“Already the budgetary subsidies amount to Rs150,000 crore. And quite frankly that is an unsustainable burden. Therefore, I would like all our countrymen to recognise that when international prices are rising, we have no control over international prices beyond a point,” prime minister Manmohan Singh said
New Delhi: Prime minister Manmohan Singh has said that any fresh subsidies for oil marketing companies (OMCs) to bring down fuel prices would only increase the government’s budgetary burden, which eventually could aggravate the inflationary pressures even further, reports PTI.
“If the (fuel) prices go up, we have to either raise domestic prices or absorb the increased cost in asking the oil marketing companies to subsidise other elements of the petroleum sector, or from the budget we give additional subsidies,” the prime minister said.
“.... further subsidies can only aggravate the budgetary problem, and if the budgetary problem gets aggravated, inflation will again raise its ugly head,” Mr Singh said during his interaction with journalists Saturday while returning from the SAARC summit in Maldives.
Mr Singh said that one of the reasons for inflation becoming a major problem that concerns “everybody is the rise in prices of fuel products.”
He said that 75% of the country’s total petroleum product requirements were imported and the government had no control over international prices beyond a point.
“Already the budgetary subsidies amount to Rs150,000 crore. And quite frankly that is an unsustainable burden.
“Therefore, I would like all our countrymen to recognise that when international prices are rising, we have no control over international prices beyond a point,” he said.
State-owned oil firms recently hiked the petrol price by Rs1.80 per litre, the fourth increase this year, largely because of rising international crude prices and fall in the rupee valuation.
This was the second petrol price increase since September, triggering strong protests and demands from some quarters for the government intervention through measures like subsidies for the oil companies.
Talking about the overall high-price scenario prevailing currently, Mr Singh said: “Inflation is a worrisome problem and I do not deny that, particularly with regard to food inflation.”
However, the problem was not so acute in foodgrain, whose prices have been relatively stable, he said.
“... but prices of eggs, prices of fish, prices of vegetables, prices of other tertiary goods in the agricultural sector are going up.
“There the demand is increasing at a rate which is much faster than the supply curve. And there are supply bottlenecks which have to be attended but which will take time,” he said.
Mr Singh, however, expressed confidence about remedial measures in due course of time, given the growing profitability of products like milk, fish and fruits.
“Some amount of inflation is a result of the fact that the economy today is growing at the rate of 7.5%-8% per annum.
“If the economy grows at the rate of 8% per annum, the per capita income would be increasing at the rate of about 6.5% per annum,” he noted.
Cool fusion nuclear energy has no fallouts or environmental pollution of any kind. It is one hundred per cent clean and is relatively very inexpensive and you could get it from seawater. As the energy demand is going up exponentially, we need to explore, study this technology on urgent basis
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” Patrick Henry.
Clean nuclear power, coming from a conventional nuclear fission reactor, is only a myth! Of course, in the limited sense of carbon footprints, it could be clean. If one were alive to the story of nuclear disasters-man made like Hiroshima and accidental ones like Chernobyl and Fukushima, one would shudder to think of nuclear energy as safe and clean. Hiroshima was millions of times more sinister than the 9/11 inhuman destruction in New York City. Chernobyl is still killing people even as far away as Scotland. An estimated 4000 to 40,000 have already met their maker as per the official statistics, exiting here through the cancer door. Many more must be incubating still. Fukushima was so big a disaster, which no one can size up so soon. A total of 6,00,000 pounds of plutonium and other wastes from nuclear sources are waiting to be disposed off all over the world. The owners do not even know where to dispose them off. As the half life of that stuff is around 750 years; many, many more future generations will have to suffer for our sins!
Second World War just got over in mid 1940s. American superiority was proved in Hiroshima. This gave birth to the dangerous Cold War and the consequent stockpiling of nuclear weapons for superiority both by USA and USSR. At one point in time at the Bay of Pigs, the world almost came to an end but for the statesmanship shown by both John Kennedy and Khrushchev. Others soon joined the race, including Mahatma Gandhi’s peace loving India; to begin with for self defense. In nuclear warfare there is no self defense. There is only total annihilation of mankind with widowed women and orphaned children on all sides irrespective of any protective clauses like No first strike clause etc. One could have understood if the first hydrogen bomb was dropped on the Japanese war mongering leaders instead of being dropped on the innocent men, women, and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Wars are born in the minds of men, cruel men at that. Universal compassion and brotherhood will only see this world through for all times. Wars do not bring peace; they bring misery and more destruction and hatred.
The infamous “Nuclear Energy for Peace” speech by President Eisenhower, like the devil quoting the scriptures, was a cover for their later “Star Wars” strategy of Ronal Regan. Trained as healers we can not even think of nuclear energy as clean and good. My former teacher at Harvard, Professor Bernard Lown, got his Nobel Peace Price for fighting against nuclear energy through his “Physicians against Nuclear War” outfit. The positive side of nuclear energy is that one could have very clean and safe nuclear energy through “cold fusion” or “cool fusion.” The efforts of well meaning scientists in this direction are opposed by the vested interests both in the expensive fission reactor manufacturers and their friends among the so called “powerful” scientists. Many such cool fusion scientists suffered untold harassment in the past. There seems to be a ray of hope for the future as the opposition to cool fusion is gradually dying down, thanks to recent human misery of nuclear disasters! In the near future, if vested interests do not block the efforts, one could expect to see every home having a safe table top nuclear fusion device, like a battery, delivering enough energy for all purposes. People are even hoping that the device will power all our gadgets, including motor vehicles in the not too distant future. The last International Cold Fusion Conference was held in Chennai this February 2011 organized by Dr. Mahadevan Srinivasan, former BARC scientist who had to leave BARC, thanks to his interest in cool fusion! The stigma of “cold fusion” is the field’s biggest problem, its leaders said at a press conference at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras during the Chennai meet referred to above. “Ultra-Low-Momentum Neutron-Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surfaces” was a paper by Lewis Larsen and Allan Widom. The duo also performed further work with a third researcher, Indian-born scientist Yogendra Srivastava, who now works in Italy. The trio recently published another peer-reviewed paper, this time in Pramana – Journal of Physics. Larsen told New Energy Times that LENR can “potentially represent an ideal new low-cost, carbon-free energy source for mankind.”
My interest in cool fusion is due to different reasons. In fact, I wrote the foreword for a book on the subject by a Russian scientist, Dr. Vladimir Vysotskii, published last year. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote years ago “in every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” This applies to this book- a work of genius-which brings back to us our rejected thoughts with certain majesty. A little neglect now might result in great loss. As Benjamin Franklin showed how for “want of a nail eventually the war was lost”! A new disease seems to have cropped up lately in this part. Almost every elderly person gets admitted in a confused state to the “intensive care units” seems to be suffering from hyponatraemia, a label rarely heard in the past, not that sodium levels were not checked then.
Going in search of a cause for this new enigma, I chanced on an earth shaking study by Dr. Louis Kervron, a biochemist from USA, who studied the physiology of hard working well diggers in the intensely hot deserts for days on end. They worked for well over ten hours in the hot sun at around 50 degree centigrade. They took about 4000 Calories per day and brought out nearly 4500 ml of sweat which could cool even a huge man almost to hypothermia. They ate so much salt as salt tablets and kept on chewing on it all through the day. Surprisingly, their urine did not have extra sodium but had huge amounts of potassium which they never took in excess, not even in normal amounts as they did not eat fruit at all. Kervron’s studies did show that the excess sodium not only kept the people healthy but got converted in the system into potassium to maintain health. This is biological transmutation, shown in the laboratory for the first time. This was not a new phenomenon. The human body as also animals could transmute one element to another easily. That is why we are alive for 9,000,000 years in 50,000th generations when so called molecule to molecule replacement of elements of modern medicine was not there. We were hunter gatherers and even when grievously hurt we could survive under tough conditions. This was proven by the marginally better outcome of grievous war injuries of Falklands compared to Vietnam Wars recently. Whereas Vietnam had a five star US hospital five minutes from the War theatre in Saigon, the poor British did not have any facility or friends in far off South America where injured soldiers were, at times, left on the snow for as long as 24-48 hours before being shifted to London nearly 14 hours by flight! Left to fend for themselves in snow (hypothermia reducing tissue oxygen demand) nature did the first aid which is lost when a patient is whisked away to ICUs these days within minutes of a major illness. They have very high mortality at the end of the day! Kervron was soon joined by two Japanese macrobiotics, Oshawa and Kushi, who had done lots of work in the area. They have established the presence of biological transmutation unequivocally. Lithium+ oxygen= Sodium. Sodium+oxygen= potassium. It is as simple as that. They were all called Alchemists. Similarly, atoms, instead of being blasted at very, very high temperatures and pressures (higher temperature compared to the core of the Sun!) to get a small amount of nuclear energy, it is now shown that one could get many times more energy by fusing such atoms at room temperature and normal pressure in a test tube in the laboratory-the prototype of a table top generator, so called cold fusion or cool fusion. Of course, the physics of it is much more complicated than what I have represented. I do not want to confuse the general readers about the house keeping details with lots of mathematical minutiae.
Further work in this area is our urgent need as energy demand is going up exponentially. Any of the alternate energy systems are not that clean anyway. Even the wind and solar energy related technology could poison the underground water table and our water ways to become counter productive. One other vital area of concern is that cool fusion nuclear energy has no nuclear fall outs or environmental pollution of any kind. It is one hundred per cent clean and is relatively very inexpensive and you could get it from (deuterium) sea water. Let me end this by quoting the verse Oorje from Rg Veda (10:91:7) which says, in essence, that all energy is hidden in water. “Water is the mother of Agni (fire) and water is also energy’s father.” If you churn water you will get all that you need. (Amrita). No body could teach anybody anything that is already not known!
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
Confucius (Chinese Philosopher) 551-479 B.C.
(Professor Dr BM Hegde was awarded a Padma Bhushan in 2010. Prof Dr Hegde has a string of degrees to his credit like MD, PhD, FRCP (Lond, Edin, Glasg, & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, Chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected])
For banks- both nationalised and private, you are just a number. Be ready to dump them and move on – if you can afford to
Often there's a valid question as to whether the banks- both nationalised and private -care about their customers. The answer is very simple; it cares to ensure that it makes money from you from all sides, in all transactions. What makes it easy for them is that they are faceless. A bank will contact, persist and pester you whenever it wishes but you can never contact it when you wish!
Do banks care if your spouse doesn’t have good credit? The answer is: Probably a ‘No’. If you are the lucky one who has good credit and you are applying for a “regular home loan” by yourself, everything is fine. Banks are not required to review your spouse credit. But, please don’t go out of your way to tell them the reason why you are applying alone.
A few instances we have faced with State Bank of India:
1. Core banking advantage goes only to the bank! Every time you update in a branch other than the parent one of State Bank of India, you pay Rs10.
2. To give life certificate for pensioners is a serious problem. The period has now become from the full month of November till recently to 15 days (Nov 1 to 15)! Holidays and strike could be from the 6th to the 10th now. And you have to go to the parent branch only for this purpose! In fact, we must sign in front of the manager of any branch in the country.
3. I have simply failed to make my spouse and vice versa to become a joint holder in our SB accounts with SBI, Ghatkopar (W). This is despite the GM, SBI asking them to act to help us 'under intimation’ to him.
4. The 'infamous Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme: Interest reduced. Also, levying a tax became a fact, though it was introduced tax-free. And, for instance, I found, when continuing a Certificate for Rs50, 000 last year, the principal becomes only Rs46, 000. The reason: A Tax Deduction of "The difference 4,000" for the year 2009. And no TDS was issued to me ever....! This is despite my submitting 15H regularly.
5. I am a Central Government Pensioner. My wife is a State Government Pensioner. Our pension accounts are presently maintained at the Ghatkopar (W) Branch. We are aged 75 and 71 and find it difficult, nowadays to go from Mulund to Ghatkopar for transactions regularly. Changing accounts is a nightmare.
6. To crown it all: My mail to "customer care" cannot be delivered.
7. To block damaged ATM Card, I took 10 days. And without this (giving the ticket) no ATM card will be issued. And I have to approach the parent branch, with this ticket number.
All the advantages of core banking are to the banks and not you. Service charges are going north, while services dwindle day by day.
Every time you contact the call centre with great difficulty, for some transaction or a grievance, you will encounter a different person, a Meena, Sonal, or Mala, … a Amit, Sumit, Abhinav, or Abhishek (I haven’t exhausted all the names!) They do not know you. You are always a stranger to the bank. You are a name at the best or an account number. You have no identity. You are a mere number or a mere name which can be borne by thousands. Every time they will plead ignorance and ask you the same question a hundred times and still you'd not know whether they have understood you. The fact is that they never understand you, nor do they intend to understand you. They offer you the service which they want to render and not the service which you want.
Do we really need a bank account with SBI? The answer is a simple ‘No’. But we have opened our pension accounts, with great hopes, with them decades ago! The RBI deputy governor may sermonize change your bank but some people have no choice.
In other cases, of course, the choice is yours. You can decide to continue to suffer, knowingly or unknowingly, or you can decide to close your account with this ‘customer unfriendly’ bank.