Somesh Arora: The world of code words

The world of code words-petti, khokha, bank, raddi, Supari: These words though are known to every one in the smuggling, anti-smuggling and Cine world, continue to be used because they add `peculiar to the line charm’ to the smuggling business. While `petti’ and `khokha’ are a `lakh’ and a `crore’ because of the size and volume of the currency notes involved, their size has not varied in last twenty years even though the value of currency has fallen. One lakh in Rs.1,000/- notes may even come in a pocket but still will be called a `petti’. While `greens’ were always the `dollar’, the falling `rupee’ value allowed it to be addressed it with not so pleasing `Raddi’. Expression `Supari’ for contract killing, has its roots in the old tradition of finalizing a commercial contract by exchanging `Supari’ or `pungi falam’ for evoking the Gods for the presence as witness to the contract. For C.B.I., usage of expression `Bank’ more particularly in South and West, may have its origins with the abbreviations of Central Bureau of Investigation and Central Bank of India, being the same.

            Negative list of Services: With the introduction of negative list of the services, all the services other than those specified in the negative list have been included with in the purview of service tax, only largely illegal services of gambling and betting find exclusion in the negative list, so that clearly means that like Income Tax Act, 1962, where illegal income is also taxable, even illegal services are now taxable and come under the service tax net.  We may, therefore, now have Service tax sleuths making up for their target deficiencies and  booking service providers in C.B.I offices (for their chunk in corruption services). The classification though not required  any more,  and mere mention of `service other than services in negative list’ may suffice as description in the SCN, the description of activities can have funny sounding nomenclatures and may include: Intelligence leakage service, Kick –back service, Under the table service (for corruption), Decision writing service (as in the case of ITAT), Question asking service, cricket betting service, Compromise with the booky services, Heroin and Heroine supplying services, sub-standard arms purchase service, Note for vote services, making a non-existing road services. The list is only inclusive and not exhaustive.

-The world of code words-petti, khokha, bank, raddi, Supari: These words though are known to every one in the smuggling, anti-smuggling and Cine world, continue to be used because they add `peculiar to the line charm’ to the smuggling business. While `petti’ and `khokha’ are a `lakh’ and a `crore’ because of the size and volume of the currency notes involved, their size has not varied in last twenty years even though the value of currency has fallen. One lakh in Rs.1,000/- notes may even come in a pocket but still will be called a `petti’. While `greens’ were always the `dollar’, the falling `rupee’ value allowed it to be addressed it with not so pleasing `Raddi’. Expression `Supari’ for contract killing, has its roots in the old tradition of finalizing a commercial contract by exchanging `Supari’ or `pungi falam’ for evoking the Gods for the presence as witness to the contract. For C.B.I., usage of expression `Bank’ more particularly in South and West, may have its origins with the abbreviations of Central Bureau of Investigation and Central Bank of India, being the same.

- Central Excise Day- female members add color on dias: The Central Excise day this year was special in many ways. It is for the first time in the History of the Department that CBEC was represented more by female members than the men and their presence sure added color on the dais and therefore not only the event was colorful but even the dais. Going by the functioning of the Department at the top, their presence in the Board is sure being appreciated as all of them are known for their integrity too.

- Budget blues:   Going by the practice it is becoming B2B proposition indeed. Provisions are laid down in one budget but are understood or hardly understood till next budget. Even the officers in the field find it difficult to decipher the Service tax provisions, what to talk of tax payers. Therefore, the Directorate of Publicity organized the seminar on the budget as an initiative. Same was very well attended, though by the officers.  At this rate, we soon may need a separate Directorate For Explaining Budget (D.E.B.) under the C.B.E.C. The individual lawyers are out on account of reverse charge liability and because of no tax on individual to individual basis. Good and my thanks to Service tax budget making team. But if firms and companies alone are going to pay tax, who in most cases will be entitled to CENVAT, then why have the tax. Has the levy become recovery of opportunity cost of interest for the interim period of CENVAT taken and CENVAT utilised. Supposing some small firms exist who are not availing CENVAT as they are not excisable or liable to any service tax, then will they pay service tax on fee to individual tax lawyers even on once- in- a blue moon litigation by taking service tax registration and filing return. We also have for the first time, concept of statutory partnership venture in paying tax on some services on pre-fixed percentage basis between two payers. God and Taxes- will remain the most discussed but still least understood, metaphysical concepts in India. Only faith in Divine and Tax Policy makers may be the solution for commoners like me.

 

Pati peeto Andolan:  This is happening in 20 villages on Kanpur including Madanpur and Kishorepur, where the women whose husbands have taken to alcoholism and gambling and wasting the hard earned money of their wives are beaten up by a Union of wives. The Movement for beating husbands, resorts to it whenever the men folk are found drinking and gambling and in most cases such hapless men are rescued not by Police but by their mothers. So, now we may have the new crop of mothers preaching their loved ones, in more than 20 kaus of these twenty villages - Bitua, daaru chor de, nahi to biwi aa jayegi. Daaru nahi chodta to biwi hi chod de. And if the movement actually succeeds, may be the Team Anna can secure management consultancy services of this union in having a `Ghooskhor peto aandolan’ to make use of their expertise.