Famous quotes

"Happiness can be defined, in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually" - Stephen Covey

Sunday, February 26, 2017

UFC 209 : Robin Black preview

It is the passion which Robin brings makes him one of the best MMA Analyst

Friday, February 24, 2017

White House bars major news outlets from the press briefing

 The  discord between media and the White house under President Trump has no signs of waning with actions like these

............... From Washington post article by Callum Borchers..............

The White House on Friday barred news outlets — including CNN, the New York Times, Politico and the Los Angeles Times — from attending an off-camera press briefing held by spokesman Sean Spicer, igniting another controversy concerning the relationship between the Trump administration and the media.

The Wall Street Journal, which did participate in the briefing, said in a statement that it was unaware of the exclusions and "had we known at the time, we would not have participated, and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future."
The Washington Post did not have a reporter present at the time of the gaggle.
CNN's Sara Murray went on air to describe what happened:
We lined up. We were told there was a list ahead of time, which is sort of abnormal, but we put our name on a list. And then when we went to enter, I was blocked by a White House staffer, who said we were not on the list for this gaggle today.
Now, normally, if you were going to do something like this — an extended gaggle, off camera — you would have one person from each news outlet. As you know, we have multiple people from CNN here every day. So, if you're going to do something beyond a pool, which is sort of the smallest group of reporters that then disseminates the information, you would have one person from every news outlet.
That is not what the White House was doing today. What the White House was doing was handpicking the outlets they wanted in for this briefing. So Breitbart, the Washington Times, the One America News Network — news outlets that maybe the White House feels are more favorable were all allowed in, whereas I was blocked from entering, Politico was blocked from entering, the New York Times, the L.A. Times. All of these news outlets were blocked from going to a gaggle.
White House Correspondents' Association President Jeff Mason called in to CNN to say the organization is “still getting information about” the decision, adding:
They clearly wanted to have a gaggle that was not on camera and was not the full press corps today. We don't object to there being briefings like that that aren't always on camera, but we have encouraged them when they want to do something like that ... [to] still do it in the press room and do it in a place where all the reporters have a chance to ask questions.
So, we've made that clear, and we're going to continue to have discussions with them about that. And we're not happy about how this happened today.
The Post's Executive Editor Marty Baron issued the following statement:
“It’s appalling that the White House would exclude news outlets like the New York Times, CNN, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, and BuzzFeed from its publicly announced briefings. This is an undemocratic path that the administration is traveling. There is nothing to be gained from the White House restricting the public’s access to information. We are currently evaluating what our response will be if this sort of thing happens again.”

White House deputy communications director Raj Shah insisted this was all much ado about nothing

But New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet declared that “nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties.”

BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith, whose outlet also was excluded, added this: "While we strongly object to the White House's apparent attempt to punish news outlets whose coverage it does not like, we won't let these latest antics distract us from continuing to cover this administration fairly and aggressively."
Ben Wizner, director of the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union called the White House's move "yet another disturbing example of the Trump administration’s contempt for the vital role a free press plays in our democracy."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer himself had previously criticized the idea of limiting media access to the White House. Two months ago, in a panel discussion, he said open access for the media is “what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.”
But in recent days, the president has grown increasingly critical of what he calls the "fake news media. Hours before the limited-access gaggle, Trump devoted much of an address at the Conservative Political Action Conference to bashing the media.
“A few days ago, I called the fake news media the enemy of the people, and they are,” the president said. “They are the enemy of the people.”
Fox News anchor Bret Baier quickly discouraged gloating on the right, noting that his network's rivals showed solidarity when the Obama White House tried to freeze out Fox News eight years ago

In 2009, the Obama administration attempted to exclude Fox News from a round of TV interviews with “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg. Jake Tapper (then of ABC, now of CNN) stood up for one of his network's “sister organizations” during a press briefing.
“Can you explain why it's appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one?” Tapper asked Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary at the time.
Rival networks refused to conduct interviews with Feinberg unless Fox News was granted one, too.
Fox Business Network told The Post that one of its reporters, Blake Burman, also was blocked from participating in the gaggle. Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts said on air that his network will join others in protesting the exclusion of certain outlets

Sunday, February 12, 2017

SuperBowl 51

So glad that I woke up early to watch  Superbowl 51 Normally I don't have much interest in American football but Superbowl intrigued me. It is the most watched sporting event in the united states and probably generates most of the revenue for the league in a single day which they couldn’t earn for the entire year

That's why the sponsors clamour to pay premium ad rates to capture the eyeballs till now I have only seen two Superbowl live and on both the occasions the patriots have won.
The first time Seattle almost made an amazing comeback but faltered at the last play where they elected not to go with Marshawn Lynch and the final pass got intercepted. The second time was last Sunday

This Superbowl would go down in history as one of the best. But I believe Atlanta choked at the end. All they had to do was hold the ball and consume time. NFL is not like basketball where the ball needs to be in play for the time to start.So it was unusual for a team to lose like that.

But it was so surreal that it looked like a fairytale script set for everyones sweetheart Tom Brady. Sometimes I feel major sport events are scripted. The SuperBowl ending, Federer coming back to win a GrandSlam etc. But it would be so diaappointing if the conspiracy theory comes true.

Anyways I dont have much interest in NFL but Im glad I watched it live.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Budget 2017 : PWC analysis

I came across this analysis from PWC on the Indian Budget 2017.

I have highlighted certain points which caught my eye

Immediate Benefits of Demonetisation

a) Increase in Bank deposits with a resultant decline in Interest rates

b) Decline in real estate prices

c) Increase in financial system savings

d) Increase in digitilization

e) Increase in income disclosure and the resultant impact on increased revenue collections

Income Declaration Scheme

The Scheme which allows for a one time effective tax rate of 45% on undisclosed income. This has lead to a total collection of around 65,000 crores i.e around 145 thousand crores of previously undisclosed income has now become white.

Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme

Settling retrospective disputes with Indian government.The Scheme waives off interest and penalty if the principal involved in the retrospective taxes are paid.

Budgetary Income Split

Borrowings and other liabilities - 20%

Corporation tax    -  19%

Union excise duties - 15%

Income tax - 14%

Non tax revenue 13%

Service tax and other taxes - 9%

Customs - 8%

Non debt Capital receipts 2%

Budgetary Expense split

Central Sector Scheme - 23%

Other expenditure 22%

Interest payments - 18%

Defence 9%

Centrally sponsored scheme 9%

Subsidies 9%

Finance Commission and others 5%

States shares of taxes and duties 5%

Personal Income tax

The rate of income tax is reduced to 5% from 10% for income between INR 2.5 lacs and INR 5 lacs. This is likely to bring tax saving of around 12,875 INR.


A surcharge of 10% on tax payable is proposed for individuals having an income of INR 50 lakhs to INR 1 crore

Long-term capital asset 

The holding period in respect of immovable properties to qualify as long-term capital asset has been proposed to be reduced to 24 months from 36 months.
The base year for computation of capital gains for old capital assets acquired before 1April, 1981 has been proposed to move to 1 April, 2001. Now the cost of acquisition of assets acquired before 1 April, 2001 shall be allowed to be taken at fair market value as of 1 April, 2001

Domestic company 
Corporate tax rate reduced to 25% (plus applicable surcharge and education cess) for
domestic companies having total turnover/ gross receipts in the previous year (2015-16)not exceeding INR 500 million. In other cases, the tax rates remain unchanged at 30%(plus applicable surcharge and education cess).

It is weird that the Government has not changed the tax rates for partnership firms and LLPs which is still fixed @ 30.9%. I believe 90% of the LLPs would be less than 500 million INR turnover and the Government has made it impossible for them to continue when they can easily convert into a company and get the 5 % tax benefit. Is this an oversight by the Govt or they are now campaigning against them ?

Assessment appeals and other provisions

Reduction in time-limit for revising return of income

The existing provision allows the taxpayer to revise return of income at any time before
the expiry of one year from the end of the relevant assessment year or before the
completion of assessment, whichever is earlier.
In order to expedite assessment, the above time frame for filing revised return has been curtailed. It is now proposed that the taxpayer would be eligible to revise its tax returnonly up to the end of the assessment year or before the completion of assessment,whichever is earlier. 
The proposed amendment shall be applicable w.e.f 01 April, 2018 onwards

Restriction on cash transactions 
As a measure to discourage generation and circulation of black money, insertion of new provisions to curb cash transactions of INR 3,00,000 or more and consequential penalty provisions for contravention of such provisions.
It is proposed to insert a new section 269ST, which will provide that no person shall
receive an amount of INR 3,00,000 or more:
(a) In aggregate from a person in a day;
(b) In respect of a single transaction;
or (c) In respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person
otherwise than by an account payee cheque or account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account.

It is also proposed to insert a new section 271DA to provide for levy of penalty on a
person who receives a sum in contravention of the provisions of the proposed section
269ST. The penalty is proposed to be equal to the amount of such receipt.
The said penalty shall however not be levied, if the person proves that there were good
and sufficient reasons for such contravention.
The proposed amendment shall be applicable w.e.f 1 April, 2017 onwards