Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Eye on 2019 polls? Tycoon discusses with Modi, Amit Shah Asia's biggest Rann Sarovar sweet water lake in Gujarat

By Rajiv Shah
If Kalpasar, a dream project of converting the Gulf of Khambhat into Asia’s biggest sweet water lake by constructing a dam connecting South Gujarat and Saurashtra coasts, does not seem feasible any more, why not toy with the idea of yet another having a still bigger sweet water lake – this time in the Little Rann of Kutch? Suspicion has gone strong: Ahead of the 2019 polls, the BJP is all set to make a 4,900 sq km Rann Sarovar an electoral plank.
While the idea has been floated by an industrialist known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaysukhbhai Patel, managing director, Ajanta-Oreva group, if a recent well-attended meeting on Rann Sarovar in Gujarat Vidyapeeth is any indication, it has already been “discussed”, among others, with Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, at least two ministers, and senior government officials.
If a 90-page book in Gujarati, distributed at the meet, “Sapnu Sevyu Lok Hitarthe”, is any indication, the indus…

Rural wage growth down from 8.4% under UPA to 0.2% under NDA, farmers now not getting support price: Crisil

By Rajiv Shah
Even as regretting that investment in India is failing to pick up, in its latest report on four years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, Crisil, India's leading rating agency, has lamented that things have been worse for the country's rural sector, which, it has said, "has been riddled with challenges including slower agricultural growth, poor farm price realisation, slowdown in construction activity, and sluggish rural wage growth."
In fact, Crisil warns, "An unhappy hinterland can turn out to be the proverbial Achilles’ heel for any government during elections", asking the Modi government to take mitigating measures that may help improve the situation "in the short run, such as increase in minimum support price and price deficiency payment scheme", even as strengthening "the non-agriculture rural economy by front-loading infrastructure development and construction activities."
Noting that "sluggish gr…

World Bank: India's 48% bank accounts inactive, thanks to Modi's Jan Dhan, twice that of developing countries

By Rajiv Shah
India may have sharply increased the number of bank accounts following Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming to power. However, regrettably, India has the largest share of inactive accounts, too. A just-released World Bank survey, which provides this crucial detail alongside several others, says, "Account owners with an inactive account varies across economies, but it is especially high In India."
Saying that the share of inactive accounts in India is 48 percent, "the highest in the world and about twice the average of 25 percent for developing economies", the World Bank seeks to blame Modi's policies for this. Titled "The Global Findex Database 2017: Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fin-tech Revolution", the survey report says, "Part of the explanation might be India’s Jan Dhan Yojana scheme, developed by the government to increase account ownership."
Authored by Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli, Leora Klapper, Dorothe Singer, Saniy…

Gujarat govt's electoral contribution to BJP by cheque in 2009-10? No state dept knows who made the payment

By Rajiv Shah
While it is well known that top business houses of Gujarat have liberally contributed to the BJP to meet its electoral expenses, putting Congress in an unenviable position, surprisingly, in 2009-10, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled the state, his government, too, made a contribution, albeit small, to the saffron party!
The 2009-10 list of donations of more than Rs 20,000, submitted by the BJP’s then office in-charge Shyam Jaju to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on December 1, 2010, has an entry on page 13, showing that the “Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar”, donated Rs 25,000 as electoral contribution to the party by cheque No 482811 of State Bank of India.
Former BJP chief minister Suresh Mehta, who dug out this piece information more than a year ago, told Counterview, “I have been filing Right to Information (RTI) pleas to ascertain who in the state government paid this money, violating all constitution norms. Yet, no state department, including the chief …

Gujarat's sexually-abused children will have to wait for 55-200 years for getting justice, more than any Indian state

By Rajiv Shah
In a revelation that should shake up India’s powers-that-be, “model” Gujarat, home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the slowest among Indian states in completing trial of pending cases of child sexual abuse. The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, founded by India’s 2014 Nobel prize recipient, Kailash Satyarthi, has in a new report said, Gujarat would take anywhere between 55 and 200 plus years to complete child sex abuse trials.
If calculated on the basis of the absolute numbers of pending cases as on 2016, the report says, it would take 55 years for Gujarat to complete trials, but if the calculation is based on case disposal rate (again as on 2016), the state would “require more than 200 years to complete trial of pending cases.” Only two small states are found to be “competing” Gujarat’s 200 years mark – Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
The report has been published against the backdrop of the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, in Jam…