Sunday, 20 July 2014

Winning in Mumbai - India Photo Library

Did India Get Its Independence?

Some time ago LK Advani was denied entry to Delhi Gymkhana Club because he was wearing a dhoti and this story got into the media. More recently a high court judge was refused entry into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association premises for wearing a South Indian dhoti.

Prior to Independence, the British did not allow Indians into some of their clubs and hotels. Institutions nowadays are still sort of restricting entry to Indians based on their traditional attire. Indians are now possibly behaving like the people they overthrew.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BRICS: The Building Blocks of a New World Order?

The BRICS nations are going to create a BRICS Development Bank that might one day rival the World Bank or IMF based in Washington.

There is not much in common between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. So why do they come together in a summit and develop ties between them in this way. One economist some years ago coined the term BRICS, as these nations had potential to grow economically, which has now resulted in a formal organisation of these nations. Economists should be careful what they wish for.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

America's Twin Wars on Trade and Terror

Times of India reports that Apple is reportedly trying to keep Sharp from selling display panels to arch rival Samsung. The iPhone maker had paid approximately 50 billion yen to Sharp in 2012 to change the production equipment at the Japanese display maker's Kameyama Plant No. 1 in Mie Prefecture. According to a report by Nikkei, Sharp is offering $239 million to Apple to buy back the equipment that the iPhone maker owns in a bid to diversify its customer base. This plant is solely used to build screens for Apple's smartphone range. 

It is also reported by the BBC that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has found the United States violated global trade rules when it imposed tariffs on products from China and India. In response to a 2012 complaint, the WTO said America improperly imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and solar panels. In a separate ruling, it said the US must change the way it imposes tariffs on India steel products. The US is embroiled in several trade spats with China and India.

As well as fighting a war on terror, America is also fighting a trade war with allies. There have been several spats between Apple and Samsung. Whilst Apple has settled lawsuits against Google, it still continues its patent litigation against Samsung. America is trying its hardest not to let economic and technological power shift to Asia, using all means at its disposal. Allies in the war on terror are enemies in the trade war.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Currency Wars: Defence of the Realm?

Times of India reports that a secret report by Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has pegged the Indian rupee to be the major reserve currency that will be traded internationally in the next two decades. The report available with the Times of India says that by 2040, the Rupee will challenge China's Renminbi as the strongest global currency. The assessment says that internal welfare demands and a reduction in levels of available capital will lead to a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which will catapult India into overtaking China during this same period. The MoD's Development Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) that has identified key strategic trends that Britain needs to be concerned about over the next 30 years said "RMB and the Rupee will be of greater global significance by 2040. Both are likely to be traded internationally as reserve currencies assuming that both countries can undertake the necessary economic reforms to make this possible". The report concludes "It is likely that the Indian economy will rival that of China and the US by 2040. If India can achieve the necessary internal transformations required to sustain this growth it is likely that the Rupee will challenge the Renminbi as the strongest global currency post 2040. To pursue such growth, it is likely that India will value 'transactional relationships' over transnational alliances". 

Why is UK's Ministry of Defence undertaking such studies as to which currencies will dominate in the future? Is this really to do with defence of the realm or defending London's Square Mile? Is this study something that the defence forces should be funding rather than the Bank of England?

SJP (@DigitalAsian)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Day in the Life of Mumbai - Photos of Mumbai

Education, Education, Education ... and Health

Why do so many industrialists in India set up universities, colleges and hospitals? It has become fashionable to set up "world class" universities or hospitals nowadays in India. Education and health care are now big business. It may be the tax or land benefits that you get. I may be cynical but these universities or hospitals are always referred to as "world class". Are Indians fixated with the idea of class?

The Primary Purpose of Immigration Legislation

UK has new laws that restrict the foreign spouses of UK residents entering to those earning above GBP 18,600/-. The primary purpose of this legislation is to restrict immigration of non-EU nationals into the UK and will primarily affect people from South Asia and Africa.

In the UK Immigration law there used to be what was known as the Primary Purpose rule which caused huge problems for South Asians living in Britain. This rule was abolished by the Labour government of 1997. But since then the Primary Purpose rule, although abolished, has been implemented in other ways such as this new rule of an earnings requirement.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

No Rain, No Gain: India's Monsoonomics

The annual monsoon plays a vital role in India's economy. If the rains are delayed or less than usual this causes huge problems for the farmers and agriculture in India. This year the rains are delayed and the issue of farmer suicides is back on the agenda - see Holy Cow - Re-incarnation with an economic twist

India has huge problems in storing and transporting food around the country. Obscene amounts of food go to waste due to corruption and inadequate storage facilities where food rots. Modi needs to tackle these issues urgently. The Delayed monsoon will the delay the onset of the Acche Din.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Modi's Idea of a Digital India: Bold Budget?

Bombay's Bold Budget - Street sign in Mumbai - IdeaIndia.Com

In the first Modi Budget, the Indian government said it will allocate Rs 500 crore for the Digital India initiative for setting up broadband network in villages and promote local manufacturing of hardware and Indian software products. Under the Digital India initiative, National Rural Internet and Technology Mission, the government will set up broadband in villages, promote local manufacturing of hardware and Indian software products, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the Budget.

Modi's Idea of a Digital India is set in motion here. Is Rs.500 crore enough to compete with the likes of Cisco? Is this a bold enough budget to get indigenous technology manufacturing started?

The Idea of a Digital India @ IdeaIndia.Com

A Breathe of Fresh Air: Airports in the airline business?

BBC News reports that Venezuela’s biggest international airport is charging a fee for the right to inhale clean air - and social media users are not happy. We're used to a seemingly endless range of taxes and surcharges when we fly - passenger taxes, departure taxes, fuel levies. But Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas has taken this a step further - passengers flying out now have to pay 127 bolivars tax ($20) for the air they breathe. This is to cover the cost of a newly-installed system which uses ozone to purify the building's air conditioning system. 

Just imagine having to pay for air or even sunshine. The likes of AirAsia and RyanAir will get some ideas over this probably. I can imagine in the future utility companies taking over the provision of fresh air and somehow charging for the amount you breathe using some sort of metering technique. Imagine an employer providing staff with fresh air in the office – would that be considered as a tax perq? Fuel, Gas, Water, electricity, air … what can’t be taxed in future?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Shah of India: Modi's Man

Amit Shah, Narendra Modi's right hand man from Gujarat, is now BJP President. Amit Shah was the main person responsible for securing a BJP election victory in Uttar Pradesh. Modi's powerbase at the centre and in the BJP seems more secure now.

SJP (@DigitalAsian)