Sunday, August 26, 2012

INDIAN REALITY:AN INSINCERE POLITY

Corruption as the biggest malaise eating out Indian economy and delaying Indian march to prosperity, global leadership and the much deserving status of an economic superpower.It is only helping country's polity in ensuring their misrules, giving undesirable powers, show of obscene authority and access to all luxuries which are certainly not commensurate with the earnings of the country. During the last one year or so a lot of concerns have been raised about this corruption demon by all political parties, Anna Hazare and his team, Swami Ram Dev and his associates but the solution to three main issues, namely graft, black money and Lok Pal seems to be eluding the country or more appropriately the will, sincerity and intention is not there.
The country has seen the fate of crusade of Lok Pal Bill by Anna Hazare and his team. All politicians are internally one on this issue and are working with the sole aim of of not letting a powerful and effective Lok Pal emerge through their deeds and actions. The sane persons of the country will be fools to think that someone can goad this utterly clever and negatively motivated class of politicians to put their foot on a sharp axe blade in the form of a powerful Lok Pal or effective corruption mitigation measures. Similar fate awaits Ram Dev's crusade against black money. Indian reality of an insincere polity will always come in the way as  the polity is very clear about its aims and goals and will keep on playing politics over these issues of topmost importance to the nation.
There are non Congress governments in many states and if they were sincere and more inclined to combat the malaise of corruption, they would by now had their own Lok Ayukts (They did not want the Lok Pal Bill to dictate on matters of Lok Ayukt in the name of maintaining federal structure). But at the same time they expect their voters to believe that Indian states are powerless in fighting corruption in their own territories. They will neither initiate administrative measures nor come out with legislation for this all important matter but administrative actions and legislations are a routine when required for dirty political gains. After all for a common man corruption and bribery in the states is a much bigger irritant and may be almost 70% of the black money generated in the country annually comes either from the state level actions and laxities.
My countrymen, let us be clear that no party wants to work for your benefit. The government at the Centre can attribute its inability and helplessness because of compulsions of coalition government.But what excuse state governments have? They do not have the compulsions of coalition government. If the states are sincere and well meaning, more than 60% of the graft, bribe, corruption and black money can be tackled.. But nobody,be it Congress, BJP, Communists or a regional party will do it for their ability to rule thrives solely on corruption and corruption motivated governance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

INDIAN DREAM AND EXPECTATIONS Of INDIAN MASSES From INDIAN POLITY

Statesmen think of next generation and create opportunities, Leaders Seize opportunities that come their way, while Politicians think of next elections and fritter away these opportunities and dirty politicians simply mess up everything.

65 long years have passed since India got independence and in spite of all the so called sincere efforts of politicians of different hues reigning in different parts of the country, we still have 500 million people living below subsistence level in terms of poverty, hunger and all basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, shelter, medical facilities etc. etc..All that one witnesses in  Mera Bharat Mahan is some action favouring one particular class of people, a class which thrives on corruption, bribery and graft, tax avoidance, sucking government exchequer through legal and illegal perks, discretions and allotments of  national resources like minerals, spectrum, land resources etc.. This class comprises of a vast majority of legislative executive, executive, political leaders small and big, businessmen of all stature. Surprisingly this is seen and felt by the general citizenry of the country in their daily lives but the rulers , the lawmakers, the enforcement agencies and anyone and everyone who matters in the governance of India very conveniently turns a blind eye to all these facts largely because they are the beneficiaries and in a few cases as passive onlookers.
In the light of all this, the poor Indian is left with only the Indian dream and his expectations  from the Indian polity, hoping against hopes that one day some miracle will happen and his plight will take a turn for the better.The common masses couldn't care less for the rhetoric of hi fi planning and economic governance, all that he wants is quick visible solution to his basic needs and necessities. And there can not be a better solution than corruption mitigation and leaving the path of corruption motivated governance.The poverty alleviation and ultimately prosperity will automatically follow and that happens to be the real Indian dream and expectations of Indian masses from Indian polity.We all understand that this is more than asking for the moon from the present generation of Indian rulers. If the political class of the country has an iota of concern for the nation and its hapless millions, let it take a few decisions governed and motivated solely by these two considerations rather than dirty political gains and scoring brownie points over political rivals. Political gains will accrue through positive actions also.
The choice lies with the suffering citizenry of India. Decide whether you want to live as beggars subsisting on doles and freebies provided by these rulers out of  your money or demand what is your right by taming these politicians and controlling their wrong doings.




INDIAN REALITY:ELECTIONS THE MOTHER OF ALL CORRUPTION

The ability of the Indian polity to rule thrives on corruption and corrupt practices alone.After all how are these political parties existing financially. For a single election, the legally accepted expenditure of national parties will run into more than a thousand crore. The fact however is that more than 5000 crore are spent by national parties as per very conservative estimates, the estimates derived from the ground realities as witnessed during an election and some statements of senior politicians aired on TV channels from time to time. Let us try to figure out and analyse as to where from such big amount of funds come from.
Out of 1200 million Indians, 800 million ( 67% as per the latest government estimates ) comprising of all labour,small vendors, static and mobile (rehriwalas, pheriwalas), small farmers and business households who barely manage to make both ends meet and who rely on food subsidy for their very existence. Unimaginable that they can and will spare money for the political parties. Additionally 300 million belong to service class households, retired and serving who as it is feel that they are heavily burdened by taxes without any worthwhile return from government. They have no axe to grind with politicians and never shell out even a single penny for any political party.
Now we are left with earners of a class of 100 million citizens i.e. say about 20 million persons belonging to political class, business class, big farmers,self employed category. Out of this also 90% belong to middle income and high middle income group. The balance 2 million along with corporates and influential persons making big fat earnings with the connivance of government and its officials to dole out the total election burden of political parties, an expenditure of about Rs10000 - 15000 crores. An average donation of  Rs 50,000.00 to Rs75,000.00. These individuals and entities are not doing this for love for a party, a particular legislature or love for serving the nation. The aim is very clear and every investment made by way of such donation has to bring in a minimum unearned reward of of ten times ( the basic principle of all bribery and graft ) by some dubious mechanism against national interest. The cost of each election apart from the government expenditure of conducting elections is between 1 lakh crores to 1.5 lakh crores of black money generation. No economy howsoever large it may be can afford something as big as this and we, the common citizens can only pray that some good sense prevails amongst Indian polity and they find out a solution to this 'Indian reality of elections as the mother of all corruption.'

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

INDIAN REALITY: DIRTY POLITICS AT ITS VERY BEST

First it was subsidised food, subsidised fuel, then bicycles and television sets as doles to the Below Poverty Line families and now a mobile phone as the basic need for the very existence of these families. All that for no contribution to to the National Exchequer, the only perquisite is the associated  vote which the total polity of the country is clamouring for.
It only shows how much this government cares for the poor. It can think in terms of spending an additional  Rs 7000 crores on doles and freebies at a time when Indian economy is in real doldrums and is riddled with problems of high inflation, high fiscal and current account deficits. All for the votes.This is dirty politics at its very best and is the Indian reality. These politicians who claim to be so concerned about the common man will not give him education, housing, drinking water, electricity, medical facilities/ cover, work and adequate earning power so that his lot can improve in the real sense and he can emerge as a citizen with self respect and pride.
Anyway one can hope that the scale of freebies will keep on growing along with  India's growing economy, the have nots can expect a car to be doled out to them by the year 2040 without having to do something for the country as Indian politicians are so considerate and committed to the cause of alleviating their miseries. The politicians are incapable of taking any decision for the good of the nation and can only think of squandering national earnings on non productive and economy laming/crippling doles and freebies for keeping themselves in power.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

GLOBAL SUPER POWER IN WAITING CRIES FOR POWER


Two massive grid failures halt Indian economy and the government and planners of this global super power in waiting tend to ignore it as a one off occurrence. They seem to be hell bent on reforms on FDI in retail, aviation and insurance as if these will take care of all the woes Indian economy is facing today. Good economics is certainly not at the back of these initiatives as it can at best decrease the current account deficit. to a limited extent as the foreign investors will be far too wary to invest in a country which cannot ensure power to factories, cold storage and even for logistic support.This route at best could be termed as good politics for the resistance to these measures by majority of political parties is well known and the ruling polity can emphasize on the fact that they were not allowed to carry out reforms by those opposing them during next general elections.
If the government succeeds in providing excellent infrastructure in terms of movement of goods, means of communication, uninterrupted power supply, cold storage facility and backing to large retail chains, there is enough capability in the Indian corporate sector to excel in this huge economic activity which will provide benefits of organised sector to a very large workforce and creating enormous wealth for the country.
Coming back to power sector, it is a harsh fact that the executive of the country including legislative executive  neither has the will nor the expertise to take on any mission on concurrent activity model. The consequences of serial implementation of power capacity additions are there for the whole country to see. The planners laid all accent on generation capacity additions so much so the transmission and distribution aspects as also the fuel linkages were not even thought of. Add to this the increase in the international prices of coal and gas and the sad result is that about 30000 MW can not be utilised for want of fuel, transmission lines and proper distribution network. In the bargain country is reeling under the pressures of acute power shortages affecting the lives of millions as well as Industrial production, all because of the inability of planners and executors of the policies of the country to work in a coordinated efficient manner.

Monday, August 6, 2012


NUCLEAR POWER:
S t i l l   N o t   V i a b l e   w i t h o u t   S u b s i d i e s
Doug Koplow


Chapter 1. Overview 11
1.1. An Introduction to Subsidies 11
1.2. Framework for Evaluating Current Subsidies to Nuclear Power 12
1.3. Categorizing the Subsidy Values 13
Chapter 2. A Review of Historical Subsidies to Nuclear
Power and Their Drivers 17
2.1. Key Financial Risks: Capital Costs and “Long-Tail” Operating Risks 17
2.2. Fifty Years of Subsidies 19
Chapter 3. Output-Linked Support 23
3.1. Payments Based on Current Output 23
3.2. Purchase Mandates for Nuclear Power 23
Chapter 4. Subsidies to Factors of Production 25
4.1. Subsidies to Reduce the Cost of Capital  25
4.2. Subsidies to Reduce the Cost of Capital Goods 43
4.3. Subsidies to Labor 48
4.4. Subsidies to Land 50
Chapter 5. Subsidies to Intermediate Inputs 55
5.1. Subsidies to Uranium Mining and Milling 55
5.2. Subsidies to Uranium Enrichment 62
5.3. Subsidies to Cooling Water Used at Nuclear Plants 72
Chapter 6. Subsidies to Nuclear Security and Risk Management 77
6.1. Insurance Caps on Accident Liability 77
6.2. Regulatory Oversight 85
6.3. Plant Security 86
6.4. Nuclear Proliferation from the Civilian Sector 87

Chapter 7. Subsidies to Decommissioning and Waste Management 91
7.1. Subsidies for Reactor Decommissioning 91
7.2. Nuclear Waste 96
Chapter 8. Total Subsidies to the Nuclear Power Industry
and Related Policy Recommendations 103
8.1. Total Subsidies to Existing Nuclear Reactors 103
8.2. Total Subsidies to New Reactors 107
8.3. The Industry Is Seeking Greatly Expanded Subsidies
for New Reactors 108
8.4. Policy Recommendations 110
References 115
Appendix A: Total Subsidies to Nuclear Reactors (Overview) 129
Appendix B: Understanding Subsidies 133
Appendix C: Abbreviations Used in This Report 135




Who Benefits From Nuclear Power Plants In India?
By   Buddhi Kota Subbarao. Ph.D.
02 August, 2012
Countercurrents.org
The rest of the world is moving towards renewable energy and away from nuclear power. But India is pouring most of its energy budget into establishing more and more nuclear power plants. It raises two compelling questions. Why is the present Union Government of India committing an enormous portion of its energy budget to imported nuclear power plants? Who benefits from these nuclear power plants?
The answers to these questions are not difficult to find. The secrecy that surrounds nuclear issues affords the Union Government to deal with vast sums of money in an easy way. Corrupt practices in the nuclear field do not get exposed as easily as in other fields. Big money and political ambitions go hand in hand. This is one part of the answer. The other part is the way the Indian nuclear establishment functions.
Indian nuclear establishment has some unique features. Pursuit is more for administrative power and less for knowledge in science and technology. Consequently, pretence to knowledge grew over the years. Accountability is conspicuous by its absence. Mediocre results and at times even nil results are proclaimed as outstanding achievements. The cleverness of the Indian nuclear establishment is from the way it can claim indigenous development and at the same time devise methods to import foreign technology.
On account of the reluctance of the national media, print and electronic, to take up investigative journalism in the nuclear field as effectively as it has been taking up in other fields, the Indian public has been deprived of a fair and full opportunity to know the true face of the Indian nuclear establishment.
As a result, Indian people are not adequately equipped to make a critical analysis of the claims of their nuclear establishment. If the establishment claims all our nuclear power plants are safe, it is believed. If the establishment declares there is no radiation pollution in and around Indian nuclear installations and power plants, it is simply believed, though it is not true in reality. Several instances can be cited which betray the make believe necessity of nuclear electricity and also the make believe nuclear safety in India. [1], [1a], [1b], [1c], [1d], [1e].
Nuclear Power vs. Renewable Energy Deployment
According to World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012, the growth of nuclear power is on the decline and the renewable energy development is on the rise.
Indian energy planners should take note of the vivid picture on the investment in renewable energy, as presented by the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012,
Global investment in renewable energy totalled US$260 billion in 2011, up five percent from the previous year and almost five times the 2004 amount. Considering a 50 percent unit price drop over the past year, the performance of solar photovoltaics (PV) with US$137 billion worth of new installations, an increase of 36 percent, is all the more impressive. The total cumulative investment in renewables has risen to over US$1 trillion since 2004, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, this compares to our estimate of nuclear power investment decisions of approximately $120 billion over the same time period. The rise and fall of nuclear investments is essentially due to the evolution of the Chinese program, with 40 percent of current worldwide construction. [2]

On the installed capacities of different energy sources, World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012, has recorded,
  Installed worldwide nuclear capacity decreased in the years 1998, 2006, 2009 and again in 2011, while the annual installed wind power capacity increased by 41 GW ( GW stands for gigawatt or thousand megawatt) in 2011 alone. China constitutes an accelerated version of this global pattern. Installed wind power capacity grew by a factor of 50 in the past five years to reach close to 63 GW, five times more than the installed nuclear capacity and equivalent to the French nuclear fleet. Solar capacity was ................... .....................................