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I’m not a tax expert but I just read this Service Tax Notification No. 36/2010 Dated Jun 30th 2010

Service Tax Notification No. 36/2010June, 30th 2010
Government of IndiaMinistry of Finance (Department of Revenue)
New Delhi, the 28th June, 2010
Notification No. 36/2010 – Service Tax
G.S.R. (E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994) (hereinafter referred to as the Finance Act), the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts the taxable services specified in clause (A) of section 76 of the Finance Act, 2010 (14 of 2010) other than services referred to in clause (zzc) and (zzzz) of sub-section (105) of section 65 of the Finance Act from so much of the service tax leviable thereon under section 66 of the Finance Act as is in excess of the service tax calculated on a value which is equivalent to the amount of advance payment received before the said appointed date.
Explanation.-  For the purpose of this notification,
(i) “appointed date” means the 1st day of July, 2010;
(ii) “advance payment” means consideration received for the said taxable services to be provided.
2. This notification shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
[F. No. 334/3/2010 -TRU]
Under Secretary to the Government of India

As far as I understood this would mean that there would not be any service tax levied for payments that were made before July 1 2010 for the new services that have been brought under the scanner of Service tax in the Finance Act of 2010. And this would mean that there would not be any tax on payments that were made for construction of houses before this date. YIPPPEEE!!! Real Estate sector as a whole might still not be happy but this is indeed a good  news for people who bought houses some time back before they knew of such extra charge which amounts to quite a bit.
© Shantanu Goel | No Service Tax on Housing/Construction for Payments Made Before July 1 2010

Quote of the day: "There's a time and a place for everything, and it's called college." -- Chef

This Summer Adobe Air Is Coming To Rescue You

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in internet, Technology, weird

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Pissed by the sweltering heat, I started looking out for some good room coolers and look what I found over at mouth shut, none other than apna Adobe has launched room air coolers under the brand Adobe Air. Now, that ought to give the Air platform a visibility right down to the rickshaw wala and scooter mechanic as well, Adobe is really going to make India their hub now 😛

Adobe-air-coolers[tags]Adobe, Adobe Air, Air Coolers[/tags]

© Shantanu Goel | This Summer Adobe Air Is Coming To Rescue You

Quote of the day: "The unplanned organism is a question asked by Nature and answered by Death. You are another kind of question, with another kind of answer." -Morpheus

Listening To: Paolo Nutini – New Shoes

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in fun, Music, TV

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Loved the new Puma ad on TV but didn’t know it was an actual song until I read a friend’s tweet about it. Been listenin’ to it in a loop for some half an hour now (Yes, I do move away from my regular metal regime and listen to some light’ish music “some” times 🙂 )


It’s making me swing my head sideways instead of the usual up-down headbang routine. Feel like singing “I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right…”

[tags]Paolo Nutini, New Shoes, Video, Puma Advertisement[/tags]
© Shantanu Goel | Listening To: Paolo Nutini – New Shoes

Quote of the day: I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything - Bart Simpson

Plagiarism and Times Of India – Are They Synonyms?

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in (In)Justice, india

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I’ve been pissed by shoddy journalism in mainstream media for quite some time now, with reports ranging from being grammatically incorrect to being outrageously wrong and untrue. But just when I thought this was the worst, I came across another ungly side of this multi-faceted devil that mainstream media is, when Priyanka (aka Twilight Fairy/TF in blogging/photography circles) recently appraised us about her being at the receiving end of it.

She mentions here how TOI (the self-proclaimed protector of India) “flicked” the pics from her flickr stream and put it on their “What’s Hot” supplement, WITHOUT her consent or even letting her know that they were doing this. Such an outrageous act from one of the leading newspapers of India, which is part of a giant world-wide media conglomerate. I remember that TOI regularly publishes articles about it being a front-runner in the fight against piracy/plagiarism. I guess all their editors/photographers/journalists subscribe to some other newspapers as they appear to be ignorant about the basic funda of what constitutes plagiarism.

What’s more is that TOI is not the only one doing it, most other print and broadcast media outlets do this, and hence you can expect them not to cover this story about a part of their “brotherhood”. So, what do we do now. I say, we should atleast do what we are best at doing. Raise our voice against it. Through our blogs, mails, word of mouth. Write about it, talk about it, digg and forward blogs/mails that write about it, bring to our notice other offenders in the mainstream media who do it. I hope that we can atleast garner so much support that someone has to think about twice before repeating such an act.
© Shantanu Goel | Plagiarism and Times Of India – Are They Synonyms?

Quote of the day: "Too bad drinking scotch isn't a paying job or Kenny's dad would be a millionare!" -- Cartman

A Farce Portal That Rediff Is

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in blog, india

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Although Rediff ( is a portal popular only amongst the frustrated Indian male population, who think that this is the only place where they can be at their chauvinist best, but still it should maintain some kind of sanity in the articles that it publishes. Somebody at work forwarded me this link How to pay zero tax on family income of Rs 13.10 lakh. But don’t rejoice just yet, take a look at the article and you’ll understand how stupid it is. Year after year they publish the same stupid article (I get such links every year from someone or the other around budget time). They “reveal” a “loophole” that there is no tax on gifts upto a certain limit, but someone should ask them that there might not be tax on “receiving” money through gifts but the gifter still has to pay the tax on that money, it does not get deducted from his income magically. And even if by some contrived process, this thing works out, it is still useless for salaried people. I wish there was some law with which could ban such portals for spreading misinformation among the public.

[tags]Rediff,, income tax, India, HUF[/tags]

© Shantanu Goel | A Farce Portal That Rediff Is

Quote of the day: "You can't fight ideas with bullets." - Leo Gold

“The Square Root of 3” – Kumar Does It Again

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in blog, movies

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I watched “Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay” a few days ago. Cool movie, though not as awesome as “Go to White Castle” one. But one thing that I liked was the poem that Kumar (Kal Penn) recites in an attempt to woo back her love by embarrassing himself more than he had embarrassed her (Yes, you can see such situations only in H&K movies 😉 ). The poem is actually written by one “David Feinberg”. And it may sound too geeky or lame to most normal people, but then again, we all know that I ain’t no normal fella. So, here it goes for your consumption (People who skipped maths in school might want to chew on a few appetizers first):

I fear that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed
© Shantanu Goel | “The Square Root of 3” – Kumar Does It Again

Quote of the day: Grandpa: My Homer is not a communist. He may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, a communist, but he is not a porn star.

‘cuz we all wanna be Rockstars…

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in blog, life, work

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But we don’t want to do the effort involved in playing the guitar, or the drums or even just head-banging to the music. All we want is to flick the long curly hair back, raise both the hands towards the sky and soak in the euphoria of the crowd chanting our name.

For the people who still didn’t get it, the above lines are just a metaphor (go dig out your Wren & Martin’s).

There exists a “matrix” in this world. Matrix is all around you. But fortunately this one is of the can-be-told-and-explained types unlike the one in which Neo and Morpheus had to fuss over red and blue pills. Every day when the world wakes up to the sweet baritones of trucks/buses honking (birds chirping, you say? in the city? joking, right?), the only thought that covers everyone’s minds is “How do I score another point today?”, in the manager’s score book, that is. Working, producing results isn’t a concern anymore. It’s all about the game and how you play it. As the Neo in you fights through the “sentinels” of bugs in the code, the “agents” are busy firing away e-mails at the rate of gazillions per hour. After all, its the one who sent the email that counts.

But before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you it’s not the agents’ fault. The “architect” designed them this way. Some time ago I bought a t-shirt which said “Job Appraisals are blackmail” (and I made it a point to wear it to all my appraisal meetings, until it faded down to the extreme that it began to read “i blackmail”). So far I have been unable to fathom the dynamics that govern this. The anomalies in the equation seem to be just too many for any human being to solve. May be it’s like that “Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle” we read about. The moment you measure the anomalies, the rest of the equation changes, and you are left with a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces too less or too many.

The easiest way out would be to request the dolphins to approach the mice and get them to carry out a simulation that gives us our “42”. After all, the dolphins are indebted to us for all the fish and it’d be easy for them to pitch in a bit more than just saying “so long, and thanks…”. But of course, the mice have better
things to deal with than the minor nuances of measly human beings’ daily lives.

The next best thing would be to get an audience with the architect, but who is he? Everyone. Each one of us is the architect of one’s own demolition, and of everyone else around us. Each one of us contributes to the fallacies that plague “the equation”.

But of course, we can’t rectify it, because we can’t accept it.

‘cuz we all just wanna be Rockstars………….

without playing the guitar, or the drums, or head-banging………..

(PS: You, at the back, in all your “frowning” glory, how much more coherence do you want from a guy ranting away at 3:00 in the morning?)
© Shantanu Goel | ‘cuz we all wanna be Rockstars…

Quote of the day: Morpheus: Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.


   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in (In)Justice, Government, india

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(More like heavy metal baritonal incoherent inconsequential utterings, rants, ramblings, or in short “noise“. TO BE IGNORED BY EVERYBODY)

you draw me to a corner, and you whack away,

“quota” is all you’ve got with you,

to throw in everybody’s court, and say “ur turn”

cuz u know noone will volley back

everyone’s got to keep their vote bank

lets just make one more swipe at it

and move another clan up the rank

will make good content for the history books later

how the “Great Indian General Category” ship sank

I’m a part of the majority they say

I’ve suppressed and oppressed so many people

and its their duty bring them up

upto my “high” standards of living.

“high” standards?

Last time I took an college admit

the primary factor was the college’s fees sheet

“hello, can’t hear u, ur voice is breaking up”

is all I can hear in response from u, Mr. politician

As I see another xx% quota announcement on national television

or one about bainsla asking for asking for another y% for his satiation

But anyways, I’ve learnt to live with it everyday

cuz I know a bright future for my grand (or great-grand) kids is at bay

As the time is not that far away, when we listen to this and nod our heads

“Mr. Leader announced zz% quota for the general category today”
© Shantanu Goel | Poetry-Shoetry

Quote of the day: "Every war is the result of a difference of opinion. Maybe the biggest questions can only be answered by the greatest of conflicts." - JC Denton

What The Indian News Channels Thrive On?

   Posted by: Shantanu Goel   in india, TV

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Answer: “FUD”

FUD = Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

As we make inroads into newer means of broadcasting technologies, the users of these techs seem to take a few steps backwards (and pretty giant ones at that). In the race to grab the maximum viewers, they have switched their primary profession from news to a bollywood masala blockbuster. Any Indian news channel you switch on is glaringly coated with red colors, many even using explicit pics of bones and skulls etc. to get you hooked, maybe thinking that you will freeze with fear and forget to change the channel with your remote. The news readers are more like wrestling commentators, shouting at the top of their voices and acting better than most B’wood heroes to make sure you understand their importance of being your only saviours in this cruel world.

The reporters (most of which look like either teenage under-grads or ration-walla uncles these days) take a whole minute of air time, repeating the same set of 5–second sentences multiple times, contra-dicting themselves more than once. And you are left wondering which version was correct – the one he started out with, or the one he ended on. Things become even more complicated when the studio guy pitches in with more irrelevant info, a very funny example of this being the Ansal Plaza bomb scare a few years back. This particular news channel had already shown the same 1 minute footage of people thanking Delhi Police from saving them from a bomb more than a fair bit of times, and then the reader chimes in to let us know how cool Ansal Plaza is, how many floors it has and which things and brands are stocked on which floor. Cool, I can prepare my shopping list easily now. Wait, what was that news I was listening to a few minutes ago?

Today, Star News, Aaj Tak, etc told me about another “twist” in the Aarushi murder case. Actually, they infused the twist into my bloodstream. The twist was that her father’s compounder had called some CBI guy one day before the murder. Oh is it, but why? No one knows. Apart from this single line of information, no one had even a semblance of value to add. But hats off to the channel producers, they still managed to beam out an hour (or even more) worth of content from this.

Out of all the news channels, India TV, or whatever it’s spelled like, has a special place. It should be renamed to “Magic TV”, cuz all they show day after day is Chris Angel walking on water, David Blaine staying under water beyond human limitations, Franz Harary making the Statue of Liberty disappear, and even local babas with all their “siddhis” on display. Their expert panel looks like the World Congregation of Astrologists, Palmists, Godmen, vibhuti wale babas, etc. The best part is their punchlines “Kya Ye Ek Narpishaach hai, Ya Ek Khooni Mazaak”. I remember the time when we used to play dumb charades in college with fictitious movies like “Howrah Bridge Se Latkati Lal Khanjar Wali Khooni Chudail”. I guess if Rajat Kapoor had seen me at that time, I would have been quite busy right now as a chief editor or something in his channel.

And as if this was not all, the channels have special “filler” segments running all day rounding up all the jokey-concerts around the country or summarizing the latest happenings in the saas-bahu serials.

I guess Tata Sky should now make a special news-channels-package cuz why should I pay for the whole jumbo pack when the news channels can provide me the complete set of entertainment, except the news of course, which I can always scourge from

[tags]News Channels, India, Star News, Aaj Tak, Indya TV, India TV, Aarushi Murder case, Ansal Plaza bomb scare[/tags]
© Shantanu Goel | What The Indian News Channels Thrive On?

Quote of the day: All we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us-Penelope

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The Delhi Bloggers are having a one day “Social Media and Blog Camp” on 7th June 2008. So, mark your calendars right now. Details follow:

Date : 7th June’08 (Saturday)

Agenda : A one-day semi-camp style unconference which brings together stakeholders and audiences of social media and blogging.

Venue : Indiatimes office,

             Times Internet Ltd.
             I World , Opp. DLF Golf Course,
             DLF City Phase V,
            Gurgaon, Haryana – 122005

The venue is wifi enabled and has an auditorium, projectors and a board room for parallel tracks if the need arises. Lunch/tea/coffee/snacks would be provided by our prime sponsor – Indiatimes.

Target audience/speaker profiles :

 Experts/executives from social media related platforms or blog platforms, Journalists who know how blogs have become an alternative to mainstream media, Professionals who have used social media to connect and build communities, Marketers (clients or agencies) who are using social media/blog strategies, Techies/application developers in these fields, Entrepreneurs who have ideas around social media and blogging platforms, bloggers (corporate, professional and otherwise), blogreaders who want to know a bit more, PR professionals looking to develop/enhance their blogger relationship programs, Marketers who want to look at case studies on how others are using the same.

More details of the event and the method of confirming attendance/volunteering for the event/speaking on relevant topics will be put up on Delhi Bloggers Bloc and other related entities soon. Till then, you can follow the progress on the mailing list.

[tags]Blogs, Blogging, Blog Camp, Delhi Bloggers, Delhi Bloggers Bloc, Social Media and Blog Camp, 7th June 2008, Indiatimes, unconference[/tags]

© Shantanu Goel | Delhi Bloggers Present “Social Media And Blog Camp” – 7th June ’08

Quote of the day: "Bravery is not a function of firepower." - JC Denton