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Posts Tagged ‘AIG’


Cat Vs. Fish… or Cat Vs. Dog? by Sierra!
Being a business correspondent, the world of commerce and the ubiquitous global financial meltdown does occupy the larger part of my day. My day is all about “Sensex rallies by 781 points” or “Pirvate airlines want Rs 4,700 crore bailout,” “AIG shuts all non-insurance business in India.” It also is about flowers on the windowsill and our apartment stray cat.

My watchman, who is in-charge of watering the plants on my windowsill (Since lazy me, can’t be bothered to get up in the morning and do that) has an on-going feud with the cat. You see, our watchman doesn’t have any of his family members staying nearby so many-a-time our flat people give him a plate of whatever is going around. And the poor watchman has umpteen other things to do like getting the milk for other lazy flat inmates like me, getting their clothes ironed, getting their newspapers, getting their EB bills paid, getting their groceries and getting anything else they can think up. So, our sly apartment cat always hangs around and the minute someone leaves a plate of food for the watchman it has the first share.

The watchman doesn’t like our apartment stray cat as it has this very nice habit of raiding our dustbin and strewing the contents all over the place. The cat loves non-veg a lot so we try to dispose off the rubbish as soon as we cook fish or prawns. But if we delay just a little our living room looks and stinks like hell coz of cat raids.

The cat also doesn’t have too many friends in our flat because it wants to be our official taster; as in it wants to sample everything left open in the kitchen. My less-charitable neighbours of course prefer to call it a “thief” and “an unmitigated nuisance.”

To continue with the tale of the cat. It became might friendly with a sweet little brown tabby, as a result of which there are five motley-furred kittens running loose in our parking lot. The kittens are extremely vociferous and spend all their spare time harassing their parents. Unable to bear the din and the increase in population our tomcat left the neighbourhood. Neighbours breathed a sigh of relief only to find out that the tomcat’s progenies have taken up his duties quite seriously; one of which is serenading the neighbours with love songs or “caterwauling.”

Well, back to what cheers me. I can see flowers beaming up at me from the windows. The cheerful chrysanthemums keep me smiling as I do the housework.

So here’s to more flowers and more cats 🙂

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I oppose P. Chidambaram’s latest attempts at economic reform because

a) Its a misnomer. They should call it economic malforms. These reforms are pro-MNCs not pro-people or pro-Indian companies.

b) Its going to increase the FDI cap in insurance from 26% to 49%. All the private insurance companies in India are joint ventures between an Indian company and a foreign one. If the foreign companies’ stake increases, it translates to more power for them or neo-imperialism of the captialist kind. Of the 50 odd insurance companies in India, the majority are private insurance companies.

To give you a list of how much foreign influence is there in insurance at present, the list of joint ventures:

  • Bajaj Auto Ltd (Indian) + Allianz (Foreign)= Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co
  • Aditya Birla Group (Indian) + Sun Life Financial (Foreign) = Birla Sun Life Insurance Co
  • HDFC Bank (Indian) + Standard Life (Foreign) = HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co
  • HDFC Bank (Indian) + Ergo (Foreign) = HDFC Ergo General Insurance Co
  • ICICI (Indian) + Prudential (Foreign) = ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co
  • ICICI (Indian) + Lombard (Foreign) = ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co
  • Max India + New York Life (Foreign) = Max New York Life Insurance Co
  • Max India + BUPA (Foreign) = Max BUPA Health Insurance Co
  • Tata Group (Indian) + AIG (Foreign) = Tata AIG Life Insurance Co, Tata AIG General Insurance Co
  • Bharati (Indian) + AXA (Foreign) = Bharati AXA Life Insurance Co
  • Future (Indian) + Generali (Foreign) = Future Generali Life Insurance Co
  • IDBI (Indian) + Fortis (Foreign) = IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Co
  • Aegon (Indian) + Religare (Foreign) = Aegon Religare Life Insurance Co
  • IFFCO (Indian) + Tokio (Foreign) = IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co
  • Apollo Group (Indian) + DKV (Foreign) = Apollo DKV Health Insurance Co

I have noticed that the recommendations of the last FICCI or SICC meeting always get enacted as laws in the next Parliament or Assembly session. All these joint ventures have signed agreements with a clause that should the market open up, the foreign companies’ stake can increase to as much as 50 %. And going from 50 % to 75 % would be short journey for the next government in power.

In the latest, Max BUPA Board meeting on July 13, the company issued a statement that BUPA could increase its stake to 50% if the FDI cap was increased.

July 24, Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram announces that the government would carry out economic reforms without the interference of the Left. He proposes to increase the FDI ceiling limit to 49%.

I also oppose it because

c) of the Pension reforms. The government is planning to enact the PRFDA Bill. In lay man’s terms, it means the pension amount for government servants will go down.

d) I have a gut feeling its going to mean higher petrol and diesel prices. I wish the government would answer the question as to why petrol costs Rs 17 in Pakistan and Rs 56 in India? Apart from the arguments that Pakistan is a Muslim country and that India has more consumers, more cars, more people, I’d like to know why the difference is so high?

e) The last time P.C.’s boss, Mr Manmohan Singh opened up the market in 1993 with his economic reforms,

  1. we had the Controller of Capital Issues, which decided the prices and number of shares that firms could issue, abolished.
  2. We had tarrifs for companies reduced from 85 % to 25 %. (Why not reduce the tax for common people like that? No! They won’t! Instead they’ll introduce VAT, usher in MNCs in retail to wipe-out the livelihood of all small traders)
  3. We had FDI.

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