality is on a rise everywhere in the world, especially in developed countries including Britain and US. Rich have become super rich, poor have become poorer and middle class has already starting dimnishing rather merging with the poorer ones. Society structure in changing at rapid pace from a flat shape to hour-glass structure. I would explain the hour-glass structure later in this post. The reason for this rising economic inequality is - "TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMY or the 1% RULE"

Recently some of these traits of trickle down economy or the 1% rule has started being included in Indian Finance Budget 2015. You must be wondering what is this Trickle down Economy? Trickle down economy basically means that give tax sops to the superrich, or the 1% of the people of country, so that they have enough money to spend it back and this money returns in the society in terms of new jobs/investments. However this move have already started backfiring in developed countries. Events like "Occupy Wall Street" is one classic example of the seriousness of this rich-poor divide.

Trickle down economics is currently being implemented in almost every industry in the world, Companies have starting following the so called "Hour Glass" employee heirarchy structure. Now many of us our not even aware about what is this "Hour glass" structure? Simply put it means pruning the middle management/managers and moving to a structure where there are directors and the lower level employees like team-lead, engineers etc. This structure ensures that the 1 percent rule is also implemented partially as majority of the finances are distributed in top 1 percent of the employees(not according to performance, but according to the seniority of the managers). A recent survey of CXO's salary in Britain has revealed that an CEO is paid 78 times the average employee salary of the same company. This survey results would however differ from payscale offered in different countries/sectors.

The 1 percent rule ensures that super-rich pays very less tax when compared to an average tax-payer, whereas they earn many times an average citizen of a country. It has been noticed that if super-rich are taxed heavily then they route their profits to a tax heaven and in this way economy suffers, Governments thought that this should be plugged and hence decided to lower the tax rates for the superrich, so that money remains in the country itself, This move ignored the increase in society divide between rich and poor. Hence showing that rich become even richer and Poor becomes poorer. Since the economic crises of 2008, the average employee salary has remained almost stagnant in US, whereas CXO's salaries have increased many times, thus increasing the financial divide of the society even further. There are plenty of tax saving schemes for the top managment ie leasing a car on company's name instead of buying it directly. Can't they pay for their own car, WAIT, why would they do so, as this would save the tax amount.

Top 1% of population of a country(or the super-rich) see rest 99 percent as an business oppurtunity. One major disadvantage of this trickle down economy is that it is silent killer of the middle class. Therefore the whole idea of no taxes for super-rich, which initially was thought to raise the number of middle-class citizens is infact killing the middle class by merging them with the bottom half of the hour glass society. Super-rich keeps on sucking more money from the poor and middle class and earns lot of profits. They have money and invest their tax free money into companies which work for the poor (like Wal-mart) or open up ultra luxury products businesses(luxury real estate, luxury consumer goods). You all might have already seen this trend starting in India too as more and more HNI's invest in luxury apartments, villas, high end cars, bikes, consumer goods etc, and this trend is surely here to stay as Indian government has proposed various schemes in union budget 2015 which benifits the HNI's . Some of these include abolishing property tax etc.

This whole idea of trickle down economy would eventually eat up the middle class of a country and increase the rich-poor divide further. CXO's salaries in Indian companies are already on a steep rise, whereas the actual workers are paid much lesser. I tried to understand how and why this trend started. CXO's salaries are directly linked to company's performance which is direcly linked with the expenses. Everyone knows that employee wages is the biggest expense for a company and since CXO's and upper management salaries are linked with the financial performance of the company, it is quite logical that their compensation rise would directly mean decrease in percentage of average pay hike throughout the company. Another step taken by top management in order to keep wage cost in control is pruning the middle management. Do you remember that recently many IT companies distributed pink slips to manager level employees, giving lame reasons for doing so. The main reason why top management wanted this was - their own compensation hike by keeping wage costs low.

In comning days you would see this trend in all the companies, where there would be directors and very few senior managers. Team leads would be made to do tasks assigned to managers(while being paid less then half the salary of manager), while directors keep the major money in their own hands.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Swiss Leaks : Top 100 Indian Names having swiss bank accounts

(11/2/2015- Swiss Leaks) - One of the news which made subdued headlines was that 'HSBC and government of india have disclosed names of people who have illegal accounts in HSBC banks in Geneva' . These accounts were opened by these Indians to stash away their black money. However as expected none of the Indian media, except IndianExpress displayed the list of these people on their websites, Nor any of the media house ran this news repeatedly to let more and more indians know the black worth of richest indians.

It was quite obvious that media houses would not run this news at primetime because many of the media houses like Network 18 are owned by people whose names have surfaced in this list. Anyways I am sharing the list of top 100 people with Black Money accounts and Indian Addresses in this post, and I urge that since it is a confirmed list by bank itself, please share the word around as you would not find much information in mainstream media, except IndianExpress, whose journalists were part of the team of global journalists working on these #swissleaks.

Swiss bank Account holders and amount of black money

Sr NoName of Person/FamilyTaxable Money in US$
4.GUPTA SHRAVAN$32,398,796
7.TANDON SANDEEP$26,838,488
9.AMBANI ANIL$26,654,991
12.GOYAL NARESH KUMAR$18,716,015
15.SACHIV RAJESH MEHTA $12,341,074
16.ANURAG DALMIA $9,609,371
20.HEMANT DHIRAJ $6,237,932
21.ANUP MEHTA $5,976,998
22.TANDON ANNU $5,728,042
23.SIDHARTH BURMAN $5,401,579
30.RAJIV GUPTA $4,113,705
35.GUPTA RAJIV$3,545,416
38.PRADIP BURMAN$3,199,875
41.KUMAR VENU RAMAN$3,063,064
45.BURMAN PRADIP $2,831,238
47.DASOT PRAVEEN$2,801,634
52.NANDA SURESH $2,303,713
53.GIDWANI ANAN NELUM $2,228,582
57.AHMED rizwan syed $2,125,644
59.SAWNEY BHUSHAN LAL $2,043,474
62.DHIRANI VIKRAM$1,915,148
66.TANEJA DHARAM VIR$1,748,541
67.DHINDSA KOMAL$1,597,425
70.BHARDWAJ ANIL$1,435,781
72.BHARTIA ALOK$1,349,044
75.KUMAR DAVINDER$1,231,088
78.SINGHVI GANPAT $1,194,388
79.MILAN MEHTA $1,153,957
81.MODI KRISHAN KUMAR $1,139,967
91.SATHE SUBHASH $749,370
93.MADHIOK ROMESH $719,559
97.LAMBA SANJIV $644,923

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Retail Oil prices are Deregulated in India - a myth

(4/2/2015 India-as-superpower) - Government of India is rejoicing falling crude oil prices due to oversupply in global market by US shale oil, I have already explained in detail about falling oil prices and US link to it on this post.Falling Oil prices and US link to it. Indian government

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bait named Subvention payment plan in Real Estate Market

(1/2/2015 India-as-superpower post) - We all know that Real Estate market of India is going from the most rough phase from last 2-3 years, thanks to recession and downturn in Global economic scenario and economic paralysis created by previous Indian governments by stalling infrastructure projects. This situation is here to stay for another 2-3 years until some demand picks up. This economic slowdown and subsequent decrease in demand of housing sector has forced Real estate developers in India to offer payment plans which act as bait in bringing new buyers to their projects. One of such payment plan which came up during recession time was interest subvention plan or subvention plan.

Now the question arises:

Whom does subvention payment plan help the most?

Any answer....yes the obvious answer to this question is 'Builder' and 'bank' and I would explain the how part of this answer.

Private banking players act smart here as all of the subvention payment plans are financed by Private banks rather then government bank. They have opened up a huge credit market for private banks who are ever desperate for giving credit cards or personal loans or home loans.

Let me explain the working of subvention plan wrto other payment plans and how is it very expensive.

present basic price of flat in Flexi or CLP plan - 2900 per sqft basic rate for subvention plan - 3400 Let super area of flat - 1000 sq ft basic price of flat in Construction Linked Plan or flexi payment plan(excluding any PLC charges, parking charges) - 2900000
basic price of flat in Subvention payment plan - 3400000
difference - 500000 Time frame for which builder pays installment - 3 years Another catch is that in subvention plans prevalent in real estate market is that builder would pay the interest amount to bank for a period of 3 years only. It's damn sure that the possession would not start in 3 years rather going by present construction trend in real estate market, a project takes minimum 5 years for completion(for majority of the builders). Add some 6-1 year of halt period due to any farmer issue, environment clearance issue for particular project etc and it the time could be easily extended by 1 year to 6 years till buyer gets possession. So builder pays interest on disbursed money for 3 years and then according to flat buyer agreement with buyer, the owner starts paying EMI after this 3 year period is over.

For flat of worth 3400000(under subvention plan):
payment schedule - 10:80:10
initial payment by buyer - 10 percent =340000
Bank pays 80 percent - 2720000
Buyer payment(on offer of possession) - 10 percent = 340000
Time lapse between offer of possession and handing over of keys by builder - ~6-12 months.

If any builder offers subvention plan where EMI payable by buyer would start on handing over the keys of flat is much better plan for the buyer as it would save atleast 6 months burden when EMI and rent would go simultaneously.

Carrying on with the example:
Lets consider that a interest demand for 10 percent comes after gap of 6 months. Hence for 1st demand of 340000: Interest part for 6 months for loan term of 20 years: 2975*6 = 17850 (total for 6 months) After next demand is raised: 5950*6 = 35700 (total for 6 months) After next demand is raised: 8925*6 = 53550 (total for 6 months) 1 year of subvention plan is complete After next demand is raised: 11900*6 = 71400 (total for 6 months) 2 years of subvention scheme are complete After next demand is raised: 14875*6 = 89250 (total for 6 months) After next demand is raised: 17850*6 = 107100 (total for 6 months) 3 years of subvention scheme complete Total Interest paid by builder in three years - 374850, therefore excess amount charged from buyer - (500000 - 374850) = 125150. After completion of 3 years the EMI would start which needs to be paid by the buyer, there are good 2 years remaining in actual possession of flat to happen. Hence donot fall into the trap of subvention scheme, instead opt for construction linked or flexi payment plan. Both these plans are almost similar with the only difference is that in Flexi plan initial payment is 10-20 percent(dependent on builder) more then construction linked payment plan. CLP plan is 200 per sqft dearer then flexi plan however.

Another demerit of Subvention payment plan is that it makes 80 percent loan amount mandatory for a buyer(which is again trap by the banks(majority of which are private players with direct setting with builder lobby.

This is my perspective of comparing different payment plans prevalent in India. Other might have an argument that subvention plans is confirmation of house in just few lacs rupees which is is so good deal to resist. But Donot fall into this trap of subvention plans. If you donot have enough money and there is no other option then you should opt for subvention plan which offers No EMI till handing of flat keys and there is no clause in agreement about 3 year time as I mentioned before.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to get Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) in India

(27-1-2015 India-as-superpower) - Getting Police clearance certificate in India is thought to be most difficult thing to get(If you donot want to pay the demanded bribe to police personal). Rightly so as one would probably not get his police clearance certificate if he doesnot pay the demanded money. In this blog post I would give detailed description of whole process of applying for police clearance certificate in India.

Getting a Police Clearance Certificate has different application phases from which every application must pass. I would also give information about government fees wherever applicable. Following are different steps for each Police Clearance Certificate application

1. Fill Police Clearance Certificate application form: Filling of police clearance certificate form is the first step for getting your police certificate. For this the applicant has to goto office of Commissioner of police and fill the application form for Police Clearance Certificate. This form includes information about your house address, Passport number and other personal details. Don't forget to carry your passport size photograph alongwith and attach it on the application form.

2. Submit completed application form: Once you have completely filled the PCC application form, you need to submit the form to the designated public counter(present at office of Commissioner of police office). Person would enter your application details to their database, one copy of passport's front and back page can also be submitted alongwith the form. After he fills your data onto system, get ready for getting your photo clicked on the spot. After photo is clicked then the person would forward your PCC application to the Police station under which your house address falls. He would give you application number.

3. Clearance from Police Station: Next step is to get a recommend PCC certificate from the police station of your area. Once your online application is taken up by police station, you would get a phone call from Police Station to come to police station with documents(2 identity cards - aadhar card, passport etc). You would get a form of neighbour evidence for each of the applicant. This form needs acknowledgment of two persons who know you. You need to paste two of their passport size photos and copy of one ID proof (voter card, Driving license etc). Submit this form to the police station along with your two id proof's. Application would now be moved for getting signature of the SHO on it. Once the SHO signs your application then the staff at police station updates your online application and step 3 is done after you get clearance from SHO. This step cannot be completed if you donot give the asked bribe or if you donot know any person of police links in your district. So you need to do any one of them.

4. Clearance from ACP of your area: After the SHO signs your form, he would give the form to you for getting it signed by the ACP of your area. This step doesnot need any bribery and can be completed without paying any money(other then legal fees). Deposit INR 50 per application as legal fees and paste the receipt along with your file. Now your this step of getting clearance from office of ACP is done. They would update your online application from their perspective.

5. Clearance from Commissioner of Police - Once an applicant completes step 1-4 he is ready to submit his application form at office of commissioner. This step happens at the same counter where you submitted your application form (Step 2). Attendant would check your processed data online and would show you the details of application data(for any errors in name, address), check details carefully and give ok for this data. This person would now take print of the Poilce Clearance Certificate and get it signed from office of Commissioner of Police and hand it over to you.

Cheers Now you have your PCC in your hand and probably whole process is now clear to you.

The same process can be applied through website of Passport seva

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Applying passport in tatkal quota in India

(26-1-2015 India-as-superpower) - Many of the passport applicants have not so good experience of applying passport in India. Since now taking an appointment for passport application is automated and available online, It has become much easier now to get an Indian passport.

Recently I applied passport for my minor son and thought of penning down all the sequence of events/steps which everyone has to follow while applying for minor's passport under tatkal service.

Following are the steps which a person has to undergo while applying for minor's passport under tatkal seva:

1. Get online appointment: One has to sign-up for the government of India, ministry of external affairs website passport application website. After sign up one has to fill all the fields required for fresh passport application and fill all the fields for minor applicant. User has two options for filling up passport form:

a)Download form and fill it offline and then upload it after completing the form
b) fill and save the data online.

Both the methods need good internet connection. There are some 4-5 screens which would ask for information needed for completing the application, Press SAVE button after filling all the mandatory fields of each page. Once you have entered all the data then verify it's correctness and press SAVE and SUBMIT button. This would save your information and give you a ARN number. Now click on pay fees and book appointment link. You would probably get appointment of next working day, If applying tatkal quota. If you are applying under normal quota then you would get slot available on closest date(which can be 10 days away). Since I applied for appointment on saturday, I got appointment for monday morning.

2. Gather your required documents: I started gathering below mentioned documents needed for minor's passport for tatkal passport:
a) Passport copy of both parents (front and back page). If Spouse name is endorsed on at least one of the parents passport then police verification is not needed

b) Birth Certificate of minor: Carry a photocopy and original birth certificate of minor applicant.
c) Marriage certificate of parents: Marriage certificate is not mentioned on governments website but is often asked by documents collector/verifier at the suvidha center.
d) Identity proof/address proof of parents: Carry Identity proofs of parents(aadhar card, ration card, voter card, landline bill, bank passbook) would do. I gave Aadhar card for me and spouse.
e) Annexure H on plain paper: Fill the annexure H declaration and print it on a plain paper(A4 size).
f) Notary attested Annexure I: Annexure I declaration by parents is needed for applying minors passport in tatkal category, get it attested by notary. This costs INR 100 at my city and 10-15 mins to get it from courts. Carry the original parents passport's, marriage certificate, address proof's, minor applicants birth certificate. Stack all the documents in a file and keep printout of appointment letter along-with it.

3. Reach designated PSK: On your day of appointment for passport, it is advised to reach the Passport seva kendra at least 15 mins in advance to your scheduled timing.

4. Get your appointment letter checked: Security personal at entry of PSK would ask for your appointment letter and check the timings and would allow you to enter the Passport seva kendra. Now the whole process would passport application process would take at least an hour.

5. Get token number: When you get entry to PSK then you have to go to counter and get token number for your appointment. Person at counter would ask for all the documents which I have mentioned in step 2 and check the originals too. Then they would give you token number. for applying in tatkal your token is prefixed with letter 'T' followed by number.

6. Document uploading and completion: Next step is going to counter number starting with 'A'. There are numerous A counters inside a PSK. Here they would collect all the photocopies of documents and upload it to their database. Person would get your biometrics, thumb impression in case of minors. It is generally done in 15-20 mins

7. Document verification: After completing counter 'A' formalities, you have to wait till the tv screen shows a 'B' counter number against your token number. Once it is displayed goto corresponding counter 'B' and get your original documents verified. Time taken is generally 5-10 mins.

8. Grant Section Counter 'C': After finishing document verification at counter B, wait till your token number is assigned to officer at counter 'C', C number counter's are passport grant counters and may verify your documents again. Time taken 5-10 mins.

9. You are done: After counter C processes your file, you would get a receipt for passport application and minor's passport would arrive in 3-5 day's time at your address mentioned while filling the online passport form. This is because of no police verification step involved in case of minor's passport.

Hope that now you would get a good pre-understanding of passport application process and different steps involved in it. If you feel like thanking for this post then do press like button or share this post with friends.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Falling global Oil prices and USA link to it

Greetings from India-as-superpower blog

As an Indian the news about falling crude oil prices bring cheers on our face as it reduces our oil import bill, and since petrol and diesel prices are now linked to market directly it reduces the retail prices, It also helps the Ruling party which increases excise rates on petrol to fill their money chests. We all are very happy and so are almost all of the oil importing countries. Other thing which makes us even more happy is that the prices would reduce further till mid 2015 and if Indian government feels that their pockets have no space left for further excise duty hike we might see further decrease in retail prices of both petrol and diesel in coming weeks.

The big question which arises is :

Why are prices of oil falling and who is doing this and why?

Answer to this question is not very difficult and is infact a single word - USA, Now why US would do this? and answer to this is to get more control/share of global oil market. I would explain the 'How' part in following text.

This all starts from what is known as shale oil, which is a substitute for crude oil. United States of America has world's largest deposit of shale oil and gas, and US oil companies such as Shell have started producing shale oil from oil shale on commercial level if I iterate their words 'shale oil exploration can be sustained at cost as low as $18 per barrel. Don't be too happy now as it might never reach to this level(even in present scenario). USA is flooding market/using shale oil and has drastically reduced it's oil import bill, thus forcing prices to fall and make other OPEC countries to cut oil production.

World is currently witnessing over supply of oil, which is much more then what it needs. Since the demand and supply principle is basic for pricing of any commodity, hence fall in price is very logical. At this stage next question which comes to our mind is quite obvious:

Why would oil producing countries do nothing in controlling the supply?

Answer to this question is again a single word - USA, and I'll explain why USA would do this. US has started commercial exploration of oil shale and it needs market for it. Present global oil supply market share is very well divided between Middle east, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Iraq apart from some other small suppliers. USA wants to increase it's share and then govern the whole oil pricing globally. Hence it has flooded the markets with shale oil. Since it has deep pockets it can sustain any price levels for much more time when compared to conventional oil producers of the world.

There is also political factors involved in this which is further forcing USA to refrain from cutting oil supply. Iran, Russia, Venezuela are not allies of USA and are rather against it diplomatically, economically, politically(you can add more terms here), Venezuela has 95 percent of government revenues coming from oil export, Russia has 70 percent of money coming from oil export. Falling oil prices have already playing it's intent with ruble down by 60 percent. Russia's attack on Ukraine is probably the reason. budget deficits of these three countries are rising and soon economies would see major cuts in government spending . This fall would also weaken Iraq and Syria (including the areas controlled by ISIS) as this terror organization would get too less money from oil which they sell.

Oil producing countries (OPEC) have decided to refrain from cutting output fearing that US would increase shale oil output further and get hold of their present market share. Hence in long term what I feel is that falling oil prices shall have a positive effect on world and oil importing countries as these countries(including India) would contain their budget deficit.

Probably by 2020 USA would become biggest oil produces of the world and would be called 'Saudi America' sounds funny but is very effective.

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