Jose Thomas

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A NEED FOR CHANGE
Friday 26th August, 2011



     

 

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Dear Friends,

From now on you will see a turn in my style of writing.  Though there are many more subjects related to my business and life that I want to share, I wanted to take a short break to voice some of my concerns, rather, even term it as frustration, that come in my way and maybe it is the same for others too, especially for those who run business enterprises in India within the small and medium scale category.  I belong to the small and medium scale category.  Hence, I would be writing some experiences related to challenges of doing business in India in the small and medium scale enterprise category. 

All of you know what is happening today in our country and across the world.  A build up of frustration in the common man.  People are not satisfied with what is coming back to them.  Look at Egypt!  People remove rulers that run the country like their private property.  Pressure is now on in many countries like Libya and so on. What does this point to?   I think the old ways of functioning of a government are in for a change.

Look at India.  There is growing resentment among the people.  The Anna Hazare movement is a clear example – whether he is truly right or wrong, none of us can comment.  But all I can say is this demonstration by Anna Hazare is nothing but the voice of the nation. The common man, in many instances, is made to run from pillar to post and in the bargain, sometimes even ends up in a muddle.

We all know that we live in a corrupt system. I do not want to point fingers here.  I have done business with many countries and I have traveled extensively.  I have studied the policies, especially the taxation of different nations and I can write to all of you with conviction that, India is one country where I have seen the most complicated tax system.  Check posts between States, trade barriers at these check posts being created, free movement of merchandise getting slowed down.  All these hinder trade and fast paced business. An emerging economy like India stands in the need of change.

There are so many entrepreneurs who land themselves in big trouble because they were unaware the law has changed. To put a perfect system in place, it has become very expensive for the entrepreneur to hire professionals to run and manage the statutory requirements of our country, the law and the maintenance of legal covenants.  This is a big challenge.  The small print can get you in trouble and it scares me.  I have been caught unawares by changes in law, and have sometimes paid dearly for it. Today, I have put machinery in place and continue to search for people who are experienced in protecting our business from these shocks and penalties, because our business, that too, a small and medium businesses category, cannot afford this.  I do wish our system had a little more transparency.

Sometimes an Income Tax Assessee is not even aware of the new laws or amendments to old ones and they become a veritable nightmare.  Is this all pointing towards corruption?  I am pretty innocent in asking this question to myself.  My answer is, “I don’t know!” All I can say is - a change is required, a drastic change. For the future of our nation and our children it is high time that everybody pooled in their resources to bring in more transparency and to eradicate corruption from our society.  When will our country reach there?  When will our country see small and medium enterprises reaching every one’s expectation?

I will write more about this…Stay tuned..

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Responses to
 Martin George says:
Sir , The timing of your write-up is perfect. I think you pointed out the hardships an SME entrepreneur goes through trying to establish his enterprise. In general we talk about corruption as if it is associated only with the politicians . My view is that the fight against corruption has to begin and end with bureaucrats .
 
 Raviprakash says:
It is definitely interesting to go through your blog and what you tried to convey is absolutely true.Corrupution cannot be eradicated unless and until we pledge ourselves not to be corrupt and not to encourage this menace for getting our things done.corruption is everywhere in this world but the magnitude and method is different.It is high time to reform lot of laws which is obsolete and cumbersome and complicated.Let us hope for the best
 
 rakesh says:
Dear JT, Really you are a hero. And I would like to become a businessman like you. Your passion, style, way of understanding, all kinds of attitude attracted me. Today onwards you are my rolemodel.
 
 stephen says:
you are right. imagine the day where there are no trade barriers and check posts among states in our country. only on that that day we can call ourselves the complete indian.