Monday, October 31, 2011

The fate of the “Divi Neguma” beneficiaries – A case of ‘I told you so’ In March I wrote in my other blog asking my readers to think about the absurdity of the Government in encouraging people into poverty and bankruptcy by enabling them to obtain a vehicle, which no earthly economic evaluation could prove worthwhile, surely making paupers out of self respecting people, completely misleading them for personal gain only of those responsible.

Many of you will see the ads by Tata for those Battas, which falsely show how people purchasing them are now very successful self employed businessmen. We see them parked on pavements, where my previously successful thambili seller used to hawk the natural satisfaction for thirst, and who were evicted for illegally occupying the pavement. They were replaced instead by the Batta. They sell anything from cool drinks to sandwiches or packets of eatables.

Sheer greed is all that led the chiefs of ‘Divi Neguma’ to get people sucked into a program they could never recover from. The commissions earned on the sale of these 1,500 vehicles is already pocketed, (Rs150M) but the people who signed the lease with no money down, cannot make the monthly payment! People’s Bank which was forced to break all rules of lending, are left wondering what to do. If they repossess the vehicles, there will be a huge outcry of people being made redundant and bankrupt. If they are non performing leases, they are a loss to the new People’s Leasing Company, which is getting a listing this week.

It is this kind of idiotic program that people in govt. who have no idea of how self employment works, that is wrong. When a business plan is done, and one goes to a bank for a loan or lease. They evaluate the likelihood of its success. That is why people are asked to put some money down, say at least Rs150,000 before taking a lease for the balance. This reduces the risk to the bank, as the borrower has already invested and is likely to make an extra effort. Further, his monthly payment is lower. When the whole thing is financed out of borrowing, with no commitment on the part of the lessee, and there is no proper evaluation if the lessee is able to run a business that makes sufficient to pay the monthly dues, then even before a cent is lent one knows it is a non performer! The government forced this on the bank.

I distinctly remember when I was making this point 7 months ago, when they commenced the program, many friends I discussed it with were wholly in support of the government in that it provided new employment opportunities to people. When my educated friends are stupid, how can one explain this point to the less educated.

I hope this is a lesson to all that Pied Piper sure is leading his followers to the lake to drown(in this case drown in debt and become bankrupt)


Jack Point said...

Good post, I'd missed this particular "programme".

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