Wednesday, April 28, 2010

new delhi political gossips

new delhi grapevine political snippet

Who is next Cabinet Secretary? 
Answer from a senior functionary of PMO is that  it will happen 
between May 10-15. Thought process with various options are being
worked out at the highest level. 
PM has begun liking for Ashok Chawla. present Finance Secretary
and it is the general feeling of PMO that a cabinet secretary material
should have a financial background.  speculation is now ripe about
Chawla.However there are four seniors to Ashok Chawla. How do you accommodate
them?  Probability which is being discussed at the highest level is that Sudha Pillai will be elevated as Member Secretary with three year tenure in Planning Comission  M Ramachandran will be given Asian Development Bank slot Sujit Banerjee presently Tourism Secretary shall be accommodated  in TRAI a member  P J Thomas is being elevated as Election Commission member. These officers are senior to Ashok Chawla hence such a proposal.
To promote 1977 and 1980 IAS officers as Secertaries and Additional Secretaries
an Eminent Persons Group has been constituted to analyse the annual confidential
records of these two batches and suggest to the to Cabinet Secretariat 
a list of probables, for empanelment. 5 EPG are P Shankar, Samar Ballab Mohapatra
Reva Nayyar, Kumud Bansal and Wilfred Lakhera. Three sittings of the EPG was over.
and the final sitting will be in next month. As per the PMO policy the promotional
positings of these batches will be from January 1, 2011. However, the empanelment
would be over by October 2010
Pranab Mukherjee Office in North Block does not want officers  worked with
earlier Finance Ministers. Two or three officers have been identified. They are being eased out
Omita Paul the OSD to Pranab Mukherjee and Dr K P Krishnan joint secretary capital markets  are at loggerheads. She wants massive decisions to be cleared by the Krishnan
Joint Secretary - like  a lightning speed. Such quick decisions are not that easy in union 
government.As  the file goes to Legal, Foreign, Personnel and finally to CVC... 
Fed up with pressures on him,  Dr KPK decided to advance his reversion to 
Karnataka. Krishnan is being considered for the post of Resident Commissioner of 
Karnataka. Much interesting is that Omita Paul wants Thomas Mathews Kerala cadre IAS officer now  joint secretary in  defence is being brought to Finance to succeed Krishnan. 
North Block is keen to appoint SC Goel as Chairman of India Infrastructure Finance Company 
S S Kohli was till recently held this position. SC Goel being a former chairman of a public sector bank, contributed towards the infrastructure during his tenure is the basic attraction for north block.There are other two names in the panel, but PMO will take a final call by end of this month.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

pm will miss pranab in delhi today


 to Jairam
show details 1:39 PM (20 minutes ago)


by delhi correspondent 

Absence of Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi to
put the entire Sashi Tharoor scam in perspective
to Prime Minister is being felt at the top 
political leadership.

Efforts are on to ask pranab mukherjee to come back
to Delhi from his official engagments in West Bengal.
to brief PM.

Sources close to Pranab Mukherjee indicate that
a two paragraph note was prepared by Pranab da 
and left with his assistants. That will be delivered
when PM returns to Delhi at 1530 hours on Saturday

That note contains details and will speak out Pranab mind


5 major points before PM
to take a final call

Pranab Mukerjee will meet PM and explain the inputs from Government and 
share reports of IB and other agencies after that PM and Sonia Gandhi meeting.
To focus on the following five major points

Political fall out in Parliament on Monday-CPM is making this a major issue in Kerala 
that is bound to go against Congress runup to the assembly elections

Opposition unity on Sashi Tharoor is getting further cemented
and most important is that in long term UPA ally NCP leader Sharad Pawar 
continued support to Lalit Modi and distancing from IPL That is a major political risk
the UPA might be in,

Negative reports from on 
Sunandna Pushkar  IB/RAW/DRI and sleazes

SM Krishna has been opposed to Sashi Tharoor continuance for not obeying him
Foreign office  and senior diplomats have also been ralling behind SM Krishna against Tharoor

Ensuing Kerala Panchayat Elections



Deportation of mother of LTTE Prabhakaran to malaysia

By Delhi correspondent

Vaiko leader of MDMK shall undertake one day token fast
on april 22, in chennai to demonstrate against the highhanded attitude of 
UPA and DMK governments to deport 83 year old PARVATI
mother of  LTTE leader Prabhakaran./

 Parvati, who  arrived late Friday night from Malaysia was deported 
immediately as the Central government did not give permission for her stay in India
 police said in Chennai.

Parvati, who was supposed to get admitted to a hospital in Chennai, 
arrived from Kuala Lumpur but policemen did not permit her to alight from
 the aircraft, officials said.

Elaborate security arrangements were made and suburban police commissioner, 
Jahangir, was himself present to oversee matters as there was a crowd of
 over 150 persons including MDMK general secretary Vaiko and 
Tamil nationalist movement leader P Neduraman, both vocal 
supporters of the proscribed LTTE, at the airport.
On May 18, 2009, the Sri Lankan government announced 
Prabhakaran had been killed while trying to escape 
advancing army troops in the north of the country 
and said his parents were found inside a camp for displaced people.
His father Tiruvekkdam Velupilli died this January.

Friday, April 16, 2010

sashi tharoor statement made in lok sabha

New Delhi, April 16  

Following is the text of Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor's statement, clarifying his position on the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League, in the Lok Sabha Friday:

I am grateful to you for the opportunity to set the record straight on my role in the recent issues relating to the IPL Kochi cricket team, which have raised by Honourable Members of the Opposition.

The Indian Premier League, or IPL, recently auctioned two additional city franchises under the auspices of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI. As a passionate cricket fan since my childhood in Mumbai, and as an MP from Kerala, I have nurtured a desire to see the sport flourish in my home state.

A consortium led by Rendezvous Sports World was set up to bid for an IPL team. They approached me for help and guidance and steered them towards Kerala. My role was as an informal mentor to the group. I had no role whatsoever in setting up the consortium itself or in any of its business decisions, including its decision to bid for the franchise.

The consortium won its bid successfully, in an auction process conducted by the BCCI. Its victory has been widely hailed in Kerala as a triumph for the state and an unrivalled opportunity for young players and cricket-lovers to enjoy the benefits of direct participation in a world-class tournament through a Kerala team.

However, the unexpected success of the Kerala consortium was apparently not acceptable to some interested parties. This has led to a number of public insinuations about the composition and ownership of the consortium, and of my role in it. Two serious allegations have been made against me: that my involvement in mentoring the group was inappropriate, that I misused my public office to help the consortium win the bid, and that I received benefits for so doing, in the form of "sweat equity" given by Rendezvous to its associates. I should like to address these allegations in turn.

First, my role in mentoring the Kerala consortium was throughout within the bounds of appropriate conduct for a Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram and a member of the Union Council of Ministers. No misuse of my official position was involved. The issue has nothing to do with my Ministry. As a Minister, I was in no position to influence the bid process, let alone its outcome. I did not grant any favours or benefits within the purview of my Ministry to the members of the consortium. No one could have any idea what the various participants in the auction process would bid, and my official position gave me no advantage in this regard that could have been used to benefit the Kerala bid. Indeed my ministerial position was altogether irrelevant to the bid and so could not have been used or misused to ensure its success. 

Second, it has been suggested that I have indirectly received personal benefits from this enterprise because the Rendezvous management team, who hold stakes in the venture, includes a close friend of mine. This allegation is particularly wounding because I have had a three-decade career in international public service that has never been sullied by the slightest taint of financial wrongdoing. Those who know me are aware that money has never been a motivating factor for me in any of my actions or decisions.

Rendezvous has clarified that it issued "sweat equity" to its associates in lieu of a salary, which is a common practice around the world for start-up ventures. No money has changed hands and associates are expected to earn equity by promoting Rendezvous’ activities over the next ten years. 

In other words, whatever benefits might accrue to the "sweat equity" associates in the future depends on their work for Rendezvous and has nothing to do with me. It is an arrangement internal to the consortium and between the investors and Rendezvous. The notion that somebody is some sort of "proxy" for me is frankly insulting to me and to the professionalism and business ethics of the investors and their associates, particularly since I could not have any role in influencing the final outcome of a sealed bidding process. Madam Speaker, it is unworthy of any member of this august House to imply that a reputed business professional and entrepreneur with a long track record of business success can, because of her gender, only be seen as a front for someone else.

Madam Speaker, I am proud to have helped the consortium come to Kerala, a state which has long been excluded from participation in India’s cricketing resurgence. I have neither invested nor received a rupee for my mentorship of the team. Irrespective of my personal relationships with any of the consortium members, I have not benefited, and do not intend to benefit, in any way financially from my association with the team now or at a later stage. 

Madam Speaker, it is essential in our democracy that institutions of interest to the general public are run openly, rather than restricting their opportunities to a favoured few. For India to change and prosper, it must be an India for all Indians, not one where a few rich and powerful individuals can dominate all activities of interest to them. Cricket is now our most popular national pastime, attracting a following of crores. The game and the benefits accruing from it should not be retained only by an influential coterie with interests in a few privileged centres. 

A Kerala IPL team is a dream of many young people and cricket lovers of all ages in and from the state. It has the potential to bring great material and psychological benefits to Kerala's economy and society. The unethical efforts that have been made to thwart the Kerala franchise are disgraceful. They are also dangerous to the health and credibility of a sport that has captured the passions and the loyalty of a majority of Indians. Indeed, such behaviour brings the IPL itself into disrepute.

It has been clear for some time that the real motive behind the public controversy that has been created around me is to make the Kochi team unviable and to assign this IPL franchise elsewhere than Kerala. I believe all fair-minded Indians would hope that such tactics will not be allowed to prevail. The allegations against me which have been seized upon by honourable members of the Opposition are baseless, ill-founded and ill-motivated."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

testing time for sonia gandhi leadership qualities

15 April 2010

Soina Gandih shown real qualities of a Leader.

From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha plunged into repeated pandemonium and adjournments on Thursday because the signal to the ruling Congress members came from none else but Sonia Gandhi who was apparently upset over the BJP's Yashwant Sinha accusing her party "making compromises with the Maoists for petty political gains in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections."

She turned around and signalled the party MPs to rise in protest during the impromptu discussion on the Dantewada massacre. The response was not limited to the Congress MPs as even Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and his deputy Narayansamy jumped to their feet to accuse Sinha's BJP itself a hand-in-glove with the Maoists.

Bansal went to the extent of pointing out that the BJP had aligned with a party (in Jharkhand) whose ministers and members were backing the Maoists in this kind of brutal violence. At one stage it appeared as if the Congress does not want the Dantewada debate.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is leader of House, was not in the Lok Sabha when the uproar triggered forcing adjournment. He spoke to both Sonia Gandhi and Bansal and could be heard stressing that the opposition has no business to accuse the Centre that has given all the money and arms to the state governments to fight the Maoists.

Normalcy was restored in the Lok Sabha in the post-lunch session but only after Speaker Meira Kumar expunged a word from Sinha's speech to satisfy the Congress members. Same kind of pandemoniums on the massacre of 75 CRPF men preceded the Rajya Sabha ultimately getting down to discuss the Maoist menace in the post-lunch session on the opening day of the second part of the budget session of Parliament.

Opposition leader Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha as also Sinha in the Lok Sabha harped on the entire opposition coming out in full support of the government for defeating the Maoists with full force while differences persisted between the ruling Congress and the government.

Both cited a signed article of Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh dubbing Chidambaram as "rigid" and "intellectually arrogant." They wondered how the government can act effectively when its entire anti-Maoist policy is challenged by a senior office-bearer of the ruling Congress. Sinha said the government was itself severely divided as one of the UPA elements was opposed to crackdown on the Maoists. His hint was towards Railway Minister and Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Bannerjee.

Congress chief spokesman Janardan Dwivedi intervened Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha to assert that some individual's opinion should not be presented as the party's stand. He repeatedly tried to spell out the party stand but the BJP benches shouted him down.

Both the Houses began with the Opposition demanding suspension of the Question Hour to discuss the Dantewada attack. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister pleaded in the Lok Sabha to allow the Question Hour, stating that Chidambaram will make a statement in the House at 1 pm while his deputy Prithvraj Chavan assured the Rajya Sabha that he will make the statement in the House at 2 pm. The opposition remained adamant, forcing adjournment of both the Houses.

The government, however, conceded Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's suggestion to start the Dantewada debate at noon when the Lok Sabha re-assembled, without waiting for the Home Minister's statement and that was how the debate started, Two adjournments were, however, forced because of majority of the ruling Congress members creating pandemonium to block Sinha from speaking further.

Sinha asserted that the government cannot win the war against Maoists unless there is unity of purpose and determination. He pointed out that this was not a small task as he quoted from the Home Ministry's annual reports to point out that 4246 lives, including those of security personnel, were lost in the Maoist attacks between 2004 and 2009, which was much larger than all wars with Pakistan except in 1971 when 5300 lives were lost. He went on to cite casualties in other wars with Pakistan as: 1500 in 1947-49, 3000 in 1965, and 522 during Kargil conflict.

Jaitley asserted that the UPA did nothing to crush the Maoists during its first five years of rule when their area of influence spread to 220 districts, 90 of which are in their effective control. It is only during the past one year or so that the Home Ministry realised how serious was the problem and that is why the entire opposition, right from BJP to CPI(M), rejected Chidambaram's offer to resign accepting responsibility for the Dantewada episode as they did not want the Maoists to rejoice victory.

Pointing out that the entire opposition is demanding in one voice that the curse of Maoism will have to be eradicated, Jaitley ridiculed a Congress general secretary (Digvijay Singh) suggesting development and other steps instead of using the forces to eliminate the ultras. "If satyagrah before Maoists can resolve the issue, we all will join," he said, asking the ruling party not to weave fairy tales like dealing with the problem through development where even the armed security forces are not able to venture in.

Development of the areas can be a long-term solution but that will not be possible if the battle started against Maoists is abandoned just because of Dantewada, Jaitley said while regretting that the Home Minister appears to be "gheraoed" by his colleagues in government and party to fight a "crippled battle." After the Dantewada setback, Chidambaram wanted to resign because of this handicap, he added.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

digvijay singh and p chidambaram controversy

This is a backgrounder to what Digvijay Singh wrote in Economic Times today.


(Our comments on the following letter
The problem with this particular letter is that it promises nothing--so there is nothing in it that anyone can be held accountable to.  The implicit drift of the letter is -- "I (Digvijay Singh) have spoken to Chidamabaram-and Chidamabaram is a nice and reasonable man."  And then it continues on to say how even he, Digvijay Singh, himself was such a nice and reasonable man as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.  And it parrots the same old administration line about Naxalites being the main reason why there is no "development", which is why action against them is unavoidable.The only thing of value in the letter is that fact that it confirms that Chidambaram has been made aware of, or rather he cannot get away with being blind to, the atrocities committed by the security forces and has promised to look into them.)
                                                                                  31st October, 2009

Dear Shri Himanshu Kumar,

After our meeting I met Mr. P. Chidambaram our Home Minister. I explained your views in detail to him. I also gave him my own views on this subject. He was extremely positive and was open to talks for peace with anyone any time. His only pre condition was to stop violence. He also made clear that laying down of arms was not a pre condition for talks.

I also conveyed to him about the implementation of Forest Right  Act amending the Mining Regulation Act , Land Acquisition Act and implementation of PESA in Schedule areas. I also conveyed to him about the atrocities committed by the Police and Para Military Forces which you had mentioned.

He has assured me that he would look into these issues. As a Chief Minister of MP I had appealed to the Naxalites to stop violence. If they did I would withdraw police out posts and also reduce force from these areas which I did when there was no incident for three months.
The development process in these Naxalite affected areas has completely come to a stop and the tribals and the other forest dwellers  are the biggest losers. It is also the responsibility of the Civil Society activists to convince the Naxalite leadership to shun violence and come for talks.
I am sure you all would also use your influence to convince the Naxalites to shun violence.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,


Shri Himanshu Kumar
Vanwasi Chetna Ashram
Kawalnar, Dantewara
Chattisgarh-494 449




Governor of Chhatisgarh
asks Union Home Minister not to visit
Dandewada Naxal inflicted areas

By  R Rajagopalan

In an unusual way the Governor of Chhatisgarh ESL Narasimhan wrote to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to resist the temptation of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to visit Naxal affected areas in Raipur and Dandewada on January 7, 2010 During this visit P Chidambaram shall undertake  padayatra on Jan 7, 2009

This is the first time that a Governor stops the official visit of
a union home minister.

ESL Narasimhan is a former Indian Police Service officer of
Andhra Pradesh cadre. Now a Governor of Chhatisgarh.

In a two pages letter to Prime Minister ESL Narasimhan,
said that during operations, such a high dignatory visit would
hamper the strategies and tactics.

P Chidambaram has plans to spend one night with the NGOs
in Naxal affected areas in Chhatisgarh.

ESL Narasimhan having spent 35 years in Intelligence Bureau
and held Director of IB before moving into Raipur Raj Bhavan
Hence Governor knows the operational difficulties in such
Maoisit inflicted areas in his state.

Contacted to speak to Governor or the senior PMO office
for reaction, ADC to Governor said that Governor refuses
to speak to media. Such was blunt reply. However, Union Home Ministry in North Block confirmed the receipt of a letter
from ESL Narasimhan to Prime Minister, as they had received
a copy for advance information. But refused divulge the details.
Meanwhile, Operation Anti-Red Terror has been set into 
motion with some 80,000 highly-armed personnel drawn 
from three central paramilitary forces and thousands of 
state policemen fanning out to take on the Maoists in the
three most Naxal-affected districts in central India 
. The districts where the offensive is being unleashed 
are Kanker and Rajnandgaon districts in Chhattisgarh, 
and Gadchiroli in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra
The task assigned to them is to drive out the Maoists 
and free the areas under their influence, so as to 
allow government agencies to launch development 
works and restore law and order.
Officials in New Delhi asserted that a 
clear-cut line has been given to the forces to avoid 
violent conflicts unless they become imperative..
"If they retreat we are not going to hunt and kill them. 
They may, however, not retreat peacefully so we are 
prepared for any attacks. The forces have been 
specially trained to tackle guerrilla-type strikes,
 as we do not expect them to get into a head-on 
confrontation, especially when we have pushed in 
a large number of forces to outnumber them," a 
top official who is coordinating the operation said.

The Central Reserve Police Force, Border 
Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police 
and state police are carrying out the operation jointly.
In the first phase, the forces will move deep into 
the interiors of the forest areas to set up their 
outposts. Once they establish themselves, they 
will venture further into remote areas to mount 
an onslaught to cleanse the area of Maoists.
The official said the offensive will include house
 to house searches but there will be no violence 
unless the forces are attacked. Even their 
response will be limited to drive out those
 mounting the attacks, he said.

"Once we clean out the areas, the district 
administration will step in with development
works. Our task is limited to neutralising the 
Maoists who are not allowing the government 
staff to do any work in the areas under their 
control, and to drive them out," the official added.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

mani shankar aiyer may lose RS seat



Was Mani Shankar Aiyar holding an office of profit 
when he was chosen as Presidential nominee for the 
Rajya Sabha? Saroj Nagi of Hindustan Times 
writes that Mani Shankar AIyer
who is expected to take oath 
as a member of the Upper House on April 15, 
resigned as honorary advisor of the Bureau of 
Parliamentary Studies and Training (BPST) after 
his nomination was announced on March 19 and 
notified on March 22. 

Two factions of Tamil Nadu Congress are happy
that Mani Shankar is in trouble. As a matter of
fact, one section of TNCC, is encouraging 
a legal expert to write to President of India
to disqualify Mani shanker.

Since she has nominated him, there are also possibility
of an excuse, that Mani may be pardoned, and asked to

Aiyar could face trouble if his nomination is 
challenged, as any resignation is considered 
effective only from the date it is sent/received 
by the presiding officer. In Aiyar’s case, the 
letter, in which he said he is resigning his seat 
with effect from March 19, is dated March 27.
Holding an office of profit at the time of being 
chosen a member of the House can invite 

Article 102 of the Constitution says that a person 
shall be disqualified for “being chosen as and for being 
a member” of either House of Parliament if he holds any 
office of profit under the Gover

nment of India or the 
Government of any state.
As an honorary advisor of BPST, Aiyar got an honararium 
and government accommodation and, therefore, held an 
office of profit. The position is not among the posts 
exempted as an office of profit under Parliament 
(Prevention of Disqualification) Act.

“I know of no infirmity in my nomination nor have 
I any information of any objection having been made. 
If any objections are raised, they shall of course be 
answered,” Aiyer told media.

In not fool-proofing Aiyar’s nomination, the Congress 
may also have put the office of the President in an 
embarrassing position.

The Congress leader was abroad when his name was 
announced for the Upper House. But on his way through 
Delhi on March 26, he sent his resignation letter.
In 2006, the party had put its president, Sonia Gandhi, 
in an embarrassing position when it failed to ensure that 
the chairmanship of the National Advisory Council was exempted 
as office of profit. Gandhi quit the NAC, resigned her Lok 
Sabha seat and sought re-election.

Monday, April 12, 2010




PM tells Ministers sensitive issues 
handle them carefully

By R Rajagopalan

Not only did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reject P Chidambaram Union Home Minister letter of resignation 
but PM also stood solidly behind him, by directing Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to write to all the
Union Ministers not to criticise handling of Maoists issue by Home Ministry and not to ventilate feelings
on Left Wing extremism in open.

Dr Manmohan Singh just before he left for USA, asked Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar to address 
a letter to the Council of Ministers directing them to speak in one voice and desist from commenting
on issue not directly related to their ministries.

Dr SIngh  made it clear that Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is the only one authorised to deal with issues related to internal security.

Many Congress Working Committee members have presented their views in writing and in person to Prime Minister
Dig VIjay Singh has also conveyed his version to Dr Manmohan Singh.

Once many criticisms were focused on P Chidambaram and the subsequent day Dr Singh was to take off for USA
which Dr Singh was keen to get briefed more on Nuke than the internal security concerns. Dr SIngh took the opportunity
to silence P Chidambaram critics  like Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union minister for food 
processing Subodh Kant Sahay commented on the Dantewada massacre.
Maoists had killed 76 security personnel in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on April 6.

Cabinet Secretary Letter is reproduced below


April 10 2010

Dear Minister 

I am writing in continuation of my DO letter dated January 28, 2009 conveying the decision of the
Prime Minister that in respect of issues considered to be sensitive by him one Ministry/Department
will be designated as a nodal Ministry as a singhle point for interaction with media and accurate articulation
of the action taken being contemplated by Government as well as stance adopted by Government.

It is recalled for ready reference that this nodal Ministry will also make suitable arrangement for regular interaction
with media in coordination with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to brief them on important developments.
Ministers and secretaries senior officials belonging to other departments may advise the media to seek information
clarification from the nodal Ministry whenever questions are asked on such issues.

Prime Minister has now desired that regarding all matters related to Left WIng Extremism including the recent
incident Dandewada the Ministry of Home Affairs will be the nodal Ministry for interaction with media
and articulation of Government position.

With regards

Cabinet Secretary

Monday, April 5, 2010

PM to open pension scheme in Rae Bareili



"Swavalamban"  a pro-unorganised labour

By R Rajagopalan

NEW DELHI: The Government is all set to roll out yet another social
security plan "Swavalamban"  that promises to provide a lifelong pension of minimum
Rs 1000 a month to the unorganised sector workers.

 The pension can be still higher if the worker is able 
to voluntarily save more through higher contribution.

The scheme is planned to be launched by Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee in the first week of July from Rai Bareli, the Lok Sabha
constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

A pet scheme of Pranab Mukherjee Finance Minister.Most of the
themes are now put on paper for action. To implement it the
Secretary Banking R Gopalan has begun to interact with the
heads of Life Insurance Corporation, Insurance Regulatory Authority
and Pension Fund  Regulatory Authority Fund.

By middle of May 2010 the scheme will given a final shape.
Talking to this correspondent R Gopalan detailed the proposal.

The scheme will be available for only three years and its continuation
further will depend on the response it gets from the unorganised
sector, sources in the Finance Ministry said. The government will
stand guarantee to pay the pension as the scheme is to be run by the
government's own Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) under the
supervision of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.

A worker has to contribute Rs 100 a month for 20 years to become
eligible for drawing the pension until death on completion of 60 years
of age. The Centre will put Rs 1000 a year for the first three years
in each such pension account opened as part of the government's
commitment to provide social security to the vulnerable sections of
the society.

Mukherjee has provided 1000 million rupees in the 2010-11 union budget
that will be sufficient to benefit one million workers. While
presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha on February 26, he had appealed
to the state governments to contribute a similar amount to make the
scheme more robust.

"Swavalamban" (self-help) is the name Mukherjee gave to this
initiative that he hopes to make as popular as the Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Sources said this name is
most appropriate as the scheme is basically to encourage the people
from the unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement.

Initially the Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla and Expenditure Secretary
Sushma Nath were cautious about the Swavalamban. But Pranab Mukherjee
over ruled their apprehensions and directed the Fianancial Services division
to proceed with "double speed"

Though he does not expect an unorganised worker be able to pay more
than Rs 100 a month to enjoy the pension benefits that the government
employees enjoy, Mukherjee has set the minimum limit of Rs 1000 a year
and the maximum limit of Rs 12,000 as contribution to the scheme.

Sources said it is the same New Pension Scheme (NPS) that was thrown
open to all citizens of India on May 1 last year in the age group of
18 to 55 years who are not part of any scheme for economic security
after retirement from work.

They said Mukherjee wanted it to become more attractive to those in
the unorganised sector by offering the government's contribution of Rs
1000 per annum in each such account and asking the state government to
chip in identical sum to provide social security to the downtrodden
having no resources to fall back in the old age.

Realising that the scheme proved a non-starter for the unorganised
labour in its first year, Mukherjee spoke to the Prime Minister if the
government can make it popular by contributing from its own side in
any account so opened, sources said. Only 3,784 from the unorganised
sector had become the subscribers under the scheme until February 19.

Financial Services (previously Banking Services) Secretary R Gopalan
is coordinating with the Insurance Regulatory and Development
Authority (IRDA), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority
and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India to put the scheme into
operation for the unorganised sector.

He has already written to IRDA chairman J Hari Narayanan to give
clearance to the scheme at the earliest. Gopalan says there are 14
lakh LIC agents in India and the government plans to give them
incentive to attract the unorganised workers to subscribe to the
"Swavalamban" scheme. If each agent is able to enrol at least three or
four workers, there will be not less than five million subscribers.

Though the government has set the target of only one million
subscribers from the unorganised sector in 2010-11 by providing Rs
1000 million in the budget as its own contribution to such accounts,
Gopalan says finding funds to contribute to more people joining the
scheme will face no difficulty.

This pension scheme is the second major initiative of the UPA
government towards the unorganised sector workers after its
contribution of Rs 10,000 million in 2008 in the unorganised sector
workers social security fund which will help support schemes for the
self-help workers like weavers, toddy tappers, rickshaw-pullers and
bidi workers. The construction labourers who were left out in the
first scheme will be encouraged to join the "Swavalamban" pension
scheme, sources added.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


for Sunday April 4, 2010 publication.

P Chidambaram home minister deputed top spy seluths
to Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and also to Mulayam Singh Yadav
to brief them about the Maoists menace. Specific question 
was put to the security personnel about the names of Maoist,
In confidence the names were shared to these leaders,
One of the names were so familiar that a senior leader of Opposition
got surprised that the spouse of the Maoists is a regular
invitee to the President banquet and PM lunches to the foreign
dignatories. At once the top seluth said that this matter would be
brought to the notice of political leadership.
How a fake notification was issued on over time
allowance for Govt employees? Who did faking?
Inernal enquiry has been ordered. In the union ministry
of finance. Based on this circular OT was to be released.
Today Govt clarified with a circular that the OT order is fake
Departments should not take any note on this.
(scanned and attached to this file is the copy of the circular)
Will Govt order a CBI inquiry into the faking of the circular
who did it at the lower level.? 
Hameed Ansari Chairman, Rajya Sabha 
always liked well dressed and well behaved
MP. For the past one year he was observing many
MPs. He found 25-30 come in their attire.
Ansari has in his capacity as Chairman has
been nominating best dressed MPs to the NIFT board.
This year he has chosen 
N.K. Singh, Member, Rajya Sabha 
as a member of the Board of Governors 
of the National Institute of Fashion 
PM is more keen on knowing the balance sheet 
profit and loss account.

It was evident when Union Minister for Shipping, 
Shri G.K. Vasan  
pinned the first Merchant Navy Flag on the 
wearing apparel of the Prime Minister,
Dr. Manmohan Singh,asked the Minister
and officials about the berthing facilities.
PM wanted to know more about the
maritime taxations. 

Secretary Shipping K Mohandass explained to
PM about the this sector.
When the turn of Chairman SCI to get introduced
PM asked him about the profitability.
Liberalisation-profit and loss with taxation structure
are the three the PM would invariably ask the chairmen
of many PSUs. 

It was a treat to discuss with PM was the spantaneous
reaction of senior bureaucrats who were present at
the  of the inauguration of the 
47th National Maritime Week, in 
New Delhi on March 29, 2010.

ajit singh new ally of UPA2? will settle with commerce ministry


Pranab da and Ajit Singh hush-hush?


By R Rajagopalan

Pranab Mukherjee Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha last week
spent  two hours convincing  Ajit Singh son of Choudhary Charan Singh
to accept the UPA2 offer to join as a Cabinet Minister
with a "weighty and milky" Ministry,.Ajit Singh demands
Commerce, but Congress is ready to adjust him with
Non Conventional Energy. Ajit Singh is now engaged
in a tough negotiation.

Ajit Singh has 5 MPs in Lok Sabha, and this alliance would help
Congress in the next year Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Ajit Singh joining Cabinet will also send a signal to other allies
like NCP to keep a low profile.

Hectic political activities have begun as the second half of the
Budget session is to begin on April 15

In February when the Opposition  unity was too visible on price
rise and on nuke bill, Core Committee of the Congress authorised
Pranab Mukherjee to work out a formula with Ajit Singh.

Congress wooing Ajit Singh will benefit Congress in the longer run.
WIth Ajit SIngh support of  MLAs in UP, Congress might field 
Captain Satish Sharma as Rajya Sabha canidate. Hence it is a 
greater ploy to woo Ajit Singh. To break Mayawati domain in 
certain pockets with the help of Ajit also one of the prposition.