Somesh Arora: Nimbus pays Rs 2000 crore to BCCI, what about service tax on revenue earned

Nimbus has reportedly paid Rs 2,000 crore to BCCI for getting the cricket telecast rights for the future, which it had got in the past also. It is obvious that a telecast company which spends so much on buying such rights, gets much more as revenue by selling time slots for advertisements, but how much of it is actually paid to the government coffers is a matter of verification.

CBEC, in and around year 2007, had approved of such verification against all the companies which had purchased such rights in  the past, but its outcome is still to be known. Maybe with every passing day, the revenue is going down the drain of limitation.

Costliest probe ever in terms of loss

If you thought that Arushi murder case was the costliest CBI investigation, you may be right considering the expenditure of the agency involved, though Bofors could be another claimant.  But if one has to look for costliest investigations in India in terms of loss of GDP and other costs, the dubious distinction must go to scam relating to Co-operative Societies in Dwarka (in Delhi) where about 100 societies are facing the flak with CBI and Registrar of Co-operative Societies for almost 10 years now. The buildings in question, which were supposed to house about 15,000 families and were in various stages of completion from semi-finished to finished, have started crumbling because even maintenance remains an issue here. The loss due to the structure lying unused for almost 10 years runs into several crores, but investigations are continuing at a snail’s pace. About 75,000 people could have been accommodated in these -- sufficient to house two Olympics villages or four Commonwealth Games Villages. Therefore, the next time, the officials of Commonwealth Games come calling from London blaming us for tardy progress, they can surely be shown the alternatives that our Dilli can afford for the sportspersons.


Most expensive  autograph

When some chota mantris finally decided to walk and talk to the PM about lack of work with them, it turned out that Minister of State for Textiles Panabaaka Lakshmi had signed just one file in three  months. There are two important aspects in this narrative. One, the autograph should rank as one of the costliest in the world. It can easily beat, costwise, even the best of celebrity autographs. It was estimated that in year 2000 the running cost of office of Secretary with all its paraphernalia was Rs 7 lakh lacs a month. One decade and a pay commission later, the same cost for chota mantri`s office can safely be concluded as Rs 25 lakh. Therefore, going by my not-so-good math, signature on one file alone has cost Rs 75 lakh.  Sure to send two babas for a spin- one is saade Manni Baba, austerity waale and second is ours Rahul baba, train journey waale.

The second and positive aspect is that the office of H`ble Minister is entitled to get the Green award for maintaining the most paperless office in the world!


SEZ part of India except for exports incentives.

The Gujarat High Court in a detailed judgment in the matter of M/s Essar Steels v/s UOI, the first of its kind on the new SEZ Act, has held that SEZs are part of India for the purpose of levy of duties, etc. and holding these as not a part of territory of India will be unconstitutional. The Definition of `Exports’ under the SEZ Act is meant for export promotion and the non-obstante clause in the Act giving primacy to the definition contained in SEZ Act, 2005 would hold good, if the matter pertains to export promotion. That should bring about some clarity within all the departments including SEZ authorities as to where they stand. Therefore, now another dimension stands added to India`s multiculturalism and that is diversity in definition under various laws and their purposes.


Should molesters get presidential awards?

Apart from controversy relating to Sant Chatwal (the modern day Sants can turn the tide in our favour on nuclear agreement- another feather in the cap of sainthood in India), this was another issue being debated at the time of Republic Day this year. Rathore got support of Gill on the matter and why not. After all we can always trust our presidential guards, security of presiding official of largest party or CM of the largest state to come handy in case it is found that habits do actually die hard and can crop at award ceremonies.


Sharad Pawar talks again.

This last time it was about milk prices. How we wish that he does the same about the stocks of some companies. We, then, can trust him more than the brigade of stock analysts, who are out of hibernation and again visible on TV channels after one year of recession.