Updated: Aug 1, 2019
He was all alone. Whilst he walked aloof, along the bridge over the river, what all thoughts would have rushed through his mind before he finally plunged into the depth of the tributary to find a final elucidation to many of the scorching concerns which was hammering his thoughts for past several months. Was he not worried to leave behind the multi-crore conglomerate he had created, benevolence and brand names he relished and cherished upon, workforce he zealously adored before he walked into the thin air. He might have thought about with lot of fretfulness, the baby steps he had made to gather his passionate dreams, the worries, the agonies, the pains, the pleasures and other innumerable though unexplainable thoughts and moods which he had went through to build such an empire of a humongous magnitude. He might, with lot of remorse, have reminisced about the contributions made to the society where he belonged to, in the form of employment opportunities, direct taxes, indirect taxes, duties, levies, pensions, provident fund, charity, fees etc before he requested his chauffeur to drop him at the twitch of the bridge, where he found solace for all his troubles. His might, will-power and confidence to regain the grip over his falling empire must have been lost when he felt the heat of the harassment from many known and unknown sources before he finally decided to put a full stop in the neatly drafted letter addressed to his fellow colleagues.
Alas! He was not alone. This could be the story of millions of entrepreneurs, who are sacrificing their lives by being part of a crime, knowingly or unknowingly, of doing a business in India. One fine day, with lot of trepidation, he will realize that he is all alone at the top, with no one, for whom he toiled his entire life, standing beside him to fight with the hard times. With lot of grief he will notice that, neither the employees who had enjoyed the support of minimum wages, provident fund and other benefits nor the government machinery who took away the lion-share of his hard earned money in the form of taxes, are with him when he is thrown out in the cold without a piece of blanket to protect himself.
We are chopping their wings before they start learning to fly, putting them into hell lot of compliances, gripping them using the strong muscled hands of governmental systems in the forms of various rules and regulations, asking them to pay the taxes even before they earn, demanding them to step down from their dream concerns for some minor delays in paying off their debts for no fault of them, often leaving them to bureaucratic harassments, asking them to pay hefty penalties even for their accidental omissions and finally dragging them into lot of pains, agonies and unlimited liabilities to let them find solace in the depth of the death. All these are for committing one and only crime- doing business in India!
Yes. You are alone at the top with your wings tied. Unless the Government sees value in your hard work, giving time to walk the path, relaxes the draconian rules and creates a healthy business environment for doing business, you will be left alone for the mercy of the systems.
Bijoy P Pulipra.
(The author is an insolvency Professional and Company Secretary and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )