India not responsible for global imbalances
Budget 2011-12 Wishlist Agriculture
Mukesh Ambani’s SEZ plans in trouble
Paris, February 19
Ministers from the world’s top economies are engaged in intense talks to arrive at an agreement on measuring global economic imbalances amidst a tough resistance from China, and with India saying it does not want a 'one size fits all deal'.
"India did not (and does not) contribute either to the buildup, or to the persistence of global imbalances...Nor does it contribute to the volatility in several international markets, including commodity markets," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at the G-20 Finance Ministers meeting here.
There have been proposals to frame indicators based on pubic sector debt, private savings, real effective foreign exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
The G20 developed and developing countries, including India, China, Russia, Brazil, US, UK, Germany and France, had formed an working group to decide on such indicators.
China, sitting over large foreign exchange reserve of nearly $ 3 trillion and having a big current account surplus, is fiercely opposed to these indices. It, instead, wants trade surplus to be taken into account.
India, on its part, has suggested that further efforts should be made to reach a consensus on the contentious issues, saying if there is no unanimity, "then that part of the communique can be deferred." Mukherjee told reporters that efforts were still underway to arrive at a common ground.
Earlier, in his speech he said India is vulnerable to seasonal factors and their effect on the food prices.
"As a result of vagaries of weather, India has witnessed a high and unsustainable inflation on the food items," Mukherjee said.
He said persistent high prices of food and commodities globally "do not give us room for comfort in tackling food inflation in India." India's current phase of growth has been more or less evenly balanced between consumption and investment on the one hand, and between domestic demand and external demand on the other.
However, India has its own "share of concerns arising from elevated commodity and asset prices and economic problems of a more structural nature that underlie the uncertainties in the global economy", he said.
Some of these uncertainties also derive from the aggressive macro-economic policy response to the global crisis itself, he said.
Meanwhile, in a signal that it is not willing to join the US-China currency war, India today said the foreign exchange adjustment is best be left to the sovereign governments.
Underlining that currency rates should be driven by market forces "as far as possible", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said "the best course would be to leave it to sovereign governments to decide what course of action they will take. We take that position". — PTI
Farmers want uniform land acquisition policy
Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 19
Sucha Singh Gill, director general, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), said that the Budget for the coming fiscal should focus on investment in irrigation, leading to a boost in productivity.
“There should be sizeable allocation for soil conservation and improving soil fertility. The government must lay emphasis on improving rural health and rural education, so that more people can shift to non-farm activities,” he said.
R S Ghumman, Head, Economics department, Punjabi University, Patiala, added the Budget should focus on improving public sector participation in research and development. “It is only by strengthening public sector participation in R&D that the government can see change and second green revolution is possible for small and marginal farmers. A package should be given to an R& D institute like PAU, Ludhiana, for new seed technology,” he said.
However, most farmers feel that Budget will focus more on industry and little would be done for the farm sector. With land acquisition by government for private developers now threatening land availability , farmers hope that a uniform policy, catering to the interest of all stake holders will be finalised. Balbir Singh Rajewal, President, Bhartiya Kisan Union, said : “There should be a new mechanism for cost calculation of major crops,” he added.
by KR Wadhwaney
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is scattered in a huge area with three terminal concourses far apart. This leaves it vulnerable from the security viewpoint because of several weak zones between the concourses.
Another major cause of concern is that there are at least three major agencies - the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Delhi police. All three are independent in their functioning and report to different bosses.
Civil aviation analysts connected with security say this kind of situation does not exist at any international airport. All agencies must merge into one with one boss - who should be the trouble-shooter.
Regardless of the functions of three agencies in over-all run-up, these should function as a single unit under one boss.
In a recent two-day Regional Aviation Security Conference, held under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), emphasis was more on sophisticated imported equipment like body scanners. However, the guarding an international airport is different from examining baggage and frisking of passengers through machines.
There are several unmanned areas. There are walls which are no more than flimsy. There have been instances when individuals have managed to reach sensitive areas without anyone noticing them.Analysts say that many approaches to the airport are misleading and bona fide passengers are stranded.
While inaugurating the Rs 300-crore terminal at Thiruvanathapuram, PM Manmohan Singh emphasised that international airports are vital ‘gateways’ to the country.
However, a study has stated that many international airports — some of them managed and controlled by private enterprises— are not being run meticulously.
by AN Shanbhag
Q: I was working with a telecom software company in Gurgaon from August 17, 2006 to 17 May 2010 for a period of 3 years, 9 months and 1 day. My last basic salary was Rs 35,055 per month at the time of leaving the organization. The company paid me a gratuity of Rs 95,605. The calculation was Rs. 35,055(basic salary)*15(15 days in a month)*4 (Number of years of service)/22 (Working days in a month). The company has deducted a TDS of Rs 29,542 on it at 30.9%. I wanted to confirm from you if gratuity paid by company is taxable.
A: As per the IVth Schedule, Part-C, Item-4, of the ITA, Where any gratuity is paid to an employee during his lifetime, the gratuity shall be treated as salary paid to the employee.
Moreover, you have to realise that an employer cannot make any mistake in applying the TDS, wherever applicable and at the rate applicable. The penalty for any mistake is very heavy.
Q: I have lived in the UK for the past ten years or so and have taken up British citizenship. I have some investments here in mutual funds as also some off shore funds. Now, I intend to come and stay in India for the foreseeable future. Also, I would be liquidating my investments here and transferring the same to India and some of that money may also be made for local investments in stocks and funds. What will be my status when I go to India will it be NRI or Resident. For taxation purposes, how will the remittance that I make to India be taxed considering my status? If I were to decide to move back to the US, will I be able to repatriate my investments back or would it be locked in India? — V Shroff A:
If you come to India after October 2nd 2010 in the financial year (FY), you would continue to be NRI for the FY 10-11. The FY in India ranges from April to March. Any money transferred to the NRE or NRO account will be a capital receipt and hence not taxed. You will get resident status only in FY 11-12. When you move back to the US, you would most certainly be eligible to remit your funds; the limit is quite liberal at
$1 million per financial year.
Q: I have lived in the UK for the past ten years or so and have taken up British citizenship. I have some investments here in mutual funds as also some off shore funds. Now, I intend to come and stay in India for the foreseeable future. Also, I would be liquidating my investments here and transferring the same to India and some of that money may also be made for local investments in stocks and funds. What will be my status when I go to India will it be NRI or Resident. For taxation purposes, how will the remittance that I make to India be taxed considering my status? If I were to decide to move back to the US, will I be able to repatriate my investments back or would it be locked in India?
— V Shroff
A: If you come to India after October 2nd 2010 in the financial year (FY), you would continue to be NRI for the FY 10-11. The FY in India ranges from April to March. Any money transferred to the NRE or NRO account will be a capital receipt and hence not taxed.
You will get resident status only in FY 11-12. When you move back to the US, you would most certainly be eligible to remit your funds; the limit is quite liberal at $1 million per financial year.