Bad news and worse news

This has been a rather depressing week with bad news flowing in from all directions and that started with Kapil Sibal asking Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo! to screen user content and stop objectionable content from appearing on their websites.

This is ridiculous of course and will never see the light of day, but unfortunately, FDI in multi – brand retail has been killed and I guess we will have to wait for a crisis till this issue is raised again. The best thing I read about this was Bloomberg’s article titled Wal-Mart battles with Marx’s ghost in India. 

This week also saw the UID project getting derailed, but cheer up it’s just 550 crores or so down the drain! Nothing compared to the 30,000 crore or so that will go down the drain in Air India’s bailout.

The third thing that got derailed this week was allowing 49% FDI in Insurance.

This coupled with a weak rupee, widening trade deficit, high fiscal deficit and slowing growth makes beyondbrics ask if India is in crisis yet.

Yet is probably the operative word there, and the way things are going you get a feeling that it’s only a question of when and not if.

Jim O’Neill – the Goldman Sachs economist who coined the term BRIC said this week that India has been the most disappointing of the 4 countries, and here is what he had to say.

All four countries have become bigger (economies) than I said they were going to be, even Russia. However there are important structural issues about all four and as we go into the 10-year anniversary, in some ways India is the most disappointing

That’s it for this week!

6 thoughts on “Bad news and worse news”

  1. Hi Manshu
    I have gone through the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on UID Scheme appearing in the newspapers and tend to agree with most of the following observations.
    Citing “contradictions and ambiguities within the government” over the implementation of the Unique Identity scheme, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance rejected the National Identification Authority Bill and asked the government to bring a fresh legislation. The panel also suggested to the government to “reconsider and review the UID scheme”.
    The UID scheme, the committee observed, “is riddled with serious lacunae.” It said the scheme had been “conceptualised with no clarity of purpose” and was “being implemented in a directionless way with a lot of confusion”.
    The committee pointed out that initially meant for BPL families, the scheme had been extended to all residents of India and certain other persons.
    The report said considering the huge database size and possibility of misuse of information, “it would be difficult to deal with the issues of access and misuse of personal information, surveillance, profiling, linking and matching of data bases and security confidentiality of information” in the absence of a data protection legislation.

    1. Shouldn’t they have known this before spending the 550 cr, and though I have not gone through the report and studied the thing in detail – I find it hard to believe that this has been rejected because of economic reasons and not because of political reasons and protecting turf.

      1. Hi Manshu
        I would like to share my experience here. Recently the Government of Punjab had started the drive to promote UID scheme in the state. Accordingly special camps were held in the schools. I also visited a school in my locality. When I approached the concerned people with the documents concerning my proof of identity and proof of residence I was told that my application and documents have to be verified by the MLA of my constituency. I had to leave my documents with the staff of the MLA who had gone out. Since the camp was held for only one day and I could not get my papers verified and I was not able to avail this facility.
        Subsequently I learnt that CAMs people were also providing this service. But on contacting CAMs office I learnt that they had suspended the service.
        Ultimately I gave up the idea.Moreover I am not sure how this is going to help me.

          1. This has become interesting topic..I had applied for UID card some two months back and the camp was conducted in my office..They were not verifying any documents you just have to submit any xerox copies and they accept it..
            Also When it is supposed to be a unique ID then In my opinion all the existing cards or nos should have been linked to it ie passport , pancard , ration card and the so on and so forth..but in the form there is no option to link these with the UID..Don’t really know what is the future of this…

            1. In the form which I had filled up there was provision for arms licence number, driving licence number, cooking gas connection number, pan number, ration card number, passport number etc and as per instructions it was mandatory to furnish this information but the person who was collecting the forms told me that there was no need to furnish this information. This shows that there is no uniformity and how badly this is being managed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *