• Economy,  Lounge

    Indian Budget 2021

    The country (India) and the entire planet is going through once in a century crisis due to the pandemic. The citizens were looking forward to hope and solutions in the Union Budget presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister of India Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman. Since I am no expert on the subject, I will just say the highlights that I liked and which went mostly under-reported elsewhere: 128. We will undertake a new initiative –National Language Translation Mission (NTLM). This will enable the wealth of governance-and-policy related knowledge on the Internet being made available in major Indian languages. For children with hearing impairments, the Government will work on standardization of Indian Sign…

  • Economy,  Lounge

    The marketing machine called the USA

    If #China has super-power ambitions, they need to “up” their #marketing & #PR efforts. Look at the #USA, here are 3 well-known examples: Every three years, the world news everywhere is dominated by #American Presidential elections for the following twelve months, even though people outside the America have little reason to care about them. To make everyone read and talk about a news item that has no real impact for them is a dream for branding managers. Every year, the nine months preceding a new #Apple #iPhone launch, it is the major item covered all the time by tech press around the world. Following the iPhone launch, the next 3…

  • Economy

    Additional Equalisation Levy

    This tax levy (burden) was invited by the tech industry themselves, through their super-smart tax planning (some may call it as evasion). Governments are forced to take actions to plug some of the holes and as an additional safeguard against BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting). I hate to admit it, but Governments are right here, they can’t simply watch as their revenue gets eroded with the economy shifting to digital. Among many of the ‘bad’ tax ideas, I suppose this 2% Additional Equalisation Levy appears to be okay. The application threshold set by India, of a turnover of Rs.2 Crores (USD 260,000) seems to be low; and the lack…

  • Economy

    Vodafone has won a long running tax dispute against India

    I wish the Government of India gives up its decades of vain pursuit in this issue. The imposition of this tax bill turned the perception of international investors towards India from good to bad overnight. Unfortunately, even after 13 long years, this dark cloud hangs over India & hurting investor sentiments. //Vodafone Group Plc has won an international arbitration in The Hague against the Indian Government in a $2 billion tax dispute// Leaving the legal details & technical validity aside (where I am no expert), the underlying premises on this tax bill was weak: It was a retrospective law passed by Parliament to impose a tax on a transaction that…

  • Economy,  Movie Review

    Capital in the twenty-first century (2020)

    The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote a book in 2013 that became popular overnight. It presented a dim view of the current state of capitalism and suggested radical fixes which were widely deliberated around the world. Though the topic intrigued me a lot, the size of over 800 pages stopped me from reading the book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century“. Now, Director Justin Pemberton from New Zealand has made a movie of it titled “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, and that made it convenient for me to learn about it. The film is available on these online services for a fee. The film is made in collaboration with Thomas Piketty…