Indian Economy - The rich becoming more rich, poor becoming more poor

          We cannot consider the embezzling of money from the Mumbai branch of Punjab National Bank as mere bank fraud; 11, 346 crores is a big amount, and it was siphoned off by a business tycoon named Nirav Modi.  He is the owner of a diamond jewelry chain, having branches in six major cities, catapulted him to a stature of being one of world’s multi billionaire. Nirav is accused of fraudulently obtaining advances using the option buyer’s credit as bank guarantee. 

Earlier, we saw the case of Vijay Mallya the flamboyant billionaire who escaped unhurt to England after pilfering money or cheating money from public sector  banks. It is estimated that the then Rajya Sabha member of Parliament 

left  India six days before  the banks approached the court.  Many such small and big frauds are happening country-wide. 

Nirav Modi was seen posing in a group photo with PM taken during his visit to Switzerland on January 24. It is alleged that this scam has political links and the nexus needs to be unearthed. Obviously, in the present political landscape, executives, bureaucracy and corporate work hand in hand in siphoning money from Public Sector Banks without any remorse. The bigwigs escape the judiciary to safe havens and it is the common man’s money that is looted to foreign banks and tax havens. Meanwhile, the common man for his agriculture loans, housing loans and education loans are tortured for failure 

to pay of installments and ends in committing suicide. We should read this in the backdrop of the rampant suicides of farmers in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu,  Karnataka etc.  Often, we blame local money lenders for such incidents and they are portrayed as the villains.  According to data available with the government 80 percent of farmers killed themselves after taking loans from banks and microfinance institutions. It is the common man’s duty to pay back the loans in installments without fault.  When bank loans to  the corporates, it is not an issue; they go scot-free for such crimes.

Farming is still a dominant occupation in rural India providing food and occupation to the people there. Farmers 

 

depend on commercial banks, money lenders and co- operative banks for money to farm. Over the time,  interest free loans have disappeared in India. The authoriies are skipping from Social commitments. Is it so?  It is the duty of society , Government, public sector banks to  safe guard farmers.  Without farmers, society is nill. The Union ministry is not considering this fact. That is the tragedy.

Why are the farmers having loss? It is simply because the profit is less compared to the input cost due to crop damage or lack of adequate crop prices. Also, when there is crop failure, commercial banks still extract compound interest from farmers for the loans given.

As per the findings of the Union Agriculture ministry, utter poverty, high level of indebtedness, pressure to pay loans coupled with crop failures are the major  

reasons  for suicide of farmers. According to the study conducted,  many of the farmers who committed suicide did not inform their loan history to their families.

According to the study conducted by Oxfam,   the richest 1 percent in India own 73% of the wealth created in the country last year.  It draws  an alarming picture of rising inequality and will further increase the gap of the haves  and have not’s of the country.  If we take an estimate of the wealth generated in the last 12 months, the elite people of the nation had an increase to a whopping sum of Rs. 20, 913 billion rupees.  This proves where the country is leading to and how a few people positions themselves as the custodians of the wealth of the nation with the help of the ruling elite. 

The new economic policy of Liberalization which was kick-started during the 

Narasimha Rao era in the early 90s is    now showing its other side and is being nasty. The present PM Narendra Modi has strengthened and is being more vibrant in implementing this free trade and open economic policy.  Ambani’s , Adani’s, Vijya Mallya etc are quite flourishing and is having an auspicious good time. 

Public Sector tastes big loss because of non-payment of loans taken by corporate groups. While the farmers and the common man is looted with atm charges and high rate interests for loans by these banks, the corporate companies on the other hand get lot of concessions and interest less loans. The common people are deprived off their farmlands and homes when they fail to pay the loans taken. Many end in committing suicide. 

                           Bonnie Basil

 

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