Monday, December 28, 2009


This is the right time for the salaried persons to invest in tax saving scheme, who have not thought of availing tax benefit, through saving and investment during the year. The government of India has given some concession to tax paying public in case they subscribe to certain specified schemes. This includes schemes launched by Government of India through bank and small saving schemes through post offices. The scheme introduced by private as well as public Mutual fund and Insurance companies are also allowed to provide 80 c benefit to income earners. The maximum investment, under the provision of 80 c of IT Act, could be made up to is Rs. One Lakh. This gives them tax concession up to Rupees Thirty thousand. In case benefit of health insurance is added the tax benefit becomes much more.

The month of December is coming to an end now and almost all salaried employees must be busy evaluating how to save taxes out of their earned income. Those who work in companies must be reminded by their account department to submit proof of their investment in specified scheme which they might have subscribed. Many employees started investing in systematic way and they would not have any difficulties in submitting the proof of their investment to avail tax benefit. But most of the employees do not subscribe to those schemes till last moment. Now is the time for those employees who want avail tax benefit through investment. Ofcourse now investment shall have to be in lump sum amount. Had they planned earlier it could have been much easier as they could have taken the benefit by installment payments. Now there is only three month more to complete the financial year and any investment to avail tax benefit shall have to be in lump sum amount only. The amount of investment for tax benefit for the year is maximum Rs One lakh. The investment for this purpose can be done through EPF, PPF, Insurance, SCSS, and Bank FD for five years and through post office instruments. Many of our readers have asked as to which investment instruments they should select to reap the best benefit.

This is a difficult questions to answer. Every salaried person may have their own priorities. All regular confirmed employees, whether in Government or in Private sector and public sector, would have EPF. Those who have taken loan for construction of home would also get tax concession. A portion of 80C would be covered by these contributions. So they might have to depend on other forms of instrument partly. But self employed persons like Doctors, Advocate, business women, artists ,who do not have PF shall have to depend on Post office instruments or on PPF and or ULIP, Life insurance or on Mutual funds. Our recommendations would be first to avail the benefit of 80c through PPF. It is completely safe, interest rate is high, and no income tax is required on earnings. But it has longer period to get back the money. In fact National saving certificate, Bank Fixed Deposit have shorter maturity period. The investment in PPF can be made only unto Rs.70,000/-.So for the balance Rs. 30,000/- investors would have to depend on other instruments. At this point of time the investment in ELSS of mutual fund or ULIP could be thought of. But one thing must be kept in mind that ULIP and ELSS are equity based so a risk element would always be there. No chicken hearted investors should invest in ELSS. Those who are young and brave they can invest in Mutual fund and reap higher benefit if they can remain invested for atleast five years. What about senior citizen who do not have salaried income but get higher pension and need to invest to make their income totally free from income tax? Senior citizen can invest in Senior Citizen saving Scheme. This is the best instrument for them. Why? Because SCSS provides highest interest in today’s market. It provides now 9% percent return per annum and that is the highest interest in the market. Those who have PPF could opt for it, for it gives interest free return. In case their account is more than fifteen years old then the money lying in the account could be taken out whenever they need. I do not recommend ELSS for senior citizen who is above 75 years. Younger persons can first subscribe to ELSS and keep it there for more than five years and reap good benefit. The maturity period of ELSS is three years.

No wonder, this is also the time when mutual fund houses and distributors aggressively push equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS) because one gets tax relief under section 80C for investing in these schemes. Returns from these schemes have been at par with the Sensex returns in the last three-five years. According to data from Value Research, a mutual fund rating agency, these schemes have returned almost 83 per cent in the last one year, as against 76 per cent by the Sensex. In the last three and five years, while these schemes have returned 9 and 21 per cent, the Sensex has returned 8 and 22 per cent, respectively.
The greatest benefit of ELSS is, if invested properly and for longer period, it provides market related returns. My recommendation would be to have a disciplined approach for availing tax benefit. Income earner should invest systematically from the beginning of the year a fixed amount for eleven month. This way it would not trouble them at the end of their year and they would be able to ride the volatility of the share market. It is true that ELSS gives better return in a longer term and can give dividend too without any income tax. This suggestion is for young investor only as long term investment may not suit the seniors.


Monday, December 21, 2009


The RBI is now in between two horns of a dilemma. It needs to decide whether growth is important or the tackling of inflation. The month of November has given sleepless night to both finance Ministry as well as RBI.After a stable October it was found that inflation has jumped up and it become 4.78%.The RBI has viewed the position seriously and is getting ready to take control of the situation. But how much monetary measures would be able to help in-case of such massive inflation. In fact much more fiscal measures would be required to chain in such unbridled inflation.
The finance Minister again stated that"there is inflationary pressure on food items>it is a matter of concern"The central government for the first time recommended the state Government to ensure that the public distribution system provides food grains at controlle3d rates to the poor people.In our column it was recommended that not only price of wheat and rice the price of vegetable and fish sould be chained in by state government.The food price index has gone up by16.71 percent during the month compared to last year. It is time to control inflation on food products especially before it gets our of control. A public outcry may develop n case prices don't go down during festive month of January. It is understood that RBI is set to issue a float rater bond shortly,after a gap of four years.according to informed source this is an indication that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later.

It is also a fact the prices of manufactured goods have also gone up as economic activities have gone up.The government is concerned of the inflation yet the Finance secretary said"it is not as if we are taken by surprise or there is any cause for any special emergency action",added Mr. Chawla , the finance secretary.

We however donot agree with the contention of the Finance secretary.We feel RBI would tighten key interest rates since the central Bank has revised the inflation forecast to 6.5% by ensuing march. But measures taken by central Bank would not be able to contain the inflation unless fiscal measures are taken. The availability of food products at a reasonable cost would be most important. how would that be possible?

The availability of food product has become world wide problem .Hence import of food product would not be easy at all. The government should have taken timely steps in allowing corporate sector to get into agriculture in collaboration with landlords and cultivators as their partners. This is measures were discussed in our column months earlier number of times.
Despite recommendations of Prime Minister's advisers most of states have not taken timely steps in this regards perhaps due to socio- political compulsion. This apathy of state Government would prove to be a costly mistake, now.
In the meantime, inflation more than trebled to 4.78 per cent during November on account of rising prices of food items like potato, sugar and pulses, and may prompt the Reserve Bank to squeeze money supply to tame price rise.
The wholesale price-based inflation jumped to nearly 5 per cent from 1.34 per cent in October, according to the monthly inflation data released recently.
Attributing rising prices to supply side constraints, Suresh Tendulkar, former chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), said the RBI could take steps to withdraw liquidity to tame rising prices. But the apex bank is slated to announce review of its annual credit policy next month.

The monthly data, which was released by the government for the second time, shows that potato prices have surged by a whooping 141 per cent during the past eight months, followed by sugar 37 per cent, pulses 32 per cent and onion 20 per cent.
On the other hand, minerals, edible oils and leather products have become cheaper since March 2009.
The international raw material prices are rising so domestic prices are also seeing a movement upward. it is imperative now that the government needs to manage supply shortages.
The central bank has been increasing money supply for industry to tide over the global financial crisis.
The rising prices are an issue of concern for the government as a worried Congress President Sonia Gandhi had earlier said during the week that "price rise of essential commodities continues to be a matter of highest concern to us."
Among the manufactured products, textiles rose by 1.4 per cent, paper and paper products by 0.1 per cent, while chemical and chemical products increased by 0.1 per cent.
Commenting on the price rise Yes Bank's chief economist Suhubhda Rao said, "a sharper rise in manufacturing clearly indicates that the pricing power is gradually returning as the broad group within manufacturing products have registered month-on-month increase in the index numbers."
Rao added that firming inflation will be on the RBI radar where the CRR could be hiked in December by 25-50 basis points.
The new year would not become a great year initially but from the month os March things would start happening. The new financial year may usher in a stabler economy so far as India ,china and Brazil is concerned.The share market is expected to boom despite inflation and despite higher rate of interest to be fixed by RBI. USA would not increase the interest as the economy would take time to revive.Citibank has returned back government's money as it has become self sufficient . Yet the condition of many banks are still in weak.Recently the President of America has appealed to bankers to distribute more money to business sector especially medium scale industries continuously. In India a similar type of help could be organized for development of micro sector and for modernization of agriculture.We have been recommending through our column to state government to allow entry of corporate sector into the field of agriculture.This would be a great step.Always Assam need not follow other agriculturally vibrant states. Sometime it can lead the country into a new agricultural development through introduction corporate sector as the prime mover in joint sector.This was what has been done in China with amazing results. Would Assam Government think it over soon?



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Messiah for distressed humanity :Dr. M.C. Bhuyan

During Mid Sixties of last century, Guwahati was not as proud of HEALTH CARE FASCILITIES as it is now. Cardio- logical treatments were almost in non existence. Dr. M. C. Bhuyan’s arrival in the city brought about a change in the healthcare scenarios of the city as far as cardiology was concerned. Heart patients of greater Guwahati areas heaved a sigh of relief. His presence was like a fresh air to the society. A most cultured human being his motto of life was “Be good and do well” to distressed humanity.

He joined Guwahati Medical College as an Assistant professor and later founded the department of Cardiology. The department grew under his caring eyes and lots of brilliant Cardiac Doctors were born in due course. Dr. Bhuyan was not only known as a great teacher and medical practitioner but he was known for his humanistic approach towards needy patience. He always looked younger to his age and had an electrifying personality. A person of few words yet he was approachable. His greatest quality was compassion.

I came into his contact in early sixties. We were his neighbour. At that time, while completing my Master in Economics I was awaiting for placement calls. Dr. Bhuyan was first to advise me to pursue further studies in management and to visit USA for higher education and training. It was also he who advised me to compete for Rotary International’s Scholarship for business managers. I still feel indebted to him for his sane advice during my early years of life. In effect, my entire career in private sector enterprise was built up on his empowerment and advice. Except at the fag end of my career, in RBI, I had not accepted any lucrative public sector governmental jobs despite several offers. This was possible for the empowerment of Dr. Bhuyan. He emphatically told us that twentieth century would be the time for private sector enterprises and to swim during this period in private business environment would be greatly rewarding. It was he who could be considered as our mentor in business management though he himself was an academician and a Doctor.

A few friends of mine, who are established lawyers, Doctors and painters today, were also beneficiary of his advice. They confided me that whatever their contribution to the society today were only due to the practical advice of Dr. Bhuyan, in their formative period.
“For a strong mental strength you need strong physical stamina. So in younger age, you need to build up physical strength first, to enable you to build up mental prowess which ultimately will trigger self confidence”. These were the remark of Dr. Bhuyan. He advised us to be frugal in our eating habits. As Soon as we touched forty years, he advised us to stop having omelets in the morning with four eggs.
”One egg a week would keep you healthy. Why waste food by eating more and become unhealthy as you grow up in age”. We remembered his advised till date.

During 1963 well known entrepreneurs PC Goenka and late B Himmatsingka had set up India Carbon in collaboration with Great Lakes Carbon Corporation of USA. They wanted to ensure an ideal health care system for the enterprise, despite existence of ESI, of its own. It was Dr. M.C. Bhuyan who gave them the model of an ideal Health care system. Slowly from a Medical Consultant Dr. Bhuyan became friend and philosopher to industry. Industrialists in and around Guwahati were benefited by his quality advices.

Dr. Bhuyan was a humanist. Once I urged him to provide medical advice to then well-known planter BhabendraNath Baruah of Golaghat WHO WAS GOING THROUGH a SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM. As the health condition of Mr. Baruah deteriorated it was impossible for him to travel to Guwahati from Golaghat . Observing the predicament of the family he decided to travel to Golaghat to examine the patient .That showed his rare quality of human concern. He was then the professor of Medical College at
Guuwhati and traveled to Golghat on a Sunday and came back the same evening. He only accepted hospitality and transportation. When fee was given, he refused to accept and told that he came to examine the patient and also to learn more of the sickness. This kind of behaviour is rarely found in professionals of today. There are however a few Doctors even now keeping the flag of self less service flying.

Dr. Bhuyan was a gentleman physician. He had no enemy. Everyone respected him and he also gave full honour to his patients. He endeared himself from his friends,students and patients for his immaculate behaviour. He maintained himself with grace and discipline. He always looked much younger to his age. When he died on 25th November he was 84 years old but really he looked 74 years or younger. Dr. Bhuyan’s departure would create a void not only among medical fraternity but also within the civil society of Assam. Today he is no more but his quality of dedicated service, loving care to his patience, humanistic approach have survived showing the path of compassion and value creating service. Almighty would give peace to his soul .we salute to his humanistic attitude towards life.





During my four months stay in USA I have done some research to find out how most people have become millionaire here ? Is it through business and through investment only? Or through regular habits of saving and investment? To my utter surprise I had to conclude that most of the millionaire in USA have become millionaire now , not from high family business cconnectionnbsp; , inheritance through land lord community's assets and from shares of Industrial investment but from working as a serviceman and through regular saving and investment habit. Approximately 33% millionaire today came from middle class who never inherited fortune from their parents. Even Bill gates and Warren buffet's wealth were created during their life time and not from inheritance. This is a very good news for aspiring midle class of India.

It is a fact that the United States booms when it comes to creating millionaires.Amrica has highest number of millionaires in the world since last fewyears.The nation counted 8.9 million millionaire households in 2005 -- that's more American millionaires than ever before, according to British market researcher TNS Financial Services. It was the third consecutive year the number of U.S. millionaire households rose, and the total number of millionaires has jumped 62 percent since 2002. The study defined a millionaire as anyone who has a net worth of $1 million or more, excluding a primary residence. Even during the period of recession though number of millionaire has reduced by 10% yet America boast highest number oi millionaire.I was pleasently surprised to find that One third of these millionaire are self made scientist, professors, consultant, lawyers, Doctors and Business executives and cinema stars and players.

What are the most important qualities that made them millionaire? We asked a few working persons, who are millionaire at San Jose. They wanted to remain anonymous but confided to us that two most important characteristics could be (a) capacity to dream big and (b) to cultivate the habit of enormous patience. There are a few other qualities that are necessary for building up fortune. they added. Those are frugal habits, avoidance of impulsive decision making, development of courage, to become optimist and understanding the qualities of self discipline. In modern times,the most millionaire cannot be recognised by their appearance as they remain frugal in habits. Even billionaires like Warren Buffet and Narayan Murthy live in modest Houses and drive ordinary commoners automobiles.

In our quest very interesting data was revealed that the average millionaire household in USA had a net worth of roughly $2.2 million, and about half of the heads of these households are 58 years or older. Forty-five percent of millionaires are retired persons.
The highest number of millionaire residents of USA are located in California. It's no surprise that Los Angeles County topped the list of millionaire with 262,800 households qualifying for millionaire status. While the label "millionaire" may conjure images of business moguls like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the TNS study found that just 19 percent of U.S. millionaires made their wealth through all or part of a private business or professional practice. Apparently, the lion's share of the country's millionaires made their money the old-fashioned way, working, saving and investing. This result inspired me to write this article for our readers because in case our readers also try sincerely that can become millionaire. How much time middle class( working class) took to become a millionaire ?The most of the millionaire took Thirty year to become millionaire out of their regular saving and investment habits. What for they have been accumulating wealth?

TNS reported that the most common goal mentioned by the millionaires in the survey was to "assure a comfortable standard of living during retirement." Lesser financial goals listed included leaving a big inheritance to children and charitable giving.

One of the millionaire technocrat said that to become a millionaire, beside his own qualities described above, it is necessary to have a mentor. Many people have become millionaire because they had good guidance from their mentor.The most important example is the driver of Narayan Murthy who became also a millionaire due to coaching of his mentor.

The united states have 8.9 million millionaire where as Russa has 87,000 millionaire and China ha 300,000 millionaire. In my research it was found one of the highest concentration of millionaire is in Silicon valley. In Santa Clara county of silicon valley where I visited found that one out of twelve persons are millionaire. It is a well known fact that Santa Clara is a county of service class population who work as consultant, teachers, office executives , bankers or IT and communication professional. How much salary these professional were making? The most of them made yearly 36,000 dollar initially after five years 1,,50,000 dollar per year and later salary rose to 2.60,000 or more per year beside royalty etc.They regularly paid taxes amounting to 40%(both state and federal).

Before world war 1 most millionaire were from landowner community. Before and after world war 11 most of the millionaire were from business community. Since last sixty years
profile of millionaire changed to middle class. By the end of twentieth century one third of the millionaire came from middle class. During this time millionaire included, scientist, teachers, IT and communication engineers, Business executives, lawyers, Doctors, and architect . I, therefore like to conclude that middle class people of Assam can become also a millionaire in terms of Rupees in-case they save and invest well in thirty years.Our aim however should not be only to become a millionaire but to make fortune while remaining in the path of truth by dint of their education and beautiful mind. For whom do they need money?. Initially for their livelihood, then to live comfortably during days of retirement and there after for the charity of the society, who fostered them.


Senior citizen Saving Scheme is a great step today

Numbers of senior citizen readers have written to us asking whether Governament of India's SCSS has been withdrawn ? Or is it still in vogue ? Do investments in the scheme are still profitable to retired persons even now?

I would like to emphatically state for any retired person, as on date, SCSS is one of the best scheme to invest, especially during he present time whem al he banks have lowered down the interest rates on deposits. Some of the senior citizen could not decide where to invest their money on maturity. One lady wrote that she stayed invested for last three years in a NATIONALIZED BANK wit an annual return of 9.5%. On maturity of the FD CERTIFICATE the same bank is offering her much lower rate of interest bringing her annual income. She is asking where she can invest with higher interest rate? Another gentleman was old by the BANK THAT Senior citizen scheme with higher interest is withdrawn. This not a fact .GOVERNMENT OF INDIA'S scheme is still in vogue and that is the best scheme gong in the market for retired persons.

The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is often referred to as the best alternative for the elderly to invest their money. Is this justified? Here's a detailed look at all the features of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, and an analysis of whether you should invest in it or not.
The investment can be made only by people of 60 years of age or above.
People who have retired on superannuation or under a voluntary retirement scheme can also invest if they are at least 55 years old.
The account can be opened as a single account, or can be opened in joint names. The joint account holder can only be the spouse.
There is no age limit applicable for the joint account holder (spouse).
In case of the death of the primary account holder, the spouse can continue the account – this is subject to the condition that his / her total investment in SCSS should not exceed Rs. 15 Lakhs.
People retiring from defense services are eligible to invest in the scheme irrespective of the age limit, but there are some additional conditions applicable

The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme account can be opened only by individuals. It can not be opened by Non-Resident Indians (NRI), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Hindu Undivided Families (HUF).

For people between 55 and 60 years of age, the amount invested in SCSS has to come from their retirement benefits.
For persons over the age of 60 years, there is no restriction on the source of funds invested. The Senior Citizen's Savings Scheme has a maturity of 5 years, which is extendable by 3 years.
The rate of interest offered on the investment is 9% per annum and account can be opened in post office or in nationalised. perhaps only icici is the only private sector bank that handles SCSS.
There is Section 80C income tax benefit on the investment made in SCSS, but there is no income tax benefit on the interest earned from it.
The investment made in the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme on or after 1st April, 2008 is deductible from your income under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The interest earned on the deposit is fully taxable.

The income tax applicable is deducted at source. If your income is not taxable, you can provide form 15H or 15G so that no tax is deducted at source.
The tax is deducted at source only if the total interest in a year is over Rs. 5,000.
The account can be opened as a single account, or can be opened in joint names. The joint account holder can only be the spouse.
There is no age limit applicable for the joint account holder (spouse).
In case of the death of the primary account holder, the spouse can continue the account – this is subject to the condition that his / her total investment in SCSS should not exceed Rs. 15 Lakhs.

The interest is paid out every 3 months. This means that SCSS can provide a steady, periodic income. There is no provision for cumulative income.The SCSS is backed by the Government of India, and thus, carries a sovereign guarantee for principal and interest payments. Therefore, it is among the safest investment avenues available in India.

One reader has asked if he wants to invest more than fifteen lakh where should he invest? MY RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD BE ,without taking any risk, Monthly income plan with Bonus from post office. BUT one must remember that if you look for absolute safety a time would come when your money value would deplete and it may not possible sometime to buy even potato. So invest in equity also to take care of inflation.

Since the scheme is absolutely safe, and provides periodic payment of interest, retirees and senior citizens can invest a portion of their retirement corpus in the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme.



During my visit to USA DURING 2006 a Professor friend of mine, working in New Mexico State University, sent me an e -mail as to how Bhot Jolokia was making waves in the research laboratory of his university. I still remember his excitement till today. He excitedly informed me that the hottest of all spices is believed to be the “Bhut Jolokia”, belonging to the capsicum Chinese variety which was measured at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), at the New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA, on September 9 2006.

Following the research results some folks got together for a taste test of the bhut jolokia and found out that it is indeed hot hot enough to use as a weapon Pepper sprays and elephant repellent. (It is reported that it keeps the large animals away from crops). I still remember his excitement. It was just the beginning. Today BHOT JOLOKIA IS wearing the crown of hottest chilies of the world following the reorganization by Guinness Book of World Records. Incidentally according to guineas record the spelling is ‘BHUT’ as against popularly known word of ‘bhot’. THE SPELLING WOULD BE VERY IMPORTANT AS THE TIME PASS BY and as the product gets greater trade value.

I can assume that in years to come capsicum Chinese could be a billion dollar business all over the world and the name must be protected from now onward. My request to AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT of Assam would be to ensure the trade mark patent of bhot jalokia as soon as possible. Otherwise someone else in the world would cultivate the same variety in Mexico or in California and name it ‘Bhut Jolokia’ and try to patent it, as they did in case of Basmati rice. ( After a long protected battle matter was shorted out due to effort of punjub jat lobby.)

During my recent visit to California I READ THE FOLLOWING NEWS IN A BLOG :

“FIFTY bhut jolokia seeds arrive in the mail. Armed with a seedling heating pad and a small hothouse as well as a desire to burn my lips off, I plant the seeds in a seedling starter kit I bought at K-mart. During planting, a spot under my eye feels like it has battery acid on it. I must have rubbed some capsacicum on it. I think these seeds are the real deal”. From the above it is apparent that already experimentation for cultivators of ‘ BHOT JALOKIA in USA have started

It must be remembered that more than farming of any capsicum or JalapeƱos the real money is made out of producing and extracting, oil, sauce and dry powders from the chilies, all over the world. The same will be the case with Bhot Jalokia. On my return from USA recently , it was nice to read from a news paper report of my friend Ajit Patowari that some of the Indian entrepreneurs have already started marketing various products produced out of BHOT JALOKIA and even started EXPORTING. My congratulations to local entrepreneurship. But my humble suggestion is to patent the name of the product so that no one can use the same brand name. Perhaps all of us are aware that wine produce out of grapes cultivated in the Particular district of France can only be sold as CHAMPAGNE. No one else can use that brand name even their wine is produced from better grapes from California or Bangalore.

During my stay in California this summer I read in a magazine that the quality of capsicum Chinese has tremendous medicinal values. I was not aware of these qualities:
Alternative Medicine practitioners are realizing that healing herbs should be part of their arsenal against disease. The newest touted natural herb is Capsicum, found in cayenne pepper. It has many benefits whether taken internally or externally. When taken internally, capsicum is an antibacterial which will encourage healing and deflect infections while slowing the absorption of fat in the intestines to help fight obesity. Because this natural herbal remedy is a stimulant, it improves circulation. Capsicum will also stabilize blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Herbalists are finding capsicum is useful in fighting a variety of ailments. I am told our tribal population located in foothills of northeast Himalayas knew of the medicinal values. BHOT JOLOKIAS ARE USED for treatment of stomach ailment by Assamese people also.
My humble suggestion to local entrepreneurs is to have tie up with someone from GERMANY, ITALY OR MEXICO FOR PRODUCTION OF VARIOUS bye- PRODUCTS OUT OF BHOT JALOKIA AND BUILD UP LASTING RELATIONS FOR MARKETING. If properly marketed sauce produce out of Bhot jolokia would be as popular as Tabasco, Capsico AND chirocha hot sauce. MAY BE it would be much MORE popular for its MEDICINAL VALUES.



Hunger is seen on the horizon of the world by none other than UNO. It would engulf around one billion people unless common people of developed nations contribute personally in cash. The appeal for help has been circulated already.
It is now a fact that unless Public distribution system of our country is revamped and strong measures are taken to augment agriculture sector, as per the signals now received, a famine like situation may develop and devastate even our country. Assam would not be an exception to this scene. Till now though two neighboring states of Assam, were experiencing famine in the past, there was no record for Assam experiencing such a bleak situation. The time has changed. Assam has now negative growth rate in agriculture sector. It might trigger famine like situation unless government steps in. The world Food Programme, facing a fund shortage and UN has appealed to individual persons for cash donation for the first time of its existence. The Head of UN Food Body felt if one billion persons of developed world donate just RS. 69/- a week or one euro($1.50) it would be enough to end world’s hunger and famine. So WFP has issued internet appeal to all individual to contribute. If anyone , from our country, want to contribute WFP’S Delhi office can be contacted..

Addressing WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’ in New Delhi recently, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee admitted:
"There is a need of generating strong domestic demand until the robust recovery all over the world, particularly in the developed world takes place.”
Mukherjee repeated his pledge for massive investments in agriculture sector and infrastructure, and acknowledged that it would not be easy for Asia's third largest economy to compensate for the loss in exports through domestic demand. "It is not easy for us to diversify the market overnight and make up the loss so we shall have to wait for some time," he said.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations has recently issued a report which reveals that currently there are 75 million (7.5 crore) people in the world are victim of famine and if the current crisis of price rise persists this count may reach the total of 920.25 million (92.25 crore )
India at present is facing the very harsh situations where poorest of the poor of our country have to go to bed hungry. But at this crucial time when the country expects some stringent steps from the government’s side, it is defending itself by saying that food crisis is a global problem. It is not interested in finding and disclosing the root cause of this havoc .
In such a situation it is a heartening to note the definite actions taken by Government of Assam to regulate farm products in the state.. In the time of scarcity it is not only production but supply system needs to be strengthened. THE SATE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST MADE SOME EFFORT to boost consumption, eliminating middle men from the market.
Indian government is of course desperate to stave off spiraling food price inflation atleast during this winter season.
Mr. Mukherjee during the meeting of world economic forum assured that none should be worried about the availability of food grains for the government would continue to import food items to meet any supply shortfall and scarcity food.
ASSAM GOVERNAMEN MUST ENSURE THAT PRICE of THREE THINGS must NOT HIT THE ROOF. It must endeavor to contain the price of rice, vegetable and fish. The fish lobby, in Assam, is very strong. THE GOVERNMENT MUST BREAK THE NEXUS BETWEEN SUPPLIERS – MIDDLEMEN AND RETAILERS. UNLESS MIDDLEMEN ARE CONTAINED NO USEFUL PURPOSE WOULD BE SERVED only BY FIXING UP THE RETAIL PRICE .Assam’s population survived famine like situation in the past mainly due to frugal food habits and due to non dependence on outside supplies. With the increase in population food habits have changed and dependence on outside supplies have increased. The government must strengthen public distribution system, crack nexus of middlemen in fish supplies and develop storage space for sufficient food grains and help small growers to produce green vegetables, rice and fish. THE ARRANGEMENT CAN Be MADE TO BRING IN FISH FROM Andhra government’s fishery department and distribute to retailers at pre determined price and also distribute through area wise Kiosk of Assam’s fishery department.
In spite of rising inflation and panic regarding food availability our government still believes that to sustain in world economy we need investment and support of corporate companies. The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister advocates the role of corporate sector in agriculture and says that activities other than food grain production like commercial crops, horticulture etc. have contributed most to agricultural GDP. The council recommends removal of subsidies related to grain procurement and REVAMPING of Public Distribution System.
“The Unprecedented food scarcity is beginning to dictate the rules of a new political order where individual countries are scrambling to secure their own food supplies with little concern for the rest of the world, “says the founder of the Earth Policy Institute, LESTER Brown.

"We are in the midst of the most severe food crisis in the world’s history," Brown said. "This is not your mother’s food shortage... but a chronically tight food situation, a serious and long-term problem.’’
From Africa to Asia, countries are scrambling to buy or lease land overseas to grow crops and feed their people. China, which has to feed the world’s largest population, has taken the lead by contracting land in Tanzania, Laos, Kazakhstan, Brazil and others.

India has set its eyes on Uruguay and Paraguay, while South Korea is looking for farming deals in Sudan and Siberia. Libya and Egypt for their part have been negotiating deals to lease land in Ukraine.

The worry here, according to Brown, is that "the more influential countries would be able to secure food supplies, leaving a number of low-income, less influential countries with no food to import".

Agricultural sector of India is mainly covered by small and marginal farmers, so our government should promote small scale agriculture. Corporate sector could be ushered in as an experiment in joint sector basis where land lord and cultivators would be partners with corporate on a selective basis. Can Assam experiment with this model?



Despite very good Growth rate during this quarter most Indian are suffering from insecurity. Bellying all predictions of low growth rate Indian economy charged forward with a growth rate of 7.7% during this quarter. Naturally Government of India’s burocrats and ministers are happy at the turn of event. The finance minister though is very hopeful that growth for the year could be 7%, most of the economists are still not convinced.

According to a section of economist recession would not be over soon. The export is still all time low. The food articles have become costlier every day. Some of the essential commodities are selling at all time high. The selling price of potatoes was never reached so high in last one decade. It is selling at Rs 27 a kg now as against the last year’s price of Rs 8 a KG. Exports of jewelry and clothes have gone down. Only tea is maintaining its export status somehow. But there are strong possibilities that export figures may also go down further.

India's exports and imports have been in the red, as demand in both overseas and domestic markets nose-dived due to the global economic crisis. However, exports have been improving since April, even though it continues to be in the negative territory. "In about seven months we have recovered considerably," commerce minister An and Sharma had said last week. However, the dip in imports did not show any signs of improvement contracting in the range of 18 to 39% in the April-September period. The commerce ministry is reviewing the performance of the export sector and will soon be releasing an additional set of incentives for labour-intensive sectors.
Trade deficit the difference between exports and imports during October stood at $8.8 billion, nearly 26% below the figure of $11.73 billion seen in the year-ago month. In the period between April and October, India's exports stood at $91 billion, a dip of 26%, while imports were valued at $ 148.36 billion, a contraction of 29.6%.
According to officials in the commerce ministry, the overall reduced rate of contraction in exports seen in the past seven months indicate that the stimulus package and foreign trade policy measures arrested the rate of decline. A labour ministry survey showed that in the second quarter, export-oriented factories added over two lakh jobs, a first since the economic crisis hit India about a year back.
There may small glimmers of hope in the economy but most Indian citizens are not confident about their financial future and many think they are already poor, according to a new survey. Inflation is going up. The finance Minster said that inflation is not due to cost push inflation. It is due to non availability of food product in enough quantity. The government of India has announced that it would not allow Indian to starve. If required food product would be imported. Is it practicable? The shortage of food is not the problem of India alone. It is a global phenomenon. It would be impossible to buy rice in a cost effective manner since even China is trying to import rice from various countries. Even in America common people have stopped buying vigorously during this holiday season. The condition of market , during the Thanks Giving festivities, was disappointing.
More than 70 percent of Americans questioned in a Zogby International poll said they could imagine becoming poor or already think they are. Indian Consumer worry about sliding into poverty has already dampened the spirit this year . The gap between current difficulties and people's expectations for the future might be due to the economic crisis not being severe enough to fundamentally alter consumer behavior.
Despite inflation on food products share market is going up. But most investor in the market are FII. The market sensex have been fluctuating between 15,500 and 17,200. The market is not smooth at all. It is the
FII who are dominating the field. Indian investors have burnt their fingers while participating in volatile market. The undertone of the market is aggressive. In this aggressive and volatile market INDIAN INVESTORS are worried. They have not been able to recover their investment made during 2007. Our suggestion to risk averse investors would be to stay away from the market unless they are in a position to keep their money invested for at least for five years. Surprisingly debt market is also dormant. Banks are offering all time low interest rate. Equity market is volatile. Most Indian investors have failed to make money except for a few powerful traders. This is not the time for common people to enter in the equity market unless they invest through SIP method for at least for five years. Our research revealed that equity give best return not in short period but in the longer period. It is essential to keep it in mind that equity may not give any good return less than five years period. Indian investors are worried lots because they expected huge returns within a year . It is true that Indian middle class survive on hope without commensuration of patience. An American Economist aptly described this contradiction on following words:
"There is a contradiction playing out in front of us between hopefulness and hopelessness," said Jenny Darroch, a professor at Claremont's Graduate School of Management in California. This contradiction forces us to take steps which ultimately make us sad. Indian middle class investors, like their American counterpart are sad lots. The days are not far off when Indian market may fall further down. So do not invest in the market unless you can wait for five years.