Somesh Arora: Pakistan’s terror tourism


Obama has finally caught Osama. And with that also ends Pak’s befooling of USA of almost a decade that no terrorist is operating from its territory. It appears a garrison town like an Indian SEZ is not considered by some law to be part of the territory of Pakistan.  The visitors are thronging Abbottabad. For those spending hundreds of pounds to see the replicas of dungeons in London, Pakistan in South Asia is an elaborate and cheaper option. Pak tourism can sure promote this new species of tourism (at least better than promoting terrorism). What with having three most sought after terrorists in its land. Abbottabad offering the visit to fountainhead of terrorism, Karachi to Dawood`s hideout of years and other cities being sanctuary to many others. A longer visit can also provide visit to Frontier areas, where one can do shopping of weapons like A.K. 47 at throwaway prices and target practice on real life targets. Where the Gabbar Singhs of the tribal area are unable to sleep at night out of the fear that some four year old trained by the Taliban may come and pull the trigger of A.K.-47 on them. If as a tourist you return alive, you can always become rich by writing travel memoirs and if not, you still save your family the funeral expense.


India’s medical tourism

Equally interesting is India`s bid to promote its medical tourism. Only the medical authorities need to be aware of the compensation packages they will have to grant in cases of medical negligence involving U.S.A or E.U. citizens. While Satyam/ PWC has shelled out huge compensation to US shareholders for the accounting fraud, even the shells of groundnuts are nowhere in sight for Indian Shareholders. So, kindly consider this. The Lady Doctors and their supporting staff in a Government Hospital in Kerala, just to have an extended Good Friday did cesarean on all the expecting mothers, about more than twenty, so that they are    not disturbed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the natural birth call of Mother Nature. The very fact that India`s maternity clinics and hospitals have a norm of 20 percent only, deliveries to be cesarean and that there was a need felt to fix such a norm indicates that not all is well with the medical care of India. While the mothers that were treated as guinea pigs may not get a hefty compensation, doing the same acts with the foreigners can put the hospitals under the hammer. God forbid the lady Doctors, if during their extended weekend they end up becoming expecting mothers and have to come for delivery in the same hospital.

-           Joining on a Good Muhurta: While the dateline fixed for implementation of transfer orders was still little away, about 80 percent of the order, by the directive ostensibly of the Top man in C.B.E.C, who was supposed to be on call with all the Chief Commissioners, got implemented on the day of Akshya Tritiya. No harm in going in for auspicious Muhurta in a country, where Political parties to PMs to CMs all like to join on a good Muhurta.  Here was not only a transfer order, but accidently or otherwise, pains were taken to choose a muhurta for its implementation. Only in a number of cases, where matters were heard the outgoing commissioners never got time to pass the 90 percent pro-revenue or 10 percent pro-assessee orders and same will be subjected to a re-hearing with almost the same result. All this should not come as a surprise as even the Kautilya`s Arthshastra indicates how the Custom posts should be located facing north  with collector`s facing east as the way to augment Ex-chequer`s revenue.  Further, In the times of sit-ins and hunger strikes, (Swami Ramdev being the latest announcing to do so  from 4th June), it is advisable to start the sit-in in some auspicious Muhurta too, so that one is finally able to stand up also with his demands met.

-           Budget and changing times: Why is budget of India mostly presented on 28th February continues to be a mystery to me? Varied reasons like agrarian nature of economy warranting budget to be passed close to April during British time or time taken by ships carrying Indian budget to travel by sea from London to India have been given, but the web search has not yielded much. The fact is that today 65% of the economic world follows calendar year as the fiscal year and it makes much sense for India also to shift to passing of the budget in October- November so that Business Enterprise do proper tax planning and take informed decisions while placing their import orders etc. in tune with majority of the trading nations. The only change which we have made since the Raj times is to shift Budget speech to around 11A.M., from earlier 5:00 P.M. Another change which is desirable is,   that since now most of the changes in legal texts, as happened in recent budgets like in Section 11A of the Central Excise Act or in Penal Provisions relating to Service tax are announced in Budget, and therefore the same can be debated in advance in public. Such changes require an air of secrecy can be no one`s case, as these do not pertain to fiscal policy or tariff. In fact before the budget even Point of Taxation Rules were placed in public domain. It is other matter that most of the debate took place only when people saw them in the budget.