Service Tax Dept summons Sania Mirza for alleged evasion


Hyderabad: Tennis player Sania Mirza has been issued notice by the Service Tax department in connection with alleged non-payment or evasion of Service Tax.
Principal Commissioner of Service Tax office here issued the summons to the tennis star on February 6 and appear before it in person or by an authorized agent on February 16.
The notice says “Whereas an investigation against you about non-payment/evasion of Service Tax/contravention of provisions of Finance Act 1994 and Rules made there under is being inquired.

“I have reasons to believe you are in possession of facts or/and documents and things which are relevant to the inquiry.”

“You are hereby summoned under Central Excise Act, 1944 made applicable to service Tax matters under Finance Act, 1994 to appear before the Office in person or by an authorized agent on February 16 to give evidence truthfully on such matters concerning the enquiry as you may be asked to produce the documents and things,” said the summons, which does not specify the case in which she has been asked to appear.

If you fail to comply with this summons and intentionally avoid to attend or to give evidence and to produce the documents and things, without a lawful excuse, you will be liable to be punished under the relevant provisions of IPC, it said.

via (Mid-Day)

US: H-1B reform bill tabled in House of Representatives


A legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which among other things calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to USD 130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign — catchnews

A legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which among other things calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to USD 130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India.

The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 introduced by California Congressman Zoe Lofgren prioritises market based allocation of visas to those companies willing to pay 200 per cent of a wage calculated by survey, eliminates the category of lowest pay, and raises the salary level at which H-1B dependent employer are exempt from non displacement and recruitment attestation requirements to greater than USD 130,000.
This is more than double of the current H-1B minimum wage of USD 60,000 which was established in 1989 and since then has remained unchanged.

“My legislation refocuses the H-1B programme to its original intent to seek out and find the best and brightest from around the world, and to supplement the US workforce with talented, highly-paid, and highly-skilled workers who help create jobs here in America, not replace them,” said Lofgren.

“It offers a market-based solution that gives priority to those companies willing to pay the most. This ensures American employers have access to the talent they need, while removing incentives for companies to undercut American wages and outsource jobs,” he said.

Lofgren said it removes the ‘per country’ cap for employment based immigrant visas so that all workers are treated more fairly and to move to a system where employers hire the most skilled workers without regard to national origin.

10 Reasons That You Should Appreciate India Rather Than Criticizing It All The Time

Utopia, the perfect community for humans to live in, a social construct which is so perfect that it is unable to even envisage, a world without crime, poverty and any thinkable social evil. Sounds too unreal? There is a reason why it is always going to be a hypothesis, because humans aren’t creatures of cosmos but chaos. Coming to India, a country of vast cultural difference and diversity, being a citizen of the country helps presumably gives us the right to defame and criticize it right? Or maybe, we aren’t even ready to consider the fact that we as citizens of the country make it a country and as each of the existing countries in the world we have our problems but that is not because we are Indians but because we are ‘humans’, I personally believe that any vice cannot be fenced to a region, so here are a few points that would actually make you appreciate the country that most of you “fucking hate”.

1. Arms laws here are stringent

Compared to the U.S. of A where any gun-toting child can walk into a school and can execute a massacre.


2. Internet policies are liberal

Consider yourself lucky if you’re being able to access websites like Google, Facebook, Youtube  and Twitter  here as China has a ban imposed on all of these websites you love so much.


3. You get a weekend here

Meanwhile in North Korea.


4. Freedom to practice your religion

Had you been in Saudi Arabia, you would have been penalized heavily for just carrying any religious paraphernalia not sanctioned by the Islamic law.


5. India has its own currency and it’s going strong

Ever heard about hyperinflation? Between 2003 and 2009 when hyperinflation struck the country of Zimbabwe the country’s currency rates fell so bad that they had to suspend it  resulting in a desperate situation for the country and widespread poverty and an 80% unemployment rate. Still think you’re the scum of the earth?


6. Our army is effing best in the world

It’s so true that I don’t even need a supporting statement to make it more convincing.


7. The economy of India is the 3rd largest in the world by PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) and 10th largest by nominal GDP

India has economic curve has grown exponentially since the 1970’s, comparing it to countries who won their independence hundreds of years earlier or are 1/16th the size seems a bit unfair.


8. We are racist but

Are we the only country in the world where racism is rampant? Not trying to endorse the statement but we are the 7th largest country in the world and doesn’t having a plethora of states, languages, religions and a culture so vast and diverse that it axiomatically makes us vulnerable to such atrocities but unity in diversity remember? We are all just people at the end of the day.


9. And many such others that would make us count our blessings and thank the almighty that we are Indians

The reason I decided to do this article was because I realized that I’m so caught up in discussing the problems we have that we aren’t doing anything about it, while  social platforms are rife with articles which criticized Indians for watching a certain genre of movies, would that mean that to be a better citizen of my country I need to watch movies and listen to music that is intellectually stimulating. Yes, every country has its own problems and everyone is trying to solve them but is such a pessimistic  and snooty take on our problems going to make things better, we can sit on the internet and argue about the validation and cogent justification of that argument or just do something about it.


10. Or we could just forget about it and assume that we could live without each of the aforementioned points.

How Apple plans to go ‘local’ in India

news 24 in 4

Apple plans to go local with a vengeance, setting up small, neighbourhood shops in big cities and tier II markets.

KOLKATA/MUMBAI: Apple plans to go local with a vengeance, setting up small, neighbourhood shops in big cities and tier II markets, in a bid to get closer to potential buyers as it pushes ahead with an India-specific strategy aimed at trying to grab market share from dominant rival Samsung.

The shops will be set up by Apple distributors Redington and Ingram Micro besides existing trade partners and follows the revival of the iPhone 4 for sale in India and other emerging markets, which gave buyers who covet the brand the option of a phone that costs much less than latest models. Apple has also directly approached some trade partners and retailers regarding the setting up of the neighbourhood stores.

Samsung is widely present in the Indian retail market place, offering smartphone and tablets through more than 1,000 Smartphone Cafes. Apple is late to the game, only having seriously focused on India in the last two years but having since then given the local management a freer hand. Apple India has sought to push phones and tablets through exchange and finance programmes, besides reintroducing the iPhone 4, which is defunct elsewhere.

The company has also reintroduced the iPhone 4, which is defunct elsewhere.

Apple has informed distributors and trade partners in recent meetings that it is looking to set up exclusive 400-600 sq ft stores in neighbourhoods and some popular high-street locations. They will focus on mobility products such as iPhones and iPads, besides entry-level Mac computers and iPods, said three of Apple’s trade partners aware of the plans.

“Apple wants to focus more on its entry-level models in these stores such as iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPad mini and iPad 2, which are essentially in the sub- 30,000 segment and also its largest-selling products in India,” said a senior executive of a leading trade partner of Apple.

“The company feels these products are also attractively priced over competitors such as Samsung and Sony, and hence, being closer to the consumer will help to increase the conversion rate,” he said.

Apple wants to set up these smaller stores in areas where people have high disposable incomes, there’s a strong penetration of smartphones and a large student population such as Pune, Vizag, Guwahati, Durgapur and Gangtok. Apple has not set any expansion target for the small-format stores.

Apple declined to comment on queries regarding the plan. “We wouldn’t comment on rumours or speculation,” said Apple spokesman Alan Hely at regional headquarters in London.

The company has reached out to existing trade partners and multi-brand retail chains with its small-format store proposal, said the people cited above.

One of Apple’s premium resellers, Currents Technology Retail, recently set up two such stores in Kolkata and Panchkula in Haryana. Currents is distributor Redington’s own retail format.

Not all partners are enthused by the plan. One leading electronics retail chain decided not to take up the offer as profit margins on Apple are already among the lowest.

“After offering consumer discounts, the margin on iPhones and iPads is 2-5%, whereas it’s 7-10% for Samsung and other brands. Hence, it makes sense to continue with a multi-brand retail model where we can make more money,” said a senior executive at the retail chain.

An executive with another trade partner said Apple’s distributors want to ensure that the format will be viable, which could mean that the plan unfolds slowly.

Apple had around 2% volume market share of the Indian smartphone market in the October-December 2013 quarter, far behind market leader Samsung at 32% share and Micromax at 21%, according to market tracker Canalys. Apple’s value share, however, is higher due to the price of its phones, with the iPhone 5c starting at 41,900. That’s why reintroducing the iPhone 4, at a price that could go as low as 21,000, made sense for India.

Thanks to its marketing push, Apple India’s 2012-13 revenue rose to 3,030 crore from 2,003 crore in the year earlier. But that lags considerably behind Samsung India’s 27,000-crore revenue, although this includes television and home appliance sales as well. Samsung India’s mobile phone and tablet business is estimated to account for around 55% of total sales.

Apple wants to make sure that it doesn’t miss out on a burgeoning market.

Woman reunites with family after 25 yrs

LUCKNOW: SEPARATED from family in childhood and reunited years later – this was one of the recurring themes in the Bollywood potboilers of the Seventies.

But on Monday, an Uttar Pradesh village was witness to a dramatic and emotional reunion that was straight out of a Bollywood film script.

Taken for dead by her family, a five- yearold girl in the Kauli village of Jaunpur district was sunk in a river 25 years ago.

As luck would have it, little Indu was very much alive and was adopted by a kindhearted childless couple.

After all these years, fate intervened again and on Monday, Indu, now a 30- year- old mother of five, was reunited with her parents.

Indu was declared dead by doctors after a snakebite at the village primary health centre in July 1988.

As per Hindu rites, her father Jaiprakash immersed her body in Sai river. But flowing with the currents, the girl reached the other bank, where two men from the village Unchnikalan saw her. They took her to their village where she recovered without any treatment.

Later, a farmer from village Inariya, Gowardhan Gautam, and his wife Ramavati, who had no child even 10 years after marriage, adopted her. They named her Pushpa and brought her up as their own daughter.

She was married off to Dilip Gautam, an agriculturist from village Sehmalpur, eight years ago and has three sons and two daughters.

It was purely by chance that she got to meet her real family again.

” A few days ago, I was at the house of a relative where Pushpa’s biological father was also present. He told us the story of his daughter Indu,” said her adoptive father Gowardhan.

” It rang a bell and I told Jaiprakash about how I had found Pushpa. He became restless and went to see her.

He immediately recognised her from a cut mark on her forehead since childhood,” he added.

Indu, too, is elated to meet her parents. ” I don’t remember anything about my village or my parents except a pumping set, which is still there in front of the house. But I am happy to have found them. Now I have two set of parents,” she said.

Indu’s biological mother Sursatti Devi said it was nothing less than a miracle that she had got her daughter back.

” We all are very happy. Gowardhan and his wife are also happy about it. Now she will be the daughter of two families. We will call her Indu and they will address her as Pushpa,” Sursatti said.