Citizens' Issues
Monsoon session extended to 6th September

The UPA government hopes to pass key Bills relating to food security, economic reforms and land acquisition in the current session

The union government on Monday decided to extend the monsoon session of Parliament till 6th September to make up for time lost due to disruptions. The government hopes to pass key Bills relating to food security, economic reforms and land acquisition.


Government took the decision as virtually no business was transacted in the Lok Sabha till 24th August due to disruptions and adjournments caused by protests by TDP and Congress members from Andhra Pradesh against the announcement on the formation of Telangana.


The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs took the decision to extend the session till 6th September at a meeting held in Parliament House today.


Three Bills were passed by the Lok Sabha last Saturday and the key Food Security Bill was taken up today.


The government is hopeful of getting Parliament’s nod for the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, the Land Acquisition Bill and other legislations.


The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation is still hopeful of convincing the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Insurance Bill. On the government’s agenda is also the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, and two Bills on Civil Aviation.


The Rajya Sabha has functioned normally on most days and transacted business. Several pending Bills were passed in the Upper House in this session.


The monsoon session, which began on 5th August, was scheduled to end on 31st August.


Shome to head Tax Admin Commission

The Commission would review tax laws, existing mechanism of dispute resolution and methods to widen tax base and suggest ways for a stable and non-adversarial tax administration

The union government on Monday set up Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC), a high-level panel under the chairmanship of Parthasarathi Shome to review tax laws and suggest ways for a stable and non-adversarial tax administration.


The seven members TARC will have 18 months tenure to suggest various measures including appropriate organisational structure for tax governance.


The terms of reference of the Commission include a review of the existing mechanism of dispute resolution and methods to widen tax base.


Further the TARC would recommend measures to strengthen inter-agency information sharing between Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and also with the banking and financial sector.


It would also look at mechanism for grievance redressal, timely disbursal of tax refunds and duty drawbacks.


In his Budget speech, finance minister P Chidambaram, had said, “An emerging economy must have a tax system that reflects best global practises. I propose to set up a TARC to review the application of tax policies and tax laws and submit periodic reports that can be implemented to strengthen the capacity of our tax system”.


Earlier this month, the Cabinet had approved setting up of TARC.


Web18 of TV18 group to shut web properties, reduce staff strength to 15%

After streamlining across its TV channels, the TV18 group is reportedly shutting some of its web properties and drastically reducing staff strength

Web18 Software Services Ltd, or Web18, the Internet and mobile arm of Network18, has reportedly decided to close several of its web properties and cut down staff strength to just 15%. According to sources, employees were handed over three months’ severance package and asked not to report for duty from 26th August. The web properties that are likely to be shut down includes, and while others will be kept alive nominally., the flagship property will be run by a handful of staff, sources said.


This follows the move by the television arm of Network18, which last week handed out pink slips to hundreds of employees, including cameramen, technicians, reporters, news anchors and producers across its channels.


Web18 has a variety of information and transactional services based on the Internet. This includes,,,,,,,,,, (now Shop),,,,,, and


The TV18 group holds 85% stake in Web18 Holdings while the remaining is held by Global Broadcast News Network, a part of the group.


According to a report from, the mass terminations were supposedly decided in a Macau offsite earlier this year where managing director Raghav Bahl had told his marketing team that they do not need any specialist journalists. In fact, owing to the same formula of no-need-of-specialists CNN IBN’s Special Investigation team headed by VK Shashikumar was packed up a year earlier. Similarly, Bahar Dutt and her environmental reporting team have also been asked to leave, the report said.


The report also mentioned that the downsizing was believed to have an adverse impact on some of Network 18’s online ventures and was the next in queue. "Its operations are being streamlined and the office is shifting to Parel from Matunga. The downsizing is believed to be because the website’s traffic has plummeted substantially. Forbes India which saw the rather ugly exit of its four editors a few months back, might be shut down permanently," the report says. The group has wide presence in print, internet and television. It has been making losses in almost all its ventures. The group is now controlled by Mukesh Ambani through a complicated arrangement that has bypassed takeover norms.



Suiketu Shah

3 years ago

what does the future of look like?Since Mukesh Ambani owns it now,I think it shd maintain the same standard or even get better.

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