Posted in Belief, Common Man, Hope, Human Tendency, Inspiration, Management Lessons, Slogging, Technology

Smartphone in Rs. 251 – Why can’t the ringing bells be heard in that amount?

There is a lot of fuss about the ambitious project of providing ‘Freedom 251’ smartphones in just Rs. 251/-, by the company named ‘Ringing Bells’. Many fingers have been raised and doubts have been placed on the very thought that “a smartphone can be made available in a nominal amount of just Rs. 251/-”. Not only the competitors (as obvious) but also the experts, common men, as well as, the virtual world’s productive souls on social media, have grabbed this opportunity to thrash away any possibility of this sort to come true in the real world. Obviously, it’s for the experts to comment on the feasibility of providing a smartphone in that amount, but still, there could be a different perspective to such issues which has to be looked upon by keeping the set parameters aside for some time.

Note: Let me make it very clear that I haven’t booked the “Freedom 251” smartphone, firstly because I am not smart enough to own smartphones and secondly as the amount of Rs. 251/- is also beyond my capacity to afford it. As such my thoughts in this blog are not biased. This blog is not to defend this ambitious project or to analyse about its feasibility. But this blog is to dig on the more prominent issue of Human Tendency to doubt every new thing with utmost negativity.

History is the witness that every time a new idea is brought forward by ‘someone else’, we humans have the tendency to not only kill that idea but also, we don’t leave any chance of demotivating and cursing the originator of that idea. Usually, this human tendency is seen against the newbies in the respective field. Once, the entrepreneurs have made their mark in any field, their next idea/step is mostly not slashed away or questioned “in the light of being impossible to achieve”, even though that idea may be too crazy or far from reality. Ever thought that why are we so cruel towards any new idea of other human beings?

When the world showed faith in an Indian, Mr. Ratan Naval Tata, who dreamt of providing a car in just Rs. 1 lakh (which later on became a reality), when the people can believe and lay confidence on the project of travelling to Mars and book their seats in advance, at the same time, when the first low-cost airlines could reduce the airfares substantially to provide the facility of travelling by air with the cheapest air fares, than why can’t a smartphone be made available in just Rs. 251/- or for that matter may be in an amount less than that?

The experts can rightly question the feasibility by analysing the ‘existing’ technology and cost involved in any project. But can they brush aside any possibility of a paradigm shift in the technological field, which may help in reducing the cost substantially? Herewith, I am not discarding the chances that such schemes could be the company’s marketing strategy to gain public attention and be in the news even though being a new entrant in the field or may be such schemes are solely aimed with the intention to commit fraud, etcetera. However, the question is that how can we reach this conclusion even without looking into the details?

If we doubt anything we should first analyse that very thing in detail, before jumping on to the conclusions. I do hope that the experts analyse the case in detail before thrashing away any idea. But do we, as a layman, ever back our judgements with any solid analysis? Don’t we all judge everything with our pre-conceived notions or flowing with the wind of rumours? Is it that we want everyone else to fail in their endeavours, just because we don’t have the courage and confidence in ourselves to work on our ideas? Do we envy others success?

There is nothing wrong in having different views, but at the same time, there is also nothing right in dismissing any idea altogether, without even looking into and understanding the thought process behind that idea. For example, no one compelled us to book the smartphones in Rs. 251/-, all those who booked may be the ones who either placed their belief in that idea or the ones who are comfortable in keeping their hard-earned money at stake.

Herewith, let me make it very clear that I am not advocating that we should believe everything with closed eyes and ears. I am a student of the school of thought that believes in being cautious and taking every step with utmost awareness. I am against any kind of Ponzi Schemes which are designed to trap people and run away with their hard earned money. At the same time, I also don’t promote discarding and demotivating any new ideas. If we believe that the idea is worth and the originator is committed to achieving it then nothing should stop us from showing our support and motivating the idea, as well as, the brain behind the same.

Like other revolutionary changes, a smartphone at a nominal price of Rs. 251/- could be a reality in the near future. Who knows, one-day smartphones are available in nominal price to hone the hands of the already smart common men and we hear ringtones like “Ringing Bells, Ringing Bells, Ringing all the way”. Let’s wait and watch, because there is a slight possibility that it may turn out to be the next ‘Nano’ in the mobile field. If not this company, then any other, could surely take it up as a challenge and show the world that if one decides then nothing is impossible.

Peyush Jain

Posted in Budget, Common Man, Government, Hindustan, India, Indian Railway, Tax

Indian Rail Budget 2016-17 – Analysis from a layman’s viewpoint

It’s always simple and convenient to analyse budgets of a nation (or for that reason any budget) from a layman’s point of view, be it the rail budget, the finance budget, etcetera. There are two valid reasons to back my above-mentioned statement. Firstly, the views of political parties are biased i.e. those in power will always support their government’s budget by referring it as futuristic, good, common men favouring, blah blah blah, while those in opposition without any doubts, will every time oppose the budget by quoting that the budget is disappointing, unrealistic, etcetera. Secondly, the views of most of the experts in light of the technical jargons are not only difficult to understand but also, harder to digest. As such, if a common man tries to understand a budget from the politician’s viewpoints than s/he will be lost forever, and, if s/he tries to break the complicated jargons of the experts than s/he may end up with some fused brain cells. So, what’s the remedy then? Well, let’s see if in this blog we can highlight the Rail Budget 2016-17 in layman’s terminology and understand what this budget brings in with it.

First of all, let us understand what does budget means. In simple words, a budget is a proposal of projected income and expenditure during a specified period. A budget is a presentation of –

  • Projected income in monetary terms.
  • The means to generate the projected income.
  • Anticipated Expenses in monetary terms.
  • The areas where the anticipated expenses shall be allocated.

Now, coming on to the Rail Budget 2016-17, let us start with the positive side. At the outset, thanks to the Railway Minister and his team for saving a lot of trees from getting axed by eliminating the printing of around 1.2 million A4 size papers, which would otherwise have been used in the budget presentation. Also, this is the second budget presented by the Honourable Railway Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, and in both the budgets he has come out with flying colours, at least in one field, i.e. rising above the disease of regional politics, contrary to the custom followed by the Former Railway Ministers of starting new trains in the region of their elected constituency or in the region from where they originally belong. However, it seems that Mr. Suresh Prabhu could not restrain himself from giving preference to the areas where elections are going to take place in the coming months like announcing projects worth Rs. 5,000 Crore against 26 proposed plans for the state of Uttar Pradesh, etcetera.

As far as, Rail Budget 2016-17 is concerned it could be termed as a “dream budget”, in the sense that it shows us many dreams that may become a reality in the next 4 years or so. However, how far the dreams will come true is the question, the answer of which lies only in the womb of future. Let’s be optimistic and hope that this budget will drastically change the picture of the most preferred and economical mode of conveyance in India, as well as, it will bring the railway department back on the profitable and competitive track.

Following are the salient features of the Rail Budget 2016-17 –

  1. Projected Income – An amount of Rs. 1,84,820 Crores is the projected income to be achieved in the next financial year.
  2. Anticipated Expenses – An amount of Rs. 92,714 Crores is the anticipated expenses to be incurred in the 44 new proposed plans to be implemented during the next financial year.
  3. Fare – No increase in the passenger or goods fare.
  4. Innovative measure for Income generation – Since no increase have been made in the passengers or goods fares, so the budget talks about innovative measures for income generation like the sale of advertisement space etcetera.
  5. New Trains – 4 kind of new trains named as Humsafar (All coaches will be AC-3 tier), Tejas (Having world class facilities and running at a speed of 130km/hour or more), Uday (Late night double-decker AC train, with 40% more passenger seating capacity) and Antyodaya (Unreserved superfast train for long destination) shall be started. However, how many such trains are proposed to be started has not been made clear in the budget. Note: For the details about the new trains to be started, the pink book of budget available on the website of rail department should be referred to.
  6. Tonnage Capacity – The existing 80 Ton load carrying capacity of goods wagon shall be increased to 100 Ton. This initiative is worth appreciating and a good example of best usage of technology to enhance the productivity of existing resources.
  7. Infrastructure & Modernisation – 2 Rail Engine factories to be established in India.
  8. Divyaang – Online facility for booking of a wheelchair for Divyaang shall be made available. Specially designed toilets for Divyaang to be constructed on every railway platform.
  9. Senior Citizen – The reservation quota for lower birth seats for Senior Citizens has been increased to 120 i.e. 50% increase in the Senior Citizen quota for lower birth reservation.
  10. Woman – 30% quota for the woman in all the reservation categories and 24 hours Women Helpline Number 182 to be launched (It should be noted here that this helpline number 182 is already functioning and was part of the last year Rail budget too).
  11. Kids – Baby food, hot water, and changing board facilities shall be made available.
  12. Train Attendants – Coolie to be addressed as train attendants.
  13. Problems/Complaints – 2 mobile based applications (Apps) shall be launched for resolution of problems and complaints.
  14. General Compartment – 3 to 4 extra coaches to be called as “Deendayalu General Coach” shall be attached to long destination trains, with free water and additional mobile charging points. Also, facility to purchase bedding by the passengers shall be extended to the general compartments as well.
  15. E-Ticket Booking – Enhancing the E-Ticket booking facility from the existing level of booking of 2000Tickets/minute to a booking of 7200 Tickets/minute.
  16. Ticket Cancellations – Facility for cancellation of booked tickets through Short Message Service (SMS) to be introduced. Also, cancellation of booked tickets by calling on the number 139 to be started, authentication of the cancellation transaction shall be made by sending a One Time Password (OTP) on the registered mobile number.
  17. Internet Connectivity – Wi-Fi facility to be introduced on railway stations.
  18. Online Parcel Booking – Facility of online parcel booking to be started.
  19. Catering – E-Catering facility to be started at 408 railway stations.
  20. Toilets – 17000 Bio Toilets to be constructed.
  21. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras – CCTV to be installed on railway stations and Tatkal ticket booking counters.
  22. Jobs – Reservation to SC/ST/OBC/Divyaang/Woman in Food related field/departments. Railways will give an opportunity of internship to 100 students for 6 months.
  23. Entertainment – Services like Frequency Modulation (FM) radio, availability of local cuisine in the trains, etcetera shall be started.
  24. Cleanliness – Facility wherein the passengers could request for cleaning of the coach through Short Message Service (SMS) shall be introduced.

 

Railway Mission 2020 – Below mentioned are some of the dream projects which are part of the Railway Mission 2020, which are envisioned to be completed by the year 2020.

  1. Train Speed – Average train speed to be increased to 80km/hour.
  2. Train Schedule – 95% of trains to run on the schedule by the year 2020.
  3. Train Tickets – Availability of tickets to everyone by the year 2020.

One thing that this budget does not speak much about is the means to generate the projected income. As mentioned in the definition of the budget in aforementioned paragraph “means to generate the projected income” is the prerequisite and essential element of every budget. Hence, this is one area where this budget scores fewer numbers. Although, the budget gives a broad guideline about some of the steps that would be taken to generate the projected income like Public Private Partnership (PPP), revenue generation from the sale of advertising space etcetera. However, it should have been more focused and clear about the means. The experts also foresee that one of the biggest challenges for the Railway Ministry in the next financial year is to implement the Seventh Pay Commission.

Nevertheless, we do hope that the learned minister and his team must have surely kept the above-mentioned points in mind and we expect that the picture would be clear in the days to come. We the citizens of India should extend our full support and lay confidence in the Railway Ministry and Team Railways to excel the expectations of its countrymen. Hope the dreams shown in this budget shall come true by the year 2020.

Best wishes and keep up the good work.

Peyush Jain

Posted in Equality, Free Basics, Freedom, Hindustan, India, Net Neutrality, Slogging, Technology

Free Basics vs. Net Neutrality in the light of Freedom

A lot of material is available to guide on the concept of free basics and net neutrality. Enough has been said about both these things that there is nothing new I could bring on to the table. At the same time, being a layman my understanding about these terms is, as good as, a drop of water in an ocean of knowledge. As such, at the start of this blog let me make it very clear, that this blog may not enhance the knowledge about free basics or net neutrality, but for sure this blog will throw some light on the mindset of people behind pioneering these concepts. This blog is dedicated to people who vomit their filthy thoughts by advocating British dominion over India just because they were not able to materialize their plan of snatching away the freedom of the virtual world. This blog is an attempt to view free basics and net neutrality in the light of ‘Freedom’.

First of all, let me describe from a layman’s point of view, what do the terms free basics and net neutrality actually means. Free Basics, in this context, means that access to the basic services of internet shall be available free of cost i.e. without any charges (or may be at nominal charges). While Net Neutrality, in this perspective, means the availability of a neutral internet platform i.e. an unbiased internet connection regardless of the source and without favouring or restricting anyone, for that matter. Both these concepts seem noble, right? But, wait a minute, before we jump on to any conclusion, let us dig and find out the real agenda of the people, behind initiating these noble concepts in the virtual world.

Free Basics, indeed sounds a noble thought when seen in the light of the simple meaning of the term, but as it is said that the grass may not be as green, as it appears to the plain eyes. In the same way, there is a hidden agenda behind bringing up this so-called ‘social cause’ of free basics into the virtual world and in order to know the reality we need to look beyond the upper layer of the grass. The concept of free basics is based on the thought that basic access to the internet shall be provided free of cost, while the advanced usage, shall be charged based on personal tie-ups among the telecom providers and the respective companies etcetera. It means that not only the tariffs shall be discriminatory based on company to company, as decided by the originator, but at the same time, the originator will also have the right to permit or restrict the websites/applications from appearing on the free basics platform, solely based on the preference of the originator, as per their tie-ups/rivalry with the respective companies.

It would not be wrong to say that Free Basics is the first step of dominion over the virtual world by the people who don’t care for the freedom “in real sense”. On the contrary what they actually care about is merely their self-interests. I mean there is nothing wrong in doing business, but stop fooling people in the name of charity or social cause. Don’t cover up your hidden agendas in the blanket of social service. In a way, Free Basics is based on the same divide and rule policy adopted years back by the British to rule over India, but in a different packaging and platform this time.

Now, in order to curb the ill effects of the hidden agenda behind free basics, the concept of Net Neutrality arises. As defined above, net neutrality advocates a neutral internet platform that is provided irrespective of any personal tie-ups etcetera. Net Neutrality does not differentiate the usage of internet based on the source from which it originates, as well as, it does not favour or restrict the website/applications from appearing during the usage session. It is completely against the whole concept of a differentiated virtual world, which is for the benefits of the few business houses, who wants to snatch away the freedom of virtual world, in the same way, like people enjoy snatching away the freedom of others in the real world by ruling and dominating over the countries and the mindset of the people residing over there.

In the above paragraph, I deliberately mentioned the phrase “snatching away the freedom of the virtual world” because the mindset of the person governing the companies was recently reflected in the tweets of one of the members of the Board of Directors of the same company which initiated the concept of Free Basics. In his tweet, the person concerned left his ‘Mark’ by saying that “India would be basking in a brighter economic reality if it remained under British rule and didn’t bother with ‘anti-colonialist’ ideas like net neutrality”. Wow, Mr. Intelligent, you really did open our eyes and it was nice to know the thoughts of advocators of free basics about the freedom of a nation.

Mr. Intelligent, I want to throw some questions towards you and as I am not using your Free Basics platform, so I do hope that I don’t need your permission before asking these questions. Mr. Intelligent, please guide us that how could anyone who advocates dominion of other countries, could be trusted to be a believer of anything that comes ‘Free’? Isn’t there any hidden agenda that you wanted to materialize in the name of the social cause? Just because your plans could not be successful does it give you the right to vomit filthy comments on public platforms against a peace loving nation?

Mr. Intelligent, we enjoy our Freedom, but we are not FreeDumb that you can compel us to believe and act as per your wish. Who better than an Indian would know the true worth of Freedom? We love freedom and won’t let our freedom to be snatched away by anyone, for that matter. We very well know how useful and important social networks are these days, but no not at the cost of anyone attacking the pride of our Motherland. You crossed the limit which is not expected from anyone who is holding a post of high calibre.

Although, you had to delete your tweets, as well as, had to publicly apologize later on for your act, at the same time, your colleagues also had to sideline themselves from the tweet of an ‘important’ person of their organisation. But still, it was too late, as the arrow had already left the bow and the entire covering up actions was not enough to hide the real agenda of you people, who went crazy when their biased concept of Free Basics was slashed away by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Hats Off to TRAI for taking up a bold step in chasing away Free Basics from the virtual boundaries of Motherland India.

Mr. Intelligent, it’s only you and the people around you, who knows whether your apology was a real one or not, in the sense that you actually wanted to apologize from your heart or not, for whatever you said. I know many actions in the corporate world are to be taken in compulsion, and as such, at times people have to do things against their will, as well. Everyone is aware of the fact that people have to apologize at times in the light of losing a big market like India. But still, I hope that you really felt bad about your thoughts, actions and you would not repeat such thing with any other person or nation in the future. At the same time, I also believe that no one else around you shares the same thoughts like you did.

Mr. Intelligent, although, you said “Good Bye India”, but in reality, none of the businesses and countries can stay away from our developing nation with immense opportunities and a large user base. So next time think twice before vomiting poison against anyone. Just to apprise you Mr. Intelligent, many of the world’s largest companies are headed by Indians like Mr. Satya Narayana Nadella (Microsoft) and Mr. Sundar Pichai (Google), who are of Indian origin. We Indians are proud of all our countrymen who are leaving their mark all over the world and glorifying the soil of their Motherland. Who knows one day your organisation may also be headed by an Indian. “This is an advice to you Mr. Intelligent that never disgrace any country whether small or big and never hurt the sentiments of any true countrymen”. It’s this attitude of treating others with inequality that had led to the downfall of many organisations and people in the past. Hope, you realize your mistake and don’t repeat it in the future. Once again, we Indians remind you that freedom means Net Neutrality and not discrimination with Free Basics. So think about it and do join our endeavour of keeping the virtual world free “in real sense”.

At last, this unknown citizen of a world famous Independent Largest Democratic nation called INDIA, wish that the almighty blesses everyone with good sense and may they get well soon from the sick thoughts running in their mind.

 

Peyush Jain

Posted in Anti-Nation Acts, Democracy, Hindustan, India, Media, Politics, Slogging

Could there be two opinions on anti-nation activities?

The current issue of delivering hatred speech and chanting of anti-nation slogans in the campus of Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), located in the heart and capital of our nation i.e. Delhi, has caught the wrong attention of the whole nation towards it. An anti-nation act in the centre of any country is quite dangerous and it’s even more alarming when people involved in such acts are from the educated lot. A lot of questions bang our mind every time such incident takes place in any part of our Motherland. In this blog, I have tried to touch upon the issue of different opinions that arise whenever any anti-nation activity takes place around us.

What is this issue all about? Why are the educated youth involved in anti-nation activities? Had the system done anything wrong against the common men, that made their hearts filled with hatred against the very nation in which they live in? Is it that all the people who are involved in such acts being a victim of the system or is it that a large number of them are being brainwashed to follow a certain ideology and purpose? Above all what is more striking is the question that could there be two opinions on anti-nation activities? Is there any room for favouring an anti-nation act?

Don’t know whether there is an another side of the story related to the incident or not, but after watching the video footage being telecasted, on national media, of the rally being organised in JNU, what is prima facie evident is that some of the slogans chanted in that rally tantamount to an anti-nation act. Indeed there is a place for differences of opinion in a democracy, but there is no place for anything that is anti-nation. If we do not love our nation then we have no right to live in that nation. I repeat that “the people who don’t love their nation should leave it right away”. We may not like a particular decision, policy or we may have a different stand on a particular issue as against the government, but in no way, we have a right to be Anti-Nation.

It is for the judiciary to decide what exactly happened in the matter concerned and who is responsible for the act. However, the point that I want to raise is that could there be two opinions on anti-nation activities or not. I know that there would be a unanimous reply to this question that there is no place for anything that is anti-nation, in any part of the world. Now the question that is troubling me is that how come some of the persons and political parties are standing by side of the people involved in such acts? On what basis are they supporting this incidence? Is there any other side to the incidence which we are unaware of? Is the video footage that is being telecasted on national media distorted one? Or is it that the support of the political parties to this incidence is simply politically motivated, just to take advantage of vote bank politics? At least they should make their stand clear that what exactly they are supporting and on what basis.

I do hope that the truth behind the incidence comes out in near future and the culprit gets punished for the same. But, above all what I do hope is that we all should be more thoughtful and act sensibly in our conducts. Do remember that a seed of hatred, in whatever form, is only capable of generating a destructive mindset. Hatred leads to destruction. There is no place for hatred in a peaceful world. The choice is ours what we want to breed for the generations to come. The sooner we all realise it, the better it will be for the mankind. I would like to end this blog with the thought that everyone loves thy nation and keep it above all the personal interests.

I wish that the almighty give good sense to each one of us.

God bless you all!

Peyush Jain

Posted in Banks, Financial Institutions, Form 15G/H, RBI, Section 197A of the Income Tax Act, Slogging, Tax

Submission of Form 15G/H under Section 197A of the Income Tax Act, 1961-2015 – Are the provisions of the said section followed in the right spirit?

In this blog, let us try to understand the provisions of section 197A of the Income Tax Act, 1961-2015 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), and thereafter evaluate whether the assessee, as well as, the payer (especially banks) are following the provisions of the said section in the right spirit or not. It’s been a long time since this section was first introduced, but till date, a lot of the assessee’s are not aware that whether they are eligible to submit the prescribed form i.e. Form 15G/H or not. At the same time, a lot of the assessee’s ‘knowingly’ that they are not eligible, still submit the declaration in the Form 15G/H. As far as, payers are concerned let us find out whether, as per the provisions of the Act, Form 15G/H is required to be submitted ‘once in a year’ or else is it required to be submitted ‘every time’ a new Deposit is opened by the same account holder (which is the current practice followed by a lot of banks). I hope this blog will bring more clarity on the section 197A of the Act, as well as, answer all the questions raised above.

Section 197A – Section 197A of the Act, deals with the provision concerning the non-deduction of tax at source in certain cases, if a written declaration in duplicate, in the prescribed format, is furnished by the individual/person, as the case may be, to the person responsible for paying any income under section 193 (Interest on securities), 194 (Dividend Income), 194A (Interest other than interest on securities), 194EE (Payment under National Saving Scheme, etcetera) and 194K (Income from units), as specified in the relevant sub-sections.

Section 197A (1) – As per section 197A (1), no tax shall be deducted at source, in case of an individual, who is resident in India, on the income received under section 194, 194EE, if such individual furnishes to the payer a declaration in writing in duplicate in the prescribed form to the effect that tax on his/her estimated total income of the previous year (including the income under the above-mentioned sections) in computing his/her total income will be nil. (Source: Website of Income Tax Department, Government of India: www.incometaxindia.gov.in)

Section 197A (1A) – As per section 197A (1A), no tax shall be deducted at source, in case of a person, (not being a company or firm), on the income received under section 193, 194A and 194K, if such person furnishes to the payer a declaration in writing in duplicate in the prescribed form to the effect that tax on his/her estimated total income of the previous year (including the income under the above-mentioned sections) in computing his/her total income will be nil. (Source: Website of Income Tax Department, Government of India: www.incometaxindia.gov.in)

Section 197A (1B) – As per section 197A (1B), the assessee cannot furnish the above mentioned declaration if the aggregate amount of the income under section 193, 194, 194A, 194EE and 194K, during the previous year in which such income is to be included, exceeds the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax.

Form 15G/H – The prescribed form that is required to be furnished to the payer in writing in duplicate are commonly known as Form 15G/H, wherein, Form 15H is to be submitted by a senior citizen who is of the age of sixty years or more at any time during the previous year, while 15G form is to be submitted by any other individual/person (other than a senior citizen), who is eligible as per the provisions of section 197A of the Act.

Assessee’s who are eligible to submit a declaration in Form 15G/H – In order to be an eligible assessee for submitting the declaration in Form 15G/H as per the section 197A of the Act, two things need to be satisfied. Firstly, as per section 197A (1) and 197A (1A), the tax on the estimated total income of the previous year (including the income specified under the said sections) in computing the total income should be nil. Secondly, as per section 197A (1B), the aggregate amount of the income under section 193, 194, 194A, 194EE and 194K, during the previous year, should not exceed the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax.

Hence, from the above-mentioned explanation, it is it is very much clear that even if the tax on the estimated total income of the previous year is nil, but if the aggregate income under section 193, 194, 194A, 194EE and 194K exceeds the maximum amount chargeable to income tax then the assessee is not eligible to submit the declaration under section 15G/H as per section 197A of the Act. Please note that any person, who is found making a false statement in the declaration, is liable to be prosecuted and punished under section 277 of the Act.

What should be the frequency to submit Form 15G/H – In the Form 15G/H, the assessee makes a declaration, as per section 197A (1) and 197A (1A), to the effect that tax on his/her estimated total income of the previous year (including the income specified under the said sections) in computing his/her total income will be nil, as well as, also declares, as per section 197A (1B), that the aggregate amount of his/her income under section 193, 194, 194A, 194EE and 194K, during the previous year, will not exceed the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax. Thus, the plain reading of the content of Form 15G/H in itself clarifies that it’s a yearly declaration that is made by the assessee to the respective payer.

However, the current practice adopted by a lot of banks is that they demand submission of Form 15G/H ‘every time’ a new Deposit is opened by the same account holder, even if the account holder has already submitted the respective Form 15G/H earlier (mostly at the start of the respective financial year). In absence of that, they deduct tax at source on the new deposit account, so created post submission of the Form 15G/H.

Although, the Form 15G/H requires the declarant to submit the complete details of shares, securities, sums given on interest, a withdrawal made from National Saving Scheme, etcetera, as held or withdrawn on or up to the date of the submission of the form. But could this be the reason of demanding the submission of Form 15G/H ‘every time’ a new Deposit is opened by the same account holder? None of the provision of section 197A of the Act specifies that ‘every time’ the assessee invests/withdraws an amount he/she is required to submit the declaration in Form 15G/H to the respective payer. Then on what basis the banks are following this practice of demanding submission of Form 15G/H ‘every time’ a new Deposit is opened by the same account holder, who has already submitted the respective form for that particular previous year, is the question that the learned and respected officers of the banks should answer in order to clarify this issue, once for all.

Also, many banks don’t give the receipt/copy of Form 15G/H submitted by the account holder. This act not only tantamount to infringement of the right of the customer to get a receipt of every transaction made by them, but at the same time, it also depicts that the officer concerned wants to merely shed away their responsibility of being answerable in case necessary actions are not taken by them in the matter concerned. Is this a professional behaviour on the part of the financial institutions, which boasts about stringent policies and procedures?

I would like to end this blog with the hope that every individual/person concerned; Banks, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) takes note of the serious issues highlighted in this blog, as well as, takes necessary actions as required at their end, so that the section 197A of the Act is ultimately followed in the right spirit.

 

Peyush Jain

Posted in Hindustan, Human Tendency, India, Prenatal sex determination test, Slogging, Tradition, Woman

Lifting ban on prenatal sex determination tests – Will it serve the very purpose?

As of now, under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, there is a ban on prenatal sex determination tests in India. However, a minister in the central government has recently suggested lifting the ban and making the sex test of fetus (foetus) mandatory. The reason provided by the learned minister behind such suggestion is that after registering the sex of the fetus, it will be possible for the government to properly monitor and keep a track of, “each and every”, fetus, as well as, the pregnant lady.

First of all, I would like to thank the minister, who is coincidently a female too, for such a noble thought to monitor and keep a track of “each and every”, pregnant lady. This will indeed help in looking after their health, safety etcetera. However, in the present scenario, how far it is practically feasible to keep a track of every single pregnant lady is a well-known fact and a lot of work needs to be done in this field, in order to, make this thought a reality. But, being optimistic, I do hope that this thought could soon be turned into a reality.

Although, the thought of monitoring the pregnant ladies to assist them is undoubtedly a welcome step, however, the question is that for doing so, what is the need to know the sex of the fetus? I failed to understand that what purpose it will serve by knowing the gender of the fetus? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring every fetus safely in this world, irrespective of its gender? If that’s so, then what is the requirement to know its gender? If the only thought behind that suggestion is to monitor “each and every” fetus, then why is the minister emphasising on the need to know the gender? What is the need of lifting the ban on prenatal sex determination tests? Can’t they simply register every pregnant lady and thereafter monitor their status? Where will the criteria of the fetus being male or female stop them from doing so?

Now, the question is whether the ban on sex determination tests should be lifted or not? Before lifting the ban on anything one need to dig into the reason that why that particular thing was banned, at the very first place, as well as, analyse the impact post banning that thing. At the same time, we should be aware that before talking about the relevance of lifting the ban or not, it’s more important to know what purpose this prenatal sex determination test will serve at all. Does knowing the gender of the fetus helps, in any ways, in bringing it safely into this world? The answers to all such questions should be known before any decision is taken on lifting the ban or not.

Also, before advocating the lifting of the ban on prenatal sex determination tests, we need to analyse the trend of killing a female fetus in countries where it is not banned. The reality is that in most of the countries where the prenatal sex determination test is not banned, there is no trend of aborting a fetus because of it being a female. As such, there is no need of banning this thing in those countries. Hence, we should not simply list down the countries where it is not banned in favour of our arguments in lifting the ban; rather we should look into the matter after considering our ground realities. Adopting things, as it is, just because that works in other countries could not be a logical reason to embrace that thing. We should be considerate and smart enough in our reasoning, as well as, actions too.

The prenatal sex determination tests were banned in India because of a steep rise in the killing of the female fetus in the womb itself, by people who suffer from sick mentality. Such sick minded people want a male child in the hope that he will carry on their lineage, he will be their support in the old age and there will be less expenditure incurred in growing up a male child as compared to dowry etcetera required in the case of a female child. As it is very much clear from the reasons mentioned in the last statement that there is no logic behind killing the female fetus but only the sick mentality of the people involved in such actions. Hence, the ban on prenatal sex determination tests was opted as a measure, by the government, to ensure that the fetus is not aborted with the only reason of it being a female child.

In the present time, when determining the sex of the fetus is ban in India the situation is still alarming because a lot many diagnostic centres illegally tests and confirms the gender of the fetus after charging exorbitant fees. Post knowing the sex, a lot many female fetuses is still being killed in the womb itself. Already, tracking devices/GPS are installed on sonography machines, but still, the condition is not such that we can relax and pat our back, on the steps taken from our end. This is the reality when the prenatal sex determination test is ban, so we can just imagine what will be the case when there is no ban on knowing the gender of the fetus. Will we be able to stop killing of the female fetus in the womb after the ban is lifted from the test?

Although, the actual impact of banning could only be known by the statistical figures which will depict whether banning the test has resulted in bringing down the cases of killing female fetus in womb or not, however, anyone who keeps their eyes and ears open, could very well confirm that the cases has surely come down and people are more awakened about this issue. Indeed the contribution of governments is remarkable in bringing the awareness and controlling the illegal cases of killing the female fetus in our country. But still, there is a long path to travel and if any wrong step is taken then it will surely hamper our efforts towards achieving the desired goals. As such, we should be extra cautious before suggesting or taking decisions in such serious matters.

Hope we don’t take actions that backfire against us and impact our society in a negative way. I wish that the Almighty give good sense to all of us.

God bless you all.

Peyush Jain