Simplicity Needed for Filing Tax Returns!
This is with regard to the Cover Story “Tax Filing” (Moneylife, 3 September 2015). This year’s e-filing is more troublesome than last year’s, as there was a facility for uploading ITR forms directly on the government’s website. One is required to prepare and fill it and log on separately (again) to upload it which is an avoidable burden. It results in loss of time too. 
Also, e-verification is troublesome and is a waste of time. It is suggested that a permanent pass-word be issued to each assessee-PAN cardholder—to use it for interacting with the income-tax (I-T) department online each time. Why should we have e-verification for uploading the I-T return? 
The change of password is doubly checked through e-mail and mobile pin. Why should we have any other e-verification for authentication of the uploaded return? The link to Aadhaar card, etc, is also avoidable. E-filing must be simple and should have the minimum number of steps to upload I-T returns. The same simplicity should hold for other correspondence, etc, if required. 
The following information present in I-T forms can be avoided: details of all bank accounts; second e-mail id; and passport number (many senior citizens and housewives with no taxable income have passports). If information is required about foreign trips, there can be limited scrutiny. The ‘Portu-guese Civil Code’ in Section 5A should be deleted.
It is my suggestion that taxpayers who have the Aadhaar card need not post ITR-V acknowledge-ment to the I-T office after filing the return online. This present system discriminates against those who do not have an Aadhaar card. I feel that an ordinary taxpayer cannot fill these forms without the help of a professional tax consultant. I-T forms not only seek information regarding the income of taxpayers, they also seek information on expenditure and assets. 
Re-introducing the Saral one-page form will create more trust. When more people file returns, it will generate more revenue. The I-T Act is complicated and it is small wonder that there are millions of tax cases in the courts.
Mahesh Kapasi, by email

Make This a Regular Feature!

This is with regard to the Fund Manager’s Interview in Moneylife (3 September 2015). It was a pleasure reading the interview of Sunil Singhania of Reliance Mutual Fund. The interview gave an insight into the thinking and methodology adopted by the Fund in choosing its investments. I espe-cially appreciate the quality of the questions. One learns so little from the 24X7 channels that con-tinuously bombard us with ‘expert opinions’. Often, the questions are longer than the answers, or are designed to ‘extract’ a particular answer. By contrast, the questions asked by Moneylife were crisp and open-ended, giving the expert a free hand in articulating himself. 
I request you to make this a regular feature. I would like to see many more such interviews in fu-ture issues of Moneylife!
Chandragupta Acharya, by email  

Best Mileage? 

This is with regard to “What Sets the New Honda Jazz Apart?” by Veeresh Malik. Jazz is in a unique position in the diesel segment and it is among the cars that offer the best mileage. The petrol model has the CVT (continuously variable transmission) option which no other car-maker provides.
Maharsh Kapadia, online comment  

Business As Usual?

This is with regard to “Effective Public Action” about the NGO Jan Manch in the Beyond Money sec-tion. This is a very worthy and painstaking effort, indeed. Wonder what happened to all the ca-cophony of probing irrigation irregularities. The people involved seem to be the living example of the phrase ‘business as usual’!
Vikram Dhotre, online comment

Government is Not Naïve!

This is with regard to “Double Standards over Black Money” by Sucheta Dalal. Whichever issue one picks up, one will invariably find corruption as its root cause. Is our government naïve enough to believe that non-transparent PNs (participatory notes) are being used only as a business necessity by large portfolio investors? My guess is that our government is not naïve.
Ankur Bhatnagar, online comment

India’s Only Hope Today?

This is with regard to “Has Modi, the Emperor, Really Lost His Shine?” by Sucheta Dalal. Fair points. But what are the alternative choices? Rahul Gandhi, whose family will steal even the rags of the poor to build their own riches? Or the Left? Or the Lalu-Mulayam combo? Or, the women in power in the east and south?
Unfortunately, people’s memory in this country is too short. It wants God to himself come down to fix issues and, before God emerges with those magical powers, we refuse to accept a lesser hu-man to fix issues. Till God comes, we will only accept the Osama Bin Laden of politics, the big family, as our default rulers. After all, everyone is corrupt. How does it matter that on the one side, a party president is caught with Rs1 lakh bribe, but on other side, scams of lakhs of crores of rupees hap-pen with amazing regularity. Both are treated as corrupt and ‘equal’. So let us keep the bigger thief in power! With all the good intentions of criticism, which are fair and welcome, the damage we are doing unknowingly by repeated impatient criticism is to drive popular opinion back towards the family which has never even thought of doing anything good for anyone beyond itself. We are go-ing back to the grave. Mr Modi is far from perfect, but clean on intention and integrity and is, frank-ly, India’s only hope today.
Gupta, by email

Untenable Claims?

This is with regard to “Humility, the Best Medicine” by Prof BM Hegde. The author makes some valid observations. Unfortunately, he overstates his case. He abhors the mechanistic practice of medicine, and rightly so, as it is a disgrace. But he makes some untenable claims. Would he really like us to revert to faith-healing, sadhus and swamis, to manage our medical ailments because modern medicine has become too materialistic? I doubt it. He needs to come up with specific in-stances where modern medicine hurts and the age-old remedies are superior.
Meenal Mamdani 
Editor’s Note: You may want to read some of Prof Hegde’s previous articles on the Moneylife web-site. He has never suggested that we revert to faith-healing, sadhus and swamis. He has given spe-cific instances where modern medicine hurts.

Government Is Willing To Listen!

This is with regard to “Modi’s Good Intentions Need To Be Supported by Mindset Changes Down the Line” by Sucheta Dalal. I think prime minister Narendra Modi has opened up multiple channels to engage the citizens directly. Apart from social media access to/from PM, one can influence the government via portal, various local circles, etc. Probably, this is the first time in Inde-pendent India that the government is willing to listen... But the babus will take time to readjust. I know several government staff who can’t handle a smartphone; they even have difficulty in plac-ing a call from an Android phone! 
Anand Vaidya

Lapses In Governance

This is with regard to “Will IRDAI’s Advertisements Norms Reduce Insurance Mis-selling?” by Raj Pradhan. Many insurance companies publish advertisements, send SMSes and emails to trap the innocent and gullible public. It is better if IRDAI (Insurance Development Authority of India), apart from keeping a watch on these companies, insists that all the insurance companies should give their registration or licence number in all their advertisements, SMSes and emails, etc. Once trapped, it is difficult to get back the money; companies know how to obfuscate the payment of claims by taking full advantage of the lapses available in the governance system of the country, in general, and IRDAI, in particular.
Gopalakrishnan TV   


Consumer Redressal: Consumer Forum Directive to Mahindra Resorts
Hemant Wadekar had taken a time-share membership of Mahindra Holidays & Resorts (MHR). Members could enjoy holidays at any MHR resort in India or abroad. Mr Wadekar enrolled for a 25-year membership by paying Rs2,08,985. He tried to avail some facilities but was refused. Aggrieved, he requested cancellation of the membership and sought a refund. MHR informed him that the refund would be subject to deductions of Rs1,25,391 as cancellation charge, Rs7,500 as Resort Condominiums International enrolment charge and Rs8,000 for food vouchers. The refund offered, after deductions, came to Rs68,094. Mr Wadekar filed a complaint with the district consumer forum alleging deficiency in service. The forum directed MHR to refund the entire membership fees of Rs2,08,985, along with 9% interest, compensation of Rs10,000 and cost of Rs1,000.
MHR challenged the order with Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which dismissed the appeal. MHR then approached NCDRC (National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission). Mr Wadekar claimed that the rules had not been shared. NCDRC observed that when the rules are not communicated, merely signing that the rules had been read would have no meaning. NCDRC modified the order and directed MHR to refund the membership charges after deducting the admission fee. The rest of the order for compensation and costs was upheld.


Life Insurance: LIC Creates Platform for Aadhaar-linked Electronic KYC Norms

The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has created a platform where policyholders may avail electronic know your customer (eKYC) norms linked to their Aadhaar card. Integration of eKYC with Aadhaar would provide a linkage to policy operations; in the coming years, the focus would be on enabling eKYC in various in-house applications, an LIC statement said.


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