• 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…

  • Economy,  Lounge

    87% subscribers of New York Times are digital now

    About 2 decades ago, I had the opportunity to work as an IT partner for the early digital editions of a few popular newspapers in India, and I know the challenges and difficulties they are facing, from then till now, with the continued decline of revenues from their physical subscriptions and paper advertisements. As Mr Jeff Zucker, the then the president of NBCUniversal, had said in 2008 they are “trading analogue dollars for digital pennies”. Similarly in 2007, Mr Andrew Rashbass (then Publisher and MD of The Economist, a magazine I love) had said: “With Internet advertising, the thumb rule is to sell to 8% of users, you are turning…

  • Economy

    How American idea of Supermarkets transformed the whole world?

    What is good can have dire consequences too! I learned from this engaging podcast from Freakonomics (if you haven’t read the fantastic book, stop and immediately get it) on how the food policies of the USA in the early and mid-20th century, planned with good intentions and valid reasons led to industrialized crop growing, supermarkets, death of small farmers, obesity, our addiction to sweet in everything we eat, active encouragement of a carbohydrate diet (the resulting discouragement of fruits and vegetables), and, many more: The first world war accelerated the demand for more food production, which led the Government (United States Department of Agriculture-USDA) to start encouraging better science and…