I take this opportunity to wish a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2021 to you, your family and your friends. For the year gone by, 2020, the best we can say is, ‘the more unexpected something is, the more there is to learn from it’. While 2020 was a forgettable year, there were many leaps made in the digital arena for which we will always remember it. The New Year comes with new resolutions and it needs determination and commitment to drive these resolutions to make them part of our routine.
‘Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day’.
On a personal note, I recently experienced my first Himalayan winter trek to Kedar Kantha in Uttarakhand. It was around 12,500 feet above sea level and I had an adventurous experience climbing to that height. I will always remember and treat as a New Year resolution the following words of our trekking guide which are relevant even in our everyday life, both professional and personal:
‘In trekking, speed and competition is not relevant, it is also not important who reaches there first, the endeavour is to experience and explore the nature around us with heart and soul.’
Recently, the results of the first phase of the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) were released. There was good news in the shape of an increase in childhood immunization, a drop in neonatal mortality, a decline in infant mortality rates and so on. The bad news was a rise in obesity, especially among women and children driven by the lack of awareness of good food habits, resulting in greater consumption of high-fat, high-sugar foods and sedentary lifestyles. Let’s resolve to follow a New Year goal on the health front as described in the following lines:
‘Your body is the only permanent address where you live and no one else can help your body other than you.’
In January every year, the BCAS with other sister organisations supports a Lecture Meeting in memory of the giant personality, the Late Nani Palkhivala. This year, the Board of Trustees has decided it will not happen because of the pandemic. As President of the BCAS for 2020-21, I will miss the opportunity to recall, remember and pay homage to that unique, pre-eminent legal soul and human being par excellence and to interact with seniors and speakers on the occasion. In the words of Nani himself:
‘India is eternal, everlasting. Though the beginnings of her numerous civilisations go so far back in time that they are lost in the pages of history, she has the gift of perpetual youth. Her culture is ageless and is as relevant to our twentieth century as it was twenty centuries before Christ.’
In the coming few days, the winds of the Union Budget 2021 would start blowing. The Budget will be presented on 1st February by our Finance Minister, Mrs. Nirmalaji Sitharaman. BCAS uploaded its pre-budget memorandum within the specified time limit and we expect due consideration to various valid and ‘ease of tax compliance’ suggestions made by us on Direct, Indirect and International tax aspects. The memorandum is available on the BCAS site and social media. Mrs. Sitharaman’s following statement in the public domain is assuring:
‘I am conscious that the forthcoming Budget will have a vibrancy that is so required for the economy's revival, its sustainable revival.’
The BCAS International Taxation Committee has launched its flagship event, the 21st course on DTAA, to be conducted on a virtual platform. It is a comprehensive course on international taxation, including an overview of BEPS, MLI, digital taxation and so on. May I request you to enrol on or before 15th January and avail the early bird benefits.
I wish all of you a Happy Makar Sankranti, Lohri and Pongal. On 26th January, 2021 India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day. I wish you all on this glorious occasion.
With Best Regards,
CA. Suhas Paranjpe