Friday, March 18, 2005

Shakti Kapoor! Bad Man!!!

What a hoolaboo!!! Lots more articles about how a pathetic old man tried to solicit sex for a role. Common enough story, don't you think? Lots of questions creep up in my head.

One, India TV actually felt it important enought to check out this story only for the good of the industry? I don't think so:) I think there are enough stories out there to catch if you are talking of investigative journalism. how about finding the people who Killed Dubey in Bihar? Too difficult for you to do. Here is another one, expose the politicians who pay money to create riots? Too risky. Well try exposes like Indian Express does. Do kids in cholls get their daily meals? Is there a cable operator mafia operating in Mumbai suburbs? Are kewl upper class kids realing selling dope? Do something useful for goodness case! I really am not interested in people who are ready to pimp themselves or solicit others to get into the glamour industry.

Two, What is the controversy anyways? The only decent way is for the person who was solicited to go to court and file for sexual harrasement. However she cannot do that as she was playing aling the whole time. The minus point - entrapment basically has resulted in a person who can never prove his innocence beacuse he will never get a chance. he will be lyched due to suspicion alone.

Three, How is this different from the Tehelka cases. Well defence secrets leaked, judges making arrest warrants against the President are surely in a different league. Even a sexual scandal is in a different league becuase there the favours ahnded over are whole constituencies not mere films.

Four, wy the f%$k should we have problems with two adults sleeping together? Why do we need to moralize at the drop of a hat?

Five, the biggest hypocrites are the Producer's Guild. it is almost like a Panchayat in the old movies. A suspicion is raised and they say "Bahar karo" The reason is even more laughable. They have not banned him for the deed, rather for speaking about Preety, Rani and Karan. Hey!!! dudes I don't care if the three of them have an orgy (though Karan does seem to have other inclinations) from time to time. They are only interesting to me in their work. If I like I watch, if not I don't. In fact thinking a little more it looks like all the producers have a guilty secret and that is the reason they have acted in such a haste:)

Well that's it! Got it out of my system. Now to clean the system completely by watching Black over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Back ...

...from the IT city. Lots of news and views to share. However it will take some time as it has been a hectic trip and I have yet to recover. Next week will be predominantly bangalore news, methinks. Anyway, this post was just to inform one and all that I am back. Will get back on the beat from tomorrow.

P.S: hey \n, sorry dude, missed calling you. I was gonna speak to you but then you were discussing something important with Suji and I kinda ran out of time (had to catch my train) Will try to catch you again some time.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Be Right Back... a week's time. Making a trip down south to Bangalore, the software capitol of India. Meeting up with a close friend. Should be fun. Maybe a visit to Shiok. So see ya all in a while!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Taxman plays a sweet and sour tune!

Chidambaram (Mr. P. Chidambaram, the honorable Finance Minister Of India, not be confues with Chidambaram, the town) does it again. Unveils a budget which has created a lot of discussion. What is the interesting thing about his budgets? You cannot generally fight over them! You may like a few points and dislike some others but by and large the chunk of his budgets seems to be logical (and keeps the voters happy - which is quite a happy balance as far as the government is concerned.)

I haven’t gone through the whole budget, and lets face it I wouldn't understand half of it:) Nonetheless even I could not escape one or two points glaring out of me.

1. Abolishing section 88. Bad news for me...I had just started investing in a pension scheme. However I am not very sad, as those investments are not bad in the long run. And I am not a very big proponent of saving only for saving tax.

2. Standard deduction is out too. However it is compensated in another manner. A consolidated savings of 1 lakh can be removed from your income before tax. This is really good according to me rather than the old 20% gig.

3. In conjunction with the exemption level of 1.25 lakhs it seems to me that what they are saying is that if I earn 4 lakhs and save 1 lakh then my taxable income is 4 - 1 - 1.25 = 1.75 lakhs. Of course I will not wager my reputation on my understanding of this calculation. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

4. The limit of 5 lakhs beyond which you could not get a tax break has been remove and there is no limit for tax-break based savings.

5. Surcharge still exists but only for an annual income of 10 lakhs and above. I guess this is fair.

6. A "fringe" tax of 0.1 % on withdrawal on "large" sums of money. Problem here is that the decided large sum is a paltry INR10,000. Supposedly it will help curb the black marketers. My take, simple harassment is sure to follow. People better than me have spoken about this at the MadMan's shack and Anon's adobe. It almost feels like one of the things that us sure to get repealed. In fact it seems that even Chidambaram is not very keen to support his stand

So all in all it seems a more sweet rather than a sour tune.

Well, that's my two annas worth of views. I will update the post once I know more. Please feel free to correct me if I any of the stuff I have written above seems wrong. Also feel free to post your thoughts on the budget here. One good site for Indian finance is I am adding the specific links to various articles about the budget on my links site too.

Deviation: I was happy to see my salary this week. The sum of the fact that I was allowing my tax to be deducted at source throughout the year and the fact that I did manage to save a wee bit has helped me get a salary this month without a tax cut. I think this is the first time I have got a salary in February which was in 5 digits. Thanks to my darling for forcing me to save!!! Of course she ain't too happy I am spending it all again!!!

UPDATE: one more link, this time from MDI

UPDATE 2: Lots of updates on basis of useful comments to the blogs.
First Prateek informs me that the exemptable income is INR 1 lakhs and not 1.25 lakhs. My Bad!!!

Two, Madman clears my confusion over the calculation of the tax. I quote his comment
" If you earn Rs. 4 Lakhs and manage to put away Rs. 1 Lakh in instruments, your taxable income is Rs. 3 Lakhs.

Out of this, the first Rs. 1 Lakh is exempt from tax. One the balance, you pay tax as follows:

Rs. 1-1.5 L - 10% = 5000
Rs. 1.5-2.5 L - 20% = 20000
Balance Rs. 50000 - 30% = 15000

So your total tax = Rs. 40000"

So again I stand corrected.

Lastly Anon seems to be suggesting that even investment into MG and equities would be counted into savings. That I think is good news.