WILL THE NEW YEAR BRING MISERY TO GOANS?

SACKED: Over 10,000 middle level managers were sacked in Infosys and engineers are no longer welcomed

BY RAJAN NARAYAN

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when even as Babu Azgaonkar was busy murdering young people at EDM festival Sunburn, the government of Goa’s loan exceeded `25,000 crore. For a Saturday following the week when the Modi government was preparing for the National Population Register which will start on April 1, 2020 but there is nothing foolish about it. For a Saturday following the week when the brief relief for car and two-wheeler drivers with road tax reduced to 50% has ended. For a Saturday following the week when we predict that New Year 2020 is going to be the worst year financially and in terms of threats to youth.

GOA LOAN `25,000CR

And a few stray thoughts on how the government has become bankrupt even while Sunburn has allegedly made 5,000 crores over their three-day electronic dance music festival. The government of Goa took a fresh loan of380 crore a week ago to pay salaries of government employees. The total loan taken by the government in the first nine months of the current financial year is 25,000 crore. The government has no income to pay even the interest on the loan it has taken. In the first place with the suspension of mining there is no royalty income from mining or any taxes or licenses. The Central government has refused Goa’s demand that a bill should be passed to give mines back to the rogues who cheated the government of35,000 crore according to the Shah Commission.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is willing to start a government mining corporation to solve the problem but this has been sabotaged by mine owners. The revenue from tourism has also dropped dramatically because of the closure of leading travel agency Thomas Cook which was responsible for the majority of the charter tourists. The only charter tourists who have come are some Russian charter tourists. Since the shacks came up late because of continuous rain in August and September and delay in preparing the coastal managing plan tourists were discouraged from coming.

IRELAND PM ANGRY

With the murder and rape of several female tourists including more recently a young woman tourist from Ireland Goa has acquired the reputation of being the rape capital of Inda. Hotel occupancy even on Christmas day was less than 50% at five-star hotels in Goa. They were further hit because the traditional guests of hotels and Panaji, gamblers, did not come because during peak season hotel rates go up to 50,000 per night. Similarly, an air ticket to Goa on an average costs 20,000 one way against the normal 2,500. The casinos have their big money business in the first half of December, leaving the second half to Sunburn. The off-shore casinos were welcomed by Sunburn because they use some of the artistes from Sunburn in their casino entertainment programs and also serve as a money laundry. There has been no income from GST because small traders find it impossible to fill and file GST returns. This is true not only of Goa but for the country as a whole as 80% of small traders and grocery shops have not filed GST forms. The collection at the center which has the monopoly has been less than 40%. According to the agreement with the center the State has to get 14% of the collections. With the center itself struggling to raise money and the economic growth down to 4% Goa got only 200 crore as against their share of `800 crore. May be it was the bankruptcy of the State which persuaded Pramod Sawant to grant Sunburn permission to have their EDM.

ROAD TAX REBATE OFF

THE government’s bankruptcy means that aam aadmi you and me will have to pay more. The 50% rebate in road tax which boosted the declining auto trade has been withdrawn. The government has now decided to impose the very heavy fines decided by the Center for traffic violations. You cannot any longer get away with paying 100 if you’re not wearing a helmet. Now the fine is1,000. If you are caught without seat belt in your car 5,000 the first time and10,000 the second time will be charged. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol the fine is straight away 10,000. The Center’s argument is that the largest number of road accidence in the world happen in India because of bad driving. Nobody refers to the sorry state of roads which make even the best driver reckless. In fact, every day those travelling from Panaji to Margao run the risk of being killed because of the construction of the Zuari bridge going on. Laadli Lakshmis will have to wait for their1 lakh cheque or the scheme may even be cancelled. No Aadhar for women under the Grah Adhaar scheme. Even pensions for seniors have not been paid for over three months.
Last year we got payments for two Entertainment Society of India advertisements, after one a one year waiting period. This time it may take two years unless the media decides to boycott government functions. All those who do not have septic tanks and dump sewage into their nearest water bodies like the St Inez nallah will be fined. Those who put up structures which violate the CRZ including hotels like Grand Hyatt and the dozens of hotels in Morjim and Colva are likely to be demolished. Including the hotel owned by former power minister and senior Congress leader Alex Sequiera. What will happen in practice is that all will bribe the BJP MLAs or even the CM himself and stop demolitions indefinitely. Be prepared to have your pockets picked more and more in 2020.

ANNUS HORRIBILIS

AND a few stray thoughts on 2020 being what Margaret Thatcher described as annus horribilis. Meaning a most horrible year for India and the world. The immediate threat to all Indians is the National Population Register (NPR) which will began on April Fool’s Day. But it is Home Minister Amit Shah who is making a fool of you by imposing the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the form of the NPR which is different from the census which comes from 2021.

UPA STARTED NPR

Admittedly as we have pointed out in our cover story this week, the NPR was started by Manmohan Singh. But in the UPA questionnaire there were only 15 questions. The Modi-Shah NRC has 21 questions. Manmohan Singh only wanted your date and place of birth. It did not ask for birth date of maa-baap. The Modi-Shah survey demands your Aadhar card which they claimed is voluntary. But they already have Aadhar data and 130 crore people of the 150 crore population of India have been giving Aadhar identity cards. The Modi sarkar has also demanded the date and place of birth of parents, mobile number, voter ID card, Pan card, driving license and passport number if you have a passport. With the NRC we will be naked.

stripped of privacy

The government will have all the information including how much money you have in your bank account, in any case the banks have lowered the interest on fixed deposits from 15% to 6%. It is not widely known that if a bank fails and is unable to return your money the insurance cover is only 1 lakh. So even if you have100 crore in the bank you will get only `1 lakh as in the case of the PMC bank which collapsed recently, where industrial groups had taken away the deposits of small shareholders.
The NPC will lead to more protests and strikes. It will lead to the death of more young people protesting against CAA and the NRC. It will frighten and harass Muslims who constitute 20 crore of India’s population of 150 crore. There is a risk for Muslims who cannot produce their birth certificate or parents’ birth certificate or residence proof. They will be deemed as Bangladesh citizens and sent to a detention camp for deportation to their country of origin. The worst affected will be the migrants who have fled Gujarat and UP and have come to Goa in huge numbers and who have no residential proof as they are staying in illegal structures built by greedy mundkar and bhatkar. But of course at a price you can get all the documents you will need.

nepali girl security

A Nepali who is at the security checking point in Caculo Mall managed to get an Aadhar card by paying `5,000. Similarly, you may get all the other certificates of proof you need to be considered Indian citizens. Tensions between not only Muslims and Hindus but between Christians and tribals and government will increase. In the CAA at least while Christians are included, Muslims cannot get refugee status of citizenship. All the Goans in London who may lose their jobs after BREXIT will have to give up their Portuguese passport if they want to return as Indian citizens. Even the prime minister of Ireland who is from Malvan in Maharashtra and Pramod Sawant who is from Kolhapur may not be spared. So be prepared for war against the Modi-Shah government during new year 2020.

PERSONAL NOTE

ON a personal note I do not think I will survive the new year. In fact I was discharged from Manipal Hospital on New Year’s eve. I cannot find a doctor who can cure me of my critical gastro-throat problem in Goa. I cannot afford `50 lakh demanded by doctors in Mumbai. I do not have the money to go to Sloane Kettering Institute in New York where Manohar Parrikar went several times at government public expense.
Nobody is going to keep me in private hospitals in Mumbai for six months like the government did in the case of Pandurang Madkaikar and Vishnu Wagh. Even the DDSSY has been cancelled as there is no money to pay the premium for the new scheme. And Manipal Hospital should be renamed as Lootmaar Hospital because it is the most expensive hospital in Goa.

MANIPAL CANCER LOOT

It makes most of its money at the cost of poor and middle class cancer patients. Oncologist Dr Shekar Salkar prescribes the most expensive cancer drugs which can cost up to 1 lakh a week. If you need a prolonged period of chemotherapy it will cause you as much as20 lakh. Compare this with the free treatment provided by Tata Cancer Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. Many families including that of former editor of Navprabha, Suresh Valve, leading writer Damodar Mauzo and legendary social activist Prasanti Talpankar among others, even complained to the late Parrikar about Dr Shekar Salkar’s extortionate charges.
He refused to intervene because he was the doctor who looked after his wife who died in her 30s of blood cancer. We hope that government cancer units are not sabotaged by Dr Shekar Salkar. Already the government has set up an OPD under Dr Anupama Borkar, wife of Dr Shirish Borkar who is a cardiac surgeon at GMC. But as far as I know they have not started chemotherapy or radiology units yet. The cancer facility is part of the super-specialty block under construction currently. But with the fund situation being what it is it will likely take 20 years to come up.
And one last warning for those who have no choice but to go to Manipal Hospital. Never go on Sunday or a holiday or even on a normal day to the hospital’s Emergency casualty. Even if you have a normal cold they will charge you minimum `10,000 extra.

ROBOTS TAKE OVER

AND a few stray thoughts on the alarming state of education in the country. The world is changing increasingly to new technologies in artificial intelligence and computer driven automation. So there are no jobs any longer for engineers as our engineering colleges have not adopted the new technologies of automation. Ten robots can run an automobile factory producing 2,000 cars a day. The IT companies who used to hire lakhs of engineers have stopped recruiting all together. In fact, they are sacking middle level managers at the rank of vice-president because they are not earning as much as they are being paid. Recently, Infosys sacked 10,000 managers at the middle level earning between `25 to 50 lakh per month.

BANK WATCHMAN SACKED

The OBC where we have our accounts have sacked the ex-army guard who used to stand with gun on display to guard any on toward incident happening in the bank. He has been replaced by CCTV surveillance camera and sensors system, which create more anxiety as they start screaming even if a bank clerk opened her tiffin box for heating on a stove in a corner of the bank. In Goa itself we have an example of factory Novartis now called Deccan Chemicals. Located at Santa Monica Church property, it used to employ 2,000 people. A Mumbai trade union leader instigated the well paid employees of the MNC to go on strike. The company chose to close down the company. They completely automated the factory with CNC machines, paid off the striking employees and cut their labor force to 100 from 2,000. With increasing digitalization thousands of people are losing their jobs in banks and jobs opportunities are coming down. Nobody wants graduates even from our MBAs and IITs. There will be no IIT coaching classes as IITs do not provide skills from the 5G world which will soon become 10G world. There will be no jobs for security personal or baby sitters as robots will take over those jobs. There will be no jobs for drivers with self-driven auto electric cars coming into the market.
So the new year 2020 marks the beginning of a new world which will need only 20% of the present work force. You won’t need dentists as dental technicians like my friends at Sai Dental have already adopted dental CT scans and 3D printing machines. If you have a broken tooth they can make a new one for you in 30 minutes and provide an entire denture set in two hours.

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