FDI in Indian Retail market

Doesn’t the Indian Cabinet enjoy a right to design a bill in the interest of the Nation and present it to the Parliament for approval? The Opposition parties  opposed  the bill of FDI in retail marketing tooth and nail and stalled the functioning of the law making body for a full  week.

Refusing the demand for shelving the bill totally, the government merely agreed to hold the bill  in abeyance  to be introduced at a later date.  This step not because the Opposition parties wanted  it but one of the government’s allies, the Trinamool Congress opposed the bill. And its view had to be respected .

Ms Mamta Banerjee’s stand was that if the Walmart and other international giants enter our retail  market, our Indian retailers would suffer and lose their job.

May I ask Ms Banerjee to answer some  questions connected with retail marketing?  Are we getting quality goods from our retailers?  Are all the items sold at fair price?  The answer is negative for both questions.

I wonder if our Political bosses are aware that the retailers have been too greedy and have been depriving the public  to the extent of  30 -40% profit on manufactured goods. They hve been swallowing the public’s share of the profit granted by the manufacturers? This has been going on  for over 40 years and the public does not know it.

Till the year about 1970, the manufacturers never printed the price on the manufactured items. Every retailer charged according to his whims. So, the  government  wanted the manufacturers to print  the sale price on the cover.  The  manufacturers came with a novel proposal that they would show the price to include 60-100% profit and  call it MRP (Maximum retail price);  the retailers must share this profit with the customers to any extent they liked.  Some took only 25% margin and gave the remaining to the customers. Some gave a nominal rebate of Rs. 5 -10. Over  90% retailers ignored this rule making themselves the real beneficiaries of the MRP formula. Thus the customers have been buying these products at a much higher price than intended by the manufacturer.

Very few retailers are considerate.  One electrical shop I know in Chennai has been observing this rule faithfully much to the astonishment of the customers.  For instance,  I bought an Immersion heater at Rs. 350 while the MRP marked was Rs. 525.  Did the retailer sell the item at a loss? No, he took his margin of 25% and transferred the rest to the customer. As a result, this shop is doing a roaring business.

One super market boasted that his shop  was an MRP market and never sold anything higher than the MRP price.  When I asked him, at what price he bought the items from the manufacturer or whole saler, he wouldn’t reveal it to me.

There you are, Ms. Mamta. The Indian public has been taken for a ride by these notorious retailers and you want to support them?

Go to any provision store. You  get rice and wheat mixed  with all sorts of  decorative materials such as twigs, stones and excreta and a small percentage of  rotten grains as well. Are they  quality material? Do the retailers  bother to sell clean  cereals in packets of sorts? They  cheat on the weight also.  You never get more than 900 grams when you pay for 1 kg material. Are the retailers being fair to their country men?

Let the TMC leaders carry out  a quality check of our retail market to get to know the truth and  also spot out the various tricks and other malpractices  being followed by our retailers.  When the multi nationals come, they may wake up and compete with them and the public will really benefit .An Indian  retailer will not suffer if he is honest and supply the material in  ship shape condition  at a competitive  rate.  An Indian customer then would opt for the Indian retailer and not enter the multi national shops.

Incidentally, it should the National policy that the profit margin should not be more than 25% of the ex factory price or market price. Give up the practice of  printing MRP approach and merely show, “Saleprice”.

 

Watch your step, unruly road rollers are around

 I live in the city of  Chennai, India. Do you know what it has become famous for in recent years? The city has nearly become the Detroit of USA, going by the number of  4- wheelers and 2-wheelers  it produces on   daily basis. There are around 13 major  manufacturers of automobiles of different varieties.

Recession  may be   lurking in a corner and inflation may be galloping right before our eyes, but there is no dearth of car and motor bike  buyers.  I wonder where these people get their money from.

It is difficult  to walk on the roads these days.  At any time of day or night, you would find the road space filled with vehicles, mostly two wheelers; most of them threatening  to knock  a pedestrian down.

The vehicle population in the state of Tamil Nadu is 14 million of all types as in August 2011. It may have gone up  by another half a million by now. The 2-wheelers top the list – 11 .5 million and of these 2.6 million are in Chennai city alone.

What is more disturbing is that these vehicles have become giant killers. In the year 2010 alone, the deaths in Tamil Nadu roads were a whopping 65,000.  This is quite close to  the national figure of 150,000.

Why should we get into lime light like this  for wrong reasons?  Is life so cheap in our State?  Over 1.2 million are injured and over 3 million disabled in the whole of India. Our roads are good and one  would be tempted to drive at a cruising speed of 100 kmph on highways.  One often sees youngsters  flying at 60 and 70 in their two wheelers right on the city roads. Now, you know why accidents occur.

The dead are dead and gone.  One may not even remember their names after some  six months. But what about those who have been seriously injured.  A visit to the  government hospitals would reveal how some young lives have been severely dented and put out of action. A lost leg or a hand cannot be retrieved. A head injury puts a man completely out of normal life  for the rest of his life.  He is a living dead, as it were !

You may ask why I am lamenting over these figures.  Supposing the  injured happens to be your own brother or sister or even wife.  Would you forgive the chap who had caused  this damage?

The question is what do we do about the road  accidents? What do you and I and the third person over there do to minimise the casualties?.  We need to put our thinking cap on and find ways and means.  Let’s not sit quiet all because none of our near and dear ones have been affected. Shed tears for the wounded and debilitated and pray to God to give good sense to the vehicle owners.

One Husband Several Wives and One Wife Several Husbands

“History repeats itself” is no vain statement and it surely does if what has been reported  in the newspapers the  other day is true. The repetition  here has  a small twist, that’s all.

Some years back, probably in Nineties, a man claiming to be an NRI married many young women, stayed with them for a day or two, looted their jewellery and vanished out of sight.

His modus operandi was like this.  He would advertise in  the newspapers that he was on a short leave from USA /UK,  and was looking for a working woman kind of  bride.  There was craze in that era to go abroad, especially USA and  settle down there for a long spell. Many young women like nurses, teachers, clerical staffs, secretaries and  even some junior executives  responded. Our hero chose one who had a good income, went for bride seeing along with a middle aged woman, who he claimed as his elder sister; taking a woman with  him, added  credibility to his game.

After some serious interrogation, he approved of the candidate and fixed the marriage date which was just 4  or 5 days away;  he must go  through the wedding ritual fast  before his leave expired. Oh, was the bride happy?  And the parents were thrilled too.  The man demanded no dowry but the bride may be sent with her personal jewellery and clothes. No parents could have asked for more.

The marriage ceremony was kept very simple.  The wedded couple had their first night in a hotel in the bridal attire. The bride couldn’t spend the night wearing her full   jewellery.  She took them out and kept them in the cupboard or dressing table.  During the night our hero collected them and vanished before it was  dawn. You can imagine the plight of the bride.

In another case, he rang up the bride-to-be and asked her to buy an air ticket, both ways, to  New Delhi.  He would be back on the following day, well in time for the wedding.  That was the last the parents heard of him.  He converted the ticket into cash and disappeared.

He succeeded in seven cases  using different duping methods and the eighth turned out  to be his Waterloo.

During a social party one young thing proudly announced that she was getting married to an NRI, who was on a short leave in India and showed his photograph to the hostess. “How is it?  He is marrying me five days from today….”  conveyed the hostess.  Becoming suspicious, the hostess laid a trap for him.  “Where are you living Mister Suresh?” she asked of him on his contact number.  He gave the address of a hotel.  On checking back, there was no one there by that name. On further probe, they discovered that he was a  part time clerk from a nearby city.

The police nabbed him and took him to court on a case of cheating.  He along  with his paramour got 8 years in jail.

And now comes a similar case but this time the villain is a  woman.

One Manimegala from Pollachi,South India, joined a computer centre, run by a differently abled man. Manimegala made him fall in love with her and  after a few weeks she indicated to him obliquely that she was interested in marrying a differently abled man and give him a comfortable home life.  Rathinakumar fell for her sweet talk and proposed to her.

Even before the marriage Manimegala had  tranferred  his 10 cents land in her two brother’s names.

After the marriage in November 2011, she continued to extract money and valuables  from Rathinakumar and left him one fine morning.

Perplexed at the turn of events, Rathinakumar begged her to come back to him. Strangely, the family members of the girl threatened to finish him off.

Following this development, Rathinakumar lodged a  police complaint.  Preliminary investigations revealed that   Manimegala had conned several men in  this manner.  Her first marriage was with one Sathish Kumar from Tirupur some years back.  He was dumped in due course after she had robbed him of valuables and money. It’s not known how many more men she married and threw out  before she set her eyes upon the poor  computer centre owner.

The police are now collecting more information to find out how many husbands she had  lured and deceived.

Seychelles, a Victim of Sea Piracy

Seychelles is no more a paradise for rich holidayers and tourists. It has become  a hunting ground for  pirates, Somalian pirates. Their operational  area is from Seychelles to Mahe, gulf of Aden and Maldives.

The pirates’ target is any ship that passes by in their working area,  be it a merchant ship, a cargo ship or an oil tanker or even a passenger ship. Once they boarded a passenger ship which probably carried a thousand passengers.  Completely outnumbered, the dozen odd pirates were hammered nicely and thrown into the sea. So, they avoid  ocean liners.

What is their aim of  hauling up ships?  Their merchandise or oil?  None of these.  The ransom  money from ship owners for releasing the ship and  crew.  They demand millions of dollars and the owners find no  way other than paying up the amount  and getting the ship back.

The pirates do abduct crew and other passengers  sometime. The purpose is the same – ransom.  A retired couple set sail in their private yacht  one day. They had traveled hardly 60 nautical miles and they were cornered  and taken prisoners along with their yacht. It is not known where these two persons,  60 and  56 are.  Probably they are held hostage for any negotiation in the future.

The interception could place any where up to  Maldive islands.

Don’t the ships have any protection?  Yes, the Indian Navy does come to their rescue.  They did capture some pirates also and in some cases, after destroying their small ships the men were thrown into the sea to make them fend for themselves or die a horrible death.  The UK and American Navies also do help.  But then a distance of some 1500 nautical miles cannot be protected every inch.  The pirates choose their target and according to their timing.

The greatest sufferer is the Seychelles government and its people. Their tourist traffic has dwindled down to almost a trickle. No honey mooner or holidayer would venture into this area.  The island’s income is thus affected.

The other source of income is ‘tuna fishing’; tuna is exported to the European countries.  The  French and Spanish trawlers who do the fishing for the island have slowed down their activity.  So much so, from 2009, the catch has reduced by 30%.

Tuna processing and  canning system  in Seychelles is a highly automated one.  At one end of the conveyor belt, the trawlers unload the catch and at the other you collect the canned tins.  The factory has been producing 450 tons of tuna fish daily which has reduced to around 300 now. Some 3000 Seychellians are employed in the fishing industry. Not only the income of the Seychelles population has decreased  considerably but  also many have become unemployed as well. What will the  people do?

Why are the Somalians  indulging in this immoral practice?  They say, their fishing business from Gulf of Eden has been affected terribly due to poaching by other nations.  Next, the gulf has become a dumping ground for all kinds of wastes including toxic waste.  This has affected the health of the Somalians.  Thousands  suffer from mouth disease and stomach disorder.

Somalia is a very poor country and underdeveloped as well.  And yet people have to live.  What could they do?

In the circumstances, piracy appeared to be a very tempting and  a quick money earner method  and they had  grabbed the  opportunity. The Somalian piracy has the public’s support and not considered immoral at all.

The navies of other nations do capture the pirates and try them out in their own courts.  Recently there was an agreement among the nations that the convicted Somalians must spend their jail sentence in their own country and should be sent to Somalia after trial. Since the Public have given their open approval for the piracy , will this measure reduce piracy by any significant  percentage? Very doubtful.  We don’t know  what the Somalian governments’ stand is in this regard.  Are they for or against piracy?

Possibly thousands and thousands are indulging in this trade.  Suppressing or eliminating this  large scale professionals  is not an easy task through the small help the island gets from neighbouring nations. If  fleets of ships are deployed, it may be possible to eliminate the menace.  But then, isn’t this asking for the Moon?

The next alternative  for the exporters is to send armed escorts in each ship.  This should not prove very expensive at all. Since the pirates come only in small numbers, a  dozen odd  well equipped soldiers on board  could easily overpower the thieves of small groups. This seems to be the final solution at the cheapest cost. And the ship owners must consider this option in the interest of their own business and safety of their goods and crew.

 

 

Matters of the heart-\-break

Are you in love with some person? Deeply in love? How free have you been with him/her physically?  If you have been  only hugging and kissing, this article is meant for you.  If you have gone beyond that or below the waistline, don’t read it.

The modern generation know all about safe sex, the safe period, protected sex, condoms etc. Wonder if they enquire about her safe days from the girl concerned.  Where would be the time for it anyway? The decision itself would be spontaneous and urgent and the darned  act would finish before you  count ten !

The other day I saw on the net a Western pair, aged around 24 years, who  had been having sex regularly like any married couple practising  the technique of  ‘withdrawal’.  It seems to have worked out for them  well for 4 years and they have not decided to get married. I have a horrible feeling  that  they would never get married at all.  In all probability, they may  marry  someone else.  Why? You may ask. They need new pastures, the earlier one having been explored and eaten up. I only  hope the Indian adventurers don’t resort to the  “withdrawal technology.”

One  very  knowledgeable  youngster asked seriously some days back,  “What’s the harm?  It’s only natural, isn’t it? We know how to protect ourselves from STD and undesirable pregnancy etc?”

“Well said, boy,” I complimented him.  “But do you know the consequences? STD and pregnancy  are not the only issues, remember?”

He cocked up his ears to what I had to say.

In India, dear young man, one falls in love so that it leads to the marriage altar.  A maiden dreams of it from week one.  She may not think of casual sex at all. But she may give in, if you insist on it all   because she  loves you a lot and doesn’t want to displease you in any  manner nor lose you on account of a denial.

“OK.  That’s fine,” he remarked interrupting me.

“It’s not fine,  dear fellow.  Firstly, you will feel very guilty about it since you have done something  wrong and against  our culture. Let’s say you care two hoots for the culture. Next, you are likely to  lose all interest in her because you have tasted her pre maturely.”

Some young men may even start hating the sight  of that girl; she would suddenly look ugly in your eyes; and possibly you may even dub her as a lose character who could surrender to anyone asking for sex..  The most important development could be, “There is nothing to look forward to in her thereafter.” And you part ways.

The affected college scholar scratched his chin. “Y…e…s sort of …”  On a closer cross examination he confessed that he had abandoned his No.1 but since he belonged to a group of 4,  he was having an eye on another.

“Have you tasted her too?”

“Not yet, Sir.”

“Do you love No. 2?

“No, not really.  But I did love No.1 very deeply.  Really loved her, Sir.  Dreamt of her as my future wife….”

“What happened then?  You have kicked her out of your heart now , haven’t you?” After several minutes of silence, he accepted  that he had.

This is what will happen if you try out your fun sex. You would lose all  interest in her.  Is it fair on the girl?  Won’t she carry this guilt in her mind assuming she gets married to another person?  A ‘guilty past’ may lead to quarrels, disagreements, arguments and an unhappy end as well.

I have personal knowledge of a few cases. What if the girl gets pregnant? Her future is gone for ever. And the  culprit would, more often than not,  refuse to marry her on some excuse or the other.  The poor girl delivers the baby. I heard several stories of this kind in a Cheshire home where unmarried girls  surrender their unwanted baby. Will such unfortunate females stand the chance of marriage ever again?  Surely not.  Every gent inIndiawants a pure virgin and nothing less.

Despite the pre-marital thing, some stick to their resolve and get married. But then their marriage never lasts. To quote a case: These two were deeply in love for about 18 months and were due to be married shortly. “Why not?  After all we are getting married, aren’t we?”  asked the male partner. The girl reluctantly agreed.  After they went through it, the man had a change of heart; he didn’t want her any longer;  there was nothing to discover in her any more. He avoided her and married someone else.

In another case, [which unfortunately took place in my own family !], though they got married all right after some 2 years of courting, and one abortion,  the marriage didn’t succeed; my sister couldn’t conceive and  the union ended in permanent separation.  Don’t you think but for the pre marital sex and the  badly done abortion, their marriage would have clicked with a couple of children?

All these failures are  due to  ‘one mistake’, one simple mistake committed at an emotional moment when they had lost control over their passion. If only they hadn’t succumbed  to this temptation of  trial sex, they would have been a happy couple with healthy children.

So, keep away from this practice, children.  Remember, “To delay is to increase the pleasure.”  So, hold on until you tie the nuptial knot. You will then enjoy not only your ‘wedding night’ but also have a long lasting and solid  married life.

There is one more thing. The modern day children are very knowledgeable and bold as well.  It’s possible your own daughter would one day ask you how you met her father. “Were you in love with him? For how long? Did you have sex with him before marriage?”  You cannot lie to your own flesh and blood. Wouldn’t you avoid cutting a sorry figure in front of your own daughter.

So keep yourself under control and pure  so that you become a role model to your own children.

The Female to Male Ratio

It is the Creator God who decides on the sex of the baby being formed in a mother’s womb. The parents have no control over it at all. And God maintains a perfect balance between female foetus and male foetus.  It is always on 1 to 1 basis.  He does not  allow any imbalance in their numbers.

It is God’s plan that the earthlings should not  live alone but live as a pair.  In other words, every human being must get married. That’s why He produced Eve and gave her to Adam.  Adam never asked for a companion.  He didn’t even know anything about a woman and what she would look like.  When God presented a beautiful creature before him, he became curious and started comparing his features with Eve’s.  She became his wife straightway in the garden of Eden.

But, we hear that in some  countries the female to male ratio is terribly one sided. For instance in China there are only 858 females for every 1000 males and in India 914: 1000.  Who was responsible for this imbalance? The people. In Indian villages, a female baby is put to death immediately on birth.  Some village panchayats have laid down  such a diktat. Their reason   is:  Only a male child would perpetuate the family’s name and help it multiply. A girl child would migrate to some other family after marriage for good!

The  thinking in China too is similar. So, they  resort to female infanticide.  Since one can verify the sex of an unborn child,  it is easy to destroy a female foetus right in the womb. The problem became more serious from 1980 when