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Showing posts from February, 2013

Why those 42000 crorepatis don’t love Chidu anymore

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“There is an affluent class in India that consumes imported luxury goods such as high end motor vehicles, motorcycles, yachts and similar vessels. I am sure they will not mind paying a little more,” he said with a smile. Believe me, the glass almost fell out of my hand, so I gulped the drink in one go. Reuters More income tax ( a ten percent surcharge it seems) just because I make more than one crore per year. What rubbish I say. Just because I make more money than the average person why should I pay more tax? I already had a road named after me, what will Chidambaram do with all this tax? Trying to make me feel better by saying that I will have to pay more income tax only for one year didn’t make me feel any better. Then came the real hit. I was planing on getting myself that new Maserati but Chidambaram announced that I would have to pay 100 percent customs duty on an imported car as compared to 75 percent. So now I actually have to pay two times the price of the car. I think I’ll …

How much more can you soak the salaried schmuck?

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In the midst of our Finance Minister’s “business as usual” budget speech, Shri Chidambaram acknowledged the elephant in the room: “In 2011-12, the tax GDP ratio was 5.5 percent for direct taxes and 4.4 percent for indirect taxes. These ratios are one of the lowest for any large developing country and will not garner adequate resources for inclusive and sustainable development.” Shortly on its heels came Nitin Pai’s scathing response on my Twitter feed, retweeted by Sadanand Dhume: “Why would tax compliance increase if taxpayers know most of their money will go into wasteful, leaky spending programmes?” Hear, hear and all that, except such principled tax evasion is not an option for us salaried schmucks. When will we get to tick that little box on our tax returns? “Never. The principle at work has always been ‘soak the soakable,’” Dhume shot back. We are eminently soakable indeed, as in the 2.5 percent of the population that pays income tax in this country. I don’t know how many of th…

Disdain for Modi, love for Nitish

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Those, including Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who predicted that Finance Minister P Chidambaram would present a populist pre-poll budget have been left disappointed. Also, those from the Congress who thought that this budget, the last before the next general elections, would give them the right talking points to take on their rivals didn’t get much. In a budget speech of huge popularity and political interest, he did not use the word ‘aam aadmi’, which has been the Congress’s catch phrase since the run-up to the 2004 elections, even once. That perhaps reflects his sense of confidence in himself or his understanding that by now the aam aadmi has become a part of inclusive growth and thus did not need a ritual mention. The slogan `Congress ka haath aam aadmi ke saath’ seems to have given way to ‘Apka Paisa Apke Saath’ – this one in reference to the direct cash transfer scheme. But the politician in Palaniappan Chidambaram took a different route to send out a political mes…

Why Chidambaram wasted his tryst with destiny

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Finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has become a victim of his own image and track record this time round. A budget that would been hailed as very good if delivered by his predecessor, has now sent the markets into a sulk for not being Big Bang enough. It would have been okay for the Big Bong, now in Rashtrapati Bhavan, but not Chidambaram. Having managed expectations and built up hopes of reviving the economy after he took charge again as FM in September 2012, Chidambaram’s Budget 2013 turned out to be somewhat of a dampener –- a ‘boring Budget’, as fund manager Samir Arora said on CNBC-TV18. The Budget, which came against the backdrop of a few key major reform announcements by the government, some tough decisions on fuel subsidy and some plainspeak by the FM himself on how the growth momentum needed to be brought back, did not have that ‘awe’ factor which the markets and Corporate India had come to expect of Chidambaram.  To be fair to the FM, however, he did attempt to addres…

Jamia stops play over 'foul' language

A students' theatre group from a Delhi University college was forced to stop its performance mid-way when judges at Jamia Millia Islamia's (JMI) annual festival asked them to step down because of crass and abusive language used in the play.

The infuriated students from RamjasCollege alleged that they had informed JMI authorities about the contents of their play, including the use of abusive language, and had asked the authorities many times over if it was okay to perform.and abusive language used in the play. 
"We asked the coordinators of the event over and over again whether it would be okay to perform this play since the theme involves the murder of a man by four young men in a bar who use excessively crass language. We wanted our play to be realistic and hence the language. JMI told us that performing this play would not be objectionable to them and that is why we went. The judges at the festival, however, humiliated us," said Dhwani Kapadiya, a member of the prod…

SAD wrests Moga seat from Congress

The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Joginerpal Jain today wrested the Moga Assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival by 18,845 votes. Jain, who had recently joined SAD after defecting from Congress, registered his third successive win by defeating Congress' Vijay Kumar Sathi. "While Jain got 69,265 votes, Sathi managed 50,420 votes. Sanjah Morcha's candidate Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal could manage only 7,401 votes," an election office spokesman said here. The bypoll, whose result was declared here today, was held on February 23 and 72.61 per cent of total 1,79,448 electorates had exercised their franchise.The bypoll was necessitated after Jain deserted theCongress to join the SAD. There were total ten candidates in the fray. In the 117-member Punjab Assembly, now the SAD tally has touched 57, its ally BJP has 12 members, Congress 45 and there are three independents. The SAD is now one short of simple majority (58 members) in the Assembly. However, two ind…

Manik Sarkar-led CPI(M) wins Tripura Assembly elections for the fifth straight time

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Agartala: The Left Front led by the CPI(M) came to power for a record fifth straight term defeating the Opposition Congress by a huge margin. The CPI(M) won 48 seats in the 60-seat Assembly. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar won the Dhanpur Assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival Shah Alam by 6,017 votes. "This is a great victory for the Left Front and shows its popularity and public support. Good governance is one of the key factors for the thumping victory," gloated CPI(M) spokesperson Gautam Das. "People voted for the Left to establish peace and development in all sectors," Das told IANS. The CPI(M) led by Manik Sarkar, which has taken credit for ending the four-decade-old insurgency in the state and ensuring peace and communal harmony, projected Tripura as a model state in terms of good governance having topped the list in the implementation of MNREGA during the poll campaign. The CPI(M) also highlighted the 15 awards it received from the Centre for succes…

Budget 2013 clever attempt to mislead public in election year: AAP

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In a statement, the party claimed that the common man has reasons to feel "disappointed, if not cheated" with the Budget. NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday alleged that the Budget presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram was a "clever attempt to mislead" public ahead of elections as it offered little remedy for the key problems facing the Indian economy.

In a statement, the party claimed that the common man has reasons to feel "disappointed, if not cheated" with the Budget.

"The Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister is a clever attempt to mislead the public in an election year. The Finance Minister's speech offers little remedy for the key problems facing the Indian economy that he himself begins by acknowledging: Slowdown of growth, rising fiscal deficit and current account deficit.

"The current crisis required the government to stimulate domestic investment by encouraging consumption from below; instead the FM remained focus…

Union Budget 2013 a damp squib, full of rhetoric, says Jaya

CHENNAI: Describing the Union Budget as a 'damp squib' Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa on February 28 said it was full of rhetoric and lacked any tangible steps to tackle the crisis confronting the country's economy.


The exercise was only a "day dream cosmetic budget," of Finance MinisterP Chidambaram, she said in a statement here. 

"The Union Budget presented in Parliament today has turned out to be an uninspiring damp squib, full of rhetoric, without any tangible steps to tackle the deep crisis confronting the Indian economy today... I would describe it only as a day dream cosmetic budget of Mr P Chidambaram," she said. 

The budget only paid lip service to the cause of the common people and did little to correct deeper structural issues. 

"The slow down in economic growth and the sharp rise in inflation in the last two years which have caused so much pain to the people of the country were primarily due to the inept macro-economic management by …

Delhi gangrape: JJB frames gangrape, murder charges against juvenile

NEW DELHI: Gangrape and murder charges were on February 27 ordered to be framed by a juvenile justice board against the minor accused of brutally raping along with five adults a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus here on December 16.

The assaulted victim was shifted to a Singapore hospital for treatment where she succumbed to her injuries on December 29. 

Finding prima facie evidence against the 17-year-old juvenile, Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel ordered framing of charges under various provisions of the IPC dealing with gangrape, murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, attempt to murder, dacoity, destruction of evidence and conspiracy. 

The Board has now fixed the case on March 6 for recording of evidence. 

The charges of robbery, wrongful confinement and destruction of evidence have also been framed against the juvenile in another case of robbing a vegetable seller prior who had boarded the bus on the fateful night before the gang rape victim and her friend allegedly became the pre…

Dhoni vs Clarke: Who’s the better captain?

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Coming into the first Test, Michael Clarke and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were sailing in very different boats. Michael Clarke was the captain who could do no wrong. In 18 months as captain of Australia, he had almost single-handedly kept them afloat. In 22 matches as skipper, he has averaged 70.08 with nine centuries. He was an attacking skipper; one that many thought was the best in the world. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on the other hand, was feeling the effects of being in the job for too long. He was suddenly the man who could do no right. Team selection was bad, his tactics were too defensive, his handling of the team wasn’t good, there was discord and there was defeat. So who is the better skipper? Getty Images One Test later – things have suddenly been flipped. Everyone who is anyone believes that Dhoni is the best thing to happen to Indian cricket all over again. The 224 was great, it was brilliant, and it was stunning. It was everything that you expect from a captain. But Clarke wasn’t…

Union Budget 2013 Highlights: No revision in Income Tax slabs; surcharge on Super Rich - See more at: http://zeenews.india.com/business/budget-2013/union-budget-2013-highlights-no-revision-in-income-tax-slabs-surcharge-on-super-rich

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on February 28 did not tinker with the Income Tax slabs while presenting the Union Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha.

Chidambaram however said a surcharge of 10% would be imposed on those earning over Rs 1 crore in a year, for 2013-14. This would be applicable for both individuals and corporates.

The Finance Minister announced that housing loan for first time loan takers of up to Rs 25 lakh would get additional deduction of interest of up to Rs 1 lakh in 2013-14. The additional exemption would mean tax benefit gets raised from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh.

Chidambaram also announced the setting up of Nirbhaya Fund for women safety and allocated Rs 1000 crores to it.

Chidambaram noted that the global economic growth has slowed, including that of India. He however added that high growth is a novelty and not beyond India's capacity.

Highlights of Union Budget 2013-14:

Personal Tax

No changes in personal Income Tax slabs
Surcharge on super rich
Surcharge of 10% for…