Loot in the name of profit

By Azizur Rahman Falahi for TwoCircles.net

Whatever might be the concept of profit in the light of business management theories and practices, but as per my perception, the profit is the earning of some reasonable extra money after spending on the goods or services provided. The profit should be reasonable and proportionate to the actual spent money, to ensure that the consumers and service users are getting true value of their money.

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The business management theory describes that the prime intention of any business enterprise should be the maximization of profit and minimization of cost. To me, this theory seems very disturbing, ruthless, unethical and immoral, as it does not take into consideration the importance of the people’s hard earned money. The focus on maximizing the profit is fine, but it should not be at the cost of exploiting people, else it should be achieved by selling more through reasonable and appropriate pricing.

Who benefits from corporatisation of India? [TCN Photo]

In the run to make the most of this evil practice, only the salaried and other small self-employed people are victimized. They are compelled to spend their hard-earned money to buy things which are not the real value for the spent money. They are helpless and bound to purchase overpriced things. It is a matter of grave concern for the common man. Nowadays, for the common man, it is an adventure to survive in this world of moneymaking that is starkly stripped off any moral values and ethics. There is not even a shred of compassion left for serving the people.

Nowadays things are being priced willfully without any fear and hesitation. The Mc Donald’s, the KFCs, the Haldirams, the TATAs, the ITCs, the Unilevers, the Pepsis and the Coca Colas etc, are selling their products at the highest prices. For instance, it is a tragedy that potato sells at Rs. 20/- per kg, but when a chips pack made out of only one or two pieces of this potato gets attractively and deceptively packaged by Lay’s it is sold at Rs. 20/- each; when a piece of the same potato gets the privilege of being used at Mc Donald’s, it’s French Fry and Mc Aloo Tikky are sold at Rs. 50/- and 40 respectively; moong dal sells at Rs. 70/- per kg, but when it is processed into Haldiram’s namkeen, only a 100 gm pack is sold at Rs. 20/-; wheat grain sells at Rs. 12/- to 15/- per kg, but it’s Atta is sold at Rs. 32/- per kg when it gets packaged by ITC and Unilever under the brands Ashirvad and Annapurna; raw salt would hardly be selling at Rs. 5/- per kg, but when it is processed and packaged by TATA, it is advertised as “Des ka namak” on television and sold at Rs. 14/- per kg; the preparation of 300 ml Pepsi or Cola would hardly be costing 2-3 rupees, but it is sold at Rs. 13/-; the jeans fabric of the best quality would probably not be priced at more than Rs. 250/- per meter, but a Levi’s jeans are sold at Rs. 1500/- and even more; making of a hat would hardly be requiring 30cm of cloth, but when it is made by Nike, it is sold at Rs. 200/-, 300/- and 400/-; the Reebok shoes are sold at Rs. 5000 and even more.

As things are already alarmingly expensive, the corporatization of each and every thing is posing a serious threat to the survival of the people. It is very sad that materials and commodities are bought by the corporate from our farmers and suppliers at the lowest possible rates. But when these materials and commodities are processed into end-products by the callous corporate, they are sold at extremely high prices. Our farmers get the minimum after toiling day and night while these corporate entities make the maximum by turning commodities into various products.

Let us think over this cruel phenomenon. Is it fair from any stretch of imagination, to price things three, four and five times more than the actual spent money? Take the example of the above mentioned Mc Donald’s French Fry sold at Rs. 50/-, while the seller would hardly be spending Rs. 5/- on this. There is a serious need to curb this malicious and bloodsucking practice. But how it is going to be stopped? Is it a tough job to get rid of this? No, it is very easy to regulate the prices if the government desires so. The sole responsibility of curbing this practice lies with the government only. However, we can be 100% sure that the government is not going to take any initiative in this regard, as it is more interested in grabbing tax from the money earned through this practice and stashing it away in Swiss banks. Politicians should apparently not have any problem with this rampant evil, as the more the tax, the more the salary, various allowances and more chances of corruption would be there for them.

The government might justify the above by stating that it gets tax from these corporate accordingly and then spends the tax money on various development projects, building infrastructures and other social welfare schemes. But simply by glancing at the status of our education, healthcare, endemic malnutrition, transport system, deadly and potholed roads, here-and-there lying garbage, we can make out how sincere is the government in its claim.

We could have tolerated this norm of overpricing, if the taxes were to result indirectly in to better education, healthcare, transport and roads etc. But, instead it is resulting in increase to the salaries of MPs/MLAs and their allowances, and in facilitating them for corruption.

As the government is not going to take any measures in this regard on its own, there is a need on the part of the people to create awareness among themselves about this corporatized exploitation, and pressurize the government to implement the maximum limit of the profit percentage. Perhaps I am echoing the voices of the millions of people in asserting that the maximum limit of earning profit should not exceed more than 50% of the actual cost. Only by implementing a maximum profit cap, this evil practice can be abolished and the consumers’ interests can be protected. However, it seems almost impossible, let us see whether this is something that is going to come in place in future or else we are going to see even a worse time. Whatever might be the people’s fate in future, but the Kalmadis and the Rajas will surely remain committed towards discharging their duties earnestly.