Category: Blogs

Why I think Demonetization was a terrible Idea

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I’ve never heard of the term “demonetization” ever in my life before, up until the night of November 8th, last year.

Nobody will ever forget that night. I was watching TV and it was all of a chaos, reading the news about the government withdrawing the legal tender of 500 and 1000 rupees notes. As any common man, all I did was panic. Thinking our government has gone completely crazy. To be fair, it was a bold move by the government, withdrawing majority of the cash back from the economy is not a joke. (By saying that I am nor supporting or against their actions)

Demonetization was a good idea, to curb all the black money and counterfeit notes. It would’ve worked accordingly if India was a small country with only a handful of people, which the authorities could control. (But then again, the question of black money wouldn’t have been raised..) But what went wrong is, the execution not only didn’t go as planned, but it also got backlash severely.

 

Why I think demonetization went terribly wrong..

First of all, I would like to categorize our PM’s effort into “Worthy Idea Executed Poorly” category. To be honest, our PM has way too many attempts like this, that went down to the gutter because of unsatisfactory executions. I will not try to get into those for now.

There were two departments which determined the success or failure of demonetization.

  1. The Reserve Bank of India, &
  2. The Income Tax Office of India.

To be frank, both of them were terribly prepared for it. I am not sure if it’s appropriate to blame them for not preparing well, since the plan of demonetization was only known to a handful of people before declaration in the upper ministry. If I’m not wrong, even the RBI & ITO officials came to know about it only as soon as we all did.

Role of RBI..

The Role of RBI and other Public & Private sector banks were critical. To re-monetize all the currencies which the legal tenders were cancelled. But not surprisingly, the banks were not a tiny bit of prepared for it.

Before demonetization, the Govt. did not advice the RBI to print more notes of 50’s & 100’s and circulate it. They did not even started printing the new 500s notes until demonetization was declared. (I will explain the justification given for that by the Govt later in this post)

Since the banks were not prepared, that was a quick backlash. The strongest failure of demonetization. In common man’s eye, they don’t care of the corruption and black money that were destroying the economy. They only cared about making their ends meet at the end of the day. But withdrawal of legal tender of old notes came out of blue and destroyed all their plans. Common man uses physical cash more since the transactions are of small price. What a normal household do where their salary is credited to bank is, they will withdraw all the money at once and spend it offline. Heck, most of the people get their salary or wages in hand, they don’t even have a bank account!

The truth is, common man who makes up majority of India’s population was not interested in the course of curbing black money for a price of giving up all the money they kept with them in cash.

To be fair, demonetization wasn’t even targeted on those common man, but unfortunately they were the ones who suffered the most..

The reason why the common man suffered & the targeted group was (kind of) benefited instead of suffering is becuase of our 2nd key department who had to work closely with demonetization. That is our;

2. The Income Tax Department of India

Their role was the most pivotal factor of the entire demonetization process.

In the eyes of common man, demonetization was only a process of exchanging old notes with new notes. But that was only a part of the process. There was a lot of other things underneath which were depending on that procedure.

The aim of our government was to bring back all the unaccounted money back into the economy. When demonetization was declared, those who held money in black, had no other option than depositing it into the bank or literally destroy them. Because since the night of Nov 8, 2016, all those currency has only the value of waste paper.

But just like RBI’s case, our Income Tax Department was also not prepared for it. They were already in tight schedules of assessing the “taxable” incomes which assesses (common man & companies) had already declared during the preceding assessment years. At that time it took almost 5 full months just for an Individual return to be processed. That shows the load on IT offices.

Now. I will try to explain the plan of our Govt roughly. It was like

a> People will deposit black money into the banks,

b> Banks will then intimate such huge deposists to the Income Tax officials.

c> The income tax offices will try and match such deposists with their incomes earlier declared.

d> Identify unaccounted money and take necessary actions.

To be honest, that was a splendid plan! But oh boy, that is way harder than it actually sounds. I’ll try to explain why. The above plan which the govt has aimed is very solid. But the decision of putting that task on the head of Income Tax Department was obviously a bad decision. ITO was already busy with what they were already doing. They were not prepared for it, because they were not advised about demonetization before. That was a failure in our govt’s side. They overestimated our Income Tax Offices’ capacity.

The above plan would’ve worked if demonetization was declared without immediate effect. What happened is, people all over the country who had white (legal money) as well as black money came together & deposited it into the bank all of a sudden. That was enormous amount of transaction which was practically not possible to be matched with the declared incomes all of a sudden for the ITOs. Such huge amount of transaction would require lots of calculations and reconciliation which was obviously not feasible for the Income Tax Department at that time.

Another failure was our govt underestimating our big bosses. Those who held black money had already found different ways to convert that money into white.

Demonetization was actually misused as an opportunity for those who held large sum of black money to covert it into white!

Because, Before demonetization, if someone try to deposit a large sum of money into a bank account, that would trigger the Income Tax wing accordingly. But then again, not many made those mistakes. With the help of other’s bank accounts, also known as benamies, they will launder their money into different bank accounts opened in the name of their close relatives/those who worked for them. But before demonetization, there was a possibility of the benami to get caught since a substantial deposit would trigger the Income Tax wings. Such uncertainty was actually removed by demonetization. Big bosses laundered their black money into different accounts of their benami and while government was busy chasing the big deposits which were most probably legal transactions, they considered small deposits as immaterial.

Because of demonetization, even common people who held legit savings had to deposit it into the bank. Which made the Income Tax Department almost impossible to trance the benami accounts from the legit transactions. Like I mentioned earlier, it was easier for the ITO to find benami before demonetization. But that probability was also washed away because of demonetization which led it to a massive failure.

Our Income Tax Departments have been trying to send notices to all those who had substantial amount deposited into the bank, but they are grounded when they realise those money were the results of “cash-in-hand” declared in their books of accounts of individuals & companies which came into the bank. While that time, the black money was already being laundered into different channels.

The Big B’s used benamies who were under the taxable threshold to deposit their black money claiming it’s their retained earnings. It was impossible for the ITO to question and verify that as well.

 

So,

How they could’ve made the entire process more efficient??

This is my personal suggestion & I could be very wrong.

From the light of the failure of our Govt’s attempt, we have learned a few things. In my opinion this is how they could’ve executed it.

Lack of transparency was the main dilemma here. The government made the decision highly confidential without even intimating those who had to work for it until they finally declared the same. Yes, I meant the RBI & ITO. If the Govt wanted those department to work closely, they should’ve at least told them to prepare for it. So, they banks could’ve acquired sufficient new currency to remonitize and the ITO could’ve made proper planning & deploy dedicated personnel to carry out the assessing and reconciliation works. But NO! The Govt thought if they were advised about it before, then the news would be spread like wildfire (which obviously will) and that would lead for the black money holders to launder the money. But seriously, what happened now? That attempt was not only a failure, but it also helped the targeted group.

To avoid the initial chaos, the govt could’ve declared the legal withdrawal on a future date instead of immediate effect. That would’ve reduced the initial rush to the banks and also the large deposits would only come slower which the ITO’s can closely monitor. The result would’ve been much better than the what actually happened.

The government had already given many windows to those who had black money to convert it into white money without any legal obligation by paying a hefty tax/penalty of 50% under the Income Disclosure Scheme. Not many people had used that opportunity to convert the cash into clean money. IDS helped the economy as well as the government by grabbing huge taxes. But our government was not satisfied with the response. They wanted our economy to be the cleanest.. /s. So, they declared the legendary demonetization. At least, that’s what I think. Demonetization was like a punishment for those who didn’t use the IDS window. But in reality it was like a blessing for them otherwise they would had to pay an enormous tax.

Since the response from the black money holder failed and when the government realized money has been laundered. Shamelessly our government even declared another IDS window in December to stop the money laundering and get tax. It was such a pathetic move by our government. It completely nullified our government’s aim of demonetization.

Well, there was one objective of demonetization which was a success, that was to eliminate the counterfeit notes. Obviously it was almost a success. (yeah, again, almost!) But that also got backlash when counterfeit of the new notes emerged quicker than ever in the market. Since not many people had seen the “new & different” currency, it was easier for them to circulate the new counterfeit into the market since it will not be identifiable or get caught with bare eyes.

There is still a chance for the government to make this operation a little better. They should appoint a separate wing for assessing, matching & reconcile the deposits. A department whose sole purpose is to do this work. If they take the initiative to work hard, then it would open the possibility to identify the black money out of benami accounts.

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With that said I’m concluding my rant and let’s celebrate the one year historical anniversary of the failure, “demonetization” !

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PhonePe (app) loot! How me and my friend managed to exploit their current “Cashback offer”

How me and my friend managed to exploit their current “Cashback offer”

PhonePe is a UPI app which now offers an exciting 50% cashback up to Rs. 150 for your first transaction through the app. And on top of that, they are also providing a Rs. 50 complimentary gift to the user when they invite someone and they join the app to make their first transaction.

So basically, they are offering a total of Rs. 200 for “free!”

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PhonePe is a UPI app, so we can easily transfer money to different account just like how PayTM works.

So my and my friend sat together. My friend first installed the app and invited me through the invite link which he generated and I installed & joined using the same. Now I just has to transfer Rs. 300 to my friend’s account to earn the Rs. 150 cashback. So I linked my bank account and transferred Rs. 300 to my friend and boom! My account is credited with Rs. 150 and my friend’s account got an additional Rs. 50 as well for making my first transaction. We both just has to draw the money from the PhonePe app to our respective bank accounts. Which is very easy and can be done within the app as well.

Rs. 200 for simply installing and window dressing a transaction!

I’m quite sure that PhonePe is well aware of this vulnerability but they just keep it open to promote their system. Hope they’ll success without much (cough) loss.

But as a gratitude, I’ve decided to ditch PayTM for a while and try to stick with PhonePe for making some of my usual transaction which I normally do with PayTM. So PhonePe, thank you for your Rs. 200 and Good luck!

Windows 98 = Flashback

I‘ve been sticking to Windows 7 for more than 4 years now, and it’s a really good operating system compared to other prior versions of Windows. The First OS that I’ve used was Windows 98 (as far I can recall or maybe Win95 :s) when I was in 3rd grade. My dad was abroad when I was little so I got a early computer and even a  even a Ymail account for e-mailing with my dad when I was 7!! I still remember that the Internet Charges were higher than our Monthly Power charges! So usage was pretty limited..

So I started tweaking my Machine for killing time, i.e Windows! I had very high-end games like Mario, RoadRash, Tomb Raider, etc 😛 and I had all my neighbors and friends at my home all the time playing those games. I learned all the basics and even tricks from that computer. That was the time when I was falling in love with Computers.. 😉 I’ve used Windows 98 till my first computer got destroyed! I don’t remember what happened but it was history when I reached like 7th grade.

Then I didn’t had a PC for like a year or something, and my second computer came up with Windows XP pre-installed.

 

Windows XP was actually my Childhood! I do almost everything I used to do when I had WinXP. I used WinXP on my main computer till 2010. And continued using on different computers (dads laptop, schools, cafes etc) for another two-three years, maybe.. I almost forgot how Win98 was like.. And suddenly yesterday I just randomly went to the Windows 7 settings and selected “Windows Classic” theme.. bhooyaa! My Life just went back to the 2000’s! Which really gave me the inspiration to write this blog 😉

win98

 

I just don’t know how to put them into words, but I just feel happy. 😉

 P.S: RIP #WinXP 😦 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/end-of-support.aspx

I have to say the WinClassic theme not only gave me memories to me, it also gave some memory to the CPU! ie. Windows is “kinda” running smoother now!

 

You can also try out the Windows Classic theme on your Windows 7

In Control Panel → Appearance and Personalization → Personalization → Basic Themes → Windows Classic.

 

I’m pretty sure it’ll take you back to your 2000’s! 🙂

Facebook pages shows (fake) likes of Deceased people

I was roaming around in my Facebook feed and suddenly I noticed something unusual.

My old Facebook friend “Thilaga Vathi” (https://www.facebook.com/thilagabindiya) who was deceased in a Fire accident (click here for the news) occurred in her rented house killing 4 people in the late 2012, re-appeared on my Facebook feed in late 2013 by liking the official facebook page of ‘Jai Ho’ movie! (https://www.facebook.com/JaiHoOnline). I was really surprised to see she “liked” the page which was created in November 17, 2013.

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I wasn’t sure if someone else were using her account, so I asked her best friends (whom I know) and some random friends in her friend’s list. All of them said they don’t think no one else is using her profile and this could either be a bug or a merged page.

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‘Jai Ho’ is a remake of the movie Tollywood movie Stalin. Sohail Khan, the director of the film announced his intention to remake the movie in late 2012 in the name of “Mental”. The title was only renamed to ‘Jai Ho’ in mid-2013. So to Obviously even if Thilaga have liked the page Mental, it can’t be migrated to the page Jai Ho (Facebook only allows to migrate pages of the same name).

So my best guess is that my friend had NOT liked the ‘Jai Ho’ page or any page which were possible be migrated. So how did this happen?

Facebook seems to remove Fake likes from many pages but incidents like this shows there’s still flaws in their system or Facebook itself is promoting pages with fake likes from in-active accounts.

Incidents like this is actually hurtful for victim’s loved ones. 😦

Aalia Bhatt = Beauty Without Brain

I‘m sure, everyone who has watched the show Koffee With Karan : Season 4 with Alia Bhatt, Varun and Siddharth, have changed their perspective about Aalia Bhatt. Aalia became so popular from her very first movie “Student of the Year”.  

Check out this video of Karan Johar testing the really “IQ” of “Students of the Year”

 I felt Siddharth Malhotra was the only real person sitting there. Other two are like the fools who sold their brains on OLX. And also Varun’s fake accent. -_- No wonder he and Alia get along well with each other.

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I don’t know why, but I don’t feel Aalia know how to act “very well” like others in the Bhatt Family, she sometimes feels so unnatural.. And her attitude also plays negative role in my perspective. She thinks she has dimples so people will think she’s so cute and pretty but that is so fake and dumb! She even has a degree in IBDP. Even a 2nd Grader would’ve answered such an easy question.

 

This pictures speaks a lot:

alia vs rahul

Google Street View to Ernakulam?!

Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world. It’s the best way to explore a city/place in detail.

Google SV was introduced in Mid of 2008 which was a revolutionary move by Google. Basically what they do is drive a Street View Car which have lasers, cameras and GPS built-in. It travels through the city and places and captures “panoramic” images which are then made to a 360-degree view Street View.

Google Street View is not so popular in India, but yet we have major and historical places like Taj Mahal etc.

The latest fire is that Street View to coming to #Kochi!

Street View
The blue overlay shows where Street View imagery is available.

It was spotted in the “Behind The Scenes” page of Street View that Ernakulam is also shown in the map of “Where is Street View?”. Kochi is said to be the Next Bangalore in India and it’s true. On a high-level zoom we can see it’s overlaid on Pallimukku. There is no official reports or anything about this yet. Hopefully it will happen soon. When street view hits this city it’ll give a new face to Kochi.

How Dogs React to Magic:

We all love Dogs, don’t we?

Dogs are very well known for their Intelligence.. They are able to read and react appropriately to human body language. Here’s how Dogs react to Magic:

 

 

Dogs just can’t handle the magic!!! They are so trusting and they don’t understand they are being deceived!!!

 

Part 1: (with Caption)