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How Samagra has improved quality of life for millions of people

Repeat submission of documents done away with by implementing Samagra .

Aruna Sharma

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Samagra
Samagra

The Mission was rolled out in the year 2012- 13 with the state undertaking a massive operation for SAMAGRA. In MP, all the schemes were studied that had similar objectives or had similar kind of benefit patterns. The endeavour was to list and then converge schemes spreadwithin or across departments with common objectives. Thus, four groups of secretaries were formed to list the relevant schemes spread over various departments of the government. The four groups recommended the merger of schemes and mechanism to rationalise them. The list of silos that needed to be broken and merged was humongous.There were as many as 63 schemes for Women alone being implemented by 15 Departments. Once the above exercise was undertaken, it was clear that the convergence and rationalization needed to break silos will be more effective through the creation of a common household database.

How in just four months common household data base was developed with software to enable all vertical different departments to work on same Common Household Database:

The different databases were not talking to each other.To converge these database was a mammoth task and the end result might not have been as desired. So there was a felt need to have a consolidated database of citizens with their general attributes so that all departments could use this consolidated database to link their beneficiaries with this database. After lot of discussion it was decided to have a consolidated household database and the data structure format design was approved by the committee for field testing. This data base was designed to avoid any type of duplication, increase a wider reach,perform beneficiary assessments and also to create transparency. These wereall contributing factors that convinced the government to create the database. This database cut across all the departments and it will be a unique and allinclusive database which can be used by all departments of the GoMP(Government of Madhya Pradesh).However, the primary survey that it did to collect the database as required allowed to customization. The logic behind using the base data was not to reinvent wheel, but to capture the biggest dataset available, survey and to fill gaps by incorporating additional parameters as a one-time exercise. The state has come out with a new multi-utility data base system wherein family details and UID is given more importance than individual UIDs. Within a Family UID, individual UIDs are also created so that there is a link between the two and tracking of all benefits provided by the state government to each family could be done.

Different approaches were deliberated, with one option being going to the field and undertaking a house to house survey, and forming a consolidated database of the village and that of a ward. The other way was to build upon the existing household data available in the census population register and also that in the socio economic caste census. The second option which allowed building upfrom the largest available household database was chosen.SAMAGRA was developed as a strategy and tool to ensure a real time, live population register.

Thus, in order to bring in efficiencies and effectiveness in governance and provide transparency in its operations, SAMAGRA was developed for:

  1. Creation and maintenance of a detailed online, integrated and live database of all families and members of the State and their detailed profile covering various attributes and other information that can be used to create an enabling environment for automation of the processes and confirming the eligibility and entitlement of the family/person for various government schemes.
  2. Database to be accessed in a secured and trusted manner by various authorised offices of each department/agency to update the information about the person/family that is related to their department and also verify the details for which the department is authorised to certify. This onetime verification will allow all other departments/offices to use verified information like BPL status, caste status, bank account, worker status, disability details, etc. for identifying the beneficiaries and sanctioning their benefits without initiating a fresh verification process again.
  3. Need of a common and integrated online software platform designed around the core of the SAMAGRA database for all departments/ agencies to facilitate the automation of various front-end and back-end processes, functions and work-flows involved in the proactive identification of the beneficiaries, capturing the applications, sanction of the benefits, generation of the bills/payment advise and tracking of actual payments. This platform shall also allow its users to maintain and check the history of the benefits extended to an individual/family by any department under any scheme. The history of benefits can be viewed by any office for taking an informed decision for confirming the eligibility and sanctioning any other benefits under the same or any other scheme.

The whole idea is to target beneficiaries and provide them services under a ‘One Stop Shop’ concept so that the vulnerable population of the state does not have to run from pillar to post and repeatedly provide the same and identical documents for different schemes. On the supply side, human resources have been employed for a onetime exercise to capture the data sets and later only to update and maintain them. This is to be part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to keep SAMAGRA database updated regularly. The Mission has provided one SAMAGRA Organiser (SO) who is well versed in IT & will help in coordinationat the district leveland one extension officer at the block level. The Mission has provided at every block one computer operator and one extension officer etc. while the headquarters was located at the state capital, Bhopal. Each district collector has been nominated as the mission leader for the district and the chief executive officer of District Panchayat has been nominated as the deputy mission leader. This arrangement enabled the SAMAGRA Portal to not only provide a live online database that captures all events like birth, death, marriage, family split, family migration, etc but also creates openness in governance in an era of complex multiple schemes and multiple agencies and also acts as a live population register. Handson training was provided to build in capability and constant handholding and monitoring was inbuilt into the system.

Once established the platform enabled users to have a real time capture of events of a household thereby enabling:

1. Facilitation of an integrated and common platform to allow migration from a demand-based service to an entitlement-based one.

2. A comprehensive listing and ratification of beneficiaries to prevent duplicity of social sector schemes and avoid single / multiple beneficiaries with multiple benefits from two different departments under similar schemes.

3. Rationalisation, Process re-engineering, Streamlining and Automation for effective implementation of various welfare schemes

4. Creation of a front end as well as back end system that will help the functionaries in taking quick and informed decisions, avoid repetitive verifications, and automation of the back-end processes to bring in significant improvements in their efficiency.

5. Identifying ghost beneficiaries and keeping the nondeserving beneficiaries out from these programmes.

6. The application architecture and database has been designed in such a manner that individual departments / agencies can always add / verify more attributes / information about the family / individual and own it. The concerned department will have rights to manage (add/ update/verify) columns / attributes that are specific to their departments / domains but all other departments / agencies can always view and use these columns for taking decisions.

7. Option of one-time verification of major attributes of any family and residents and then these verified attributes to be used by all other depts /agencies for sanctioning the benefits under various schemes.

8. Maintaining a history of benefits extended to an individual / family by any department under any scheme.

9. Platform to facilitate benefits to the eligible families/ residents even if they are not aware of the scheme.

10. The beneficiaries shall receive immediate benefits based on their eligibility as declared and defined by the government.

11. The beneficiaries shall receive the money in her/ his account immediately after the approvals and other sanctions being accorded by the competent authority. This would be in the form of direct transfer of benefits to her bank account or post office account and that they do not have to run from pillar to post. Mobile number of family/individuals are also seeded in to the database enabling sharing of information immediately with the beneficiary.

12. Globalisation of budgets across the State, irrespective of District / Block (sub- administrative unit) wise allocation of budgets will result in doing away with the issues of lack of allotment or improper distribution of allotment of funds.

13. The system provides complete transparency being maintained in the whole process since all the information regarding the beneficiaries shall be available on the web.

14. It provides a common and integrated portal for Social Audit.

15. It facilitated nationalized banks opening their banking accounts since the documents could be used for KYC (Know Your Customer) verification to directly help them open bank accounts.

16. It prevented the beneficiary from applying repeatedly for different schemes and getting their own verifications done for different schemes at different times. In other words, multiplicity of applications and multiplicity of documentation for approvals can be avoided.

17. It can also be used as the basis for identifying and authenticating a person’s entitlement to government services and benefits through a single system rather than all government departments individually and independently investing in creating infrastructure, systems and procedures for verifying entitlement of residents under various schemes of the Government. Thus, the system ensures that no one who is eligible is left behind.

18. Informed planning for the creation of new schemes, directed skilling and thus enhancing livelihood opportunities for various target groups.

19. Identification of deserving /eligible families / members that have not been provided of any schemes.

20. Information system generated reports for analysis and decision making.

This multi-utility database system has a special feature to allow it to capture the family as well as individual databases. Family UIDs (Unique identification) and Individual UIDs: under the system, there is creation and management of Family UIDs and Individual UIDs with a comprehensive database management system, through a software framework designed and developed by NIC(National Informatics Centre). NIC being a government agency, it can be shared with other state and national governments without any additional cost.

This meets the need and obligation on of the Government to create an integrated solution on a common platform for the delivery of social security services. In fact, the demand side necessity is so vehement that it out numbers the cost associated with creating a one-time institutional architecture to deliver services right at the door steps of the beneficiaries and vulnerable groups. It also explains why the GoMP moved away from a Demand Based Approach to an Entitlement Based Approach.

SAMAGR offers a comprehensive database. All departments/offices can use this verified information for BPL (Below Poverty Line) status, caste status, bank account, worker status, disability details etc. for identifying beneficiaries and sanctioning their benefits without initiating a fresh verification process again. It addresses all household, individual related schemes and interventions including efforts to enhance livelihood opportunities and also list the poverty of infrastructure. It enables a holistic approach with simultaneous interventions to eradicate poverty in the form of infrastructure, access, income, health and livelihood opportunities that are sustainable. No one is left behind as access is automatic and entitlement based. States that had Samagra approach could immediately transfer the relief to the entitled families during the lockdown.

SAMAGRA, a concept of using common data base for all household and individual schemes is finding acceptance across the globe not just as an identifier but also to implement, ensure reach and monitor the interventions and their impact. Similar experiments have also been done in South Africa and Brazil. Developed economies like France, UK and USA plus Nordic countries and developing economies like Malawi, Chile, Rwanda, Bangladesh have taken measures to break silos, but the need is to go full blast by resorting to a common household database approach to optimise resources and ensure no one is left behind in the process of policy making, implementation and monitoring to ensure equity, eradication of poverty and sustainability towards not just subsistence level of existence but of surplus. The subsistence orientation produces sub-optimal social arrangements (Scott 1976), and needs to evolve to integrate a large number of different sectors and themes that governments in developing world find difficult to coordinate the cross sector policies.There is need of a tool to assist and develop their capabilities to in-build the multi sectoral and multidimensional approach. That institutional champion can be SAMAGRA.

A holistic approach to household database breaks silos, enables comprehensive monitoring, avoids duplication and wastage of precious resources, enables specific tailoring for the needs of specific households or categories like differently-abled.

Dr. Aruna Sharma (IAS) is a development economist and has served as secretary, Govt. of India.

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Opinion

CASTE RE-ENGINEERING MAY DECIDE UP ELECTIONS

Shivaji Sarkar

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The churning in UP is being keenly observed for the apparent exodus of some caste leaders. Is it caste reengineering or a repeat of the Bengal elections where a similar exodus was seen from the ruling TMC to BJP?

Apparently, caste is more powerful in states like UP than “vikas”, development. It is a complex situation. The election would be interesting to observe whether the development would be a vote generator or not.

It is interesting to recall that host of leaders, MLAs and other leaders joined the BJP in Bengal and most had got tickets too. Only a few got elected in the 2020 Bengal assembly polls election among the 73 MLAs. The story did not end there. As Mamata Banerjee romped back home with a thumping majority, again a reverse exodus started and continues till the day. That includes the Matua community leaders, who had helped the rise of the BJP in the 2019 elections.

The comparison is slightly incongruous. The politics of Bengal and UP are different. The common tip is whether a Bengal-like situation is developing in UP. If UP’s ruling BJP sees the exodus in that light may, it remains comfortable.

Does it mean that the Samajwadi Party has become powerful and can dislodge BJP? Not easy to say but SP is doing caste reengineering almost the way BJP did it some years back. SP leader Akhilesh Yadav is roping in different smaller caste groups. Since December 11, 2021, 17 leaders quit BJP and most of them have joined SP.

Most of the leaders leaving BJP since December 2021 are from different OBC groups having influence in different areas. This includes Omprakash Rajbhar of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, a caste based party of Rajbhars. They are among the extreme backward OBCs having influence in many parts of eastern UP.

Swami Prasad Maurya is a leader of another caste group that are spread in about 30 constituencies. Following him so far four others Roshan Lal Verma, Bhagvati Sagar, Roshan Lal Prjapati, ministers Dara Singh Chauhan and Dharampal Saini have quit the party and more are said to be in the queue. The UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya hints that these people left the party for their selfish ends. The overall perception gaining ground is that the SP has won back its lost grounds with Jaats of Jayant Chaudhury’s RLD and minority groups. Yadavs largely are with the SP. Akhilesh Yadav trying to win over smaller parties is again an attempt to unite splinter caste votes, a strategy that helped UP BJP in 2017.

The BJP spokesman Sangeet Ragi says that like the previous election, BJP is replacing about 50 to 60 percent MLAs and those who have left did so fearing it. Of late, another caste leader of Apna Dal is also clamouring to have 36 seats in the state elections. So far BJP has offered five. It is not easy for BJP to concede its strongholds to caste parties. It also cannot strengthen smaller parties at its cost.

The BJP has its concern. It cannot leave the field to caste parties and empower its leaders. The concern is legitimate. Most caste leaders have been given important party or ministerial portfolios. They are not losing the opportunity to further increase their clout in the region. This does not serve well for the BJP or its cadres for its national goals. The cadre is unhappy in different pockets and the BJP has to take care of them during these critical times.

The party and allied organisations’ cadre manage the BJP campaigning to the booth level. It is they who make the voters move to the EVM booths. The social engineering that had helped the BJP win 325 of 403 seats also brought a baggage of smaller parties. These parties cause many problems for the big brother. The smaller groups are viewed as a burden but nobody can say so. In a way those leaving BJP are helping it, the party leaders believe. Concern also remains on how to keep those caste groups along.

Those leaving the BJP include upper-caste Brahmins, extreme backward classes, and Nishads, who in 2017 had given the party an edge. They are from places like Allahabad or Prayagraj, Ballia, Bahraich, Sant Kabir Nagar, Sitapur, Azamgarh – all in eastern UP. There are some defections from Agra and Bulandhshahr too. Challenge is being noticed in key western UP areas in Mathura, Aligarh, Hathras, Baghpat and adjacent areas, wherever the RLD has its influence

As the SP is seemingly gaining enough to pose a challenge, the BJP also has successfully tried some defections from other parties. Belligerent Akhilesh Yadav is challenging the statement of chief minister Yogi Adityanath – 80 percent with BJP and 20 against – with reversing it as in his favour. He is criticizing Yogi for giving it a communal tinge. The BJP feels it is heightened Hindutva that would help it cross the opposition challenge. May be but if some of the local party leaders and activist cadre are to be believed polarization though may be helping the party has to look at numbers too.

The party won about100 seats with a margin of 100 to 2000. These marginal seats are a matter of concern. It is more so as SP is supposed to have increased its vote share from 21.5 percent in 2017 to 31 percent. The BJP vote share remains around 40 percent as per poll surveys. It had 39.67 percent of votes in 2017. This means while the SP has added to its kitty, BJP share remains stagnant or it has not been able to add more support despite its focus on Hindutva, Ram temple, Vishwanath corridor and Sri Krishna temple.

A BJP election organizer in eastern UP says that this is a small concern. The party is confident about the edge it has against the SP. It has also to see how Congress acts in this election. Though nobody says it has much of strength its recent road shows, the approach of Priyanka Gandhi, may cause some surprises in pockets. So far no Congress-SP understanding is being seen. If at all that happens there may be a difference in results. The BSP for now remain an enigma.

The BJP organiser like some other party campaigners in western UP feel that the BJP gains in the west would be limited. It has to gain the maximum from the east. In the central Avadh region too it may have a mixed bag.

The rise of SP is being noted in the BJP but it says the SP has its baggage. Post recent panchayat elections an aggressive Yadav posturing is said to have annoyed people in the rural areas. It reportedly reminds them of its 2012-17 lawless regime. More they feel Akhilesh becomes active it would turn more people against it.

The minorities aligning with SP may also hurt it, is yet another perception. The en bloc voting of the minorities causes reactive voting and that helps the BJP. The Hindutva and minority factors ultimately help the BJP get back to power.

In this entire discourse, development is not really a major poll issue despite some claims by BJP and barbs by the opposition against it, so far the poll planks revolve around Modi, Yogi, Akhilesh, the temples and castes.

Joblessness, farmers issues and inflation hurt people but yet not at centre stage despite opposition harping on it.

However, till the people go to the poll booths it would remain an intense situation. Many changes may be observed. The BJP is prudently not taking Akhilesh lightly as the course to 2024 national elections would be set by UP. Nobody would have a cakewalk. The scenario remains complex and interesting

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Opinion

India’s Budget 2022-23 will have tremendous potential

Those who doubted the revival of India’s economy post the pandemic, can look at the figures proving otherwise. And, for the financial year 2022-23, India has the potential to make humongous overall growth in all the sectors of its economy.

Dinakar Lanka

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India’s upcoming budget for the financial year 2022-23 will be driven by the ideals of “Gati Shakti” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” as per the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Gati Shakti Yojna, an ambitious Rs 111 lakh-crore national infrastructure pipeline was announced by the prime minister in his 2019 Independence Day speech, a completely different development plan that would focus on providing the modern infrastructure, keeping in view augmenting the living standards of the people for inclusive and sustainable growth.

The previous budget for the Current Financial Year 2021-22 was primarily concerned with Covid-19 uncertainty and focussed on Atmanirbhar Bharat. Indian economy has revived with 21 lakh-crore Atmanirbhar Bharath package announced by the Finance Minister to register growth rate on track with 8.4 per cent in the Second Quarter of the Current Financial Year as compared to the 7.4% contraction a year ago. Though fiscal deficit was projected as Rs. 15.06 lack-crores for the current financial year 2021-22, the actual fiscal deficit had registered 6.96 lack crores by November 2021, worked out around 46 per cent, and it may be confined around Rs. 10 to 11 lakh-crores due to effective growth in the GST collections that are consistently improving since July 2021.

After -23.9 per cent contraction in the GDP of the First Quarter of the 2020-21 during the initial days of lockdown, the Atmanirbhar Bharath Package of Rs. 21 lakh crores of the Union Government allowed the economy to get back on track, as the growth rate was registered at -7.30 per cent during the Financial Year 2020-21.

The strength of the Atmanirbhar Bharath Package, successful vaccination drive, and the NHAI and MNREGA have been playing a key role in the successful growth during the current financial year 2021-22. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had projected the growth rate at 9.50 per cent for the current financial year 2021-22, compared to a contraction at -7.30 per cent for the previous Financial Year 2020-21.

Apart from this, the World Bank also projected the growth rate at 8.30 per cent and 8.70 per cent for the current 2021-22 and upcoming financial years 2022-23 respectively.

The strength of Atmanirbhar Bharat has shown the right path by dragging back the economy from the darkness of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the fruitful support of the indigenous Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine of over 160 crores dose for reposing confidence among the general public.

Further, GST collections have been raised consistently as Rs. 3.30 lakh-crores in Q1, Rs. 3.45 lakh-crores in Q2, Rs. 3.90 lakh-crores in Q3 respectively, and 4th quarter has been projected around for Rs. 4.25 lakh crores in the Current financial year 2021-22. In addition to this, direct tax collections also improved significantly as a sum of Rs. 9.45 lakh crores was collected by 16th December, 2021 as compared to Rs. 5.88 lakh crores of the previous year. Growth in direct tax collections at 60.08 per cent with a positive product manufacturing index rate at 55.50 had been registered by 31st December 2021. (In PMI point of view, above 50 points means expansion, while a score below 50 points denotes contraction).

Further, the unemployment rate in India decreased to 7.91 per cent in December 2021 as compared to 11.84 per cent in May 2021. Most of the economists had not expected this kind of revival and even criticised the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, though it was tuned properly to cover the people from all the segments of the country.

In the process of the revival of our economy post the pandemic, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been playing the predominant role and committed for output by laying road infrastructure plan under Bharathmala Pariyojan consisting of 65000 km new National Highways worth Rs 10.50 lakh crores. The corridor base approach intended to bridge the critical infrastructure gaps through the development of 50 economic corridors, inter corridors and feeder routes, national corridor efficiency improvement, border and international connectivity roads, coastal and port connectivity roads, and the green field expressway with coverage of 550 Districts of our country.

For instance, Delhi to Mumbai 8-line expressway— with the expansion plan for 12 lines— sprawling over 1350 kilometres has been completed with Rs. 98000 Crores investment, which will reduce the transportation time to 12 hours instead of 24 hours. There is an expected revenue of Rs. 1000 to 1500 crores per month along with an expectation of Rs. 2 lakh crores as an additional contribution for the National GDP.

In the process of connecting road networks from North to South India for reducing the traffic time and providing better services for strategic locations, Union Transport Ministry has decided to develop the Chennai-Surat National Highway Corridor (1461 kilometres) under Bharathmala Pariyojan. The project will be completed with an investment of Rs. 50,000 crores and will cut down the traveling time by 6 hours.

Apart from this, stupendous national highway development has been going on in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and several north-eastern states for the last 3 years. This pace of infrastructural development will continue and will serve the multiple needed requirements.

Moreover, it will yield multiple benefits and will simultaneously augment the nation’s economic growth. Hence, the segment for roads and transport infrastructure should have adequate allocations in the upcoming budget.

Prime Minister’s vision is that India needs to build the world-class infrastructure for the better living standards of 140 crore people of the nation, as well as to focus on the sustainable inclusive growth in all the key sectors of our economy— which includes 16 departments of various ministries from the Union Government. There is an expectation of huge potentiality of employment opportunities under Gati Shakti Yojana—the charted 6835 projects in various departments will allow garnering an additional GDP of four to five percent for the economy of the nation.

In addition to this, there is a huge likelihood and room for including and introducing modern Infrastructure in agriculture, education, medical and health, power and electricity. In the upcoming budget, capital expenditure allocations will be of utmost priority to those departments and it will have a connection with PM Gati Shakti Yojana projects.

Certain things need to be addressed by the Finance Minister and they are mentioned as follows:

OVERALL BUDGET ALLOCATIONS:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed in his independence day speech on 15th August 2021 about the Gati Shakti Yojana Infrastructure for 111 lacks crores shall be included in this Budget. The focus should not shift away from the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Furthermore, the objective of this budget should be kept towards the five-trillion USD economy in the next 3 years.

INDUSTRY AND SERVICE SECTORS

MSME had allowed around Rs 3.75 lakh crores altogether for the liquidity infusion through Atmanirbhar Bharath Package. But, still, MSME hasn’t reached its momentum to the extent of available potential, since those MSMEs became NPA had opted OTS with banks, and those who have the capacity to recover are facing financial difficulties in operating their business. They have the ability to turn around their business with a positive asset base. Hence, the budget should be allowing the credit facilities up to Rs. 5 crores for OTS exercised and cleared MSMEs before 1st April 2021.

GST payments for contractors required to be paid as per due dates though their bills from work proceeds haven’t been received by the Contractors from either Central or State Government or even private parties. Hence, the working capital of the contractors is adversely impacting the growth.

Special Industrial Parks and incentives have been requested for North Andhra, Rayalaseema and Praksam District for the augmentation of Industrial Investments for the upliftment of marginalised sections of these regions. It should be taken care of.

AGRICULTURE & ALLIED SECTOR

The budget should encourage Farmers Producing Organsations (FPO) for agriculture Infrastructure and encourage for Value Addition to the Agri-Output with Own Brand Marketing (OBM)

Seeds, fertilizer, and equipment companies for the agriculture sector shall be encouraged for direct agreements with FPOs for quality supplies with effective prices for maximization of the net benefit to the FPOs.

Finally, tax slabs for individuals, exemptions, and deductions shall be benefitted to the assessee for their family savings to use for their needs. The existing Corporate and Firms Tax Rates being moderate, further cut in the tax rates may not be required.

Strong appeal, Financial discipline of the State Governments shall adhere with stringent policies from the Union Government since mismanagement of the systems in raising loans out of FRBM limits have been driving the State towards a debt trap. Further, stringent guidelines for Central Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are required.

Finally, the upcoming budget 2022-23 shall be prepared within the ambit of Gati Shakti and Atmanirbhar concepts to create self-sustainable employment for the future, as well as to enhance the revenue generation to give the escape velocity to the overall sectors of the economy for a humungous growth.

The writer holds a degree in commerce and works as an FCA. The views expressed are personal.

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Opinion

CHINA SHOULD BE THE WEST’S FOCUS, NOT RUSSIA

Joyeeta Basu

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The current crisis over Ukraine appears almost to have been scripted to shift focus away from China. Suddenly, the cold war rhetoric is back in play, with screaming headlines going after Russia and an “evil” Vladimir Putin. The latest escalation in the stand-off between the West and Russia is being gleefully highlighted by western Atlanticist commentators as proof of Nato’s centrality in geopolitics. This has to be seen in the context of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signing a “New Atlantic Charter” with US President Joe Biden last year, in the hope of breathing life into a moribund Nato, with UK and US taking the lead in guarding the “world” against the rump of Soviet Russia that Putin’s Russia currently is. There is no doubt that Russia’s amassing of troops on Ukraine’s borders is ratcheting up tensions. But there is a counter view that says, but for Russia’s show of aggression, the pro-Russia Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine, comprising the Donbas region bordering Russia, will be left at the mercy of Ukrainian troops, given the history of hostility of this region with Ukraine from 2014 onwards, when the war in the Donbas started. Opinion might be divided on whether Putin’s latest show of force is meant to protect the interests of ethnic Russians in the Donbas, or is actually about territorial aggression and plans to create a buffer zone between pro-West Ukraine—which may be allowed to join the Nato—and Russia, or both. But the bottom line is, except for fuelling Atlanicist dreams of a possible conflict, this crisis is a complete shifting of focus from where the focus should be—on the Indo-Pacific. Even this week, China sent in more than a dozen aircraft into Taiwan airspace in what amounts to a psychological warfare against that tiny island nation. It is China that is the real aggressor, an imperial power that is working towards the control of every aspect of life even in the West. It is China that is fighting an economic, cultural and political warfare against the world, 24X7. PRC’s unrestricted warfare is about global domination, about undermining democracy, the free world and remaking it with Chinese communist characteristics. And China has the muscle and economic power to actualize its goal. China is a far greater threat to the world than Russia under Vladimir Putin will ever be, even to Europe.

In this context, it must be acknowledged that there was much substance in what German Navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach said in New Delhi last week., although he was forced to resign for uttering the uncomfortable truth. He was right in saying that Russia needed to be befriended to fight China, that the Nato should stop hoping that a pro-Russia Crimea, which Putin annexed in 2014, can ever be brought back to Ukraine, and that Putin was seeking recognition. He had clarified, “Even we India, Germany we need Russia, we need Russia against China…Having this big country, even if it’s not a democracy, as a bilateral partner, giving them a chance. It’s easy and keeps Russia away from China because China needs resources of Russia.” “Does Russia really want a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil? No, this is nonsense. Putin is probably putting pressure because he knows he can do it, and he splits EU opinion. What he really wants is respect,” he had added. But all hell broke loose and Schönbach ended up losing his job, proving once again that the West is still stuck in history—in a Cold War-era black and white binary. However, when it comes to PRC, these very same countries such as Germany use the grey areas to explain their association with the biggest totalitarian power in the world,. After all, Bonn has a thriving trade relationship with Beijing, even when mouthing all the right words about human rights and democracy. So does the UK, a country whose sanctimoniousness ends with discussing India’s “human rights record” in its Parliament, even though it is totally ambivalent when dealing with PRC, with trade being the decider of that relationship.

The western nations are threatening to sanction the living daylights out of Russia if it takes a misstep, knowing full-well that further sanctions will drive Moscow deeper into Beijing’s arms, thus facilitating the continuing rise of PRC. It is almost as if logic has flown out of the window and a battle of egos has started, with the threat of a kinetic conflict hovering on the horizon. The only country laughing amid this is the People’s Republic of China.

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Opinion

CCP’s economic terrorism and the new age political pawns

The fact remains, with the multi-billion dollar Indian EV Market, Musk needs India and not the other way around. Political pawns and economic terrorism will be and are being handled and dealt within India by the government of the day, let there be no doubt around it.

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Today war and war games are not confined to land, sea and water only. The new age warfare uses all the means other than kinetic as the impact is many times more and at a minimalistic cost and the best thing is that your hand in the game and intentions are hardly seen by masses and millions. This may sound poetic but is the reality of today’s times we live in. Nowadays adversaries use their cloud and your own manpower, systems and processes to work against you, this is very similar to virus attack which manipulates our own cells to make more copies of the virus itself.

Elon Musk had realized his dreams of net-worth and fortunes were heavily dependent on the Chinese markets.

Elon Musk.

Let us look at the recent past when Elon Musk goes to his Twitter handle to complain that the Indian government is not supportive of Telsa coming to India.

This conceptually is an oxymoron under the leadership of PM Modi. The story starts to unfold immediately as all non-BJP or opposition-ruled states jump the gun and start rolling out red carpet (on twitter) for Musk and Tesla, without understanding or politically choosing to ignore the story and real intentions behind the game being played.

Let’s go a few years back when Musk was contemplating starting a factory in India (Bangalore) or Beijing. He had towering hopes, expectations and was lured into China. The point here is that he chooses China over India, a fair enough business decision. CCP follows a three-stage trap model or doctrine of entrapment, dependence, and end game.

During the years 19 -20 his sales sky rocketed and were all time high, which increased his networth. Tesla started exporting cars made out of China to the world over and all the things looked great and at this point in time Chinese dream seemed to be bigger that American dream.

Q1 2021 sales are all-time high and things look hunky-dory going great guns and champagne and celebrations were in the air. At the end of Q1 2021 suddenly Chinese regulators discovered some flaws in seat belts and autopilot of the vehicles and Tesla was directed to bring back or call back all the units. At the same time car ran into some issues in American and European markets as well but not the same issues. Q2 2021 (April to Jun) resulted in a sharp drop in Tesla sales the world over and a hit a big-time roadblock in China. Worth mentioning at this point in time 30% of the global sales of Tesla were coming from Chinese Markets hence stage two of the CCP model had reached. Resulting in a huge fall in share prices, personal net worth, and valuation of Tesla as such. This was much higher than 30% drop in sales.

If we run a quick scan here Tesla was exactly walking the same path as of NIKE; history repeats itself.

Now Musk had realized his dreams of net-worth and fortunes were heavily dependent on the Chinese markets and therefore the CCP. In Q3 2021 July he started praising CCP and supporting their initiatives on Cryptocurrency, which took the world by storm. We in India have had quite a few debates on our Nation TV on this and I have been a panelist as well. After his obedience to CCP and General Sectary XI, suddenly Tesla’s fortune takes a U-turn and all the issues disappear from the Chinese regulators and the sales started to boon again and from an all-time low of 18000 units to 32000 units to 56000 units per month; the story continued till December end 2021. The other side of the coin is that today 50% of sales come from China. So as you see today Tesla’s global sales are decreasing but increasing in China, hence the end game is near.

What is the end game? Indian Automobile sector is a flagship arm of the Indian Manufacturing sector and contributes a whooping 7.5% to the Indian GDP. Needless to say, it creates millions of jobs, and contributes to tax collections and overall wealth creation. Suddenly Musk whose existence is now dependent on Chinese markets and CCP starts the Twitter war as I mentioned above.

Let’s decode it further, Musk wants to import a 100% made-in-China car to India and is complaining about the import duty, which is in the tune of 100%. The reason for that being the promotion of manufacturing in India and also protecting the automobile industry and this is done by all countries in the world as our mantra is Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make India which all other global brands are doing and benefiting. Musk wants a special reduction in duty. Now the question arises, why? Why for him? What makes him so special? Why should India have a differential policy for Tesla?

We are an equal opportunity business hub for all. Musk knows this well, so do non-BJP ruled states, question is why and what finally? Opposition parties want their states to be been seen as pro business and somehow show PM Modi as in opposition of that. They all know import duties are uniform they are not different from state to state, the ideas here is to use this opportunity as a political tool to create dissonance. Imagine what TMC did to TATA NANO, now the same TMC is rolling out red carpets to Musk??

If the Indian government allows this for Musk then we need to allow it for all as simply anybody can go to a court of law and get this done. Hence why should people or any global brand manufacture in India? Anyway, Tesla has a lot of dead inventory in China sitting. Hence we are letting India become a dumping ground rather than a manufacturing base this is like opening floodgates of disaster.

The final stage will be if ever this was allowed when sales will reach an optimal number or cross the threshold CCP can sponsor Tesla to drop prices in India and at that point of time struggling, Automobile industry will get a decisive body blow. This one single move timed well can be the end of the automobile industry in India and associated jobs and benefits.

The fact remains with the multi-billion Indian EV Market, Musk needs India and not the other way around. Political pawns and economic terrorism will and is being handled and dealt with in India by the government of the day, let there be no doubt around it.

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CHINA SHOULD BE THE WEST’S FOCUS, NOT RUSSIA

Joyeeta Basu

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The current crisis over Ukraine appears almost to have been scripted to shift focus away from China. Suddenly, the cold war rhetoric is back in play, with screaming headlines going after Russia and an “evil” Vladimir Putin. The latest escalation in the stand-off between the West and Russia is being gleefully highlighted by western Atlanticist commentators as proof of Nato’s centrality in geopolitics. This has to be seen in the context of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signing a “New Atlantic Charter” with US President Joe Biden last year, in the hope of breathing life into a moribund Nato, with UK and US taking the lead in guarding the “world” against the rump of Soviet Russia that Putin’s Russia currently is. There is no doubt that Russia’s amassing of troops on Ukraine’s borders is ratcheting up tensions. But there is a counter view that says, but for Russia’s show of aggression, the pro-Russia Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine, comprising the Donbas region bordering Russia, will be left at the mercy of Ukrainian troops, given the history of hostility of this region with Ukraine from 2014 onwards, when the war in the Donbas started. Opinion might be divided on whether Putin’s latest show of force is meant to protect the interests of ethnic Russians in the Donbas, or is actually about territorial aggression and plans to create a buffer zone between pro-West Ukraine—which may be allowed to join the Nato—and Russia, or both. But the bottom line is, except for fuelling Atlanicist dreams of a possible conflict, this crisis is a complete shifting of focus from where the focus should be—on the Indo-Pacific. Even this week, China sent in more than a dozen aircraft into Taiwan airspace in what amounts to a psychological warfare against that tiny island nation. It is China that is the real aggressor, an imperial power that is working towards the control of every aspect of life even in the West. It is China that is fighting an economic, cultural and political warfare against the world, 24X7. PRC’s unrestricted warfare is about global domination, about undermining democracy, the free world and remaking it with Chinese communist characteristics. And China has the muscle and economic power to actualize its goal. China is a far greater threat to the world than Russia under Vladimir Putin will ever be, even to Europe.

In this context, it must be acknowledged that there was much substance in what German Navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach said in New Delhi last week., although he was forced to resign for uttering the uncomfortable truth. He was right in saying that Russia needed to be befriended to fight China, that the Nato should stop hoping that a pro-Russia Crimea, which Putin annexed in 2014, can ever be brought back to Ukraine, and that Putin was seeking recognition. He had clarified, “Even we India, Germany we need Russia, we need Russia against China…Having this big country, even if it’s not a democracy, as a bilateral partner, giving them a chance. It’s easy and keeps Russia away from China because China needs resources of Russia.” “Does Russia really want a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil? No, this is nonsense. Putin is probably putting pressure because he knows he can do it, and he splits EU opinion. What he really wants is respect,” he had added. But all hell broke loose and Schönbach ended up losing his job, proving once again that the West is still stuck in history—in a Cold War-era black and white binary. However, when it comes to PRC, these very same countries such as Germany use the grey areas to explain their association with the biggest totalitarian power in the world,. After all, Bonn has a thriving trade relationship with Beijing, even when mouthing all the right words about human rights and democracy. So does the UK, a country whose sanctimoniousness ends with discussing India’s “human rights record” in its Parliament, even though it is totally ambivalent when dealing with PRC, with trade being the decider of that relationship.

The western nations are threatening to sanction the living daylights out of Russia if it takes a misstep, knowing full-well that further sanctions will drive Moscow deeper into Beijing’s arms, thus facilitating the continuing rise of PRC. It is almost as if logic has flown out of the window and a battle of egos has started, with the threat of a kinetic conflict hovering on the horizon. The only country laughing amid this is the People’s Republic of China.

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CCP’s economic terrorism and the new age political pawns

The fact remains, with the multi-billion dollar Indian EV Market, Musk needs India and not the other way around. Political pawns and economic terrorism will be and are being handled and dealt within India by the government of the day, let there be no doubt around it.

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Today war and war games are not confined to land, sea and water only. The new age warfare uses all the means other than kinetic as the impact is many times more and at a minimalistic cost and the best thing is that your hand in the game and intentions are hardly seen by masses and millions. This may sound poetic but is the reality of today’s times we live in. Nowadays adversaries use their cloud and your own manpower, systems and processes to work against you, this is very similar to virus attack which manipulates our own cells to make more copies of the virus itself.

Let us look at the recent past when Elon Musk goes to his Twitter handle to complain that the Indian government is not supportive of Telsa coming to India.

This conceptually is an oxymoron under the leadership of PM Modi. The story starts to unfold immediately as all non-BJP or opposition-ruled states jump the gun and start rolling out red carpet (on twitter) for Musk and Tesla, without understanding or politically choosing to ignore the story and real intentions behind the game being played.

Let’s go a few years back when Musk was contemplating starting a factory in India (Bangalore) or Beijing. He had towering hopes, expectations and was lured into China. The point here is that he chooses China over India, a fair enough business decision. CCP follows a three-stage trap model or doctrine of entrapment, dependence, and end game.

During the years 19 -20 his sales sky rocketed and were all time high, which increased his networth. Tesla started exporting cars made out of China to the world over and all the things looked great and at this point in time Chinese dream seemed to be bigger that American dream.

Q1 2021 sales are all-time high and things look hunky-dory going great guns and champagne and celebrations were in the air. At the end of Q1 2021 suddenly Chinese regulators discovered some flaws in seat belts and autopilot of the vehicles and Tesla was directed to bring back or call back all the units. At the same time car ran into some issues in American and European markets as well but not the same issues. Q2 2021 (April to Jun) resulted in a sharp drop in Tesla sales the world over and a hit a big-time roadblock in China. Worth mentioning at this point in time 30% of the global sales of Tesla were coming from Chinese Markets hence stage two of the CCP model had reached. Resulting in a huge fall in share prices, personal net worth, and valuation of Tesla as such. This was much higher than 30% drop in sales.

If we run a quick scan here Tesla was exactly walking the same path as of NIKE; history repeats itself.

Now Musk had realized his dreams of net-worth and fortunes were heavily dependent on the Chinese markets and therefore the CCP. In Q3 2021 July he started praising CCP and supporting their initiatives on Cryptocurrency, which took the world by storm. We in India have had quite a few debates on our Nation TV on this and I have been a panelist as well. After his obedience to CCP and General Sectary XI, suddenly Tesla’s fortune takes a U-turn and all the issues disappear from the Chinese regulators and the sales started to boon again and from an all-time low of 18000 units to 32000 units to 56000 units per month; the story continued till December end 2021. The other side of the coin is that today 50% of sales come from China. So as you see today Tesla’s global sales are decreasing but increasing in China, hence the end game is near.

What is the end game? Indian Automobile sector is a flagship arm of the Indian Manufacturing sector and contributes a whooping 7.5% to the Indian GDP. Needless to say, it creates millions of jobs, and contributes to tax collections and overall wealth creation. Suddenly Musk whose existence is now dependent on Chinese markets and CCP starts the Twitter war as I mentioned above.

Let’s decode it further, Musk wants to import a 100% made-in-China car to India and is complaining about the import duty, which is in the tune of 100%. The reason for that being the promotion of manufacturing in India and also protecting the automobile industry and this is done by all countries in the world as our mantra is Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make India which all other global brands are doing and benefiting. Musk wants a special reduction in duty. Now the question arises, why? Why for him? What makes him so special? Why should India have a differential policy for Tesla?

We are an equal opportunity business hub for all. Musk knows this well, so do non-BJP ruled states, question is why and what finally? Opposition parties want their states to be been seen as pro business and somehow show PM Modi as in opposition of that. They all know import duties are uniform they are not different from state to state, the ideas here is to use this opportunity as a political tool to create dissonance. Imagine what TMC did to TATA NANO, now the same TMC is rolling out red carpets to Musk??

If the Indian government allows this for Musk then we need to allow it for all as simply anybody can go to a court of law and get this done. Hence why should people or any global brand manufacture in India? Anyway, Tesla has a lot of dead inventory in China sitting. Hence we are letting India become a dumping ground rather than a manufacturing base this is like opening floodgates of disaster.

The final stage will be if ever this was allowed when sales will reach an optimal number or cross the threshold CCP can sponsor Tesla to drop prices in India and at that point of time struggling, Automobile industry will get a decisive body blow. This one single move timed well can be the end of the automobile industry in India and associated jobs and benefits.

The fact remains with the multi-billion Indian EV Market, Musk needs India and not the other way around. Political pawns and economic terrorism will and is being handled and dealt with in India by the government of the day, let there be no doubt around it.

Continue Reading

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