Saturday, July 2, 2011

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  • insbaby
    03-24 04:34 PM
    (my final thoughts ...)
    I am from bombay -- and actually we had more fun in the buildings / apartments because you end up spending more time outdoors with friends.

    I agree with you. But not all the people have the same luxury here as you may or may not see an apartment fills with people you look for and who can stay for a while at the same place, except bay area and couple of other areas filled up nationals of same countries. But surely not all over the country.

    So it is not a bad thing to move to a community if you find all in one place.

    Ofcourse, this is not to force everyone to buy a home and practically that is not possible.

    This is for someone who knows that he has plans to go with the current company for sometime and ready to buy a home, but just waiting, waiting and waiting........ for GC to do that.

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  • pappu
    07-15 06:55 AM
    Why do you write 'I know this mess is depressing for EB3 folks' ?
    Is IV not with Eb3 folks? Or are they not important.

    Let me clear somethings.
    Earning in higher 70Ks in the year 2003 and with over 5+ years of progressive experience, they still went ahead a filed my app under EB3. Was that a mistake? Not mine. My employer knew that Eb3 would be slower.

    What happened? cases like mine were eye openers and learning experiences for comrades who were going to file and they filed under EB2, I asked friends and relatives and classmates of mine to file under Eb2.
    Am i happy for them? No, I hate them. Of course, I am happy for them. Very very much.

    So, why would you not fight for us?

    If people like me and filers before me had not filed under EB3, and not shared our experiences, how would we have progressed?

    Suddenly, 'You Eb3 folks are depressed' from 'We folks are depressed'. lol for chauvinism.

    Answering some of the posts:
    Decisions taken by an employer to file in EB3 or advice by the lawyer to file in EB3 instead of EB2 (even if you disagree with the lawyer) cannot be the basis for administration to change the rules. It is an 'employment based' system and employer files the petition for the employee. You cannot write in the letter to DOS that your employer filed for EB3 even though you qualify for EB2 and thus you are entitled for xyz. Administration can only work within the legal limits. They cannot create more visas. If you are going to ask for more visas, they will tell you it will be done via a bill so that the law is changed and EB3 gets more visas. And thus we have to go for bills like recapture, STEM exemption and country caps. We already ran the admin fix campaign precisely for that reason to get things that we can get without changing the law. Recapture was added after much thought even though we knew it is a long shot. If we want more visas, then it has to be done legislatively. If we plan to do something via administration, then our list of items must be thoroughly researched they must offer solutions within the current law. It should merely be a regulation that provides guidance on the current law. Each item in the admin fix campaign did that.

    And please stop taking out your anger on IV or each other. Take it out on the system that has caused problems for all of us and help each other fix this system. IV is everyone and we need to work together to fix it.

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  • razis123
    12-18 03:11 AM
    be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.

    It is very true..and it is fact...why is that all terrorists are muslims...something is wrong ...muslims need to come forward....

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  • Macaca
    02-13 09:38 AM
    10 Reasons to Lobby for your cause ( (courtesy krishna.ahd)

    For many of us, lobbying is something other people do—people who wear fancy clothes and buy politicians lunch at expensive restaurants. But lobbying, or more simply, trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives, is something anyone can do. And it is something all of us should do if we believe in a good cause and in a democratic form of government. Read on to find out why.

    You can make a difference. It takes one person to initiate change. Gerry Jensen was a single mother struggling to raise her son in Toledo, Ohio, without the help of a workable child support system. She put an ad in a local newspaper to see if there were other moms who wanted to join her in working for change. There were. Over time, they built the Association for Child Support Enforcement, or ACES, which has helped change child support laws not just in Ohio, but across the country. One person—a single mother—made a difference.
    People working together can make a difference. Families of Alzheimer’s patients working together, through the Alzheimer’s Association, convinced the government to invest resources into research for a cure. Other individuals formed Mothers Against Drunk Driving and convinced dozens of states to toughen up their drunk driving laws. As a result, the numbers of drunk driving deaths are lower. Additionally, many people find healing from tragedy by telling their stories and working to prevent it from happening to others.
    People can change laws. Many of us think that ordinary individuals can’t make a difference. It is hard to change laws and policies. But it can be done. It has been done, over and over again in our history, in the face of great obstacles. People lost their lives fighting racist “Jim Crow” laws. They won. Women didn’t even have the power of the vote—as we all do today—when they started their struggle for suffrage. Our history is full of stories of people and groups that fought great odds to make great changes: child labor laws, public schools, clean air and water laws, social security.

    These changes weren’t easy to achieve. Some took decades. They all took the active involvement—the lobbying—of thousands of people who felt something needed to be changed.
    Lobbying is a democratic tradition. The act of telling our policymakers how to write and change our laws is at the very heart of our democratic system. It is an alternative to what has occurred in many other countries: tyranny or revolution. Lobbying has helped keep America’s democracy evolving over more than two centuries.
    Lobbying helps find real solutions. Services provided directly to people in need, such as soup kitchens, emergency health clinics, and homeless shelters, are essential. But sometimes they are not enough. Many food pantries, for example, needed new laws to enable caterers and restaurants to donate excess food so the kitchens could feed more people. Family service organizations working to place abused children into safe homes needed changes in the judicial system so kids did not have to wait for years for a secure place to grow up. Through advocacy, both changes were implemented.

    People thinking creatively and asking their elected officials for support can generate innovative solutions that overcome the root-cause of a problem.
    Lobbying is easy. Many of us think lobbying is some mysterious rite that takes years to master. It isn’t. You can learn how to lobby—whom to call, when, what to say— in minutes. While there are a few simple reporting rules your organization needs to follow, it isn’t complicated. Countless numbers of people have learned how. Lobbying is easier and more effective when many committed people work together. One person does not have to do everything or know everything.
    Policymakers need your expertise. Few institutions are closer to the real problems of people than nonprofits and community groups. They see problems first-hand. They know the needs. They see what works and what doesn’t. They can make problems real to policymakers. They care about the problems. Their passion and perspectives need to be heard. Every professional lobbyist will tell you that personal stories are powerful tools for change. People and policymakers can learn from your story.
    Lobbying helps people. Some people become concerned that lobbying detracts from their mission, but quite the opposite is true. Everything that goes into a lobbying campaign—the research, the strategy planning, the phone calls and visits—will help fulfill your goal whether it be finding a curefor cancer, beautifying the local park, or helping some other cause that helps people. You may not personally provide a direct service, but through your advocacy work, you enable thousands of others to do so.
    The views of local nonprofits are important. Increasingly, the federal government has been allowing local governments to decide how to spend federal money and make more decisions than in the past. This change gives local nonprofits even more responsibility to tell local policymakers what is needed and what will work. And because more decisions are being made locally, your lobbying can have an immediate, concrete impact on people in need.
    Lobbying advances your cause and builds public trust. Building public trust is essential to nonprofit organizations and lobbying helps you gain it by increasing your organization’s visibility. Just as raising funds and recruiting volunteers are important to achieving your organization’s mission so is lobbying. You miss out on an important opportunity to advance your cause if you don’t think as much about relationships with local, state, and federal government.


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  • HawaldarNaik
    12-26 08:08 PM
    My take on this is that there are two options

    Option-1:- Go for an all out war as i specified...however the risk here is that it could go on and on and we have seen in otherparts

    Option-2:- Work with like minded countries (work with them covertly), to completely eliminate terror camps (difficult it may seem cause its the bread/butter and cheese of those who run the neighbouring country)

    Option-1, if we can come up with a quick operation (remember 26/11 took 60 hours), otherwise option-2, but we have to be on the ball and make sure we get one of the two done otherwise as i said the next strike could not be far away on one of our major cities....
    Also Option-1 should be directed at the Terror infrastructure (by infrastructure i mean man power included cause otherwise they will disperse and regroup like they do in the western border in the war that the superpower is waging)

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  • immique
    07-14 11:07 PM
    I think EB3 India may be the unintended beneficiary of the appropriate interpretation of the spill over of visa into retrogressed EB2 countries. I suspect that once EB2 India and China are current, the remaining visas will spill over into EB3. Thay do NOT spill over into EB3 ROW only but will spill over into EB3 as a whole. the reason for this is as both EB3 ROW and EB3 India are retrogressed, both these categories will advance equally as EB2 I and EB2 China are doing currently. I strongly think this will be the likely outcome next year and so EB3 India should see the PD movement approximately the same as EB3 ROW- but this will happen only when EB2 is current and the spill over reaches EB3 (this will likely happen in the final quarter of 2009)

    but you are not correct about this. please look it up. The vertical spillover was going to EB3 ROW, had that not been so, EB2 I would not have become U, even though (you are right about that) USCIS was actually allocating a little too fast.

    The bottom line is this: before the "system changed" the spillover went to EB3 ROW (country quota more important that category preference)
    Now with revised interpretation spillover goes first to EB2 retrogressed countries (preference category precedent over country quota- use of soft quota provison from AC21). Either way Eb3 I was last on the totem pole.
    There would have been no spillover to EB3 I in either situation. I'm not saying this to either to justify it or to argue for it's fairness. Just trying to make a point about the root issues.
    Therefore, the "change" leaves EB3 I exactly where it was before- which of course is an insane place to be. Frankly, in your place, I would be freaking going out of my mind. But if your only reason for this action is that "change", you have to sit back a moment and understand what the change has doen (or in this case not done) to you.
    The ONLY way to solve the EB3I problem is increased GC numbers. That is why recapture has been the first and foremost thing we have always pursued. Last time there was a recapture, GC numbers went to every single category. Anyway you look at it, if with a recapture, EB2 became current, every bit of spillover in every quarter would go to EB3. Eventually, there will be more long lasting reform. For now we desperately need the extra numbers in any form or shape.

    Just my 2c. not trying to trying to "stop your voice from being heard". One piece of friendly and well meaning advice. Target letters and measures at those that have the power to make the changes you want. Otherwise the effort is pointless from the start.


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  • abracadabra102
    07-14 08:47 PM
    Oh there are people who applied in early 2001(EB2-RIR) ...and waited untill end of 01 to get a NOD from DOL and then re-applied again in mid of 02 without retaining thier original PD of 01(EB3 Non RIR) you know?..most of you are from PERM that's why you are finding it odd ..!..DOL while sending back these cases did not let them retain thier PD's..

    we were qualified to apply in eb-2 and RIR and the economy and the WTC attacks made things worse..


    So what you are saying is - some EB2 RIR petitions were rejected by DOL and employers re-applied under regular supervised recruitment under EB3.

    How does this imply that "DOL advised some of us to file under EB3?"

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  • qplearn
    11-15 11:09 AM
    This guy changes sides based on the audience, check out his latest rhetoric, looks like he is feeling the heat from the results of the current elections:

    ...Zakaria refers to "CNN's Lou Dobbs and his angry band of xenophobes" and Jonathan Alter describes those who agree with me as "nativist Lou Dobbsians." But Alter and Zakaria are far too bright to not know better. I've never once called for a restriction on legal immigration -- in fact, I've called for an increase, if it can be demonstrated that as a matter of public policy the nation requires more than the one million people we bring into this country legally each year.....

    Actually Lou Dobbs is attempting to paint a picture in which Dems who have won support his stand. Fact is that Dems have won, thanks to Lou Dobbs, because they were OPPOSED to his stand. Perhaps a desperate attempt to save his job at CNN :)


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  • unitednations
    07-17 12:19 PM
    Hi UN,
    First of all my sincere gratitude to you for your patience and the time you put in to give a detailed reply to all cases.

    Here's my situation(I think a case of status violation)

    I did an L1 to H1 transfer in 2005. My L1 was valid till APRIL 2006. So my intention was to work with L1 employer till April 2006 and then switch to H1 employer.

    H1 employer also applied for a change of status, which I was not aware of that time. I asked the H1 company's lawyer whether I could continue with my L1 employer after getting the H1 and she said it's fine.

    So I got the H1B approval in Oct 2005, but still continued with L1 employer till APRIL 2006, then switched to H1.

    Recently I came to know that this could be an issue. When I was filling the G-325A form, I wondered if I specify that I worked with the L1 employer till APRIL 2006, would they catch this?? Even if they catch , how big an issue would this be??

    If I put the dates to reflect the dates to show that I quit my L1 employer in Oct 2005 itself, would this be an issue?? I guess in this case, if by any chance they ask for any further evidence like pay stubs or W2 in that period of time, I would be in trouble.

    From what I have read from the forum, A lawful re-entry should clear the violation in my case right?? I haven't filed the I-485 yet. My I-140 is pending.
    Do they catch this during I-140 stage??


    Can I go to Canada/Mexico for stamping? where would I get an appointment at the earliest??


    I am assuming that you haven't left the country since 2005?

    Going from h-4 to h-1 or L-1 to H-1b is a gray area in regards to have you actually changed your status and what happens if you maintain your old status.

    What is for sure is when you are on F-1 and you file a change of status to h-1b. For sure at this point your status is h-1b.

    Some lawyers will tell you that if you continue on L-1 then you have violted your status; others will tell you differently.

    Anytime there is a questionable issue then you definitely want to go out and re-enter and get an I-94 card. (use auto revalidation by going to canada). This will take the gray out of it.

    Once you have used auto revalidation then tell the absolute truth on the G-325a. USCIS won't be able to do anything about it. However; if they dig into it and accuse you of fraud then you are in for a long and difficult battle.(note: checking status is #1 thing uscis does in examining a 485 application).

    The big danger people will have is that regardless of whether people will be able to file now or later; the dates will go backwards. During this retrogressed time; uscis will pre-adjuidcate cases. Therefore, it is possible that they could deny your case but you wouldn't be able to re-file it until the dates have become current again.

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  • GCScrewed
    07-13 06:04 PM
    willwin - What we are essentially saying is to artificially retrogress EB2 than it otherwise would have so that an EB3 who is waiting for 7 years gets his GC first - thats really what the spillover break up will do. Similarly an argument can be made to artificially retrogress EB1 so that an EB2 who is waiting for 4 years gets his GC first.
    Whether EB1 is presently retrogressed or not doesn't matter.
    Let's think about this for a moment. We are trying to completely negate the category preference established by law and asking them to grant GC's based solely on PD regardless of category.
    Ain't gonna happen - dont want to be a pessimist but at some point we have to call it as we see it.

    I don't think the issue is that simple. The whole thing just surfaced another screw-up of the system. The actions taken by all the agencies certainly made things worse.

    DoS suddenly interpretted laws differently than before. This just like the PERM, BEC, and last July episode. They took actions without considering people already in line. Those with good faith waiting in line have been constantly pushed around. How many people experienced being stuck in BEC while PERM approves new application like crazy? Who is accountable for all of these? They can't do things willy nilly any more. Someone mentioned lawsuit since DoS either interpret the law wrong now or in the past.

    Needless to say that the distincation between EB2 and EB3 has become so meaniningless now. How many positions really satisfy the EB2 requirements? From what I heard that most people just try to get around the system to get an EB2. One of the persons who filed EB2 told me that a high school graduate would probably be able to work in that position too.

    Just my observation.


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  • chanduv23
    09-26 02:26 PM
    OBAMA is for lesser H1B but more EB GC. He prefers workers who are entering the US to have intention to stay permanently than temporarily because it helps the economy.

    That's the wisdom of Durbin amendment. Lesser H1B because you will get GC instead.

    Everyone say "H1b is not good we want more GC". Then the whole thing moves towards a new points based system and everyone will support it saying - this will ensure US will have best and brightest. What happens to us???? We will be ignored

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  • sk2006
    06-06 01:31 AM
    .. nothing on innovation and technology and more Family based immigrants on welfare and low paid jobs... Do you still think, thing of past holds good now?

    I agree.


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  • gomirage
    06-08 12:47 AM
    It is very nice discussion.

    I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th

    Recently interest rates are gone up. Does any one has any idea that it will come down in a week or two due to possible federal intervention to keep houising going further down? can some one point to the relevant articles?

    Also if you know this area and have any reference for the good lenders?

    Also any points to keep in mind while buying foreclosure? apart from routine home inspection, termite inspection etc. Does survey is required for lot and property?

    Also is it good to put higher down payment or not? How much is better to put, assuming no financial constrain. Is it wise to put 20% down or not? Is it wise to purchase points to get interest rates down?

    Thanks for your continuing suggestions and discussions.

    Interesting questions. What are your plans for buying the house ? Just looking to take advantage of the good deals ? Do you have the conditions and like the area to settle there 5-10 years ?

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  • axp817
    03-27 03:44 PM
    ok..My docs have been received by AO.

    AO? Adjudicating officer?

    Good luck, keep us posted.


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  • pappu
    08-11 12:44 PM
    The USCIS's "Yearbook of Immigration Statistics" is a valuable source of info in any immigration debate!

    One can catch on lies a lot of anti-immigration jerks and even the USCIS themselves using their very own data! You can clearly see how the number of employment based Green cards changed, for example, how sharply it dropped in 2003 for some reason (not in 2002 which could be explained by 9/11!). They have no explanation for this. Apparently they were told to do so. The sabotage is obvious. There are more interesting facts there. Say, one can check if a particular country really has contributed too many immigrants in the last years to be excluded from the GC lottery or not, while another country is for some (political) reason still eligible despite it exceeded the limit.
    thanks for the link. I have forwarded this info to a statistician for analysis and if we can get some favorable arguments based on that data that can be presented as charts and graphs by IV.

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  • amitga
    01-28 10:33 AM
    There has never been a mention of the H1b visas approved and those that do not fall under the quota....

    This guy is just after his ratings nothing else...his book explicitly quotes that H1b and L1 visa holders do not pay any taxes and transfer all the money home. (CNN has a few hundreds of them on H1b)

    When there was a huge debate on illegal immigration he quoted he was all for legal immigration. The only way one can legally immigrate with skills is via H1b visa and he is against it.

    Can't Lou be sued for intentionally having false information in his book. At lease we should all add negative comments about his book on reviews. His book rating on Amazon is 4 and we should add 30-40 comments to bring the rating to at least 2-3 star.

    Lou's Book (


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  • axp817
    03-27 03:44 PM
    ok..My docs have been received by AO.

    AO? Adjudicating officer?

    Good luck, keep us posted.

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  • hiralal
    06-21 08:19 AM
    Hello Hiralal,

    Indeed! But if the individual 'affordability' is such that you can pay the monthly payments even after moving out of US due to job loss/485 denial, and if the purchase lowers your tax bill, then it may make more sense to buy the house...

    Personally, I've always had intentions of buying real estate in US, EU and India.... have it in India, considering it in US and exploring how to buy it in EU... :) Wish had much more 'cash'... :D
    just thought I would add this as a joke :) ..Personally I have always wanted one house on the Moon and one in Mars ..Earth is too crowded and some countries have big problems in giving us plastic cards which are green in color ;) ..I just want to get away from that.
    That is a nightmare !!! unless you are bill gates, Tata, Ambani etc etc ..if u have a relative in US in the same location then maybe you can manage but still it is problematic ..on top of it, how do you earn money in say India to pay mortgage in US ??
    if my GC (or say residency in any country) is denied, I would not want any immovable property in that place ....break - ins, mntc problems, maintenance etc ..I know there are some agencies which will take care of the property for you but their fees are high. I would rather have my money in liquid form and take it with me (or have the ability to take it with me).
    as someone else said ..maybe an option would be to stay back and sell the house (at a loss I guess) ..and risk going out of status (but re-entry would be problematic).
    I had a question though ..if GC is denied and EAD is valid for 2 years ..can you stay till EAD expiration date ? (I know u have option of MTR ..but say that is denied too ) other words, how long can you stay after GC is denied

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  • s_r_e_e
    08-25 06:40 PM
    keeep going.. we need this :)

    06-25 02:17 PM
    Remember the biggest speculation we have had in recent history was in real estate from 2002 to 2007. That's the primary reason we are all in this mess. So if anyone is speculator it's the new homeowner who bought house between 2002 to 2007, definitely not the renter. I for one am very glad I sat out the whole crazy real estate hysteria during the time. I'm not underwater! Those who bought during the peak around 2005/2006 will have to wait a long time before they can even break even.

    Your second point of buying 3-4 homes with 20% down each and building equity on rent is the classic strategy to head into multiple foreclosures at once. This was the exact thinking that got so many real estate speculators in deep whole. Show me a single major city that has good amount of jobs (Bay area/Boston/Seattle) and where the monthly rent covers the monthly mortgage payment+property tax+home insurance. If that were the case there would not have been all these foreclosures, they would just give their houses on rent!

    Finally as for missing on the lowest interest rates, interest rates will generally move in somewhat opposite direction to house prices. That is because when the interest rate is high there will be less buyers which will drive the prices down. So barring lucky few you can only lock in either low interest rate or low house prices. Choice here is clear: you can always re-finance when the interest rates go down next time but you can never re-negotiate your house purchase price so you should always aim for getting a low price rather than low interest rate.

    Owning a home is never a bad idea but paying unreasonable price for it is indeed a bad one. It's like asking if owning a Google stock is bad idea. It sounds like a legitimate question but in reality is an absurd one because it leaves out the most important detail. At what price? Price is everything!

    All you and the renters here are doing is speculating. Speculators, from my experience, always buy and sell at the wrong time because all they do is guess. Even if prices do go lower in 2011, speculators will speculate that it will go down further and continue to hold off then miss their chance. Same problem with now in 2009, you missed the low interest rates and who knows when they will come back down to the 4s again. Personally I hope they do come back, cuz I missed a chance to refi one of my properties. You are not only losing your rent money to a landlord, but you are also losing valuable time that you could've used to knock off your mortgage.

    As for only putting 20% down and people saying that they want to buy their homes outright– they are idiots. You never pay full price or more than 50% for a home, even if you can afford it. Pay the downpayment, then invest the rest of that money elsewhere and build even more from that money. That is called leverage and thats what good smart investors do. They use the system, they leverage their money and NEVER pay full price. If you have $800,000 and want to buy an $800,000 3 family house, u dont use all ur money on it to pay it all in one shot. You buy 3 or 4 of them, paying 20% down then rent it out, use the rent money to pay the mortgage hold and sell after 20-30 years. Use the rest of the money and invest that in a portfolio or start a business. After 30 years all your properties will be paid off by renters like the people here. You can sell them, give them to your kids, whatever. But don't tell me you're not coming out ahead.

    And for the people that are proud to have more than 1 car and paid it all off– a car is not an investment. Unless you buy an antique that you can sell for more than what you paid for, it is not comparable to owning a home. I have a car, it degraded in value the minute i drove it off the lot. Its great for vacations, going around, getting to work whatever. But I am not proud to own a degrading liability even when its been fully paid 5 years after I bought it with no chance of increasing its value.

    I have no problems with renters like you or others in this forum. I make money from you. I don't care if you terminate your lease early because another renter will take your place. All renters do is throw away their money and will never get it back. I will use your rent money to pay my mortgage. But don't try to tell me that owning a home is a bad idea. Owning your own home is NEVER a bad idea and 68% of America agrees. You will ALWAYS need a place to live in.

    12-28 06:45 PM
    �We hope that India will be the number one investor in Indonesia' ( Interview with Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesian Minister of Trade | The Hindu

    With politics taking precedence over �economics and trade� and India entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the ASEAN bloc, commerce has become the new buzz word in intra-regional relations. India's ties with Indonesia, one of the biggest Asian democracies along with India, have grown stronger over the years. The Indonesian Minister of Trade, Mari Elka Pangestu, recently in India, talked to Sujay Mehdudia, about trade relations, commonalities among the two countries and giving a new fillip to the relationship during next month's visit of Indonesian President H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to New Delhi.

    How would you define the relationship between India and Indonesia?

    India and Indonesia enjoy a very warm and �strategic partnership� in the region and this has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. The trade between the two nations has outgrown the set targets well before schedule showing the strong bond the two nations enjoy. In 2005, both the countries set a target of achieving $10 billion trade turnover by 2010 against $4 billion at that time. We have been able to achieve that target in 2008 and hope to end the 2010 fiscal with $12 billion trade turnover which speaks volumes about the complimentary nature of our people and economies.

    How do you see this graph progressing in future and what in your opinion should be done to give a new dimension to this relationship?

    As the global economy is still in the recovery stage and the Western countries are still grappling with various economic issues, this provides a huge opportunity to both India and Indonesia to capitalise on the situation. Both the nations need to have a more diversified basket of goods and services to take the economic partnership between both the countries to a new level. We need to set up more institutional mechanisms for Business to Business and Business to Government negotiations. As I mentioned, India-Indonesia trade has already touched $10 billion during January-October 2010 and could cross $12 billon by the year end. This target is likely to be doubled to $24 billion when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26 and also holds talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    Although, the trade among the two economies has grown tremendously, people to people exchanges and international transport linkage remain an area of concern. What is your take on that?

    There have been some issues pertaining to direct links between the two countries but negotiations are on with the Indian counterparts to link Jakarta directly with major Indian cities. Tourism is another major area where Indonesia has much to offer to the ever growing outgoing number of Indian tourists. Efforts are on to have direct flights from Jakarta to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. It is important that with growing trade, both the nations should provide easy access to their people and the business community at large.

    What are the potential areas of investment that Indonesia could offer to the Indian business community?

    There is an exponential growth in inter-connectivity in Indonesia and this is a huge potential market for Indian investors in this sector. Indonesia offers huge potential and opportunity in the automobile sector, textiles, engineering products � heavy machinery being a good area for cooperation � electronics, consumer products, processed and manufactured goods, pharmaceuticals, creative industry, mining, agro-based products, oil and gas, mining support services, rubber goods, infrastructure and real estate. We hope that India will be the number one investor in Indonesia in the next few years.

    How do view the visit of the Indonesian President to India?

    My visit to India is aimed at a follow-up on a number of bilateral issues as part of efforts to improve trade between the two countries and to prepare for the visit of the Indonesian President to India in early 2011. Mr. Yudhoyono would be in India to enhance the two countries' economic partnership. The joint study group on the Indonesia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has already submitted its report and a final view is likely to be taken during the visit of the Indonesian President. A number of important bilateral economic and strategic agreements are likely to be signed during Mr. Yudhoyono's visit. We need to take it further to have a far-reaching and wide spectrum agreement for giving a new thrust to future bilateral trade, economic development and investment cooperation between the two countries.

    How does Indonesia view the global multilateral trade talks, also called the Doha Round, for the future of the global economic recovery?

    There is little doubt that the multilateral trade links in developing countries will be a significant driver of economic recovery and growth. There is a very strong call to safeguard the world trade system. We need a strong political will for that. I cannot emphasise enough the risk of a failure in a multilateral trading system for a developing country. We firmly believe that for the global economic recovery, it is important that the Doha Round be completed without any further delay and an equitable trading regime is put in place.

    What are your areas of concern where you feel that the Indian economy could open up?

    We strongly feel that India should open up its retail sector where Indonesia has a lot to offer through its own marketing chains. Similarly, banking is an area of lot of opportunity and that needs to be addressed by the Indian counterparts. We are hopeful that the India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement on services and goods would be put in place by March 2011 before the India-ASEAN summit. The ASEAN is in favour of 10 plus one formula whereas India wants a one plus 10 formula in this regard. We hope to convince India about the ASEAN stand which is unlikely to change. We hope India would see reason and is able to finalise the deal by March next year.

    Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world ( GlobalPost

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