8th Anniversary cum Special Solidarity Meet
"Our attitude has to undergo a sea of change..."
The year 2008 will go down in history as one of the dreadful years of business and mankind, the world over, coupled with one of the worst ever heinous acts of terror in Mumbai on 26th November.
The rapid decline of crude oil (from 150 $ positions to current 42 $ levels) alongwith almost vertical downward slide in prices of various chemicals and commodities have sent shivers down the spine, much before winter set in! The concurrent blow came in the folding up of leading financial institutions and FIIs claiming virtual solvency!
The stock markets, property / estates, financial institutions, Forex etc. have been dithering in an acute state of uncertainty and have been leaning alarmingly towards bearish trends, waiting for a probable divine intervention for their resurrection!
Amidst all this mayhem and despite the events on 26 / 11, Indian economy has been able to put up a brave front. Undoubtedly, the effects of global recession and folding up of financial institutions have had an impact on Indian businesses too, but I think there has been undue panic.
One fears that there will be many industrial houses and businesses which will take umbrage under this economic crisis and they will unethically administer demonic COST CUTTING measures, with utter disdain, 'making hay while the sun shines’ although the sun is not shining !
Jobs will be snatched from unsuspecting employees; vendors and service providers will be stripped to virtual nudity and ethics and morals will be gone with the wind. The after- effects of the mindless and unethical acts from some business houses will be much graver than the effects of 26/11. There is a fear that Revenue Departments viz. Customs, Excise, Service Tax and Income Tax and others will be unduly strict and unleash their acts of terror, forcing hapless victims to cough up more !
The need of the hour is to work out the best formula, that is healthy for everybody's survival. Our members need to get together more often and strengthen the hands of our Association, taking up good causes and ensuring proper systems in place for carrying out our exim trade. I firmly believe that it is only prudent to be together in times of adversity. It is time we start thinking and envisioning things in a different perspective for betterment of our trade and for the people. It is time we exercised our rights for demanding better governance, knowledgeable and pro-active officers to attend our exim trade and to get qualified and uncorrupted set-up. It is time to deviate from the mundane and routine demands of expeditious assessments and minor sops. We have to lift our levels and our demands to more logical and healthier heights.
Remember what Mahatma Gandhi had said, “Customer is the KING !” Whom he referred to as the customer was the TAX PAYER ! But, in today’s reality, who is the KING ? Well, you know the answer and Customer is at the mercy of lawmakers and rulers ! This has to CHANGE !
The revenue departments MUST have frequent interactions with Trade Associations, to ascertain prevailing market trends and norms. Every commodity and every product has its own pattern of pricing and trading norms. It is imperative for the assessing officers of the revenue department have basic knowledge of the fundamentals of such different commodities and products.
Many a time valuation issues have no basis and are administered at will, defying logic ! We still blindly follow many antiquated and out-dated procedures and rules, which by no stretch of imagination can ever be effective in the present scenario.
Attitudes have to undergo a sea of change. Well, do not wait for others to initiate the change you desire. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Once you do it, your life will change. This fact Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa knew so well. And, once you initiate the desired changes, the world will be a better place to live in. Stop complaining and START LIVING!
The economy is in turmoil.
Commodity markets were on the boil -
A bubble formed and then it burst.
Economies worldwide seem cursed.
In India the effects have been less
But still we are in quite a mess.
Exports have been badly hit.
On high price inventories we sit.
And customers refuse to buy
Because our pries are too high.
Replacement costs are now quite low
But the material in our store
Was bought at peak, some months before.
And sometimes even what is sold
is not accepted we are told.
There seems to be no hesitation
Before delays and cancelation.
A contract should be sacrosanct
But nothing’s sure till it’s banked.
And even then one must hurry
The banks themselves are a worry -
Bear Stearns and Lehman disappeared.
And other failures are much feared.
It looked like Citibank would sink
But it was saved right at the brink.
And now with economic woes
We also face terrorist foes.
Bombay which is never fazed
Today appears to be quite dazed.
As grenades and guns tried to destroy
Our Icons Taj and Oberoi.
But I’m sure we will prevail.
Terrorists are bound to fail.
If all of us choose to unite
We can give them a fright.
Yes, things don’t seem to be quite right
And chemicals are in a plight.
But edible oils did not fare better.
Few buyers stuck to the letter.
And some of them chose to default
And many sellers have now called.
On our government to ensure
Those buyers strictly follow law.
The world is now in deep recession
And what we need is an intercession.
From governments to restore
The economy to its state before.
Excise duty has been reduced
And it can safely be deduced.
The Sales Tax now should also fall
And Octroi should not be there at all
On raw materials processed here.
Or else there is cause for fear.
That Industry will disappear
And relocate far from here
Where excise duty has been waived
And Income Tax can be saved.
We need our taxes to be less
And as for APMC cess,
This is something that must go
If we want some goods to flow.
There is pain in every sector
And so we urge each tax collector -
Income, Service, Customs and Excise
This is the time to be nice.
Collections are bound to be slow
As prices fall and profits go.
There are targets as we know
But to your bosses you should go.
And quietly explain
There is much economic pain.
If we are to be surrounded
By tax collectors and we’re hounded,
No matter how hard we do try
Surviving businesses will slowly die.
All companies must now cut cost
But there’s one thing that we ought to
Concentrate on - Innovation.
And that will help to save the nation.
And don’t forget our fellow riders,
The all-important service providers.
Some of your pain they will share
But all the same try and be fair.
And all of you I beg you, please
Don’t overdo cutting fees !
This is something I could not miss
As Jayant will be pleased with this !
We all depend on one another
Think of yourself and your brother !
Let us all now introspect
Treat each other with respect,
Work through these times as a team.
Things won’t be as bad as they seem.
AILBIEA is there to coordinate.
Their contribution has been great.
And now I would like to salute
Jayant, who’s been most astute.
In good times he showed us the way
And now I am sure he will play.
An even more important role
In helping us achieve our goal.
For some time the economy was wheezing
But now with monetary easing
And bouts of fiscal stimulus
It is entirely up to us
Not to give in to despair
But to step out and boldly dare.
In these tough times as they ought
The authorities will give us support.
If all our actions are quite sound
We surely can turn things around.
We must accept 2008
As a year was not great
But we all hope things will be fine
In the year 2009.