Dec 3, 2009

Hospitals in India – Shame & Sham

“God save you from one who wears a white or a black coat”. My grandmother used to say this often. This was her way of blessing me with sound health and sound social life so that I stay far away from doctors and lawyers.

I often ponder over these words of wisdom and feel how right she was. In this world it is hardly possible now days that we do not visit doctors. A family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer some time back and since then I have made numerous visits to the hospitals.

Indian government runs the biggest healthcare scam in the whole world. Throughout my life I have paid my taxes and till date without fail. The government hospitals built from that money should supposedly treat my patient free of charge. But when I reach the so called best Medical Institution in Asia, I am asked to ‘help’ the admission in-charge so that the patient can be admitted. Cancer is a kind of disease which needs urgent attention and this so called best hospital in Asia gives me the date of biopsy and bone scan test after 35 days. The doctor is trying to convince me that such a delay is not harmful! He can give an earlier date if I can get his younger sister placed in my company.

With a life at stake, I showed middle finger to the hospital (indirectly to Indian Government) and got my patient admitted to one of the most prestigious private hospitals in Northern India. This is also one of the costliest. The hospital kept on asking me if I need a deluxe room as my patient will feel more comfortable there. I confronted them by asking the nurse in-charge a question. I asked her “Are your general wards better than govt. hospitals? If yes then continue treatment in general ward.” “I am in a hospital not hotel. I need a better doctor not deluxe room which I cannot afford” The doctors were punctual but have very high fees. I have no problem with a doctor charging his fee, I feel helpless when these hospitals start behaving like an Insurance agent who wants to sell me ULIP policy.

In the afternoon I decided to have lunch and went to the hospital canteens. Now they have a very well furnished coffee house along with a swank canteen. As I saw the menu I was shocked. They were selling Burgers, Pizza, Fried Rice, Fried Poori, Oily cholles. All junk food! And just 20 minutes back the medical superintendent was selling me executive junk free diet program. This hospital is Selling & Promoting Junk food and that too at exorbitant prices. Only food item available was 2 idlies plate without sambher for, hold your breath. 64 Rs plus taxes. I decided to try food outside the hospital. I had to walk 3 kms to get a roadside shop where I could eat my complete lunch for 25 rupees. I asked the food vendor why no food seller near the hospital. His reply was equally shocking. He said that the hospital bribed the local police and they dragged away the food sellers and shut down chemist shops. They said like anywhere else a few local chemists started their shops and a few food sellers started the shops. It was mainly the chemists that were giving this hospital a competition by selling medicines at a discount. So police dragged them all. And when I observed I realized that in fact there is no chemist shop within 5 km distance of this hospital. Now this is Indian Police for you with you always!

Later this hospital told me that all chemotherapy drugs will be charges at MRP. This hospital has a chain of pharmacy stores and they offered me a 10% discount on all drugs. I asked them to procure the drugs from their own pharmacy chain but they blatantly refused. This is a 600 bed hospital and the land was given to it for Rupee 1 with a condition that it treats 1/3 rd of poor patients free. The land alone is worth more than 3500 crore rupees at present. This hospital was fined recently by health ministry for not allocating 200 beds to treat poor patients. And guess the fine Rs 2 lakhs only! There is 3500 crore of grant given and just Rs 2 lakh fine for flouting the promise? Shame on you Indian Health Ministry Shame on you. It’s because of you that millions of Indians die unattended for need of medical care. You are the fraudsters of the century.

Meanwhile, I have moved the patient to a nursing home where chemotherapy drug is administered to her. The cost of chemotherapy has come down by 40%. Though I do not know if I will be able to continue the 12 cycles of chemotherapy treatment, but I will keep on writing against this corrupt Indian set up on this blog where the protector is the tormentor.

Jun 14, 2009

Stop Racism – Look Who is Talking

Recent attacks on Indians in Australia have caused quite a buzz in media. It is really disturbing that these things have happened. I have lived in Sydney for quite some time. I used to love my walk to work from Milson Point to Kent Street over Harbour bridge. The Sunday Luch at Lighthouse on Watson Bay was a usual affair. The surprise element is that these lunches were never with Indians but with Australians. When I moved into the neighborhood it was an Australian Kid next door who helped me unpack the stuff in my new home. I still refuse to believe the monstrous image of Australians which has been created by Indian media.

I somehow do not understand that why Indian media is making such a big issue of attacks by some crazy people. These attacks are not the reflection of Australian culture. It is the act of some sick people and trust me most Australians feel the same. Australian culture as I know is very friendly.

However Indian Media and politicians have made this issue of national pride. They say Australia is racist while forgetting that India remains one of the biggest rascist country of the world. Indians discriminate against their own countrymen.

India discriminates the most on the basis of skin colour. Indians look their own country men with contempt if they have dark colour. Skin fair creams for both men and women sell like hot cakes in India, everyone wants to be fair . More than 99% of their movie stars are fair in colour. And Indians call Australians rascist.

Indians discriminate each other on religion, castes and even sub-castes. Hardly you will find any inter-caste or inter religion marriages in India. Sindhi matrimony, Punjabi matrimony etc. are some of the online matrimonial portals. Inter- religion marriages are big taboo. In fact killing couples for inter- religion marriage in India is quite common. They call it ‘Honour Killing’. Ever heard of this in Australia, UK or US? And Indians call Australians rascist.

Indians discriminate based on language. There is constant fight over national language and some of the states have refused to accept Hindi as a national language. North Indians vs. South Indians is a constant war. People from North and South simply hate each other.

Indians discriminate their East Indians folks. They call them Chinese and ‘Chinky’. How rude. East Indian girls are often mistreated in public buses and even denied entries in Five Star hotels and discotheques.

Kashmiri Pandits were massacred and forced to evacuate Jammu and Kashmir throughout the 80s and 90s while the Indian government remained a mute spectator. Numerous instances happen in India where Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs kill each other.

Last year I was in Mumbai, a city in Maharashtra state of India, Some people were on the streets campaigning against people from other state. They wanted that all the Indians who had migrated to their state should leave immediately. They alleged that the immigrants took away native’s jobs, subsidies etc. A dozen of migrants were killed and Scores injured. And if Australians are doing the same why are Indians making such hue and cry.

Above, The Maharashtrians political people beat up North Indians in Maharashtra,forcing them to go back to their own cities.
Having looked at some of the images above, I can only praise Australians that at least they do not torture their own countrymen.

And do Indian students behave responsibly in Australia? Let us look at the profile of an average Indian student in Australia. While some of them are really brilliant and study hard, most of them are just there because they could not make it to Indian universities, but since their fathers are rich and can spend 4-5 million Indian rupees, they travel to Australia. In Australia they spend half of their time in Pubs and what not places. They drink at beaches and other public banned places, ogle and make passes at women. No wonder they offend most of the people abroad.

Any form of Racism is bad and there is no justification whatsoever for it. But as they say clean your own house first!

Apr 28, 2009

Indian Media Scam - Private Treaties

By now you must have read about the Pyramid Saimira Scam. For the starters the story goes something like this. The promoters of the company, PS Saminathan and Nirmal Kotecha wanted to offload their stake in this company. So they conspired with the Assistant Editor of ‘Economic Times’ Rajesh Unnikrishnan to jack up the prices and demand of the stock so that they could offload it.

Together with this senior journalist promoters published reports on December 21 and 22, 2008 that SEBI had ordered Promoters to make an open offer for an additional 20 per cent stake in Pyramid at a price not less than Rs 250 per share within 14 days, for allegedly violating creeping acquisition norms. At that time the stock was trading at Rs 60. Following more recommendations from the journalist the stock shot up since promoters were to buy a Rs 60 stock at Rs 250 everybody started buying. The promoters and Economic Times Asst Editor were laughing all the way to the bank as they offloaded huge stake in the company.

But SEBI was surprised. Following investigations, SEBI found that the forgery was done to manipulate the stock price of PSTL and Nirmal Kotecha was one of the major beneficiaries and Economic Times Editor connived in this. All have been debarred from trading.

I never trusted promoters and offloading their stake always bothers me. But I am more surprised by the role that Assistant Editor of Economic Times played in this whole scam. Come-on we read this business daily. Should we no more trust on what it says? If as an investor you look forward to it for unbiased comments on the companies then sorry, Times Group papers is the wrong place.

You should know about the Times Group ‘Private Treaties’ service. Private Treaties is a pact between the Times of India group and approximately 100-odd companies, under which Times Group buys shares of some small companies. The list is expanding rapidly. The share purchase money is immediately taken back against the promise of guaranteed advertising in Group publications—to build the investee company’s brand(s). So for Times Group to gain from appreciation in stock value the brands have to be built, so there has to be the positive coverage on the companies always.

Unfortunately Pyramid Saimira Ltd.was also a Private Treaties client of Times Group. The name still appears on the clientlete list on their website. Check at

MoneyLIFE, a website has in its possession a document to prove that Time group journalists are being designated as “champions” for Private Treaties clients to tailor editorial coverage to enhance the value of these companies and Times group investment.

An e-mail by The Economic Times editor Rahul Joshi (dated 29-Nov-2007) says:

“At ET, we are carving out a separate team to look into the needs of Private Treaty clients. Every large centre will have a senior editorial person to interface with Treaty clients. In turn, the senior edit person will be responsible, along with the existing team, for edit delivery. This team will have regional champions along with one or two reporters for help—but more importantly, they will liaise with REs (Resident Editors) and help in integrating the content into the different sections of the paper. In this way, we will be able to incorporate PT into the editorial mainstream, rather than it looking like a series of press releases appearing in vanilla form in the paper.”

In the past two years, Times Group has invested over Rs. 2,000 crore in 114-odd companies in diverse businesses. (Check website

Typically, the group buys a 5%-10% stake in mid-sized companies which plan an IPO. The company agrees to invest an equal amount in advertising in Times publications over a three-to-five-year period at a steep discount to the normal advertising rates.
Most companies that sign Private treaties are planning public issues, selling expensive realty projects or looking for private equity. All of them are looking for publicity and an assurance of POSITIVE Editorial Coverage. For the Times Group, it is a double bubble. First it gives Significant Capital Appreciation and tax-free income (since there is no long-term capital gains tax)—on the other hand, advertising revenue is fully taxed.

Here are some of the Clients of Times Group Private Treaties on which you will never hear a bad news.

  1. Deccan Aviation
  2. HDIL Ltd.
  3. Rajesh Exports Ltd
    Sobha Builders
    India Infoline
    Emaar MGF
    Amity Education
    Vishal Retail Pvt Ltd
    Bartronics Ltd
    Paramount Airways
    Future Group

Do you think that you will ever read negative articles about these companies in Economic Times? Economic Times is the most read business daily in India. A lot of people including Fund Managers make investment decisions based on Economic Times. It is one of the biggest conflicts of interest and a major sham which Times Group has been running. And so yesterday I changed my newspaper.

Post Script: Well Bartronics Ltd is also in the list about which I had expressed concerns in my blog in Feb Read Story here. A lot of people had commented that falling promoters stake is not a concern. Well to update you all on demand by SEBI promoters have released the number of shares they have pledged. Go to BSE website check out it seems that in Mar-09 quarter they have pledged each and every share they owned !!