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

Are We Safe? Some 5,400 Dangerous Criminals Live Amongst Us!

The long arm of the law finally catches up or maybe not. A classic example was the re-arrest of Bitti Mohanty, who, according to reports, eluded the police for six long years. He has been convicted of raping a German tourist in Rajasthan and he was finally rearrested in Kerala 6 years later.   Data … 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

How Violent Crimes In Bengal Doubled In The 4 Years Before Mamata

West Bengal’s deteriorating law and order has proved a major embarrassment for Mamata Banerjee, who came to power with the promise of better governance and improved law and order.   The Left Front, ironically, had claimed in the run up to the 2011 elections saying that law and order would crumble if her party came … Continued

India’s Fastest Growing Crime: Kidnapping Of Women & Girls

  Highlights * Crimes against women registered a 69% decadal jump * Total number of crimes fell 3% from 2011 to 2012, but rose 9% from 2002 to 2012 * Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat & Maharashtra recorded the highest number of crimes   The recent spate of crimes against women has also triggered … Continued

The Price For Insecurity: Record $18 Billion Of Foreign Tourist Earnings

  Highlights * Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism hit a record high of Rs 94,487 crore in 2012, up Rs 16,896 crore from previous year * FEE over five years was Rs 343,221 crore * About 29 million Foreign Tourist Arrivals recorded from 2008 to 2012   Crimes against foreign nationals have caused India’s … 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

Minorities Ministry’s Budget Sees 23-Fold Jump In 7 Years But Little To Show

India’s Vice President Hamid Ansari speaking in Mumbai recently said ‘The Muslim segment of India’s population has lagged behind, is educationally backward and because of it cannot avail all the benefits that are available to its fellow citizens.”   He further highlighted the fact that the community had a lower literacy rate of 59.1% as … Continued