22 February, 2009

Agricultural Income Tax

The planter and the NRI have one thing in common. Both of them do not pay Income tax (To Central Govt.) However the planter has to pay tax to the state government. Kerala is one of the last remaining states in India which still levy’s this tax. The tax has to be paid in advance on or before the last day of February for the approaching assessment year.

Before 1990 this tax was levied based on income against appropriate slab rates as in central Income tax. The basic exemption those days given for Agricultural Income was Rs.20, 000/- and the rate of tax was as high as 80% in the final slab. Those days almost everybody used to declare only Rs. 10,000/- to 15,000/- as income. How on earth one could live with that income for a year was conveniently ignored.

During the proceedings of the assessment like issuance of pre-assessment notice and calling for objections which invariably the assessing officer rejected on flimsy grounds the assesse bribed the officials and the officer would enhance the income to somewhere around 25,000/- levied a small income tax and matters were settled to the advantage of the assesee and the personal profit of the officer and considerable loss to the exchequer. (The officers in turn bribe the powers that be to get posted to lucrative offices like Kanjirappally and vandanmedu)

Then in 1990 the Finance Minister in the LDF ministry Mr. Vishwanatha Menon (he was dismissed from the communist Marxist party some time ago and contested unsuccessfully as an independent in Ernakulam and I am not sure whether he is back in the party) introduced the compounding system of payment based on area and the crop that is cultivated. It was a great relief to the assesse in as much as that the amount of tax was fixed irrespective of the income earned and it also took away the discretionary powers of the assessing officers.

Now the planters have accounted surplus in their books. The officers have lost interest in doing the nominal work since they do not benefit otherwise.

The statement below shows how compounded tax is calculated.

20 February, 2009

Pseudo Bucket Collection

Last week the local CPI(M) office bearers of Vandanmedu a small village in Idukki district of Kerala State, India, approached me for a donation to the party fund. I stated that I was willing to contribute Rs. 2000/- but they asked for Rs.8000/- and wouldn’t settle for anything less than Rs.5000/- which I had to give with heart burn. Of course receipt was duly issued.
I would rather remain silent if the political parties (loot the public money) target MNCs like SNC-Lavalin etc. for their fund requirements and leave small fry’s like us alone.

12 February, 2009

Vandanmed Photos

My single bed-room Palace.......!!!!!!!!

Is this the flame of the forest? Even if it is not, it certainly looks like its flaming...!!

04 February, 2009

Saga of ‘Kayal Rajah Muriken’

Mrs. & Mr. Joseph Muriken
Audience with His Holiness Pope John XXIII at the Vatican
(personal audiences with the Pope for laypeople are extremely rare)
The church the 'Kayal Rajah' Muriken built on a large bund in the midst of his three kayals

The person standing between Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi with some sort of a badge pinned to his shirt/jubba pocket is the ‘Kayal Rajah’. The person seated along with Nehru and Mrs. Gandhi is Pattom Thanu Pillay the then CM of Kerala.

Text of the condolence message by
His Highness Sree ChitiraTirunal Balaramavarma
The Maharaja of Travancore
on the passing away of Muricken

The perpetrators repenting albiet 38 years late

News report of Muriken's Grandson Adv. Mohan's tragic end on 26th January
at Mandya near Mysore

Visit http://prometheanally.blogspot.com/2008/07/economies-of-scale-and-property-rights.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P9YdLOwBEU for an excellent article by Rosemary Abraham with an animated vedio of the Kayal Rajah's farming technique.