Thursday, September 1

Beware of the Cheap Tricks of Branded Retail Stores

• Stores are trying everything they can think of to disguise the fact that you're going to pay more for clothes.

• Some are using less fabric and calling it the new look. Others are adding cheap stitching and advertising it as a redesign. Chances are you're not going to think it's worth paying several dollars more for the shirt just to have them.

• Retailers are raising prices on merchandise an average of 10 percent in an effort to offset their rising costs for materials and labor. But merchants are worried whether the customers will buy at price hikes. So, retailers are making inexpensive tweaks—additional stitching, fake button holes, torn edges, fancy tags—to justify price increases. These tweaks can add only pennies to $1 to the cost of a garment, but retailers can charge $10 more for them.

 "Stores are making consumers believe they're getting more for their money."

• Spencer Elmen, owner of Cupid's Lingerie, which operates five stores in Arkansas, said he is seeing more items in his store that are even skimpier than usual, from underwear to mini dresses. He says that's because designers are finding clever ways to conceal the fact that they're clothes have less fabric.

 "They're just being more creative with less fabric," Elmen said.

• Another retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is advertising "Redesigned 2012" Jean Collections in its stores and on its website, touting that the jeans are "softer, with the perfect amount of stretch.". They're also mostly priced between $78 and $88, about $10 more than last year.
• The Wall Street Strategies retail analyst, examined the jeans and believes they are "thinner" and of "cheaper quality." and says “That extra stretch, could simply mean the retailer is saving costs by using less denim”.

See How Politicians are trying to make Anti-Corruption Bill ineffective

The Movement  was on its way before but the sudden spark for the Cause came because of Congress led Government failed to take effective action against  Rs17,000 crore Common Wealth Games scam.

 A citizen's forum called 'India Against Corruption' Movement was started on November 14, 2010 to fight against this government inaction.

Govt drafted a Lokball Bill on 2010 and on seeing the Govt drafted Bill, Santosh Hegde and Prashant Bhushan understood that govt was not interested in making a effective Anti-Corruption Bill, so they formed another Bill, Citizens Bill, or  Indian Peoples Bill,or known to all as  Jan Lokpal Bill.

See the difference between Jan Lokpal Bill  and Draft Lokpal Bill (2010)

Jan Lokpal Bill Draft Lokpal Bill (2010)
Lokpal will have powers to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. Lokpal will have no power to initiate suo motu action or receive complaints of corruption from the general public. It can only probe complaints forwarded by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Lokpal will have the power to initiate prosecution of anyone found guilty. Lokpal will only be an Advisory Body with a role limited to forwarding reports to a "Competent Authority".
Lokpal will have police powers as well as the ability to register FIRs. Lokpal will have no police powers and no ability to register an FIR or proceed with criminal investigations.
Lokpal and the anti corruption wing of the CBI will be one independent body. The CBI and Lokpal will be unconnected.
Punishments will be a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of up to life imprisonment. Punishment for corruption will be a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of up to 7 years.

After that we all know what happened and how Anna Hazare went to first Fast & Agitation – Phase 1 on April 7th  for govt to accept the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Indeed after lot of protest we know how govt setup a new committee to draft the bill and Look below table to see  how govt came with their version of the new bill on August,2011 as proposed against Jan Lokpal bill.

Issue The Jan Lokpal Bill Government's Lokpal Bill
Prime Minister PM can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench PM can be investigated by Lokpal after she/he vacates office.
Judiciary Can be investigated, though high level members may be investigated only with permission of a seven member Lokpal bench. Judiciary is exempt and will be covered by a separate "judicial accountability bill".
Conduct of MPs Can be investigated with permission of seven member Lokpal bench. Can be investigated, but their conduct within Parliament, such as voting, cannot be investigated.
Lower bureaucracy All public servants would be included. Only senior officers (Group A) will be covered.
Anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) The Anti-corruption wing of the CBI will be merged into the Lokpal. The Anti-corruption wing of the CBI not be merged into the Lokpal.
Removal of Lokpal members and Chair Any person can bring a complaint to the Supreme Court, who can then recommend removal of any member to the President. Any "aggrieved party" can raise a complaint to the President, who will refer the matter to the CJI.
Removal of Lokpal staff and officers Complaints against Lokpal staff will be handled by independent boards set-up in each state, composed of retired bureaucrats, judges, and civil society members. Lokpal will conduct inquiries into its own behaviour.
Lokayukta Lokayukta and other local/state anti-corruption agency would remain in place. All state anti-corruption agencies would be closed and responsibilities taken over by centralised Lokpal.
Whistleblower protection Whistleblowers is a person who tells the court about illegal activities done by the corrupt personnel.

Whistleblowers are protected by Lokpal.

No protection granted to whistleblowers by Lokpal Mahima.
Punishment for corruption Lokpal can either directly impose penalties, or refer the matter to the courts. Penalties can include removal from office, imprisonment, and recovery of assets from those who benefited from the corruption. Lokpal can only refer matters to the courts, not take any direct punitive actions. Penalties remain equivalent to those in current law.
Investigatory powers Lokpal can obtain wiretaps ( to make a connection to a telegraph or telephone wire in order to obtain information secretly), issue rogatory letters, and recruit investigating officers. Cannot issue contempt orders. Lokpal can issue contempt orders, and has the ability to punish those in contempt. No authority to obtain wiretaps, issue rogatory letters, or recruit investigating officers.
False, frivolous and vexatious complaints Lokpal can issue fines for frivolous complaints (including frivolous complaints against Lokpal itself), with a maximum penalty of Rs 100,000. Court system will handle matters of frivolous complaints. Courts can give 2–5 years imprisonment and fines of Rs 25,000 to 200,000.
NGOs NGOs not within the scope due to their role in exposing corruption. NGOs are within the scope and can be investigated.