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Govt to amend tax laws after resolving Voda dispute: FM
New Delhi, april 6
The government will introduce changes in the income tax laws once the dispute with Vodafone is resolved, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Saturday.

Is Samsung sacrificing innovation in a bid to outdo big rival Apple?
Seoul, April 6
Samsung Electronics is spending more on marketing than R&D for the first time in at least three years, prompting some pundits to warn that the IT giant is sacrificing innovation at a time when the market is teeming with ever smarter gadgets.

investor guidance
No way to ensure timely income tax refunds 
I am 75 years old and pay income tax regularly. My problem is tax refund - it does not come for years. Due to my old age I have converted all monies to liquid & hold them in bank fixed deposits on which is deducted and after paying tax I still get Rs 40,000 refund which does not come easily even after sending reminders. How do I get the refunds fast? Dhun Poonawala



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Govt to amend tax laws after resolving Voda dispute: FM

New Delhi, april 6
The government will introduce changes in the income tax laws once the dispute with Vodafone is resolved, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Saturday.

"Amendments to the Income Tax Act is inevitable, that is absolutely necessary," Chidambaram told reporters at a press conference here, adding that the government was waiting for a possible outcome of the negotiation on over a $2 billion Vodafone tax dispute.

He added he would propose the changes in the Income Tax Act once the Vodafone dispute was resolved.

The world's largest telecom service provider Vodafone is involved in a Rs.11,000 crore (US $2.2 billion) tax dispute with Indian authorities related to $11 billion acquisition of mobile assets from Hutchison in 2007.

The finance minister emphasized that India was a "safe and attractive destination for investments." He said he had visited major financial centres like Tokyo, Dubai and Hong Kong to attract overseas investments in India.

GOVT MEETS TAX TARGET: The finance minister said that sending letters to income tax defaulters was yielding results. He said an additional 5 million people have filed their returns. Addressing a press conference, he said that stern action will be taken in case of tax evasion.

He said that Rs 10,38,037 crore tax target for 2012-13 has been achieved. He reiterated there will be no early election and the government will carry on with the reform process initiated last year.

Answering a query on the economy, Chidambaram said: "The current account deficit figure for 2012-13 will be at tolerable level." He said that fiscal deficit will be better than 5.2% for 2012-13.

Speaking on India's GDP, he said the country will grow by a little over 6% in 2013-14. He said revenue growth of 16.7% was commendable and targets would be achieved.

Replying to a question on sugar pricing decontrol, Chidambaram said that it was a major step that would benefit farmers and industry. However, the annual subsidy bill would go up by Rs 2,500-2,600 crore as a result of sugar sector decontrol. IANS/Agencies

current account deficit unsustainable, SAYS RBI India's current account deficit is unsustainable at its present level of about 5% of GDP, Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao said Saturday, adding a deficit of about 2.5% of GDP would be sustainable. India's current account deficit hit a record US $32.63 billion in the last three months of 2012, and stood at $71.7 billion for the April-December period, equivalent to 5.4% of GDP. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended on March 31 is unlikely to be less than 5%, Subbarao added in a speech in Bangalore. The decision by new Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda to inject about $1.4 trillion into the Japanese economy in less than two years is seen possibly increasing capital flows into India, which should help finance the current account deficit, government officials told Reuters this week. Reuters

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Is Samsung sacrificing innovation in a bid to outdo big rival Apple?

Seoul, April 6
Samsung Electronics is spending more on marketing than R&D for the first time in at least three years, prompting some pundits to warn that the IT giant is sacrificing innovation at a time when the market is teeming with ever smarter gadgets.

The South Korean firm, which warned on Friday it will not post record quarterly earnings for the first time since 2011, looks set to spend big bucks on marketing upcoming mobile devices, including the Galaxy S4 smartphone, to convert more iPhone and iPad users loyal to arch rival Apple Inc.

While the new Galaxy smartphone, unveiled to much fanfare in New York last month, will boast a motion-detecting technology that stops and starts videos depending on whether someone is looking at the screen, and flip between songs and photos at the wave of a hand, industry watchers say the device would not overturn an industry that lives and dies by innovation.

"(Samsung) lagged behind in creating a new category. Apple created a new category with tablets. We are waiting to see something like that happen from Samsung," said Rachel Lashford, an analyst at research firm Canalys in Singapore.

Samsung spent a record 13 trillion won (US $11.6 billion) on marketing last year. That was $1.3 billion more than what it poured into research and development.

The firm does not provide marketing and R&D spending forecasts. Some analysts said they expect Samsung to continue spending more on its marketing campaigns than on R&D this year as it fights the next wave of products from Apple.

Smartphone makers are increasingly just tweaking existing specifications such as increasing screen sizes. Every gadget launch by a major global tech giant has so far underwhelmed, lacking the 'wow' factor of old and subsequently pushing their share prices lower, some analysts said.

Apple has tumbled nearly 40% since the stock soared to more than $700 in September.

Shares of Samsung hit a record in early January but have since fallen nearly 3%. A lack of product lineup in the longer term is also capping their upside, analysts said.

"There is not that much visibility on products next year, but we expect Galaxy Note 3 later this year," said Mark Newman, a senior analyst at Stanford Bernstein in Hong Kong, referring to the phablet that is closer in size to a tablet than a phone.

Samsung estimated its January-March overall operating profit rose 53% to US $7.7 billion. That marks the end of five straight quarters of record profits for the world's biggest technology firm by revenue. Reuters

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investor guidance
No way to ensure timely income tax refunds 
A.N. shanbhag

I am 75 years old and pay income tax regularly. My problem is tax refund - it does not come for years. Due to my old age I have converted all monies to liquid & hold them in bank fixed deposits on which is deducted and after paying tax I still get Rs 40,000 refund which does not come easily even after sending reminders. How do I get the refunds fast?
Dhun Poonawala

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to this issue. Delayed income tax refunds have been an age old problem. Though the situation has somewhat improved after computerization, one cannot say with any certainty whether the refund due to you will be paid in time or not. The only solution could be in terms of investing your money into low risk debt mutual funds in the dividend option where the dividend distribution tax itself takes care of taxation. That way, there will be no question of expecting any refunds.

I am a shareholder in a cooperative bank. I wish to know whether dividend received from this bank is exempt from tax just like the dividend received from other Indian companies.
M. S. Sanganerial

A cooperative bank is not a domestic company and hence no dividend distribution tax is payable on its dividend. Therefore, the dividend received is taxable in the hands of the recipient since no dividend distribution tax has been charged thereon.

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BRIEFLY

mumbai
Rupee snaps 2-day losing string, rises to 54.81/$:In listless trading, the rupee recovered by six paise to close at Rs. 54.81 against the US dollar on the interbank foreign exchange market on Friday following fresh dollar selling by exporters amid capital outflows. However, weak domestic equities and better dollar overseas limited the rupee rise, a forex dealer said. The local currency resumed higher at Rs. 54.80 a dollar from previous close of Rs. 54.87 and moved in a narrow breadth of Rs. 54.76 and Rs. 54.8950 before settling at Rs. 54.81, a rise of 6 paise or 0.11%.

mumbai
Gold, silver spurt on heavy buying, global buoyancy:Gold rallied further at the domestic bullion market today on the back of sustained demand from stockists and investors at prevailing low levels amid strong overseas cues. Silver also jumped owing to aggressive speculative buying as well as jewellery offtake. Standard gold of 99.5% purity soared by Rs 410 to end at Rs 29,510 per 10 grams from Friday's closing level of Rs 29,100. Pure gold of 99.9% purity surged by Rs 415 to Rs 29,650/ 10 gms from Rs 29,235. Silver ready (.999 fineness) rose by Rs 465 to finish at Rs 52,535 per kg.

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