Moneylife Foundation decided to take the issue of hardships faced by bank depositors due to TDS and sent a memorandum to authorities.
Moneylife Foundation has sent a memorandum which highlighted the issue of charging Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) on interest earned on bank deposits.
Seeing the response of the readers of the article "TDS is not only tedious, it is sheer harassment. Government must make interest from banks free from income-tax" published on the Moneylife website, it was clear that TDS on bank deposits is detested by many.
Moneylife Foundation thus decided to take up the matter with the concerned officials and prepared a Memorandum on TDS titled "Income Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) on interest earned on deposits with bank causes tremendous hardship".
The memorandum has been sent to the Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister, RS Gujral, Finance Secretary, DK Mittal, Banking Secretary, Dr D Subbarao, Governor, RBI, Kishori Udeshi, chairperson, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI), Dr KC Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, RBI and MD Mallya, chairman, Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
Click below to see the memorandum, sent by Moneylife Foundation…
There is speculation that Maruti may well use the lockout to move from the current landlocked location to a place near a seaport, which could be Gujarat, an auto hub. This will free up priceless land in Haryana as well
Maruti-Suzuki has been affected by a debilitating strike at its Manesar plant, followed by a lockout. The situation seems to be going from bad to worse. While mainstream media appears to be going by press releases as well as toeing what appears to be a mix of the company's and Haryana state government's line, on the ground it seems that the issues are deeper. Could it be that Maruti will actually gain from its current troubles, by relocating to a place like Gujarat which has two vibrant seaports?
Maruti-Suzuki may well need a complete transformation and the lockout may well be the catalyst for it. The "new" Maruti Swift was supposed to provide the much needed booster shot that Maruti-Suzuki was looking for. This is now in doubt, as production is certainly impacted, with the manufacturer taking what appears to be a very inflexible stance.
Decades of a dominant position, certainly misused in some cases, has brought in a sort of arrogance in Maruti-Suzuki's dealings with all segments of society, including the media. Couple that with the simple realities and facts of doing business in Haryana lately, where people are comparing the present regime to what used to happen in the "ABC" (Chautala) days, and you have the beginnings of what appears to be the end of an innings.
On another note, the value of the real estate owned and controlled by Maruti-Suzuki now far exceeds anything that anybody could have dreamt of even in their wildest dreams. Is that a reason for the continuing problems? On the other hand, the lack of a manufacturing or assembly unit near a seaport, is now beginning to tell on the bottom-line.
Another aspect not being reported in the media has to do with how working conditions at the Manesar plant are apparently worse than a steel-mill sweatshop.
These issues stayed below the radar as long as Maruti preserved its market domination. This is now coming to an end. An imminent price war with competitors will require rapid action. So, the lockout may just be one of those steps that works out very well for the company.
Think about it in cold numbers: If it shuts down a couple of plants in Haryana, rapidly leverages excess capacity in other states closer to seaports (Gujarat), it could re-invent the company.
It’s all well to talk about Bofors and 2G corruption. But what about the cuts taken by doctors who refer patients for tests and scans?
In these heady days of Anna's triumphs, it is difficult to write about anything but corruption in India, and the subject is so vast, encompassing as it does every aspect of human activity, that the mind cannot think of other subjects on which to write.
Anna Hazare's campaign and the Jan Lokpal Bill have concentrated on corruption among government servants-the term extending from the prime minister to the lowest clerk in a tehsildar's office. This covers a wide swathe of economic and social activity of the people.
Corruption erodes the moral and ethical fibre of the bribe-taker and the bribe-giver. But this is not the worst effect of bribes, graft, kickbacks. The worst effect is that corruption is a cost of production. This is well-known, but few realise that it is the first axiom in the geometry of graft.
Bofors paid a bribe of Rs64 crore to some of the highest people in the land. We know who they were, but officially they were unknown and unnamed. Do you think Bofors wrote off the payment as charity? No way. The equivalent of Rs64 crore was added to the cost of the Bofors guns delivered to India. And who footed the bill? The people of India through the defence budget of the Government of India.
And let us take the tonnes of crores of graft paid in the 2G scam? Who will really reimburse the cost to the mobile phone companies? Who else but the users of the ultra-smart mobile phone services that the licensee companies will put on the market. It will be you and me; the man in the street may escape.
Let me take an example which affects all of us, including the man in the street, and the dog at the lamp-post: the kickbacks taken by doctors who refer patients to scan centres and diagnostic labs. Yes, we put the haloes on the doctors' heads, but they are not shining white, they are black and baleful.
It all seems so simple and innocent, doesn't it? The general physician, or the specialist, examines your wife. He prescribes a scan and recommends a particular scan centre. He even has the centre's requisition pad with him and writes down your name and the investigations required.
You go to the scan centre and wince inwardly at the huge cost. But you think it is good for the beloved wife and you pay up; you notice it's all in cash. You take the scan to the doctor and the process continues.
You do not know that you have been cheated by as much 15% or 20% of the price of the scan. The doctor has an arrangement with the scan centre: up to 20% (depending on the number of referrals) of the value of the scan goes to the doctor as kickback. The amount of kickback is added to the cost of the scan, so your bill is bloated by that much more. Everyone's happy, including the patient who does not know. Ignorance is bliss, as the proverb goes?
I have written this on the basis of first-hand experience and a story that I wrote for my newspaper, about 15 years ago, detailing the entire process.
At the end of each month, the doctor sends to the scan centre, a list of patients that he has referred, the real cost of the scans and the total cut due to him. The amount is delivered in cash the next day. If it is not, the tap is turned off and the doctor starts referring patients to another scan centre. This keeps the scan centre owner in line.
I had written the story on the basis of written records, including the doctors' letters, the scan owners' record of payments, the cost of the scan before the kickback, the price charged to the patient and a few other bits and pieces of evidence.
Not surprisingly, nothing happened. One of the aphorisms I worked out is: today's newspaper wraps tomorrow's peanuts.
But I didn't give up. I sent the whole lot of evidence to the income-tax officer in whose ward the doctor fell. Again, nothing. And I thought of the saying: there are two types of people whom one does not antagonise, doctors and income-tax officers. Here the income-tax officer did not want to antagonise the doctor, who happened to be a neurosurgeon.
And nothing has changed.
(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected].)