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Home Minister P Chidambaram, who as finance minister had slashed taxes, on Wednesday suggested that rich should be taxed more even though ‘many people’ would not like the idea.
“We must raise the tax revenue to defend (the expected aggregate decline of resources). I know many people won’t like this. But I think, I can summon the courage to make the statement,” he said while addressing a function of All India Management Association in New Delhi.
Chidambaram as the Union finance minister between May 2004 and November 2008 had slashed taxes and was credited with presenting a ‘dream budget’ in the initial years of his tenure in the finance ministry.
“I am (was) the finance minister who slashed your tax rates. Therefore … you must be prepared to pay higher tax rates, especially the rich must be prepared to pay higher tax,” he said.
same, according to a survey by Morgan Stanley. The survey, which studied 312 respondents, found that senior executives have added around 5 percent to the workforce in FY11 and are likely to add another 5 percent in FY12. The increase in salary growth is expected to be around 12 percent. Salaries in the private sector salaries grew by about 17 percent in FY11 and are expected to grow by 18 percent in fiscal 2012. Around 75 percent of the managers placed profitability ahead of cost as the biggest driver for any employee action. The industry as a whole expects strong earnings growth in FY12 in line with FY11.
Developing countries can prepare for the threat of a global recession by improving policies to generate growth and jobs, diversifying economies, bolstering their banking sectors and readying social safety nets, the World Bank’s top economists said. The Bank chief economist and senior vice president Justin Yifu Lin told a round table in Washington that the sentiment in the international economic community had abruptly changed from a feeling of general confidence in global recovery six months ago to “alarming uncertainty” now facing policy-makers.”We once again are seeing the financial markets in the world in turmoil,” Mr. Lin said, adding that the creditworthiness of several countries “on both sides of the Atlantic” was now in question, fuelling the general crisis of confidence. This was a worrying scenario for the world’s developing countries, as investors and consumers across the globe might now be inclined to hold back out of caution.”We still hope for the best,” Mr.Lin said, but he added: “For the developing countries, it is very important for them to prepare.” Mr. Lin, and the World Bank’s top economists covering regions from East Asia to Africa and Latin America, warned that while many regions had weathered remarkably well the 2008-2009 financial crisis, this meant that their economic defences might not be as sturdy now to face another global recession.
Hedging against the deteriorating global economic situation, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have approached a larger number of companies for their summer internship recruitment in November. Moreover, with increased batch sizes, a need for a larger pool of recruiters is being felt across the board. “The macroeconomic indicators are worrisome and students are always apprehensive till they have a job in hand,” said Professor Amit Dhiman, placements chairman at IIM Calcutta. IIM Ahmedabad is still waiting for the placement season to begin but maintains that it has approached new companies to recruit from the campus.“Our batch size is increasing; the current PGP batch has 380 students. As such, we will have more companies visit our campus. Also, there are companies from new areas and verticals that are keen on hiring,” said Sapna Agarwal, head of career development services at IIM Bangalore
Tata Steel today announced that it will give an annual bonus of 18.5 per cent of salary/wages of all its unionised employees for the year 2010-11.Nearly 30,155 employees would be paid the annual bonus, the total payout on account of which will be approximately Rs 171 crore. A company press release said, “Since all employees of the Steel Company are drawing salary/wages higher than the limit laid down in the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, no employee of the company is eligible for bonus under the Act. However, respecting our old traditions, the company is going to pay bonus to all employees in the unionised category”.A Memorandum of Settlement was signed between the steel company and the Tata Workers’ Union here in this regard for the accounting year 2010-2011, the release said.
HCL Technologies has set up a new Global Delivery Centre in Redmond, Washington, a move that will create 400 jobs over the next four years. The company will initially invest $4 million in the facility.The centre will focus on business innovation in software product development, test engineering and business-critical platform development. Microsoft, its first U.S customer, has pledged $200,000 to assist with training of future employees from the Seattle area. Emphasizing that it does not want to be “seen as a company which takes away jobs”, HCL said it will create 10,000 jobs in the U.S. and the European Union in the next five years. It already employs 85,000 in these regions. HCL also announced the setting up of another development centre in Dublin, Ireland, with 80 seats. Centres are being also planned in Columbia and Cape Town, South Africa.
MAIT, the apex body representing India’s IT hardware, training and R&D services sectors, announced the appointment of Dr. Alok Bharadwaj, Senior Vice-President at Canon India Pvt Ltd as its President and J V Ramamurthy, President and COO, HCL Infosystems Ltd as its Vice-President for the term 2011-12. The announcements were made at MAIT’s 28th Annual Session held at New Delhi.
Firings are picking up pace at foreign banks across Asia, with industry professionals and headhunters saying more rounds are set to come. Since the 2008 financial crisis, Asia’s rapid economic growth led to an expansion of the banking industry in the region, with most foreign banks insulated from deeper cuts that occurred along the way in the United States and Europe. While banks may still see less of a hit across Asia than other parts of the world, hopes of being immune from a major culling ended in the past few weeks, with pink slips hitting most foreign financial institutions across the region. “There’s hardly anyone in the market who is looking to hire. Only business critical positions are getting filled,” said Aditya Modi, Partner at Transcend HR Solutions, a Mumbai-based financial services placement agency.
A survey has found a large number of people are averse to part-time employment because as they do not consider it to be a sound career move. A Ma Foi Randstad Work monitor Survey 2011 found 46 percent of employees found part-time jobs unattractive. Employers have begun offering full-time jobs with more flexibility and focus on productivity rather than work hours, with the virtues of a part-time job, according to Ma Foi. The survey also found the overall level of confidence in finding another job within the next six months to be “stable” across the world. Employees in India, China and Mexico were most confident about finding another job. The global average of part-time employees is 15 percent, while in India the figure stands at 27 percent and in China 35 percent, the survey said.
Deloitte and PwC, the world’s largest accounting and consulting firms, are in expansion mode as they compete for the No. 1 spot, Financial Express reports. The two are hiring aggressively across the globe and acquiring firms to beef up operations. PwC said its member firms across the globe hired about 45,000 staff in the 2011 fiscal year ended in June. Deloitte said it was on track with its projected global hiring of 50,000 annually over the coming five years. The firms see significant growth in consulting and are making a push in emerging markets such as China and India, where business is growing after a recessionary slump. PwC, which sold its consulting arm to IBM in 2002, has been rebuilding the business with acquisitions such as Paragon Consulting Group and the commercial services business of BearingPoint. Deloitte has bought energy consultants Altos Management Partners and AJM Petroleum Consultants.
A study says social networking site Facebook has helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs. According to the study by the Robert H Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, Facebook-related applications could have created more than 200,000 jobs this year in the U.S. alone, with salaries totalling more than $15 billion. Applications for Facebook and other associated sectors have created 1,82,000 jobs this year, with at least $12.19 billion in salaries and benefits. The “app economy” generated more than 53,000 new jobs in software companies alone, the study said.“As Facebook and other platforms grow, we will continue to see job growth and the ripple effects of these advances in the U.S. economy,” said co-director of Smith’s Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy II-Horn Hann.
A techie, an avid nature lover and an author, Anish Sarkar has been picked to head the India business of one of the world’s leading consulting firms, Capgemini. Mr. Sarkar, in his new role, has the responsibility of driving the consulting business for the domestic India market. The France-based company had so far focused on the tech-side of the business, enhancing their offshore capability. Now, they are renewing their focus on the consultancy space in India and think that Mr. Sarkar is just the man to lead it. “Consulting is my first love,” says Mr. Sarkar. “Moreover, in my new role I will be exploring opportunities in the India market which is a challenge”
The Finance Industry Development Council, a self-regulatory organisation for NBFC-AFCs, has a new Chairman in Mr R. Sridhar, who is currently Managing Director of Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd. He was elected as FIDC Chairman for period of two years at a meeting of the Council held in Mumbai on Tuesday. Mr Sridhar is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India .
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd added 200 workers at its Manesar factory in the northern state of Haryana, increasing the total workforce to more than 1,300.The fresh hiring comes as labor unrest continues at the facility of the local unit of Suzuki Motor Corp. The unrest forced the auto maker to also start producing the Swift hatchback at its Gurgaon plant, also in Haryana, earlier this month to raise output and cut the waiting period for the car. Maruti, which introduced an upgraded version of the Swift in August, has orders for about 90,000 units of the car with a waiting period that has extended to more than four months due to labor issues at Manesar.
Bhaskar Ramamurthi has been appointed the new director of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras. “The institute will continue to focus on fundamental and translational research given the development imperative of the country and find solutions to the pressing problems facing society,” said the professor of electrical engineering. President Pratibha Patil, in her capacity as Visitor of IIT-Madras had approved the appointment of Prof. Ramamurthi. This was conveyed to the IIT-M Board of Governors Chairman Prof. M.M. Sharma
Ahmedabad may witness the lowest employment by September compared to other cities, a survey said. While metros such as Mumbai, Delhi and NCR, Chennai and Bangalore may see employment of 740,700, 670,000, 420,000 and 137,400, respectively, till September, Ahmedabad is expected to hire only 51,600, the Ma Foi Randstad Employment Trends Survey said. Between January and June, Ahmedabad had the lowest estimated increase in employment at 3,400. Delhi and NCR led with 55,800. The expected increase in employment from July to September is also low at 1,700, against Mumbai at 32,300.Salary hikes were at 14.8 percent between January and June.The study was based on a sample survey conducted for about 690 companies across different sectors of the economy mainly during June.
The Indian stock markets may not rank high on international charts in terms of the volume of business done, but they have beaten global market leaders in terms of pay hikes given to their top executives (CEOs).The two largest stock exchanges of the world — the NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq OMX Group — cut down the remuneration paid to their respective CEOs last year.At the same time, the annual remunerations paid by Indian bourses, including market leaders NSE and BSE as well new entrant MCX-SX, rose during the financial year ended March 31, 2011.The National Stock Exchange’s Ravi Narain was the top-paid CEO, with gross remuneration of about Rs 7.35 crore for the year 2010-11, followed by BSE MD and CEO Madhu Kannan (Rs 2.04 crore) and MCX-SX chief Joseph Massey (Rs 1.80 crore).NSE Managing Director Ravi Narain was paid a net remuneration of Rs 3.85 crore, but the BSE and MCX-SX did not specify whether the remuneration figure for their chiefs was a gross or net amount.
Derek Thompson – Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees business coverage for the website. More
Derek Thompson is senior editor at The Atlantic, and he oversees business coverage for TheAtlantic.com. He is a visiting research fellow at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget at the New America Foundation. Derek has also written for Slate, BusinessWeek and The Daily Beast. He has appeared as a guest on radio and television networks, including NPR, the BBC, CNBC and MSNBC.
Confused about the Greek debt crisis? You’re not alone. The latest news is that the European Central Bank is trying out its own version of TARP by creating a so-called “bad bank” to buy up Greece’s risky bonds in the hopes of reassuring investors. In return, Athens must agree to a new austerity measures to save enough money to pay back investors who buy their expensive debt. The blog Zero Hedge has passed along a super useful flowchart of what happens if Greece doesn’t meet the demands of the Euro zone, the ECB, and the IMF — i.e. the Troika. Click through. It does a really nice job of explaining why this saga could still produce just about any ending, from a slow, boring victory for the European Union to the dissolution of the euro and a second global recession.
The Global Reputation Pulse 2010 shows that over 40% of reputation comes from factors related to citizenship, governance and workplace. That’s a powerful piece of information for HR Managers. Whichever way you look at it, CSR is an important factor in attracting the right people to organizations.
If you have a complaint about your telephone service, mobile phone service or broadband service, the first step is to call your service provider’s Call Centre on toll free number and obtain the docket number for registration of your complaint. Many complaints can be resolved at this stage.
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Subscriber may complaint to his telecom service provider, if he receives Unsolicited Commercial Communnication (UCC) even after 45 days of regisering his number for UCC. While making the complaint to this telecom service provider, he should mention the call originating telephone number, date/time of the call and type of commercial message. It may be noted that complaint should be lodged within 15 days from the receipt of such UCC.
The subscriber should insist for the complaint No. which should be kept for further reference.
The recently launched Volkswagen Jetta, is powered by a 2-liter common-rail diesel engine. These engines use a high-pressure direct injection fuel system which makes them more powerful, responsive and fuel-efficient than other car engines.
Indian car buyers love diesel cars.
The reason is quite simple. The cost of diesel fuel is about 40% lower than petrol. In addition, diesel cars are also about 30% more fuel-efficient; due to the way diesel engines burn fuel. This one-two punch means that on average diesels are up to 70% cheaper to run compared to petrol models. Perfect for an Indian family on a tight budget.
Savvy Indian car buyers don’t mind paying the 80,000 to 100,000 rupee premium on diesel models since that can easily be recovered in lower running costs. Based on an average use of 15,000 kilometers per year, a diesel model recovers its higher cost in about 3.5 years. Also the resale values of diesel cars is growing, with most models seeing a 5% to 7% increase in the past several months.
But how long can this diesel boom run? Even though carmakers remain optimistic about the market for diesel cars – and new launches happen practically every few weeks — there are some warning signs on the horizon that, if the worst happens, could mess up the market substantially.
These factors are hard to see, perhaps, amid the frenzy of new diesel car launches. Indeed, some makers only offer diesel models, such as the recently launched new generation Volkswagen Jetta, which is powered by a 2-liter common-rail diesel engine. These engines use a high-pressure direct injection fuel system which makes them more powerful, responsive and fuel-efficient than engines in the past.
Given the current trend, car manufacturers and other industry watchers are confident that the share of diesel vehicles will rise to at least 40% of the Indian passenger car market by 2016 from an estimated 35% now.
The sub-compact car segment is the major driver of demand. This segment contributes to over 50% of total passenger car sales in India. It includes models like the Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat, Volkswagen Polo, Nissan Micra, Toyota Etios, Hyundai i20 and Tata Indica. All of these models offer both petrol and diesel versions, and are priced around 350,000 rupees to 650,000 rupees.
The launch, expected early next year, of the Nano diesel powered by a sub-1-litre diesel motor could give the diesel market a further big boost. Both Maruti and Hyundai are also planning to launch brand new entry-level models in early 2012, which are likely to get diesel engines in the future.
But now those warning signs. For all these launches to catch consumers’ imagination and cash, diesel needs to remain much cheaper than petrol, at around its current differential of costing 40% less. If the price of diesel fuel goes up, it would adversely impact demand for diesel cars, as cheaper running costs are the main reason why people choose them.
The recently announced hike in petrol prices has only increased the gap. But the government has frequently talked about reducing subsidies on diesel, allowing its price to eventually rise to that of petrol.
Political realities – such as the need to keep diesel cheap for public transport and farm machinery – may prevent this from happening quickly. But if the government’s finances deteriorate – and we are, after all, in the midst of another global economic slowdown – removing the diesel subsidy may become more palatable sooner than expected. Carmakers in general seem to think that the differential in pricing between petrol and diesel will continue at least for the next couple of years. After that? Who knows.
Another possibility is that diesel fuel may be priced differently depending on the type of vehicle in which it is used, with luxury car owners paying more at the pump compared to entry level car owners, or car owners paying more than tractor owners. That would be a politically expedient move for the government (and bad news, perhaps for BMW, Audi, Mercedes and others who have benefitted hugely from the diesel boom.)
Even if the government retains the petrol-to-diesel differential, the uncertainty around it provides possibly the biggest threat to diesel’s halcyon days. The reason: It has made companies reluctant to invest in diesel technology and engines that may be required to meet the heightened demand.
Take Maruti-Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker. Maruti currently makes diesel engines in India under license from Fiat, since Suzuki does not have any diesel engine expertise. Suzuki had entered into an agreement with Volkswagen two years ago, with the aim of obtaining diesel engine technology from the German carmaker. However, recent disputes between the two companies mean that this collaboration is almost at an end. As a result, Maruti is likely to continue its tie-up with Fiat in the future.
Fiat also provides diesel engines to many other manufacturers with the result that, already, there are long waiting lists for diesel cars at dealerships. It’s not unusual for buyers to wait nine months before taking delivery of a diesel model. As demand increases with the launches of all these new diesel cars, those lines would lengthen substantially. The Nano may be the exception here: Tata is developing its own diesel engine for it, a smaller version of the Indica engine.
For now, it makes sense to buy diesel, if you can get your hands on one, given that the differential with petrol will likely remain for a couple of years and the resale value of diesel cars is rising.
But we could easily see a time when, like so many things in India, the demand so far outstrips supply that we end up with frustrated consumers and rapid inflation in the price of diesel cars. And the government may decide that the benefits it is inadvertently giving to the drivers of expensive diesel cars should be curtailed. Neither would be conducive to keeping the diesel boom going for very much longer.
What do you think? Are diesel’s best days already behind us? Let us know in the Comments section.
Darius Lam is an automotive industry analyst and writer based in Mumbai. In the past he has worked with J D Power and Associates in Thailand covering the Indian and Korean auto markets. He has also been the associate editor for industry magazine Autocar Professional in Mumbai.
THE HINDU A more flexible approach to land acquisition is needed for manufacturing to increase its share in the GDP.
September 17, 2011:
Ownership, valuation and transfer of land are complex issues, especially for countries like India, characterised by high population densities. Land has been occupied over millennia and owned within the family or community, and its transfer often evokes high emotions.
Acquisition of land should not be a major issue in India where millions of hectares are lying uncultivated and unused; yet, the reality is that the issue has become highly politicised.
Against this background, the draft Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill just released by the Ministry of Rural Development, is welcome as it tries to bring clarity to the issue and clears the path for direct transactions between the buyers and sellers of land, hitherto practically ruled out for large transfers of land required for putting up manufacturing plants or constructing infrastructure capacities.
We, in FICCI, have for sometime suggested minimal intervention by the government in land transactions to de-politicise the issue. It makes for transparency and allows open price discovery. The Land Acquisition Bill will actually help this process significantly, if it lays down a clear and simple procedure for change in land use.
The Bill should make it mandatory to announce the change in land use in advance of any acquisition by either a private buyer or the government, as that will allow the price to move towards the real market price and minimise covert transactions.
Without such a provision, the present suggestion of valuing all rural land at four times the ‘market price’ and urban land at two times, may well make price discovery even more difficult than at present. Using the ‘value of last sale’ as the basis for determining the price of acquisition without announcing the change in land use may make it even more difficult of a market determined price of land to emerge in the country.
We must recognise that only a well functioning land market will help to bring maximum possible transparency and economic rationality in determining the real price of land — a critical factor of production. India’s cultural and historical traits combined with land ceiling laws and tax-exempt nature of agriculture has meant the absence of an organised land market.
An organised land market is necessary not only for industrialisation and urbanisation, but for modernising agriculture, too. Therefore, an important criteria for determining the efficacy of the draft land acquisition Bill recently put forward by the Ministry of Rural Development should be whether or not it facilitates land price determination and its transfer in open market transactions. I am afraid, on this important economic criteria the draft Bill may not pass muster.
Moreover, the proposed Bill stipulates that the market value of land could be determined by the Collector which leads one to ask why an independent, impartial body — for example the Gram Sabha or Panchayat — would not be a better arbiter for the price of land. The government, as a result of the new Bill, would exit from its role of “real estate broker”; it should now exit from its role of prime determinant of fair value as well.
Making the new legislation effective on a retrospective basis is generally a bad idea. It creates too many uncertainties and can open a Pandora’s box of litigation. It is a universally accepted fact that businesses hate uncertainty and to disrupt in this manner their assumptions and the revenue model on which they have based their business expansion would appear counterproductive.
The R&R package is far too complicated and complex. Its provision, for example, of the seller to be compensated for the next 20 years, could make life very difficult for any buyer.
The requirement of paying 20 per cent of capital gains to the original owner for 10 years may sound eminently reasonable on paper, but will be nearly impossible to implement. The stipulation that all the R&R provisions apply to private buyers in case they are purchasing more than 100 acres of land will make future expansion of manufacturing capacities terribly difficult.
The clause pertaining to “multi-crop” land will effectively render about 55 million hectares or 40 per cent of arable land beyond the scope of acquisition, thereby precluding the development of much-needed infrastructure. Yet, few will deny that infrastructure bottlenecks are impeding the economy.
This issue needs to be re-examined, since most of this land falls in the most densely populated regions of the country and provision for “eminent domain” needs to be retained for all parts of the country. The provision permitting acquisition of only 5 per cent of multi-crop land in any district could militate against a farmer’s fundamental right to divest his land and move on to other locations, vocations and enterprise.
How can the Indian economy continue to grow unless it industrialises? How can the country’s largely young population get employed unless manufacturing contributes considerably more to the economy? Will services sector growth suffice to absorb the 13 million entrants to the workforce every year for the next decade? I am afraid not.
Manufacturing will have to expand and increase its share in the GDP. To enable this, a less stringent and more flexible approach to land acquisition is perhaps needed.
(The author is the Secretary-General, FICCI. The views are personal.)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) may not be made mandatory in the new Companies Bill.
Mr Veerappa Moily, Minister for Corporate Affairs, on Monday reiterated that the Government was not in favour of imposing its views on the corporate sector.
“We will encourage a voluntary approach on CSR initiatives of private sector. We will act as facilitators for companies to adopt social, environmental and economic responsibilities,” Mr Moily said at an Assocham event.
Growth and development can be made sustainable over a long period of time only when businesses are supported by appropriate policy regimes that encourage a systematic movement towards responsible thinking, decision-making and sustainability, he said.
He said a new national policy on CSR, with participation of all stakeholders, should be put together.
Mr Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission said in India, “there was a general lack of faith in institutions, governments and businesses.” Companies should measure and report the impact of businesses on environment and people’s lives, he added.
“The whole paradigm has changed. We can no longer be oblivious to our environment or to the needs of our workers, communities and society at large,” said Mr Dilip Modi, President, Assocham.
I was happy to get this email from a regular TeleMarketer (spammer) in my mailbox today. Before I mark their mails in my spam mail box I thought I must congratulate and say thank you to TRAI.
I just wish that they are able to strictly able to implement the consumer freedom from these uncouth marketers who had no regard for our privacy and would think it was their birthright to continually disturb our peace and interrupt with their calls.
I know some would still resort to giving ‘Missed calls’ and I am sure the law would catch up with them.
The mail content was very encouraging and read the bottom – last line !!!
As per the revised guidelines of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), mobile / telephone users registered in DND category will not get any promotional SMS/calls unless they register their preferred category of receiving these. Accordingly, from 27-SEP-2011, you will not be able to receive SMS/calls pertaining to our services if your number is in DND.
And if you wish to continue to receive SMS /calls for promotional offers from MakeMyTrip, please register the category ‘Tourism and Leisure’ as your preference with your telephone/ mobile service provider. For registering this preference, all you need to do is:
Simply SMS ‘START 7’ and send it to 1909 (Toll Free)or
Call 1909 (Toll Free) from your registered phone number and follow the IVR process, or
Visit your telephone / mobile service provider’s website to register your preference.
We’ll however continue sending regular emails to help you keep abreast with our latest offerings.
Government caps number of bribes at 100 per day per babu
New Delhi. Just after the TRAI announced a cap of 100 SMSs per user per day to curb unsolicited telemarketing and spams, and Planning Commission put a 32 rupee expenditure cap on people below poverty line, Ministry of Law and Justice has announced similar capping plans to curb corruption in political and bureaucratic circles.
As per a press release issued by the Department of Justice, “The number of bribes per government official per day will be legally capped at 100,” which amounts to a maximum of 3000 bribes per month. While this announcement has been largely welcomed by babus (bureaucrats), some “experienced” babus have expressed concerns at the amount of bribe allowed in a single transaction not being capped.
“What if one is offered a bribe running in crores of rupees? I wish the government had capped the amount accepted in one transaction. Now the bribe givers will insist on paying all the amount in a single transaction, which could alert the anti-corruption agencies,” protested Raghu Dahake, a retired bureaucrat, who has over 500 benaami (nameless, or with fictitious names) bank accounts where he used to receive bribes in less than 50,000 rupees each to avoid furnishing PAN number for each transaction.
Since the cap has been announced by the central government, members of the police departments in various states claim that it doesn’t apply to them.
However Mr. Dahake expressed pleasure and satisfaction that the government had taken a decision that was an important step towards legalizing “acceptance” of bribe.
“People have been calling to legalize bribe giving, but this one is a step in the right direction,” he said, “I hope young bureaucrats will try to efficiently use their quota of 100 bribes a day and not let them lapse, just like they don’t allow their sanctioned leaves to lapse.”
On the other hand, a minuscule section of bureaucrats, estimated to be running around 300000, who can’t understand the need to cap bribes at all, have threatened to go on a three-day fast to protest this cap. The fast is being planned around next Friday to leverage the extended weekend.
Meanwhile this decision, coupled with the decision to put cap on sending SMSs, has inspired demands for similar caps for other critical issues of national importance such as “cap on the number of times per week Rakhi Sawant can appear on national television” and “cap on number of statements Rahul Gandhi can make in each parliament session”.
A Facebook group called “someone please cap number of times my wife can speak daily” is already claiming 200,000 active members, while Rajdeep Sardesai has suggested putting a “cap on number of questions Arnab Goswami can ask in a single day on Times Now”.
“Will he put a cap on number of times he says gnight on Twitter each day?” a Times Now source rejected the demands of the CNN-IBN boss.
Petrol prices in India are amongst the highest in the world.
Petrol in India is more expensive than 98 other countries. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) prices, petrol is costlier in India than most countries.
The PPP price of petrol in India is $3.95, lower than just three small countries, according to The Economic Times.
While petrol price was increased six times in 2010, it has been raised 4 times this year already. Petrol prices vary across India depending on value added Tax (VAT) and other local levies.
Click NEXT to find out who pays the highest and the lowest for petrol across Indian cities…
Petrol price: Rs 74.82/ltr
Petrol price: Rs 65.63/ltr (January 16, 2011)
NOTE: All Indian cities have not been covered here and it is quite possible that in your city the cost of petrol may be even higher than in the cities mentioned here. Please feel free to post the price of petrol in your city in the message board below.
Is a daily expenditure of Rs 31 enough to sustain a family of five in a city like Delhi and Mumbai? Country’s top-most planning body, Planning Commission, says yes. In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the panel quoting the Tendulkar Committee’s recommendations said the urban
poverty line is fixed at an expenditure of Rs 4,284 per month while it is Rs 3,905 a month in rural areas.
It means that the money is enough for a family of five to incur expenses on health, food and education. A family spending more would fall in the above poverty line (APL) category.
Jean Dreze, member of the Sonia Gandhi headed National Advisory Council, while questioning the adequacy of Tendulkar committee report said in the committee’s poverty-line basket, the allowance for health expenditure is less than one rupee a day — barely enough to buy an aspirin.
The panel had filed the affidavit after the Supreme Court asked the commission to revise norms of per capita amount looking to the price index of May 2011 in the Right to Food case. The poverty line is based on expenditure as on June 2011.
Another NAC member Aruna Roy said the affidavit was reflective of the government’s lack of empathy for the poor.
“It is obvious that this extremely low estimated expenditure is a threshold aimed only at artificially reducing the number of persons “below poverty line” so as to reduce government expenditure on the poor,” she said in a signed statement.
The SC had in July perused the Planning Commission’s affidavit and expressed its reservations at the fact that the poverty line at the national level fixed by the body, that is Rs 579 per capita per month consumption expenditure for the urban areas and Rs 447 per capita per month for the rural areas, are fixed at 2004-05 prices.
A bench headed by justice Dalveer Bhandari did not appreciate the affidavit as the court had on May 14 specifically directed the Commission to revise the norms of per capita keeping the price index of May 2011 in mind.
The direction was given after SC learnt the Tendulkar Committee had fixed daily earning of Rs 20 in urban and R1s 5 in rural to define a BPL family.
The committee had determined the poverty line at the 2004-05 prices.
The final poverty lines would be available after the completion of 2011-12 survey by the NSSO. According to the Commission, the poverty line would vary from state to state because of price differentials.
The International Monetary Fund expects India’s economic growth rate to moderate to 7.5-7.75 per cent this fiscal, from 8.5 per cent in 2010-11, on account slowing investments and sluggish global recovery.
“In India, growth is forecast to average 7.5 to 7.75 per cent during 2011-12. Activity is expected to be led by private consumption,” IMF said in its World Economic Outlook.
The report was released ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank which, among others, will be attended by Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Investment, according to the outlook, “is expected to remain sluggish, reflecting, in part, recent corporate sector governance issues and a drag from the renewed global uncertainty and less favourable external financing environment”
The Planning Commission on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the below poverty line (BPL) population in the country is 40.74 crore and the poverty line for the urban and rural areas could be provisionally placed at Rs.965 per capita per month (around Rs.32 per day) and Rs.781 per capita per month (around Rs.26 per day), respectively.
The Planning Commission in an affidavit said that the BPL population at present touched by the public distribution services (PDS) was 35.98 crore.
“If the Tendulkar (committee) poverty ratio for 2004/05 is applied to the projected population of the Registrar General of India as on March 1, 2005, the total BPL population would be 40.74 crore,” the affidavit said.
The poverty estimates for year 2009-10 were being worked out and the “provisional estimates suggest that the total BPL population as per 2009-10 estimation may be lower than that which would have emerged (on the basis) of Tendulkar ratio on 2004-05 projection”, it said.
The Planning Commission filed the affidavit in pursuance of the May 14 order of the apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma, which said that according to the expert group headed by Suresh Tendulkar at the price level of 2011, it was impossible for an individual in urban and rural area to consume 2,100 calories in Rs.20 and Rs.15, respectively.
The bench’s order asked the Planning Commission to “revise norms of per capita amount looking at the price index of May 2011 or any subsequent dates”.
The affidavit said that on applying price increase using the consumer price index for industrial workers in urban areas and the consumer price index for agricultural labourers for rural areas, “the poverty line at June 2011 price level can be placed provisionally at Rs.965 per capita per month in urban areas and Rs.781 per capita per month in rural areas.”
“At June 2011 price level, for a family of five, this provisional poverty line would amount to Rs.4,824 per month in urban areas and Rs.3,905 per month in rural areas,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit said that the final poverty line following the Tendulkar Committee ratio would only be available after completion of the 2011-12 National Sample Survey (NSS) and this would vary from state to state because of price differential.