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Has the Track been cleared …….for Policy Decisions, A Must for Economic Growth & Development

The counting of ballots and consequent declaration of results of Assembly General Elections 2012 held in five states of India on March 06, 2012 completed an important event in the process of Governance. Simultaneously, it also emphasized the importance of concept of Federalism for modern day democracy. On the other side of these developments, an increasing demand world over could be seen, India included, to incorporate or bring about a transformational change in the context to the ‘Governance’ issue.

It seems to be an apt time for revisiting to ensure that ‘Democracy’ as a system of governance adheres to its core attributes and the ‘Institutions’ erected to ensure its real spirit are capable of not alone performing the task, but also of representing the diversity, culture and socioeconomic issues and facets of the people, who have adopted such a system of governance.

It’s being expected by all concerned, that with culmination of Assembly General Elections 2012 of five states, functioning of Union Government would turn more efficient. Union government may now get free from the clutches of ‘Policy – Paralysis’ or ‘Stymied Decision Making Process’, which seemed to have become integral process of decision making by Union Government in Financial Year 2011 – 2012.    

Numerous issues of urgent importance, which were supposed to have been approved or rejected, are still there in cupboards of ministries, either awaiting their turn for being tabled in parliament, or are there in roll back mode awaiting the creation of elusive ‘consensus’. The post Assembly General Elections 2012 picture may not be pleasant to ruling coalition as Union Government, but it has certainly succeeded in putting an end to chaos, confusion or dilemmas born out of various presumptions and  self-fulfilling interests of a number of political parties.

The words, such as ‘Urgent’, ’Important’, ’Immediate’, ’Today ’and ‘Top Priority’ etc. have turned meaningless when seen in context of number of issues to be tabled, discussed and cleared or rejected by both the houses of Parliament, and also in the context of quantum of delay that has already occurred. Some issues out of them may be put, for purpose of illustration, as ‘FDI in Retail Sector’, ‘Direct Tax Reforms’, ‘Entry of Foreign Equity in Indian Airlines Industry’, ‘Issue of 4G Spectrum’, ‘Issue of Telangana’, ‘Creation of NCTC’, ‘Proposal on RPF’, ‘Issue of Inflation in Food Items’, ‘Deregulation of Prices of Petroleum Products’, ‘Land Leasing Bill or even Land Reforms Bills’, ‘Transforming Education in to Business’ and many more of the similar type.

The comments on issues are knowingly being avoided, as every single issue is important and also a subject matter to be covered in numerous articles, debates and deliberations. Certainly the same will be done, but the purpose here was to highlight the important issues pending approval of the parliament and also the evolution of Indian Political System and Governance as on date.

 

Always Yours —– As Usual —— Saurabh Singh

A FICTION: NOT FAR AWAY FROM RECENT FUTURE REALITY

A FICTION: NOT FAR AWAY FROM RECENT FUTURE REALITY

In late evening, when I had just pressed the shut down button of my workstation, a colleague of mine entered the office chamber (Officially allotted to me to work).Hello, was the first word uttered out by her and before I could ask the purpose, she herself expressed that she planned to have my company while walking back to home, at least the part of distance that was common to we both. I welcomed the idea and also thanked her for the same. Thus the journey homewards started. While on walk the momentary silence was done away by my colleague, when she requested the permission to ask question that was coming to her mind. I agreed to help her to the limited capacity of mine.Image- Bricks of Gold

 Probably it was the prices of yellow metal that were troubling her and my colleague wanted to know, where the prices are expected to move in future and why. This I am inferring from the talks that continued.

She started the conversation by posing her curiosity as ahead: “Where do you see the price of gold going in the days to come?”

Since, at that moment, I was not exactly focusing on ‘investment advisory’, so I responded by saying that “on a broad level, the price are supposed to continue their northward journey.”

It seems that my response confused her a bit, as she soon came up with another question that “what I mean, when I say a broad level.”

I got the point and then explained to her that “the prices of any commodity do not move in a straight line. When I say on a broad level, it means that the prices will keep moving northwards, but in between they may drop as well, but they will pick up again, and thus will continue to scale up.”

It seems, that she was not ready to buy anything that I said, therefore, she questioned that what lay behind my confidence, which she visualized while I was answering her first curiosity.

Suddenly I realized that majority of investors; rarely scan the external and vital economic variables that are often of political nature. This made me aware that now I need to go bit detailed and also in a manner that she could easily comprehend.

“Well, I was just reading through some material and I realized that there is another solid reason for gold prices to go up,” I told her.

“Is it something other than all the money printing that is happening and is likely to happen in the days to come, all around the world?” she asked.

“Yes”, I answered.

“So what is this new reason?” she was now more curious.Image - Gold with a Medival Painiting in Background

Now I started by posing a question as ahead “Ever heard of Hugo Chavez?” Pat came the reply, “nope” with a supplementary question that now who’s he?

He is the President of Venezuela, a country in South America.”                                

Probably she got a bit more confused and said that she knew that, but expressed her surprise on the issue that what “Venezuela” has got to do with the price of gold.

This made me aware that now my job was to explain history, international polity, and international trade, cost of transaction and accounting to her, and all this in very limited time of few minutes. I knew that I may be bombarded with whorls of questions.

 I started with letting her know that Venezuela has the 15th largest gold reserves in the world amounting to 401.1 tonnes. A lot of this gold is lying abroad in bImage - Golden Fairyanks in New York, London and Zurich.

“But why will a country keep its gold overseas?” she interrupted.

 I started to introduce her with history. I said that “a part of the reason comes from history. Till August 15, 1971, the world was on a gold standard. Paper currencies were ultimately convertible into gold. This meant that countries had to settle their deficits in gold.” I followed this by giving an instance from international trade. I asked her to assume that England and Germany are exporting and importing goods from each other. At the end if France exports more to England than England to France, there is a deficit.” This means that England had to pay France. This payment was to be made in gold. A look at her face made me feel that she has now started picking up what I was attempting to explain. I carried on by adding that “now this meant that gold had to be physically moved from England to France, which of course was a pain. Movement meant cost of insurance as well as security.”

Image - Gold being Transported via Air

She was prompt in asking that “what was the way out?”

 I added for these reasons “a lot of this gold is simply stored overseas at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (a part of the Federal Reserve of the United States, the Central Bank of the US).”

“How do you think this is going to help?”

It’s simple; I added and just narrated what Peter Bernstein writes in his book “The Power of Gold”. For example, if England lost gold to France, a guard at the Federal Reserve had merely to bring a dolly to England’s closet, trundle the gold to the French closet, and note the change in the bookkeeping records.’

She got the point, and allowed my request to take her back to Hugo Chavez.

The deliberations continued further, certainly with some statistical inferences. Estimates suggest that nearly 211 tonnes of the 400-odd tonnes of gold that Venezuela has are with banks abroad. Chavez has asked this gold to repatriated back to Venezuela.”Image - Hugo Chavez Nationalises the Gold Mines

Now this brings a twist in the story, and the discussion to follow will also attempt to answer possible reason for Hugo Chavez’s such an act.

 “Chavez has had an anti-US stance for years and may feel that because of that Venezuela runs the risk of its gold being seized.”

“Gold Seized? Why would such happen and does the possibility of such an act exist?” was the latest in series of questions.

“It sure is. I explained the same by making her aware of the ongoing Libyan foreign exchange reserves crisis, which happens to be an outcome of its foreign reserves being seized by allied nations with declaration of war earlier this year.”

 “But what has all this got to do with the price of gold? To me it’s as simple as me wanting to have gold in my own locker rather than the bank locker.”

I agreed to her statement, while continuing to explain by adding that all is not that straightforward as concluded by her, though to some extent she was correct. The straight forward part of transaction would be limited to 99 tonnes of total 211 tonnes lying abroad, as this 99 tonnes are deposited with the Bank of England in London. Repatriating that back to Venezuela would be a straightforward process.”

Image - Gold Jewellary at Display

 Now comes the not so straight forward part, which happens to be of the tune of 112 tonnes of the gold and same is lying abroad with what are known as bullion banks. J P Morgan is one of them. Estimates suggest that Venezuelan gold worth $807 million (or around 450,000 ounces of gold) is lying with it.”

 She was instant, and argued that this should also be as straight forward as it is in the case of Bank of England, London, while simultaneously her facial expressions conveyed me that she wanted to know, if I dare to differ from her opinion. Certainly, I had to differ, and added that things are not always as simple as they seem to be. The statistics again came handy in quoting that “estimates suggest that the total amount of physical gold with J P Morgan currently stands at around 338,303 ounces (1 troy ounce equals 31.1 grams).”

Now, it seemed that she was out of reasons, as she expressed her ignorance about having to come across any news in media regarding, such a huge bank robbery in which approximately 1,11,697 ounce or 3473.8 kilo grams worth gold was looted.  I had to instantly chip in by saying that, this is not a case of bank lifting, but a way of functioning of financial system in general and banking sector in particular. Let me add an example to illustrate it? I sought her permission. The phenomenon goes as explained ahead [the attempt was to explain the process by making it as easy as possible, so that even a novice can understand].Image - Gold of Merchants in Various Weights put at London Central Bank

“Central banks around the world had a huge amount of gold lying in their vaults, not earning any return. The end of 2007 witnessed the stock of gold with central banks around the world rising to 32,000 tonnes of gold.”

 I requested her to be more attentive to whatever I was going to add now. Out of the 32,000 tonnes gold held, the Central Bank lent approximately 14,000 tonnes to Bullion Banks like J P Morgan. James Turk and John Rubino in their coauthored book The Collapse of the Dollar, have argued that “lending, for instance, involves the central bank transferring gold to a major private bank, known as bullion bank, which pays the central bank a small-but-positive interest rate, then sells the gold in the open market.”

In this manner “central banks convert the gold into cash and then deploy this cash, somewhere to earn some positive rate of return. This based on a very fundamental assumption that idle assets provide no return, and there is fair possibility that such assets may ultimately add up some cost to the holder.” These costs may range from cost of storage to cost of security. As per meaning conveyed by the operative word “lending”, since the gold has been lent, therefore, the central banks have all the rights to, and can demand it back, whenever they want.

She chipped in by adding that probably “this is what Venezuela is doing right now”; and thus conveyed me a feeling that she was sincerely following the every single word uttered by me. 

 I nodded in agreement and continued further by adding that, since, the bullion banks have promised to return the borrowed gold to the central banks so they will have to return the same. In prevailing situations these bullion banks are not having the volume of gold that was lent to them by Central Bank. In financial and monetary world, this position is conveyed by the term ‘short’, and this means that these bullion banks are ‘short’ gold.

Now comes a significant turn in events, that may work as catalyst to force the prices of gold to break the roof. As the situation deliberated above suggests that, in case, sometime in future, these bullion banks are asked to deposit the volume of  gold lent to them by central bank, they will be left with no choice and would be obligated to buy gold in order to repay the central banks’.”

“So, as I can get, it goes like, that in such a scenario the bullion banks like J P Morgan will now have to buy back gold from the market in order to repay the Venezuelan government, given the situation that Venezuela has around 450,000 ounces of gold deposited with J P Morgan, whereas J P Morgan at present has only 338,303 ounces of gold in its accounts/ record books,” she added.

Exactly, I said in agreement, and carried the deliberations forward by adding, that this buying will lead to the price of gold rising further. I knew that now she has got answer to her question, but then too, I continued it by saying that this is only one part of the story.

Much like a child, who is curious to know about everything, she was now eager to learn that what the remaining part of story was now. She requested me to unfold the other part of the story.

I continued by giving her a reference of a report titled “Thing That Make You Go Hmmm” , and told that this report points out, ‘Chavez’s move could set in motion a chain of events whereby Central banks who store the bulk of their gold overseas in ‘safe’ locations scramble to repossess their country’s true ‘wealth’. If that happens, the most high-stakes game of musical chairs the world has ever seen will have begun’,” I said.

“This sounds very scary”, she added.

Image - Gold derails the US $ and US Economy“Yes, you are very much correct while mentioning that the report further states that ‘any delay in repatriating Venezuela’s gold could potentially start a frantic scramble by central banks to claim their physical. God save the scenario, but if it actually happens, rest assured that gold price will be on fire. A scenario will take place, which has neither been seen in past, nor even imagined.

It will give birth to an economic tsunami of magnitude, which will turn the great economic recession witnessed by world or even the jasmine revolution and contribution of social media to same to seem dwarf.

Don’t be surprised if I that there is enough in media to believe U S Govt. Manufactured Fake Gold

Perhaps, there are only few who can imagine the magnitude of risk, specifically if they are not linked to foreign trade. Let me illustrate it. It’s one thing to counterfeit a twenty or hundred dollar bill. The amount of financial damage is usually limited to a specific region and only affects dozens of people and thousands of dollars. Secret Service agents quickly notify the banks on how to recognize these phony bills and retail outlets usually have procedures in place (such as special pens to test the paper) to stop their proliferation.

Image - U S Government Manufactured Fake Gold

This is the most sacred of all commodities because it is thought to be the most trusted reliable and valuable means of saving wealth.

A recent discovery — in October of 2009 — has been suppressed by the main stream media but has been circulating among the “big money” brokers and financial kingpins and is just now being revealed to the public. It involves the gold in Fort Knox — the US Treasury gold — that is the equity of our national wealth. In short, millions (with an “m”) of gold bars are fake!.Who did this? None, but the United States Government, as claimed by Chinese Authorities.

Background
In October of 2009 the Chinese received a shipment of gold bars. Gold is regularly exchanges between countries to pay debts and to settle the so-called balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government asked that special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars. In this test, four small holed are drilled into the gold bars and the metal is then analyzed.

Officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. They contained cores of tungsten with only a outer coating of real gold. What’s more, these gold bars, containing serial numbers for tracking, originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years. There were reportedly between, 5600 to 5700 bars, weighing 400 oz. each, in the shipment!

At first many gold experts assumed the fake gold originated in China, the world’s best knock-off producers. The Chinese were quick to investigate and issued a statement that implicated the US in the scheme.

 

What the Chinese Uncovered

Roughly 15 years ago — during the Clinton Administration [think Robert Rubin, Sir Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers] — between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA [more than 16 Thousand metric tonnes]. Subsequently, 640,000 of these tungsten blanks received their gold plating and WERE shipped to Ft. Knox and remain there to this day.

According to the Chinese investigation, the balance of this 1.3 million to 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also gold plated and then allegedly “sold” into the international market. Apparently, the global market is literally “stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars”. Perhaps, its worth is as much as, 600-billion U S dollars.

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

 RELATED LINKS FOR READERS WHO WANT TO GO IN MORE DETAILS TO BEFORE COMMENTING ON STORY
  1. http://etfdailynews.com/2011/08/17/venezuelan-president-hugo-chavez-sends-precious-metal-etfs-a-wakeup-call-gld-iau-slv-gdx-agq/
  2. http://philosophers-stone.co.uk/wordpress/2011/08/hugo-chavez-gold-runs-bank-runs-and-bank-holidays/
  3. http://profit.ndtv.com/news/show/chavez-officially-nationalizes-venezuela-s-gold-industry-174207
  4. http://notime4bull.com/aggregator/sources/13
  5. http://mikepiro.com/blog/as-chavez-pulls-venezuelas-gold-from-jp-morgan-is-the-great-scramble-for-physical-starting/
  6. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/traders-brace-for-venezuela-gold-transfer/article2134031/print/
  7. http://www.bighaber.com/haber/chavez-to-nationalize-venezuelan-gold-industry-1072000.html
  8. http://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/global_082611.php
  9. http://americasfinancialmeltdown.blogspot.com/2010/11/below-is-antiwar_4391.html
  10. http://mikepiro.com/blog/ron-paul-audit-federal-reserve-gold-stores/
  11. http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/News/061976-2009-11-26-us-govt-manufactured-fake-gold.htm
  12. http://www.the-boondocks.org/forum/index.php?t=msg&&goto=157202#msg_157202s

Budget 2011- 12 under Scanner

Already having presented the facts prior to budget, as to what I as a country man expected in the budget to be presented on February 28, 2011, and following the same by publishing salient features in the budget, probably now it’s time to comment upon it. It’s not due to the reasons that it required so much of time for analysis, but is just due to waiting for the dust to settle down, so as to get a clear glimpse of the events.

Having said and done all the things earlier, now I can say that ‘budget or no budget’, things would have remained more or less the same.  The fundamental feature of budget lacks any focus or any strategy of any kind (Chandrasekhar, 2011). Even on the crucial issue like that of ‘financial inclusion’, only lip service has been paid, rather it could be blamed to be biased more towards ‘financial consolidation’.

Expenditure as a ratio to GDP as proposed in Budget

Plan Expenditure when compared with that of 2009 – 10 rose from 4.6 per cent to 5.0 per cent in 2010 – 11 and has been budget to come down to 4.9 per cent in 2011 – 12. On the other hand non – plan expenditure in the same period has come down from 11 per cent to 10.4 per cent and projected in budget to carry on the downward trend and reach a figure of 9.1 per cent.

Reality: Decrease will automatically be forced to be much larger

This is being said due to the reasons that non tax revenue in FY 2010 – 11 which stood at Rs. 2, 20, 148 crore had received a contribution of the tune of Rs. 72,000 Crore from sale of 3G and wireless broadband spectrum. Deducting this amount, the non tax revenue of FY 2010 – 11 will rest at Rs. 1, 25, 435 crore only.

Discussion:

In presence of such a crystal clear scenario, which clearly projects fall in aggregate revenue [due to fall in non – tax revenue], how come the budget expects to see it rising to Rs. 7, 89, 892 crore in 2011 – 12 against Rs. 7, 83,833 crore in 2010 – 11.

Even this partial increase fails to directly point towards a source from where it will accrue. Though, it seems to be, projected out of an increase in tax revenue collection. This is being said as projected tax revenue collection stands at Rs. 6, 64, 457 crore in 2011 – 12 against Rs. 5, 63, 685 crore in 2010 – 11.

While a glimpse of budget exposes that while union finance minister proposes to raise additional revenue of RS. 11, 300 crore from increase in indirect taxes, he is giving away Rs. 11, 500 crore in way of direct tax relief. These figures expose a negative contribution of Rs. 200 crore in aggregate tax revenue.

This discussion is being stopped at moment simply after discussing a single issue. There are more issues like inflation towards which this budget seems to be contributing positively, Increasing credit supply to agriculture but reducing public investment in agriculture etc. are many other important issues that require discussion.

 

Note: I am now not writing it as part one or two as my experience says that before I could think of discussing next part of story, some new event important in nature gets born.

Always Yours—As Usual— Saurabh Singh

New World Order Imminent!- Anyone For A Game Of Ping Pong?

This vedio has been uploaded for my learned audiences, fans, students and scholars and rest others, who wish to understand issue of New World Order. I would top up the same by a commentry on Asian Environment Soon. Hope you find some value in it.Always Your—– As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

Barak Obama and Economic Crisis

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

War amongst two Organs of same Body: Did Somebody Say Cannibalization: Is it Suicidal?

Market regulator SEBI has barred 14 private life insurance companies from selling unit-linked insurance plans without its approval, giving a fresh twist to the turf war between SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA.

“We expect some companies to move the court” said the CEO of a life company. “It is unfortunate that this dispute has been allowed to reach this stage. It is time for the finance ministry to intervene” he added.

In an order signed by Prashant Sharn, wholetime director, SEBI, said, “I hereby direct the entities mentioned in this order not to issue any offer document, advertisement, brochure soliciting money from investors or raise money from investors by way of new and/or additional subscription for any product (including ULIPSs) having an investment component in the nature of mutual funds, till they obtain the requisite certificate of registration from SEBI.”

The 14 companies mentioned in this order include Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

A few months back, SEBI had questioned individual life companies why they were selling investment products without its approval. Companies had responded individually that insurance laws permit them to offer an investment component within a life insurance policy. They also said that they were regulated by SEBI who had cleared all these products. The life companies were supported by the market regulator, who reiterated the stand taken by life companies.

In its final order SEBI said, “I find that the entities by their own admission have stated that there are two components of ULIPSs – an insurance component where the risk on the life insurance portion vests with the insurer and the investment component where the risk lies with the investor. This establishes conclusively that ULIPSs are a combination product and the investment component need to be registered with and regulated by SEBI”

SEBI’s order has implications not only for the life insurance companies but also for their promoters who have sunk in over Rs 26,000 crore in the form paid up capital. According to analyst reports, a significant portion of the value of various companies including, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Nuvo, SBI Life and Bajaj Fin serve. Most of the business written by these companies is through ULIPSs. If these companies are barred from selling ULIPSs, their valuations are likely to be hit.

Atul Surana , Certified Financial Planner and MD of Catalyst Financial Planning, says, “Anybody will understand one clear partial stand of SEBI which has not included LIC’s name in the list of life insurance companies selling ULIPSs. Secondly, this sounds much like a war between IRDA and SEBI who are bent on proving their authorities. These two regulators could have sorted out the issue on regulatory process first and then issued the order!”

So far as the order’s negative implications are concerned, experts say that while they broadly agree with the concerns of the regulator, it is also important to look at some possible negative implications of this move.

For instance, this process of another regulatory approval might take away the sheen from these products. Insurance companies may not be inclined.  The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s latest order on ULIPSs is expected to have far-reaching implications for the concerned life insurance companies as well as investors. SEBI has issued a directive to all private life insurance companies not to issue any offer document or advertisement soliciting money from investors for a ULIPS or any product having an investment part in the nature of mutual funds, till they approve of the same.

This directive is the latest in a series of initiatives taken by the market regulator to put an end to all unfair market practices and make the process of investments simple, fair and cost efficient for an investor. While the immediate fallout will be negative for all the 14 private life insurance companies as ULIPSs form a major part of the new business written by these companies in the recent past, yet some financial experts feel that this is a welcome step as it puts an end to the unfair practice of pushing life insurance policies as investment products to gullible investors.

“In the current market practice investors end up paying very high charges for the investment part of these policies and are usually not aware of the expenses they are paying. This is because unlike a normal share or mutual fund investment there are usually a myriad of charges in a ULIPS product hidden behind numerous provisions and clauses which are sometimes not easy to comprehend even by insurance professionals,” says Ashish Kapur, CEO, Invest Shoppe India Ltd, adding, “hence common investors have very little chance of ever getting an accurate picture of the costs they are incurring on these insurance and investment combination products.”

Still all is not well with the SEBI order as it is believed to have some partiality besides having some negative implications to offer these products if the regulations are very tough and costly to comply with.

FRIENDLY FIRE: EXPECTED NUMBER OF CASUALTIES

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.

“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 upto February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

IRDA IS FIRST TO BLOW CONCH – DIN’T YOU HEAR THE WAR CRY

SEBI’s order asking 14 insurance companies to stop selling unit-linked insurance plans has turned into full-fledged regulatory battle with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority issuing its own order directing the 14 companies to continue selling ULIPSs.

“After due consultation with the members of the consultative committee all the 14 insurance companies which are mentioned in the order of SEBI are directed to note that notwithstanding the said order of the SEBI, they shall continue to carry out insurance business as usual including offering, marketing and servicing ULIPSs in accordance with the Insurance Act 1938” IRDA said in a late evening order on Saturday signed by chairman J Harinarayan.

In the order IRDA observed that SEBI’s order would upset financial stability, jeorpardise policy holders interest and was prejudicial to the interest of insurers. The 14 companies mentioned in this order include; Aegon Religare, Aviva, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Bharti AXA, Birla Sun Life, HDFC Standard Life, ICICI Prudential, ING Vyasa Life, Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life, Max New York Life, Metlife India, Reliance Life, SBI Life, TATA AIG Life.


“The IRDA Act `99 is specifically enacted to provide for an authority to protect the interests of holders of insurance policies, to regulate, promote and ensure the orderly growth of the insurance industry” IRDA said. The insurance industry was greatly relieved by IRDA’s order. “It is now between the regulators who have to settle this among themselves” said a senior industry official.

SEBI’s order has more far reaching implications than a press release or a circular. Since the order has been issued under Section 34(i) (a) and (b) of the insurance Act. IRDA has said that in the year `08-09 ULIPS policies involving a total premium of Rs 90,645 cr were in force. In fiscal `09-10 up to February 16.7 lakh policies have been sold with a premium of Rs 44,611crores. “It is also observed that the 14 insurance companies have an equity capital of Rs 16,281cr as on March 2009” IRDA said.

The insurance regulator said that observance of SEBI’s order would cause the stoppage of all renewals of insurance policies already invested by the insuring public may result in forced premature surrender of insurance policies causing substantial loss to the policyholders and to the insurers. “The effective stoppage of the sale of the products would cause a complete drying up of revenue flows to the insurance companies which could disrupt the payment of benefits on maturity, on death and on other admissible claims, putting the policyholder and the general public to irreparable financial loss. The financial position of the insurers will be seriously jeopardized thus destabilizing the market and upsetting financial stability” IRDA said.

POLICE DECIDES TO TURN SPECTOR

The finance ministry today kept a safe distance from the ongoing row between market regulator SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA over ULIPs, saying the two regulators have to resolve the issue.

“It’s a matter between regulators; so they have to decide,” finance secretary Ashok Chawla told when sought his comments on yesterday’s SEBI decision to ban 14 life insurers from raising any more money from the unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) in which a portion of the premium amount is invested in stock markets, a move opposed by the insurance regulator.

The SEBI decision was taken after the market regulator had sent notices to these companies asking them as to explain why they did not take its permission to launch these schemes.

Insurance regulator IRDA is understood to have stated in its reply that regulation of ULIPs by IRDA is well-laid down and that it does not agree with SEBI contention that insurers need a certificate of registration from the market regulator for dealing in ULIPs.

The issue was also taken up at the meeting of the inter-regulatory body, the High Level Coordination Committee (HLCC). It was decided at the meeting that the two regulators should settle the issue between themselves.

Chawla said the SEBI and IRDA have not so far been able to come to any resolution. “So, SEBI has taken a legal process. He was going to be silent spectator to see the fire power of both Regulators.

 

Always Yours   — As Usual — Saurabh Singh, India

[Thanks are expressed for too many peple]

GOVERNANCE ISSUES IN 21st CENTURY

THE CURTAIN RAISER – LIFTING OF VEIL

FROM

TWENTY FIRST CENTURY GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

The story has been authored by  Mr. Saurabh Singh; Faculty Member at known B – School in India. A name well know and respected internationally when it comes to the domain of International Relations, International Trade, Global Governance and Polity etc.
The same, if any one requires for learning can place his request at  Docstoc Net work [http://www.docstoc.com]. Same can bought from them but probably some price may be charged by Them.
The case/ story is a must for Students of International Business; International Relations, Global Governance, Public Administrators, Policy and many other.

The Cover Page of the Same is As Seen Here Under

Cover Page Photograph of Case Authored: Governance in 21 st Century

Governance in 21 st Century - A Case Study cum Curtain Raiser

Always your —————- – as Usual —————————— Saurabh Singh, INDIA

International Relations, International Trade and Business & Administration

PART – I

Scholars in “Business Administration”, irrespective of the time and span of domain, are required to understand the role and importance of History. This paper builds on the same theme supported by valid arguments and facts. The assumption made is “Scholars of any established body of knowledge, probably possess the capacity to, understand the evolution of that particular discipline as an organized body of knowledge”, while initiating the study. It is specifically mentioned that in case of even collapse of assumption too, the study would hold good. The attempt here is targeted on detailing, in a brief manner, the evolution of the discipline named Business Administration as an organized body of knowledge.

STEP – I

In the initial days of human civilization, when population inhibiting the earth was very low, the vacancy for individuals with best mental faculty existed so as to entrust them with the responsibility of policy making. This happened for the reasons of complexities involved in the science and art of policy making; and the individuals responsible for the task were supposed to work in a non – self – involving manner.

STEP – II

Consequent to phenomenon of rapid increase in population and passage of time, the learned policy makers were forced to realize that, if seen in a comparative perspective, probably ‘Policy Making’ as an art had become easier as compared to ‘implementation of the policy‘; which is must for proper governance and control the individuals and societies.

STEP – III

The time couldn’t have been better for initiation of new thought process, and the same was ultimately but brilliantly done by a devoted scholar “Mr. Woodrow Wilson”.  Mr. Wilson, a scholar of knowledge domain termed “Political Science & International Relations”, is credited as first individual who established a dichotomy separating “Political Science” & “Public Administration”. Thus a new domain of knowledge was born and christened as “Public Administration”.

Mr. Woodrow Wilson, later on, got elected to the office of President of ‘United States of America’.

STEP – IV

A logical deduction that can be drawn from the deliberations is that ‘with the increase in the number of people to be administered, the sub system ‘Public Administration’ that used to be a part of super system ‘Political Science and International Relations’ got inflated as super system itself.


Journey called Public Administration

It is of significant to mention that, as a full fledged discipline, the discipline of “Public Administration” equipped itself with tools possible from all disciplines worth contributing fruitfully in the achievement of its objectives as a body of knowledge. This can be held responsible for the multidisciplinary nature of the body of knowledge.

The is to clarify further that the disciplines contributing in this manner for achievement objectives of ‘Public Administration’ do not get the status of related or concerned stream or subject matter and should not be dubbed so.

Illustration

The domain of knowledge named ‘Physics’ makes use of tools provided by ‘Mathematics’ in a significant manner. Even in such a scenario scholars of neither ‘Mathematics’ nor ‘Physics’ would ever claim these to be related disciplines of either of them. The similar is the case with ‘Economics’ and ‘Statistics’ too, specifically while dealing with ‘Econometrics’.

[Note: Other domains of learning, viz, Agriculture Economics or Live Stock Economics etc. is being considered here, as this may be considered, by scholars of domain,  as degrading these respected disciplines of knowledge. These domains are in no way comparable to either ‘Economics’ or ‘Administrative Sciences’. In fact these turn out to be too specific domains developed to address the problems of the specific to these domains, and these problems are vital in nature for survival and welfare of humanity. ]

STEP – V

In the domain of ‘Public Administration’, the word public is used to represent a congregation of people, [where congregation is significant in terms of number of people], good enough to be called as a Society, Public, State or Nation.

STEP – VI

Any individual, prudent enough, would be in agreement with the author, in comprehending that Business happens to a ‘niche area’ of any society while working, in and for the society, in a congruent manner to achieve the objectives of the society. In common terms it can be explained as, ‘Goals’ set by Business for being achieved by it, positively contribute towards achieving the overall goal of society. It can be in many forms viz., generating employment, producing the products or services which are required for smooth functioning of society,  while spending a part of its earnings for the welfare of less privileged or less fortunate people of society and area inhabited by them.

STEP – VII

Ensuring the efficient and symbiotic functioning of niche area of society termed ‘Business’ so as to result in win – win situation for both, business on one side, and rest of society on the other end, created the need for a domain of knowledge that is developed to specifically address this area.

The easiest way to do this is, just extracting out the relevant portions, addressing the administration or governance of business, from the domain of knowledge called ‘Public Administration’.

Now, It is time to celebrate, the birth of a new and specialized domain of knowledge and this child has been christened ‘Business Administration’.


Moving further on the same direction in search of the nearest relatives of Science and arts of ‘Business Administration’; one is bound to land up in and around the domains viz., Political Science, International Relations, Public Administration, Political Economy, History of International Business, Development of Mechanism of Revenue Collection, Span of Control, Numerous types of Organizational Structure for providing an efficient and just administration. The strains like Human and Social Psychology, Sociology, law of land, science of decision making.

PART – II


The issue now is to learn and establish the fact that is the body of knowledge being deliberated here, so new in nature, as to be taken to be born in late Twentieth or Early Twenty First Century. Or the same was born in past, flourished, reached its youth and also touched its possible top possible mature status and got extinct like many of the other living and non living phenomenon found on earth due to the changes occurring with time on earth.

Any person of my level probably would do what I am doing. I am now moving in fold of history to get, if possible, some cues on it. The reason for same can cited as below:

1. The times when I was in my adolescences, I got to here many times and occasions, the words in the language [a mix of Sanskrit and Hindi] “VASUDHAV KUTUMBKAM”, meaning, ‘the world is our home’.

Deliberation:

Probably, it is difficult to believe for me, today, when I have for last over a decade am hearing of the phenomenon called ‘Globalization’.

The part of Asia, which I happen to be born, grown and learning new concepts and philosophies, even as on date, has advocated as profession known as Business and/ or Trade to me much respectful than providing service of any kind.

The population inhabiting the landmass still narrates the stories, theses days called as Arabian Knights, precious stones and gems, [related to Arab World], of Rulers like Alexander [Roman Empire], the stories of Panchtantra [much older than Europe, with nothing like USA of today in place], the European Dark Ages etc.

The stories of various scholars like Huentsang, Fahyan, Albaruni and many of the kind visiting the land with the specific purpose of learning and discovering knowledge from the area called Gulf and middle Asia to the Universities like Nalanda and Takshshila etc.

Every body from Gulf, Middle Asia and even post tenth century from Europe visited the land to make fortunes via trade in the area.

The influence of area was so vast even in terms of Administration that states or nations today called as Combodia [Angkorvat], Malaya [Maldives], Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and many more like that were in its fold of Governance. The area today may be visualized as Greater India [an old concept – not much alive today].

The United States of America was lucky and should be thankful to the area [may be called INDIA], as it got noticed, only when a great sailor cum trader started on journey to discover the trade route to India. Luckily for USA and may be not so lucky for Columbus, that he got disoriented, to touch the landmass called America.

What all this could be dubbed if not as “a society at pinnacle of its development, and the phenomenon called as Globalization in today’s context”?

All these facts are coaxing the author to embark on a journey in time, the time which is past and called history, to develop a clear understanding. So with permission from learned academician and scholars the author embarks on the journey to trace the origin of phenomenon called ‘Globalization’.


History has always come to the rescue of any individual aiming to be dexterous in the domain called administration, governance, international relations, evolution of a system for efficient administrative and governance, making policies for maximizing the welfare of mankind, exploring the unexplored universe etc.. and then too the list may remain illustrative in place of being exhaustive.

As an scholar committed to contribute to the discipline of Business Administration, author finds history to be a sound bazooka. The attempt can be made to trace and document the process of evolution of trade and commerce in past civilization, along with the horizon touched by them. The process of administration of nurturing and blossoming such relations over the past would be providing sound and fertile breeding ground.

The same then can be fruitfully, and economically utilized for developing the ways and means to counter the threats being faced by humanity in form of calamities of economic nature but probably not related too domain. Thus no tools discovered till now to cure the disease.

Here, as said by Professor Dereck D. Jones [2004] can be quoted as below

“International Business scholars often talk about history, but rarely take it seriously. Or so it would seem from reading the pages of JIBS. A simple search showed that the word “history” was mentioned in 119 articles and notes published in the journal since 1990. The word “evolution” occurred in 135 articles and notes. Yet not a single article was explicitly devoted either to the history of IB or employed historical data to explore an issue. Only a handful of articles contained longitudinal data covering more than a decade.” (Derek D. Jones 2004)

The discussions about History could be started from Eighth Century onwards, as the particular era is known as ‘Dark Age for Europe’ and any landmass like United States of America was not connected, even if present, to the main stream of Global/ World Society.

The present study being compiled for being presented to world community, may force the great philosophers of the discipline to revisit the theories and principals of globalizations just based on based on developments of yesterday. Simply because there have been many years prior to yesterday and one needs to get rid of Myopia while talking on such subject matters.

Now in NEXT WRITE UP – – TO KNOW MORE PLEASE VISIT SOON….COMING IN JUST FEW DAYS

NOTE: Questions, Arguments, Discussions, Suggesstions are Welcome and is Open for Comments too.

This a paper in process to turn out as another monograph or Working Paper Series Publication.

Always Yours —  As Usual — Saurabh Singh

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