Economy & Nation Exclusive
Indian political parties have become ‘feudal’: Ousted rail minister

Party members are scared that if they say something against the leader or the decision taken by the chief, they would not get the election ticket next time, said former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi

Washington:  Removed unceremoniously as India's Union railway minister at the behest of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, party MP Dinesh Trivedi Thursday said that most of the political parties in India, particularly the regional ones, have become 'feudal' where decisions are taken at the whims and fancies of their leaders, reports PTI.

 "Sycophancy or 'chamchagiri' is not serving any leader," Mr Trivedi, who is here as part of a Parliamentary delegation, told PTI.

 "... slowly, slowly for the last few years a very dangerous trend has come in where most of the political parties have become feudal. There are no internal democracies at all, issues are not debated, issues are not discussed.

"Whatever the head of the party? I am not talking about one political party, I am speaking in general that it is carried on, there is never a debate about it," he said.

In such a situation, he argued party members are scared that if they say something against the leader or the decision taken by the chief, they would not get the election ticket next time.

 "At the end of the day for me, country comes first, then comes the family and then comes the party," he said, making it clear that he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as a spokesperson of Trinamool Congress.




4 years ago

In India, self-realisation comes to ex-civil servants after their retirement and after all their chances of securing post-retirement resettlements are exhausted. For politicians, they become "realised souls" (temporarily, of course, until rehabilitated in some other party in power-sharing arrangement)ater they are ousted from power/minitership. This being the reality, it would sppear strange that the ex-Rail Minister has taken so many years in power business to understand the feudal character og the "parties" in India, though most of these so-called "parties" are indeed "pressure groups" formed by certain individuals. But, the the fact of the matter is that the character of all parties in India, of all hues and colours, have traditionally been feudal in basic nature. Not now, but ever since the Idian polity in its present "avatar" has surfaced, since the colonial days.

USDA pegs global coffee output at record 148 million bags in FY13

World coffee production is estimated at 138 million bags in 2011-12 coffee year (October- September), while that for 2012-13 is forecast at a record 148 million bags

New Delhi: Global coffee production is expected to rise by 7% to record 148 million bags in 2012-13 coffee year, beginning October 2012, reports PTI quoting the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) latest report.

World production of the brew is estimated at 138 million bags (of 60 kg each) in 2011-12 coffee year (October- September).

"World coffee production for 2012-13 is forecast at a record 148 million bags, up 10 million bags from the previous year," USDA said.

Half the gain is attributed to Brazil's Arabica crop entering the on-year of the biennial production cycle, while record Robusta harvests in Brazil and Vietnam are also expected to contribute to the growth, it added.

According to the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), the production prospects for 2012-13 crop year are considered to be good with significant production increases expected in Brazil in accordance with the biennial cycle for Arabica.

USDA has pegged production in Brazil at a record 55.9 million bags, up 6.7 million primarily to the Arabica trees entering the on-year of the biennial production cycle.

Vietnam's production is expected at a record 22.4 million bags, based on a combination of favorable growing conditions and an increase in fruit-bearing area, while, the output in Colombia is forecasted at 7.5 million bags, it added.

Coffee production in India is pegged at 5.1 million bags and in Indonesia it is forecasted at 9.7 million bags, USDA said.

In the other major growing areas, production in Central America is expected at 14 million bags and in Sub-Saharan Africa it is pegged to rise by nearly 1 million bags to 17.2 million, with half the gains attributed to Cote d'Ivoire and Ethiopia, it added.


Top bureaucrats take stock of economic situation

The prime minister has called for reversing the climate of pessimism and regeneration of “animal spirit” in the economy

New Delhi: The day after Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh called for reversing the mood of pessimism, top bureaucrats on Thursday took stock of the economic situation with secretaries of various ministries to firm steps for arresting the slowdown in growth, reports PTI.

"Cabinet secretary (Ajit Seth) took meeting of secretaries of economic ministries. We took stock of the current economic situation," a senior official said, after the meeting.

Among others, the meeting was attended by finance secretary RS Gujral, economic affairs secretary R Gopalan, commerce secretary SR Rao, industry secretary Saurabh Chandra and power secretary P Uma Shankar.

The meeting of top bureaucrats comes a day after the prime minister, who assumed charge of the finance ministry after Pranab Mukherjee quit to contest for the presidential election, has called for reversing the climate of pessimism and regeneration of "animal spirit" in the economy.

India's economic growth during 2011-12 slipped to nine-year low of 6.5% and the current fiscal it is not expected to do much better. The domestic currency too has depreciated sharply in the recent weeks going below Rs57 to a dollar.

The PM on Wednesday held meetings with key economic advisors including PMEAC chairman C Rangarajan, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu.


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