Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Black Money

I wanted to take 2 days CL on May 25 & 26, 2016. US of C-Group (admin for question branch) told me that a note about my leave record would be sent to me. Went to meet DS this morning around 12 oclock. He told me that leave is to be granted by US(Q)E, that the write-up improvement in the settings. In fact I had finished the write-up on Black Money yesterday, May 23, 2016, and attached with a note sheet, told Murari, the attendant to send it to DS(Q)E.

The Note Sheet

Subject:-  Write up on Black Money
Black Money being a topic of national interest, considerable number of Parliament Questions pour in every session of Lok Sabha and the Government gives replies on the questions. A detailed write-up is put up for perusal.
The write-up is mainly based on the replies given by the Government in response to Parliament Questions. The Government had also given a report on ‘Measures to Tackle Black Money in India and Abroad’ and ‘White Paper on Black Money’ during the year 2012 which are used to supplement the write-up.
Every attempt is made not to quote sources other than the Government’s, which is, of course, not entirely possible always. However, caution is made to avoid taking dates and names from sources other than the Government’s.
Difficulty in tackling Finance-I and preparing write-up is the poor level of promptness in uploading of replies and annexures in the Lok Sabha website. The Government also always seem to prefer terse replies to exhaustive ones.

The write up 

The report of the Committee headed by Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Black Money in India and abroad in the year 2012 stated that there is no uniform or accepted definition of ‘black’ money. Several terms are in use – such as ‘black money’, ‘black income’, ‘dirty money’, ‘black wealth’, ‘underground wealth’, ‘black economy’, ‘parallel economy’, ‘shadow economy’, ‘underground’ or ‘unofficial’ economy. If money breaks laws in its origin, movement or use, and is not reported for tax purposes, then it would fall within the meaning of black money. The broader meaning would encompass and include money derived from corruption and other illegal ways – to include drug trafficking, counterfeiting currency, smuggling, arms trafficking, etc. It would also include all market based legal production of goods and services that are concealed from public authorities for the following reasons – (i) to evade payment of taxes (income tax, excise duty, sales tax, stamp duty, etc); (ii) to evade payment of other statutory contributions; (iii) to evade minimum wages, working hours and safety standards, etc.; and (iv) to evade complying with laws and administrative procedures.
In February 2012, the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation said that Indians have US$500 billion of illegal funds in foreign tax havens, more than any other country. In March 2012, the Government of India clarified in Parliament that the CBI Director's statement on $500 billion of illegal money was an estimate based on a statement made to India's Supreme Court in July 2011.
As gathered from replies given on Unstarred Question Numbers 140 of March 4, 2016 and   3203 of August 7, 2015, there is no official assessment of black money stashed abroad. Various Non-governmental organizations and economists in the past have indicated widely varying estimations regarding illicit financial flows out of the country. Such estimations appear to be based upon different sets of facts, assumptions, presumptions, etc. leading to widely varying inferences. Such estimations also appear to lack unanimity and reliability. The subject matter, therefore, does not appear amenable to reliable estimation. 
The Government had also stated in February 27, 2015 in response to Unstarred Question No 866, that there was no official estimation of amount of black money within and outside the country. But the reply also states that reports received from National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) which has been commissioned a study, inter alia, on estimation of unaccounted income and wealth inside and outside the country are under examination of the Government.

Sources of Black Money
In its White Paper on Black Money issued on May 16, 2012 the Government has stated that the ‘criminal’ component of black money may include proceeds from a range of activities including racketeering, trafficking in counterfeit and contraband goods, smuggling, production and trade of narcotics, forgery, illegal mining, illegal felling of forests, illicit liquor trade, robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and prostitution, cheating and financial fraud, embezzlement, drug money, bank frauds, and illegal trade in arms. Some of these offences are included in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. The ‘corrupt’ component of such money could stem from bribery and theft by those holding public office – such as by grant of business, leakages from government social spending programmes, speed money to circumvent or fast-track procedures, black marketing of price-controlled services, and altering land use regularizing unauthorized construction. All these activities are illegal per se and a result of human greed combined with declining societal values and inability of the state to prevent them.
Thus the factors leading to generation of black money are both social and administrative.
Overvaluation in imports, undervaluation of exports
In reply to Unstarred Question No 1077 given by Lok Sabha members, regarding modalities by which black/unaccounted money is taken out of the country Shri Jayant Sinha the Minister of State for Finance stated,
“The Government has come across instances of transferring money out of the country illegally. Some of such cases detected indicate use of the medium of trade for such transfers which include overvaluation in imports, undervaluation of exports, remitting foreign exchange on the strength of forged import documents, payments/remittances for Non-genuine purchases of goods/services/technical know-how, etc.”
As seen from a wikipedia post, such overvaluation in imports, undervaluation of exports seem to involve tax haven countries such as Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong, etc. It is alleged that politicians, political parties and corrupt higher officials of government and its institutions take bribes from foreign companies and park/invest the money abroad in tax havens for transferring to India when needed. Many times locally earned bribes/funds/collections are also routed abroad through hawala channels for evading from Indian tax authorities and consequent legal implications, fodafone case being a glaring example.
The Guise of Agricultural Income
In reply to Starred Question No 81 listed for April 29, 2016, The Finance Minister stated, “…The Income Tax Department (ITD) collects information pertaining to agricultural income of the tax payers, inter alia, through their Income Tax Returns, and the same along with the information collected from various other sources and the information available in the database in the ITD is taken into consideration in the analysis on various risk parameters for appropriate action under direct taxes law. Appropriate action against tax evasion/black money, including in the guise of agricultural income, is an on-going process…”
Round-tripping of black money: the manifestation
According to the Wikipedia post, the round tripping seem to have involved getting the money out of the country, say India, sending it to a place like Mauritius and then, dressed up to look like foreign capital, sending it back home to earn tax-favored profits.
Gold imports - through official channel and smuggling is a major conduit to bring back the black money from abroad and convert in to local black money as the gold commands insatiable demand among the rural investors particularly. Also fictitious high value round trip transactions via tax haven countries by diamonds and precious stones exporters and importers are a channel for to and fro transactions outside the country. Also, fictitious software exports can be booked by software companies to bring black money in to India as tax exemptions are permitted to software companies,
The White Paper states that in ‘The Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flows from India: 1948-2008’, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) has estimated that from 1948 to 2008 a total of US$ 213.2 billion has been shifted out of India through illicit outflows. It further estimates that after taking into consideration the rate of return on external assets, the adjusted gross transfer of illicit assets by residents of India amounts to about US$ 462 billion as of end-December 2008. It needs to be ascertained whether such an amount is stashed abroad in offshore bank accounts or whether this money has at least partly already returned to India. FDI statistics perhaps point to this fact. As per data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), from April 2000 to March 2011 FDI from Mauritius is 41.80 per cent of the entire FDI received by India. The topmost sources of the cumulative inflows from April 2000 to March 2011 are Mauritius (41.80 per cent) and Singapore (9.17 per cent). Mauritius and Singapore with their small economies cannot be the sources of such huge investments and it is apparent that the investments are routed through these jurisdictions for avoidance of taxes and/or for concealing the identities from the revenue authorities of the ultimate investors, many of whom could actually be Indian residents, who have invested in their own companies, through a process known as round tripping.
Investment in the Indian Stock Market through Participatory Notes (PNs) is another way in which the black money generated by Indians is re-invested in India. PNs or overseas derivative instruments (ODIs) are issued by Financial Institutional Investors (FIIs) against underlying Indian securities, which can be equity, debt, derivatives, or even indices. The investor in PNs does not hold the Indian securities in her/his own name. These are legally held by the FIIs, but s/he derives economic benefits from fluctuation in prices of the Indian securities, as also dividends and capital gains, through specifically designed contracts.
Panama Papers
The Ministry in reply to Unstarred Question No 1077 stated in a reply given on April, 29, 2016 stated,
”… Recently, information about certain offshore entities held by various Indian persons has appeared in media. Such information is attributed to be part of ‘Panama Papers’ leaks. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a Washington based organization which has reportedly made the revelations pertaining to the Panama Papers, has put a caveat on its website (www.icij.org) by mentioning that it should not be assumed that everyone who appears in the Panama Papers is involved in tax avoidance or evasion and there are legitimate reasons to create a company in an offshore jurisdiction and many people declare them to their tax authorities when that is required. The Government has taken necessary measures for expeditious investigation in such cases including through enhanced international cooperation”
Documents of about around 2,14,000 offshore entities covering almost 40 years. Reportedly, it came from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices in more than 35 countries.
The existing functionaries in Indian Government under the Ministry of Finance
The inbuilt mechanism to tackle the menace of black money with the Government, as obtained from the White Paper are as follows:-
Central Board of Direct Taxes: is a statutory authority functioning across India under the Central Board of Revenue Act of 1963. The Member(Investigation) of the CBDT,exercises control over the Investigation Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The Member is a high ranking IRS officer of the rank of Special Secretary to the Government of India.The Member controls the:
·         Directorate of Income Tax Intelligence and Criminal Investigation.
The Director General of Income Tax (International Taxation) is in charge of taxation issues arising from cross-border transactions and transfer pricing. This organisation has been in operation for nearly 50 years, is primarily responsible for combating the menace of black money, has offices in more than 800 buildings spread over 510 cities and towns across India and has over 55,000 employees and even employees who are deputed from premier police organisations to aid the department.
Enforcement Directorate: was established in 1956. It administers the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act of 1973 (FERA), later updated to Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA). It is entrusted with the investigation and prosecution of money-laundering offences, confiscation of the proceeds of such crime, matters related to foreign exchange market and international hawala transactions. This India-wide directorate, with focus on major financial centres in India, has 39 offices and 2000 employees.
Financial Intelligence Unit: has been operating as a separate investigative entity since 2004. This government organisation for receiving, processing, analysing, and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. It shares this information with other ministries, enforcement and financial investigative agencies of state and central government of India. Every month, it routinely examines about 700,000 investigative reports and over 1,000 suspect financial transaction trails to help identify and stop black money and money laundering.
Central Board of Excise and Customs and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence: is the apex intelligence organisation responsible for detecting cases of evasion of central excise and service tax. The Directorate develops intelligence, especially in new areas of tax evasion through its intelligence network across the country and disseminates information across Indian government organisations by issuing Modus Operandi Circulars and Alert Circulars to apprise field formations of the latest trends in tax evasion. It routinely arranges for enforcement operations to research into the evasion of duty and taxes. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence functions under the CBEC. It is entrusted with the responsibility of collection of data and information and its analysis, collation, interpretation and dissemination on matters relating to violations of taxation and customs law. The organisation has thousands of employees and is divided into seven zones all over India. It maintains close liaison with the World Customs Organisation, Brussels, the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office at Tokyo, INTERPOL, and foreign customs administrations.
Central Economic Intelligence Bureau: functions under India's Ministry of Finance. It is responsible for coordination, intelligence sharing, and investigations at national as well as regional levels amongst various law enforcement agencies to prevent financial crimes, generation and parking of black money and illegal transfers. This organisation maintains constant interaction with its Customs Overseas Investigation Network (COIN) offices to share intelligence and information on suspected international financial transactions. The COIN offices gather evidence through diplomatic channels from the foreign custom offices and other foreign establishments to establish cases of mis-declaration to help identify and stop tax evasion and money laundering.
In addition to the primary agencies listed above, India has 10 additional separate departments operating under the central government of India - such as National Investigation Agency and National Crimes Record Bureau - to help locate, investigate and prosecute black money cases. Discovery and enforcement is also assisted by India's Central Bureau of Investigation and state police.[2]
In addition to direct efforts, the Indian central government coordinates its efforts with state governments with dedicated departments to monitor and stop corporate frauds, bank frauds, frauds by Non-banking financial companies, sales tax frauds and income tax-related frauds.
Measures against Black Money
Whenever a question is raised in Parliament, the Government resorts to either to generalizing or use of indefinite tense like “Income Tax Department has received information from the French Government under the DTAA regarding accounts in HSBC Bank. Whenever such information is received, it is investigated and only thereafter the untaxed amounts are assessed and brought to taxation. The stage of assessment has not arrived in these cases. It is clarified that mere holding of an account outside India does not lead to the conclusion that the amount is tax evaded” as in reply to Unstarred Question Number 2016 given, in writing, on December 2, 2011. However during Question Hour on February 25, 2011, Finance Minister clarified in reply to a supplementary question on Starred Question Number 63 as “…But it (DTAA) is not yet ratified as far as the laws of the Switzerland are concerned. They will give us information, but that information will be prospective from the 1st of April 2011 and thereafter we shall be able to trace back. It would be our job and once we get a clue then it would be possible for us. With your permission, Madam, I can also share that we are having the wide-pronged strategy to unearth the black money….”
In reply to Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No 600 the Minister of State for Finance stated on 26.2.2016 as,
The Government has taken several effective steps, both by way of policy level initiatives as well as through more effective enforcement action on the ground, to curb the menace of black money in the country. These steps include :

(i) Constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Black Money under the Chairmanship and Vice-Chairmanship of two former Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court.

(ii) Enactment of a Comprehensive new law titled ‘The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015’ to specifically and more effectively deal with the issue of black money stashed away abroad which has come into force w.e.f. 01.07.2015.

(iii) Introduction of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 with a view to, inter-alia, enable confiscation of Benami property and provide for prosecution.

(iv) Proactively engaging with foreign governments for enhanced exchange of information under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs)/Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEAs)/Multilateral Conventions. A table of List of DTAAs/TIEAs in Force/under negotiation (as of 2012) are given in annexure-I.  

(v) According high priority to the cases involving black money stashed away abroad for investigation and other follow-up actions.

(vi) While focusing upon non-intrusive measures, due emphasis on enforcement measures in high impact cases with a view to prosecute the offenders at the earliest possible for credible deterrence against tax evasion/black money.

(vii) Proactively furthering global efforts to combat tax evasion/black money, inter-alia, by joining the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement in respect of Automatic Exchange of Information and having information sharing arrangement with USA under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). A table of Mutual Administrative assistance on Tax Matters (as of 2012) is given in annexure-II.  

(viii) Rationalization of the PAN quoting requirements in respect of certain financial transactions which includes the need of compulsory quoting of PAN for sale or purchase, by any person, of goods or services of any nature (other than those for which separate requirements have been prescribed under rule 114B of the Income-tax Rules, 1962) of the amount exceeding Rs. 2 lakh per transaction
w.e.f. January 1, 2016.
On the Punitive side, appropriate action against evasion of taxes/black money is an on-going process. Such action under direct tax laws includes searches, surveys, enquiries, assessment of income, levy of tax, interest, penalties, etc. and filing of prosecution complaints in criminal courts, wherever applicable.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) submits its reports directly to the Hon’ble Supreme Court. So far SIT has submitted four reports inter-alia recommending the following:-

(i) There should be institutional mechanism through a dedicated set up which examines mismatch between export/import data with corresponding import/export data of other countries on at least a quarterly, if not monthly basis.

(ii) To make declaring PAN mandatory for all sales, where payment is in cash or through bank, above a value of Rs. One lakh.

(iii) To control holding of unaccounted money to a large extent, a threshold cash holding limit of Rs. 10 lakhs or 15 lakhs should be prescribed.
(iv) To make tax crime as a predicate offence.

(v) Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) should be amended to provide for seizure and confiscation of property of equivalent value within the country, if it is held that property held abroad is in violation of section 4 of FEMA.
(vi) FIU should have access to widest possible range of financial, administrative and law enforcement information.

(vii) SEBI needs to have an effective monitoring mechanism to study unusual rise of stock prices of Companies and misuse of exemption on Long Term Capital gains tax for money laundering.

(viii) SEBI needs to examine misuse of Participatory notes for money laundering and come up with regulations where the “final beneficial owner” of P notes/ODIs are known. The information of “beneficial owner” with SEBI should be in form of individual whose KYC information is known to SEBI. 

(ix) P notes are transferable in nature. SEBI needs to examine if this provision of allowing transferring of P notes is in any way beneficial for easing foreign investment. Any investor wanting to invest through P notes can always invest afresh through a Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) instead of buying from a P note holder. 

(x) Proactive detection of creation of shell companies.
(xi) All cases of Trade based money laundering detected by DRI where violation of section 132 of Customs Act, above the threshold provided for in Part B of Schedule of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) has been found, must be shared by DRI with the Enforcement Directorate to enable ED to take action under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(xii) Generation of black money in education section and through donations to religious institutions and charities must be curbed. CBDT should take appropriate action for expeditious finalization of the assessment, if required, punitive action may be taken.
The Government has in reply to Unstarred Question Number 1077 further informed Parliament on April 29, 2016 that it has constituted a Multi-Agency Group on 4th April 2016, inter alia, for facilitating co-ordinated and speedy investigation in the cases of Indian persons allegedly having undisclosed foreign assets and whose names are reportedly included in Panama Papers leaks. The Group consists of the officers of Investigation Division of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Foreign Tax & Tax Research Division of CBDT, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Reserve Bank of India, and its Convener is Member (Investigation), CBDT. It has been asked to report the progress in such cases on regular basis. Investigation in such cases is at preliminary stage. Further course of action depends upon outcome of the investigation in respective cases.
As a result of the aforementioned steps taken a total of 648 declarations have been made under the one-time three months’ compliance window provided in Chapter VI of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015. The compliance window closed on 30th September 2015.

Funds Ploughed Back
As on March 3, 2016 when the Ministry of Finance gave reply to Unstarred Question Number 1411, the Government received undisclosed foreign assets worth Rs.4164 crore (including those declarations which were posted before 30th September 2015 and received after 30th September 2015) in respect of which the declarants were liable to pay tax at the rate of 30% along with penalty at the rate of 30% by 31st December 2015. The Government had received a total amount of Rs.2476 crore by way of tax and penalty.
The Act is a one-time window for disclosure of undisclosed foreign income and assets for the period between July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.
Efforts at the Global Level
India is also part of the global efforts to combat black money. It attended the meetings of G-20 leaders like the one held in London on April 2, 2009 (reply to Unstarred Question Number 1353 dated 27.11.2009) and also in Turkey in November 15 to 16 2015 (Unstarred Question Number 2111 dated 11.12.2015). In such meetings the issue of black money invariably comes up in the discussions. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

summer uniform

5.15 pm, vikram at 011-23035512 said summer uniform would be brought by aakash after one week. 

Friday, May 13, 2016


(i) additional director su** ******na (5147)10.40 am on 4.5.2016 about sq dy no 13904 reg duty free shops in airports by shri sa****** **hande, mp; (ii) rohilla of DoE, MoF (23095717) at 11.30 about uploading of replies to parliament questions in lok sabha website. Called again at 5.30 pm on 18.5.2016, said uploading is going on. Also about non uploading of annexure, said the matter would be attended to at the earliest.

Monday, April 11, 2016

unuploaded questions

replies to starred/unstarred question numbers 51, 53, 469, 472, 474, 484, 503, 540 and 571 of 26.2.2016 and starred question 134 of 4.3.2016 are still not uploaded in the lss website.134, 1420,1442,1489, 1538,1604, 1489, 1420 of 4.3.2016 and 2465, 2478, 2514 of 11.3.2016 are also not found 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Promise

Parliament Question for 16.3.2016 raised in Lok Sabha on the subject of 'Kit to Identify Adulteration in Milk' listed as starred, stands at the second position under the names of SHRI RAHUL SHEWALE, MP; and SHRI NAGENDRA KUMAR PRADHAN, MP.

The question states, “ Will the Minister of SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state: (a) whether a new technology to analyse and detect adulteration in milk has been developed by the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute and if so, the details thereof; (b) whether any survey/study has been commissioned to ascertain the availability of adulterated milk in the market and if so, the details thereof; (c) the extent to which the new technology is likely to tackle national level health hazard on account of adulteration of milk in the country along with one time and recurring cost of this new technology; and (d) whether the Government has prepared any plan to patent and popularise the use of new technology by various stakeholders and if so, the details in this regard?

In reply Dr. Harsh Vardhan the Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences gave a written statement:

(a),(b),(c)&(d) : A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.


Part wise reply:

(a) Yes, Madam (
(the current Lok Sabha Speaker is Ms Sumitra Mahajan, to who every query of every member is addressed)  A new technology to analyze and detect adulteration in milk has been developed by CSIR-Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CEERI), Pilani. This technology is novel and is based on acquiring electrochemical fingerprint coupled with multivariate data analysis techniques. There are no systems currently available globally based on similar methods. This innovation represents the first fully Indian “concept to implementation” effort in the instrumentation related to milk and dairy, addressing an unmet need.

(b) No, Madam. CSIR-CEERI has not conducted any survey/study to ascertain the availability of adulterated milk in the market. The R&D work was started on the basis of industry requirement in dairy sector and reports/survey available during the time in electronic and print media. According to the recent reports, over 68 percent of milk in the country does not conform to the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI; based on the national vide survey conducted by FSSI in 2011).According to the FSSAIs 2011 survey, the most common adulterant was found to be the addition of water, besides, other adulterants such as glucose, skimmed milk powder, urea, detergent, refined oil, caustic soda and white paint which, according to studies, are "very hazardous" to human life and can cause serious diseases.

(c) Milk being commonly used in everyday diet, if adulterated poses serious health hazards. Deeper understanding of the role of Milk in human health, as a critical component has stimulated interest in the development of the present technology which is cost-effective. The adoption and deployment of the innovation in as many villages and milk societies possible would be a step forward in enhancing and implementing, the standards and quality of the milk. Besides it can help in generating employment. The technology excels in its ability to detect known and unknown adulterants in milk and coupled with its low cost has a great potential to be used widely in the dairy industry. This technology has been transferred to two industries, namely M/s Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments (REIL), Jaipur (a Mini Ratna PSU) in December 2012 and M/s Alpine Technologies, Surat in December 2015 for manufacturing and commercialization. M/s REIL has manufactured system based on the technology costing around Rs. 70,000/- to Rs.100,000/-. The other industry is in the process of setting up manufacturing facilities. The recurring cost for testing a milk sample through this new technology is around Rs.0.05 - 0.10. The sample measurement time is nearly 40-45 seconds. 

(d) The following two Indian Patents were filed related to innovation and thereof developed system:
(1) PC Panchariya, AH Kiranmayee & S. Raghunath, "A novel method and a system based on voltammetry for characterization and discrimination of liquids" India, 0568/DEL/ 2010A.

(2) PC Panchariya, AH Kiranmayee, R.S. Chouhan, & P. Bhanu Prasad, "A method and system for detection of synthetic milk in natural milk", India, 0198/DEL/2013A.
Efforts are on to enhance the deployment of the technology.

During Question Hour which takes place from 11 to 12 ‘o clock, the Minister further stated,
“Respected Madam I think, I have given a comprehensive reply. The amount of adulteration that is happening in the country, that is as per the latest report of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, has been given. The last survey was done in the year 2011 in which they had taken samples from 33 States. About 1700 samples were taken and it was found that 68.4 per cent of the samples of milk that were picked up from different places, were adulterated. There were many adulterants; some of them were named by you. So, in fact, the earlier process for testing adulteration in this country was actually either a routine lactometer which was able to only test the density or there was a mechanism of strips or a chemical technique in which for everything that is added, you have a different test and then you have to use chemicals and all. So, this was the time when we were in fact working on an electronic tongue and we thought to replace the man testers. We thought in our laboratory that this is a very serious problem for the country as in about two lakh villages in the country, there are about four lakh places where milk is collected. Then, through the cold chain, it is sent to the dairies. So, we have now developed the Ksheer-Scanner which is, I think, going to revolutionise the whole process of getting an instant test at the point of first collection, the first point where the milk is given to the collection centre. Comment [KR3]: Contd. by d1 16.03.2016 :: Hng-Kvj Uncorrected / Not for Publication 8 (d1/1115/lh-sk) The cost of this test is five to ten paise. You get the result within 40 seconds. Once that scanner machine is installed at different places, we can ensure quality of milk. Earlier what was happening was that if somebody was delivering milk at a place, they took sample to the main collection centre and later on testing of that sample was done with chemical methods, etc. but the damage was already done. Now, this is a mechanism in which within 40 seconds you get the result ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and you can also know the name of adulterant. So, this is a revolutionary idea. Our CSIR laboratory has already got in touch with two leading companies, one in Gujarat and the other in Rajasthan. The Rajasthan company has already installed 50 scanners at different places in four States. They had initially done testing on 2,000 samples and they crosschecked their results with chemical methods. The accuracy of this test was one hundred per cent. We have demonstrated it before whole group of our media people who cover the scientific community. After this revolutionary discovery by our scientists, we are now in the process of further developing it for individual people at homes. That is a Ksheer scanner that we are developing, which will be costing only Rs.10,000. Our ultimate aim is to develop this machine further in a way that the whole chain of milk collection is connected through GPS system and wherever there is adulteration in milk, immediately a message can be sent to the dairy that this is a particular sample and at one particular place adulteration is likely to happen. Comment [l4]: Q.No. 262 cd. Dr. Harsh – contd. 16.03.2016 :: Hng-Kvj Uncorrected / Not for Publication 9 To make this happen and also to convert into really peoplefriendly and people-saving movement in the country, I have written to all the Health Ministers of the country. We have requested them to involve their PFA Department and also their Animal Husbandry Department. I would also simultaneously appeal to all the Members of Parliament to take care of their own constituency and maybe through their MPLAD fund or by just mobilizing local resources, they can ensure that this scanner is installed at all the collection centres and also at all the dairies. Then, it can be used in other places also. In the societies also this machine can be installed at the gate and when somebody comes and delivers milk, one can get it tested. That is the basic idea. This is a very serious problem which is actually adversely affecting the health of millions of people in this country. Not only one particular organ of the body is affected but also from heart to liver, from liver to kidney, from kidney to gastrointestinal tracts leading to cancer, etc. Many ailments are actually happening due to adulteration in milk. It deserves the serious attention of all of you and particularly you can make your own areas free of adulteration in milk, which is happening now. You can actually do it with a very simple technique”.

This seems to me to be a bit of a coincidence.

Today while I was reading a by-line ‘2 out of 3 Indians drink milk laced with detergent, urea and paint’ by Rhythma Kaul published in the front page of the Hindustan Times, my door bell rang and my wife, who opened the door, fetched a half litre of milk pack offered by a certain company named dairylac. Along with the milk pack, there is an accompanying brochure too.

Dairylac promises delivery of the organicalized milk in 12 to 24 hours in below 4 degrees centigrade temperature. It is scientifically proven that bacteria does not grow in temperatures below 4 degrees. This implies use of a multitude of workers from the farm to the customers’ doorsteps. Digitalization of customer experience and development of android and ios applications and the option of conducting tests at every stage are also on offer.

This comes in the backdrop of high rates of cancer, especially breast cancer in modern time.  So the timing is not altogether bad.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Strange Youtube Views Trends

Aerosmith’s Crazy featuring the then teenage Alicia Silverstone has 158 million views while Guns n Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine (full version) of about the same time has a mere 18 million views. The young be it male or female is more inclined to see barely clad beautiful girls than skill and real balladic execution of romantic love.

Shine on you crazy diamond has hardly 3 million viewers in youtube while nothing else matters has has 23. What does the young generation like to watch? 

A host of extremely uninteresting music videos like Gangnam Style- Psy- with 2535 million views as on 15.7.2012; See You Again- Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth 1541 million as on 6.4.2015; Blank Space- Taylor Swift 1516 million as on 10.11.2014; Uptown Funk- Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars 1441 million as on 19.11.2014; Snake it of- Taylor Swift 1371 million as on 18.8.2014; Baby by Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris 1327 million as on 19.02.2010; Bailando-Enrique Iglesias featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente De Zona 1326 as on 11.4.2014; Dark Horse-Katy Perry featuring Juicy J 1321 million as on 20.02.2014; Hello- Adele 1311 million as on 22.10.2015; All About That Bass- Megan Trainor 1299 million as on 11.6.2014; Roar-Katy Perry 1293 million as on 5.9.2013; Wheels on the Bus-Little Baby bum 1263 million as on 22.3.2014; Lean On- Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MO 1205 million as on 22.3.2015; Masha and the Bear Recipe For Disaster-Get Movies 1200 million 31.1.2012; Chandelier-Sia 1182 million as on 6.5.2013; Counting Stars- One Republic 1175 million as on 31.5.2013; Sugar- Maroon 5 1125 million as on 14.1.2015; Party Rock Anthem- LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock 1046 million as on 8.3.2011; Wakawaka (this time for Africa)- shakira featuring freshlyground 1039 million as on 4.6.2010; Love You the way you lie-Eminem featuring Rihanna 1034 million as on 5.8.2010; Sorry-Justin Bieber 1024 million as on 22.1.2015; Love me like you do – Ellie Goulding 1019 million as pm 22.1.2015; Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran 1006 million 7.1.2015; Gentleman- Psy 940 million as on 13.4.2012; Let Her Go- Passenger 918 million as on 25.7.2012; On the Floor- Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull 916 million 3.3.2011; Proquesta Indecente- Romeo Santos 915 million as on 9.9.2013; Wake Me Up – Avici featuring Aloe Blacc 885 million as on 29.7.2013; Thrift Shop- Macklemore &Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz 870 million as on 29.8.2012; and Rolling in the Deep- Adele 865 million as on 30.11.2010.

I could arrive at a decision completely reversed from the record put forth by Wikipedia. May be I have a queer favour for anything british or may be not; I like even ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele 3 times more than I like the record holder Gangnam Style by the Korean. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Some Stupid With A F****** Gun: The MLA's Worst Nightmare


As a concluding remark in the Executive Summary, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report of 2015 about Financial Audit on State finance of Government of Manipur stated as follows-
There were 4611 Utilization Certificates (UC) involving 2770.18 crore in respect of grants to 34 departments as on 31.3.2014. There were also delays and arrears in finalization of accounts by the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), Autonomous Bodies and Departmental Commercial Undertakings (DFUs). 3 DCUs have not submitted their accounts for more than 10 years and other three for more than 20 years.

I wonder how on earth the Government give full fledge retirement to its servants from department where accounts have not been clear for more than 20 years.

The concluding remark of the report recommended, ‘State Government may consider to strengthen internal controls of the executing agencies to utilize the funds within stipulated time so as to avoid delays in submission to ensure timely finalization and submission of annual accounts by the ADCs, autonomous bodies and DCUs to the office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit) Manipur, and take special drive to expedite the submission of pending annual accounts and UCs’.

The recent moves of the Centre and the State have created ripples in my thought.

On August 3, 2015 the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN(I-M) signed peace accord with the Government of India.

The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015;  The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015; and The Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2015 were passed on 31.8.2015. The tribals, especially those from Churachandpur saw it as an attempt to undermine their rights. But tribal MLAs had no remorse for not opposing the bills. Why?

The protection of the people of Manipur envisages setting up of a  directorate of immigration in the state. Directorate is headed by a director, whose pay would go (by contemporary standard would go as high as 1.3 lakh) Below him is expected at least  5 officers of Additional Director or Deputy Secretary rank, 10 Under Secretaries and a host of gazetted and non-gazetted officers. The number of sub-ordinate staff (grade C and grade D) in such an organization would come to at least 50. The pay of senior officers would come up to Rs. 25 lakhs. Similarly the other staff including Section Officers and below would be earning an equal, if not higher amount. The bottom line is that in the event of the setting up of a directorate an amount of atleast Rs. 60 lakh would come to the state from the Central Government under salary head. Such a large office would require staff cars, petrol, stationery and other consumable goods for maintenance. Thus the non-plan expenditure to such a directorate would come to as high as Rs. 80 lakh per month.

A day may come when the directorate has grown too small to handle all registrations and renewals in the matter. Eventually district offices have to be opened in Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Chandel, Imphal (East), Senapati, Tamenglong, Thoubal, Ukhrul and Imphal (West) all sucking lakhs of money from the Central Government. In the event of the Sadar Hills district being formed as demanded by the Kukis, the number of districts would come to 10.

A big question mark is staring one in the face; what would be the level of efficiency of the directorate? The efficiency may be good or very good initially. Because the Government has to, at least appoint some experienced person as head, which would give an impression that the office really functions.  The head retires and the directorate's is thrown open to the locals. Fake data would be prepared and furnished wherever and whenever. But what kind of people would consist of the 'locals'?

On December 29, 2015 The Jont Action Committee (JAC) against the bills met the Chief Minister wherein they were told that the bills were the brainchild of Corcomm, the undergrounds based in Myanmar. Similarly it is rumoured that head of  a revolutionary army had told all MLAs under his jurisdiction to not oppose the bills.

So who will man the directorate and its branches (if there need to be any expansion) ?