Tax Burden on the Husband
This is with regard to “‘Women are no longer proxies,’ says Nirmala Sitharaman”. There is a point about income tax which requires attention. Many husbands invest their savings in the name of the wife. Under Section 64 of the Income-Tax Act, income from such investments is added to the husband’s total income and taxed at the highest rate. 
Nirmala Sitharaman says that women are not proxies; but the Income-Tax Act treats them as such. The quirk is that the asset does not belong to him and she can do what she likes with the income, but the husband has to pay tax on that. Many may not know about this position and are likely to be blackmailed by some taxmen. 
While a working wife is entitled to tax-free income of Rs2,50,000, why not a wife who is given money by her husband, which is not only out of love, but also as a recompense for all the domestic services that she renders? 
It is high time that Section 64 is repealed. This will reduce the artificial tax burden on men who don’t insist on the wife earning an income. 
Rangarajan TNC, online comment

Awareness of Black Money

This is with regard to “Will the Black Money Law Work?” by Sucheta Dalal. With the exception of Moneylife and, perhaps, some regional newspapers, media participation in creating awareness about black money, or the methods to unearth a part of the black money, or ‘black assets’ hoarded inside and outside the country, is not significant. Political parties use the issue for their limited pur-pose of winning elections. Government policy, including its taxation policy, has a role in the further growth of the black money monster. The banking system should also cooperate in handling this issue.
MG Warrier, online comment

II. Abominable Delays

The Black Money Bill does not inspire confidence on the prospect of curbing the evil as no account-ability and timelines have been prescribed for disclosures and punishments. Justice in this country carries the notoriety of abominable delays. 
If laws are meant for implementation, the contours of interpretation by different layers need stat-utory prescription, so that one would fear approaching the higher court for remedy if one failed in the lower court. The remedy should not be worse than the disease. 
Earlier, I mentioned in one of the responses that dealers in waste and scrap, on par with those dealing in real estate, are havens of black money and this can be curbed by vigilant tax officials. All major cities and metros are generators of huge black money from such waste and scrap.
B Yerram Raju, online comment

Standards of Efficiency In Consumer Forums

This is with regard to “What is the secret of winning cases in consumer courts?” No doubt, a con-sumer redressal forum provides relief and it is literally free of cost, except some incidental charges to pursue the case after filing. 
One of the problems that one could enlist against the forums relates to delay in taking decisions. We are expected to fight cases individually, even if the decision remains the same in identical cas-es. Once a decision is taken against a consumer grievance, similar and identical cases should be giv-en the verdict based on the decision already arrived at. 
Further, consumer forums can definitely take some initiatives to reduce delays by improving the infrastructure and by enhancing the standards of efficiency. This could be done by circulating the decisions taken in respect of cases to district, state and national forums. Forums can also levy some reasonable cost from the aggrieved party and the service-providers against whom the cases are filed.
The cases should be disposed within a maximum period of six months. Deficiency of service from service-providers can thus be taken care of.
Gopalakrishnan Krishnan, online comment

Music to Harried Citizens!

This is with regard to “Can the Right to Services Act transform Maharashtra into a true participative democracy?” I am delighted to read the summary of proceedings of the public meet with Hon chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis. He has provided a welcome change as a CM responding to the citizen’s concerns. If the promise of time-bound response is honoured, it will be music to the har-ried citizens of Maharashtra, who usually need to visit government offices thrice, or four times, to get a simple issue attended.
Vijay Merchant, online comment

Exemption for Term Insurance?

This is with regard to “Health Insurance: How to Benefit from Enhanced Mediclaim Deduction Limit” by Raj Pradhan. Does this exemption limit also apply for someone paying an annual premium for Rs25,000 for term insurance? Or, is it just limited to health insurance?
Aditya Kumar Pandey, online comment
Raj Pradhan replies: Premium for term insurance qualifies for Section 80C deduction.

Rigidity of the Product!

This is with regard to “Is the Extra Tax-saving from NPS Worth It?” by Debashis Basu and Jason Monteiro. I am not sure why everyone is stuck with the EET (exempt-exempt-tax) clause. For a 30-40-year-old taxpayer, who knows what the I-T rules will be 20-30 years from now? Maybe NPS will be changed and be treated like non-equity products. Or, maybe all products will be taxed on ma-turity.
My biggest concern is the rigidity of the product.  There are restrictions on the percentage of equi-ty allocation and switches. Further, lack of history and the annuity clause are also issues of concern.
Just too many restrictions for one’s comfort.
Arnab Banerjee, online comment 

Stock Information

This is with regard to “Buying Stocks Vs Equity Funds” by R Balakrishnan. Could you please suggest some sources of historical stock information (like PE and other ratios)? Mostly, what I could find on the net has only 5 years or so.
Akshat Agarwal, online comment

Black Money in Locker?

This is with regard to “Bank Lockers: How To Make the Best Use of Them” by Sucheta Dalal, Yogesh Sapkale and Vayshnavi Ganesh. As is evident, a CCTV camera is fixed in each safe deposit locker vault of a bank. If that is so, how can unaccounted or black money be kept or withdrawn partially without getting photographed? If that is so, then no one will feel that it is safe to deposit their assets, when they are unaccountable. In case of theft, fire or loss, the proof can always be dished out from the camera images.
Mohan Siroya

Tobacco Ban?

This is with regard to “Do anti-smoking labels encourage smoking?” by Debashis Basu. If any government is serious about the impact of smoking on public health and finances, the only way out is to ban production and sale of all tobacco products. Simply having photos and warnings will not help. It is like keeping a cat to guard the milk. The government sees the tobacco industry as a cash cow. So, no government is actually moving forward to put a halt.
R Balakrishnan

Will Dispute Resolution be Quick?

This is with regard to “What is the secret of winning cases in consumer courts?” With consumer courts, consumers now have a window to redress their grievances. It was hoped the dispute resolution will be quick. Unfortunately, this purpose has not been served.
I went to a district forum in the middle of 2008. The judgement was delivered in August 2011. Not satisfied with the compensation, I went to the state commission in October 2011. For over a year, now, the case is pending at the final hearing stage. Only once, there was a lack of quorum. Each visit costs money which is an unnecessary burden. I believe the posts of members have not been filled up; hence, the delay.
Harish Kohli


Secure Your Home
Insurance for valuables at home is a neglected cover in India, even though it is popular in the US and Western countries. Home theft or chain-snatching on the road gives a wake-up call. Home break-ins are often reported in newspapers for which home insurance can be a help. But we need to know the fine print. If a house is unoccupied for a long period (usually 30 days), the claim may be rejected. Insurance for covering your jewellery and valuables at home is still worth considering. You may extend it to cover valuables in bank lockers too. The premium is affordable. If you wish to cover eventualities like chain-snatching or employee theft, you need all-risk cover which can be a tad pricey. Raj Pradhan as usual, has dived deep into this under-researched area and offered you a guide for decision-making.
The Modi government will complete a year in office this month. The government had raised high expectations but now there is a sense of confusion about its priorities. Sucheta, in her Different Strokes column, asks a pertinent question, given the widespread disaffection with the Modi government: Who is the Modi sarkar working for?
The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is never proactive in addressing investor issues. Sucheta, in her Crosshairs column, provides additional evidence: Virendra Jain of Midas Touch Investors’ Association needed to threaten SEBI with a public interest litigation to get companies to re-list on national exchanges, companies that were listed on the now closed regional stock exchanges. Most alarming is the case of a company like Helios and Matheson which Sucheta has been writing about for a long time. It’s openly flouting SEBI’s norms; but no action has been taken by the regulator so far.
Stocks are considered highly risky. But it is cash that is the risky asset, says Warren Buffett. Turn to our Earning Curve section to read his take on risk. Enjoy reading and keep writing in with your views and suggestions.


IAF fetches nearly 2,000 Indians back from Nepal
The Indian Air Force has fetched 1,935 Indian back from Kathmandu to New Delhi since late Saturday even as its personnel continued with "Operation Maitri" in quake-hit Nepal overnight despite inclement weather, Sitanshu Kar, spokesperson for defence ministry, said on Monday.
"As of now, the IAF has evacuated 1,935 passengers from Kathmandu utilising 12 aircraft sorties," he said. 
"The IAF continued its operations last night despite odds." 
Quoting the Indian embassy in Kathmandu, the spokesperson for India's external affairs ministry, Vikas Swarup, said, Indians will now also be evacuated by busses from Pokhra, a hill resort in the Nepal, to Raxaul in Bihar. 
"Fourteen civilian flights -- seven scheduled and seven special -- will operate today (Monday) from Kathmandu to Delhi," he said.
The latest plane to land in New Delhi from Kathmandu was a C-17 with 291 passengers on board at 06.30 a.m. 
In Nepal, IAF personnel had concluded by 8.00 a.m. the five aborted sorties that could not be be undertaken on Sunday due to fresh aftershocks and seven more.
As fresh tremors continued in the early hours of Monday, the Rapid Action Medical Team of the IAF was ready with medicines and equipment to open a first aid unit at Lagankhel on the outskirts of the airport in Kathmandu, Kar said.
"Three doctors and 25 paramediccs will man the centre," he said adding that six medical teams and an engineer task force, besides blankets, tents and other relief items were being flown in to Nepal on Monday.


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