- Shome Panel recommends to postpone GAAR by 3 years
- Sonia Gandhi goes to United States for Treatment
- Construction in Gurgaon with Recycled Waters only
- Baba Ramdev to launch Anti-UPA Campaign from Gandhi Jayanti
- A Journey into the House of Arun Gawli
- Baba Ramdev does a hand to hand with Congress
- Air India would no longer ferry Animals for Experiments
- Supreme Court forbids rounding off Marks during Admissions
- Mahindra & Mahindra logs 22 percent Growth in Sales
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 03:08 PM PDT
An expert committee on tax laws Saturday suggested that the Indian government defer implementation of the controversial General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) until fiscal 2016-17 and abolish capital gains tax on transfer of securities to ensure investment and capital flows.
The committee, appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July when he was holding the finance portfolio, in its draft report to the finance ministry recommended a series of steps which are expected to allay investor concerns.
“GAAR should be deferred for three years. But the year 2016-17 should be announced now. In effect, therefore, GAAR would apply from assessment year 2017-18. Pre-announcement is a common practice internationally in today’s global environment of freely flowing capital,” said the draft report.
The government had earlier deferred implementation of GAAR, introduced by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his 2012-13 budget to check tax evasion.
The committee, headed by Parthasarathi Shome, called GAAR “an extremely advanced instrument of tax administration-one of deterrence, rather than for revenue generation” for which, it said, intensive training of tax officers who would specialize in the finer aspects of international taxation is needed.
It recommended a grandfathering clause to protect existing investments and providing protection for transactions routed through Mauritius with which India has a double taxation avoidance treaty and is considered a tax haven.
To protect existing investments, it said: “All investments (though not arrangements) made by a resident or non-resident and existing as on the date of commencement of the GAAR provisions should not be taxed as per GAAR provisions.”
The panel made a case for abolition of capital gain tax to attract investment.
“Internationally, many countries have stopped taxing capital gains because you want investment, and investment and capital flows are very fungible. If you are looking for investment like in our case, it is very important to do that,” Shome told a television channel.
“So, I have suggested in the committee and everyone has agreed is that we need to look for what is going to rejuvenate our investment. From that investment there will be growth, employment and other things, which we have lost in the past two years or so.”
The Finance Ministry also Saturday expanded the scope of the terms of reference of the committee to include all non-resident tax payers instead of only FIIs.
“The draft report has recommended certain amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961; guidelines to be prescribed under the Income-tax Rules, 1962; circular to clarify GAAR provisions along with illustrations; and other measures to improve tax administration specifically oriented towards GAAR matters,” said a finance ministry release.
“It has now been decided to expand the scope of the terms of reference of the committee to include all non-resident tax payers instead of only FIIs,” it said.
The committee invited comments on the draft recommendations from all stakeholders by Sep 15.
It will submit its final report by the month-end.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 02:06 PM PDT
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has gone abroad for a routine health check up, a party leader said on Saturday.
Gandhi is likely to return in four or five days, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told IANS, but gave no other details.
The Congress chief was in the US last year for six weeks from August for treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
She had then constituted a group comprising Defence Minister A.K. Antony, her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and Dwivedi to look after party affairs in her absence.
Later, in February this year, Sonia Gandhi had gone abroad for medical checkup.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 12:30 PM PDT
All construction activities in Gurgaon have been stalled till the builders start making homes and offices with recycled treated water from government sewage treatment plants, an official said Saturday.
The district administration has sent notices to 81 builders following court curbs on extraction of ground water for construction.
The builders have been asked to stop construction immediately till they present a confirmation from the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon, saying that they were not extracting ground water.
The administration also sought assurance that the builders would use recycled water from treatment plants of the HUDA or any other source approved by the authority.
S.S. Dhillon, financial commissioner and principal secretary, town and country planning, along with other officials, visited Golf Course Extension Road and conducted random checks at some construction sites. At almost all the places, no building work was found to be on.
Dhillon said that in compliance of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the builders, who had obtained licence from the town and country planning department, had been directed to make arrangement of recycled treated sewage water for construction.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 10:57 AM PDT
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev sought resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over a huge presumptive loss to the exchequer in coal blocks allocation and announced fresh agitation against the Congress-led UPA government from Oct 2.
Ramdev hinted that the agitation would start from Himachal Pradesh in view of the upcoming assembly elections in that state and Gujarat towards the end of this year.
The yoga guru’s campaign against the United Progressive Alliance government will continue till the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Ramdev alleged that the Congress had created a record in corruption, and now “the government is exposed”.
“About 142 coal blocks containing over 50 billion tonnes of coal worth Rs.200 lakh crore were allocated to firms related to the Congress or to those who paid heavy brokerage to the party without auction,” he said.
“If the PM, who is responsible for corruption worth Rs.200 lakh crore, is honest then who is dishonest,” asked Ramdev in a press conference here.
Saying the amount involved in the scam was much more than Rs.1.86 lakh crore estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), he demanded that the licences issued for coal blocks should be cancelled.
On targeting only Congress and not the Bharatiya Janata Party whose state governments were also named in the CAG report, he said: “There are many political parties involved in this. But the Congress is in power and it has got the gold medal for scams.”
The yoga guru said that he would not join politics. “It’s not our agenda,” he added.
Blaming the Congress for trying to defame him, Ramdev said the UPA government was conspiring against his ashram and trust.
“The government is using the state machinery to harass me and my aides”.
“Some people tried to bribe the people of our ashram to defame us. We are not blaming any particular person but have evidence to prove our claims. We have lodged an FIR (First Information Report) based on the evidence,” Ramdev said.
The income tax department recently decided to cancel the registration of Baba Ramdev’s trust Patanjali as a charitable organisation and reportedly withdraw all exemptions granted to it.
“There are over five lakh charitable organisations in the country… Why is that our ‘seva’ is being termed as a business,” asked Ramdev.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 08:44 AM PDT
Arun Gawli was once considered to be Indian answer to Daewood Ibrahim. From Crime to Politics his journey has been smooth till he was elected as MLA in 2004. He has been acquitted in most of the cases except for murder case of Shiv Sena leader Kamalakar Jamsandekar.
Quaid Najmi got an opportunity to get into the haven’s of Gawli. Below is his travelogue.
In a narrow, congested bylane in south Mumbai’s Saat Rasta area is the Dagdi Chawl headquarters of mafia boss Arun Gawli, sentenced to life for the 2008 murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar, his first conviction in a four-decade-long career in crime in the notorious underworld of India’s commercial and entertainment capital.
Unlike the man, the chawl – local euphemism for a slum – is nondescript and easy to miss for those unfamiliar with the packed city.
On this IANS correspondent’s many visits to Dagdi Chawl, he has entered through the narrow alley. Vehicles are parked here in no particular order and scores of pavement dwellers go about their chores on the footpath. The first sight in Dagdi Chawl is a massive iron gate.
After the visitor identifies himself to suspicious and armed security personnel of Mumbai Police, a small entry gate opens up, leading into a tiny courtyard. There are rough-and-tough youth lolling around, and you cannot escape the feeling that there are scores of eyes watching your every move.
Within, young and old women wash clothes and utensils. There are those carrying out routine household chores. All the while, they discreetly watch.
Towards the right of the courtyard is the entrance to Dagdi Chawl, an old building. This is the don’s den, his residential address for nearly four decades. Or at least for all the time that Gawli is not on the run or in jail.
Dagdi Chawl comprises small, cramped tenements, each around 100 sq. feet with a tiny bathroom, with common toilets outside. There are over hundreds of thousands such chawls dotting Mumbai, and cramming entire families since generations.
As you enter the chawl building, in a small office, you are required to submit your identification, the purpose of visit, and other ‘relevant references’.
When you refer to the pater familias as Arun Gawli, you can expect to be patiently corrected: “Daddy bola” (address him as ‘Daddy’). In time, even the visitor addresses Gawli as “Daddy”, as if by habit.
Depending on your work, a couple of youngsters lead you into a narrow alley within the building with rows of tiny one-room tenements. Noisy children run around and women chat away furiously. All the while, there are youngsters keeping their eyes peeled.
Dagdi Chawl is reputed to have many hidden entries and exits, safe rooms, false walls and ceilings, but few would dare seek confirmation.
And surprise! There is a special lift inside the chawl! It is used exclusively by Gawli or distinguished guests. Policemen, as also visiting Indian and foreign media people, have access to the lift. Ordinary folk must just trudge up the dingy staircase, either two or three floors, depending on where Gawli holds his ‘durbar’, or public audience.
On a rare occasion, when Gawli was in a good mood, he took this correspondent on a guided tour of the entire premises. Gawli’s hospitality was effusive, and he plied this correspondent with soft drinks, snacks and hot beverages. The continuous supply was maintained by ruffians who seemed to appear out of nowhere.
On the third floor, the visitor is ushered into a posh living room with plush sofa sets on two sides, a thick carpet and a huge home theatre. The TV screen spans one entire wall.
At one end, there is a tiny closed verandah opening into the back of Dagdi Chawl, and possibly used as a watch-tower!
Next, the visitor is guided to Gawli’s children’s rooms. These too are well-appointed, with all facilities and luxuries, rivalling those in some of the tall skyscrapers surrounding Dagdi Chawl.
Then a quick peek into the don’s own master-bedroom, with a large bed, curtains on the tiny windows and an air-conditioner silently at work.
The next is a sprawling terrace, more than 2,000 square feet, opening into blue skies.
On the left is a heap of large black stones, “Kailash Parbat” with a small idol of Lord Shiva resting on top. A small fountain from Shiva’s head flows down, depicting the holy Ganga. The water flows all around.
Below the “Kailash Parbat” is a small, well-manicured lawn with a small temple of Lord Krishna. There are images of cows around. ‘Gawli’ means cowherd. And Lord Krishna was one too!
As the visitor marvels at the don’s lavish lifestyle, Gawli continues to chatter away, mostly in Marathi. Every once in a while, he holds out his hand, expecting you’ll join yours with his in a clap, a “De taali” gesture. Most people clap in sheer fear!
And once the conversation is done, a gang of youngsters quietly shows you the way out.
You are out again, in the safety of the main road.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 05:30 AM PDT
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of causing a loss of Rs.200 lakh crore in coal blocks allocation and sought resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the scam.
“If the PM, who is responsible for corruption worth Rs.200 lakh crore, is honest then who is dishonest,” asked Ramdev in a press conference in New Delhi.
Targeting Congress on the coal block allocation issue, Ramdev alleged the party has garnered “gold medal in scams” and described it as a “sinking ship“.
He alleged the amount involved in the coal scam was much more than the figure of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore provided by CAG and Congress received commission for it.
He also demanded that the licences issued for coal blocks should be cancelled.
Ramdev added that he would launch a campaign from October 2 against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in 2014.
People will give a suitable answer to Congress (for targeting us). What will it do to us when it is on a dissolving path on its own,” he said.
He told the media that the Congress had created a record in corruption, and now “the government is exposed“.
He said the immediate priority is the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Asked whether he was on a collision course with erstwhile Team Anna as it is likely to announce its political party on the same day, he said he was not in competition with anybody and that he will not comment on whether he will support them.
The yoga guru said he would not join politics. “It’s not our agenda” he added.
He also alleged that the Congress was trying to defame him, and the UPA government was conspiring against his ashram and trust.
“We have filed a complaint with police regarding persons who came to our institution and offered money. They told aides, including my driver, to defame those involved with me. They also asked them to plant some articles. It could be dangerous substances also,” the yoga guru claimed.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 05:13 AM PDT
Air India would no longer provide transportation to Animals onboard for experiment purposes.
After protests by rights activists, Air India has stopped ferrying animals like rabbits, cats and dogs for laboratory tests, where they are experimented upon and finally killed, a PETA official said on Saturday.
“Air India, in an e-mail to PETA, has confirmed that a circular was sent to all stations in its network instructing them not to accept animals being transported for experimental purposes, and that the situation would be closely monitored,” Chaitanya Koduri, a policy advisor of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said.
Air India has also confirmed that it has banned ferrying animals for experimentation purpose from all its national and international flights since last week.
The carrier’s move came after PETA showed Air India a copy of an airway bill documenting that the airline transported a shipment of animals for experimental purposes in laboratories.
With this, PETA now plans to take up the same issue with all other private Indian air operators urging them for a similar humane commitment, Koduri said.
Air India is now among international airlines like Air Lingus, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and, recently, Air China which decline transporting rabbits, rodents, dogs, cats, primates and other creatures destined for laboratories.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 04:58 AM PDT
Next time there wont be any rounding off of percentage marks while seeking admission to any of the colleges in the country.
“When eligibility criteria are prescribed in a qualifying examination, it must be strictly adhered to,” the apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said in a recent judgment.
“Any dilution or tampering with it will work injustice on other candidates” and “such rounding-off is impermissible“, said Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai who authored the judgment.
The apex court’s judgment came while answering the question of law of whether a relaxation was possible through the application of the principle of rounding off in the eligibility criteria prescribed for admission, in a case related to a post-graduate nursing course.
The court said: “No provision of any statute or any rules framed hereunder has been shown to us, which permits rounding-off of eligibility criteria prescribed for the qualifying examination for admission to the PG course in M.SC (Nursing).”
The court sought strict adherence to the eligibility criteria while disposing of an appeal by Bangalore-based Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, challenging the Oct 28, 2010, judgment of the division bench of the Karnataka High Court declining to entertain a plea against the single-judge order upholding rounding-off of the percentage of marks obtained by one G. Hemlatha so as to make her eligible for admission to the post-graduate nursing course.
“The Division Bench of the High Court erred in holding that the learned single judge was right in rounding off 54.71 percent to 55 percent, so as to make respondent 1 (Hemlatha) eligible for admission to the P G course. Such rounding off is impermissible,” the apex court said.
Hemlatha completed the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with 54.71 percent aggregate marks from N.T.R. University of Health Sciences in the year 1997, and was appointed staff nurse at the Primary Health Centre, Nagasamudram (Andhra Pradesh) from July 8, 1999.
After working for eight years and three months, she decided to pursue post-graduate studies.
The eligibility criteria prescribed by the Indian Nursing Council (INC) for securing admission to the post-graduate course was 55 percent aggregate marks in B.Sc. Hemlatha had secured 54.71 percent aggregate marks.
Hemlatha made a representation to INC which said that 0.50 percent would normally be rounded-off to the next digit.
On the strength of this certificate, she got admission to the post-graduate course. However, when she was to undertake the M.Sc previous examination, she was told by the university that she was not eligible.
Hemlatha impugned this order holding her ineligible before the single judge of the Karnataka High Court. An interim order permitted her to appear in the examination.
On the strength of another court’s order, she appeared in the M.Sc final examination.
When Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences moved the Supreme Court challenging the division bench order, the apex court directed the declaration of her result and regularisation of her admission.
However, the court had said that it would decide the question of law of whether rounding of percentage of marks to next digit could be done to facilitate admission in the course of time.
Posted: 01 Sep 2012 04:04 AM PDT
Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) announced that it has logged 22 percent sales growth in August this year as compared to the same month in 2011.
In a statement, M&M said it sold 45,836 units last month up from 37,684 units sold in August 2011.
M&M’s passenger vehicle portfolio (utility vehicles and Verito car) registered 39 percent growth selling 21,831 units last month as against 15,664 units sold in August 2011.
In the four-wheeled commercial and passenger-carrying vehicle segment, M&M sold 14,267 units up from 12,563 units sold last August.
However, the sales of three-wheelers came down to 6,004 units from 6,394 units sold in August 2011.
“Considering the challenging external environment, we are happy to have achieved a growth of 22 percent. Our new look Verito has evoked a positive response of having crossed the 2,000 plus units sales mark during August 2012,” the statement quoted Pravin Shah, chief executive of the automotive division as saying.
“The overall sentiments for the auto industry are low which could benefit from a relief in interest rates, to boost sales. At Mahindra, we continue to remain cautious and watchful of the situation,” he added.
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