A chikoo seed had made a 50-year-old woman's trachea (windpipe) its home for 2 months before it was surgically removed.
A resident of Wankaner in Rajkot, Shantaben Khandeka, had been complaining of severe cough for over two months. Physicians who were consulted could not put a finger on the cause even as her health showed signs of constant deterioration.
City-based ENT surgeon Himanshu Thakkar said, “CT-SCAN showed a foreign body stuck in her trachea which cut down supply of oxygen to her left lung.” The procedure was performed last week.

"It was not easy as the patient was around 50 years old and the foreign body stuck in her trachea for over two months had to be removed quickly, otherwise the patient's health could have deteriorated further," Dr Thakkar said.
"After a couple of hours' stay at the hospital, the patient was discharged and she is now fine," he said. "Such cases generally occur among children," he noted, adding that had the seed stuck in central area of trachea, she could have died on the spot.  

To have a 'good' memory is everybody's desire, but unfortunately the fact is that not all of us have this quality, mainly resulting from adverse drug reactions.
A good memory can be a great asset not just in the present but in the future as well. If you have a good memory, your chances of becoming successful in life – be it at work, school – are higher than someone with a 'poor' memory or a medical condition called memory loss.

But there are a number of things you can do to improve your memory, from eating memory-boosting foods to practicing some techniques, including using mnemonic devices. Here are some simple tips and tricks to sharpen your brain and thinking power:
► Diet
► Exercise
► Sleep
► Nap
If you think that your memory power is weakening, make sure that you follow the above tips.  

As global smartphone sales to end-users hit 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 -- a seven percent increase over the like period in 2015 -- Apple finally leapfrogged past Samsung after eight sluggish quarters to secure the top spot, a report said on Wednesday.
Riding on the success of iPhone 7 and Apple Watch, the Cupertino-based company recently announced an all-time record revenue of USD 78.4 billion for the first quarter of 2017 that ended on December 31. International sales accounted for 64 percent of the quarter`s revenue.

Overall, smartphone sales to end-users totalled nearly 1.5 billion units in 2016, an increase of five percent from 2015, said the report from the market research firm Gartner. Samsung`s smartphone sales declined eight percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and its share dropped by 2.9 percentage points year-on-year.
Huawei, Oppo and BBK accounted for 21.3 percent of smartphones sold to end users worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 7.3 percentage points year on year. Offering high-performance, front-facing cameras and fast charging smartphones led Oppo to maintain the top position in China during the fourth quarter of 2016.
In the smartphone operating system market, Google`s Android extended its lead by capturing 82 percent of the total market in the fourth quarter of 2016, the report noted.  

A detached, unhurried reading of Budget 2017 does lead one to conclude that it was not a run of the mill Budget. It was different, both in what it did, and what it did not do. It was a state-of-the-art workmanlike Budget with one flaw—it hesitated to go the full, logical distance in tax reforms. Why? Likely because it is waiting for a near-optimal political and economic moment February next year.
In several articles preceding this Budget, and ever since the demonetisation (DeMo) policy announced on November 8, I have argued that the key post-DeMo goal of the government should be to create a political and economic environment conducive to considerably less creation of black money. I had identified three key areas for policy. First, individual income tax compliance must be made to increase, and as jointly argued with Arvind Virmani, this would not happen unless incentives (carrots) were given to taxpayers for them to come into the tax net and for them to declare a larger fraction of their income. Second, the real estate sector needed to be cleaned up, for it was a major sink for black money. Third, election-funding policies needed to be urgently reformed—this politician-dominated sector is one of the largest black sinks.

On the latter two policy objectives, the Budget has been extraordinarily innovative—especially on election funding. In addition to black money, the other problem plaguing the Indian economy has been the low rate of growth of capital formation (investment) by the private sector. This, I had emphasised, was very likely due to the extraordinarily high rates of taxation of profits in India.
For 96% of firms (all those with turnover less than R50 crore), the corporate tax rate has been reduced by 5 percentage points—from 30% to 25%. This is just not enough, and possibly a major clean-up will be presented in next year’s Budget when (hopefully) a no-exemption corporate tax rate of 18-20% will be implemented for all firms, big and small.
Personal income tax (PIT) rates: Modi-Jaitley have taken a significant step forward by halving the tax rate (from 10% to 5%) for the lower middle-class of taxpayers (earning between R2.5 lakh and R5 lakh). Even taxpayers earning between R5 lakh and R50 lakh will have their tax outgo reduced by R12,500. For those earning between R50 lakh and R1 crore there is a tax surcharge of 10%, and the surcharge for incomes above R1 crore is retained at 15%

Ruling out rollback of the proposal to restrict tax incentive for second home to Rs 2 lakh per annum, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia today said there is no point in subsidising purchase of second property by those who have surplus funds.
Moreover, he added that the tax incentive for second home loan borrower is being "virtually misused." Citing limited resources, he said it is prudent to subsidise first-time buyer and not the second property owner who is not staying in that but earning income from the second unit.
The Finance Bill 2017 has restricted set-off of loss towards second home against other heads of income up to Rs 2 lakh under Section 71 of the Income Tax Act. Under the present dispensation, there is no such limit for set-off of loss from house property, which is mainly the difference between the rental income and interest on home loan. In other words, a buyer could deduct the entire net interest paid on the home loan.

He cited an example: "If I have already my own house, I buy a new property by taking a bank loan of Rs 1 crore, the interest on it is Rs 10 lakh per annum and I rent it out to somebody who gives out Rs 3 lakh as rent, the remaining Rs 7 lakh you could offset against your salary income or business income." The loss to the government for the second house were almost one third of that, he said, adding that it came to about Rs 3 lakh in addition to Rs 2 lakh advantage.
The Finance Bill, 2017, proposes to restrict such set-off of house property loss to Rs 2,00,000 per annum only. Balance loss, if any, will be carried forward to be set off against house property income of subsequent 8 years.  

Saturday, 04 February 2017 14:27

The union budget is a disappointment

At a time when credit growth at 5.1% was its lowest in 40 years, the union budget has done little to spur capital formation and drive investments and hence the budget presented by the NDA government on February 1, was a disappointment, said former finance minister P Chidambaram.
Analysing the budget at Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), he said "despite banks cutting interest rates, credit growth—which is a proxy for investment is at a 40 year low. This means that investors are unwilling to borrow and banks are unable to lend," he said.
The gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), he said has dropped to the negative zone in 2016-17. It is now (-)0.2%. It has been falling from 4.9% in 2014-15 to 3.9% in 2015-16. "This means that there is no positive investment is happening in India now. It also means that more factories are closing down than new opens being opened," he said.

Recalling NDA's promise of creating two crore new jobs, he said during 2015-16 1.5 lakh jobs were created. "That was their best year," he said. In the following year 2016-17 only 77000 jobs were created, as per data released by Labour Bureau claimed Chidambaram. "Of this 50,000 were government jobs. And 12000 jobs were lost in software, IT and communication," he said, adding that the budget did little to create jobs.
"The government has lost a huge opportunity," he said. When there was a need to cut indirect taxes to spur demand, the budget cut direct taxes that too for a small section of the people, that too a pitiful sum. "The pitiful cut of 5% in income tax will benefit only 1.98 crore tax payers,' he said, terming no changes to indirect taxes as a cardinal mistake.
"It is terrible. If you had cut indirect taxes, prices will get cut, that will increase consumption and drive demand. However, if direct taxes are cut, people will end up saving the tax in their bank accounts," Chidambaram said. The budget at best will ensure a GDP growth of maximum 6.5% in the 2016-17 and the same for 2018-19. "I do not see any significant change to that," he said.  

You already know that the budget didn't have any specific sops for mutual funds. Does that mean it won't have any impact on your mutual fund investments? "Budget didn't have anything directly impacting the mutual fund schemes. But, there were things which will indirectly have an impact on the schemes," says Rajiv Thakkar, Chief Investment Officer, PPFAS Mutual Fund.
"Budget didn't have anything directly impacting the mutual fund schemes. But, there were things which will indirectly have an impact on the schemes," says Rajiv Thakkar, Chief Investment Officer, PPFAS Mutual Fund.
The finance minister's thrust on infrastructure, fiscal discipline, etc are likely to have positive impact on both equity and debt markets. Also, implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) is also going to have a huge impact on the markets.

The expectation of rate hikes is not there, so we are expecting the fixed income market to do well. It can be a good investment choice," says Rajiv Thakkar. The finance minister's decision to stick to the fiscal roadmap has boosted hopes for further rate cuts by RBI. If it happens, it will be a huge positive for debt mutual fund schemes, especially for long-term debt schemes.
Market pundits also believe that the non-populist and rational tone of the budget are likely to strengthen the macro-economy and boost the fortunes of equity markets.
However, don't commit the mistake of changing your investment strategy on the basis of likely returns from different investment avenues, say fund managers. "Asset allocation and goal should be your primary focus," says Mahesh Patil. Rajiv Thakkar adds that investors should know their risk appetite before making any investment.  

It's official! Apple will make iPhones in India at Bengaluru facility. Although there is no mention on the production date, some media reports say that it is expected to begin in June.
The Government of Karnataka has said it welcomes Apple Inc.'s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the city. "Apple's intentions to manufacture in Bengaluru will foster cutting edge technology eco system and supply chain development in the state, which are critical for India to compete globally," an official release signed by Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge said.
The release did not detail about what the initial manufacturing operations would be. However, reports quoting highly placed government sources had earlier said that the iconic iPhones would be manufactured in Bengaluru by Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple. Local manufacturing is expected to help Apple price its phones more competitively in India as it currently attracts 12.5 percent additional duty on imports.

This would be Apple's second big project for Bengaluru. In May, Apple had announced setting up a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community. The announcement was made as part of the visit of Apple CEO Tim Cook to India.
Though the central government has told Apple that it would have to source 30 percent of its components from Indian suppliers, Apple is seeking a 15-year tax holiday on import of components and equipment. With many states wooing Apple for its Indian plant in their cities, the iPhones maker has been exploring a best deal, including tax reliefs and exemptions from local sourcing.  

Online retail giant Amazon has sought government nod to set up food e-retail venture in India, as per a report in a financial daily. A report in the Economic Times said that Amazon has “applied to the government to invest $500 million in a wholly-owned venture in India” which will allow it “stock locally produced food items and sell them online”.
Should Amazon recieve government's permission, it will become the first foreign retailer to enter the segment, the ET said.

"We are excited by the government's continued efforts to encourage FDI in India for a stronger food supply chain. We have sought an approval to invest and partner with the government in achieving this vision," an Amazon spokesperson told ET.
Quoting a source, ET said that Amazon has filed its application with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). “Amazon plans to invest $500 million over five years and could start selling locally-produced food items within six months of obtaining approval,” ET quoting the source said.  

We all know how miserable the cold or flu can be - stuffy nose, runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, watery eyes, etc.
Colds and flu are highly contagious viral infections of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. These are very common and clear up on its own within a week or two. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the average cold lasts seven to ten days.

But when your cold lasts much longer or keeps coming back, it can lead to other health-related complications. While what you eat and how you go about your day can have a huge influence on how long your sickness will last, it's always safe to visit a doctor about any illness or health issue, including colds and flu.
Here are five things that could be the cause of prolonged cold or the flu:
► Unhealthy diet
► Low on fluids

► Stress
► Smoking
► Inadequate sleep

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