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Showing posts from December, 2015

Juvenile Justice - Should we punish them or should we not!

Two kids in school, thirteen year olds, fought with one another. Let us call them A and B. One of them, the boy A broke the nose of the other.
Complaints were made and the matter went to the Principal of the school. Mother of B was all worked up. Look at the way A has broken by son, B's nose. All bloody and harsh. A is a rogue, a rowdy and has to be punished strongly so that he learns his lessons. Mother of A on the other hand says that the fight could have gone either way. It was just fate that B ended up with a broken nose. It could have been A easily. And will mother of B talk about it the same way if it had been the other way round.
For one, most of the 'crimes' of the juvenile are minor in nature. And your own point of view will determine the way you think and behave about such juveniles. Don't we not find neighbouring women who cry hoarse about your kids as if their kids are absolute nice ones.
Right, Nirbhaya is an heinous crime. No doubt. When we make a law, a…

GST - the Government Ploy

So, once more the parliament is going to adjourn the winter session without passing the GST bill. One more year to roll by before we can think of and talk of GST!

What a sham!

Who is to blame for this ruckus? Is it the Opposition, Congress or is it the Government, BJP?

Let us take a look at the history.

Congress brought in the concept of GST way back in 2003 / 4. All the initial teeth that was set in the first draft slowly gave way with every passing day and opposition by the then Opposition Party, BJP and the communist parties.

While Congress wanted taxes to have a more central leaning, the others wanted a state leaning. Neither the Congress yielded nor the others. There are good and bad arguments for either of them. There is no question of who is right and who is wrong. Both of them are right in their own ways.

While so, only an accommodation and a policy of dropping clauses that are not comfortable could have brought the GST out. But unfortunately, this never happened in the last …

GST - what it means to us?

From the vague vantage point that I occupy today, I write this article. Therefore, the information I am privy too is very little except most that is available on the media. Based on this information, I give you another vague perception of what to expect.

However, the lines of progress are clear. GST has grown old under discussion stage itself and has lost most of its original charm.

1. There will be a central GST and a State GST. Sounds very similar to Central Sales Tax and the State Sales Tax. Only advantage, no two numbers. One number but two accounts to pay. You make a mistake, you pay the penalty. They don't adjust between themselves! Same as today. Yes, of course, the Excise is not there! That is a big saving.

2. Who does the scrutiny or audit checks? The fight is still on. Both want the right to do the audit. Because that is where they can make their money. Who would leave that out? From the way, it is progressing, both will end up making the audit on our accounts. Result: …

Goods and Services Tax - the politics behind it.

In order to understand the current situation, we need to take a look at the history of taxation in India, particularly, the Excise and sales tax.

1889 saw the first major taxation act happening in India as the Madras Salt Act under which salt and abhkari (intoxicating drinks and drugs) where the first to be taxed as excise. Excise was the first set of taxation that came into being. Sales tax as we know it today can claim a start during the British regime in 1938 when Tobacco was taxed in Bombay. Before independence, the only other product that was sales taxed was motor spirit or Petrol as we call it today.

Post independence and post republic, the sales tax was set aside for the states to have their own revenue and customs and income tax would be revenue for the Central Government. Excise which was already in vogue was retained by the Centre to tax goods such as tobacco. Excise would be imposed on those goods that have a universal ramification across the country.

Soon, the central gov…

Surplus power in Tamil Nadu and the Power Cuts - Is it for real?

It has been 'ages' (read six months) since we had an announced power cut in Tamil Nadu!

The government boasts of correcting the long standing problem of power in the state. Every consumer in the state would like to know whether this surplus is real and whether he should plan for the dry days now. Or can he lay back and enjoy the situation?

Every seller of power is also in a quandary. Power surplus, they think, is not real. And that it is only a question of time before the surplus will yield place to the old condition of power cuts and Restrictive measures.

Let us get a fair ringside view of what has happened in the last six months that has resulted in the surplus state that we are in today. And then see whether we have reached a steady state condition or are we heading for more volatility in the power sector?

Major problems we faced in the last two years were:
1. Power generation was less than the power requirement. We wanted 14000 MW of power approximately, but generated any…

Delhi's Odd and Even

Following Beijing's example, Delhi has also announced the Odd / Even car usage in the city, to fight the smog. A welcome measure to bring down the smog effects in the city. Every one has to support the cause only then the success or failure of the scheme can be realised.

Apart from this, there are a number of other measures that could also be implemented. It may not be one measure that would give you complete relief. All that can be done is to reduce the pollution gradually and surely.

Let us take a look at the possible suggestions that could be implemented.

1. No motor areas. Markets should be made only walk through or cycle zones. There are many locations in Delhi that could be made only walkable / cycle-able.

2. Revise the entire transport routes. Rework and re-plan! You should keep in mind we pollute more when we are idling the engine. Every time, you change gears from standstill upwards, you are polluting more. What you should look at are: reduce signals by creating more one…