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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Filing Income Tax Returns

For TRPS details:

Hope all you are aware that Indian Income Tax is supposed to be filed by 31st Jul.

I used to file my tax returns through the office help desk every year. This time as I'm away and cant use the helpdesk. So, I have been reading all the material on net to find a way to compute my liabilities and file it on my own.

I found that our Income Tax department has a e-filing facility at their website

All we need to do is:
Go to, Download the relavent filing form (xls), Fill the details in the xls form, Generate the xml file, and finally Upload the xml on their site.

Note that, on income tax website, you need to register for a new user or login if you are an existing user. And PAN is a must for registration. After you upload xml, you will recieve a confirmation from Income Tax department at your mail id.

Sign it, attach a photo copy of your PAN and send it to the Tax office in your city.

However, Its not as simple as it appears to be. You need to be well aware of all the 80A/B/C/D/E etc to put proper claims :(

It definitely is not user friendly. May be the Indian Income Tax department reads this and makes their xls sheet much more user friendly.

If any of you are in a hurry and wants a quik & easy to use guidance, I advise you to go with online helpers like Taxsmile & Taxspanner. I tested Taxsmile & they have a step by step approach to compute your tax. It is in our conversational english unlike the 80C/CC/CCD/DDD etc..

And there are many more such sites available just a google away!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Indian Head Of State at Beijing Olympics

Will be none other than Madam Sonia Gandhi. Err… did the Indian Olympic Association predict that the current head of the state will lose the vote of confidence scheduled in the Parliament for 22nd Jul 08 and a new scenario will emerge where the Italian of the East, Madam Sonia Gandhi will emerge as a consensus leader? Or is it shameless display of sycophancy by Suresh Kalmadi?

With so much money spent on the sports authorities in this country, till now, it was a shame that this most populous nation could not shine on the medal tally of any international sports meet. Now, it is much more disgrace that we have a non constitutional power center being sent as the state representative to Olympics.

I’d suggest that we introduce new events in Olympics. One for Corruption, one for misuse of authority and power, one for Sycophancy. We sure will score a Bronze in the first, Silver in the second and a Gold in the last.

Six Pack Rage in IPL T20

They say, that Salman Khan is allergic to shirt. Then Shahid & Sharukh followed. Sharukh improvised the display of bare chest by gaining six pack abs. And thinking about cricket, I remember Dada’s stunt at the Natwest Trophy 2002 Final at Lords. And ha! I now find the connection, why Badsha Sharukh partnered with Dada for his Kolkatta Knight Riders. The bare chest mania made them natural allies.

And now the bare chest brigade is roping more of their species into their IPL team. The news is that Dada is bringing Flintoff into Kolkotta’s team. If the info is true, then Freddie and Pieterson are each paid more than what Dhoni is making at Chennai.

I’m eagerly waiting for the bare chest brigade Badsha, Dada & Freddie dancing as part of the pre-match entertainment

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IT Indusry & The Changing Life Styles in India

Let me start with a disclaimer that I no longer am an IT worker

In one of the discussions that we had at lunch today, a gentleman opined that IT might have enriched just 5% of Indians and rest of the 95% are still living a miserable life. He went on to say that IT has done more damage to India than anything good. He sights the examples of IT workers inflating the cost of living in major cities which is degrading the lifestyles of non-IT workers, other low end workers like masons, plumbers, carpenters etc.

I sat through this unpleasant conversation and wont agree with that thought process. In my opinion, industries don’t create just workers. They create ecosystems. The evolution of ecosystems will pass the benefits to non workers over time.

For instance, the IT jobs create demand for various things in their ecosystem. The new workforce needs new housing in new locations. This triggers infrastructure and real estate work. Indirectly, many workers, masons, plumbers, carpenters and daily labor get employed here. I’ve seen a group of 50+ construction workers migrated to my neighborhood in Bangalore, who narrate that they at least got some work to do and earn their daily food here. Had it not been this construction work, they were living a miserable life in a remote village of Bihar.

I know a small time carpenter in Bangalore. Ten years back, he used to roam around our colony, seeking any small household work which he can complete and earn few bucks. Over the past few years, he opened a shop in our colony and is selling good furniture to the new consumer class that was created by IT.

Household support services like maid, babysitter, personal assistants are making a living out of the new neighborhoods that are created by new industries.

The purchasing power of the Indian consumers is increasing, much to the chagrin of President Bush and the consumption by the new class of young affluent geeks is creating new jobs on the supply side.

Now, not surprisingly, the benefits are not constrained to the town where the job is created. I was glad to see the old barber who used to work near our neighborhood in our village, running his new AC saloon. Thanks to the IT boom, he sent his son to some computer course and the kid got a job in Hyderabad. With the son’s support, the old man now has his own shop and a better livelihood.

Recently, my dad sold off our farm land in village, as we could not supervise the crops regularly. In fact, it has been leased to the local servant for the past ten years or so, as the servant took care of the crop and emerged as a small time farmer. He sent his kids to engineering school and the kid is now employed in Singapore. I still vividly remember how this small time peasant who once was scared to stand in front of my grand parents. I am happy to see that the servant, turned into a small time farmer and now the owner of that farm land.

The bottom line is that, it is unreasonable to expect IT to benefit 100% of the population. We should be happy, even if IT or some other industry creates prosperity for 0.001% of the population.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When all the IT guys get on to the road!

Commenting on Infosys’s quarterly results on Rediff, a gentleman predicted that the IT boom in India is coming to an end and all the IT guys will be on road in 10 years from now :) His logic is that in 10 years, all the required IT systems will be done by the existing IT folks and thus there is no need for any code monkeys.

I agree, he is bang on target.

Per his logic, I guess, a month before that eventual doom, all the manufacturing industry people will be on road….because all the required needs of the world would have been manufactured by the factories which are running 24X7 for so many years now.

Probably, around 3 weeks before this predicted D-Day, Oil/Gas/Coal/Minerals companies will be closed, as all of them would've been depleted.

Other services industries like banking, infrastructure etc would be shut down just about a couple of weeks before that D-day, as everybody will have a bank a/c, and all required roads/buildings are done by then.

Finally, all the IT companies realize that there is no more work for them, serve a two week notice to their employees and shut their shops.

So, by D-day, all Indians (or all the people around the world?) will meet on the road to decide what to rant about next :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NO Ronaldinho @ Beijing Olympics

It seems Ronaldinho will not be in action at Beijing Olympics next month. Though he is been selected for the Brazilian squad, his contractual commitments with Spanish club prevent him in flying to Beijing.

Barcelona club has its qualifying matches scheduled during Aug 12-27 which clashes with the schedules at Beijing.

We’ll have to wait and see how its going to be resolved.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Left, Right, and Center

"either the deal (nuclear) goes through, or I go" was the ultimatum given by Indian Prime Minister a month ago. It was an ultimatum to the left, to the right and to the center!

Battered by the growing inflation and troubled economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in no mood to entertain the hegemonic directives of the Left. At the same time, he’s been fighting to prove to the right that he is right in control of the government. In a way, he has to tell the high command & the center that he has the last word on the matters of governance.

So, he finally found strange partners in Mulayam and Arun Singh (SP). These SP leaders were humiliated by the Madam when Amar Singh tried to gate crash into a party hosted by her in 2004. Amar Singh lamented that he was “treated worse than a dog or beggar”. A columnist in HT says, that “treated like a dog or beggar” would have sufficed

It apparently is a mutually convenient arrangement for UPA at Center and SP in UP. They indeed are living a “worse than a dog or beggar” life, as opposition leaders in Mayawati’s UP. However, the interesting drama unfolds as both parties try to grab their bargains from the arrangement. Amar Singh already started attacking Murali Deora & his favors to Mukhesh Ambani. Now, the Ambani brothers saga moves on to the center court, with UPA backing elder brother and SP with younger, Anil Ambani.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rafa upsets Federer at Wimledon 2008 men's singles final

Finally Rafa bites the wimbledon crown by beating Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 in the marathon final at Wimbledon y'day. While this is Nadal's first win of the title, Federer missed setting a record by winning his sixth straight win at wimbledon.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

How to draw the shoppers & their ire

Its an old marketing trick for the new economy. In the increasingly competitive retail space, a company in Vashi (Mumbai) tried to draw people to its premises by offering free cash to the visitors. It announced that all the visitors who visit their office between 4pm to 7pm on Saturday will be offered a gift of Rs. 1000/-

And lo behold, the crowd was there in hordes and the company had to call off the free gifts. Much to the chagrin of its neighbors in the premises, the crowd went on ransacking the mall and damaging the vehicles around.


It happens only in India? Na!
It reminds me the tragedy at the opening of new Ikea showrooms in UK and other places. The free vouchers that the furniture retailer announced have drawn huge crowds and thus stampede. When do shoppers & the sellers learn that there is nothing like a free lunch!

Trivia: Seen a cafeteria at a bschool named as – tanstafl - There aint no such ting as free lunch!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Random Thoughts on India

Plan to write about India, life, lifestyles, entertainment, bollywood, academics, employment, industry, the IT boom and the aftermath, economy, philosophy, politics, elections.