Monday, June 27, 2011

Indo-US Economic Summit For What?


US India Economic summit will be held on 27-6-2011 at Washington. It is being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries(CII) and US based policy think tank Brookings Institution.
"Infrastructure financing needs in both countries are to be a key component of the dialogue with particular emphasis on public-private partnerships and private sector engagement in financing," said CII.
The day-long conference would include sessions on India's economic potential, Indian financial markets, and availability of finance for infrastructure development in the South Asian economic giant.” Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Meera Shankar, Indian ambassador to the US, UK Sinha, chairman of the securities and exchange board of India, R Gopalan, secretary for economic affairs, Kaushik Basu, chief economic adviser to the Finance Ministry, and Subir Gokarn, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India are participating on behalf of India.
From the US side, senior officials of the Treasury department, including Lael Brainard, under secretary for International Affairs, Charles Collyns, assistant secretary for International Finance, and Barry Gray, senior adviser in the office of technical assistance, will address the conference.
"The CII conference would advance the role of the private sector in US-India bilateral economic partnership," said Chandrajit Banerjee, CII director general.
The U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Lael Brainard, talking to a select group of journalists, spoke about the need for more competition and openness in sectors such as banking, insurance, pension products and, most importantly, multibrand retail.
Therefore the Indian big capitalists in collaboration with foreign capitalists want to enter in a big way in pension, insurance, banking and retail trade sectors in India and for this purpose they are creating pressure on the Government. The US-India Economic Summit is a part of this pressure.
The UPA Government already increased petroleum andcooking gas prices several times and now increased even the price of kerosene imposing a big burden on the people. Now the Indo-US Economic summit is aiming to privatise pension and allow foreign capital in a big way in Banking, pension and retail trade sectors. This indicates that a serious attack is going to be there on the people of India, for the profit of foreign and Indian big Corporates. This has to be resisted and defeated to save the future of the people of India. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

You Are That!


Due to ignorance you are identifying yourself with this(this world). You will attain knowledge and moksha when you come out of this ignorance and realize you are not “this”(material world), but “that”(soul, atma, which is nothing but great soul, paramaatma). This is the summary of one branch of Indian philosophy.
All branches of philosophy identifying man with soul have missed the fundamental fact that man is not soul, man  has the soul i.e consciousness. But the soul man is having is not a permanent, finalized thing. It is always in the process of becoming i.e developing into some thing new from the something existing at the moment.
Soul i.e language, thinking and consciousness of a man is not a given thing. It is a created thing. It is created by society i.e by the interaction of man with other man in the society. A newly born child, if left in a forest under the care of some animals, and if has no interaction with other human beings, cannot even walk erect and cannot speak and consequently cannot have any human consciousness i.e soul. Therefore soul of the man is not some thing existing permanently. It is created in the man due to his interaction with other men in the human society. Man is a particularised part of the society and as the society changes, he changes and also he changes and changes society.
When man is in a society with classes like Capitalist, worker, peasant, landlord etc, he belongs to this class or that class. Accordingly his ideas are conditioned by the interests of the class. He may be or  may not be aware of it. For the The Capitalists in India immediately after independence, Public Sector is good and the big capitalists like Tata and Birla at that time wanted the Government to build all heavy industries in Public Sector since the capital with them at that time is not sufficient for establishing such heavy industries. Now they changed their tune and are against Public Sector and want privatisation of the Public Sector. This is because they amassed huge capital utilising the Government help after independence and now they want to grab the huge assets of the Public Sector at dead cheap rate with the help of the Government. Thus the soul of the Capitalist changed as per the change in their purpose.
If you are a peasant, you will not talk about trade union and trade union rights. Because you are a worker employed by the Capitalist or by the Government of the Capitalists, and because you want to achieve good service conditions for you by fighting against your employer in combination with your colleague worker, you are in a trade union. Therefore your soul is the soul of the worker, not that of the peasant. Your ideology will be different from the ideology of the peasant. If you were the slave owner in the then slave society that existed centuries ago in several countries, you would have said that having another man as your slave was perfectly justified. The Britishers that ruled India told that thir ruling over Indian people was perfectly justified and necessary. The Indian people told it was unjustified and unnecessary. Therefore your soul i.e your ideology is depending on the class to which you belong in a given stage of the society.
But when there are class divisions in society and when some classes rule and dominate the other classes in the society, the  same ruling and domination will be there in the overall ideology of the society also. At present in India the ruling classes are the capitalists and landlords lead by the big capitalists. Therefore the ideology of the Indian society is dominated by their ideology. The Government is their Government, working overall, for their interest. Therefore the education system, whether public which is controlled by the Government or now a days private, controlled by Corporates, the media controlled by the big capitalists, the traditional ideology of the land lord society are always influencing the ideology of the people as a whole. Hence even though you are a worker, and even though you oppose and fight against the capitalists and their government for improving your conditions, your ideology as a whole is dominated by the ideology of the Capitalist-landlord ruling classes.
 Workers in their work place work collectively and create surplus value, but it is taken away by the owner. Therefore the ideology of the capitalist is favouring selfishness, for exploiting others. One capitalist competes with other capitalist. Therefore along with this selfishness, there is competition for fighting against others. Hence now a days, in the background of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation the Capitalists are campaigning the ideology favouring selfishness and competition. Without their knowing it, the workers also are influenced to think that selfishness and competition is a great virtue. Although they work and create collectively and collectively fight against the capitalist ,  the workers are under the influence of capitalist ideology as a whole and hence not yet dominated by  their own ideology i.e the ideology of working class, which is against selfishness, exploitation and in favour of collective and cooperative spirit.
 The workers are not even often ready to identify themselves as workers, but want to identify them selves with  this caste or that caste, or with this region or that region.Since most of the workers come from peasant families or agricultural labour families,  their mindset will be that of a peasant or agricultural labour or even that of a landlord.  This is due to the influence of capitalist-landlord ideology.  The capitalist of one country or one region is identical with the capitalist of another country. When their interests coincide, they are forming international alliances, overcoming their competition. Similarly the worker of one country is identical with the worker of another country. Hence the slogan “workers of the world, unite” came into existence. But this unity is not yet achieved to a great extant and a lot of struggle is required to achieve this unity. The ideology of the Capitalist-landlord classes dominating the mind of the workers is coming in the way of achieving this unity. Therefore to achieve the unity of the working class, it is necessary to defeat the ideology of the capitalist-landlord classes which inculcates selfishness and competition, encourages divisions based on caste, religion and region etc and promotes national chauvinism(saying that my nation is the superior nation and my nation has to defeat and rule the other nations).
Therefore to achieve unity, working class must not identify itself with caste, religion, region, selfishness etc . Workers must liberate themselves from this “ignorance” and realize  the universal worker in them, worker of the world, “Visvakarma”, the creator of wealth world wide. He should have pride in identifying himself as Visvakarma. You are That! i.e You are visvakarma, worker of the world. You must have a collective and co-operative spirit, not that of selfish and competitive spirit. Identifying yourself as Visvakarma will give  you the spirit to fight for changing the society.
--------P.Asokababu

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Miscellaneous


Exploitation of labour intensified in manufacture sector
As per the Annual Survey of Industries released by the Government of India on the manufacturing sector, the money wages of workers increased by less than 6% between 2004-05 and 2008-09 while the inflation was much higher. During this period, despite the increase in employment, the share of the total wage bill in the total value addition declined. That is the value created by the workers if increased by, say, 6%, the share of wages did not increase by 6%. It’s increase is less. Thus the workers are exploited (a) by a fall in their real wage due to price rise( for example, if the wage is increased by 3% and prices of essential commodities increase by 4%, the value of the money wage of  the worker decreases) and (b) the worker created more value, but his wage not increased proportionately.

BSNL scales down communication plans in Naxal-hit states
National security appears to have taken a backseat and reining in costs is the government's immediate mission when it comes to keeping tab on Maoists through mobile phones. The home ministry has asked BSNL to scale down its mobile communications infrastructure rollout plans in all Naxal-prone states across eastern, southern and central India to keep the project subsidy requirement on a tight leash. 

It has concurred with the view of telecom department officials managing the 17,000-crore Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) that BSNL's mobile coverage in Naxal-infested states should be only confined to major human habitation zones and not the forests. Ironically, the home ministry appears to be indifferent to the fact that most left wing activists take sanctuary in the forests, which is why they've been so difficult to track over the years. 

Not too long ago, the home ministry had accorded high priority to the project after a host of districts across Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh bore the brunt of recent attacks on mobile infrastructure and OFC routes. More so, since private mobile phone companies were averse to venturing into these woods.

But the home ministry appears to have softened in stand on the intensity of mobile coverage in naxalite territories after USOF managers and BSNL came at loggerheads over the funding of this high security mobile infrastructure venture. While the loss-making BSNL demanded central subsidy as it felt the project was commercially unviable, the USOF managers refused to play ball. 

Finally, after a string of meetings where top officials from the home ministry, telecoms department and BSNL were present, the USOF Administrator has agreed to consider subsidy payout only if BSNL sharply scales down its mobile coverage plans in states with a heavy naxalite presence
.(The Economic Times dated 25-6-2011)

Friday, June 24, 2011

On Some Issues Related To Telecom Sector


Telecom equipment revenue in 2010-11 in India
As per the survey on 500 telecom equipment manufacturing companies in India , the revenue of the telecom equipment industry for the year 2010-11 was Rs 1,17,039 crores. In this, the carrier equipment revenue was Rs 58249 crores,  the enterprise equipment revenue was Rs 24023 crores, the user device (mobile handset, fixed phone instrument, data cards, modems, tablets etc) revenue was Rs 34722 crores.
As per the report of the consultancy firm PWC (Price Water Coopers) the value added in India in telecom equipment manufacture is 11% only and the remaining 89% is for importing components. Thus in this Rs 1,17,039 crores earned by the telecom equipment industry, only Rs 12874 is the value added in India and the remaining Rs 104165 crores is for importing the components.(Source-The Economic Times dated 24-6-2011)
CBI issued reminder to TRAI for quantifying the loss in 2G spectrum scam
As per the estimate of the CBI the Government lost Rs 22000 crores in the 2G spectrum scam. As per the estimate of the CAG(Comptroller and Auditor-General), the loss was Rs 1,76,000 crores. CBI requested TRAI to set up an expert committee to find out the exact loss, which can be proven in the Court. Since there is no response even after six months, the CBI issued a reminder to TRAI(Source-The Economic Times dated 24-6-2011)
Government invites EOI for semiconductor fabs
“Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to create the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made of pure semiconducting material. Silicon is almost always used, but various compound semiconductors are used for specialized applications.
The entire manufacturing process, from start to packaged chips ready for shipment, takes six to eight weeks and is performed in highly specialized facilities referred to as fabs” 
Semiconductor devices are essential components in several telecom equipments and electronic equipments. For sophisticated telecom equipments, the semiconductor component is up to 60%. The demand for semiconductor devices in India will be 50 billion dollars by 2020( Rs 2 lakh crores).
But there is no semiconductor manufacturing facility(fab) in India. India designs a large number of chips for other countries, but not manufacturing the chips based on its own designs. Other countries use these designs to do semiconductor business of billions of dollars. At present only 10% of the requirement of semiconductors is serviced by Indian manufacture and 90% imported.
The TRAI recommended to set up a cutting edge technology fab facility with government funding upto 75% in which upto 49% should be equity and the remaining as loan.  It further recommended to set up a second fab unit for manufacture of general purpose chips that could be used   in a large number of equipment, with Government funding up to  50% in which upto 49% should be Government equity and the remaining Government debt. Thus as per TRAI the Government should be there as a minority partner.
As per the estimates of the Department of IT, the cost of a high technology semiconductor fabrication unit (fab) is Rs 15000 crore and that of a general purpose semiconductor fab is about Rs 10,000 crore.  In the conference held by the Minister Kapil Sibal on 5-5-2011 the ITI proposed that as a Government Company the ITI should be revitalised by the Government and hence the Government should make ITI again as the manufacturing hub for the telecom equipment and as the for manufacturing the semiconductors(fab).
But the Government is not agreeing for the request of ITI.  As per the report in The Hindu Business Line dated 24-6-2011 the Government is not even in favour of equity participation in the Fab units. Instead, it is proposing a new package of “Special Incentive Package Scheme” (SIPS) although the earlier SIPS announced in 2007 failed to get any response. Now the Government  has announced a new SIPS with more incentives to the Foreign and Indian Capitalists willing to enter the fab manufacture field in India.  (Sources: Wikipedia, TRAI and DoT  websites and The Hindu Business Line dated 24-6-2011)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Self Reliance and National Security in Telecom Sector


BUSINESS INTEREST VERSUS SELF RELIANCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
The ongoing Conflict In Telecom Sector
                                                                                              -------------P.Asokababu
Tremendous  Growth
The  growth of  telecom services sector in India is tremendous.  In  1997 India had   1.75  crores telephone lines (1.7 crore wire line  and 5 lakhs  wireless lines).  It reached to 85  crores  (82crores wireless and 3 crore wireline) on 31-3-2011. The internet services were launched in 1995 and as on 31-3-2011 there were 1.2 crore broadband connections. Today India is in second place after China in the world  in the number of telecom subscribers (On 31-3-2011 China was having 119 crore telephone subscribers-wireless-90 crore and wireline-29 crore. By July 2010 it had 36 crore broadband connections).
Dependent and Destructive Growth
While the growth in China is based on self reliance, the growth in India is a dependent growth with destruction of the existing capacities and potentialities.
Domination of Foreign investment in telecom service sector
The private telecom operators Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, Idea, and Aircel together are having 72% of the telecom subscribers with them. Each of these Companies is having 74%  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) .  Thus the foreign investment is dominating the Indian telecom services. BSNL and MTNL together account for 12% of the telecom subscribers. The remaining 88% are with private telecom operators dominated by foreign investment.
Foreign controlled maintenance  and operations of telecom services
It is not only the foreign investment that is dominating the Indian telecom services sector. Even the maintenance and operations of  telecom net work is mostly done by foreign companies.  Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile service provider in India outsourced everything except marketing and branding. Its networks are maintained  and operated by foreign companies Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, and Huwaei. Its IT and applications  is by IBM. Other private telecom operators also are having their networks maintained and operated by foreign companies.
Telecom Equipment Production-Indian Products(IP) and Indian Manufacture(IM)
In order to understand the domination of foreign telecom equipment in Indian telecom sector, it is necessary to understand one important point regarding telecom equipment manufacture. 85% of the value is created in telecom equipment manufacturing by the company which does the R&D(Research and Development), designs the products and owns the IPR(Intellectual Property Right) and brand. The physical manufacturing and assembling of telecom equipment which is called as “Electronic Manufacturing Service(EMS)”  contributes to 15% of the value. We can call it the “Indian Product”( in short “IP” ), where the R&D, designing the product, IPR creation and then EMS are  done in India by Indian Companies. In this case of “Indian Product”(IP) the value addition is more. But in case only the physical manufacturing and assembling is done in India whereas the IPR resides with a foreign company, it has to be called as “Indian Manufactured Product”(IM). In this case the value addition is very less. 
Total domination of foreign equipment
The telecom equipment for this enormous expansion is almost imported and the value added in India is negligible. The cost of telecom equipment installed in the year 2008-09 was Rs 93600 crores (page 36 of TRAI’s Consultation Paper on “Encouraging Telecom Equipment Manufacture in India” published on 28-12-2010). In this, Rs 44800 crores  was for importing completely knocked down(CKD) equipment, and Rs 48800 crores was manufactured in India.  But in this, “Indian Products”(IP) is negligible and “whatever manufacturing happened in India, consisted of only low value- adding  assembly/soldering activities as the PWC report(TRAI Consultancy paper dated 28-12-2010). As per the report of the Consultancy PWC ( Price Water Coopers), the value addition in Indian manufacture is only 11%. Therefore out of this Rs 48800 crore equipment manufactured in India, only Rs 5368 crores was the value added in India for assembling these parts or for some indigenous production. Thus in one year, out of a total Rs 93600 crores  expended  for equipment, only Rs 5368 crores accrued  to Indian manufacturers  and the remaining Rs 88232 crores accrued to foreign manufacturers. During the years 2004-05 to 2008-09, equipment costing Rs 309369 crores was utilised for telecom expansion in India and only 11% of this i.e 34031 crores was the value created in India and a huge amount of Rs 2,75,338 crores accrued to foreign manufacturers.  In this Rs 1,24,280 crores was for importing completely knocked down(CKD) equipment, and Rs 150518 crores was for importing semi knocked down (SKD) equipment.
Resources-incoming very less, but outgoing too much
The total FDI inflows in Indian telecom sector during the period April 2000 to January 2011 was Rs 46746 crores ( TRAI recommendations dated 12-4-2011, page 42). But as detailed above,  between 2004-05 to 2008-09 India paid Rs 2,75,338 crores to foreign telecom equipment manufacturers. If we add the dividends and other amounts paid to the foreign investors holding majority stake in the telecom service companies, the amount drained away from India will be much more.
Destruction of existing capacities and job loss growth
This dependent growth resulted in  total negligence of indigenous research and development (R&D) in telecom technology and as a result no worthwhile IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) are developed and owned by India. The premier telecom R&D institute C-DoT became almost defunct. Its premier equipment manufacturing companies in Public Sector like ITI, HCL etc became loss making enterprises. The telecom services PSUs BSNL and MTNL on which the Government and nation has to depend in emergencies and for providing services even in loss making rural and backward areas in the interest of equitable development of all areas in the country, have become loss making enterprises. The  number of employees in BSNL came down from 3,97,000 on 1-10-2000(its date of creation) to 2,87,749 as on 31-12-2010. In MTNL it came down from 62000 in 1998-99 to 45000 now. In ITI it came down from 23567 in 1999-2000 to 12745 at present. The landline network, which is a national asset, very much useful  is being allowed to die slowly.
 Threat to national Security
This heavy dependence of Indian telecom sector on foreign companies both for equipment as well as for maintenance and operations of the services has become a cause of concern with respect to national security and the Home Ministry repeatedly raised several issues in this regard, including the possibility of embedded spyware and malware in the imported equipment. The Government of India issued guidelines in 2010 stipulating that the foreign equipment suppliers   should transfer their technology to Indian manufacturers within three years, they should appoint only Indians while installing, maintaining and operating the networks for the telecom services companies  and they should deposit their software source codes in an escrow  account with an independent and trusted third party. But these prescriptions were strongly opposed by the US Government and the American and European telecom equipment manufacturers (The Chinese equipment providers did not oppose these provisions and agreed to deposit their source code in the escrow account).  Calling India’s new telecom security approval process “inflexible and unworkable”, the United States Trade Representative (USTR)  disclosed in its annual compliance report that the Indian government “suspended implementation of several of these conditions” after the US conveyed the concerns of its companies. “The issue came to a head during US President Barrack Obama’s visit. It was said then that a committee of experts would look into these concerns”. Finally the DoT was compelled to issue revised guidelines on 31-5-2011. As per these revised guidelines, the foreign suppliers need not transfer their technology, need not deposit their source code in escrow account, and need not  man the top level posts in the telecom network maintenance with Indians except a few posts like  Chief Technology Officer etc. The telecom service companies have to get their net work audited from the security point of view by a certified agency, call data  of customers must be made available along with the tracking of their location  etc are the revised guidelines.

Encouraging indigenous production?

A section of the Indian Capitalists recently realised the enormous potential for the telecom equipment market in India. In October 2008 CII and TiE (Confederation of Indian Industries and The Indus Enterpreneurs consisting of Corporates and top level professionals in Silicon Valley in America with roots in the Indus Region) published a report titled  “Investment Opportunities in Developing HI Tech ICTE Supply Chain in India”. Further, a seminar on “Developing India into a Global ICTE manufacturing Hub” was organised by CII in October 2009 in which Minister Kapil Sibal participated. This and other similar pressures spurred the Government to consider the issue of encouraging indigenous manufacture in telecom and IT sector. According to the estimates of DoT, telecom equipment worth more than Rs 3,50,000 crore will be required in India by 2015. As per the TRAI, the demand of semi conductors in India will shoot up from 1 billion dollars in 2004 to 40 billion dollars by 2015 and “ if domestic manufacture is not initiated, India will be compelled to import US $ 150 billion worth of semiconductors in next 10 years.” In case the ICTE products are continued to be imported , the  “ imports would gallop to well surpass India’s oil imports”. The TRAI initiated consultations on the issue of encouraging indigenous telecom equipment manufacturing and various proposals were submitted by various sections of the Indian and Foreign capitalists in telecom sector suiting their interests.Based on these consultations, the TRAI released its recommendations. On these recommendations of the TRAI, a round table conference was held by the Communications Minister Kapil Sibal on 5-5-2011 in which the various sections of the capitalists in telecom sector and representatives of ITI, BSNL etc have participated.

TRAI recommendations


After considering the views submitted by various players (both foreign and Indian in Indian telecom sector) and individuals, the TRAI submitted its recommendations on 12-4-2011. The following are its important recommendations:
a)      The Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Policy should be an integral and significant part of the New Telecom Policy 2011.
b)      By the year 2019-20, only 20% of the telecom equipment required for telecom services in India should be imported and the remaining 80% should be manufactured in India and in this 80% Indian manufacture, 50% should be IP(Indian product with Indian Intellectual property Right and manufacture) and remaining 30% IM(Indian manufacture with foreign Intellectual Property Right).
c)       BSNL, MTNL and all private telecom service companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, TTSL etc should procure the equipment required by them as below, from IP(Indian Product Manufacturers) and IM(Indian Manufacturers) mandatorily as per the percentage given below:
In 2012-13—30%(with 25% value addition in India); In 2013-14—45%(with 35% value addition in India), In 2016-17—60%(with 50% value addition in India); and from 2019-20 onwards—80%(with 65% value addition in India)
d)      Even if the service providers (PSUs and Private Sector) outsource the installation, maintenance and operations of their network, in such case also they are responsible for maintaining the above mandate in procuring equipment from IP and IM.
e)      A Telecom Research and Development Corporation should be set up by the government and an amount of Rs 15000 crore be made available to it for setting up an R&D fund and for establishing an R&D Park. Public-Private participation be encouraged in telecom R&D.

Conflict of interests

In the consultations held by the TRAI/Minister, the private telecom services companies like Airtel etc  and the COAI(Cellular Operators Association Of India) argued that no condition should be imposed for purchasing equipment from Indian manufacturers and it should be left to their choice. If foreign equipment is costing less with high quality, they should be allowed to purchase their full requirement from foreign vendors. The TEMA (Telecom equipment manufacturers Association of India) demanded for imposing condition for procuring equipment from domestic manufacturers. The TIA-USIBC(Telecom Industry Association consisting mainly of USA’s telecom equipment manufacturers and US-India Business Council submitted a paper to TRAI demanding that there should be no condition for preferring Indian Products since it is against WTO agreements. Both the Indian and foreign telecom companies demanded for encouraging R&D in telecom in India by encouraging Public-Private partnership. The Indian and foreign big capitalists in telecom services sector and the foreign telecom equipment manufacturers are against preferential treatment to Indian telecom equipment products. On the other hand, a section of the Indian big capitalists lead by CII and also not so big capitalists lead by TEMA want preferential treatment for Indian products since they found that there is a great opportunity for exploiting the telecom manufacture in India. All of them are even for encouraging research and development in telecom sector in India, of course, with participation or domination of foreign and Indian private capital. As per the report in DoT web site on the round table conference held by the Minister Kapil Sibal, it appears that the Government is supporting the preferential treatment for Indian products to encourage Indian manufacture i.e to see that the telecom equipment market provides more opportunities for Indian capitalists in collaboration with foreign capitalists. It further appears that the Government is in favour of encouraging   private sector(Indian and foreign) in the telecom R&D.

Whether this leads to real self reliance?

The ITI (Indian Telephone Industry) in its pre-consultation paper submitted to TRAI on 29-6-2010 mentioned as below:
“The Technology for Telecom Equipment has been invariably of Foreign origin right from the days of Electro-mechanical Exchanges in the segment of Switching, Transmission and Telephone Instruments. However, these Equipments were being manufactured in India through Foreign Collaboration Agreements with leading Technology Providers, keeping in line with the Industrial Policies of the Government at relevant times. The Foreign Collaboration used to invariably cover, Transfer of Technology through know-how transfer. The introduction of Store Programme Controlled [SPC] based Digital Electronic Switching Systems in the Indian Telecom Network from early 80s, incorporated Software in the Electronic Switches. Accordingly, along with Transfer of Technology for Manufacture, Transfer of Technology also included Transfer of Software Programs (including Software Source Code) also. Accordingly, the Indigenous Industry was capable of assimilating the technology transfer and continued to give after sales service,without dependence on the Foreign Collaborator, even after the period of the Collaboration having been completed. This methodology was adopted for Transfer of Technology for E10 B Digital Electronic Switching Systems with Alcatel-CIT, France. This facilitated modernization of Indian Telecom Network
However, the Liberalized Industrial scenario enabled the Foreign Technology Providers to offer to Indian Telecom Industry, only the Right to Use the Know-how and Software programs for manufacture of Telecom Equipment, retaining the Proprietary Rights on Know-how and Software Programs (including Source Code) with Foreign Technology Provider only. This scenario resulted in perennial dependence on Foreign Technology Provider for Procurement of Software Programmes for Operation and Up-gradation of Telecom Equipment and offering after sales service. Since, the Telecom Equipment became predominantly Software dependant; the scope for enhancement of Value addition in India also has been greatly reduced. Majority of the Software being procured are Right-To-Use only, with an enormous outgo of Foreign Exchange for Procurement of both Hardware and Software from the Technology Providers, which are invariably of Foreign Origin. Setting up of the GSM Mobile Infrastructure in Indian Telecom Network had significant FE outflow towards Right-to-Use Software for Manufacture of GSM Systems [GSM-BTS by ITI with Right-to-Use Know-how from ALU] as well as Operating the GSM Infrastructure Network in BSNL and MTNL.
Action Plan: ITI opines that Government should introduce guidelines that
Transfer of Know-how for Telecom Technology to Indian Companies should be mandatory.
Transfer of Know-how should include Transfer of Software Programs including Software Source Code also.
This will greatly improve the manufacturing capabilities in India with reduced dependence on Foreign Technology Provider in the long run for offering after sales service also.”

But except ITI and BSNL, no other telecom manufacturer or services operator are demanding this transfer of technology. Even the stand of ITI is diluted in the meeting held by the Minister on 5-5-2011. The only talk is to encourage R&D in certain areas of telecom technology where India can start afresh and that too with foreign participation. The aim is that the Indian big capitalists in collaboration with foreign capitalists should grab the telecom equipment market and R&D  by encouraging domestic manufacture, but not real self reliance in technology.

What Self Reliance and National Security requires

*The R&D in telecom technology should be encouraged by funding the Public Sector institutes like C-DoT, TEC, ITI, BSNL, MTNL etc

*Transfer of technology should be made mandatory for the foreign equipment manufacturer on the basis of technical collaboration without equity participation with an Indian PSU manu-facturing  telecom equipment like ITI
* Telecom equipment manufacturing PSUs like ITI, HCL and Telecom Factories under BSNL should be strengthened by the Government and made the main centres for creating Indian Products in telecom equipment sector and it should be made mandatory for all the telecom service operators to procure Indian Products only.
* The diluted guidelines issued by DoT in May 2011 on the issue of ensuring national security in telecom sector should be cancelled and the earlier guidelines issued in 2010 with the conditions of technology transfer, no foreign person in higher posts in installing/maintaining/operating telecom networks and putting the source code in escrow account should be implemented. For this the Government should come out of the pressure from America and Obama.





Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Correct Way To Fight Against Corruption



The defect of the team Anna (Anna Hazare and others) in the fight against corruption is that it is against public servants only and not against the main source of corruption, the link between big business-politician-bureaucrat and funding of political parties by big business and the election system where money plays a big role by encouraging individual candidates to get elected by polling more votes than other candidates. If proportionate representation is there i.e if people vote for parties instead of individual candidates and the seats in the Assemblies and Parliament are decided as per the percentage of votes polled by the parties, corruption and role of money power in elections will be curtailed. 
The Left Parties have decided to organise country wide movement against corruption next month. The activists of the Left Parties will picket central government offices, hold  dharna, rallies, demonstrations etc between July 15 and 21during monsoon session of the Parliament. The Left Parties are placing the following demands to curb corruption:
i) Adoption of an effective Lokpal legislation
ii) There should be a National Judicial Commission to curb corruption in the high judiciary
iii) Stringent action against the rampant corruption fostered by the big business-politician-bureaucratic nexus which has led to scandal such as the 2G spectrum case.
iv) Implementation  of electoral reforms including introduction of proportional representation system to check money power in elections
v) Steps to unearth black money and repatriation of the illegal money stashed abroad.
While the Congress, BJP and the leaders of several regional parties are facing charges of serious corruption, the Left Parties leaders are not involved in such corruption. The MLAs and MPs of Left Parties are free from corruption charges. The demands raised by the Left Parties against corruption are proper and we should wish success for the movement of the Left Parties against corruption. But whether the media controlled by the big capitalists will give any coverage to this movement since it is against the unholy nexus of the big business-politician-bureaucrat? This is to be seen. In any case all citizens should support this struggle against corruption. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Imperialism Still Alive And Relevant For Us?

When Britishers ruled India directly every Indian understood the meaning and relevancy of imperialism and everybody including the Indian capitalists opposed it in various ways and various degrees, some participated in the struggle against it, some supported the struggle etc.
Immediately after independence the relevance of imperialism continued to be there. The Indian Government took the lead in non-aligned movement, mobilised the countries that got independence newly and utilised that forum for the benefit of the ruling classes i.e capitalist and landlords, and to some extent the people of these countries. This non-aligned forum was used to create pressure and get concessions from the advanced capitalist countries.
But now in India the Capitalist class had grown by utilizing the new opportunities arisen after independence and reached a stage where some of them have joined the billionaire club i.e top among the rich people in the world. This prosperity was shared by a section of the intelligentia in India. With this, a propaganda is going on that now there is no imperialism and the Left parties and certain trade unions and some intellectuals are foolishly talking against imperialism which is non-existent. The Government of India also not interested in non-aligned movement now. Therefore we have to examine and find out whether imperialism is still relevant in our country and if so how it effects us.
The wealth in capitalist economy is held in the form of physical capital like industries etc, or bonds and equities  and money or claims on the banks. Since all wealth is not in the form of physical capital and mostly in the form of money, shares and bonds etc, there has to be a system maintaining the stability of this non-physical wealth. The value of money should be stable in terms of the commodities it can acquire. Otherwise it loses its value.
But the holding of this wealth in money form is an international phenomena, although each country is having its own currency. When so many currencies are there, the currency of the leading nation becomes the world money. Today American  dollar is playing the role of world money. The wealth of capitalists in other countries can be stable as long as the dollar of America is stable. Therefore it is essential that the value of the US dollar should not decline compared to the value of the commodities.
A whole set of arrangements are there to ensure this. One arrangement is to  prevent any significant raise in domestic commodity values in the leading capitalist system. This is done by preventing any significant raise in the money wages of the wokers in the leading capitalist economy i.e in America and other developed countries. Money wages will not raise only when there is unemployment, i.e when the supply of labour power is more and demand for it is less. The other arrangement is that the cost of the imported material inputs in the leading economies like petroleum etc should not raise significantly. If oil price increases it will result in increase in the prices of all other commodities. Same applies to the agricultural products, minerals etc imported by these advanced economies from other countries. They should be imported cheaply to keep the value of the dollar stable. To prevent the rise in the price of these imported commodities, the money wages in the countries producing these commodities should be stable. They should not rise as far as possible. For this purpose there should be unemployment in the countries producing these commodities. There should be more unemployment in these countries producing commodities for exporting to advanced economies.
Even this prevention of money wage raise every where is not sufficient to keep up the value of the dollar stable. There should be no shortage of the critical commodities in the advanced economies. These critical commodities are (a) of exhaustible resources like petroleum and other sources of energy and (b) the agricultural products from the tropical countries like India, other Asian and African countries. In case the prices of these commodities rise highly it will effect the stability of the dollar since its value will fall. It is therefore essential for the leading economy in the capitalist world to have control over these commodities of other countries so that their value can be prevented from raising critically. That is why the USA is occupying Iraq directly and controlling the middle east countries indirectly to have control on oil. In case the people  of the agriculture dependent countries are able to have higher incomes enabling them to purchase adequate agricultural products, or in case the farmers of these countries get higher price for their products, the value of the agricultural products that will be imported by the advanced economy will raise and it will effect the stability of the dollar. That is why the wages of the workers, the prices of the agricultural products are kept low and unemployment kept at higher levels in countries like India etc.
This imposition of unemployment and sacrifices on the people of India and the people of countries in Asia and Africa in order to keep the value of the dollar stabale is the imperialism now. Therefore imperialism is still relevant and it is still exploiting our people and we have to still continue our fight against imperialism and the left parties are correct in their efforts for mobilizing people against imperialism. The political independence has given scope for development, and there is actual development after independence and the fruits of this development is mostly being eaten by the Indian big capitalists in collaboration with the foreign big capitalists. Since the Indian Capitalists are increasingly collaborating with foreign capitalists they are forgetting about imperialism. But we the woking class and the people of India on whom the unemployment, lower wages, lower prices for agricultural products are imposed should not forget about imperialism, whatever may be the campaign of the media in the hands of the big capitalists. Capitalism in its highest stage, is imperialism. You cannot have capitalism without imperialism. Therefore we have to recognize the existence of imperialism and we have to fight against it.
(This is as per my understanding of the article of Prabhat Patnaik with the title “Capitalism and Imperialism” as published in “People’s Democrcy” 19-6-2011 issue)



Monday, June 13, 2011

Public Sector Officers to oppose attack on PSUs including BSNL


National Joint Meeting of the representatives of Officers Association from Power, Financial and Telecom Sector along with NCOA was held at APSEB Engineers Association Building, Hyderabad. Com P.Padmanabha Rao, AGS MTNLEA Com Sunil Kumar, GS MTNLEA Com V.K.Tomar from Telecom Sector, Com G.D.Nadaf- GS AIBOC, Com K.Ramakoteswara Rao- GS AIABOF,Com Manaiah- GS SBIOA from Banking sector, Com Shailendra Dubey- Secretary General All India Power Engineers Federation, Com R.Ravindra Kumar President APSEBEA, Com P.Ratnakar Rao AIPEF, Com Pandey - UPPEA,, Com Parabhijit Singh- AIPEF from Power Sector, Com K.Ashok Rao President NCOA, Com Baby Thomas- Secretary General NCOA and Com K.S.N.Raju Advisor NCOA attended. The meeting unanimously resolved to organise National Seminar at Bangalore in the month of July 2011.The meeting further resolved that step by step opposition of the working people should be built up against :
 The Sale of people's assets.
Destruction of BSNL, MTNL and Air India 
Privatisation of the most profitable creamy areas in the power sector through Franchsing and MOU route. 
Building of private and multinational monopolies 
Weakening of the public owned financial sector. 
Sudden reversal of Nuclear Power Policy in favour of import of untried and untested large size nuclear reactors
(News dated 5-6-2011 from the web site sneachq.net)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Obama’s way of revival--Corporates gained, workers lost jobs-- More and more American people turning against free market economy


In the name of overcoming the severe economic crisis that USA faced in 2008, 2009 the President Obama’s Government and the Federal Reserve of America together doled out 13 lakh crores dollars to the big corporates  as bailout funds.With this they were able to come out of their losses and have funds to the extent of 2 lakhs crores dollars. But the Corporates are utilising these funds for buy backs, acquisitions, mergers, and for payment of dividends. They are not utilising it for creation of jobs.
As per the statistics given by the USA’s Labour Department, in May 2011, about 54000 jobs were created newly whereas 1,42,000 full time jobs were lost. At the same time 1,54,000 new jobs have to be created in the month to provide those newly entering in job market. At the same time part time and low paid jobs only are mostly created. In the past 5 months 4,17,000 part time jobs are created. Government employees are being thrown out of their jobs. In a single month 1,03,000 government Teachers were removed. In the name of reducing Government expenditure, about 3 lakh government employees were removed in one year.
The Corporates are utilising this problem of unemployment to argue for more tax concessions from Government, in the name of  providing employment. But the people of America have started thinking critically about the American capitalist system.Majority of the people are thinking that due to globalization the profits of American Corporates are increasing whereas workers are losing jobs. American Commerce Department revealed  that the American Corporates abolished 24 lakhs jobs in America and created 24 lakh jobs in foreign countries. The famous General Electric Company(GE) of America is having 60% of its business in other countries. As per the survey of the famous research institute “Globe Scan”The opinion of the American people is increasingly going against free market economy. 80% of the people in America upheld free market economy as the best economy as per the survey held in 2002. But as per the survey in 2010, only 59% supported this view. American women have become more negative on free market economy. Only 52% of them supported it. Only 42% among  the Americans having less than 20000 dollars per year income supported free market economy.
Globe Scan Chairman Doug Miller stated, “The poll suggest that American business is close to losing its social contract with average American families that has enabled it to prosper in the world. Inspired leadership will be needed to reverse this trend.”
But is it simply the failure of the leadership or the failure of the Capitalist system? Science says it is the failure of the Capitalist system and leadership, even if inspiring, can only lessen the pain, but cannot cure it. The real solution is to change the system.

(Sources: Prajasakti dated 10-6-2011 and the website www.globescan.com)

Obama’s way of revival--Corporates gained, workerjobs More a


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

NGOs, Babas and the fight against corruption



Corruption is dangerous. Definitely there should be struggles to see that the corrupt are punished and proper laws are made for this. But those fighting  against corruption should not themselves be involved in questionable deeds and acts.

Baba Ramdev’s struggle against corruption is involved in several questionable acts. From the beginning the Government treated him like an emperor, in an abnormal way. There after the Government told that he gave a letter to them regarding withdrawal of the fast, even before the starting of the fast. The Civil  Rights  activist Aruna  Roy criticised the arrangements of the hunger fast camp of Baba Ramdev as Corporate level arrangements. The religious fundamentalist like Sadhvi Ritambara appeared in the hunger strike camp. The way he behaved when he was arrested was also questionable. The way the RSS-BJP are supported  Ramdev’s fast and the way they are trying to encash it makes  Baba Ramdev’s fight against corruption questionable. It gives the impression that all the acts of Baba Ramdev in this regard are part of the game of Sangh Parivar. While several scams took place in UPA Government’s period, the previous NDA Government lead by BJP also involved in several scams. Besides this, Baba Ramdev himself is disputed and facing several allegations against the spiritual empire of Rs 15000 crores run by him. Several struggles took place regarding the conditions of the workers of his factories manufacturing drugs. Such person so much involved in communal politics cannot be treated as above politics. He cannot be termed as a part of the so called civil society.
What is this strange thing recently named as “civil society”? Does it mean that the political parties and their supporters are not part of the civil society? In fact “Civil Society” is the name given to NGOs(Non-Government Organisations) with undeclared incomes. It is to be noted that none of these anti corruption fighters are interested in the struggles on the issues of common man. They did not organise struggles against price rise, against the anti people policies of the Governments, against the neo-liberal policies and privatisation policies which are the root cause of corruption.
Civil Rights Activist Aruna Roy commented as below regarding this fight against corruption lead by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev:
In 2007, 25,000 tribal people walked from Bhopal to Delhi to demand settlement of land disputes. There were a few cameras. None followed them on the road to show the welcome and support they got all the way. They were not civil society, but the poor toilers! A Dalit leader said in a public hearing on corruption in Jaipur a few days ago that the middle class which assists the giving and taking of bribes is doing its “prayaschit” (repentance) at Jantar Mantar with havans and bhajans. A demand for democratic representation faces the responsibility of democratic practice. Civil society is a very poor term that conceals more than it reveals. In a country like India, where there are so many fundamental divides of class and caste, the term is even less appropriate. The MKSS has made a distinction between “civil society” and the people, very much as we distinguish between India and Bharat. This has always existed. The power of RTI was that people (Bharat) defined and pushed the need for the law. Civil society (India) obliged by helping fashion it, with sympathy and equality. In this case, the term might actually help explain the obvious disdain for the state and its institutions. While the poor in India sometimes see the state as a potential ally against a large force like a corporate group or the village landlord, this group was united in its lack of faith in the institutions of the state. That is why there was also a large segment that spoke with such contempt for politics and politicians.”
The ruling classes of India(capitalists and landlords lead by big capitalists) who are involved in all such corrupt activities do not want any change in the liberalisation-privatiosation-globalisation policies that are the root cause of the enormous scams. At the same time they want to see that the anger of the middle class against such mega corruption is channelized in ways safe for them and their LPG policies are not questioned by the anti corruption movement. They want Mahaatmas and Babas who are not interested in fighting against the LPG policies for this purpose.  Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev help the ruling classes by not questioning and fighting against LPG(Liberalisation-Privatization-Globalization) policies and in turn the media lead by the big capitalists give prominence to them and make a big propaganda for them. At the same time the media of the big capitalists is taking care not to give any prominent coverage to the struggles of the working class and peasants and rural poor and trade unions against the LPG policies.
Definitely there should be fight against corruption. But it should not be allowed to be channelized in ways useful for the ruling classes. The fight against corruption should be linked with the fight against LPG policies. (Sources –“Prajasakti” Telugu daily dated 8-6-2011 and “Frontline” issue 9, 2011)


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A.Raja followed NDA Policies-DoT


A.Raja was following the policies of previous NDA Government-DoT told JPC(Joint parliamentary Committee)
“….A presentation by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to the JPC contains a lengthy account of the policies followed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). ….These policies, according to the DoT, led to a loss of Rs 32,000 crore on account of the decision to move from fixed license fee regime to revenue sharing regime from August 1999….. the presentation made by the DoT secretary as well as in replies to the question from JPC members suggest that Raja's actions were a continuation of past polices…The DoT has told the JPC that it has been providing mobile permits to companies without any restrictions based on policies approved by the NDA regime. This policy was based on Trai's recommendations in October 2003 as well as the decision of the Union Cabinet in the same month, indicating that Raja was only continuing with these policies...Guidelines for the first-come-first serve policy - that is, those who applied for licenses first were placed higher in the queue - was formulated in January 2001, but it was a decision by then telecoms minister in November 2003 that reinforced this as the methodology for dishing out mobile permits and airwaves. …In the CBI chargesheets, Raja has been accused of twisting the First-Come-First-Served to First-Come-First-Paid, but the DoT has said this had happened in the past too when two companies had been issued LoIs (Letter of Intent) on the same day”.(The Economic Times 7-6-2011)
This proves that BJP has no moral right to be a party in the struggle against corruption. The serious charges of corruption against the BJP Chief Minister of Karnataka and the corruption charges against the BJP ministers in Punjab Government indicate to what extent several prominent leaders of BJP are facing charges of corruption. It is a fact that both Congress and BJP when in Government will aid and abet corruption  and when in opposition will “fight” against corruption.
Only the leaders of the Left Parties are not facing corruption charges and  clean and not amassed wealth illegally. But this aspect is not being brought into light by the media since the media are in the hands of big Capitalists who want to focus only the Congress or BJP or other Regional Parties which are supporting their interests.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Corruption Must Be Fought Through A Multi Pronged Approach


Corruption Must Be Fought
Through A Multi Pronged Approach

(The midnight action  of the Delhi Police against Sri Ramdev and his followers  on the instructions from the Central Government for evicting them from  Ramlila maidan is deplorable. On the other hand the secret agreement of Sri Ramdev with the Government to withdraw the hunger strike on the basis of assurances and thereafter going back and announcing extension of hunger strike revealed the lack of seriousness on the issue of black money. The money illegally kept abroad should be repatriated to India , the names of those involved in it should be made public and the Government should take necessary action for this. This alone is not enough. A multi pronged approach is required to fight against corruption. An article on this issue by com Siraram yechuri published in “People’s Democracy” June 5, 2011 issue is reproduced below for a better understanding on the issue.)


THE ongoing arguments and controversies around the Lokpal Bill seem to suggest that little has moved forward over the decades.  As noted in these columns earlier, the concept of the Lokpal was first mooted by an Administrative Reforms Committee headed by late Morarji Desai way back in 1969.  This institution was to be established accompanied by similar institutions at the state level called the Lokayuktas.  Predictable resistance had put this proposal into a long procrastination. 

The concept was revived in the 1990s at the insistence of the Left parties following the political turmoil that gripped the country following the Bofors scandal.  The United Front formed in 1996 with the crucial outside support of the Left parties had drafted and adopted a Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Under the section clean administration, this CMP stated: “The United Front is committed to a corruption free and clean administration.  A bill to set-up the Lokpal will be introduced in the first budget session of the Eleventh Lok Sabha.  The bill will cover the office of the prime minister as well.   All members of parliament will be required by law to declare their assets annually before the Lokpal.” 

Once again, a serious division of opinion has emerged, today, amongst the proponents of the so-called crusade against corruption themselves, on the question of whether the prime minister and its office should be brought within the purview of the Lokpal.  The 1997 bill mooted by the United Front government headed by Deve Gowda never saw the light of the day as it was mired in the same controversy.  The subsequent instability of the United Front government ensured no further progress on this count.  The six year BJP-led NDA government that followed from 1998, notwithstanding their current projection as fighters against corruption, sat tight on this issue.  Its logic seems to be the following: when in opposition fight corruption; when in office do the opposite! (a la Karnataka)

On the Left’s insistence, once again, the CMP of the UPA-I government in 2004 reiterated the assurance that, “The Lokpal Bill will be enacted into law.”

Apart from the range of the Lokpal’s ambit on the question of including the prime minister, there are many other contentious issues that need to be resolved.  There are questions on whether to include the judiciary, or, the conduct of MPs inside parliament.  Specific Articles of our constitution protect civil servants from being dismissed or removed by any authority subordinate to that by which the appointment was made.  Senior officers of the central services like IFS, IAS etc, as also the judges of the Supreme and the High Courts etc are appointed by the president of India.  Should these provisions of the constitution be amended?  Will the Lokpal, a single member or a multi member, exercise all quasi judicial powers?  If so, what will be the status or need for institutions like the CVC or the CBI etc.  A process of consultations has been initiated by the central government with various stakeholders including political parties on such issues.  The country will have to wait for its outcome.  In the final analysis, it must be borne in mind that in our constitutional scheme of things, irrespective of the consultations whatever may be their level, an Act can only be promulgated by the parliament. The government therefore, despite all these efforts, cannot escape from bringing the Lokpal Bill before the parliament.

In the meanwhile, however, required attention must be paid to certain other matters. If the objective is to check, if not curb, corruption at high places will the establishment of the institution of Lokpal alone suffice? An effective struggle against corruption in high  places must be based on a multi-pronged approach.  While the institution of Lokpal should be established covering the prime minister and the PMO, simultaneously  other measures will also have to be initiated.

The CPI(M) and the Left parties have, for years now, been demanding the establishment of a National  Judicial Commission.  Apart from determining the appointment of judges and other senior judicial officers,  this commission must also be vested with the authority to probe matters of  alleged misconduct by members of the judiciary.  The current constitutional procedure of moving an impeachment motion through the parliament is so cumbersome that it has virtually ceased to serve as the required deterrent.  Along with the Lokpal,  such a National Judicial Commission should also be constituted. The government will do well to initiate consultations on this score as well.

Simultaneously, meaningful and substantial electoral reforms must be initiated to check, if not curb, the growing use of money power that is distorting our democratic choices very grievously.  Some discussions that have taken place on the question of  State funding of elections need to be carried forward.  The CPI(M) had always maintained that if corruption at high places needs to be addressed in right earnest, then all corporate funding of political parties should be banned.  This is an important root cause for  political corruption when such funding is seen more as an investment by the corporates.  The corporates must surely contribute  towards  strengthening and consolidating the democratic system in our country.  Towards this end, their contributions and funding may go into a corpus maintained by the Election Commission, or, any other institution that the government may so decide, to finance State funding of elections. 

The simultaneous establishment of such institutions to take care of all these dimensions is absolutely essential to curb corruption at high places.  Any piecemeal attempt to tackle only one dimension will not provide the desired result. 

Finally, it is needless, to once again, underline the importance of the need to eliminate corruption at high levels.  As argued in these columns in the past, if the humongous amounts looted through the various scams in the recent past were instead used for providing food security, health and education for all, then India would be qualitatively different with its people enjoying a better quality of life.  Fighting corruption, hence, is necessary for the creation of a better India, materially and morally.