Panama Papers

On 4/4/2016 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Indian Express and Suddeutsche Zeitung made public many documents, around 11.5 million, related to firms registered in Panama.
Mossack Fonseca is a law firm in Panama. Documents of Mossack Fonseca that have become public have resulted in problems for those who figure in them. Ramon Fonseca, founding partner, said his company was hacked by servers abroad. He said nobody is talking of the hack and that is the only crime committed.
Amitabh Bachchan was linked to four companies as director. Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd in British Virgin Islands, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd and Tramp Shipping Ltd in Bahamas. One document showed Amitabh Bachchan resigned from Tramp Shipping Ltd in September 1997.
Amitabh Bachchan said he was not Director in the four companies. His statement said “I do not know any of the companies referred to by Indian Express – Sea Bulk Shipping Company Ltd, Lady Shipping Ltd, Treasure Shipping Ltd and Tramp Shipping Ltd. I have never been a director of any of the above stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused.
I have paid all my taxes including on monies spent by me overseas. Monies I have remitted overseas have been in compliance with law, including remittances through LRS, after paying Indian taxes. In any event, the news report in Indian Express does not even suggest any illegality on my part.”
Aishwarya Rai, her father Krishna Rai, mother Vrinda Rai and brother Aditya Rai were shown as directors in Amic Partners Limited in British Virgin Islands. The company was registered on 28/10/2004 and wound up on 30/4/2009. Aishwarya Rai was director from 14/5/2005 to 18/6/2005. After that she continued as shareholder. Aishwarya Rai’s media advisor Archana Sadanand said all information is totally untrue and false.
Harish Salve did not appear on any TV channel. There was no mention of any journalist trying to get in touch with him for his comment.
Vinod Adani was mentioned as elder brother of Gautam Adani, who is close to Narendra Modi. Adani Group issued a statement. “Mr. Vinod Adani who is the elder brother of Mr. Gautam Adani has been a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) for about 30 years and has his own established business interests outside India.
It is strange that Mr. Gautam Adani’s name in mentioned in the headline though he is not the account holder and the story actually pertains to Indians having not legitimate bank accounts abroad. This is a deliberate attempt to draw Mr. Gautam Adani’s name, not just to mislead the readers at large but mischievously sensationalising the matter.”

Ian Cameron, father of David Cameron, had some shares in a company. David Cameron said he sold the shares he inherited and paid tax on them in January 2010, five months before he became Prime Minister.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunlaugsson had to resign on 5/4/2016 after revelation that his wife owned a firm with claims on Iceland’s collapsed banks. Iceland’s Foreign Minister was in India on a visit from 3 – 9 April. On 5th he had met India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is in the list. He justified his ownership. He said “Having become president, I stopped participating in the management of my assets, having delegated this responsibility to the respective consulting and law firms.”
Russia said it was a conspiracy against them. Some documents had names of Vladimir Putin’s friends and close associates.
China blocked news of Panama Papers. The names included President Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law.
There is no name from USA. Some say it is a CIA plot. May be Americans registered with some other law firm.
In Argentina there was demonstration against Mauricio Macri. He said his father started the company and it shut some years back. It is four months since he became President.
In Panama it is legal to buy companies or set up offshore companies. Those who bought companies there or became Directors in the companies did not break any law in Panama. Some Indians have claimed they are NRIs and what they have done is legal. Some claimed they have permission of RBI. Many companies were bought in British Virgin Islands.
Laws differ from country to country and sometimes within a country. Someone on BBC said secrecy of accounts and firms is allowed in Delaware and New Jersey in USA. That can be one reason why Americans do not figure in Panama Papers.
We have to see whether those who own foreign accounts or companies have defaulted on loans or have gone for corporate or strategic debt restructuring. If yes, the swindlers should be in jail.

Tatasky nightmare

Today, 22/3/2016, in the evening my Tatasky English Entertainment Package channels were not accessible. I had paid the subscription on 9/3/2016 which is valid till 10/4/2016. It is unpleasant when you are told you have not subscribed and a nightmare when you have to go through long process of telephone calls and SMSes and still not successful in getting the channels restored.
Tonight I sent to Tatasky this e-mail. I am sure some of you will have similar experience.
“I am a subscriber to English Entertainment Package which has channels Star World, AXN, FX, Comedy Central, Colors Infinity and Zee Café. Today till 2.34 p.m. I could view them. After that for about 2 hours my TV was off. After that I put it on and I could not view Enen channels. I saw the message which said “You have not subscribed to these channels.” At 8.36 p.m. I contacted Tatasky. Getting to talk to a customer service executive was a nightmare. Repeatedly I had to press 1 or press 2. Then repeatedly there was tape recorded message which went something like this. “Your waiting time is 3 minutes. Our customer service executive is busy assisting other customers. Your call is important to us.” After several rounds I got someone who said he was Anurag. I told him about not getting Enen channels. He told me to send SR to 56633. I did that. The call lasted 7.03 minutes and cost me Rs.10.58. At 8.54.47 p.m. I received a message “Kindly ensure your Digicomp on power on mode so that you receive all the Tata Sky services you have subscribed to. Thank you for your patience!” I waited for half an hour. Enen channels were not restored. I sent SMS “It is 30 mns since I rcd yr reply. Still no sign of restoration of Enen channels Star World AXN FX ZEE CAFÉ Colors Infinity Comedy Central. Pls restore imdtly. They were there till 2.34 pm.” I got the reply “Invalid Request. Please call our helpline on 18602086633 or log on to for any further assistance.” I tried a Tatasky number again and gave up when I had to listen to tape recorded message.
Please do the needful and restore all Enen channels – Star World, AXN, FX, ZEE CAFÉ, Colors Infinity, and Comedy Central.”
I hope things will be better. Customers should not be kept waiting. The option of contacting executive should be in the first round instead of repeatedly saying press 1, press 2 etc.

India 79 all out

Best laid plans of men and mice go awry.
Beware the Ides of March.
Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
It is not over till it is over.
Favourites do not have the divine right to win.
So it was for India at Nagpur on the Ides of March 2016. India began as favourites to win the Twenty20 World Cup and the match against New Zealand. The track was a dust bowl suited to Indian spinners. India had won all the matches in Twenty20 Asia Cup.
New Zealand’s Captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat. New Zealand finished with 126/7 in 20 overs.
It seemed an easy total for India.
Shikhar Dhawan was out when India were on 5. Fifth ball of first over.
Rohit Sharma was out when India were on 10. Second ball of third over.
Suresh Raina was out when India were on 12. Fifth ball of third over.
Yuvraj Singh was out when India were on 25. Fifth ball of fifth over.
So far so good. Four wickets gone. India still had hope. There were batsmen who can turn around the match.
Virat Kohli was out when India were on 39. First ball of ninth over. Victory looks difficult.
Hardik Pandya was out when India were on 42. Fourth ball of tenth over.
Ravindra Jadeja was out when India were on 43. Second ball of eleventh over.
Ravichandran Ashwin was out when India were on 73. Third ball of sixteenth over. There is anxiety about victory.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was out when India were on 79. Fourth ball of eighteenth over. Only a miracle could save India.
Ashish Nehra was out when India were on 79. First ball of nineteenth over. There was no miracle.
India were all out for 79 runs in 18.1 overs and lost the match by 47 runs. Victory and defeat are common in Twenty20 matches. There is no possibility for draw. The manner of defeat disappoints. India did not bat full 20 overs and score even 100 runs.
Three Indian batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya, scored 1 run each. Two batsmen, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashish Nehra, were out on 0.
Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner took 4/11 and was man of the match.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni said “The batting let us down. The shot selection kept putting pressure on the batsmen coming in. We lacked adaptability.”
Ravi Shastri wanted turning tracks. He got them. India won in others, lost in Nagpur. In Poona it was green top wicket. India lost. Dhoni spoke of English conditions. Indians cricketers should know that other teams can have spinners who can beat India at their own game. Last year in Nagpur South Africa were all out for 79 in their first Innings. ICC had fined VCA. This time it happened to India. New Zealand spinners took nine Indian wickets. Sunil Gavaskar said when you prepare medicine for others you should be ready to take it yourself. It is time BCCI stopped mollycoddling and pampering cricketers.