Page 1

Vol 7 Issue No.80 June - July 2018

Exploring two unsung Island beauties:

Antigua &Barbuda

Microfinance rises again, yet challenges remain Shri V.P. Nandakumar MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd.

THE UNIQUELY FASCINATING

COLLECTOR OF LOVE! Mrs. Betty Karunakaran,

Chairperson of M/s. Karan Group of Companies and Managing Trustee of Karunakaran Charitable Trust


Printed by: Ajit Ravi Published by: Ajit Ravi Owned by: Ajit Ravi Printed at: Sterling Print House Pvt. Ltd. Cochin P.B. No: 3627, Veekshanam Road, Cochin Published at: Pegasus, L5-106 Changampuzha Nagar Kalamassery Ernakulam-682 033 e-mail: editor@uniquetimes.org uniquetimesindia@gmail.com Ph:0484 3242220, 6555533, 4025666 Mob:+91 98460 50283, 94470 50283 Editor Ajit Ravi Sub-Editor Vignesh Associate Editor Ravi Saini Editor-In-charge Jebitha Ajit Legal Advisor Latha Anand B.S.Krishnan Associates bskrishnanassociates@gmail.com Correspondents Dr. Thomas Nechupadam Vivek Venugopal- Quarter Mile Amrutha V Kumar Karthika S Nair Marketing UAE Phygicart.com P.O. Box: 92546, Al Karama Dubai Mr. Anish K Joy Mob: +971528946999 info@phygicart.com Tamil Nadu Vice president Uma Riyas Khan chennai, Mob: 9841072955 Unique Times, No.6/31, Arunachalam main road, Saligramam, Chennai – 600093 Andhrapradesh & Karnataka PEGASUS Ph: 09288800999 Sunilkumar NN, Saneesh Ashok Your wing Dr. Susan S Sunny Director Shwetha Menon Photographer Ashique Hassan Creative Design PEGASUS Cover Photograph Mrs. Betty Karunakaran, Chairperson of M/s. Karan Group of Companies and Managing Trustee of Karunakaran Charitable Trust

Editorial

''Love leaves a memory no one can steal'', says Richard Puz. oman entrepreneur Betty Karuna Karan likes to keep alive her husband's memories of love through a unique way. Betty Karuna Karan is a rarer wife who built a beautiful memorial to her husband, Revi Karuna Karan. The Museum is a symbol of love, they cherished together in their life, in which she has stacked all kinds of artifacts and antiques collected along with her husbnad, who has breathed his last on 25 November 2003. She is also managing Karan Group of Companies, one of the biggest Coir export companies. It is interesting to read more about Betty Karuna Karan to know why sometimes love is more important than wealth. In regular column, V.P. Nandakumar, the Chairman & MD, Manappuram Finance, explains about the rise of microfinance companies. India’s one fifth of the unbanked or financially excluded population is the reason behind the resurrection of mincrofinance companies. In the quest to extend financial inclusion to all, Mincro Finance can plays a key role complementary to the banking system by providing a conduit to banks to reach the excluded population. Our Auto expert introduces Mahindra’s new 2018 XUV500. This is the most improved variant of the XUV yet. Several new features and a range topping W11 make it the most loaded car in its class. In the travel section, two unsung Island beauties-Antigua and Barbudawe- are explored. Regular staples such as book review, business, column, film review are included. I am sure this packed issue will be ideal to enrich your reading time!

W

Ajit Ravi


20

16

26

CONTENTS

12

Microfinance rises again, yet challenges remain

12

It is time to completely rethink your roles in the future!

16

The uniquely fascinating collector of love!

20

Lakshmi Menon wrists Manappuram Miss Queen of India 2018

26

General anti avoidance rules (gaar): a perspective

38


46

48

52

54

58

46

Gadgets

48

Recipes

52

10 things to keep in mind when you wash your face

54

Exploring two unsung Island beauties: Antigua and Barbuda

58

XUV 500


UNIQUE DIARY

Ministry of Shipping relaxes Cabbotage rule for cotton industry

C

onsidering the fact that the continuing rise in the oil price is consistently increasing the transportation cost of the raw materials required for the cotton textile industry of the country, the Ministry of Shipping, at the behest of the Prime Minister Office and with the support of the Ministry of Textiles, has relaxed the Cabbotage rule. The new relaxation will help a raw material supplier living in Gujarat to send them to the mills situated in Tamil Nadu at a transportation cost which is far less than the present transportation cost. The majority of the raw materials required for the mills situated in Tamil Nadu come from Gujarat.

Govt increases import duty of wheat

''The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.'' John Hancock

I

n a bid to help the wheat farmers, the government of India has sharply increased the import duty of wheat from 20 per cent to 30 per cent. The move has come at a time when the government and several private procurers have started their procurement process. It is assumed that the move is likely to reduce the cheaper import of wheat from Ukraine, Australia and Russia. India has been consistently reducing its wheat import. In the year 2016-2017, it was 5.75 million tonnes. Meanwhile, in the year 2017-2018, the impost was reduced to 1.48 million tonnes. Notably, this year, until now, not a single tonne has been imported.

8

June-July-2018


Indian Cellular Association cautions about ‘Chinese Illegal Mobile Import’

T

he Indian Cellular Association, the independent mobile handset body functioning in the largest democratic country of India, has cautioned the concerned authorities about the possible import of Chinese mobiles through some ASEAN countries with which the democratic country has a free trade agreement. Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand are the prime ASEAN countries which do business with India. Most of the ASEAN countries have good relation with Beijing, than Delhi. So, it is clear that the aforementioned move is possible. If the Chinese mobile manufacturers manage to export their products through the ASEAN countries, it would inflict serious injuries in the Indian mobile handset market.

Govt likely to bring petrol and diesel under GST

''Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.'' Peter Drucker

I

n order to solve the issue of continuously increasing petrol and diesel rates, the Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, has suggested the inclusion of the expensive petroleum products of petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax regime. Since the announcement of the Karnataka Assembly Election result, the price of petrol and diesel has been consistently raising. While speaking at a public function, he has said that he was informed by some senior officials that if the government brings the petrol and diesel under the GST it would benefit the people and the states. He has opined that it was the International Crude Oil price hike that resulted to the increase of the prices of petrol and diesel.

June-July-2018

9


UNIQUE DIARY

India GDP growth rate expected to cross 7.5% bar this fiscal: Report

B

ringing the hopes to the highest point, a report has predicted that the Indian Gross Domestic Production growth rate is expected to cross the 7.5% bar this financial year (the year 2018-2019) itself. Last year, the Gross Domestic Production growth rate was little above 6.6 per cent. It was believed that it was the tough economic policies such as the GST implementation and demonetisation resulted to the low GDP rate. Anyway, then, it was proposed that these radical changes might bring long term benefits. Now, the sudden surge in the GDP growth rate indicates what it was predicted is right and completely trustworthy. The Industry and Agricultural sectors are named as the prime contributors of the proposed growth.

Finance Ministry joins hands with e-commerce companies to boost PMMY scheme

Starting your own business isn't just a job - it's a way of life. Richard Branson

I

n a bid to boost the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, the Indian Finance Ministry has tied up with several e-commerce platforms. Amazon, Flipkart, Ola and Uber are the prime ecommerce companies which have inked a deal with the Finance Ministry. At this moment, it is not clear how much amount each e-commerce company earmark for this scheme, which is aimed to help the budding entrepreneurs who possess ideas and lack fund. The PMMY is one of the most laudable programs envisaged by the central government to support the entrepreneurship culture of the country, which was previously very less enthusiastic about promoting this culture.

10

June-July-2018


TM

LIMITED EDITION

Administrative Office L - 5 106, CHANGAMPUZHA NAGAR, SOUTH KALAMASSERY, COCHIN - 682033

TM

FOR TRADE ENQUIRIES

9447050283


BUSINESS

Financial services delivered through digital channels come with many benefits, including cost efficiency and the ability to reach a wider audience with minimum physical effort. Shri V.P.Nandakumar MD & CEO Manappuram Finance Ltd.

MICROFINANCE RISES AGAIN,

YET CHALLENGES REMAIN

I

t was in 2006 that Muhammed Yunus and his Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance that aimed at creating economic and social development from below. However, it is fair to say that India’s financial sector woke up to the promise and potential of microfinance only when SKS Microfinance came to the limelight around 2008 or so. That was when it attracted investment from PE funds including the celebrated Sequoia Capital. In August 2010, SKS Microfinance came to the stock market with a hugely

12

June-July-2018

successful IPO. For a short period, the SKS stock was a darling of the investor community and made handsome gains. However, within a few months, the story turned sour and it all began to unravel in a sequence of events centred in Andhra Pradesh that is now too well known to need recounting here. Suffice it to say that a period of intense churn followed. Faced with a hostile political environment and with little prospects of recovery of loans in the crucial state of Andhra Pradesh, microfinance institutions (MFIs) suffered heavy losses. Nonrepayment of loans by borrowers,

often at the behest of politicians and community leaders, resulted in the Andhra Pradesh portfolio of most MFIs declining by as much as 35 percent. At the wider industry level, the total assets under management (AUM) of MFIs declined by about Rs.3,000 crore to close at Rs.20,500 crore in 2011-12. Many MFIs wound up shop. The RBI stepped in and tightened the regulations governing microfinance. It imposed a cap on their maximum lending rates besides insisting on adherence to a fair practices code. Gradually, as the situation stabilized, MFI’s that had the resilience to ride out the storm got back on


their feet. India’s microfinance sector was back in favour again. And so, when RBI gave out licenses for 10 small finance banks (SFBs) in 2015, eight were bagged by MFIs.

DeMon impact

Soon afterwards, in November 2016, came the demonetisation announcement. The squeeze on cash that followed once again severely affected the microfinance business given its intense cash dependence. There were fears that demonetisation would be another body blow

to the industry. The repayment of microfinance loans came to a halt in the immediate aftermath of the note-ban announcement. The farm loan waiver announcements in many states further aggravated the problem by its negative impact on the repayment culture of borrowers. NPAs went up to 23 per cent in the period following demonetisation. However, it came down to 4 percent within a span of one year. An unintended consequence of demonetisation that is now turn-

ing out to be a game changer is how the cash-strapped days after demonetization spurred innovation in the digital space. The pains of going without cash triggered a rush into alternatives to cash such as digital delivery channels and mobile phone banking, e-wallets, or online bank transfers. Microfinance institutions that had been going slow with digitization reacted with urgency to adapt to the new environment. A lot of spade work was done in opening bank accounts (and effecting loan disbursements

June-July-2018

13


by bank transfer), establishing ewallets and briefing clients. Thanks to these efforts, many of India’s microfinance companies have switched entirely to cashless modes of loan disbursement even as the wider cash crunch has eased. This has been facilitated by the government’s Aadhaar programme, which has provided unique IDs to over 99 percent of the country’s adult population.

be knowledgeable about digital financial products. This means digital delivery channels can be introduced only after investing in financial literacy and technology training programmes.

A snapshot

Today, the microfinance business flourishes with high rates of growth and good profitability, with banks holding the largest share of the portfolio.

Financial services delivered through digital The Key channels come Challenges with many benFor all the efits, including bright prospects cost efficiency and good growth and the abilrates, it must be Financial illiteracy ity to reach a mentioned that wider audience there are some is widespread even with minimum critical chalin urban areas that physical effort. lenges as well This is critical which need to be otherwise would fall when delivering addressed so that within the MFI financial services the industry can in remote, thinly grow to its full outreach. populated areas, potential. where transacFunding: tions are few and The most important challenge is the ticket sizes are small. Further, the continuing difficulties in raising digitization makes transacting with finance given that MFIs are not banks and MFIs more convenient allowed to raise deposits which and secure for clients, especially can come at a lower cost. In order women. Payments can be made to bridge the gap between inforanytime, anywhere, through a mal and formal sources of credit, mobile phone app, without need to the sector needs to be adequately carry cash or visit a bank branch. funded. While the recent success At the same time, the challenge of MFIs has attracted significant is that target customers may not

14

June-July-2018

amounts of debt and equity capital into the sector, much more such funding is required given the capital intensive nature of the business and its prospects for exponential growth. According to a recent study, for the sector to grow at a conservative rate of 25 percent, it would require funding in the form of fresh equity of Rs 1,500 crore and debt worth Rs 20,000 crore. Separate regulator: Now that the microfinance sector has come into its own, there is a need for separate regulator for the industry: Already, the industry has seen many ups and downs and many regulatory changes along the way. Most of these changes have ultimately benefited the industry but many issues remain to be addressed. MFI are generally reluctant to come under the legal framework of corporate governance. Their lending rates vary widely. Presently, the regulatory body for MFIs is the RBI which also regulates the commercial banking system as well as NBFCs. A separate authority for MFIs is required to closely monitor the activities of MFI which can usher in better governance and improve transparency and accountability. Lack of financial literacy: Inadequate financial literacy resulting in information asymmetry among the population is at the root of why informal sources of


finance continue to thrive in India. According to one research report, around 76 percent of India’s population does not understand basic financial concepts. Lack of awareness regarding MFIs and the financial products they offer has restricted the access of people to formal sources of finance. Financial illiteracy is widespread even in urban areas that otherwise would fall within the MFI outreach. Credit discipline: A recent report from CRISIL observes that portfolio delinquencies, for a representative set of MFIs, measured in terms of 30 and 60 days past due (dpd) have improved to 5.6 percent and 5.3 percent respectively, as of December 2017, compared to 7.6 percent and 6.8 percent respectively in June 2017. Although delinquency rates have fallen, it is still on the higher side and underscores the need for credit disci-

pline for the industry to grow at a sustainable pace over the years. In this context, there has been a spate of loan waiver announcements recently by various state governments across the country which can only undermine credit discipline.

The prospects ahead

The basic purpose of microfinance is to service the bottom of the pyramid that is either unserved or underserved by formal sources of finance. India’s financial services ecosystem lags in terms of physical infrastructure and has failed to reach the poorest of poor. With about a fifth of the population unbanked or financially excluded, there is good scope for MFIs to grow. In the quest to extend financial inclusion to all, MFIs can play a role complementary to the banking system by providing a conduit to banks to reach the excluded

population. By converting large MFIs to Small Finance Banks (SFBs) and allowing NBFC-MFI to work as business correspondents, MFIs can assist in extending banking services to the last mile. Not surprisingly then, Banks which are already the biggest sources of funding are increasingly looking to partner with MFIs, either as subsidiaries or by acquisition of strategic stakes. This is a welcome development and the way to go. The survival of MFIs over the long term without anchor support would not be easy otherwise

(V.P. Nandakumar is MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd. and Board Appointee to the Lions Clubs International’s Board of Directors. Views are personal.)

June-July-2018

15


BUSINESS

Rajesh Nair, Director, Ernst & Young LLP Rajesh is also the President of the Kerala Chapter of TiE Global

Many futurists say that the ‘Future is already here; we just have not paid attention!’ There is some truth in this hyperbole. It is not as completed as we fathom but expect us to have some basic skills to be more aware.

It is time to completely rethink your roles in the future!

W

e have exhausted every cliché thinking about the future and focusing on the need for embracing change in every walk of life. This is also not a recent decade phenomenon. We have discussed the ravages of change time and again and for centuries. Every new generation is looked upon as a different breed from their ancestors and this has been a hallmark of evolution. The recent interest or the melee is, if you will the pace that these changes are coming in. Every generation today and more so in the future will see several waves of this change in their individual lifetimes! Many futurists say that the ‘Future is already here; we just have not paid attention!’ There is some truth in this hyperbole. It is not as completed as we fathom but expect us to have some basic skills to be more aware. While the educated are there to give their best shot at foresights, it is of high imperative that we as individuals also develop a keen sense observation to

16

June-July-2018


June-July-2018

17


understand and imagine things for ourselves. It will also augur well to remind ourselves that the future is often better than what we tend to give it credit for. If we even pick up some random macroeconomic indicators of progress and development, the results are much more positive than we expect. The extent of poverty has definitely reduced in the last two centuries or the turn of the last century 1900. Economic surveys report a  10% population living in extreme poverty compared to a 40%;  86 % of the population have

basic education compared to 17%;  85% are able to read in some language compared to 15%;  44% living in a democracy compared to 1%;  4% child mortality (with in the first seven years ) to 39%. So, at a macroeconomic level, we need not be all that pessimistic. The cautionary aspects are that we are at the inflection point of exponential technological progress. To think about in the linear scale of yesterday is just not viable and is equally detrimental. Our mindset We are

as consumers has also drastically changed for the better. We are now driving immediacy and enhanced connectivity in all our transactions. With technology making forays into every sector, every company today can also be classified as a technology company be it a bank, an educational institution or a public service delivery entity.

Combinatorial innovation is also the theme of the day. While we have opportunities disguised as problems in and around us, the solutions are often the combinanow tion of technolodriving immediacy gies and though processes and not and enhanced always straight forconnectivity in all ward. Data is the most fundamental our transactions. unit of most of the modern economy, and we have more of it than we ever had since the beginning of civilisation. As they say –Data is the new oil and intelligence is the new petrol! It is the same data which fundamentally rewritten successes. In 2006, the market capitalization report had Exxon Mobil , General Electric, Microsoft , Citigroup , BP and Roya Dutch Shell as the most valuable companies in the world. The list, in 2016, has Microsoft and Exxon Mobil but a whole set of the digital giants –Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon and Facebook. In terms of jobs, the usual procedural, repetitive jobs even in the tech industry like basic programming will vanish to the efficiency of a robotic process automation –a simple program much like the ‘Excel Macro’ of the present and the past. The basic cognitive roles will gain momentum and in the long term, economists aver that the deep learning and analysis clusters with completely be in the human domain. Of course, the pace of change in certain aspects will still be different in different countries. India –largely addressed as the ‘Assisted Economy’- will continue

18

June-July-2018


out analysis which is in the cookie cutter format? In today’s world, most things can be digitised and it will be those things which will fall out of the purview of technology that will become more valuable. Your customer is not a machine and life is not an algorithm. Becoming successful and indispensable will become the forte of those who will deliver unique experiences.

to cater to low end opportunities of domestic help, drivers, chauffeurs –a lot longer than some of the western economies. The cultural need of this category will never go, at least in the near foreseeable future. But, the driverless cars and domestic robots are also qualifying the test lab experiments sooner than expected. The technology apocalypse doomsday writers lauded and secretly celebrated the recent accident of a driverless car nudging into a by-standing cyclist. But, the sheer probabilistic occurrence of an event like this is far less of a fraction than the gazillion unto-

ward traffic incidents of the day. After we electrified in the past, we had the tools to ‘datafy’ and ‘cognify’. These capabilities are helping us adopt artificial intelligence and create cases for very intelligent and proactive assistance from our machines. Our analytics tools and data platforms help us process an unbelievable amount of data and our data visualization tools help us make sense and take decisions. But, from a management standpoint, where will we bring differentiation if the world can access the same tools and bring

The differentiation will still be the domain of the human accessing the vast trove of information and making sense of a way forward. The entire concept of ‘convenience and ease’ will change under the onslaught of the intelligent machines and software but the base question of ‘trust’ will still remain unanswered. How do we simultaneously build trust and belief in the world? Technology has no ethics and will react the way it has been programmed or configured. It is the humans who will have to work on these important ant sensitivities. Trust innovation will be what the humans will have to rethink and modify his role. Modifying an old quote which compares strategy and culture –the modern aphorism sounds like– Culture, relationships and humanness will still eat technology for breakfast!

June-July-2018

19


THE UNIQUELY FASCINATING COLLECTOR OF LOVE!

I

n this edition, Unique Times is extremely proud to present a very Unique personality, who has set her soul on fire to live on this planet. She wanted to share a portion of this fire with rest of humanity and hence built a commemorative museum dedicated to her soul partner for the world to see. We are awestruck by this amazing woman’s passion for life and how she has used that fire to ignite a lot others through her inspiration. Mrs. Betty Karuna Karan has a vivid eye for fine, artistic possessions. She is the wife of Late Revi Karuna Karan. She is the Chairperson of the Karan Group of Companies and the Managing Trustee of Karuna Karan Charitable Trust, Alleppey. Revi Karuna Karan, was a leading coir exporter from Kerala and former director of the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI). He was

20

June-July-2018

the Chairman and Managing Director of the Karan Group of Companies – the largest exporter of coir products from India. He made significant contributions towards the modernization of the coir industry in India. After completing his secondary school education from Surrey, UK, studied high school at Lausanne, Switzerland. Later, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Babson College, MA, USA. Revi was a polyglot and fluent in several languages such as German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Malayalam. After his father's demise in 1952, Revi took over the leadership of the companies at the young age of twenty. Revi married Betty in 1957 and they have a daughter Lullu. He was the chairman of the Karan group, which includes companies such as Kerala Balers, William Goodacre & Sons and Alleppey Company, all


She wanted to share a portion of this fire with rest of humanity and hence built a commemorative museum dedicated to her soul partner for the world to see.

June-July-2018

21


leading coir export houses. Following a brief illness, Revi passed away on 25 November 2003. Some romance breathes beyond the grave; We have heard stories about eternal love – exceptional and unique story of Betty’s love for Revi restores and reinstates our belief in everlasting love. She was always fascinated to collect antiques and priceless pieces, right from her childhood days. One such precious piece is a vase she bought when she was 13 years old for a mere 6 or 7 rupees, a substantial amount at that time. Eventually, she was married into Revi’s family, who were avid collectors of fine arts and artefacts for over three generations. The collection was maintained in private domain all her life. After Revi’s demise, Betty decided to open up this rare and wide collection to the public. Betty and Lullu dedicated this muse-

She was always fascinated to collect antiques and priceless pieces, right from her childhood days.

22

June-July-2018


um to the beloved husband and a loving father, whose memories lives with them forever. The museum, a devoted monument to her late husband, Mr. Revi Karuna Karan, was inaugurated on the 22nd November, 2006, by the former Meghalaya governor, Sri. M.M. Jacob. The RKK museum is indeed an architectural marvel. Betty, having travelled around the globe numerous times, has an eye for details and is very conversant in art domain. It was her wish to have the Museum built in classic Greek architectural style. Besides crystal ware, the museum has a magnificent inventory of artefacts in porcelain, ivory, china, antique furniture, carpets, glassware, exclusive paintings etc. The museum showcases valuables from her personal collection, also of Swarovski

crystals, perhaps the single largest private collection in the world, outside Wattens, the home of Swarovski. The stunning panoply of three generations of a family sprawls under 2 floors of the building. Betty talks ardently about collecting treasured relics, a Passion that is inborn in her. You are inherently inclined to certain things in life from birth. Thus, her penchant for artistic things was revealed when she picked up the small German vase when she was so young at 13. It pinched when she bought the precious object. Her forefathers were also artlovers, and she grew up seeing the immensely large collection. Unity and love kept the heirlooms intact and in good shape, Betty held the cache safe in her hands all these years. When she got married, she started traveling the globe with her dear husband who was born into a family of tradition and prestige. She might probably be most widely

travelled woman from Kerala. On each travel, she retained on adding onto her collection whenever possible. She remembers sometimes, they had to hire vans to bring home bigger pieces. After her husband’s demise, she noticed all these artefacts spread across their houses in Kerala, and decided to showcase this cherished collection to the world, in the name of her loving husband. She is very satisfied with the architect, Lalichan from Ernakulam, who took all details from her meticulously and built the entire structure according to her gratifying will. Her husband’s great grandfather, Krishnan muthalali from Paravoor, near Kollam, has started collecting originally. He is credited to be the first Indian to set up a coir export unit, more than 100 years ago. Betty’s first and second mother-in-laws were German and Dutch respectively, were wealthy and brought with them several inestimable gifts with them including Swarovski and Lladro. Revi Karuna Karan Museum is open on all days from 9am to 5pm except for Mondays and National Holidays.

June-July-2018

23


Apart from ‘negligible breakages’ she has never lost a single piece, as she attributes this gain to her outstanding skilled staff.

Being a zealous traveler, Betty visits museums around the world, gather more information about artefacts; most of the pieces in her museum grips a certificate of authentication. One of them is a masterpiece in porcelain by Capo De monte, is an ode to Paulina Bonaparte, the famed sister of Napolean. One single Mirsham stone unique to Turkey, another precious piece a president award winner work on Shakuntala in ivory, an Avatar Krishna statue in exquisite ivory with a Rama on the other side with equal detailing, the Swarovski feeding woodpecker piece of impeccable craftsmanship, the very interesting Lladro work in porcelain capturing the spirits of the Hawaiians – the museum is an endless abode of breathtaking artworks. Few pieces of obsidian-ancient volcanic rock resembling glass-formed from lava obtained from Mexico and Indonesia are rare attractions. “It was not so expensive but it is fantastic, the labour of the artisan, the passion, and in this case the never-say-die human spirit itself ”, she says accentuating on the qualities that drew her to a piece crafted by a handicapped man. Apart from ‘negligible breakages’ she has never lost a single piece, as she attributes this gain to her outstanding skilled staff. Betty’s past time hobbies are traveling, collection of art and artefacts, gardening and reading. Her sprawling open home itself is environmentally artistic with nature’s blessings all around

24

June-July-2018


WATCHES


Lakshmi Menon wrists Manappuram Miss Queen of India 2018

I

t was a beautiful evening. When Lakshmi Menon hailing from Kerala was declared as the title winner, the enthusiastic audience, who assembled at Camelot Convention Centre, Alleppey, to attend the 8th edition of the Manappuram Miss Queen of India presented by Manappuram Finance Limited and powered by Cera, DQue Watches, and T-Shine, showered a huge round of applause as a clear sign of

26

June-July-2018

approval. The same repeated when Simran Malhotra from Punjab and Aishwarya Sahdev from Delhi were declared as the first and second runner up respectively. The event was directed by Dr Ajit Ravi, Pegasus Chairman, to felicitate the most talented and beautiful woman of the country. As many as nineteen beautiful ladies par-

ticipated in the much-awaited beauty contest. The beauty platform turned out to be a place where the beauty and intelligence blend brilliantly. The mesmerising lighting arrangements and soothing music lifted the occasion to another level. The event never failed those who attended the function in search of the artistic visualisation of real culture, tradition and beauty of the country which is very rich in terms of all the


aforementioned. In the event, there were mainly three rounds: designer saree, black cocktail and red gown rounds. There was adequate scope in each round for the contestants to use their creativity, intelligence and beauty extensively. In order to maximise the output, the contestants were granted the luxury of Pegasus music composed by DJ Harvey Steve.. Each candidate was exceptional and was different in her

own way. The competition was very high. The judging panel of the event might have find it really challenging to select a single person as the title winner from the group of nineteen equally talented and beautiful participants. Siddhaanth Surryavanshi (Television Actor), Toshma Biju (Managing Editor, Kanyaka), Alesia Raut (Model), Prof. Dr. Sir GD Singh (Founder & President of World Peace & Diplomacy Organization), Akanksha Mishra (Miss Queen of India 2017, Miss Asia

June-July-2018

27


India) resided in the judges panel in this competition. The title winners and sub-title winners were all selected by the same judging panel itself. The prize distribution ceremony was also equally good as the rest of the event and was really colourful because of the presence of several celebrities and renowned personalities. The Miss Queen of India 2018 title winner crowned by the previous season’s winner Akanksha Mishra, the first and second runner-ups were crowned by Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Manappuram Finance Ltd V P Nandakumar. The crowns were designed by Parakkat Jewellers.

28

June-July-2018


The title winner won over one lakh rupees, while the second runner-up was gifted with around 50,000 rupees (both gifted by Manappuram Finance Ltd). Meanwhile, the first runner-up was felicitated with 75,000 rupees (gifted by the Wow Factor). Moreover, the additional compliment of gift worth over fifty thousand rupees was given to the title winner, and gifts worth twenty-five thousand rupees each for the runner-ups. In addition to the main titles, several sub titles were also awarded. Simran Malhotra (Punjab), Priyal Girish Pandorwala (Gujarat), Neha Jha (West Bengal) and Lakshmi Menon (Kerala) were gifted the regional titles of the Miss Queen North, Miss Queen West, Miss Queen East and Miss Queen South respectively. Simran Malhotra (Punjab), Lakshmi Menon (Ker-

ala), Sahiba Bhasin (Delhi), Ravina Jain (Maharashtra), Saniya Ashraf (Maharashtra), Samrudha Sunilkumar (Kerala), Apoorva Nayak (Maharashtra), Priyal Girish Pandorwala (Gujarat), Sandhya Thota (Andhra Pradesh), Shrisha (Tamil Nadu), SwapnilJollie (Uttar Pradesh), Sharanya Shetty (Karnataka) were awarded the sub-titles of Miss Beautiful Hair, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Beautiful Skin, Miss Beautiful Face, Miss Beautiful Eyes, Miss Congeniality, Miss Personality, Miss Catwalk, Miss Perfect Ten, Miss Talent, Miss Viewer’s Choice and Miss Social Media respectively. Notably, Sahiba Bhasin and Priyal Girish Pandorwala received the additional titles of Miss Photogenic and Miss Fitness respectively. There was a special subtitle in the contest. That title was developed to felicitate that contestant who amasses maximum fund from the public using the crowd funding program launched in association with Ketto Online Ventures to fund the social activities. The beauty from

June-July-2018

29


Uttar Pradesh, Swapnil Jollie was selected as the Miss Humaneness. It was the goal-oriented grooming session done with the help of experienced groomers that helped the contestants to bring out their best for the grand final. The grooming for this competition had commenced on 27th May in Camelot Convention Centre, Alleppey. The participants

30

June-July-2018

were groomed by an expert panel of fashion choreographers and trainers –Alieena Catherine Amon (Miss India Glam World, Miss Glam World runners up and the winner of the Miss South India), Sudakshana Thambi (Yoga Trainer), Vipin Xavier (Fitness Trainer, Fitness for Ever), Jithesh, Preethi Damiyan (Personality Development Trainers), Dr Eldho Koshi (Dentist) and Mr. Sameer Khan (Fashion Choreographer). Kanyaka, Unique Times, Kalpana International, Vee Kay Vee’s, Parakkat Resorts, Wockhardt Foundation, Wow Factor, World Peace and Diplomacy Organisation, UT TV Channel, VPS Lakeshore and Aiswarya Advertising were the event partners of the 2018 Miss Queen of India.


The event was more an entertainment, less a competition. Between each rounds, there were several entertainments programs to entertain the audience. There was everything in the event to turn it into a memorable occasion. The venue was also used to felicitate the winners of the second season of Celebrity Cricket Tournament organised by Pegasus. In the tournament organised on 12 April, 2018, at St Paul ground in Kalamassery, Cochin Music Challenges emerged as the title winner team after defeating Master Blasters, while Dance Fighters became the winner of losers finals match after defeating Media Strikers. The trophies for the winners were distributed by Manappuram Finance Limited Chief Executive Officer V P Nandakumar and Pegasus Chairman Dr. Ajit Ravi. The beauty platforms, like the Miss Queen of India, not only help the fashion, entertainment and

movie aspirants to find an identity and right guidance, but also mould the qualities in the aspirants to make them irresistible to the sectors they aspire to enter. Aishwarya Sahdev (Delhi), Apoorva Nayak (Maharashtra), Ashwini Dhanraj Rangari (Maharashtra), Lakshmi Menon (Kerala), Meenakshi Mamgai (Uttarakhand), Neha Jha (West Bengal), Pooja Milind Jawhare (Maharashtra), Priyal Girish Pandorwala (Gujarat), Ravina Jain (Maharashtra), Sahiba Bhasin (Delhi), Samrudha Sunilkumar (Kerala), Sandhya Thota (Andhra Pradesh), Saniya Ashraf (Maharashtra), Shali Nivekas (Tamil Nadu), Sharanya Shetty (Karnataka), Shrisha (Tamil Nadu), Simran Malhotra (Punjab), Swapnil Jollie (Uttar Pradesh), Tanushree Mandal (West Bengal) were the participants of the event. Actually, there is no winning or losing in such platforms. In a sense, all these aforementioned beauties are winners. They win knowledge, experience, training and guidance

June-July-2018

31


Ravi Saini

C

entral Leadership has to put its act together by calling all the concerned departments that are responsible for the revenue generation to meet the fiscal deficit challenges in India. This won’t be possible without the active participation of the State machineries. Closer Central– State partnerships will be essential from now onwards. Cooperative Federalism is probably the easiest way to empower Rural India, and the Central Leadership together with the State Governments must act fast before it’s too late. The factors like reforms to target up surging inflation, cutting the fiscal deficit, and encouraging FDI inflows to boost productivity and improving growth, is critical for achieving the government's aim of sustainable and higher growth. If these key areas are targeted effectively, it would not only boost productivity, but also improve the credit rating for the sovereign, a report said. The way that the central leadership is pursuing the social sector reforms, pay commission recommendations and growing expenditure budgets, I won’t be surprised that a day will soon arrive when even after taxing 100% of the incomes, the fiscal deficit challenges won’t be possible to manage. Generating Non Tax Revenues is the only easier way ahead simply due to the large natural resources available in India. It is pathetic to note that service and business classes alike

32

June-July-2018

The way that the central leadership is pursuing the social sector reforms, pay commission recommendations and growing expenditure budgets, I won’t be surprised that a day will soon arrive when even after taxing 100% of the incomes, the fiscal deficit challenges won’t be possible to manage.

are feeling the added burden of all the times contributing towards the Government targets but nothing worthwhile coming to them in return. Taxed Revenue Model is the most defeated model and sooner we realize it, better for us to make the desired progress. Fourth Industrial Revolution is an absolute must now, and for that to effectively happen, banks must be supported through an India Infrastructure Debt Fund so that large Industrial Parks be created. The creation of world-class infrastructure has been recognized as a key priority and a necessary condition for sustaining the growth momentum of the economy. Since infrastructure projects have a long payback period, they require long-term financing in order to be sustainable and cost effective. However, debt financing for infrastructure projects has been largely confined to banks which have difficulty in providing long term debt due to their asset-liability mismatch. A concept paper on creation of a Debt fund for Infrastructure PPP projects was presented by Shri Gajendra Haldea, the adviser to Deputy Chairman in a meeting of experts and stakeholders, held on May 12, 2010 under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman Planning Commission. The paper suggested the creation of the India Infrastructure Debt Fund that would raise low-cost long-term resources for re-financing infrastructure projects that are


Way Ahead to Curb Fiscal Deficit past the construction stage and associated risks. The problem of inadequate debt resources is compounded by the lack of long term debt for financing infrastructure projects, which are financed mainly by the commercial banks. Insurance and pension funds do not lend to project companies setting up Greenfield infrastructure projects and the bond market has not matured sufficiently for addressing the needs of such projects. Commercial banks typically lend for the medium term as their asset-liability mismatch prevents them from undertaking long-term commitments. In the absence of long-term debt, the cost of projects increase significantly on account of the short payback period for debt, thereby imposing a greater burden on the users and the public exchequer. To overcome this bottleneck, the government had set up the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL) with the objective of providing long-term debt for infrastructure projects. However, its lending is restricted to about 30% of the project debt, thus leaving the balance 70% to be raised mainly from the commercial banks. It is suggested that the UPA 2's India Infrastructure Debt Fund white paper should be reviewed and should be pushed without any problems as it will bring in infrastructure development provided all the necessary steps are adopted. The IIDF will pave the way for a real inclusive growth in India through Cooperative Federalism. The IIDF should

June-July-2018

33


only be used for providing principal protection guarantee for all the PPP projects through SPV. No subsidies or VGF (Viability Gap Funding) and Govt. should nominate the IAS or Non IAS or any constitutionally elected member picked as Chairman of such SPV under PPP.5% top line revenues for Govt. PSU under which the SPV to be formed. Only locally incorporated Indian entities should be allowed to invest in the IIDF and returns offered should be not over 1% above the Bank’s FD rates. Income Tax exemption for 10 years for those that are ready to place investment with minimum 10 years lock-in period.

getting very impatient and is full of energy and raring to go but if their talents are not properly utilized, they will become very hostile in near future. They are looking for the visible growth, not the political promises. This move will empower the potential savers to put their money on the IIDF instead on banking system that still needs to take a giant stride on this. If right and timely steps are not taken now, soon India will earn the distinctions of “The Largest Educated Unemployable Youth Population of The World” due to the fallen and outplaced education system that is putting all the undue stresses on the students and parents.

The benefits that will accrue to the government are assured dividend income from top line revenues. In spite of allowing the I-T exemptions, there won’t be any revenue loss and instead it would increase manifolds, the jobs and businesses thus created would be taxable as per prevailing norms and would hugely impact the sustainable growth in the country.

One thing that keep coming to mind is, like the Corporate World and Private Sector, there should be performance parameters laid down. And, accordingly, the accountability, liability and responsibility should

Since today's Educated youth is

34

June-July-2018

The benefits that will accrue to the government are assured dividend income from top line revenues.

be fixed. If and when a proposal is brought by anyone to the public servant and if the same is dumped or ignored without finding out what are the pros and cons in the said proposal, who should be made accountable if by ignoring the proposal and it could cause sizeable loss to the growth prospects for the nation? If the same is doable, it must be done and if not, then noting should be recorded in the files before turning it down. The Non Profitable Organizations like the Centre for Research in Rural Development (CRRID) should be taken along by the governments as well as corporate world and push the rural development and social sector reforms through CSR activities. If the India Infrastructure Development Fund is played well, we could have a GREEN BOND created that will help developing the 100% Green Development Projects thus greatly impacting the economic growth through reduced import bills on fossil fuels that is putting huge pressure on the current account deficits


Vinod Kumar

The next thing was that, there was a notice and order, that the artist must now document and report all his expressions in paintings. He recognized there are bureaucracies and social regulators.

ART VERSUS SUSPICION

S

ameeran Rajaraman is just not able to comprehend. He seems to have a dilemma. A celebrated Graffiti artist, he paints his views and ideas and thoughts, onto the wall. The Walkers along the street relates and resonates with these colours, forms and shapes that are Graffiti painted on the walls. They connect with the signature of Sameeran Rajaraman. He is the force of a street culture and a street smart success. Exuberance and utter disregard for strict rules of conduct marks his demeanor. Many justified these behaviours of disorderliness as artistic and poetic license. Sameeran has no reverence to deities or the holy people. He expresses a living of total freedom and ease. Lots of play and laughter are his characteristics. But, then living is not so kind to all other people. Our neighbourhood is populated with people with fears and phobias. And, the liberal living of Sameeran and the topics of his paintings are a big threat to the mental fixation of the dwellers, in this bastion and ghetto. They point to and are critics of the misdemeanours of this graffiti master. Soon, there are cautious eyes that watch the behaviour of the artist. Monitored and surveilled, but yet this artist felt no need to align with the vague rules and the norms

36

June-July-2018

of this town. He must have labelled them as severely conditioned. In their mediocrity, Sameeran did not find inspiring topics for the content of his art. The people began to look at this new art form with suspicion. The next thing was that, there was a notice and order, that the artist must now document and report all his expressions in paintings. He recognized there are bureaucracies and social regulators. They seem to be able to exercise authority over his work. They measured, calibrated and assessed his work. These regulators analyzed his body of work. They wanted to define the impact of his painting on the viewers. They seemed to want to frame the abstractness of his living into a specific category. Now, began their effort to classify and put a signage on the sector and segment of his paintings. Their claim is that the people must understand his living, through descriptions and explanations. Sameeran rejected this method of fracturing his ideas and limiting it to strict boxes and silos. The artist sensed an intrusion into his conveniences. But then, as long as the work and toil remained proportional and reciprocal, then the artist relented to the discomfort. The regulators then compared him to the achievements and accomplishments of few other artists. Sameeran Rajaraman was a

stranger to the systems of adherence that compelled performances. He too began resisting being drawn into the measurements and competition with others. His inhibition and hesitation to obedience and subordination has alarmed the officers. Then, they educated to Sameeran, the rules of application of approvals and permissions before he began to paint. The artist felt that allowing this new scrutiny is in effect an unnecessary regimentation. But, the social methods doubles down on the extreme freedom and liberated living of this Graffiti artist. The disciplinarians generated a list, of conduct and lifestyle features of this young man. They intent to question his ability to comply with ‘social diktats’. The very stream of Graffiti painting and art could be now subjected to investigation. Sameeran has now, to be questioned and interrogated. Is he a welcome influence or a threat to the social mindset? Will he contaminate the way the young people think? Will his artistic topics and pictures encourage a straying out of firm conditions? Is Sameeran a soft rebel or even revolutionary? He will have to be brought to the examiners. They may even decide to subjugate and subvert this talent and skill, because certainly


this is a disruptor of routine and triviality and the mundane existence. Is the young man justified to feel dejected? Certainly, he must experience some isolation and ostracization. Suddenly, he observed that some privileges is denied. Many of his requests to memberships to clubs and institutions are turned down and off. His reasoning and rationale are defeated. Sameeran is told of his failures and defeats in academics and deprivation of a proper placement to jobs. The very career that he nurtured as a passion, is now on the verge of demolition. He did not know or understand the predicament and disposition of the belief system in this specific society. In fact, they were simply averse to any change and transformation. This community of people did not want any transition. Transitions are painful times to many people. The transition duration can make you feel lost, because you have rejected your failed past. But, without leaving much of your past behind you, and saying goodbye, then how to move forward? Somethings of past relations will collapse, as you chase your new ideas. Through their dictate of mannerisms looked rigid,

yet internally was a fiasco. Their progress was in a limbo. This artist felt harassed by people who watched his every twist and turns. Car parking, dressing styles, lifestyles, work and income, investments, purchases and sales, and all relationships were deciphered. Sameeran Rajaraman will be forced to fit into the way that things used to work for this neighbourhood. The pressures and burden to become answerable appeared to him as harassment. The high handed bureaucratic discipline and impositions appeared to torment Sameeran. He never wished to break rules or bend conventions. Suddenly, he realized the hostile behaviour of the same society, into which he was born and studied and grew up. Chaos and crisis never irritated him in the past. But, this new controls began to stifle his thought process. His mind was suffocating in the confinements. But, then, all are liable to be busted, if when the individual is not understood by the enforcers. Sameeran just did not even learn the words to articulate, so as to explain. He did not reflect legal

implications of his aloofness. Indifference will attract prosecution. Verdict may not be in favour of conveniences, freedom and total ease of living. The rehabilitation and reform centres are becoming indicator of a productive business and industry. Sameeran has to learn to adapt. His uproar must be heard within himself. Sameeran have to endure and cope with the transitions. Accountability will be pegged, if in case you are not factored into the frameworks. You will be tested by the industry. Social causes are also sorted and fitted into the laws of its respective industry. Sameeran’s wisdom directed him to a new education. How to enable his Graffiti art to get the respect and dignity of industry? He discovered the art curators and the art exhibition. The lure of his content appealed to many collectors. These leaders of society then defended and protected the interests and rights of this freelance artist. Justice is a large spectrum. Stretch your range and reach and influence. Liberation is the result of strict compliances. Freedom just is not free. Sameeran got designation that of a graffiti artist. Freeze into Artistic Freedom.

June-July-2018

37


FINANCE

Adv Sherry Samuel Oommen is a practising lawyer at High Court of Kerala who specialises in tax and Corporate Laws. Presently he heads the tax and corporate law practice of Nash Capital Partners. Apart from being a qualified lawyer, he is also a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate Degree and is reachable at sherryoommen@nashcp.com.

"Tax reduction is not evil if you do not do it evilly" - Murphy Logging Co. v. United States "Any one may arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes" - Learned Hand, J in Helvering v. Gregory

T

hese quotes of the United States Circuit Court succinctly reflect the settled principle of international taxation jurisprudence; a transaction, which otherwise was executed in accordance with law, would receive the blessings from the perspective of tax laws, even if the said transaction was entered into solely for the purposes of tax savings. Internationally, tax avoidance has been recognized as an area of concern. Several countries have expressed apprehension over tax evasion and avoidance. General

38

June-July-2018

Before introduction of GAAR in India, transactions that were designed to avoid tax were dealt with by the implementation of judicial decisions and Specific Anti-Avoidance Rules (SAAR), including Transfer Pricing regulations, by imposing the mandates of the Income-tax Act. Anti-Avoidance Rule (hereinafter referred to as “GAAR”) has been enacted in some countries such as Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, China, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany, and over the years, some of these countries have developed and implemented jurisprudence on the subject. This is also evident from the fact that nations are either legislating the doctrine of General Anti-Avoidance Regulations in their tax code or strengthening their existing code. India has also sought to address the issues relating to tax avoidance and evasion by bringing in General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) in addition to various transaction-specific Special AntiAvoidance provisions. Before introduction of GAAR in India, transactions that were designed to avoid tax were dealt with by the implementation of judicial decisions and Specific Anti-Avoidance Rules (SAAR), including Transfer Pricing regulations, by imposing the mandates of the Income-tax Act (the Act). Out of the most controversial and the fluctuating regulations of tax regime in recent decades in India, the General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) would by far stand out by miles from its nearest competitors (next to its Kin of Vodafone's case). Ever since these were proposed by the Direct Tax Code, which itself never saw the day, it seems that GAAR provisions are now moving towards a more logical and consensus based direction, though like any other legislation, it would further

evolve with the passage of time.

Background

GAAR was introduced in India for the first time in the then proposed Direct Taxes Code Bill (DTC), 2009. Certain safeguards and modifications were proposed thereafter. In February, 2012, the CBDT formed a committee to provide recommendations for formulating guidelines to implement the GAAR provisions under DTC and to draft a circular so as to ensure that GAAR is not applied indiscriminately. Subsequently, the Finance Bill, 2012 proposed to introduce the GAAR provisions in the Income tax Act, 1961 with effect from 1 April 2012. However, in view of the concerns raised by various stake holders, certain amendments were proposed in the GAAR provisions and its implementation was deferred to 1 April 2013. In June 2012, the Committee formed by the CBDT released draft guidelines on GAAR. However, it was felt that the guidelines did not provide the required clarity on GAAR. An expert committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Parthasarathi was constituted by the then Prime Minister to undertake stakeholder consultations and to finalise the guidelines for GAAR after widespread consultations to provide greater clarity. Based on the stakeholder comments and feedback, the committee vetted and reworked the guidelines. The committee published its draft report for public comments. After examining the responses to the draft report, the committee


GENERAL ANTI AVOIDANCE RULES (GAAR): A PERSPECTIVE submitted its final report on 30 September 2012, which was made available to the public on 14 January 2013. Some of the recommendations were incorporated in the GAAR provisions by the Finance Act, 2013 and its implementation was deferred to 1 April 2015. The Finance Act, 2015 further deferred GAAR implementation to 1 April 2017. In order to provide further clarity on GAAR, the CBDT recently issued various clarifications on applicability of GAAR.

Need for GAAR

Tax avoidance, like tax evasion, seriously undermines the achievements of the public finance objective of collecting revenues in an efficient, equitable and effective manner. Sectors that provide a greater opportunity for tax avoidance tend to cause distortions in the allocation of resources. Since the better-off sections are more endowed to resort to such practices, tax avoidance also leads to cross-subsidization of the rich. Therefore, there is a strong general

presumption in the literature on tax policy that all tax avoidance, like tax evasion, is economically undesirable and inequitable. On considerations of economic efficiency and fiscal justice, a taxpayer should not be allowed to use legal constructions or transactions to violate horizontal equity. In the past, the response to tax avoidance has been the introduction of legislative amendments to deal with specific instances of tax avoidance. Since the liberalization of the Indian economy, increasingly sophisticated forms of tax avoidance are being adopted by the taxpayers and their advisers. The problem has been further compounded by tax avoidance arrangements spanning across several tax jurisdictions. This has led to severe erosion of the tax base. Further, appellate authorities and courts have been placing a heavy onus on the revenue when dealing with matters of tax avoidance even though the relevant facts are in the exclusive knowledge of the taxpayer and he

chooses not to reveal them. In view of the above, it is considered necessary and desirable to introduce a general anti-avoidance rule which will serve as a deterrent against such practices and the same is consistent with the international trend followed by other nations. Tax avoidance is legal. However, large scale revenue losses have occurred due to aggressive tax planning by corporates by adopting tax avoidance opportunities. Consider-

June-July-2018

39


ing the continuing difficulties of classifying the transactions as being acceptable within the framework of the law or not, need is being felt to move towards structured approach to address the issue of tax avoidance, both from legal and economic view point.

Concepts: Tax Evasion, Tax Avoidance and Tax mitigation

Tax Evasion: Illegality, wilful suppression of facts, misrepresentation and fraud —all constitute tax evasion, which is prohibited under law. The provisions of GAAR do not deal with cases of tax evasion. Tax evasion is clearly distinguished from tax avoidance and tax mitigation and is prohibited by the existing provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Tax Mitigation: Tax mitigation is a ‘positive’ term in the context of a situation, where taxpayers take advantage of a fiscal incentive provided to them by a tax legislation by complying with its conditions and taking cognisance of the economic consequences of their actions. It is therefore permitted under the act. Tax Avoidance: Tax avoidance is a deliberate measure to avoid or reduce tax burden by an individual or a company. It, by and large, is not defined in taxing statutes. The purpose here is to reduce tax burden. Legal utilization of the tax regime to one's own advantage in order to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the framework of the law. Tax avoidance includes actions taken by a taxpayer, none of which are illegal or forbidden by the law. However, although these are not prohibited by the law, they are considered undesirable and inequitable, since they undermine the objective of effective collection of revenue.

Some principles underlying the meaning of "tax avoidance" are: • A course of action designed to

40

June-July-2018

be in conflict with or to defeat the evident intention of the Parliament. • Tax planning may be legitimate, provided it is within the framework of the law. Colourable devices cannot be part of tax planning as it is wrong to encourage or entertain the belief that it is honourable to avoid the payment of tax by resorting to dubious methods.

any property in such transaction, operation, scheme, agreement or understanding. Further, the term “tax benefit” has been defined to mean. • A reduction or avoidance or deferral of tax or other amount payable under the Act or as a result of tax treaty. • An increase in a refund of tax or other amount that would be payable under the Act or as a result of tax treaty; or

It has been clarified that the GAAR provisions may be applied to any step in, or a part of, the arrangement as they are applicable to the arrangement. • Further, courts in India have broadly indicated that true legal relationship resulting from transaction or arrangement needs to be determined and transaction with no business purpose other than tax avoidance to be disregarded.

Analysis of the GAAR Provisions

The provisions relating to GAAR appear in Chapter X-A (Section 95 to 102) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. As per the GAAR provisions, an arrangement entered into by a taxpayer may be declared to be an impermissible avoidance arrangement and the consequence in relation to tax arising there from may be determined as per the said provisions. It has been clarified that the GAAR provisions may be applied to any step in, or a part of, the arrangement as they are applicable to the arrangement. The term “arrangement” means any step in, or a part or whole of, any transaction, operation, scheme, agreement or understanding, whether enforceable or not, and includes the alienation of

• A reduction in total income including an increase in loss. The term tax benefit would be the benefit, quantified in terms of tax liability, arising to any party to the arrangement on account of such arrangement. Impermissible Avoidance Agreement (hereinafter referred to as “IAA”): Under the earlier version of GAAR that was proposed to be introduced, an arrangement could be declared an IAA, if the main purpose or one of its main purposes was to obtain a tax benefit. The current amended version limits an IAA to only those transactions where the “main purpose” is to obtain a tax benefit in addition to satisfaction of at least one of the four tainted elements tests. Where the main purpose of a step or part of an arrangement is to obtain a tax benefit, the provisions of GAAR would apply, regardless of the main purpose of the transaction being commercial in nature. IAA has been defined under the Section 96 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and is as under: 96(1) An impermissible avoidance arrangement means an arrangement, the main purpose of which is to obtain a tax benefit, and ita. creates rights, or obligations, which are not ordinarily created between persons dealing at arm's length; b. results, directly or indirectly, in the misuse, or abuse, of the provi-


sions of this Act; c. lacks commercial substance or is deemed to lack commercial substance under Section 97, in whole or in part; or d. is entered into, or carried out, by means, or in a manner, which are not ordinarily employed for bona fide purposes. (2) An arrangement shall be presumed, unless it is proved to the contrary by the assesses, to have been entered into, or carried out, for the main purpose of obtaining a tax benefit, if the main purpose of a step in, or a part of, the arrangement is to obtain a tax benefit, notwithstanding the fact that the main purpose of the whole arrangement is not to obtain a tax benefit.

Consequences of impermissible avoidance arrangement

Once the provisions of GAAR are invoked in respect of any arrangement, the CIT has been given wide powers to counteract the consequent tax advantages and to determine the tax consequences either by ignoring the arrangement in question or in any other manner as the CIT may deem appropriate, for the prevention or diminution of the relevant tax benefit. The CIT may negate, disregard, set aside or re-characterise any arrangement or he may derecognize one

or more parties to the arrangement etc. If an arrangement is declared to be an impermissible avoidance arrangement, the tax authorities have powers to determine the consequences in relation to the arrangement, including denial of tax benefit or a benefit under a tax treaty, as they deem appropriate, including by way of, but not limited to the following, namely:— disregarding, combining or re-characterizing any step in, or a part or whole of, the impermissible avoidance arrangement; treating the impermissible avoidance arrangement as if it had not been entered into or carried out; • disregarding any accommodating party or treating any accommodating party and any other party as one and the same person; • deeming persons who are connected persons in relation to each other to be one and the same person for the purposes of determining tax treatment of any amount; • reallocating amongst the parties to the arrangement — (i.) any accrual, or receipt, of a capital nature or revenue nature; or (ii.) any expenditure, deduction, relief or rebate; • treating-(i.) the place of residence of any party to the arrange-

ment; or (ii.) the situs of an asset or of a transaction, (iii.) at a place other than the place of residence, location of the asset or location of the transaction as provided under the arrangement; or • considering or looking through any arrangement by disregarding any corporate structure.

Non-applicability of GAAR

The provisions of GAAR shall not apply in the following cases: • an arrangement where the tax benefit in the relevant tax year arising, in aggregate, to all the parties to the arrangement does not exceed INR 30 million; • a Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) who does not claim tax treaty benefit and who has invested in listed or unlisted securities with the prior permission of the competent authority under the relevant regulations; • a non-resident, in relation to investment made, directly or indirectly, in a Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) by way of offshore derivative instruments or otherwise; • any income accruing or arising, or deemed to accrue or arise, received or deemed to be received from transfer of investments made before 1 April 2017. As regards grandfathering, it is clarified that, without prejudice to clause (d) above, the GAAR provisions shall apply to any arrangement, irrespective of the date on which it has been entered into, in respect of the tax benefit obtained from the arrangement on or after 1 April 2017. Grandfathering clause refers to a situation in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future situations.

Procedure for invoking GAAR

• The Tax Officer may examine arrangements for an IAA inquiry. • The Tax Officer could refer the arrangement to the Principal Commissioner or Commissioner of Income Tax for him or her to declare it as an IAA, if he or she considers

June-July-2018

41


such reference necessary. • If the Commissioner of Income Tax is of the opinion that GAAR is to be invoked, he or she will issue a show cause notice to the taxpayer. • The taxpayer is to furnish his or her objections within the period mandated in the notice (this period not exceeding 60 days). • If satisfied that the arrangement is an IAA, the CIT will make a reference to the Approving Panel. • If satisfied that GAAR need not be invoked, the CIT will pass an order favouring the taxpayer. • The Approving Panel will provide the taxpayer the opportunity to be heard. • No invocation of GAAR is required if the Approving Panel is satisfied with the explanation or submission provided by the taxpayer. • If found unsatisfactory, the Approving Panel will issue directions declaring an arrangement an IAA. • Directions will be passed within six months from the end of the month on which the reference was received from the Commissioner.

It is pertinent to keep the following points in mind:

• Section 144BA (14) of the Act provides that the directions issued by the Approving Panel shall be binding both on the assesses and the revenue. In order words, both the assesses and revenue would not have any scope to appeal against the directions of the Approving Panel under the provisions of the Act. The said sub-section (14) of section 144BA of the Act shall have operation notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of the Act. • If the Principal Commissioner of Income Tax or the Approving Panel has held that an arrangement is permissible for one year, and facts and circumstances remain the same in subsequent years, GAAR will not be invoked for these years. • While a GAAR inquiry can be initiated during the course of an assessment, the Tax Officer and Tax Commissioner can recommend invocation of GAAR, not only for the tax year for which proceedings are pending, but also for other tax years (earlier as well as future years).

Remedial Measures Remedy under the Act A taxpayer has the right to

appeal to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) against an order passed by the Revenue along with the direction of the Approving Panel. (A subsequent appeal may be filed before a High Court and the Supreme Court.)

Constitutional Remedy Devoid of any remedy, the aggrieved party may have to resort to their Constitutional remedy by exercising Writ jurisdiction of High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. A writ can be filed before the jurisdictional High Court against the orders of the Approving panel if this violates the principles of natural justice or if there is misapplication of the law. (However, it remains to be seen how the courts will view a writ petition filed against a reference made by the Assessing Officer to the CIT or by the CIT to the Approving Panel.)

Clarifications on GAAR issued by CBDT

The CBDT vide Circular No. 7 of 2017 dated 27 January 2017 addressed various queries raised by stakeholders in relation to implementation and operation of GAAR. The major issues addressed in the Circular are provided below in a tabular format

Q no.

Question

CBDT Response

01

Will GAAR be invoked if Specific Anti- Avoidance Rule (SAAR) applies

It is internationally accepted that specific anti avoidance provisions may not address all situations of abuse, and there is need for general anti-abuse provisions in the domestic legislation. The provisions of GAAR and SAAR can co-exist and are applicable, as may be necessary, in the facts and circumstances of the case.

02

Will GAAR be invoked if Specific Anti- Avoidance Rule (SAAR) applies

Adoption of anti-abuse rules in the tax treaties may not be sufficient to address all tax avoidance strategies and the same are required to be tackled through domestic anti-avoidance rules. If a case of avoidance is sufficiently addressed by LOB in the tax treaty, there shall not be an occasion to invoke GAAR.

42

03

Will GAAR interplay with the right of the taxpayer to select or choose method of implementing a transaction

GAAR will not interplay with the right of the taxpayer to select or choose method of implementing a transaction.

04

Applicability of the provisions of GAAR where the jurisdiction of the FPI is finalised based on non-tax commercial considerations and such FPI has issued P-notes referencing Indian securities. Will GAAR be invoked with a view to denying treaty eligibility to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), either on the ground that it is located in a tax friendly jurisdiction or on the ground that it does not have its own premises or skilled professional on its own roll as employees.

GAAR shall not be invoked merely on the ground that the entity is located in a tax efficient jurisdiction. If the jurisdiction of FPI is finalised based on non-tax commercial considerations and the main purpose of the arrangement is not to obtain tax benefit, GAAR will not apply.

June-July-2018

For GAAR application, the issue, as may be arising regarding the choice of entity, location etc., has to be resolved on the basis of the main purpose and other conditions provided under Section 96 of the Act.


05

Applicability of GAAR provisions to: (i.) any securities issued by way of bonus issuances so long as the original securities are acquired prior to 1 April, 2017; shares issued post 31 March, 2017, on conversion of Compulsorily Convertible Debentures, Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS), Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs), Global Depository Receipts (GDRs), acquired prior to 01 April, 2017;

Grandfathering under Rule 1OU(1)(d) of the Rules will be available to investments made before 1 April 2017 in respect of instruments compulsorily convertible from one form to another, at terms finalised at the time of issue of such instruments. Shares brought into existence by way of split or consolidation of holdings, or by bonus issuances in respect of shares acquired prior to 1 April 2017 in the hands of the same investor would also be eligible for grandfathering under Rule 1OU(1) (d) of the Rules.

(ii.) shares which are issued consequent to split up or consolidation of such grandfathered shareholding 06

Whether grandfathering would extend to all forms of investments including lease contracts (say, air craft leases) and loan arrangements, etc.

Grandfathering is available in respect of income from transfer of investments made before 1April 2017.

07

Will GAAR apply if arrangement held as permissible by Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR)

If arrangement is held permissible by AAR, GAAR will not apply. The AAR ruling is binding on the Principal Commissioner of Income-tax (PCIT)/ Commissioner of Income-tax (CIT) and the Income-tax authorities subordinate to them in respect of the applicant.

08

Will GAAR be invoked if Specific Anti- Avoidance Rule (SAAR) applies

Where the Court has explicitly and adequately considered the tax implication while sanctioning an arrangement, GAAR will not apply to such arrangement.

09

Will a Fund claiming tax treaty benefits in one year and opting to be governed by the provisions of the Act in another year attract GAAR provisions?

In so far as the admissibility of claim under treaty or domestic law in different years is concerned, it is not a matter to be decided through GAAR provisions.

10

How will it be ensured that GAAR will be invoked in rare cases to deal with highly aggressive and artificially pre-ordained schemes and based on cogent evidence and not on the basis of interpretation difference

The proposal to declare an arrangement as an impermissible avoidance arrangement under GAAR will be vetted first by the Principal Commissioner/ Commissioner and at the second stage by an Approving Panel, headed by judge of a High Court. Adequate safeguards are in place to ensure that GAAR is invoked only in deserving cases

11

Can GAAR lead to assessment of notional income or disallowance of real expenditure

If the arrangement is covered under Section 96 of the Act, then the arrangement will be disregarded by application of GAAR and necessary consequences will

12

Whether a definite timeline may be provided such as 5 to 10 years of existence of the arrangement where GAAR provisions will not apply in terms of the provisions regard to section 97(4)3 of the Act.

Period of time for which an arrangement exists is only a relevant factor and not a sufficient factor under Section 97(4) of the Act to determine whether an arrangement lacks commercial substance.

13

It may be ensured that in practice, the consequences of a transaction being treated as an 'impermissible avoidance arrangement' are determined in a uniform, fair and rational basis. It should be clarified that if a particular consequence is applied in the hands of one of the participants, there would be corresponding adjustment in the hands of another participant.

In the event of a particular consequence being applied in the hands of one of the participants as a result of GAAR, corresponding adjustment in the hands of another participant will not be made. GAAR is an anti-avoidance provision with deterrent consequences and corresponding tax adjustments across different taxpayers could militate against deterrence.

14

Tax benefit of INR 3 crores defined in Section 102(10) of the Act may be calculated in respect of each arrangement and each taxpayer and for each relevant assessment year separately. The tax impact of INR3 crores should be considered after taking into account impact to all the parties to the arrangement i.e. on a net basis and not on a gross basis (i.e. impact in the hands of one or few parties selectively).

The application of the tax laws is jurisdiction specific and hence what can be seen and examined is the 'Tax Benefit' enjoyed in Indian jurisdiction due to the 'arrangement or part of the arrangement'. Further, such benefit is assessment year specific. GAAR is with respect to an arrangement or part of the arrangement and therefore limit of INR 3 crores cannot be read in respect of a single taxpayer only.

15

Will a contrary view be taken in subsequent years if arrangement held to be permissible in an earlier year

If the PCIT/Approving Panel has held the arrangement to be permissible in one year and facts and circumstances remain the same, as per the principle of consistency, GAAR will not be invoked for that arrangement in a subsequent year.

16

No penalty proceedings should be initiated pursu- Levy of penalty depends on facts and circumstances of the case and is not autoant to additions made under GAAR at least for the matic. No blanket exemption for a period of five years from penalty provisions is available under Act. The taxpayer may, at his option, apply for benefit under Secinitial 5 years.

As per Accounting Standards, 'investments ' are assets held by an enterprise for earning income by way of dividends, interest, rentals and for capital appreciation. Lease contracts and loan arrangements are, by themselves, not 'investments' and hence grandfathering is not available.

tion 273A of the Act if he satisfies conditions prescribed therein.

June-July-2018

43


MOTIVATION

Dolly Neena Dolly Neena is founder of Your Wing, a training company born out of a noble cause and spirit. She holds a decade long experience being a passionate mentor and entrepreneur.

“When you are good at making excuses, it’s hard to excel at anything else.” -John L Mason

Y

ou need three things to win: discipline, hard work and, before everything maybe, commitment. No one will make it without those three. We have seen through the pattern to achieve success that it requires a lot of commitment and keeping true to your word, in order to succeed in relationships and life. However, we have also seen, more often ‘suffered’ with, people who keep making excuses. No one likes a whiner or an excuse-maker. Some people are always on the constant search for convenient loopholes to let them off the hook. We have seen our family members, or spouse or an employee coming up with an excuse at the last minute for not keeping a promise or a deadline. It is so commonly noticed phenomenon that people would like to buy themselves out of the situation with a lame excuse. At times we have seen ourselves or others so fired up in the beginning of making things happen in a great way and jumping in with lot of vigor and excitement and later, we find that the enthusiasm lowers down the line. Psychologists identify this as a self-handicapping method which hurts our own performance

44

June-July-2018

Sometimes, there are individuals who were never bothered to do the task in the first place, and boasted of finishing responsibilities in vain. Another reason for being lazy to complete a job is that the Inertia or when that familiarity gets better off us.

and prevents us from achieving the task that ought to be done on time. This undesirable behavior can agitate a healthy relationship into pieces. So, why is it so tempting to come up with an excuse? There are a lot of reasons why you ditch yourself along the way. One of the reasons is that you were not prepared. I have heard people who would want to win a race who has not even got a driving license. Here, it is an unrealistic expectation on yourself. You might be all up to make a plan, however, when we look at the reality up close, it makes us go weak on our knees. The same happens when an employee joins an organization, he or she would be all pumped up to change the face of the earth. But, only when they are given responsibilities, will they find that they struggle to meet targets and goals. It might be the salary or perks of the job that glitters their eyes, to promise on the future performance they contribute to the company. Some, at the interview table, shows skies and starts to the interviewer and fail utterly to perform up to expectation during their tenure. And, then, comes the long line of ‘reasons’ and when they summon half baked-reasons to buy more time. If you are an entrepreneur, keep your ‘yes’ open to people who are prone to excuses. When an employee walk up to you with frowned and long face excusing on their sick daughter or lack of time to complete job, do not fall naïve into the trap. Analyse and retrospect the promised phases, and the process that happened on

each phase. Keep your employees accountable for what they are. Stop saying, it’s Ok, to them. Of course, you shouldn’t lash out abrasively, but don’t restrain to ask questions as much as you express concern. When you take up a challenge, acknowledge it first. Establish your priorities, keep the end in mind and plot the plan, do not hesitate to ask for help whenever needed. The truth is that no one should wait to be completely prepared before venturing out. However, anyone and everyone should be completely prepared to risk anything that is asked of them to succeed on the way. Write down specific plans to get yourself prepared for the next week, next month, the year ahead. Expose yourself to learning new information, online or offline, watch motivational videos, read self-developmental topics, learn patterns of successful people around the globe and try adapt the traits in you. Sometimes, there are individuals who were never bothered to do the task in the first place, and boasted of finishing responsibilities in vain. Another reason for being lazy to complete a job is that the Inertia or when that familiarity gets better off us. Human beings are inherently programmed to follow what we already know and are comfortable with, unless an external effort is deliberately induced to break the rhythm for better progress. It takes a lot of effort and is very unpredictable. According to 80-20 principle, the


LET THERE BE NO EXCUSES!

majority would like to be redundant in being in circumstances they have been cosy with, hence will calculatingly find excuses not to face the obligated duty. Just like a majority of us who pay a year in full or the gym at the onset of a New Year, and bitterly fail to endure the temptations of a relaxed cold morning pillow. Resolutions are then found blown and gone with the wind, without helping a positive sustenance. During our college lives, we have seen students who are notorious for procrastinating, putting things off till the last minute and some who do not complete and come up with lies as excuses. This habit should be noticed and nipped off in the growing stage itself and not to let grow into the adult age. Putting a shielding lid on this behavior using protective barrier methods,

developmental tools and habits etc can be slow and effortful. But, prevention is always better than the painful cure. Or else, this perilous habit can crawl up their way into your relationships and workplaces. Another reason is lower motivation –intrinsic and extrinsic. The self-handicapping behavior that precedes a poor performance report often might be due to low self-esteem, at times. I have read somewhere a better way to present your excuse in Four Steps: The ERROR Method: Empathy: "I hate that you [burden placed on person] because of me." Responsibility: "I should have thought things out better,..." Reason: "... but I got caught up in [reason for behavior]."

Offer Reassurance: "Next time I'll [preventative action]." Making excuses is just a bad habit in disguise. If we keep a cautious notice on our actions, we can slowly cut down the frequency and later completely be cured of it. Initially, choose easier goals, break it part by part, plan thoroughly, set milestones and follow meticulously, remember why you wanted it in the first place, keep yourself motivated all along, above all be all prepared to take up the responsibility, believe that you will have more success if you keep up. Just dive in confidently and swim smooth through the task. Don’t make excuses, make something incredible happen in your life right now! Greg Hickman

June-July-2018

45


GADGETS

Mobiistar CQ

MRP: `4,999 (approximately)   Android 7.1.2 OS   5 inches Display   8 MP Primary Camera   13 MP Secondary Camera   2 GB RAM   16 GB Internal Memory   128 GB Expandable Memory   3000 mAh Battery Capacity

Mobiistar XQ Dual

MRP: `7,990 (approximately)  Android 7.1.2 OS  5.5 inches Display  13 MP Primary Camera  13 MP + 8MP Secondary Cameras  3 GB RAM  32 GB Internal Memory  128 GB Expandable Memory  3000 mAh Battery Capacity

46

June-July-2018


Oneplus 6 Marvel Avengers Edition

MRP: `44,999 (approximately)  Android 8 OS  6.28 inches Display  16 MP + 20 MP Primary Camera  16 MP Secondary Camera  8 GB RAM  256 GB Internal Memory  3300 mAh Battery Capacity

LG V35 Thinq

MRP: 61,990 (approximately)  Android v8.1 OS  6 inches Display  16 MP + 16 MP Primary Camera  8 MP Secondary Camera  6 GB RAM  128 GB Internal Memory  400 GB Expandable Memory  3000 mAh Battery Capacity

June-July-2018

47


COOKERY

Toshma Biju

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Ingredients

• • • • • • • • • • • •

48

Olive oil.......................... 2 tablespoon Carrots................................. 2 (sliced) Celery.................................. 2 (sliced) Onion..............................1 (chopped) Garlic cloves....................5 (chopped) Salt......................................... 1 pinch Black pepper..................... 1 teaspoon Chicken stock...........................8 cups Skinless chicken breast and thighs....... ..................................................1/2 kg Uncooked egg noodles............ 1packet Parsley leaf........................................... .................... 3 tablespoons (chopped) Lemon juice..................2 tablespoons

June-July-2018

Method

Heat oil in a large pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown (8 to 10 minutes). Add chicken stock and chicken pieces. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through (30 minutes). Remove chicken; shred thighs with two forks and chop breasts into large bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot; discard bones. Add noodles to soup and cook, stirring often, until tender (10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in parsley, dill, and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper.


MACARONI WITH CHICKEN SOUP

Ingredients

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Macaroni...........................................................................1packet Boneless and skinless chicken breast (cubed).................... 1/2 kg Salt.....................................................................................to taste Fresh ground black pepper........................................ 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter .......................................................4 tablespoons Onion (chopped)...................................................................1 nos Red bell pepper (chopped)....................................................1 nos All-purpose flour.......................................................2 tablespoons Chicken stock......................................................................4 cups Milk.....................................................................................4 cups Dijon mustard............................................................ 2 teaspoons Broccoli (cut into small florets)...........................................4 cups Cheddar cheese (grated).................................as much as needed

Method

Cook pasta according to package directions; set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through (6 to 9 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate. Reduce heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and around 3 tablespoons butter to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5 minutes). Add flour and cook, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in stock, then milk and mustard. Simmer until thickened. Stir in broccoli and reserved chicken. Simmer until broccoli is tender and soup is thickened (4 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute. Stir in cooked pasta. Gradually stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

June-July-2018

49


COOKERY

SWEET POTATO SOUP Ingredients

• • • • • • • •

Butter.......................................................................2 tablespoons Chopped onion......................................................................1 nos Hot smoked paprika..................................................... 1 teaspoon Coriander..................................................................... 1 teaspoon Garlic cloves (crushed).........................................................2 nos Sweet potato (peeled and cut into chunks).......................... 750 g Vegetable stock....................................................................4 cups Cheese.......................................................................75 g (grated)

Method Melt butter in a large pan, add the onion, paprika, coriander and garlic and cook until softened. Add the sweet potato and cook for a few minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, until the vegetable is soft. Whizz in a blender to a smooth soup. Season and serve with a sprinkling of cheese and an extra pinch of paprika.

50

June-July-2018


PRESENTS

Season 12

Season 6 POWERED BY

TM

July 20 2018 @

www.pegasusindia.org


BEAUTY

10 Things to Keep In Mind When You

WASH YOUR FACE W

or work, you will have to make it as frequent as possible. Try taking a break in between work and cleanse your face. Keep a tissue or face wash in your bags at all times.

So here are ten things you need to keep in mind.

3. Do not use soaps/face wash that gives you allergies You can consult a skin specialist to make it clear. If the product you use gives you rash, dry skin or other forms of allergies then do not use it.

hen it comes to maintaining facial beauty, it is imperative to focus on cleansing the face. We go on with the traditional processes of washing and wiping. If you are using makeup or if there is significant weather changes in your area, then you will have to do it right.

1. Don't wash at one go! Never limit the washing process to sprinkling your face with water. The settled dirt and other suspended particulate matter will not go away. Always wash your face with face wash or soap. Also, make sure that the foam is completely washed off. 2. Wash as frequently as possible We hear advice from here and there to wash twice a day or thrice a day. Depending on where you live

4. Do not scrub your face Do not use loofah or other forms of rough surfaces to wipe your face as it will affect the epidermal cells. Use tissue paper or soft towel. 5. Do not rub your face with towel When you use towel or tissue paper, do not rub your face with it, instead you press it lightly until the water is soaked into the towel. Rubbing the face can result in affecting

Dr. Elizabath Chacko, MD-Kalpana's International

Mob: 9388618112

52

June-July-2018

of the epidermal cells. 6. Avoid body soap or shampoo to wash your face with Alkaline level of the body shampoo or soap may not be at par with the face so use only appropriate products. You can use natural products like, turmeric, cucumber or curd. 7. Wash your face before applying a beauty product Make sure that you face is clean before applying a beauty product. You need a plain canvas to paint on to make a masterpiece.

8. Remove makeup and then wash face

After your day is done, remove


your facial makeup with makeup remover and then wash your face, throwing water directly may distort the whole thing.

9. Do not use hot water

Use cool water to have a pleasant sense on your skin. Hot water can be harmful to the skin tissues. If at all, avoid hot water.

10. Circle your hands anti clockwise

When you apply soap or face wash, apply the same by circling your hands anticlockwise to be at par with facial features, especially the cheeks. Do not rub over the skin hard. Keep the above points in mind. Look nice.

June-July-2018

53


Exploring two unsung Island beauties:

Antigua and Barbuda

H

uman beings love to dream. We dream about heaven, garden, sky and beautiful places. In general, we love to dream about all those things which fill our heart with happiness. Don’t you ever think that how joyful it would be had you gotten the opportunity to visit the place or see the thing which comes in your dreams? Yes! Every person likes to think

54

June-July-2018


in such a way. It is a general truth. Actually, dream is a call to action. It is how nature encourages one to explore her. When one decides to follow his/her dreams, he/she becomes an enthusiastic traveller. Are you one such traveller? If not, you are not paying adequate attention to your dreams. In this edition, the writer tries to take the readers to a destination which looks as beautiful as a heaven. Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda, two unsung island beauties situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The two islands are considered as a sovereign nation located in the Americans. This nation consists of two big islands –Antigua and Barbuda- and several other small islands. It is one of the least populated Islands in the world, as its total population is less than 82,000 people. Ciboneys were the initial settlers of this island. They were hunter-gathers and were very powerful and aggressive. It was after the arrival of Arawaks this land were utilised for the agriculture purpose. Black pineapple (Antigua special), corn, sweet potatoes, chiles and guava were the prime agricultural products produced then by these settlers. Arawaks, as per an unverified record, even produced tobacco and cotton and had economic relation with Caribs. Unfortunately, the population of the actual owners of the land The Half Moon Bay were considerably reduced is located in the due to the Caribs’s attacks, disease outbreak (particuSouth-Eastern part larly small pox outbreak) of Antigua. and foreign invasion.

It is one of the best white sand beaches located in this part of the world.

June-July-2018

55


British was the first foreign power which established a colony in this land. Though many others foreigners such as Spaniards visited this land prior to the British explores, they showed no effort to turn this island into their colony due to a range of issues from the lack of availability of fresh water to the violent nature of the indigenous people. A few months after the British occupied the island in the year 1684, the inhuman practice of slavery was introduced. Most of the indigenous people were made the slave workers of their sugar plantations. This condemnable practice continued till the year 1834, the year in which the slavery was abolished. No foreign power, other than the British, ruled this land, even though the French colonial explores briefly occupied the Island in the year 1666; the colonial France failed to maintain their prominence in the island more than few weeks. The British was merciful to the indigenous islanders. Even though the islanders showed no intention to initiate a freedom movement or self-governance movement, both were granted in the year 1981. Since then, Antigua and Barbuda has been recognised as a sovereign nation. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is ruled by an indigenous govern-

56

June-July-2018

ment, with the British Queen as the honorary head. The nation gives extra ordinary importance to its health care and educational sector. Attractive beaches, It is slowly becoming the prominent peaceful atmosphere, medical service and luxury resorts, medical educacheerful hosts, tion provider in the beautiful nature and Caribbean region. It Anyway, the has been the foreign mind blowing scenic authorities direct investment beauty are the major now put serichannelized towards attractions of this ous attention the medical and in this sector educational sector Island. in order to which has helped achieve its this low income growth. nation to achieve this wonderful achievement. Attractive beaches, peaceful atmosphere, luxury resorts, cheerThe country’s agricultural ful hosts, beautiful nature and and manufacturing sectors are at mind blowing scenic beauty are the present in a very primitive state. major attractions of this Island. The sectors are not even capable to meet the domestic demands, but Half Moon Bay, Stingray City, are potential enough to achieve a 17 Mile Beach, Nelson’s Dockyard growth. National Park and Dickenson Bay are the prime tourist locations in The investment banking and this Sovereign nation. finance service sectors enormously help the island’s economy. Several The Half Moon Bay is located foreign banks operate in this land. in the South-Eastern part of Antigua. It is one of the best white sand Notably, tourism is the biggest beaches located in this part of the economic sector in this land. Unworld. It is ideal for surfing and fortunately, some minor damages other sea adventure sports. It is the have affected this sector lately.


dockyard in the world. Its beauty is indescribable. It is one of the prime attractions of Antigua. The Dickenson Bay is situated in the northern part of Antigua. It is where the travellers can find the most luxurious resorts and restaurants in this sovereign nation. This bay offers an array of adventitious sports, from swimming to wind surfing. Sweet potato and corn are the main items found in this nation’s local cuisine. Some of the dishes made with these items are worth tasting. This Island nation offers an Economic Citizenship Programme. It is the best of those nations which provide such facilities. It is an ideal place to spend a memorable vacation. Plan your trip today itself!

structure of the beach which gives it the name ‘Half Moon Bay’. The Stingray City is a natural pool which is filled with tens of thousands of friendly stingrays. The adventitious visit to this pool helps to banish the fear of visitors towards this sea animal. The travellers are allowed to step into the poll, swim with stingrays, touch this animal and explore the natural beauty of coral reefs located inside the poor. It is located in Antigua. The 17 Mile Beach of Barbuda is the most attractive locations the travellers get to see in this Island. The crystal clear water and white sand shore of this beach definitely stays as an eternal memory inside the travellers’ mind. The Nelson’s Dockyard National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the one and only continuously operating Georgian

June-July-2018

57


AUTO REVIEW

VIVEK VENUGOPAL

XUV 500

I

t was an instant success when the XUV 500 rolled out seven years ago. Finally, here was a Mahindra that felt world class in 2011, and offered great value with seven seats and pricing that was comparable to most mid-sizers. It was the first ever monocoque from Mahindra and its first ever transverse engine and front wheel

58

June-July-2018

drive platform. It sold more than its makers had anticipated, and there was a huge waiting period for one, initially. Mahindra didn’t rest on its laurels with it and went on to improve it as much as they can. Each iteration was better than the one before it, and this 2018 facelift is easily the best of the lot, till an all new generation comes in a couple

of years. The XUV facelift gets a new grille with new chrome elements and gloss black sides. The headlamps are new too, although they retain the same basic shape. It has a simpler DRL on top and different elements and a projector for the low beam. The bumper and


bonnet are carried over from the last facelift. The rear gets bigger changes with new tail lamp cluster that extend on to the boot lid and a redesigned tail gate. There are other changes too, like the new rear spoiler and roof rails. There is also a chrome trim for the doors, but it doesn’t extend beyond the C-pillar backwards. The most welcome are the alloy wheels which are now 18-inchers and look the

The XUV facelift gets a new grille with new chrome elements and gloss black sides. The headlamps are new too, although they retain the same basic shape. It has a simpler DRL on top and different elements and a projector for the low beam.

June-July-2018

59


right size for the car. They look cool with their black and polished face finish and come shod with the 235/60 R18 tyres. The XUV also gets revamped interiors with quilted leather upholstery. Plastics have a nice softer feel to them, and there is faux leather trim over the dash. The seats, while they look good, are not the most comfortable as you can feel unevenness under the leather. There is ample amount of space, except in the last row, which is best suited for small kids. The XUV is loaded to the gills with features such as electrically adjustable driver seat, automatic headlamps and wipers, automatic climate control, sunroof, keyless entry, six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, reverse camera, touch screen infotainment with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and an Arkamys audio system. The XUV facelift also comes with improved performance adding

60

June-July-2018

15bhp and 30Nm over the familiar 2.2 litre diesel. The engine uses a variable geometry turbo as before. But, now, it also has an electronically operated waste gate for better boost control. The XUV now has 155bhp and 360Nm which makes it more responsive at low revs than before. Power builds up gently and it pulls strongly till 4000rpm. The clutch and gearbox could have been easier to operate, but there is

The XUV also gets revamped interiors with quilted leather upholstery.

the option of an automatic transmission for those who live in the urban jungle. There haven’t been any perceptible difference in the suspension setup except for the larger rims and slightly lower profile tyres. The ride quality is good for most part, but it tends to be a little harsh over really broken surfaces. The XUV’s handling remains benign and easy, and like before, the all wheel drive variant feels more surefooted than the front wheel drive variants. The 2018 XUV500 is the most improved variant of the XUV yet. It is loaded with several new features and has a new range topping W11 that makes it the most loaded car in its class. Its strengths such as the capable engine, space, practicality, ride comfort etc remain intact. With added power and more features, Mahindra has successfully injected some life into the big XUV and now is a time to buy it more than ever


MOVIE REVIEW

Race 3

I

t is the third move in the Race series, which gifted two exceptionally successful thrillers to the Bollywood film industry where the films having extraordinary twists and turns have a good market. The latest thriller from the series is directed by Remo D’Souza. This time, Salman Khan, the king of the entertainment films, appears as the central character of the internationally acclaimed series. Like other two ‘Races’, this one also play with suspense and twists. It is a well known fact that many breadth taking sequences and anti-climaxes can be expected from the Race series. Apart from Salman, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol and Daisy Shah act in the lead roles.

Kaala

T

he most awaited South Indian film directed by Pa Ranjith has hit theatres this week. The prime attraction of this South India film is that Superstar Rajinikanth, one of the South Indian actors who enjoys a huge fan following across India as well as abroad, appear in the action thriller movie as a Don of Dharavi –the infamous slum located in Mumbai. There is no doubt that several Rajini style signature action sequences can be expected from the movie. Apart from the superstar, Huma Qureshi, Easwari Rao, and Nana Patekar act in the lead roles. Almost all films in which the superstar appeared as gangster secured astounding victories, so the expectations are very high for this movie.

62

June-July-2018


Adrift

I

t is a beautiful love story directed by Baltasar Kormakur. Tami and Richard are two inseparable lovers. They are deeply and madly in love. Nature comes forward with a gleeful smile to test the depth of their love in the form of a disastrous hurricane. It left one of the love birds badly injured and other confused and helpless inside a shrinking boat surrounded by unfriendly water. True love saves them. How? The aforesaid question is what the film attempts to answer. Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Hawthorne and Jeffrey Thomas appear in the lead roles in the romantic thriller.

Incredibles 2

I

t is the second movie in the Incredibles series, which gifted an exceptionally successful film to the movie industry. It is an action comedy. It seems that its director, Brad Bird, has a commendable humour sense. Do you think that taking care of children and meeting their needs are a challenging task? If you don’t think so, this film will tempt you to change your opinion. No matter how incredible you are, the aforesaid task always tests your level of incredibility mercilessly. Brad Bird, Samuel L Johnson, Holly Hunter, Craig T Nelson and Sarah Vowell appear in the lead roles.

June-July-2018

63


BOOK REVIEW

Shunya: A Novel Author Price

: Sri M : Rs. 263 (Paperback)

I

t is difficult to describe this book as it has many intellectual dimensions. In one way, it is the story of a man, named Shunya, who lives near a toddy shop in the Gods Own Country of Kerala. Some calls him ‘Saami’. But, he looks entirely different from a typical ‘godman’. He has no followers. He lives in his own world totally disconnected from the physical world we live in. He sings, plays musical instruments, curses, blesses, drinks as many glasses of black tea as he can, and, more importantly, enjoys the freedom comes along with the disconnection. In another way, the story boosts our spiritual knowledge and encourages to think more deeply about several spiritual concepts.

Sidney Sheldon’s The Silent Widow Author Price

T

: Sidney Sheldon, Tilly Bagshawe : Rs. 299 (Paperback)

he master story tellers are back. Their new book has all necessary elements which a normal reader expects from a typical Sidney Sheldon novel: unexpected twists, suspense, action, romance and crime. The story revolves around a Psychologist, named Nikki Roberts. Los Angels and Mexico City are the prime locations where the story happens. Basically, it is a crime thriller novel. So, it is not ideal for those who wish to read a serious book. It is unfair to describe the plot of the novel in detail. But, it can be assured that the book is less likely to fail a typical Sheldon fan or a detective novel enthusiast.

64

June-July-2018


BOOK REVIEW

The Outsider Author Price

: Stephen King : Rs. 524 (Hardcover)

I

t is a suspense thriller novel. Like this writer’s previous novels, there are many twists and suspense in this novel also. The central character of this novel is a football coach who is under investigation for a child murder crime. As the novel progresses, a vital question emerges: can a person be in two locations at the same time. The reason why such a question emerges because the murder investigation, in the novel, is being carried out against a person, who has an alibi –the evidence required to prove the absence of an alleged suspect in the location where the crime has taken place.

Switch: Sales Transformation for Strategic Advantage Author Price

I

: Srinivas Uppaluri : Rs. 559 (Hardcover)

t is a perfect guide for a sales man. The book discusses many effective sales strategies. It is ideal book for those who wish to gain a deep insight about the sales sector. It is recommended that all business houses which are presently struggling to meet their sales targets should ask their sales persons and all those who are working closely with sales sector to read this amazing book. In the book, the case studies are written in a short story format. After each short story, a special section is included containing what the readers are actually supposed to understand from the story. This method helps to keep the possible boring elements at the lowest mark.

66

June-July-2018


Kochi: 1st Floor, Bay Pride Towers and Mall, Marine Drive, Kochi 682031 Tel: +91 484 4052213, 2365440 E-mail: cochin@cera-india.com Thiruvananthapuram: 2 nd Floor, CPS Plaza, TC 79/342/5/6, Opp. Nissan Showroom, NH Bypass, Venpalavattom, Anayara P.O. , Thiruvananthapuram 695029 Tel: +91 471 4064101 E-mail: trivandrum@cera-india.com


Printed On 01/ 06/ 2018

RNI Reg No. KERENG/2011/42633

Profile for Unique Times

June  

June  

Advertisement