Making Batik designs on cloth, saris and scarves and selling them as unique products helped this group of artists begin the Cholamandal Artists Village way back in 1965-66. “With half the ₹5000 we made from the sale, we bought half an acre of land in Injambakkam on East Coast Road (ECR). There was no electricity or even proper road there then. Only seven youngsters chose to come over. Now, over the years as artists sold their works, they contributed towards creating infrastructure and this space has grown,” recalled artist P. Gopinath, one of the founding members of the artists village.The village is currently celebrating its 54th annual art exhibition and it is doing this with a new partnership with Google Arts and Culture. “Around 80 images of art work by artists, who were part of the Madras Movement from 1940 to 1985 have been made available online. These are are part of the Museum of Madras Movement here,” explained M. Senathipathi, another founding … [Read more...] about ‘Madras Movement’ art goes online on Google
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I took an education loan of Rs 13 lakh at 8.6% in 2015. The outstanding now is Rs 8 lakh. I opted for a repayment period of eight years as the tax benefit on education loans is for eight years only. I have been claiming income tax exemption on the interest component of close to Rs 80,000 every year. Should I prepay my loan or continue? I am in the 30% tax bracket.Amit Maheshwari Partner, Ashok Maheshwary and Associates replies: Deduction on interest on loan taken for higher education can be claimed under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act. The deduction is allowed for eight years or until the interest is paid in full, whichever is earlier. Further, there is no upper limit on claiming this interest deduction. Hence, considering that you would not be able to reap any tax benefit for this interest payment beyond the eighth year, you can prepay the same within the next four years. A flat is owned jointly by three people. While two of them actually paid for the flat, the third name was … [Read more...] about Should you prepay your education loan before the repayment period of 8 years?
According to some international observers, the Lunar New Year sales figures indicate a plunge in Chinese consumption. Economic realities tell a different story. The Lunar New Year can be seen as a barometer of Chinese private consumption, because of the practice of gift-giving and family reunions. Consequently, both holiday data and their international coverage are of great interest. Record retail and catering earnings Here's the bottom line: During the Spring Festival holiday this month, Chinese retail and catering businesses generated more than 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion), setting a new record. And sales by retail businesses increased 8.5 percent from a year earlier. Here's how the data has been reported internationally: "the slowest increase since at least 2011" (Bloomberg), "Cooler pace of (sales) growth added to evidence the economy is slowing" (Reuters), "China's lunar new-year spending growth slowest since 2005" (Financial Times). A dramatic plunge in Lunar New Year sales … [Read more...] about Festival consumption defies doomsayers
As the spotlight has been on Japan's new Emperor Naruhito, the country’s economy is coping with half a decade of Abenomics: monetary injections, huge debt, and a proposed sales tax that could make things a lot worse by the fall. Ever since Shinzo Abe started his second stint as Prime Minister, Japan has focused on positive economic signals, which has sparked futile hopes, including a bad sales tax proposition. Japanese officials vow to stick to the planned tax hike in October (it has been delayed twice), barring a big economic shock. With the 2019 budget, Abe hopes to offset the adverse impact of the sales tax by returning much of the extra revenue to consumers via $18 billion of offsetting measures, instead of faster debt-reduction. But recently, the cabinet downgraded its headline economic assessment for the first time in three years. Manufacturing, housing and retail indicators reflect signs of weakness, while first-quarter figures, expected in May, could show a contraction … [Read more...] about Toward Japan’s economic end-game
The United States recently raised the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, while targeting another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports for potential punitive tariffs. As was to be expected, the yuan depreciated from 6.7 toward 6.9 against the US dollar, mainly on renewed trade tensions. China responded by imposing duties on $60 billion of US goods, starting June 1. In other words, instead of retaliating hard, China chose a mild response that highlights the importance of talks. The US administration may still be gloating over its misguided tariff stance. Yet the movement of the yuan may not be to the liking of the White House since it is likely to offset the tariff impact. Tariffs' impact on Chinese and Asian currencies Until the US' tariff escalation, China's currency was around 6.80 against the US dollar. That, however, was predicated on the expectation that cooler heads would prevail in the White House and a broad-scale trade war was avoidable. … [Read more...] about US’ futile quest for a yuan Plaza Accord