Politics & the Nation
  • Why are we seeing a drop in the number of job seekers in India?
    • We are talking of job seekers in government employment exchanges.
    • As per data compiled by 958 district and town level employment exchanges, there were 3.99 crore registered job seekers in India at the end of last year compared to 4.14 crore at the end of 2006. This marks a decline of 3.6% as against 2.7% in 2005, representing 1.1 million people, the previous best. 
    • The decline in job seekers could be attributed to the high economic growth of 9% in 2007-08. Many people were either approached directly by private companies, or registered with private  recruitment agencies last year. Campus placements and migration to big cities also gained ground. Thus, lesser people registered at these employment exchanges which provide government jobs, goes one explanation.
  • Even in the non-government sector the job scene has a lot to cheer about
    • Look at these headlines:
    • MBAs from Universities look for opportunities here.
    • PEs and VCs are looking for professionals
    • Tech companies go slow on hiring; but TCS and Infosys buck the trend
    • Students see merit in slow down; but invest time in B-schools
    • All this is not at all depressing; isn't it?
  • Belgian PM loses job due to credit crunch
    • Prime Minister Yves Leterme tendered his government’s resignation on Friday after a report by the Supreme Court found signs of political meddling to sway a court ruling on the future of Fortis, a Benelux bank which is a victim of the credit crunch. 
    • Benelux: Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Finance & Economics
  • Remember our notings about Corporates going to court against banks for selling them currency derivative products which they least understood and incurred huge losses?
    • Now it is reported that many of those corporates which have gone to court are setlling the dispute with their bankers directly.  The two strong reasons that are advanced for this change of heart are:
    • The fall in the Swiss franc against the dollar has cut the mark-to-market losses in these cross-currency derivatives, making the positions less risky and therefore easier to settle.
    • Secondly, some of the corporates were left with little choice as their bankers have frozen their working capital limits.  Some banks have even obtained court orders against the coporates and their promoters' disposing off their assets.
  • Though repetitive, let's look at double taxation treaties and treaty shopping once again
    • Double taxation treaties are essentially agreements between two countries that seek to eliminate the double taxation of income or gains arising in one country and paid to residents or companies of the other country. The idea is to ensure that the same income is not taxed twice. In many instance, however, these agreements are misused to evade taxes. This is called ‘treaty shopping,’ where usually residents of a third country take advantage of a tax treaty between two countries. 
    • For example, many companies in other countries route their investments into India through Mauritius or Cyprus to take advantage of the tax treaty that these countries have with New Delhi. Both, India-Mauritius and India-Cyprus tax treaties provide that capital gains arising in India from the sale of securities can only be taxed in Mauritius and Cyprus. This means no capital gains tax on investments in securities routed through Mauritius and Cyprus, as these countries do not levy tax on capital gains. 
Language lessons:
  • Scudding
    • Noun: The act of moving along swiftly (as before a gale)
    • Verb: Run or move very quickly or hastily
    • Run before a gale
  • deli
    • Noun: A shop selling ready-to-eat food products