Diminishing Trust – Cause of concern

August - 2018
Diminishing Trust – Cause of concern

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Members only. For Private Circulation only.

Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society

Harnessing Talent and Providing Quality Service

Thought Mailer                                                                       Vol. 8 1 No. 9 1 August 2018

Shri.  C M Sharma


Diminishing Trust – Cause of concern

Trust is beginning of life, as one finds that a child trusts the mother and seeks to quench the thirst & hunger. The Nation trusts the soldier to keep the boundaries safe from enemies and the nation remaining safe, while the Citizens are working towards economic progress. As a Soldier sheds normal human aspirations and expectations of youthful years and stands up to difficult challenges in defending the Honour of the Nation, first, always and every time, but at the same time, he also trusts that the Nation would stand by him. Soldier is trusted and Soldier delivers readily even by making supreme sacrifice.

Tax payer trusts in reasonableness of Taxation system. Tax systems trusts voluntary compliances of Tax laws by tax-payers. As the distrust develops progressively, hence for economic and social benefits & for an enriched happiness, visible trend in diminishing trust need to be identified, stemmed and reversed. Trust begets trust and Trust brings in happiness, thus constantly it is an evolving process.

Recent World Happiness Report, 2018 provides some dismal ranking of India at 133rd, from amongst 153 countries. From the 2017 report, it is down by 11 spots. Amongst 180 countries, in Global Corruption Perception Index India ranks as 81st, with a score of 38-40 during the previous years. As lack of trust creates pressures of challenges, attitude, choice etc., thus trustful environment boosts happiness. They say “Trust bring about Trust”. Thus, trust is two way stream towards happiness and one greatly enjoys dealing with a person or organization, that is trustworthy.

With the start of the day and in face of target times for professional work, very occasionally we come across an observation, “I trusted that it would be done on time but…”. It is this mutual trust that is seemingly declining and uncertainty is creating nerve-racking atmosphere. Therefore, this growing pattern attracts a serious cause of concern as it, apparently, is impediment to productivity and happiness.

While advancing financial loans for specific purpose, an account holder is trusted by the lender, but as mutual trust diminishes, it turns into a serious cause of concern and presently it needs no elaboration, as the lending costs get colossal. A common man faces probing enquiry in financial sector, to prove his existence & identity, sup-ported with multifaceted identity proofs. Such persons are baffled because the financial savings of these common men are the sole enabling basis of the existence of the lenders. (Growth in savings rate). A tax officer distrusts the declarations of a tax payer and burdens testing of law with multifaceted beliefs, thus further burdening the judiciary system. Trust has remained the pillar for the growth in financial sector.

Diminishing trust in financial transactions progressively brought in KYC norms. Handful frauds in the financial sector system caused it. Requirements of frequent up-dating of KYC norms are further introduced for account holders. As in 2017, it is estimated that apart from financial investment system, the Banks account numbered to appx 157 Crores including Jan Dhan Yojna accounts numbering to 28.17 Crores appx. These KYC norms have huge monetary costs, which severely strain the productivity with costs & time spent by the functionaries and the masses of account holders. Such costs would run into few hundred Crores of Rupees. Thus diminish-ing trust in financial sector is lowering the profitability of the system, leaving aside the gigantic impact of frauds emanating from deficient trust.

Strong mutual trust must also exist between Employer - Employee for performances and fulfilment of expectations. Diminishing trust appears, when there is mis-match in expected financial remunerations or efficient performances. Lack of trust and awareness of workforce in appreciating financial viability & inability of an organization to pay remunerations equal to the expectations. This trust, when gets lowered, adversely interrupts continuity of employees in the establishment. Thereby a trust creates conducive environment for harmonious organizational goals and that of the employees.

While approaching professional experts, a client / sick patient lays steadfast trust in them, while a professional expert trusts them for timely receiving the remunerations due. However, when either of them fails to perform in trustworthy manner, the reposed mutual trust is the causality. Therefore, both need to see common goal.

Over the recent decades, commonly observed menace of Plastic and Tobacco has assumed enormous proportions. As against the earlier perceived convenience, pleasure and employment of masses and revenue for governments, it is now of near gigantic magnitude that is threatening the very life existence on the earth and good health in the living. Long term impact had been some where lost sight of. Inadequate timely expected reasonable steps, expected from mutual reposed trust and lack of due atten-tion to the warnings in various related areas, have been instrumental. With deficient long term trusted sensitivity for common good, the reposed mutual trust has been the causality. As to what caused it, what safe guards ought to have been in place, who failed, etc., can be debated. But fact remains that mutual trust seems to have been harshly shaken, with a huge cost.

Trust Quotient

It is strongly believed that enhanced MUTUAL TRUST generates economic benefits and boosts productivity & happiness quotient in the society. Addressing the con-cerns and the reasonable sensitivity to reverse the diminishing mutual trust quotient essentially requires individual human inputs – both emotional and physical. Trust must be continually developed and nurtured throughout the course of a relationship, not just when it’s been damaged. As the mutual trust magnitudes variance is an evolving process, thus it requires individual and collective efforts.

Trust at personal levels can be broken down into two things:

• Character — integrity and intentions

• Competency - skills and results

If one doesn’t have both character and competency, trust will be low. For example, we may have all the right skills, but we may lack integrity. Or, we may have high in-tegrity, but lack the needed skills for a specific task. This is one of the prime reasons that the confidence must be earned. A price must be paid to have confidence. The price is trust.

Diminishing Trust progressively is caused by factors such as:-

1. Doubt

2. Suspicion - when the doubts have remained unresolved.

3. Anxiety - with a feeling of apprehension or uneasiness arising from suspicion.

4. Fear - with anxiety one gets afraid & it shows vulnerability.

5. Self - protection – gets developed by putting up walls in the relationship that also cements the state of distrust in the relationship.

Mutual Trust is based on mutual agreed goals and therefore synergy in goal setting by the two concerned parties is foundation for trust. In order to have confidence and emotional well-being, the two related parties need four things to be appreciated while setting the goals:

• Goals need to be essentially meaningful.

• Need to have trust in knowledge and abilities to achieve the goals.

• Need to be moving toward goals at an achievable speed.

• Need for consistent endeavours to attain / achieve the set goals.

Any mis-match in goal setting by the two concerned parties or Dysergy (counter to synergy) of goals leads to:

• Frequent negative emotions and rare positive emotions.

• Low satisfaction with life in general.

• Long periods of unhealthy rumination, less goal directed activity over time, more somatic symptoms and more frequent physician visits.

Organization or an individual greatly cares about trust and security but when their individual interests are in variance to each other, trust gets wanting. Owing to aspi-rations for commercial growth, there are possibilities of mismatch between, what we think and what we say, or between our values are and what our actions are, in the organization or in personal life. This mismatch seriously adds to diminishing trust. At this stage, it would be desirable to recall the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi on Happiness –

“Happiness is, when
what you think,
what you say, and
what you do,
are in harmony”.

In order to be trusted, the Banks, Governments, Organizations or individuals need to act in a individual as also in collective trustworthy manner. This requires progres-sively developing new attitudes toward governance and responsibility. In accountability enforcement for compliance by Users/ Tax Payers. While any inaction / de-layed action attracts heavy fines / penalties but in contrast in similarly placed situations of inaction / delayed action, the Government or its functionary officers are not saddled with similar accountability. This mis-match / in-equality is compliance goal setting generates distrust in Government functioning. It adds to corrupt actions.

The human nature heavily focuses on the one time of mis-information and adverse resulting experiences. It is, therefore, imperative that such fault lines are strongly guarded. Volumes or pressures of work cannot be an excuse for lack of positive acts in trust responsibility. Trust expectations and responsibility must remain synchro-nised. When mutual trust in the working of corporate is at high levels, then during the mergers and acquisitions proceedings, the need for time consuming due diligence would get precluded. This is the easily observed benefit of unflinching Trust.

To be trusted, first by our own self

We ourselves need to be trusted, first by our own self, and then only others would repose trust in us. Otherwise we may not be living truthfully and may feel lack of clarity, congruence, or conviction inside ourselves. In developing trust, it is essential to believe in trust and in being seen as trustworthy. Said Mahatma Gandhi, “To be-lieve in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

Take a situation, when in presence of a child at home, the parent advises omission of important & relevant detail, which may be attracting extra fiscal liability. It is a matter of concern, not due to extra liability involved to be borne, but on account of the way the mindset is being trained and to live with. To get the desired results, such actions may amount to cutting corners or altering the truth and thereby it is seriously leading towards diminishing trust quotient. Generations are thus being groomed with broken down mindset.

Devoid of commercial & material gains, it is time for us, individually as also collectively, to ring alarm bells, recognize and initiate immediate steps to enhance mutual trust with building Character - integrity and intentions and Competency - skills and results. Such booster dose to MUTUAL TRUST would significantly help in grow-ing overall happiness levels in our life and raising perception against the corrupt practices.

In their absence, our relationships - including with one own self - would be shallow, by remaining concerned with our own feelings. Our commonly felt concerns are for expectation for trust from others. But are we ourselves working towards being trustworthy to be appropriately honoured? Such relationships mutually remain stuck and don’t progress and evolve. We should, therefore, promote high level of shared-trust, as a win-win situation, that is both fast and cost-effective.

Government and public functionary in particular and the masses in general, have to bridge the mismatch to reverse growing distrust and improve the overall happiness for the good of all.

Short term goals and craving for immediate results to achieve unrealistic goals, are playing a passive part in diminishing the trust. Should we not work towards ful-filling the trust reposed in us by others by working with just & realistic achievable goals and expectations?

For our own happiness, we should live trustworthy life, both in personal life as also in professional conduct. We all love a trustworthy person. To remain loved one, let us all work as being trusted. This requires no intervention from outside source. It requires change in our own attitude, a little thing that makes a big difference. Trust and happiness go hand in hand. This would be economic, cost effective; goal oriented and adds to productivity.

Let us take initiative to be trust worthy. Happiness and economic progress needs pillars of Trustworthiness.

About: Shri C. M. Sharma,

While turning teen years of life, he, as young Army Officer, is a War Veteran of Indo-Pak War, 1965 and had also battled in the counter insurgency operations in N.E. states. Thus, during the formative years of professional life, he closely experienced the rare matter-of-fact facets of human life.

Moving to civil services, for over 3 decades, he served with Customs, Revenue Intelligence and Indirect Tax administration.

For ‘Exceptional devotion to duty and Specially distinguished record of service’, in 1992, he was conferred with the prestigious Appreciation Certificate by His Excellency The President of India.

He is also recipient of ‘Samman Patra’ awarded by the CBEC (CBIC), Government of India.

On superannuation from service, for last decade and half, he has been advising and representing issues in Indirect Tax Practices.

He can be contacted at : consulting.cms@gmail.com


Sunil B Gabhawalla




Manish P. Sampat




Hon. Secretaries

Abhay R. Mehta




Mihir Sheth




Hon. Treasurer

Suhas S. Paranjpe



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