Gold, Diamonds & Large Corporations; India’s Biggest Tax Beneficiaries

  Highlights * India gave away tax breaks or exemptions worth Rs 533,582 crore ($97 billion) or nearly 67% of tax collections in 2011-12 * While small companies had an effective tax rate of 26.26%,  large companies enjoyed an effective tax rate of 21.67% * Revenue foregone under excise duty was greater than the actual collections in 2011-12     … Continued

After Uttarakhand, Will Arunachal & Sikkim Be Next?

  India’s northern state of Uttarakhand is struggling in the aftermath of flash floods which caused massive destruction of life and property. At last count, over 500 have died.   The tragedy has also turned the spotlight on the unmitigated construction activity in the environmentally sensitive hill areas, notably the vast number of hydel power … Continued

Housing For Poor: Noble Objectives, Unachievable Targets?

  Highlights * Government’s estimates put rural housing shortage at 40 million till the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) * Government hopes to fix this by spending Rs 150,000 crore over the 12th Plan * About 30 million houses have been built with a total spending of around Rs 94,087 crore   Housing … Continued

The Statistical Guide To India, A Flawed Democracy

“The government you elect is government you deserve,” said Thomas Jefferson. Put another way, democracy is a form of government where the people are all powerful. They choose their rulers who can be periodically changed and thus form the essence of a democracy.   That said, how do Indians perform as citizens? Quite poorly, it … Continued

How India’s Poorest Take Loans But Donate Liberally

  Highlights * About 2.3% of outflows of the country’s poor people went towards donations & gifts * Water & electricity constitute 1.4% of total outflow, while education constitutes 2.3% * Loans constituted 34%, average debt stood at Rs 5,322 a month & 9 out of 10 households took loans from friends/neighbours/relatives instead of commercial … Continued