Welcome our beloved ‘Gareebon ka Economist’ Ashu Muglikar to @HMP_News! We thank you for giving your valuable time for this interview.
1) We guess there is not even a single tweet by you that could qualify as non-factual. All your predictions also come true. Whom do you want to give credit for such accuracy and clarity of concepts. Any mentor or book?
Thanks for noticing that. Since I joined twitter I have tried to speak only regarding subjects that I am aware of, which are economics, tax, finance, corporate laws and policy. I do a lot of research before I arrive at my opinions and usually you will see facts on my timeline. Based on these facts, I draw conclusions and form opinions. Because I have studied my topics and have been trained in these, usually my predictions do come true. If I were to credit someone for this, then definitely my teachers who taught me these things and real-world practical problems that I deal with, because professionally I work on these topics. So real world is my teacher too.
2) When there are journalists who like to tweet on every matter under the sun, you have restricted yourself to policy, financial, economical and, by far, judicial matters only. How do you able to avoid the urge to comment on other matters?
Twitter is a curated information medium. People get to choose what they want to see. What journalists do is they project themselves as expert of everything under the sun, but the truth is they are nothing more than gas. Usually, they have no technical degree too, which leads to extreme opinions. And you too might be aware that they have been caught thousands of times peddling fake news. So I dont think I ever wanted to or want to become a garbage spewing machine. This fact that I want to educate people on complex matters in a language they understand is what drives me. I believe if you can’t explain it, you dont know it. If you ask me how do I restrict myself commenting on matters other than those listed by you, it’s a simple rule: “if you dont know, then shut up”. However in rare events, I have, in the past, spoken about stuff that is of my interest but not necessarily an expertise. That’s the human side of me. However, I ensure I don’t pass judgments or speak with authority on it, unlike journos.
3) You may like to tell us about social work you are doing in Arunachal Pradesh and elsewhere?
Again, pretty good to know that you guys at HMP noticed a part of my work that I do offline. Roing is a district headquarters of Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal. It’s pretty beautiful place and blessed with natural wealth. The problem there is that the youth indulges in drugs and other societal ill wills. Despite there being immense scope to set up companies in tourism, agriculture and service sectors. It has been sometime that me and three other friends work in that region to help the youth to set up their companies, design and develop products using local raw materials, use their traditional knowledge to come up with stuff that is in demand in other markets and help make a livelihood. Things are shaping up pretty well and our start-up incubation center is working full fledged there.
Apart from the aforementioned things, I do a lot of work in my home state of Maharashtra as well, to use my skills to help society at large. I am pretty shy when it comes to talking about that. So, I would not want to say it myself. But I shall work in such a manner that eventually you guys will know. Work will speak.
4) The government has implemented some suggestions you had given related to taxation. Pls tell us more about it.
It would be an exaggeration if I credit myself for that. No. I am sure they might have already thought of it or might have heard from others “too” and decided to implement it. Entire credit goes to them for being so hands-on and flexible in matters of policy. However, there is one matter where I feel my suggestion was definitely “noticed” was the ‘Early Warning System to detect financial frauds’ – a policy document that I had shared long ago and late last year, the news came that the government is working on those lines. That gave me immense happiness. I think if you present a logical reasoning, make predictions based on facts considering short- as well as long-term and suggest something to government, then they will definitely hear you at the least and even implement if it’s good.
5) You are doing unparalleled work on Twitter to increase awareness about the work done by the Modi government. How difficult or easy you find to increase same awareness in your relatives, friends, neighbours?
It’s pretty difficult. We all are very busy in our day-to-day chores. And finding relevant information and time to understand things is all the more difficult. Attention spans are low and reading lengthy stuff these days is rare. I feel that’s why Twitter is still a bit relevant. You can tell about something in a short message. To address this, I will be coming up with short videos as well.
6) Taxation, however simplified it is, remains a daunting task for anyone who’s not from this field, and it leads to failing of tax filing unknowingly. How do you think this issue should be addressed?
Yes, for a commoner, these things were/are pretty difficult to understand. Look at it this way: is your IT return calculation and filing easier than it was in 2010? Most people will say yes. The logic is that any system “progressively elaborates” and it improves over a period of time. In fact, you would be surprised to note that there are still hundreds of things that need to be worked upon. Hence, IT major Infosys will be developing the next-generation income-tax filing system for Rs 4,241.97 crore, which will cut down the processing time for returns to one day from 63 days and expedite refunds and make it simpler for people. This contract was awarded recently by the Modi government. Coming times will be exciting and I hope in next term of this government, they also bring the direct tax code out, which should address all your issues.
7) Interim budget is going to be announced on 1st Feb. Considering you have always been on point with your predictions, what are your predictions for this?
This is going to be an interim budget. So, I am not too sure if government will be able to bring any “dramatic” changes. If I were to predict what’s in store, then maybe I feel the government will continue with what they did in earlier budgets. Based on that I feel, the government will do the following:
1. For the welfare of farmers and doubling farmers’ income by 2022, they will allocate some extra funds for insurance, interest subvention, funds for cold storage, fisheries and processing units for exports and access to credit for small farmers. I feel they will allocate more funds for rural infra i.e. irrigation, power, housing and roads.
2. For healthcare, I think more budget under Ayushman Bharat will be allocated.
3. Budgetary support for infra and railway sectors will be given. The government will commit more funds for this. We are having great tax collection numbers. This means, more money for bharatmala, airports, smart cities, etc.
4. For middle class, I feel the government will increase the basic exemption limits and give tax reliefs. This will be in line with slow and steady increase in last 4 years.
5. Finally, (I feel, although not sure) the government will come up with some sort of scheme for basic income for farmers and urban poor. Not sure though.
8) Any words for HMP News?
Keep doing what you do and ignore haters. 😉 Thank you for speaking with me.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.