IPL out of Maharashtra

Bombay High Court has ordered IPL matches out of Maharashtra after 30 April for this year. It was in response to a PIL which wanted matches out of Maharashtra because cricket grounds needed lakhs of litres of water when there was drought in large parts of Maharashtra. The judgment affects 4 matches at Wankhede Stadium, 6 matches in Poona, and 3 Kings IX Punjab matches in Nagpur.
The verdict said “We agree that merely shifting of IPL matches out of the state will not be a solution, but diverting water to villages which otherwise would have been used for maintaining pitches will help resolve the problem to a large extent.
We were informed RWITC (Royal Western India Turf Club) will supply sewage treated water to pitches. In our view it will not be possible for court or government to monitor if this is being done even as RWITC has given an undertaking stating the same. This does not satisfy us.
Court cannot be blind to the plight of millions of people. In certain areas, livestock are dying due to scarcity of water. In areas like Latur, water is being supplied twice in a month. The condition is the same in cities next to Mumbai like Thane, Kalyan. Even Pune is reeling under severe water shortage.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said there is no problem if IPL matches were shifted out of Maharashtra.
Loksatta Movement and Foundation for Democratic Reforms had filed a PIL for shifting all 20 IPL matches out of Maharashtra. Bombay High Court first allowed the opening match to take place. Now it has allowed six more matches to take place. This gives sufficient time for franchises to organize shifting of matches. Surendra Srivastava is the president of Loksatta Movement.
Some said IPL is a soft target. Some said it is tokenism.
IPL is a not a soft target. IPL is a hard target. IPL teams are owned by billionaires or trillionaires. One of the owners is a bank loan defaulter and out of India. IPL is a product of BCCI. BCCI has as its members politicians from BJP, Congress, NCP and NC. BCCI has shifted IPL matches to South Africa and Dubai. Some anchors are soft on IPL.
Ness Wadia, an owner of Kings IX Punjab, welcomed the judgment. His team was to play three home matches in Nagpur. His team will play those matches in Mohali which is their home ground. How is that they have to play three home matches in Nagpur? It seems there was pressure from BCCI and VCA President Shashank Manohar.
Anurag Thakur disagreed with the judgment. He questioned whether watering of High Court lawn has stopped. He questioned water supply to swimming pools of five star hotels. He said “We are not using drinking water, we have said that we will use treated sewage water only. How may swimming pools of five star hotels shut? Have people stopped watering their lawns? There is an attempt to create negativity on every issue these days. IPL was to use 0.00038% of water.”
Some said sugarcane crops and golf courses use more water than cricket grounds.
Majeed Memon said “Right to water is right to life.”
Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants are affected. RPS have chosen Visakhapatnam for home matches. Final will be held in Bangalore. Some have sympathy for RSP because they are on a 2 year contract. They paid 16 crore rupees to BCCI in reverse bidding and are not getting money from TV rights.
It is said BCCI decided not to appeal because they are fighting with the Supreme Court on Lodha Committee recommendations. MI and RPS chose not to appeal.
IPL has changes in teams. It began with eight teams. After three years Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors were added. Kochi Tuskers was out in one year. Pune Warriors was out in two years. IPL was back to eight teams. The owners of Deccan Chargers were short of money. They pledged Deccan Chargers. BCCI cancelled the franchise and Sunrisers Hyderabad came in. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years for deeds of owners. Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants came in.
IPL is entertainment. Its contribution to Indian TV is putting an end to K serials. Its controversies include match-fixing and spot-fixing.

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 www.mytatasky.com 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.