Government should not hesitate to hold referendum on important domestic issues

25/10/2011

Government should not be shy of holding referendum on very important domestic issues on which people have strong views like the following:

1. Whether government should go ahead with the nuclear power plant in Koodankulam,Tamilnadu.The referendum should be restricted to the areas surrounding Koodankulam.

2. Whether Prime Minister should be included in the Lokpal jurisdiction.This should be the country wide referendum.

3. Whether Telangana should be a separate state.This referendum should be restricted to the people of Telangana.

4. Whether death penalty should be abolished.

It may be pointed out that in Hong Kong referendum was held on whether certain area of the sea should be reclaimed for building road on it.

The country’s size should not be a problem for holding referendum as this can be done online.While in the beginning not many people will be able to use the online facility,as the days go by the response from the people will be as good as to the voting in the elections.
The referendum should however not be extended to issues which touch on the integrity and unity of the country.

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India-Economic Development of the States

16/10/2011

Among the major states Haryana has the highest net state domestic product(NSDP) of Rs.78000 during 2009-10 followed by Maharashtra with Rs.65000,Punjab Rs.61000 and Gujarat Rs.50000.

The southern states of India have more or less the same level of net state domestic product with Kerala having Rs.49000,Karanataka Rs.45000, Andhra Rs.44000 and Tamilnadu Rs.45000(for 2008-09).

The large states like Bihar Rs.15000,MP Rs.24000,Rajasthan Rs.29000 and UP Rs.21000 have very low NSDP.These states have high density of population but this should not be a reason for low per capita NSDP.States like Haryana,Punjab,Kerala and West Bengal also have high density of population but their NSDP is much higher than these states.The cause of under development is due to the states not fully utilizing their manpower assets.The resources of these states,as far as capital is concerned,is not scarce as entrepreneurs from all over the country would have located their factories if the work culture of the people is good.The states also are good locations for factories being densely populated ie the market is large.In states like Tamilnadu and Karnataka the entrepreneurs are from states like Rajasthan,Gujarat and foreign countries..In order to attract industries,the states have to create ideal conditions.

It is also observed that smaller states like Haryana and Punjab and medium states like Gujarat,Tamilnadu,Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have higher NSDP.In this context,it is important to divide the states like UP,Bihar,MP and West Bengal.


Nuclear Power Plant- issue to be left to referendum

13/10/2011

In the context of the agitations for stopping the work of Koodankulam Nuclear power plant in Tamilnadu and phasing out of other
nuclear power plants and the views of experts on the safety of these plants, one has to carefully consider the pros and cons.

1. India’s demand for power is increasing and the present supply is grossly inadequate.

2.Inida does not have sufficient coal reserves to meet requirements of existing and new thermal plants

3. The scope for new hydro-electric plants is limited

4. Nuclear power production does not pollute the atmosphere as thermal plants.

5. There are adequate safedguard to prevent any leakage of radio activity. The Japan power plants are about 40 years old and those did not have safeguards as the new ones.

6. Nuclear technology development cannot take place if we give up building nuclear power plants.

The points against the nuclear energy are:

1.If a developed safety conscious country like Japan coud not ensure safety to the people from nuclear power plant, how will India do it

2.The alternatives to nuclear energy viz wind power, solar power, biogas/biomass power have not been fully utilised and exhausted. Solar and biomass energy alone can meet the exising and emerging need for energy

3. Sea waves have not been exploited for generating elecricity and the potential is said to be immense

4. Solar and biomass energy also do not contribute to pollution

5. Unlike nuclear energy, solar, wind and biomass energy plants can be dispersed across the country which would mean less transmission losses.

Both points of view are convincing.But a decision can be taken not only on the merits of the case, but also based on the aspirations and fears of the people, particularly in a democratic country like India. Though the government has been elected democratically, it may not be correct to say that it has the authority in such cases to take a decision without reference to the people. Thus it seems that the government should hold a referendum among the people within a radious of certain distance who could be the immediate victims if anything happens. It referendum should be confined to such people. This is because, people living near nuclear plants shold not be made to take wha they call “risk” to their life as well as the life of the future generation, for the betterment of themselves and the other people of India


Indian Economy

04/10/2011

Indian economy is quite sound as can be judege from the following:

i. there is no unemployment or the unemployment is very low now, compared to what it was in the past. In fact there is shortage of labour in every sector of the economy- in agriculture, industry, plantations, transport etc. Shortage of labour is seen both in the urban and in rural areas.
ii. production is increasing as can be seen from the increasing number of trucks moving goods across the country
iii. industry has no problem in getting finance, either by way of equity or loan from banks or other financial organizations-postponement of initial offerings by companies does not mean that the public are not interested in buying equity shares. It only shows that the prices of the offerings have been placed high.
iv. there is no dearth of loan facilities for agriculture
v. finance for acquiring vehicles is available from a large number of organizations
vi. there is no problem in selling products/commodities, (though sales promotions are required. ) This is because of higher purchasing power of people in general.
vii. the expenditure on food as a percentage of total expenditure f the households is continuously decreasing showing an increasing number of products being used by the people. This shows higher standard of the living of the people.
viii. prices are going up, but wages have already gone up and still are going up. Thus,price increases is not a major problem. For example, between 2006 and 2010 wages have gone up by about three times in most l cases. On the other hand, prices have gone up by 50%- 100% (which has resulted in higher standard of living of the people).
ix. people no longer walk even short distances. They use mopeds,motorbikes and cars. Very few people use bicycles. People are in a position to afford these luxuries now. They even travel by motorbikes for even the currently “low” paid jobs.
x. there is no communication problem now. Most of the people have cell phones.
xi. the markets are full of things –food items as well as industrial products.
xii. stock markets are volatile. Price of gold and silver is increasing,but this cannot be called economic crisis,but can only be called speculative activity. If FIIs are banned ,institutional investors are restricted in the secondary market, the markets will be steady.
xiii. however, there is a lot of scope to increase productivity, increase consumption and thus, expand production and GDP.
xiv. interest rates have gone up leading to higher cost of production, but the prices of all products have also gone up .Thus,the purchasing power of the interest amount from the deposits in banks,etc. Would have become lower, if interest rates are not raised. In other words, depositors would have suffered badly.
xv. there is shortage of labour. This can be solved by increasing mechanisation. In agriculture for example, mainly ploughing has been mechanised. There is scope of mechanisation in planting, weeding, harvesting,thrashing,etc. In industry also, there is a lot of scope for further mechanisation. This is how industrial revolution took place in Europe a few centuries ago.
Xvi. The problem of pollution should be tackled with proactive participation of the government.
xvi. Global warming is talked about but we are witnessing coldest winters and hottest summers which can rightly be called weather extremes rather than global warming.
xvii. higher public/government debt in itself cannot be an economic crisis if the debt has been incurred for productive purposes and the labour productivity remains high. after all, money can always be created by the government monetising debt.
As the fundamentals are strong in Indian economy, external happenings should not affect it. However, it does affect because of speculative activities. It would good to control speculations.