The Candid Eye

March 15, 2010

Corruption hits social projects in India: Bill Gates

While the congress government is trumpeting the victory of NREGA scheme in India, many parts of country where this scheme is introduced, has only fed the middle men and local politicians at the village level.Unless and until we get rid of these middle men and bureaucracy, corruption can not be eliminated.

Software czar Bill Gates engaged in a large number of social projects in India, has told US lawmakers that the northern parts of the India face difficult challenges.

“We see places like India, where the results are mixed. The north, which has the greatest need, tends to have the most difficult challenges,” Gates told members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wherein he testified on “Building on Success: New Directions in Global Health Care”, convened by its Chairman John Kerry.

Bill Gates

Former US President Bill Clinton, who too is involved in social welfare projects in India and African countries in a big way, also testified before the Committee.

Gates was responding to question about experiences of corruption and accountability in these countries where his Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation is involved in social welfare projects.

In places like India, he said, there are mixed results. “Fortunately, things like vaccines or bed nets are not that attractive for the political elite to stockpile. And so if you can track the grants to the purchase of the commodity and the commodity getting delivered, then you can make quite sure the money’s not being diverted. It gets more difficult as you get into personnel systems,” he observed.

However, this is difficulty with education, road building, and even health systems to make sure that the work is actually being done, jobs just aren’t being given to the politically favoured, as opposed to the people who have the skill sets.

“That is not always executed on very well. You see, we see programmes like in Ethiopia where that’s being done well. We see places like India, where the results are mixed,” Gates said.

“The answer in many locations is to organise women’s groups and to make sure they have the expectation that their kids will be vaccinated, that they will get a bed net. And in a lot of locations, their activism has been key to making sure that nothing is lost between the money being given and the services being delivered,” he said.

In the case of vaccination, if people claim they are doing it when they are not, it’s easy to go in and do surveillance.There’s also a disease, measles that very quickly shows up; people who claim to have high rates who don’t, he said.Gates said there is always the challenge of which countries to help, the ones that are in the greatest need or the ones that have the best government so that the money will be most effective.

“In Ethiopia, certainly in the health area, they have very effective leadership. And the GHI (Global Health Initiative) proposal talks about some of the ambitious goals they’ve set for Ethiopia,” he said, adding there are some things like vaccinations that can be done even in the worst areas.

“Some of the other things, like training health-care workers and trying to get big improvement there, you want to pick places where you have strong governance, and GHI has this idea of picking countries. They have a challenge with India in particular where you don’t want to pick the whole country. You probably want the ability to pick parts of the country,” Gates said.

Source: Rediff

May 1, 2009

Black Money & How Congress shot itself in the foot!

Here are some articles on Black money in the swiss banks.

Swiss black money can take India to top by Professor Vaidyanathan & Swiss money: Congress calls Advani a liar.After this, the Election Strategist Channel of Congress, NDTV,had published an article ‘Black money: A Swiss snub for Advani’.

Then the Swiss Bankers Association in its attempt to protect its clients(Read Sonia & Co) has said ‘Black money issue “good election fodder”: Swiss Bankers Assn’ which no one was ready to believe.This news also appeared in ESC of Congress, NDTV.Professor Vaidyanathan also questioned about the debate on black money or lack of it on 24×7 news channels – ‘Illegal Indian money in tax havens: The way we debate it’.When all the 24×7 channels are wagging their tails loyally to Congress, no one had ever expected this issue would boomerang them.Instead of having a public debate on the strategies to be followed to bring back the people’s money to India, they are trying to wag the dog by performing all these stunts.

S Gurumurhty,Convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch in an interview with rediff has said –  ‘In 5 years, Indians stashed Rs 688,000 cr illegally’ and he has also put the last nail in the coffin exclusively made for Sonia & Co by this article ‘Who will probe first family’s billions?’

April 28, 2009

Ottavio Quattrocchi & Central Bureau of Investigation…

Filed under: Congress,Corruption — thecandideye @ 5:47 PM
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Sonia's Gift to India


Ottavio Quattrocchi is once again in headlines.Thanks to Central Bureau of Investigation for giving him a clean chit.Now that the Sonia & Co would be relieved on hearing this.

Here are the series of events related with Quattrocchi and Bofors scam:

1). 1993 – Swiss bank officially named Quattrocchi as the account holder for the firm AE services.The Central Bureau of Investigation attempted to question him because of this in Bofors case.In the same year he has left Delhi for Malaysia.Infact he was let off as per the deal between Sonia and then Prime minister Narasimharao.

2). 1999 – BJP led NDA government filed chargesheet against Quattrocchi.

3). 2003 – Two accounts in London branch of swiss bank held by Quattrocchi and his wife Maria were found by Interpol and per CBI request they were frozen.

4). Dec 2005 – Law minister Hansraj Bharadwaj deputed B.Dutta to London to release these accounts without consulting CBI on this matter.

5). Jan 2006 – A PIL was filed in Supreme court and the orders were given to CBI to ensure that the money was not withdrawn from these accounts until clarification for the goverment’s decision was obtained.However the entire 4 Million USD was withdrawn from these accounts by that time.

6). Feb 2007 – Quattrocchi was detained in Argentina following Interpol’s red corner notice.

7). June 2007 – The request for extradition of Quattrocchi was rejected by Argentianian court and at last CBI paid the legal fees of Quattrocchi in this case.

8). April 2009 – Interpol has removed the red-corner notice issued against Quattrocchi following a request from CBI.

Some questions need to be answered here –

Why was the decision taken to defreeze the two accounts held in London branch of Swiss bank by Sonia led goverment ?

Why was there a delay in CBI’s announcment that Quattrocchi was detained in Argentina?

Why did Massimo Quattrocchi, son of Quattrocchi,come to India at the time of his father’s detention in Argentina and stayed here for more than 6 months?

Why did Massimo attend the party hosted by BJD  MP where Priyanka Vadra was also present?

Why did Digvijay Singh of Congress repeatedly deny the alleged meeting between Priyanka Vadra and Massimo without substantiating his argument?

You may also like to read : Indian money in Swiss & other banks is over Rs.70 lakh crore

Blatant lie of UPA & Misuse of more than Rs.50000 crores of tax payers money

No Apologies for bofors, says Rahul aka Liar

This can happen only in India!!

April 19, 2009

EC blocks BJP ad on dirty money – Another Dirty Sycophant of Congress!!

It is national shame that EC which is supposed to be unbiased and neutral in its stand,has blocked this attempt to create awareness among people.Thus EC is attempting to keep people of India ignorant.Not many people realise the necessity to bring back the black money if it is not shown in TV.The impact is less when compared with newspapers.By doing so, the EC has violated the freedom of expression.Here is news excerpts.Source : TOI.

BJP on Saturday looked all set to raise its ante higher on its theme for bringing back the black money stashed by Indians abroad after BJP leader L K Advani addresses a media gathering. The Election Commission restrained it from showing a 15-second audio visual spot that was produced to be part of the party’s campaign. 

Party sources said that the EC declined the party the permission to run the clip on television and on other visual media, on the ground that the shot of a “foreigner” receiving a briefcase from supposedly a corrupt Indian was not in good taste. But that is what the truth is.When did Switzerland and India become one?FYI..People in Swiss & Liechestein are white in color.This commercial is about Indian Money in the hands of Swiss bank authorities.Isn’t it?Oh..Are you coming to say that the receiver also has to be an Indian.May be Sonia can do that role?She has become an Indian now.What do you say?

Those involved in making the film, however, alleged a hidden agenda, saying that the `foreigner’ was integral to the theme of money being spirited away by the corrupt in the country. Source said that the party was completely baffled by the decision and was planning to take up the issue. Eversince the black money issue has been raised in the G20, the congress honchos have been suffering nervous breakdown.It is no wonder, Naveen Chawla being a sycophant of congress, has objected to this.But the treatment for his nervous breakdown is, he has to sever ties with congress honchos.Is it too much to ask, Chawla?

The film on black money was one of the five 15-second spots that had been submitted to the EC for approval as campaign material to be launched by the party in the second phase of elections. As P Chidambaram has done U turn on Kandahar issue, the EC has done the same thing.Are you guys compaigning for congress under the garb of EC?Can you be more sane?

BJP has been raising the issue of repatriation of black money stacked away abroad in Swiss banks and other tax havens, at a time when an international consensus has emerged favouring disclosure of identity of those having secret accounts with Swiss banks and in tax havens, and for repatriating the money back to the countries hard hit by the economic slump. When other countries are looking out for ways to get their people’s money back, here in India, our EC is objecting to create awareness among masses.Sonia and Congress will be very happy to keep the people of India in perpetual poverty.

BJP’s campaign plank has attracted an angry response from Congress which has tried to mock the party by referring to the allegations of corruption against party leaders. Congress has accused the party of indulging in gimmickry, and said that bringing money back would not be possible except in specific cases where the request was backed by specific evidence. 

That has, however, not deterred the BJP, particularly L K Advani who on Friday substantiated his case by releasing documents. While BJP’s prime ministerial candidate led the campaign on black money repatriation, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi kept up the momentum by holding a opinion poll on the issue in every Lok Sabha constituency in the state last week. Has any other congress neta done this?Will Karunanidhi,Lalu,Mulayam,Mayawati,Arjun Singh dare to do this?

Advani has been speaking about the issue at each one of about 70 campaign rallies he has addressed so far, to ensure the issue does not die out. 

Meanwhile, the CPM on Saturday questioned Advani’s promise to bring back black money from foreign banks, charging the erstwhile NDA government with diluting relevant laws and making way for money being illegally transferred out of India to tax havens. Is CPM not aware that Congress has ruined (Misnomer:ruled) this country for 60 years and the most of the money was stashed away before the NDA period?Are you guys real communists?

April 13, 2009

‘Indian money in Swiss & other banks is over Rs 70 lakh crore’

Filed under: Corruption,India — thecandideye @ 5:04 PM
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You can access the same news here.

It is no secret that black money has been flowing out of the country into Swiss banks and other tax havens worldwide for years now. While there is no official estimate to quote yet, LK Advani, the prime ministerial candidate of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, recently said it might be in the range of Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 75,000 crore. R Vaidyanathan, professor of finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a regular columnist for DNA, feels the real figure is many times that number.
At around $1.4 trillion (over Rs 70 lakh crore), it is way over India’s gross domestic product of Rs 43 lakh crore for 2007-08, Vaidyanathan, who was on Tuesday named the head of a taskforce by Advani for preparing a strategic document to get back the national wealth, told DNA. Excerpts:

Which are the various tax havens where the ill-gotten wealth of Indian businessmen and politicians is stored?
There are presumably more than 70 tax havens in the world. Indian wealth could be more in Switzerland and various British/ US islands.

How much Indian money do you think would be locked away in Swiss banks? What is the basis for the estimate you make?
I make this estimate on the basis of a report titled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2002–2006, Global Financial Integrity,” written by Dev Kar and Devon-Cartwright Smith. It was a project sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the final report was released sometime back in December 2008.

Financial flows in the context of this report include proceeds from both illicit activities such as corruption (bribery and embezzlement of national wealth), criminal activity, and the proceeds of licit business that become illicit when transported across borders in contravention of applicable laws and regulatory frameworks (most commonly in order to evade payment of taxes).

In 2006, the most recent year of the Global Financial Integrity (GFI) study, developing countries lost an estimated $858.6 billion to $1.06 trillion in illicit financial outflows. Even at the lower end of the range of estimates, the volume of illicit financial flows coming out of developing countries increased at a compound rate of 18.2% over the five-year period analysed for the study.

How much of this was siphoned out of India?
On an average, for the five-year period of this study, Asia accounts for approximately 50% of overall illicit financial flows from all developing countries. This report shows that the average amount moved from India annually during 2002-06 is $27.3 billion. This means, during the five-year period, the amount taken away is $27.3 billion x 5 = $136.5 billion.

It is not that all these amounts went to Swiss banks; it has gone to different tax and secret shelters. The share of Swiss banks in this dirty money is a third of the global aggregate; some $45 billion out of the 136.5 billion stashed away from India would have been hoarded in these years in Swiss banks. This appears in page 30 of the report mentioned above.

The important point is that this is only for five years. More amounts were stashed away during the Nehruvian socialist regime. So the loot for 55 years would be several times the amount. In fact, in those days, the Indian rupee commanded a better value per US dollar, so fewer rupees could get a dollar. Hence the estimation that Indian money stashed away may be of the order of $1.4 trillion.

How did the money get out?
There are several methods/ reasons — under-invoicing/ over-invoicing of exports and imports and getting the balance stored abroad; kickbacks from major defence/ civilian contracts; in the olden days, smuggling of gold and illegal money; transactions done abroad and not reported here; hawala funds; funds earned by artists/ entertainment industry/ sports people and stashed away abroad, etc. When you want to indulge in adharma, hundred ways are open.

Do you feel international terrorist organisations use the tax-haven route to send across money to finance their nefarious activities?
Even our national security advisor, M K Narayanan, has spoken about it in Berlin.
You recently wrote, “Under pressure from federal authorities, Swiss bank UBS is closing the hidden offshore accounts of its well-heeled American clients, potentially allowing their secrets to spill into the open.”

Do you feel the government of India should also demand all the Indian black money in Swiss banks back?
Of course, India should and must act. We are not a banana republic.

How can the government go about doing this?
By putting it on the global agenda. Put it in G20. Put it in IMF. Put it in Egmont Group. Also take a lead among all developing countries. Support US/ German/ French efforts.

Do you feel Swiss authorities and other tax havens will cooperate with us on this issue if we take the initiative?
It is not our pressure but that of the US, which will make them cooperate. When a family is in deep financial crisis, it tries to look at the small amount saved under the sugar jar by grandma. In the same way, developed economies are desperate for every dollar.
Even if we do not act due to their efforts, the list of crooks may be out. Then, we will be in a dangerous social situation since the who’s who of India will be there. Instead, we should get the list and get the funds and decide on the steps to sterilise it and the punishment to be given out, etc. Otherwise the world will laugh at us. We will be worse than a Nigeria (Sani Abacha) or Phillipines (Markose).

Do you feel the government will do this, given that a lot of the black money belongs to politicians?
Public pressure will make them do it. Plus, the evolving global situation against tax havens also might act in our favour. The money belongs to the poor farmers and unorganised workers.

Do you see businessmen applying pressure on the government to thwart any attempt to get back this money?
The world situation is such that Indian businessmen will want to bring it back now, given the attractive returns in India. The entire proprietary notes route to invest in the stock market was conceived for that.

You wrote in one of your columns that the German foreign intelligence agency BND got the names of 1,400 clients of the Liechtenstein-based LTG Bank who were suspected tax evaders. Of the 1,400, only 600 were supposed to be Germans. Do you think the rest would include Indians? Has the Indian government approached the German government for the list?
Indian names will be there. Our tax evaders and crooks are like Maha Vishnu, present in all continents and all tax havens, in the sea, on the earth, in the air. But our government has been lukewarm in its response to this issue. It should have immediately dispatched senior officials and the finance minister to get the names.

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