Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Indian economy

I read about the booming economy of India. Sensex may have gone up. Salaries of some people may have doubled or trebled. For me it is not a happy situation. Three years have seen rise in prices.

Item 2003 2006
Bread 8.00 10.00
Milk (half litre packet) 7.50 9.00
Bus fare (from EC to Vasai Road Station) 4.00 5.00
Auto fare (from EC to Vasai Road Station) 4.00 6.00
Cable subscription (per month) 200.00 275.00

Similarly prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up with seasonal variations.

My salary has not gone up in proportion to rising prices. When inflation is taken into account the increment at the most just covers up additional amount spent. In these three years my salary increased by 23%.

Transport is difficult. Quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Borivali has not taken place. Quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Virar was over in June 2004. Since then not even quadruplication of tracks between Vasai Road and Naigaum is over. At one time the 8.20 local leaving Vasai Road to Churchgate used to come at 8 o’clock. In March 2006 8.07 local to Borivali was introduced. After that 8.20 local comes after 8.07 local leaves, which is very often later than 8.06, and crowds grow bigger and difficult to get a seat. In the rush people fall. On 14.6.2006 when 8.20 local came the door was closed. I was standing at the platform. Someone fell before me. Another person fell on me. I had a fracture. It resulted in pain, I had to take leave and spend money on medicine. Though the fracture was not healed doctor said I could attend office and I resumed on 11/7/2006. I expect to be fit by 14/9/2006.

Many farmers have committed suicides. Announcing compensation for their families is neither right nor a solution. Suicide is a crime. Crime should not be rewarded. I read or heard somewhere on TV that suicides have increased because families get compensation.

Our country has imported wheat. What happened to 60 millions of foodgrains in godowns which we had some years back? How did such a huge stock disappear?

When sensex crashes there is lot of hue and cry though sensex has nothing to do economy. TV channels and newspapers cover it extensively. The coverage is out of proportion.

Indian economy will boom when prices remain stable, travel is easy. Now the economy of only some Indians booms.

Conditional Access System

Conditional Access System (CAS) is a good thing. It should have been implemented in Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras in 2003. It was implemented in Madras. In other cities it was not implemented due to opposition from some people.

Pay channels take consumers for granted in cable system. After ESPN and Star Sports joined together they charge as they like. Whenever there is sports event a new channel bags the rights and they charge for telecast. For 2006 Football World Cup Ten Sports bagged the rights. For a cricket tour in 2006 Sahara Plus bagged the right and became pay channel. People have to pay whether they watch the channels or not.

In Madras consumers have benefited. After introduction of CAS people did not want pay channels. Pay channels became free to air channels. People had to pay less.

In other cities cable subscription charges have gone up. Did the people who opposed CAS want the consumers to benefit or owners of pay channels? In Evershine City charges went up from Rs.200/- to Rs.250/- to Rs.275/-. That is the experience of other places. Why people have to pay charges for the channels they do not want? Delhi High Court has ordered the implementation of CAS in Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi by 31/12/2006. In other parts of India it should be implemented by 31/12/2007.

Direct to Home (DTH) is there. It has not made much headway. Zee and DD have DTH. Star and some other networks do not have DTH.

There should be paper view option in CAS and DTH. People pay for the particular programmes they want to watch.

Thoughts on 9/6/2006

The Government of India proposes some changes in rape laws. They include having a woman judge, woman prosecutor and a woman police officer for rape cases. This may not help and be counter-productive. In Bombay, judge Laxmi Rao, a woman judge, punished a woman judge for rape for having sex with a minor though there is no provision for punishing a woman for rape, and let off men convicted of rape lightly. One was just sentenced to imprisonment till the sitting of the court on that day. There was an outcry against her judgments and she was transferred.

Sensex has come below 10000. Some months back when it reached 7000 some analysts had warned about the dangers. There was a debate on Big Fight on NDTV 24×7. One person said we have to be cautious. Another person was euphoric. He said it would reach 25000. Sensex crossed 12000 and was very close to 13000 and then the decline began. FIIs were responsible for the boom and the doom.

Blasphemy Law is not desirable. Christians sentenced to death in Pakistan.

Films certified by CBFC should not be banned. Scenes should not be cut in adult films shown on television.

Rahul is an independent candidate for Rajya Sabha supported by the BJP. They wanted Rahul Mahajan. That did not happen. They support Rahul Bajaj. The name is same though the surname is different.

Marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Judges in USA have crossed their limits in allowing same sex marriages and then striking down laws that define marriage as a union of a man and a woman. USA should have retirement age for judges. In Terry Schiavo case members of Congress assembled on a Sunday and passed a law to save her life. Yet first one judge and then other judges did not allow her to live. It was murder. The judges who did not allow her to live must be tried for murder and sentenced to death.

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