Archive for September, 2010

CWG III

September 29, 2010

You read it here first! The Conmanwealth Games 2010 in Delhi is disgraced before it starts. India is a place of extremes and we find ourselves laughing at India’s corrupt lifestyle going public on the worldwide scene. The stereotype of India’s corruption and laughable infrastructure which is not often openly demonstarted has been exposed to the world. However, we are also crying for Manmohan Singh our PM, who seems to be a thoroughly honorable and decent person in his – and India’s – hour of disgrace. But even the mighty Dr Singh can’t oversee everything personally.

Still there are a few days to go and with a lot of smoke and mirrors it could be a success on the home front. If the top Commonwealth sports stars continue to drop out then there is an opportunity for India to pick up a couple of medals. We read nothing of India’s hopefuls… are there any?

A vast majority of Indians actually couldn’t care less about sport unless it’s Cricket or very rarely Hockey. So the CWG is not designed for the entertainment of the populace at all and the actual games are of little relevence. The whole idea that the games should come to India was to showcase India’s ability. Oh dear! So far the showcase has only confirmed the stereotype.

The latest tag attached to the games is Common Wealth Games, as the boss Kalmadi has managed to employ 19? members of his family on the Organising Committee, thus enhancing the common wealth of his tribe. But we sense that in India this will be quietly admired as the right thing to do and what any other right-minded person would do in his place.

Limbo

September 29, 2010

Our visit to the UK is based primarily around getting our visas without which we cannot stay in India.

The moment that we have the date of our departure logged in our passports as we pass through Immigration at the airport, we start to live in limbo. Our project, our life in India, is now entirely in someone else’s hands.

We have prepared for the renewal of visas as best we can with the limited information we can glean. Any meaningful advice is out of the question from government websites, as are official face to face visits in either Delhi or Goa. We gather information from official websites, but the wording and less than frequent updating of rule changes make this approach unreliable. The best source is to copy what friends in similar circumstances have done successfully.

Full limbo is reached when the visa application has been accepted by the agents for the Indian immigration authorities. They claim that they have no further information to give us about the application. So we have to rely on what the on-line passport tracker tells us… either the application is being attended to, or your passport is ready for collection. Note that you are not told whether the application has been successful or not! This year limbo was more fraught.

As we are obviously now back home in India, we were successful in getting the visas…. but for some reason (not given) the issuing took 6 days longer than usual, which necessitated rearrangement of our flight back and a lot of nailbiting! Search us for what went wrong. Actually search the Indians as well. You won’t find anything.

Rain stops tax collection

September 29, 2010

Our first post since end of August. We’ve been in the UK getting a new visa.

September is always a busy month for our accountant. The annual filing of company returns with the Registrar of Companies (Indian Companies House) and the Inland Revenue is the end of the month, and this being India, most of his clients do not give him the paperwork to start on their accounts until September.

But we’re British, so he has no excuse. He’s had our papers since May, however despite various prodding and pushing, he didn’t make a start on the work until September. Then he couldn’t finish it before we flew back to the UK.

No problem, or so we thought, as filing is done electronically so we would have time to complete on our return.

Enter the Indian government, with a piece of non-planning worthy of the Commonwealth Games Committee. As this is the busiest month, why not change the rules for filing? And introduce new regulations that many Indians will have trouble complying with?

You now need a personal digital signature, not a corporate one that we already have, for filing. Our accountant didn’t tell us, so we do not have one. Cue big panic yesterday, by accountant and company secretary, as the fine for late filing is pretty big. We at least are fortunate – we have all the needful to get the papers submitted. Most of all, we have PANs – personal account numbers – for tax returns. (This whole performance is actually a clever ruse by the Indian government to get many more people into the tax system.)

But lo – as so often in India – everything’s changed today. Below is a copy from an email we have received this morning.

‘On consideration of the reports of disturbance of general life caused due to floods and heavy rains, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, in exercise of powers conferred under section 119 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, hereby extends the due date of filing of returns of income for the Assessment Year 2010-11 from 30.09.2010 to 15th October 2010. Accordingly the due date for Tax Audit report u/s. 44AB of the Income Tax Act is also extended to 15th October, 2010.’

Aaaagh – so it’s been raining. Heaven forbid anyone admit that they haven’t allowed enough time to implement the change and can’t manage the fall out.

Only in India.