Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: Corruption

Stop corporate debt restructuring

There is a conspiracy of silence about money lost to the people of India due to corporate debt restructuring (CDR). TV channels don’t talk about CDR. Companies borrow crores of rupees from banks and financial institutions and when they say they are unable to pay the loan they are referred to CDR cell. Over the years more and more companies have defaulted on payments.

In F. Y. 2009-10, 256 companies defaulted on payment of 1,15,990 crores rupees, 215 of them got CDR for 1,04,299 crores rupees. In F. Y. 2010-11, 305 companies defaulted on payment of 1,41,158 crores rupees, 242 of them got CDR for 1,10,914 crores rupees. In F. Y. 2011-12, 389 companies defaulted on payment of 2,05,692 crores rupees, 286 of them got CDR for 1,50,286 crores rupees. CDR cell rejected requests of 56 companies for CDR of 19,589 crores rupees and decisions on requests of 47 companies for CDR of 35,878 crores rupees are pending. For three years CDR amount is 3,65,438 crore rupees which may go up to 4,01,316 crores rupees.

If a man borrows a few lakh rupees as housing loan or car loan and defaults on payment he will lose his flat or car. Companies that borrow crores of rupees and default do not lose anything. On the contrary, under CDR they get extension of time for payment and cut in interest rates. It is profitable to default on payment and ask for CDR then to pay as per schedule. GTL Group wants CDR for 17,000 crore rupees. Hindustan Construction Company wants CDR for 8,300 crore rupees. Bharati Shipyard wants CDR for 5,600 crore rupees. Hotel Leela wants CDR for 4,300 crore rupees. No wonder the number of defaulters is increasing.

India’s economy is said to be booming while EU economy is faltering. We hear reports of India’s growth rate. How is that Indian companies are making losses?

CDR cell decides cases when many banks and FIs are involved and the amount is not less than 10 crore rupees. When 75% banks/FIs by value and 60% by number approve CDR is granted and the decision is binding on the 25% banks/FIs by value and 40% by number which is unfair.

Many times under CDR, loan is converted to shares for more than market value. Later the value of shares goes down further. Kingfisher’s loan from SBI was converted into shares at Rs.64.48 per share when the market value was Rs.48 per share or less and now the value is around Rs.16 per share.

What IAC members have to say about CDR? CDR is robbing the poor and paying to the rich. Many banks/FIs belong to the people of India. India’s 121 crore people are robbed so that those who can borrow 10 crore rupees or above become more rich.

What Left Front MPs have to say about CDR? Congress, BJP, BSP, SP, TMC, DMK, JD (U) and MPs belonging to many other parties may have corporate connections and may not raise the issue of CDR but Left Front MPs are not supposed to have any corporate connection. Left Front MPs have not opposed CDR.

Many industrialists have become MPs. Some of them got elected to Lok Sabha but many of them have become Rajya Sabha members. Recently Election Commission countermanded a Rajya Sabha election because 2.15 crore rupees were found in a car. That amount was supposed to be for MLAs to vote for an independent candidate. What about industrialists who pay money to party presidents and become party candidates and Rajya Sabha members? Will Election Commission countermand a Rajya Sabha election if it comes to know that an industrialist got a party ticket by paying 2 crore rupees to a party president?

What Baba Ramdev has to say about CDR? He wants to bring black money stashed away outside India but what about the loot within the country?

CDR cell should be disbanded. Defaulters should approach banks/FIs individually and each bank/FI should decide for itself. If extension is granted it should be for a short period not exceeding six months and interest rate should go up. After that there should be no extension. Property of defaulters should be confiscated.

FIRs against 14 ministers

IAC wants FIRs against 14 ministers. The ministers are P. Chidambaram, Ajit Singh, Farooq Abdullah, G. K. Vasan, Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal, Sharad Pawar, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Sushilkumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, M. K. Alagiri, Virbhadra Singh, S. M. Krishna and Praful Patel.

Kapil Sibal reduced fine on Reliance from 650 crore rupees to 5 crore rupees resulting in a loss of 645 crore rupees to the country. He should reverse his decision or pay 645 crore rupees.

Someone in Congress wanted to get rid of Ashok Chavan as CM, after a stage managed revelation with the help of a TV channel in which one Congress politician told another Congress politician that Ashok Chavan was unwilling to contribute to Sonia Gandhi’s rally but later fell in line and contributed two crore rupees, so Adarsh scam became public knowledge. The person does not want to get rid of Sushilkumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh so they have remained ministers.

If there is evidence of attacks on political rivals against M. K. Alagiri, IAC can approach Jayalalitha. She will be glad to file FIR and put him in jail.

If there is no loss to the exchequer in JKCA financial irregularities then the central or state government cannot file an FIR against Farooq Abdullah unless there is a complaint from someone in JKCA. JKCA has its income from BCCI and other sources. In case of Syed Yusuf Shah’s death, there has to be some evidence against Farooq Abdullah.

Virbhadra Singh has denied there being any video of him demanding a bribe from an IAS officer. He has demanded an apology from Arvind Kejriwal failing which he has threatened to take legal action against him.

IAC wants FIR against Kamal Nath for rice export scam. Tarun Das in his conversation with Radia had referred to him as having 15% of contract amounts. Later he had apologized and called himself a bloody fool.

Not much is known about G. K. Vasan causing loss of 2,00,000 crore rupees by giving away 16,000 acres near Kandla Port.

There is not much publicity to the case where P. Chidambaram’s wife is a lawyer to Kashinath Tapuriah against Income Tax department’s claim of 580 crore rupees tax. Subramanian Swami has a case in Delhi High Court against P. Chidambaram to make him an accused in 2G scam.

NDA was in power when stamp paper scam surfaced. Sharad Pawar was not prosecuted then. It is unlikely UPA will prosecute him.

CAG report about coal is not final. If the report indicts Sriprakash Jaiswal or there is other evidence FIR against him can be rightly demanded. When anything in the CAG report is leaked and that embarrasses Congress, Congress spokesperson either refuse to comment saying the report is not submitted or question the leakage. When incomplete Karntaka Lokayukta report on mining was leaked they had no hesitation in commenting on it.

Praful Patel’s actions as civil aviation minister caused loss to the country. He placed orders for unnecessary aircrafts. Boeing has not delivered the planes even after three years and not likely to deliver for another year. Air India continues to make loss. Ajit Singh, current civil aviation minister, should cancel the order placed with Boeing. If pilots go on strike Air India should be shut down.

There is no proof that Ajit Singh received money for voting in favour of UPA in 2008. Wikileaks cable is not sufficient.

Karnataka iron ore mining scam happened under different chief ministers. Apart from S. M. Krishna, FIRs have to be filed against other chief ministers.

The beneficiaries of the acts of ministers will do everything to thwart filing of FIRs. In Lok Sabha MPs spoke against IAC and passed a censure motion. MPs belonging to NDA and Left Front did not demand that the ministers step down. The issue is diverted from FIRs to dignity of Parliament. MPs who disrupt proceedings are not punished.

IAC also should demand FIRs against eight corrupt CJIs and other corrupt judges, bureaucrats, ministers and so on.

Someone said Lokpal will paralyse governmet. Government is already paralysed due to cabinet’s subservience to NAC, allies like DMK and TMC, Congress ministers who speak against their colleagues, Congress members who speak against the government and so on. Retrospective amendments have created uncertainty. If someone has scientific ideas to fight corruption he should mention them.

Fight against corruption must continue

India Against Corruption seems to have lost direction and momentum in fight against corruption. IAC wanted a Lokpal Bill. That did not happen. They wanted right to reject and right to recall. Both are unlikely to happen soon. Anna Hazare seems unable or unwilling to lead the agitation. Other members should resume the fight against corruption.

IAC members need not go on indefinite fast. They can go on chain hunger strike. Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan can fast for some hours every day. Then Shazia Ilmi, Gaurav Bakshi and Manish Sisodia can take their turn. Then some other people fast. Every day the cycle is repeated. The fight for Lokpal should be separate from fight for Lokayuktas.

Elections are said to be major reason for corruption. That is partly true. Many people who don’t fight elections are also corrupt. In India elections take place throughout the year in some part or other. IAC must fight for a single election day once in five years. Elections to all Lok Sabha, Legislative Assembly, Zilla Parishad, municipality, panchayat and other local body constituencies should be held on a single day. That will reduce corruption. A candidate should be allowed to contest from one constituency only.

IAC should fight for presidential system. Parliamentary democracy has failed. Coalition compulsions result in wrong people being ministers. Even when there is single party government in states there is dissidence. Someone who is not chief minister tries to become chief minister. President should be elected by MPs and MLAs. Vice President should be elected by MPs. Governors should be elected by MLAs. Direct election to President, Vice President and Governors are expensive.

IAC should fight for an easy process to remove corrupt judges, bureaucrats and other officials.

IAC should fight against corporate debt restructuring. Corporates who have borrowed must pay the debt as per the conditions on which they borrowed. Properties of defaulters should be attached. List of borrowers and defaulters should be public.

IAC should fight for abolition of Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils. Parties sell Rajya Sabha seats.

IAC should not worry about not being representative of OBCs, Muslims, SCs, STs and so on. Those who talk of such things have lost elections.

Fight against corruption demands fight for a new constitution. IAC should draft a new constitution. Supreme Court judges should be appointed by President after approval by Parliament. High Court judges should be appointed by Governor after approval by Legislative Assembly. Let not IAC worry about self-styled followers of Ambedkar protesting against new constitution. Those followers do not have much following. Ambedkar did not write the constitution. He was the chairman of the drafting committee of the constitution. The followers of Ambedkar have not protested when the constitution has been amended around hundred times.

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