Finance & Economy
  • Budget
    • It is budget, more budget and some more budget all the way for us today.
    • ET's coverage of budget is one thing which should never be missed by us. We recommend that today's paper be read thoroughly -- even spending an entire day on it. However some things which we point to -- though the selection of these pointers themselves is highly subjective -- include:
    • The impact of some of the major measures announced in the budget are excellently put out in this graphic.
    • This lead story gives you an excellent commentary on the budget. Worth a read. The budget was seen as a dampener on some of the expectations of the market. It was painfully silent on divestment proposals. The finance secretary's clarification that about a half of the proposed government borrowing (Rs. 4.01 lakh crores) is going to monetized also perhaps led to the tanking of the markets. Monetization means printing of notes to bridge the gap. In a scenario where in spite of witnessing record low levels of WPI based inflation, the consumer has hardly seen any respite on food items. Therefore, the full effects of monetization -- hardening of inflation, hardening of interest rates -- will make matters worse for the common man by the end of the fiscal.
    • What's the impact of the budget on the common man? Look at this graphic for a quick glimpse. In the same graphic do read Rama Bijapurkar's analysis of how the budget is going to drive consumption. The graphic also gives us a comparison of our IT rates with those of some of the other major industrialized nations. We seem to be faring better on the rate count.
    • This graphic explains beautifully the net impact on our tax outgo.
    • Here is a report card on the reform agenda. Good one.
    • Want to have a dekko at the budget speech? The full text is here.
  • More on advance pricing issue and safe harbour rules
    • It was only yesterday that we were noting about advance pricing agreements. Read them? The Union Budget gives a shape to the APA regime through a policy announcement.
    • The government announced the setting up of a collegium of commissioners to decide on all disputes between the tax department and the taxpayer. The collegium will comprise three members, and its order will be binding on the assessing officer.
    • The change eliminates the forum of first appellate authority, the commissioner income-tax (appeal), or CIT (A). It also restricts the possibility of litigation by making the collegium’s decision binding on the assessing officer. This is in total variance to the current practice, where any of the parties —the department or the taxpayer — can challenge the assessing officer’s decision before the first CIT (A).
    • Safe harbour rules
    • The lack of safe harbour rules, so far, has paved way for a series of litigations ever since transfer pricing rules were introduced in 2001. The captive units of the outsourcing industry have been asking for such rules for some time. Safe harbour rules mean that if the variation between the margin declared by a taxpayer company and the estimate of the income-tax department is within a specific margin, for example 5%, the return filed by the corporate should be accepted by the tax authority.
  • Oldest company in the world?
    • Kongo Gumi of Japan, which was founded in 578 AD is reportedly the oldest corporation in the world. But it closed shop in 2007.
  • History at Wimbledon
    • Because we missed a couple of days notes in the past week, we missed some important developments on Wimbledon front. History was unfolding at Wimbledon.
    • Federer's 15th singles title at Wimbledon on Sunday was worth remembering on many counts.
    • The final match ran the full 5 set course. The last set was the longest ever played in a men's Wimbledon final. Federer won it 16-14.
    • Federer won the match 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5) 3-6, 16-14 to eclipse Pete Sampras’ record of winning 14 Grand Slam titles.
    • This was Federer's 7th straight final's appearance at Wimbledon.
    • This is one of those rare matches when a player has lost the match despite winning the majority of games played. Andy Roddick lost to Roger Federer despite winning more games (39-38).
    • Federer, 27, now has six Wimbledon titles, five US Opens, three Australian Opens and a French Open trophy.
  • Wimbledon mixed doubles result
    • Ninth seeded Mark Knowles (Bahamas) and Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Germany) stunned top seeds and favourites Leander Paes (India) and Carla Black (Zimbabwe) 7-5, 6-3 to win the Wimbledon mixed doubles title at the Centre Court.