The Lok Sabha passed the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of New Tax) Bill, 2015 or the foreign black money Bill, yesterday. The ministry of finance 2012 white paper on black money defines black money as: “any income on which the taxes imposed by government or public authorities have not been paid.” The wealth that has been accumulated in this way “may consist of income generated from legitimate activities or activities which are illegitimate per se, like smuggling, illicit trade in banned substances, counterfeit currency, arms trafficking, terrorism, and corruption,” the white paper goes on to suggest. Of course this wealth that has been accumulated through tax evasion has “neither been reported to the public authorities at the time of their generation nor disclosed at any point of time during their possession.” Some portion of this black money over the years has managed to escape the Indian shores and has been invested abroad. An estimate made by Washington-based research and advocacy group Global Financial Integrity in a report titled Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2003-2012, suggests that around $439.6 billion of black money left the Indian shores, between 2003 and 2012. Through the foreign black money Bill the government is attempting to get this money back. Also, given the penal provisions of the Bill, an attempt is being made to ensure that in the days to come, citizens pay tax on their income, instead of accumulating it as black money and then transferring it abroad. As the finance minister Arun Jaitley put it yesterday: “All those who keep money outside — time is running out for them as the world is moving to an automatic information exchange and soon, when that is available, they will be penalised for their action.” And what are these penalties like? The Bill states that undisclosed foreign income as well as assets will be taxed at the rate of 30%, without allowing for any exemptions or deductions which are allowed under the Income-Tax Act, 1961. This will be accompanied by a penalty equal to three times the amount of tax. Hence, the tax and penalty on undisclosed overseas income as well as assets can amount to as much as 120% (30% + 90%). Further, the amount of tax to be paid on foreign assets will be computed on the basis of its current market price and not the price at which it was bought. Nevertheless, there is a way out of this. After the Bill becomes an Act, the government will offer a short compliance window, which will allow those with undisclosed foreign assets and income to declare them, pay a tax of 30% and a penalty of 30%. The Bill also has a provision which allows the government to charge a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for the inaccurate disclosure of foreign assets, along with a rigorous imprisonment of six months to seven years, the first time around. Second and subsequent offences are punishable with fines of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore and a rigorous imprisonment three to 10 years. On the face of it, the Bill seems like an honest attempt to crack down on black money that has already left the country and that might leave the country in the days to come. But there are several questions that crop up here. Why is a short compliance window being offered? It makes the taxpayers who have been honestly declaring their foreign income as well as assets till date, look a tad stupid. Just because someone is willing to pay a fine of 30% and declare his foreign assets, does that make his less guilty? Or is this another tax amnesty scheme in disguise being offered by the government? Further, why is there a distinction being made between domestic and foreign black money? The definition of black money in the ministry of finance white paper does not make any distinction between black money in the country and black money that has left the shores. Ultimately, almost all black money originates in the country, when people earn an income and do not pay a tax on it. So why is this artificial distinction being made? Why couldn’t the government have come up with a law which covered both domestic as well as foreign black money? Its now been in office for close to one year. The answer perhaps lies in the way political funding works in this country. An analysis carried out by the National Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms reveals that during the period 2004-2005 and 2011-12, the total income of the national political parties was Rs. 4,899.46 crores. The Congress party declared the highest income of Rs 2,365.02 crores. It was followed by the Bhartiya Janata Party which declared an income of Rs 1,304.22 crores. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, there were two Lok Sabha elections(in 2004 and 2009) and multiple state assembly elections. It doesn’t take rocket science to come to the conclusion that the amount of donations declared by the political parties were clearly not enough to fight so many elections. Within 90 days of completion of the General Elections, political parties are required to submit their election expenditure to the Election Commission of India. The National Election Watch and Association of Democratic Reforms has analysed this expenditure for the last Lok Sabha election and it makes for a very interesting reading. This expenditure statement contains the “details of the total amount received as funds in the form of cash, cheques and demand drafts and the total amount spent under various heads.” The total amount of funds collected by national political parties for the 2014 Lok Sabha election was at Rs 1158.59 crores. This was 35.5% higher than the funds collected for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The total declared expenditure of the national political parties was Rs 1308.75 crore, up by 49.4% from 2009. Now compare this to an estimate made by the Centre for Media Studies in March 2014. It estimated that around Rs 30,000 crore would be spent during the 16th Lok Sabha elections which happened in April and May 2014. Of this amount, the government would spend around Rs 7,000-8,000 crore to conduct the elections. The remaining amount of around Rs 22,000-23,000 crore would be spent by the candidates fighting the elections. Of course, national political parties are not the only parties fighting elections. Nevertheless, the difference between the officially declared expenditure and the ‘real’ expenditure to fight elections, is huge. Where does this money come from? The domestic black money essentially finances political parties and in the process elections in India. And given this, no government(and political party) can really go after it. Meanwhile, they will keep talking about foreign black money.
Moral of the story—You don’t kill the goose that lays golden eggs.
(Vivek Kaul is the author of the Easy Money trilogy. He tweets @kaul_vivek)
Vivek Kaul Historians often ask counterfactual questions to figure out how history could have evolved differently. Ramachandra Guha asks and answers one such question in an essay titled A Short History of Congress Chamchagiri, which is a part of the book Patriots and Partisans. In this essay Guha briefly discusses what would have happened if Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime minister of India, had lived a little longer. Shastri died on January 11, 1966, after serving as the prime minister for a little over 19 months. The political future of India would have evolved very differently had Shashtri lived longer, feels Guha. As he writes “Had Shastri lived, Indira Gandhi may or may not have migrated to London. But even had she stayed in India, it is highly unlikely that she would have become prime minister. And it is certain that her son would have never have occupied or aspired to that office…Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi would almost certainly still be alive, and in private life. The former would be a (failed) entrepreneur, the latter a recently retired airline pilot with a passion for photography. Finally, had Shastri lived longer, Sonia Gandhi would still be a devoted and loving housewife, and Rahul Gandhi perhaps a middle-level manager in a private sector company.” But that as we know was not to be. Last night, the Lok Sabha, worked overtime to pass Sonia Gandhi’s passion project, the Food Security Bill. India as a nation has made big mistakes on the economic and the financial front in the nearly 66 years that it has been independent, but the passage of the Food Security Bill, might turn out to be our biggest mistake till date. The Food Security Bill guarantees 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per individual at a fixed price of Rs 3, 2, 1, respectively, to nearly 67% of the population. The government estimates suggest that food security will cost Rs 1,24,723 crore per year. But that is just one estimate. Andy Mukherjee, a columnist with Reuters, puts the cost at around $25 billion. The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices(CACP) of the Ministry of Agriculture in a research paper titled National Food Security Bill – Challenges and Optionsputs the cost of the food security scheme over a three year period at Rs 6,82,163 crore. During the first year the cost to the government has been estimated at Rs 2,41,263 crore. Economist Surjit Bhalla in a column in The Indian Express put the cost of the bill at Rs 3,14,000 crore or around 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Ashok Kotwal, Milind Murugkar and Bharat Ramaswamichallenge Bhalla’s calculation in a column in The Financial Express and write “the food subsidy bill should…come to around 1.35% of GDP, which is still way less than the numbers he(i.e. Bhalla) put out.” The trouble here is that by expressing the cost of food security in terms of percentage of GDP, we do not understand the seriousness of the situation that we are getting into. In order to properly understand the situation we need to express the cost of food security as a percentage of the total receipts(less borrowings) of the government. The receipts of the government for the year 2013-2014 are projected at Rs 11,22,799 crore. The government’s estimated cost of food security comes at 11.10%(Rs 1,24,723 expressed as a % of Rs 11,22,799 crore) of the total receipts. The CACP’s estimated cost of food security comes at 21.5%(Rs 2,41,623 crore expressed as a % of Rs 11,22,799 crore) of the total receipts. Bhalla’s cost of food security comes at around 28% of the total receipts (Rs 3,14,000 crore expressed as a % of Rs 11,22,799 crore). Once we express the cost of food security as a percentage of the total estimated receipts of the government, during the current financial year, we see how huge the cost of food security really is. This is something that doesn’t come out when the cost of food security is expressed as a percentage of GDP. In this case the estimated cost is in the range of 1-3% of GDP. But the government does not have the entire GDP to spend. It can only spend what it earns. The interesting thing is that the cost of food security expressed as a percentage of total receipts of the government is likely to be even higher. This is primarily because the government’s collection of taxes has been slower than expected this year. The Controller General of Accounts has put out numbers to show precisely this. For the first three months of the financial year (i.e. the period between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013) only 11.1% of the total expected revenue receipts (the total tax and non tax revenue) for the year have been collected. When it comes to capital receipts(which does not include government borrowings) only 3.3% of the total expected amount for the year have been collected. What this means is that the government during the first three months of the financial year has not been able to collect as much money as it had expected to. This means that the cost of food security will form a higher proportion of the total government receipts than the numbers currently tell us. And that is just one problem. It is also worth remembering that the government estimate of the cost of food security at Rs 1,24,723 crore is very optimistic. The CACP points out that this estimate does not take into account “additional expenditure (that) is needed for the envisaged administrative set up, scaling up of operations, enhancement of production, investments for storage, movement, processing and market infrastructure etc.” Food security will also mean a higher expenditure for the government in the days to come. A higher expenditure will mean a higher fiscal deficit. Fiscal deficit is defined as the difference between what a government earns and what it spends. The question is how will this higher expenditure be financed? Given that the economy is in a breakdown mode, higher taxes are not the answer. The government will have to finance food security through higher borrowing. Higher government borrowing by the government as this writer has often explained in the past crowds out private borrowing. The private sector (be it banks or companies) in order to compete with the government for savings will have to offer higher interest rates. This means that the era of high interest rates will continue, which will not be good for economic growth. Also, it is important to remember that the food security scheme is an open ended scheme. As Nitin Pai, Director of The Takshashila Institution, writes in a column “The scheme is open-ended: there’s no expiry date, no sunset clause. It covers around two-thirds of the population—even those who are not really needy. This means that the outlays will have to increase as the population grows.” This might also lead to the government printing money to finance the scheme. It was and remains easy for the government to obtain money by printing it rather than taxing its citizens. F P Powers aptly put it when he said that money printing would always be “the first device thought of by a finance minister when a large quantity of money has to be raised at once”. History is full of such examples. Money printing will lead to higher inflation. Prices will rise due to other reasons as well. Every year, the government declares a minimum support price (MSP) on rice and wheat. At this price, it buys grains from farmers. This grain is then distributed to those entitled to it under the various programmes of the government. The grain to be distributed under the food security programme will also be procured in a similar way. But this may have other unintended consequences which the government is not taking into account. As the CACP points out “Assured procurement gives an incentive for farmers to produce cereals rather than diversify the production-basket…Vegetable production too may be affected – pushing food inflation further.” And this will hit the very people food security is expected to benefit. A discussion paper titled Taming Food Inflation in India released by CACP in April 2013 points out the same. “Food inflation in India has been a major challenge to policy makers, more so during recent years when it has averaged 10% during 2008-09 to December 2012. Given that an average household in India still spends almost half of its expenditure on food, and poor around 60 percent (NSSO, 2011), and that poor cannot easily hedge against inflation, high food inflation inflicts a strong ‘hidden tax’ on the poor…In the last five years, post 2008, food inflation contributed to over 41% to the overall inflation in the country.” Higher food prices will mean higher inflation and this in turn will mean lower savings, as people will end up spending a higher proportion of their income to meet their expenses. This will lead to people spending a lower amount of money on consuming good and services and thus economic growth will slowdown further. It might not be surprising to see economic growth go below the 5% level. Lower savings will also have an impact on the current account deficit. As Atish Ghosh and Uma Ramakrishnan point out in an article on the IMF website “The current account can also be expressed as the difference between national (both public and private) savings and investment. A current account deficit may therefore reflect a low level of national savings relative to investment.” If India does not save enough, it means it will have to borrow capital from abroad. And when these foreign borrowings need to be repaid, dollars will need to be bought. This will put pressure on the rupee and lead to its depreciation against the dollar. There is another factor that can put pressure on the rupee. In a particular year when the government is not able to procure enough rice or wheat to fulfil its obligations under right to food security, it will have to import these grains. But that is easier said than done, specially in case of rice. “Rice is a very thinly traded commodity, with only about 7 per cent of world production being traded and five countries cornering three-fourths of the rice exports. The thinness and concentration of world rice markets imply that changes in production or consumption in major rice-trading countries have an amplified effect on world prices,” a CACP research paper points out. And buying rice or wheat internationally will mean paying in dollars. This will lead to increased demand for dollars and pressure on the rupee. The weakest point of the right to food security is that it will use the extremely “leaky” public distribution system to distribute food grains. As Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya write in India’s Tryst With Destiny – Debunking Myths That Undermine Progress and Addressing New Challenges “A recent study by Jha and Ramaswami estimates that in 2004-05, 70 per cent of the poor received no grain through the pubic distribution system while 70 per cent of those who did receive it were non-poor. They also estimate that as much as 55 per cent of the grain supplied through the public distribution system leaked out along the distribution chain, with only 45 per cent actually sold to beneficiaries through fair-price shops. The share of food subsidy received by the poor turned out to be astonishingly low 10.5 per cent.” Estimates made by CACP suggest that the public distribution system has a leakage of 40.4%. “In 2009-10, 25.3 million tonnes was received by the people under PDS while the offtake by states was 42.4 million tonnes- indicating a leakage of 40.4 percent,” a CACP research paper points out. Bhagwati and Panagariya also point out that with the subsidy on rice being the highest, the demand for rice will be the highest and the government distribution system will fail to procure enough rice. As they write “recognising that the absolute subsidy per kilogram is the largest in rice, the eligible households would stand to maximize the implicit transfer to them by buying rice and no other grain from the public distribution system. By reselling rice in the private market, they would be able to convert this maximized in-kind subsidy into cash…Of course, with all eligible households buying rice for their entire permitted quotas, the government distribution system will simply fail to procure enough rice.” The jhollawallas’ big plan for financing the food security scheme comes from the revenue foregone number put out by the Finance Ministry. This is essentially tax that could have been collected but was foregone due to various exemptions and incentives. The Finance Ministry put this number at Rs 480,000 crore for 2010-2011 and Rs 530,000 crore for 2011-2012. Now only if these taxes could be collected food security could be easily financed the jhollawallas feel. But this number is a huge overestimation given that a lot of revenue foregone is difficult to capture. As Amartya Sen, the big inspiration for the jhollawallasput it in a column in The Hindu in January 2012 “This is, of course, a big overestimation of revenue that can be actually obtained (or saved), since many of the revenues allegedly forgone would be difficult to capture — and so I am not accepting that rosy evaluation.” Also, it is worth remembering something that finance minister P Chidambaram pointed out in his budget speech. “There are 42,800 persons – let me repeat, only 42,800 persons – who admitted to a taxable income exceeding Rs 1 crore per year,” Chidambaram said. So Indians do not like to pay tax. And just because a tax is implemented does not mean that they will pay up. This is an after effect of marginal income tax rates touching a high of 97% during the rule of Indira Gandhi. A huge amount of the economy has since moved to black, where transactions happen but are never recorded.To conclude, the basic point is that food security will turn out to be a fairly expensive proposition for India. But then Sonia Gandhi believes in it and so do other parties which have voted for it. With this Congress has firmly gone back to the garibi hatao politics of Indira Gandhi. And that is not surprising given the huge influence Indira Gandhi has had on Sonia. As Tavleen Singh puts it in Durbar “When she (i.e. Sonia) refused to become Congress president on the night Rajiv died, it was probably because she knew that if she took the job, she would be quickly exposed. In her year of semi-retirement she learned to speak Hindi well enough to read out a speech written in Roman script, and studied carefully the politics of her mother-in-law. There were rumours that she watched videos of the late prime minister Indira Gandhi so she could learn to imitate her mannerisms.” Other than imitating the mannerisms of Indira Gandhi, Sonia has also ended up imitating her politics and her economics. Now only if Lal Bahadur Shastri had lived a few years more… The article originally appeared on www.firstpost.com on August 27, 2013 (Vivek Kaul is a writer. He tweets @kaul_vivek)
Vivek Kaul It’s that time of the year when awards are given out of for the best things and possibly the worst things of the year. And the award for the most stupid statement of the year has to definitely go to Sushma Swaraj, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. During the course of the debate on the government decision to allow foreign direct investment into multi-brand retailing or what is more popularly referred to as big retail, she said: “Will Wal-Mart care about the poor farmer’s sister’s wedding? Will Wal-Mart send his children to school? Will Wal-Mart notice his tears and hunger?” These lines sound straight out of a bad Hindi movie of the 1980s with dialogues written by Kadar Khan. Yes, Wal-Mart will not care about the poor farmer’s sister’s wedding. Neither will it send his children to school. And nor notice his tears and hunger simply because its not meant to do thatThis is because Wal-Mart is a selfish company interested in making money and ensuring that its stock price goes up, so that its investors are rewarded. The same stands true for every Indian company which is into big retail (be Tata, Birla, Ambani or for that matter Big Bazaar). No company, Indian or foreign, into big retail or not, is bothered about the tears of the farmer. And neither is the government. Let’s look at some other things that Swaraj went onto say. “The remaining 70 percent of the goods sold in these supermarkets will be procured from China. Factories will open in China, traders will prosper in China while darkness will befall 12 crore people in India,” she declared. Already a lot of what is sold in India comes from China. Around three weeks I went around several electronic shops in Delhi trying to help my mother choose a refrigerator. Almost all Indian brands had compressors which were Made in China. If one takes the compressor out of the equation what basically remains in a refrigerator is some plastic and some glass. And all that is Made in India. My television set which is a Japanese brand is also Made in China. A leading Indian electrical company buys almost all the irons that it sells in India from China and simply stamps its brand name over it. A lot of pitchkaris that get sold around the time of Holi and diyas and electronic lighting that get sold around the time of diwali are also Made in China. As a quote from a story that appeared in The Times of India story earlier this year went “It seems that ‘Made in China’ has researched our festivals and sensed the need of the customers. For the past 10 years, the business of local sprinklers is decreasing due to stiff competition with Chinese sprinklers. We are facing huge loss, plastic powder through which the pichkaris are prepared locally are bought at Rs 100 per kg while at the same time, there is no subsidy or relaxation on the name of festival,” shared Bihari Lal, a local manufacturer and trader of sprinklers.” Chinese made colours also available during Holi. And none of this has been brought to India by Wal-Mart. It was brought to India largely by Indian entrepreneurs and traders, a lot of whom form the core voting base of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and also fund the party to a large extent. Made in China has become a part of our lives whether we like it or not and it will continue to remain a part of our lives, with or without Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart does not supply us with Made in China goods, the Indian entrepreneurs and retailers will surely do, primarily because Chinese goods are cheaper than the Indian ones. Hence, what Swaraj wants us to believe is already happening with no Wal-Mart in sight. The other point that comes out here is the ability of Wal-Mart to source stuff from China. This is not rocket science. Indian retailers can also do the same thing. As Rajiv Lal of the Harvard Business School told me in an earlier interview “If Wal-Mart is operating in Brazil there is nothing that Wal-Mart can do in Brazil that the local Brazilian guy cannot do. If you want to procure supplies from China, you can procure supplies from China as much as Wal-Mart can procure supplies.” Swaraj also talked about predatory pricing that Wal-Mart would resort to. “These supermarkets introduce predatory pricing. At first, they will introduce such low prices, that will finish the rest of the market. Then when the customer has no other choice, they will keep hiking prices and looting the people,” she said. This statement is also misleading As Rohit Deshpande of the Harvard Business Schoool told me in a recent interaction that I had with him “ For a company like Wal-Mart historical strategy is fairly easy to understand. It is to make a major branded product available cheaper. So you will have a wider assortment of branded product than any of their competitors that’s the first thing. The second thing is that they have private label. They keep increasing the percentage of their private label within each of their broad categories. So the consumers get trained to come to the store because they can find an assortment of branded products. And once they become loyal to your store then they find that they can make price comparisons within the store and they end up buying your private label. And then your margin is really so much better. It’s a strategy that has worked well for Wal-Mart.” So for this strategy to work Wal-Mart has to ensure that they stock private label goods (basically their own brands) which are cheaper than other brands. Hence, Wal-Mart might decide to stock it’s own brand of soap which is lets say cheaper than Lifebuoy. For this strategy to work their own goods will have to be cheaper than other branded goods. Hence, it can’t keep increasing prices and keep looting people as Swaraj wants us to believe. Indians aren’t exactly idiots. Also, if you have visited any of the big retail shops over the years you would have realised that these shops have been increasing the number of private label brands that they sell. As of now this is largely to limited to things like pulses, noodles, sugar etc. The point is that big retail in India is following the same strategy that Wal-Mart does worldwide. The other interesting point that comes up here is that Wal-Mart is able to offer low prices primarily because of two things. One is the fact that it gets its real estate cheap because it typically sets up shop outside city limits. And two is the fact is the homogeneity of the population when it comes to consumption. A typical Wal-Mart in the United States is situated outside the city, where rents are low. But such a strategy may not work in India. “It’s not easy to open a 150,000 square feet store in India. That kind of space is not available. They can’t open these stores 50 miles away from where the population lives. People in India don’t have the conveyance to go and buy bulk goods, bring it and store it. They don’t have the conveyance and they don’t have the big houses. So it doesn’t work,” explained Lal. This is something that marketing guru V Kumar agreed with when I interviewed him sometime back. “Even if Wal-Mart is there in every place, the way they are located is typically outside the city limits. So only people with time, motivation and a vehicle, will be able to go and buy things. And the combination of these three things is very rare.” The other factor as to why Wal-Mart may not be able to offer very low prices in India is because there is no homogeneity when it comes to consumption behaviour leading to a situation where the company may not have the same economies of scale that it does in other parts of the world. As Kumar told me “Does the country as a whole consume common things or there are regional biases? In a country like Brazil people eat similar foods that every retailer can sell.” In India clearly things are different. “In India between South, East, West and the North, there is so much heterogeneity that you need localised catering and marketing. So consumption behaviour varies therefore unless you are willing to carry heterogeneous products in each of the locations it is tough,” said Kumar. The point I am trying to make is that Wal-Mart is not such a big fear that it was made out to be by Swaraj. They do make their mistakes as well. As Deshpande told me “They have had hiccups in the interest of scale and cost efficiency. They have sometimes pushed products that did not make sense for the local market. An example, I believe it was in Argentina, where Wal-Mart, around July 4(the American independence day) had a lot of American flags shipped into their stores. Pankaj Ghemawat, the youngest person to become a full professor at Harvard Business School makes an interesting point in his book Redefining Global Strategy. As he writes “When CEO Lee Scott (who was the CEO of Wal-Mart from 2000 to 2009) was asked a few years ago about why he thought Wal-Mart could expand successfully overseas, his response was that naysayers had also questioned the company’s ability to move successfully from its home state of Arkansas to Alabama…such trivialisation of international differences greases the rails for competing exactly the same way overseas at home. This has turned out to be a recipe for losing money in markets very different from the United States: as the former head of the company’s German operations, now shut down, plaintively observed, “We didn’t realise that pillowcases are a different size in Germany.”” Wal-Mart had to pull out of South Korea as well in 2006. Hence, Swaraj could have clearly done some better research before making one of the most important speeches of her career. She could have read the recent column that P Sainath wrote in The Hindu , where he talks about Chris Pawelski, an American farmer and the onions that he produces. As Sainath writes “While the Walmarts, Shop Rites and other chain stores sell his (i.e. Pawelski’s) kind of onions for $1.49 to $1.89 a pound, Pawelski himself gets no more than 17 cents. And that’s an improvement. Between 1983 and 2010, the average price he got stayed around 12 cents a pound. “All our input costs rose,” he points out. “Fertiliser, pesticide, just about everything went up. Except the price we got.” Which was about $6 a 50-pound bag. Retail prices though, soared in the same period. Distances are not the cause. The same chains sell cheap imports from Peru and China, driving down prices.” The other interesting point that Sainath makes it that companies even dictate the size of the onions he produces. As Sainath writes “Pawelski held up the onion. “They want this size because they know you won’t use more than half of one of these in cooking a meal. And you’ll throw away the other half. The more you waste, the more you’ll buy.” The stores know this. So wastage is a strategy, not a by-product.” Such examples on Wal-Mart and other big retail chains are not hard to find. A Google search throws up plenty of them. A speech against the negative effects of big retail should have been full of such examples instead of saying things like whether Wal-Mart will be bothered by farmer’s sister’s wedding. The article originally appeared on www.firstpost.com on December 5, 2012. (Vivek Kaul is a writer. He can be reached at [email protected])