$618 Billion Defence Bill will push US-India Defence ties

Image sorce: indianembassy.org

On December 24, US President Barack Obama signed a $618 billion defence policy bill. In this policy, there are mentions to US-India security co-operation.

Here are 5 most important things you need to know about this bill.

  1. This bill, known as the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate.

The bill talks about US security relations with Pakistan by saying that US will refocus” its security assistance with its cold war ally.

The bills says that it NDAA will “refocus security assistance to Pakistan on activities that directly support US national security interests and condition a significant portion of funding on a certification from the secretary of defence that Pakistan is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network in Pakistan territory.”

  1. Guantanamo Bay Facility

Obama’s big target of closing the brutal Guantanamo Bay Facility will not be achieved as the NDAA bill lays restrictions on Guantanamo Bay facility detainees being transferred.

  1. Army and Marine Corps

The NDAA bill authorizes 4, 76,000 active duty soldiers, increase of 16000 from earlier authorisation. The bill also authorises 1, 85,000 Marines, again an increase of 3000 more.

  1. US-India security co-operation

NDAA also promises to enhance security ties with India. This was categorized under the bill in “Supporting Allies and Partner” section.

  1. Increase in Funding

The bill also increased the base funding by $3.2 billion. It also calls for $5.8 billion more in war money requested by the White House.

Can India be Income Tax free?

There is a national debate on abolishment of income tax in India, but is that possible and if it’s possible, is the government willing to do so?

If income tax was removed, there wouldn’t be a question of paying income tax or running away from it, thus legitimizing the money. Thus, no black money remains in the market apart from that of crime.

Since only 4% of Indian population pays income tax, the impact will be limited to the amount of 3 lakh cores that is generated though income tax.

This will also increase hugely, the amount deposited in banks because people will be freely willing to declare their income through their bank accounts and increase savings. This is not possible, it income tax is levied for people evade the tax and thus black money is generated.

Since the bank deposits will shoot up, the interest rates will also decline on loans.

Congress  leader  Sandeep Diksht said that the fear that lurks due to tax terrorism  and income tax officers going everywhere conducting searches is a problem for the people. Income tax officers are not known to be kind and honest in their activities and most of the times people are acquitted after contracts between the culprits and income tax authorities evading justice.

Income tax accounts for about 3 percent of the total GDP income of the country. There has been a failure from the govt to keep a check on the income tax evaded by the people. This has been a great backlog of the Indian economy where black income plays a major role and has its own economic system.

Monaco, Bermuda, Bahamas, Andora and UAE are some countries who have abolished income tax.

Congress leader Salman Soz said to News X that this idea is totally immature since income taxes are considered as progressive taxes. If a person earns more then he must pay higher tax. If it’s gone, then a poor man and a rich man will be paying the same amount of indirect tax which is unfair.

How industrial revolution changed the world

Industrial revolution saw the epitome of human intelligence, as a result innovations of industrial revolution paved the way for modern human lifestyle.

Until seventeenth century, most labour occupations were limited to work on fields. Labourers worked on lands of the aristocrats (the ones who owned land) and that was their only livelihood. Although the lives of aristocrats were elegant and full of leisure, servants were always at their disposal, be it for raising their children or taking their dogs for a walk. The lives of both were interdependent and the system had been there long enough to forget for those in service to not know when it all started.

The innovations that followed, mostly in United States and Britain significantly altered this system and put in place a new system that was momentous and game changing.

Inventors built machines for different kinds of work, like ones powered by water, steam and coal. The most important ones being steam engine, electricity, telephone, telegraph and so on.

  1. James Watt did not invent the Steam Engine

The first patent done against a steam engine was by Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont in 1606. Beaumont was a Spanish inventor.

It was more than 150 years later, that James Watt invented a steam engine that could rotate continuously. This was a historic development in the invention since the invention and thus invention of steam engine is highly attributed to James Watt rather than Beaumont.

  1. Traveling show had encouraged the idea of anesthesia

Horace wells while watching a traveling show saw an acquaintance get injured while being high on laughing gas (nitrous oxide). He asked the man later if he did not feel the pain. To his surprise, the man said no. He tested the gas on himself and asked the organizer of the show, Gardner Colton to remove his molar. After experimenting it successfully on himself, he then tried it on his patients.

  1. It took eight hours to get the first photograph

A French inventor, Nicephore Niepce, in the 1820s, created the first photograph by exposing light sensitive chemicals coated on a paper. He exposed the paper to the image projected by the camera obscura and we got one of the first images ever recorded. Though there were many, but eventually got destroyed and thus, Le Gras by Nicephore remains the oldest surviving photograph.

Important: Top 5 Emerging Banking Trends in 2017 You Must Know

Source: livemint.com

The year 2016 was a turbulent and path-bearer one for the banks, stock markets and NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Institutions). First the Brexit announcement in the middle of the year and then the dual co-incidence of Donald Trump’s victory followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization scheme – have affected the banking industry to a certain extent for sure.

In November, once the Demonetisation decision of the old notes of higher denominations of 500 and 1000 INR was announced, people immediately went frenzy. The banks were instantly flooded with the currency notes of 500 and 1000 INR as both currency notes ceased to remain a legal tender anymore.

These two notes constituted around 85% of the nation’s currency in circulation, so after the demonetization decision, a nation-wide cash crunch situation ensued. It was further aggravated due to long queues at banks branches and ATMs followed by the limit on cash withdrawals from bank accounts.

Banks are overburdened with liquid cash now and they have to put them for investment purposes and productive uses. Some major banking trends are ready to take place in the coming days. However, the scene will actually become crystal clear only after the union budget 2017.

Upcoming Banking Trends 2017

  • Entry of Payment Banks: Many new banks are expected to launch in the coming year. Around 10 small finance banks and eight payment banks will be launched very soon in 2017. Airtel Payments bank has already started its operation in Rajasthan, and it will soon begin its nation-wide operation too. Currently, it offers 7.25% interest rate on saving accounts (against normal 4% offered by other banks).
  • More Loans and Advances: With the banks obtaining an enormous pool of surplus money in the form of deposits, there is no doubt that the New Year will see a sharp rise in loans and advances by the private and public sector banks. Though private sector banks are more liberal towards offering loans, but after demonetization, public sector banks will also start giving more loans to customers with fewer paper works, formalities and processing time.
  • Promotion of Electronic wallets: For transaction purposes, people will now get their electronic wallets linked to bank accounts for smoother transactions. Mobile apps and e-wallets like paytm and freecharge will get a massive boost in 2017. People will keep lesser cash in their pockets and may pay more via paytm and other apps.
  • The Merger of SBI and associates: Next year, India’s largest bank – the SBI (State Bank of India) and its five associates might merge for easier banking operation and more flexibility. This will empower the SBI and its associates to take greater risk and offer more loans to customers.
  • Changing Trends in Microfinance Industry: India’s Rs. 60,000 plus microfinance industry will get a complete makeover soon. These micro financial institutions mostly do their transactions on a cash basis but after the Modi’s demonetisaion announcement they will move towards cheque and bank transfer for transaction purposes. Advancement of loans and their repayments are also expected to go paperless. MFIs are shifting towards offering payment via mobile apps and bank transfer. This will keep the customers in the loop and prevent further bad debt and cheating.

Though people are expected to be largely benefitted by such expected banking trends in 2017, but only the time will reveal the actual benefits of these banking trends for customers in reality.

India to surpass United State in eCommerce

India to surpass United State in eCommerce

As of today, about 350 million Indians use internet. This number is estimated almost double to 600 million by 2020. Google’s Next Billions Users states that every second India gets three new internet users.

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Image: Worldpay Global Payment Report statistics

Global Payments Report in its recent report said that by 2034, Indian eCommerce market will grow to $2039, making it larger than that of US and second only to China.

The predictions are audacious as the report also said that today Indian eCommerce accounts for only 1% of money spent in the sector.

The report estimates theto grow at the rate of 28% per year for next four years. Thus, it pegs the market to be worth $63.7 billion by 2020.

With the current speed of growth, the internet users in India will rise 250 million higher than today i.e 750 million Indians will use internet by that period and that number, it suggests means a tremendous push for the internet commerce. Many of these new users will be mobile-first users, which means that they will access the internet not through computers but through their mobiles. The report points out the fastest growing smartphone market and cheap internet access as the reason for this growth. It compared India’s internet data plans to be twice as cheap as China’s.

The above projections are driven by the fact that Indian market is changing technologically and the rising average income and favourable demographics will be the driving force for the e-commerce market here.

The report pointed out that a research by Korn Ferry projects consumer spending in India to rise significantly and 70% of the population being below 35, the internet business will see incredible growth with the help of this largest youth population in the world.

According to the Worldpay projections, by 2034, China will account for 50% of global online retail market spending, which will be its peak. Thus, China and India together will make Asia the centre of explosive eCommerce growth.

Rising use of mobile internet, young consumers, availability of 3G and 4G at affordable prices support the audacious claims made by the report. The report took note of people switching from 3G to 4G and that smartphone penetration increased by 23% in 2015.

It also noted that in India, people prefer primarily cash on delivery and that confidence in cards and sharing data is rising, it proposed that merchants must provide a cash on delivery option to the consumers.

Another Elderly Man Dies after Standing in Que for Money

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A 70 year old man from Eastern Uttar Pradesh district of Azamgarh, died of a heart attack after standing in a queue outside a bank in Maharajganj area.

The old man Ishteyak Ahmad, a retired teacher was standing in a queue when he fell unconscious standing in the queue. Although he was immediately taken to the hospital, he could not be saved.

Only a few days back, a 73 year old man Vishwanath Vartak had collapsed due to a heart attack in Mulund, Mumbai while standing in a queue outside SBI branch. Others in the queue admitted Vartak to the hospital, but unfortunately he could not be saved.

People have rushed to exchange 500 and 1000 rupee notes through banks after the government of India initiated a ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes. People have been asked to exchange their notes until December 2016 after which the currencies will not be taken and circulated.

Modi’s shocking announcement has got ordinary citizens at a fix who are running up and down to tackle the shortage of new currency and dealing with long queues at banks and ATMs.

The notes of 500 and 1000 account for roughly 87% of all notes in circulation across India that runs on cash. As per 2015 Tufts University study, less than 10% Indians had made payments without using cash. The report also said that the value of notes and coins as compare to India’s economic output, or GDP, was about 12%, which is significantly higher than the likes of Brazil and South Africa, where it is under 4%.

Modi government argues that the step to demonetize will have a good impact on Indian economy in the long run and said that the problem faced by the people is temporary.

Manohar Parrikar, Union defense minister said that ‘demonetization ended stone pelting in Kashmir’, to which Congress President Farooq Abdulla responded by saying that it is a misconception that demonetization and board exams would end the unrest in Kashmir Valley. He also said that the “storm” would rise again.

Why Trump Became the Most Powerful Man on Earth?

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Disheartened and angry protestors have come out heavily across cities chanting ‘Not my President’ slogans against the recently elected President of the United States, Donald Trump.

The question these protestors are asking is ‘how did he win’?

The people of America who voted for Trump have sent a message to the ex-political establishments that they are fed up.

The struggling middle class, lower middle class feel that they are losing influence. Donald Trump has promised to ‘make America great again.’ Through his speeches he has connected and resonated with the working class by propagating the ideas of giving  jobs, stopping illegal migration and building walls. For years they have felt being ignored and overlooked by both major political parties.

CNN’s exit poll reveals nearly 60% of whites voted for Trump, including 53% white women. Young white men under 29 voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton. Even college students, both men and women, voted for him overlooking his controversial stands on various subjects.

The results had a clear indication of how Americans accepted the racial, religious and misogynistic views of Trump and were divided along political lines and morale.

Exit polls suggest 8% of African American voters, pointing out black Trump supporters who voted for him even after his remarks of black communities in worst shape – ever, ever, ever.

Moreover, Trump was supported by 29% Latino voters, an improvement of 2% over Mitt Romney.

Experts believe that his voters included those who voted him for his questionable remarks, while others voted despite of that. In his acceptance speech, Trump declared that he would rebuild infrastructure and give jobs to the people to make America great again. Ideas, to bring back jobs where there aren’t any resonated with people and thus he god votes from all across the domain.

It also comes down to the fact that there was no one to vote for. There are views that if Bernie Sanders was the candidate instead of Clinton, the results would be different. Clinton as chosen by the Democratic party over Bernie was “The corrupt candidate, the embodiment of the status quo that has declared the whole world a battlefield, was the candidate of sanity, the candidate for women. This grotesque campaigning for a candidate for a person who represented great rapacious power, has been probably the most eye-opening side to this.”

This is why, all his absurd and insensitive remarks on women, Muslims and migrants failed to stop his ascension to the White House. Donald Trump, the most controversial Republican candidate of the 21st century, has become the most powerful man on earth.

What To Do With Your Unused 500 & 1000 Currency Notes & How Sensex Reacted to the Announcement?

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In a stunt move by the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced yesterday that old currency notes worth denominations of 500 and 1000 INR would stand invalid and illegal from today onwards. But for common people and rightful citizens of the country there is nothing to worry about as such. Government puts several plans in place for the convenience to common people of the country.

The NDA government took the bold step to bring a considerable reduction in the usage of black money in and outside the country. This move will also help the government to keep a tab on people who earned money by way of unfair means and don’t pay taxes on them.

Modi also stated in his 40-minute long speech, that these notes of high denominations (500 & 1000) were often imitated to supply fake ones – that promote anti-lawful activities such as kidnapping, hawala transaction, terrorism and illegal real estate construction which are rampant across the country.

Common People Shouldn’t Feel Panicky

First of all, you have to just stay calm and patient for the next 48-hours. Don’t need to feel tensed or rush here and there. ATM machines and banks would stay closed during these hours. After a couple of days, the ATMs would start to resume their services with a limit of Rs. 2000 rupees in a day.

From 24th of November onwards these machines will dispense currency notes worth the value of Rs. 4000 in a day with new currency notes of Rs. 500 and 1000 INR. Normal people can directly deposit their old currency notes of denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 at their bank accounts from 11th November onwards.

Important Facts Regarding the Scheme

  • Banned Currency: Old Issued Notes of Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000.
  • ATM & Bank Closure: In order to fulfill people’s need the government decided to keep bank and ATMs closed for the next 48 hours
  • Applicability: This rule is applicable to every place all across India.
  • Exchange Dates: From 11 November onward you can exchange you old notes of high denominations (500 & 1000) with new ones at any bank or post office by carrying your identity card. Also, you can directly deposit these currency notes at your bank/ Post office accounts.
  • Important Date: You can exchange all your currency notes in 500 and 1000 denominations by 30th December 2016 with the new ones or smaller denominations at Post office, Banks and RBI.

Why Sensex Has Crashed Today?

Many people are still confused that if the government has taken a right measure than why did the sensex open today with a huge dip. Sensex started with a fall in the morning. At 10:30 am, the S&P BSE Sensex went down to 26581 while Nifty50 was trading at 8209 almost 335 points below where it was closed yesterday.

Well there is a no certain answer to it. Dipping of the Sensex has a lot to do with the unexpected victory of Donald Trump at the 44th US Presidential Election as well. Economists said this is a short term impact due to the big announcement on currency denominations made by Prime Minister Modi Yesterday night.

Buying Debt Funds are Good for Your Investment Portfolio

When it comes to investment, most of us are often confused. Sometimes without delving deep we readily accept the proposals or investment scheme suggested by our agents or financial planners ignoring its long term effects. It’s only after a few years we realize whether the investment idea was right or wrong. But by then it would be late.

Honestly speaking, not any investment is bad or good per se. However, it’s extremely essential that every prudent investor should thoroughly get aware about the specialized terminology used in stock market. Continue reading