Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who's Next

A series of Terrorist attacks which began since the Jaipur blasts in May earlier this year ended with the economic capital of India being targeted yet again. Only this time the Terrorists came out into the open and created a havoc that ripped through the heart of Mumbai. The faceless and the people behind the masks, as they were known earlier revealed their true identities without any fear and managed to kill hundreds of innocent people which included top officials too. Entire police personnel including commandos and Black Kats were engaged in a gruesome battle lasting 3 days. The losses which occurred during those 3 days can never be recovered. But even a more grievous wound was inflicted upon the souls and minds of the citizens of Mumbai.

Yes we have faced a lot – 1993 Bomb Blasts, 26th July floods, 2003 twin blasts and 7/11 Train Blasts – but the question that should be asked now is, how much more can we tolerate, how much more will we have to suffer? A person who leaves home for work in the morning is no more assured that he will return safely and a person dining out with his family might be eating his last meal. It is time we stop patting each other’s back and saluting the spirit of Mumbai and it’s time we start questioning the people responsible for our security and it’s certainly time that we are ensured a safe life in the so-called safest city of India.

Wake up Politicians and those responsible to protect us and realize that a meager relief amount of 3 lakhs cannot solve the problem because when a person dies in such an attack, it’s also the family which gets killed along with him mentally. Can you recover that loss? The answer is a simple but a thought provoking ‘No’! Instead of assuring each other that it’s over, the situation is under control now, we are asking ourselves – Who’s next? We are sitting ducks waiting to be killed by the heartless poachers. Let’s all stand united in this moment of peril and ask for some answers and make certain this is the last attack. Please no more now, spare us and do shield us.

- Akshay Rane

Terror x Foreign Direct Investment= Indian Economic Slowdown?

It is not new to India, not even for the Indian people. India is facing terror attacks since 1993. The recent attacks on Taj heritage, Oberoi hotels and Nariman house which claimed more than 170 people including citizens of the USA, the UK and Australia. This incident has raised questions over the security measures by government. The UPA government has failed to curtail terrorism in its 5-year tenure.

India is blessed with a very good Prime Minister and Finance Minister. Overall performance of UPA has not up to notch. I am of the opinion that India in current situation will attract lesser foreign investments for short-term period. Following are some reasons, which will have negative effect on FDI’s:

Political uncertainty: Year 2009 is election-year for India. Looking at political scenario, Congress government has failed to curtail terrorism; BJP cannot handle power for five continuous years while other political parties have no calibre to handle the government. Even local political parties have total domination over national projects. For example, Trinumool Congress, which had its disputes with TATA Nano project resulted into transfer of Nano plant to Gujarat.

Global economic slowdown: The world is facing worse recession since The Great Depression. Year 2008 has proved a black year for world economy. Finance, Infrastructure, Information Technology sectors are the most affected. The most important factor a businessperson will look before investment is Capital Surplus. It is simple, if a business has no money to expand or invest in new horizons even though it is profitable, he has to borrow money or abandon the plan. We are in scenario where banks are bankrupt and require bailout or the borrowing norms are tight.

Terror attacks: To make situation worse, India is facing terror attacks all around the country. India witnessed eight major terror attacks in year 2008. One can argue that New York has witnessed WTC attacks and London has witnessed bomb blast. However, the interesting fact is that they haven’t faced any terror attacks after that. While in India, there is no strict law pertaining to terrorism. The UK, the USA and Australian government has advised their citizens against visiting India.

Effect of the current environment on Indian economy:

The recent terror attacks will have short-term effect on Indian economy. The foreign delegations, investors will be weary to visit India to carry on any further business. Foreign companies believe that their real assets are their employees, will be cautious sending their representatives. Even tourism and hospitality industry, which is major contributor towards country’s GDP, will have negative effect. The November-March season is considered cash making season will be lull. Even Airline sector will have effect on their business, as there will be sizable reduction in foreigners travelling both for business and vacation purpose.

The terror attack will have short-term effect, as India is one of the biggest emerging markets with abundant resources available in cheap. The volumes of business and profits earned from India will be too good to attract FDI’s in to country. Looking into past record of terror attacks in country, India has never failed to attract FDI’s just for the reason of terror attacks. Government has provided various benefits in term of land, tax and infrastructure, while cheap availability of labour as well as huge market to sell their products that is enough to attract FDI’s for medium and long term prospective.

A company with unique and very good product will fetch huge profits in current scenario. A smart investor will look current situation as an opportunity to invest rather than shying away. Investing is full of risk. There is no profit without taking risk. If FDI’s need to earn huge profits, they have to take this risk. India has always been great place to invest and will be always great place to earn profits.


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