TDS not deductible from compensation: NCDRC

The NCDRC asked the Airport Authority of India to refund the TDS it had subtracted from the compensation it had to pay to a couple for death of their daughter

New Delhi: Damages awarded cannot be equated with income liable to tax deduction at source (TDS), the apex consumer commission has held, reports PTI.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) gave the order while directing the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to refund the TDS it had subtracted from the compensation it had to pay to a couple for death of their daughter.
The AAI had been asked by the apex consumer commission on 5th August 2004 to pay Rs2.5 lakh as damages to a Dubai-based couple after their young daughter had died while getting off an escalator maintained by the Authority.
The NCDRC while directing the AAI to refund the sum of TDS to complainants, Geeta and Parmanand Jethani, observed that the authority should not have made the deduction in the first place and instead should have referred the matter to the Income Tax department.
"First of all the respondent (AAI) should not have deducted the TDS. An information to the Income Tax Authority would have sufficed.
"In the instant case, the compensation is by way of damages. The damages paid for the death of a person cannot be equated with income as such. Consequently, the opposite party (AAI) is directed to pay the TDS amount along with interest of 9% per annum," the bench presided by Justice JM Malik said.
The NCDRC order came on a plea by the Jethanis seeking directions to the AAI to release the Rs2.5 lakh it had been directed to pay by the apex consumer commission.
During the pendency of the Jethanis' petition, the AAI paid the compensation but only after deducting the TDS out of it and contended that since the TDS had already been deducted, the Jethanis should seek its refund from the Income Tax authorities to whom the amount was handed over.
The Jethanis contended that the AAI was not entitled to deduct the TDS from the damages.
While directing the AAI to refund the amount it had deducted as TDS from the damages, the NCDRC asked it to recover the same from the Income Tax Department.


Why not regulate and supervise microfinance investment vehicles in their country of incorporation?

Governments and regulators in countries where MIVs tend to flourish should start looking inward and bring in the least required regulation/supervision and minimum standards for MIVs to operate responsibly

Hugh Sinclair’s recent book has already stimulated my interest in a topic—regulation of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs)—that has been much neglected. Please see previous articles that raise the issue of regulation and supervision of MIVs in a general sense (Why blame the MFIs alone?; Should not microfinance investment vehicles be judged by the same standards set for retail MFIs?; and Regulation and Supervision of Micro-Finance Investment Vehicles: An Urgent Task for Central Banks and Regulators Globally!)
Now, as noted earlier in the above articles, by its very nature, regulation and supervision of MIVs is likely to be very complex because of the diverse legal forms that MIVs assume, the vast geographies that they operate from and the diverse countries/institutions that they invest in. Anyway, let us examine the available data on the subject before we come to any kind of conclusion on the matter.
Please see data compiled from the Syminvest database  (
As noted from the Table above, the 142 MIVs listed in the Syminvest database are from 22 countries.  
In terms of countries with number of MIVs greater than or equal to 5 (>=5), these are seven countries—namely, Luxembourg, United States, The Netherlands, France, Cayman Islands, India and Mauritius. These seven countries together account for around 77.46% (or 110 of the 142) of the MIVs. 
And, these 110 MIVs control over 94.21% of the total assets (of all 142 MIVs) and 94.27% of the microfinance assets (of all 142 MIVs). Three other points are in order here: (a) for the 110 MIVs, microfinance assets constitute 68.87% of their total assets; (b) some of the MIVs in the group of 110 have not reported their microfinance assets to the Syminvest database (like the five MIVs incorporated in Mauritius; and (c) some of the MIVs have neither reported their total assets or their microfinance assets (like the six MIVs from Cayman Islands). The above caveats notwithstanding, the larger implications are the following:
a) A very significant number of MIVs (110 or around 77.46% of all 142 MIVs) are incorporated in the above seven countries;
b) These MIVs control total assets of around $6.63 $ billion and this number is likely to increase when the MIVs from Cayman Islands report on their portfolio
c) These MIVs control total microfinance assets of around $4.56 billion and this number is likely to increase when the MIVs from Mauritius and Cayman Islands report on their microfinance portfolio
The above analysis clustered countries with greater than or equal to five MIVs in a country and then, did the analysis. 
Hereafter, we look at the total assets controlled by the MIVs in a given country and then, sort countries on the basis of their total asset value using a specified criterion (say $50 million in total assets). 
As noted in Table 2 below, in terms of total assets greater than $50 million, there are six countries—namely Luxembourg, The Netherlands, United States, Belgium, Germany and Italy. The six countries have 96 MIVs (of the total 142) and these control about 96.59% of the total assets of all 142 MIVs and 97.97% of the microfinance assets of all 142 MIVs. 
Likewise, as noted in Table 3 below, we list countries (all of its MIVs included) that have a certain minimum microfinance portfolio and also a certain percentage of their total assets in the micro-finance portfolio. Two criteria have been chosen here for segmenting the countries: a) they must have greater than $25 million as their microfinance portfolio; and b) they must have over 50% of their total assets in micro-finance assets. There are seven countries—namely, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, United States, Germany, Belgium, Liechtenstein and Italy – having a total micro-finance portfolio greater than $25 million and over 50% of their total assets in micro-finance portfolio. Again, these seven countries have a total of 97 MIVs. These 97 MIVs, in turn control 97.29% of the total assets of all 142 MIVs and 98.72% of the microfinance portfolio of all 142 MIVs.  
Taken together, irrespective of whether the number of MIVs (>=5) is used as a criterion or whether their total assets (>$50 million) is used as a factor or whether the size of microfinance portfolio (>$25million) and its proportion of total assets (>50% of total assets in microfinance portfolio) is used as a differentiating input, the key countries where MIV activity appears to be flourishing are the following countries given in Table 4 below:
One interesting aspect from the above table is that irrespective of the criterion chosen, the top three countries are Luxembourg, The Netherlands and the United States—these three countries account for: a) 86 (almost 60.6%) of the total 142 MIVs; b) 93.13% of the total assets of $6.63 billion US $; and c) 93.84 % of the total microfinance assets of $4.56 billion 
Therefore, as a start, it may be prudent for regulators in all of the countries - given in Table 4 above and especially, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and the United States—to start looking at the MIVs physically incorporated in their countries/territories and/or operating from there. For starters, this would result in a huge number/proportion of the MIVs being regulated and supervised. In a subsequent article, I look at data for regulating/supervising the fund managers/sub-advisors of these MIVs.
And before I sign off, I would like to humbly suggest that Parliamentarians from these countries, just as in the United Kingdom, may want to start analyzing laws that: a) incorporate these MIVs, and b) regulate/supervise them—so that the kind excesses witnessed in India (in the years 2008–2010) and elsewhere are not traced to their shores. It is one thing to claim to fight poverty and enhance access to finance in another country; it is entirely another thing to let the investment vehicles run amok (with little or no regulation) and with little regard for what impact their investments have on the poor people (in other countries). 
Here it must be noted that even reports like the recent CGAP report on MIVs ( look merely at growth or decline of investments in micro-finance and the reasons therein. There is very little (or perhaps even no) mention of what impact these investments have on the local low income (rural and urban) economy and excluded/poor people. Here are some examples;
a) In fact, the report carries the word clients on five occasions and these are all in the disclosures (last but one page) by J P Morgan, etc 
b) The word impact is not there in the report and impacted is used three times with references to the following—volume of capital flows, PE flows and impacted by crisis (with regard to the Andhra Pradesh events) 
c) The word poor occurs twice and it is in CGAP’s name—Consultative Group to Assist the Poor
And look at some of the conclusions drawn in the report:
a) Investments reported in Asia mainly included deals in India (92% of the total volume in the region) with a few other transactions in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Despite the microfinance crisis in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, India had 19 deals closed and priced, amounting to over $88 million compared to 10 deals that amounted to over $45million in 2010. (Page 6 of the CGAP report)
b) Overall, the microfinance PE market experienced stronger activity in 2011, picking up from 2010, with an increase in the volume of transactions. However, some lingering effects of the crisis remain, and 2011 saw the continued compression of valuation multiples for MFIs and LIFIs from the highs in 2009. We believe there is a wider convergence trend between the valuation of emerging market banks and microfinance providers, be it specialized MFIs or LIFIs. For 2012, we do not expect microfinance equity valuations to decouple significantly from the valuation of emerging market banks. We expect valuations to be stable in most markets, with the exception of SSA and certain countries of LAC, which could see some increase in valuations. (Page 14 of the CGAP report)
That said, now that regulation and supervision of MIVs is being debated seriously, I sincerely do hope that governments and regulators in all these countries (where MIVs tend to flourish) start looking inward as to their own system of regulation/supervision and bring in the least required regulation/supervision and minimum standards for MIVs to operate responsibly… that alone can usher in an era of responsible finance… in the host countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere…
(Ramesh Arunachalam has over two decades of strong grass-roots and institutional experience in rural finance, MSME development, agriculture and rural livelihood systems, rural and urban development and urban poverty alleviation across Asia, Africa, North America and Europe. He has worked with national and state governments and multilateral agencies. His book—“Indian Microfinance, The Way Forward”—is the first authentic compendium on the history of microfinance in India and its possible future.)

Usual disclaimers apply with regard to the above data from the Syminvest database, ( 





Arun M Purohit

4 years ago


The God Particle: Unscientific Claims?

The CERN scientists tried to pull a long one on the gullible public by declaring that the God particle that they claim to have found would tell us about the origin of this world! This is an unscientific claim, to say the least
“The God Particle” because the particle is “so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive,” a second reason was because “the publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing”—Lederman

There is so much excitement at CERN centre about their having got the Higg’s Boson in their experiment. Obviously they have to succeed as they have sunk billions of dollars in their experiments to find the basic building blocks of our universe. Hurray! They tell us that they are 99.999% sure! Why not 100%, though is a million dollar question? The obliging media has gone to town already saying that the particle, which was originally called the Goddamn particle as the originator of this concept was an atheist. Peter Ware Higgs was a theoretical physicist and professor of physics at Edinburgh University. He was the one who gave the electroweak theory of mass for particles, in the 1960s especially of the W-Z Bosons, the most sought after particle in particle physics. American Nobel Laureate physicist, Leon Lederman coined the word “God particle” as his publisher did not like Goddamn particle of his choice.

Human consciousness talks about a collective expectation effect on some of these experiments where hundreds of minds intensely want to achieve the goal. Intention positivity is a known entity. The researchers have not seen the particle at all as the particles cannot be seen. They are talking about statistical circumstantial evidence of the God particle in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider where trillions of particles are colliding with one another. They are talking about raising the statistical possibility to five Sigma level of probability. That is not the same as seeing the particle. Carl Sagan wrote that “at the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes—openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre and counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless sceptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from nonsense.”

The next stumbling block would be to prove that the particle that they claim to have seen IS the God particle that they have promised to us. The collision of those particles have released enormous amount of energy in the CERN collider. If the particle releases energy then this particle cannot be the God particle, the building block of the universe. The God particle cannot lose energy. It has to stabilize the world. If, as they have shown in their experiment, their particle, which they claim is the God particle, has released so much energy it could not be the building block of our universe. In that case our world would have been destroyed millions of years ago. The universe has survived eight billion years so far. Therefore any particle to qualify to be the building block should be indestructible. Does the particle they claim to have found in the CERN reactor remain the same in mass and structure after releasing so much of energy? This does not seem likely. The CERN experiment has shown release of that kind of energy.

Now that we know that energy is just the vibrations of matter; the two are inseparable. In addition, all the energy that science knows today is just about 5% of matter. The large 95% is unknown to us. In this scenario any particle like the one they think as the fundamental building block could not be confirmed. All that we know of stars, galaxies and planets constitute just about 5% of matter. Where is the other matter?

The CERN scientists also tried to pull a long one on the gullible public by declaring that the God particle that they claim to have found would tell us about the origin of this world! This is an unscientific claim, to say the least. Clearly the road to find the fundamental building block of this universe is not going to be easy, if not impossible. The CERN route definitely is not the correct one as of now. Hawking’s predictions seem to be coming true that the God particle would never be found. One could always take shelter under the fact that Hawking as a cosmologist is only dealing with large things like the universe, while the particle physicists deal with subatomic particles that are so small that one of them can never comfortably talk about the other.

The right route would, perhaps be, to define energy as motion of particles. The two are inseparable. In that case the fundamental blocks, called the superstrings, with its nested generalised fractal structure, should be indestructible. Otherwise, our universe would perish sooner than later. All these and more could be incorporated into the Grand Unified Theory. However, not finding the God particle might be sad for Peter Higgs, as without that theoretical particle there will be no weight for mass. Particles would then be flying around at the speed of light. In fact, years ago when Stephen Hawking predicted that the God particle will never be found, Higgs was very much upset and he is said to have written an article criticizing Hawking in The Scotsman. Normally Higgs was always polite and gentlemanly but he seems to have been so much upset that he directly attacked Hawking in his article.

In this whole drama the thing we Indians could enjoy most is the rejuvenation of the word BOSON, named after Satyendranath Bose FRS, Padma Vibhushana, who was given the credit by a good friend and a contemporary physicist, Paul Dirac. Bose was a mathematical physicist who helped to develop the Bose-Einstein Statistics and the Bose-Einstein Condensate. Paul Dirac, a British physicist, named the particles which obeyed the Bose-Einstein statistics as Bosons. Those days Quantum kitchen helped the particle physicists to pull out hundreds of particles which remind one of the way a magician pulls out rabbits from his hat. That era has passed. The particle-wave confusion could be put to rest now for good. Has the much awaited God particle also succumbed to the famous Uncertainty Principle of Werner Heisenberg? Time only will tell us the truth. Any truth that science claims to find can only be A truth and never THE truth. Is God playing dice with the world?
“Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal”—George Bernard Shaw

(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected].)



Madhur Kotharay

4 years ago

It is amazing that a person as learned and distinguished as Prof Hegde writes such an omnibus article about a subject far away from his own medical field.

Since you cannot 'see' a particle, you look for its 'signature', just as we cannot see air but see its 'signature' in wind. Since a similar signature could be seen with another type of particle collision, you can not be 100% sure of your results. With small number of collisions studied at CERN so far, the statistical significance is low. Dr Hegde should know that: Whether clopidogrel is better than aspirin in preventing blood clots cannot be proven 100%, it can only be proven to 3-sigmas (3 in 1000 chance of being wrong) or more. So why blast CERN for the lack of 5-sigma confirmation?

Prof Hegde says, "if a particle decays, it cannot be a building block of universe". Higgs Boson is the lowest excitation of Higgs Field, which confers gravity to the universe. Higgs Field doesn’t decay and helps the universe get a big building block: gravity. Yes, the use of the word 'exists' has been incorrect; it should have been ‘ever existed’. If Higgs Boson never 'existed', the universe would not exist as we know it today.

One could go to Wikipedia, type "Higgs Boson" and read the article to get the answers to all these queries that Prof Hegde poses. It would have been nice if the learned professor had restricted his article on extravagance and hype of the discovery; commenting on CERN's scientific methodology is too bold a claim.


4 years ago

Well, this is a curious essay. At least the author takes an interest in reality. And the name "God particle" is definitely dumb. Though perhaps "Higgs boson" is too humble.

It's actually the Higgs *field* which is more important. Nuclear decay is caused by three particles, W+, W-, and Z, and without the Higgs field they would be just like photons, but the Higgs field gives them mass. The Higgs boson that we see is actually the left-over part of the Higgs field! So it's even less important than you might think.

One thing that is different about the Higgs field is that it has a nonzero energy density throughout all space. The other fields aren't like that; when they are at rest, they have no energy, but the Higgs field has energy when it is at rest. It is an unusual property.

The other significant feature of the discovery is that they found the mass of the Higgs boson. This is an important clue to the deeper details of everything in particle physics.

So I agree that the hype is excessive, but the Higgs boson is still part of a larger pattern, and it's the larger pattern which is profound.

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