Night and Fog

Deadly French short film “Night and Fog” (1956) on the horrors of the concentration camps of the world war II.

The documentary is in a narrative form and it has used many shocking actual videos and photographs besides showing contemporary images of the concentration camps, the gas chamber, the buildings, the structures etc. Footages from the trains ferrying the inmates to the camps, their living conditions, the bunks, the toilets. Some live images of Himmler is also there in the film where he is asking his people to focus on destruction.

The visuals and videos are disturbing to say the least. They show us the horrors of the war in its brutal form. There is a surgical room where experiments are carried out on inmates.

I also saw a 9 hour documentary Shoah also focusing on the survivors of the concentration camps and detailing their experience.

This haunting documentary is made by Alain Resnais, The scripwiter Jean Cayol is a survivor of the Mauthusen-Gusen concentration camp.

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covid relaxations – debt listing

SEBI circular dated 29th April, 2021 giving certain relaxations to compliance deadlines in respect of debt listed securities, municipal bonds and commercial paper. Details are given below.

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compliance relaxations for SE intermediaries

SEBI circular dated 29th April, 2021 giving relaxations in deadlines in respect of compliances for trading members, clearing members, depository participants, KYC registration agencies as under:

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debenture trustees – compliance relaxations

SEBI circular dated 3rd May, 2021 giving relaxations in compliance deadlines to debenture trustees in view of the covid 2.0 pandemic for the quarter/ half year ended 31st March, 2021

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extension in GST due dates

from GST portal

Extension in dates of various GST Compliances for GST Taxpayers


Government has extended the dates of various compliances by Taxpayers under GST, through Central Tax Notification Nos. 10/202111/202112/2021113/202114/2021, all dated 1st May, 2021. The details are summarized below:

F. Filing of Form ITC-04: The due date for filing of Form GST ITC-04 (to be filed by Principal/Manufacturer for goods sent/received/supplied from Job Worker) for the quarter Jan-March, 2021, (due date 25th April, 2021) has been extended till 31st May, 2021

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GST relaxations – covid

from the GST portal

Waiver of interest and late fee to normal taxpayers (filing return on monthly or quarterly basis) and composition taxpayers, for the tax periods of March and April, 2021


Government has granted waiver from payment of interest and/or late fee to normal (Monthly / Quarterly) & composition taxpayers for the tax periods of March and April, 2021, through Central Tax Notification Nos. 08/2021 and 09/2021, both dated 1st May, 2021. The details are summarized below:

Relaxations in filing Form CMP-08 for Composition Taxpayers : For Quarter of Jan-March, 2021, instead of 18th April, 2021, Composition Taxpayers can now file their quarterly return in Form CMP-08, without interest up to 3rd May, 2021, with 9% reduced interest between 4th May to 18th May, 2021, and with 18% interest from 19th May, 2021 onwards.

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The Red Balloon

Award winning French short film “The Red Balloon” (1956) directed by Albert Lamorisse and starring his son Pascal Lamorisse.

Its a very interesting them, a red balloon follows a little boy wherever he goes. Its like the balloon has a mind of its own. The little boy leaves the balloon after some time, but still it follows him everywhere including when he goes to school by bus, inside the school compound etc.

There are school kids who want to kill the balloon but it escapes them all the time and sort of plays a game with the pursuers. Pascal walks on the street with the balloon when he passes a girl who is carrying a blue balloon and it also seems to have a mind of its own.

The school kids finally manage to quash it, but immediately thereafter all the balloons city rise up as in a tribute to the fallen balloon. Nice neat production and direction by Albert Lamorisse, manages to convey his thoughts through this short film .

This film won a spate of awards at the Oscars, Cannes, Palme d’Or etc.

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MCA relaxations – covid

Circular no. 6/2021 – Relaxations in levy of additional fees in filing of forms for companies/ LLPs, which fall due for filing between 1st April, 2021 and 31st May, 2021 can now be filed upto 31st July, 2021 without incurring any additional fee. This does not apply to the charge forms i.e. CHG-1, CHG-4, & CHG-9.

Forms which were due for filing before 1st April, 2021 will continue to incur additional filing fees though.

Circular no. 7/2021 – This applies to charge forms i.e. CHG-1 and CHG-9. This applies where the charge has been created or modified on or before 1/4/21 but the timeline for filing of such forms has not expired as on that date or where the creation or modification date is between 1/4/21 to 31/5/21.

In such cases the period between 1/4/21 to 31/5/21 will not be counted for the purpose of calculating no. of days from date of creation/ modification.

Additional filing fees will accordingly be calculated as if the 1st day after creation/ modification i.e 1/6/21.

This will not apply where the timeline for filing the said forms has already expired as on 1/4/21.

This does not also apply to form CHG-4 which is satisfaction of charges.

Circular no. 8/2021 – Gap between two meetings of board of directors which should normally not exceed 120 days between two consecutive board meetings has been allowed to extend upto 180 days for the quarters April – June 2021 and July – September 2021.

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monetary penalty on ICICI bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, by an order dated May 03, 2021, imposed a monetary penalty of ₹3 Crore (Rupees Three Crore only) on ICICI Bank Ltd. (the bank) for contravention of certain directions issued by RBI contained in Master Circular on ‘Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operation of Investment Portfolio by Banks’ dated July 01, 2015. This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with section 46 (4) (i) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (the Act).

It is not clear exactly what the violation was. Wish RBI could be more clearer when it releases such press releases so that the others banks, compliance officers, public, investors etc. know what is the violation for which the penalty is being levied.

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postponement of offline exams

Due to second wave of Covid – 19, Ministry of Education urged for the postponement of all offline examinations scheduled in the month of May, 2021.

In a letter addressed to all the heads of centrally funded institutions, Secretary,  Higher Education Shri Amit Khare has urged the Institutions to postpone all offline examinations scheduled in the month of May, 2021. The Online examinations, etc may however continue.

The letter also stated that the decision will be reviewed in the first week of June,2021.

The institutions have been further advised to ensure that if anyone in the institution needs any assistance it should be provided immediate possible help so that he/she comes out of the distress at the earliest.  All Institutions have to encourage eligible persons to go for vaccination and ensure that everyone follows COVID -19 appropriate behavior to remain safe.

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I am the Clay

Agonising story of an old couple in Korea fleeing the war as a refugee as Chinese and North Korean forces attack the South.

The old couple are on the road with their meagre belongings in a cart when they come across a boy lying in a ditch, wounded and barely alive. The woman suddenly feels compassion towards the boy and starts the nurse him whereas the old grumpy man wants to move along. They pick up the boy and lay him on the cart and the woman nurses him day and night.

The reach a refugee camp by which time, the boy has restored his strength a little and starts being useful to the old couple, though bewildered he is. On the way to the camp, they are forced to stay a few days and nights in an old abandoned cave, where the old woman thinks both the old man and the boy would die. But that does not happen and she feels the boy has bought them good luck. The boy fishes in a nearby frozen pond and brings back fish for them to eat.

They reach back to their own village and find it miraculously intact. By now even the old man is convinced that the boy has some magical powers so he urges him to stay on. But the boy has to go to his own village to find his people there.

Its a beautiful moving story of love, hope, courage, redemption, in a war torn country. Goodreads 3/5

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exemption from duty on covid imports

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Government has issued notifications exempting Basic Customs Duty and/or Health cess on imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period. These include

S. No.NotificationPurpose
 27/2021-Customs dated 20.04.21 (as amended by notification No.29/2021-Customs dated 30.4.21)Remdesivir injection/ API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBCD), Inflammatory diagnostic (markers) kits, till 31st Octber,2021
 28/2021-Customs dated 24.04.21Medical grade Oxygen, oxygen therapy related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc, and COVID-19 vaccines till 31st July, 2021

The Central Government had received a number of representations from charitable organizations, corporate entities, and other Associations/ entities outside India seeking exemption from IGST on the import of Covid-19 relief material (already exempted from customs duty), donated/received free of cost from outside India for free distribution. Accordingly, the Central Government has vide Ad hoc exemption Order number 4/2021 dated 3rd May, 2021 has granted exemption from IGST on import of such goods received free of cost for free distribution for covid relief.

This exemption shall apply till 30th June, 2021. It would also covers goods already imported but lying uncleared on the date of its issuance of exemptioni.e. today.

The exemption shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. State Government shall appoint a nodal authority in the State for the purpose of this exemption. As per section 2 (103) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, state include a Union territory with Legislature.
  2. The Nodal authority so appointed shall authorise any entity, relief agency or statutory body, for free distribution of such Covid-relief material.
  3. The said goods can be imported free of cost by a State Government or, any entity/ relief agency/ statutory body, authorized in this regard for free distribution anywhere in India.
  4. The importer shall before clearance of goods from Customs produce a certificate from the said nodal authorities that goods are meant for free distribution for Covid relief.
  5. After imports, the importer shall produce, to the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs at the port within a period of six months from the date of importation or within such extended period not exceeding nine months, a simple statement containing details of goods imported and distributed free of cost. This statement shall be certified by the said nodal authority of the State Government.

This exemption, shall thus enable import of the covid relief supply imported free of cost for free distribution without payment of IGST (upto the 30th June, 2021).

As customs duty is already exempt , these imports will not attract any customs duty or IGST.

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Zero for Conduct

Acclaimed short film “Zero for Conduct” (1933) directed by Jean Vigo wherein four students take over a boarding school in rebellion.

There is not much by way of a story here, the almost faded black and white images shows us that four boys are rebellious in the class. Even a couple of the teachers are shown as eccentric, one is shown as stealing things from the kids, another is clowning like Charlie Chaplin and third is doing hand stand in the class.

The kids are fed beans almost every day and there is strict disciplinary action against these four kids like asking them to stand in one place, grounding them for a day etc. The four kids plan and take over the school on the France’s Commemoration Day. The film ends with police entering the school premises.

Apparently the film is made as a result of Jean Vigo’s own experiences in a boarding school and the characters in the film also mirror some of his friends.

Production values for a 1933 film is quite good, though the print is quite out dated.

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insurance returns – covid extension

IRDA has issued a circular dated 30th April, 2021 allowing time upto 31st May 2021 for all returns to be filed by insurance intermediaries – those pertaining to period ending 31st March, 2021.

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tax compliances – covid relief

In  view  of  the  adverse circumstances arising due to the severe Covid-19  pandemic  and also in view of the several requests  received  from  taxpayers,  tax  consultants  &  other  stakeholders from across the country, requesting that  various  compliance  dates may  be  relaxed,  the  Government  has  extended  certain timelines today.

            In the light of multiple representations received (supra) and to mitigate the difficulties being  faced  by  various  stakeholders,  the  Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has, under section 119 of the Income-tax Act, 1961(the Act), provided the following relaxation  in respect of compliances by the taxpayers:

  1. Appeal to Commissioner (Appeals) under Chapter XX of the Act, for which the last date of filing under that Section is 1st April, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by 31st May, 2021, whichever is later;
  2. Objections to Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) under Section 144C of the Act, for which the last date of filing under that Section is 1st April, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time provided under that Section or by 31st May, 2021, whichever is later;
  3. Income-tax return in response to notice under Section 148 of the Act, for which the last date of filing of return of income under the said notice is 1st April, 2021 or thereafter, may be filed within the time allowed under that notice or by 31st May, 2021, whichever is later;
  4. Filing of belated return under sub-section (4) and revised return under sub-section (5) of Section 139 of the Act, for Assessment Year 2020-21, which was required to be filed on or before 31st March, 2021, may be filed on or before 31st May, 2021;
  5. Payment of tax deducted under Section 194-IA, Section 194-IB and Section 194M of the Act, and filing of challan-cum-statement for such tax deducted, which are required to be paid and furnished by 30th April, 2021(respectively) under Rule 30 of the Income-tax Rules, 1962, may be paid and furnished on or before 31st May, 2021;
  6. Statement in Form No. 61, containing particulars of declarations received in Form No.60, which is due to be furnished on or before 30th April, 2021, may be furnished on or before 31st May, 2021.

            CBDT Circular No.8/2021 in F. No. 225/49/2021/ITA-II dated 30.04.2021 issued. The said Circular is available on

            The above relaxations are the latest among the recent initiatives taken by the Government to ease compliances to be made by the taxpayers with the aim to grant respite during these difficult times.

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