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Indian ISPs Taxed for Generating "Light Energy" 293

Posted by kdawson
from the slippery-slope dept.
CaptKeen writes, "The Hindu is reporting that the Indian Government is trying to tax optical broadband providers (think fiber to the premises) for generating 'light energy.' According to the Commercial Tax Department, optical broadband providers operate on light energy which is 'artificially created and sold to customers for the purpose of data transmission and information.' This classification would make Internet access goods (since you are buying light) as opposed to service — and would be subject to a 12.5% VAT."
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Indian ISPs Taxed for Generating "Light Energy"

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  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by revlayle (964221) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:54PM (#16380747) Homepage
    it's gotta be a cheaper tax than that *heavy* energy...
  • by BSAtHome (455370) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:55PM (#16380753)
    That will be billed per photon then?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Do I get a tax refund if my upload ration is larger than one ?
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:45PM (#16382493) Journal

        The amount of light generated by the customer should be equal to the amount being generated by the other end, unless you send a significantly disproportionalte number of 1 bits versus 0 bits. See Manchester Encoding [abdn.ac.uk].

        The money changes hands in exchange for actually routing the data back and forth, not for providing the light. Where the light is concerned, you have a like-for-like (light-for-light?) exchange between two parties with no financial transaction involved. So basically, the companies should simply tell the government that the two parties performed a like-for-like exchange of equivalent amounts of light, and that no additional money changed hands as a result of any inequality in the number of zero (high) bits. Therefore, since 15% of zero is zero, no tax is owed. Problem solved.

        • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:11PM (#16382871)
          So basically, the companies should simply tell the government that the two parties performed a like-for-like exchange of equivalent amounts of light, and that no additional money changed hands as a result of any inequality in the number of zero (high) bits. Therefore, since 15% of zero is zero, no tax is owed. Problem solved.

          You obviously do not know how to think like a bureaucrat. You can't avoid paying taxes on transactions just because you don't use money as payment. If a like-for-like exchange was made, then clearly taxation needs to be levied in both directions, bringing the total taxation revenue level to 30%.
  • by skraps (650379) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:55PM (#16380755)
    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.
    Oh noes, they already shut off the light!
  • Wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:55PM (#16380761)
    This sounds reasonable and ingenious.
    • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ZWithaPGGB (608529) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:17PM (#16381155)
      Like India REALLY needs more government interference and disincentive to investment.

      When will people learn that you get less of what you tax more? Good news for all those US and European workers worried about losing their jobs to offshoring! India is shooting themselves in the foot.
      • Government interference is so bad that the 20th century was the greatest period of stagnation in human history.....oh wait.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          100 million people dead by government action. That's progress!
      • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:39PM (#16382375) Journal
        First of all, you can only tax the 1-bits, not the 0-bits, so the tax thugs have over-estimated by a factor of two. Second, as other people have pointed out, the customer is also transmitting light back, so the *real* energy transmission that would be subject to VAT is at most the number of excess 1-bits transmitted from the carrier to the customer, because this is a value-ADDED tax. So probably no more than 1% of the bits are excess one-bits, and therefore no more than 1% should be taxable, and if you were to measure the traffic you could probably get a better estimate.


        Now, if you want to do the accounting properly, you should separate out the cost of the energy used in producing the light, as opposed to the cost of the information. So the wattage used to drive the transmission gear ought to be easy to measure, because that's the energy used to generate light. What percentage of the total electricity used by the ISP goes to the lasers, as opposed to the servers, routers, etc.? How much did they spend on electricity? How much is that as a percentage of the total price of the service?


        If the stupid tax thugs want to cripple their economy through rent-seeking, make sure they only get the correct rent...


        When I first started working with Indian businesses in the early 90s, my opinion was that the best thing anybody could do for the world economy was to ask their telecom regulation bureaucrats how much of a bribe it would take to get them to go away and leave everybody alone. A billion dollars? Pay it! Of course, nobody did that, but telecom did gradually get some partial liberalization, and the Bangalore call center business alone went from near-zero to a billion dollars, then two, then five billion a year, and I've lost track of its growth since then. There's still a lot of trouble - VSNL had a lock on the submarine cable landings, so there were terabits of traffic going by the harbor in Mumbai but only a few gigabits were allowed to land, and they were very expensive because of their scarcity and the toll they extracted for using the services, whereas other carriers can haul bandwidth around the country for costs (as opposed to prices) that resemble the costs in the EU or US. India may have economic development issues that make it a bit more expensive, but that's more like a factor of 2, not 10, and the cost of right-of-way for cable routes should probably be much lower, which makes up for some of it.

    • Not Really... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:19PM (#16381183) Homepage Journal

      This sounds reasonable and ingenious.

      Insidious, maybe. But "Buying Light" suggests it's only unidirectional, what's really happening is you're exchanging light, with a net of 0.

      • Doesn't that really depend on the data involved? Sure, for any random set of data, the net will be close to zero- but in reality it's whichever side gets the most 1s.
      • But they can tax it both directions. The customer has to have lasers to send respose packets and upload whatever it is they need to upload. They can tax bot the Tx and Rx parts!!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ackthpt (218170) *

          But they can tax it both directions. The customer has to have lasers to send respose packets and upload whatever it is they need to upload. They can tax bot the Tx and Rx parts!!

          "Shut down error detection, shut down parity checking, shut down acknowledgements, shut down all outgoing light." - Memo from the PHB

  • ... I've got some electrons to sell you. Cheap! Interested?
    • Re:Psst... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:01PM (#16380903)
      Yeah but the problem with electrons is that you aren't buying them. All you are doing is renting them. Once you have finished using them you send them back to the provider. So in that way photons *are* different.

      I'm not sure of the Indian taxation system, but I would guess that a consumer is already paying the government for the privelage of getting electrons in the first place, which will then be used to turn the photons into useful information. This would smack of double taxation. But hey, the Australian government is happy doing this as we can pay government mandated GST on top of government mandated stamp duty.
      • Re:Psst... (Score:4, Funny)

        by russ1337 (938915) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:30PM (#16381349)
        In many countries you get money back if you can contribute to the grid. So, all I have to do is shine a light down the fibre, perhaps using the sun as a light source, and charge them! Somehow, I doubt they'll fall for this thou'.

        What about a tax break for giving back some of the light with each packet sent? - you have requests 'going out', and for each packet you receive you send back some kind of ACK.
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:56PM (#16380783) Homepage Journal
    ...I generate "wind energy" several times a day, but I don't ask the Government to pay for it, do I.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:08PM (#16381007)
      You're generating methane. That is a taxable energy source. You're gonna have to bottle that by law, so it can be metered. Or, we can have a meter attached...
    • The government already generates all the wind energy it can use and then some.

      Going back to the topic, so if I separate out the supply of light from the service component, presumably I only have to pay VAT on the light part.

  • After all ... "let there be light".
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by IWannaBeAnAC (653701)
      Yeah, why not? In the same vein that cigarette tax goes to fund the health budget, the bible tax could fund the military budget.
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:56PM (#16380789)
    as I understand that 10/10 is the equivalent for them.
    • by OmnipotentEntity (702752) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:06PM (#16380965) Homepage
      News to me and to wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_10 [wikipedia.org]

    • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:08PM (#16380999)
      Unfortunately, to paraphrase Faraday, nothing is too stupid to be true.

      In some jurisdictions compressed air is considered a "tangible commodity" and therefore subject to sales tax (not VAT or GST, but ordinary sales tax that nominally applies only to manufactured goods.) The dive shop in my home town had a letter from the provincial government posted explaining this, as a lot of customers were asking, "Why the hell to I have to pay provicial sales tax when I get my tanks filled--isn't this a service? And aren't services not subject to provincial sales tax?"

      So the bottom line is that governments have always been willing to redefine terms and just make stuff up when it helps generate tax revenue. Much like every other human organization, in fact.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209)
        So the bottom line is that governments have always been willing to redefine terms and just make stuff up when it helps generate tax revenue.
        It's the government. If they want to tax it they can, unless they are voted out of office. The only thing I don't get is why try to rationalize the tax with this weird explanation? Why not just say "we need more tax revenue and are extending VAT to information services"?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SirTalon42 (751509)
          By doing it this way they can claim that its not a new tax, it had just gone unnoticed, so you shouldn't blame them.
  • Tomato (Score:5, Informative)

    by aralin (107264) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:56PM (#16380795)
    It's like the US government reclassifying tomato as a vegetable so it can impose the import tarif on it. Governments always look for ways how to tax the hell out of you. Nothing new here. Move along.
    • Re:Tomato (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:29PM (#16381331) Homepage Journal
      No, actually, it's more like the US government reclassifying ketchup as a tomato and therefore giving schoolchildren their "daily requirement of vegetables" in public school lunches that consist of a corn dog, some ketchup, and potato chips.

      In other words it makes no sense at all but they did it anyway (under Reagan).
      • by thebdj (768618)
        Bah, why have three items. Pepperoni pizza...meat, dairy, vegetable and bread....all in one.
  • by Mayhem178 (920970) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:56PM (#16380801)
    Let's put them all on a shuttle and send to them collect billions of years of back taxes from the sun.
  • The hell? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:57PM (#16380807) Homepage
    Did Senator Stevens move to India or something? Internet access is definitely a service. When you buy FTTP, it's definitely NOT for the light that goes through the wires. You're buying it for the data that the light transmits. You're buying it for the access to the internet. Most people won't even care how that data gets to their PC.
    • Re:The hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by negative3 (836451) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:06PM (#16380969)
      This article is inducing some serious cognitive dissonance for me. I find this article seriously disturbing.

      Taking the taxman's position in this article, one could impose the VAT on cellular telephone providers as they are doing the same thing, exhanging money for a specially encoded form of electromagnetic radiation. That's right - the only difference between visible light and radio waves is the frequency. You can not hold visible light in your hand just as you can not hold any EM waves.

      And FM radio gives their radiation away for free...must be communists or something
    • by El Torico (732160)
      You raise a good point, public servants are becoming less and less capable of understanding current technology and are too arrogant or apathetic to attempt to educate themselves. At first I was wondering if it is "Stupid Judges Week". I'm still wondering if this is a joke.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tchuladdiass (174342)
      I'd say the workaround for this is simple. It's just a biling item. The ISP would have the bill split into a service and product section. The product would be the light photons, charged at a flat rate of a dollar a month (or rupe, or whatever). The rest of the bill would be for the service of turning the light on and off. So only the "product" portion would be taxable.

      Of course, then the ISP would get into trouble for the unfair practice of "bundling" one item (the service) with another (the photons), s
  • Well, since it is both an upstream and downstream link, you just send their light back to them and get your money back. Sort of like the deposit some places have on glass bottles. You're just "borrowing" the light, which can then be recycled.

    Can anyone in India tell me whether this is an honest attempt at doing something stupid, or do you guys have the equivalent of Ted Stevens and his "Internet Tubes"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kazymyr (190114)
      No no no...

      They will tax the end users too for "generating and sending light power" themselves.
  • Do people get to keep the light they pay for then?
  • Light Goods (Score:4, Funny)

    by celardore (844933) * on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:58PM (#16380843)
    This classification would make Internet access goods (since you are buying light) as opposed to service


    I used to work for a logistics company, and we dealt with 'light goods' all the time.


    Oh.
  • by iamacat (583406) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:58PM (#16380845)
    We don't even get fiber to premises in Bay Area.
  • by jfmiller (119037) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @12:59PM (#16380849) Homepage Journal
    When the British empire controlled India, they levied a small tax on the production of all salt in the country. It was not that the government made much by this tax, nor was it that the people were burdened by it. But india ran on salt, and by taxing it the British controlled it. It was for this reason that Gandhi lead a march to the sea to do the very simple thing of making salt in oppisition to british rule.

    When I read that a government that was created by the power and witness of such acts now wished to tax the production and transmission of light, It makes me wonder if they have even read their history.

    JFMILLER
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172) *
      . . .india ran on salt, and by taxing it the British controlled it. . . It makes me wonder if they have even read their history.

      Why yes, yes they have.

      KFG
  • The local CTO (Commercial Tax Officer) will see the light and revoke the tax once these private ISPs pool enough money together and visit him in his home and offer a little maamool ;-)
  • by pauljuno (998497) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:01PM (#16380907)
    I'm curious as to whether or not this isn't an attempt by the Indian government to try and help re-distribute the wealth to a degree. My understanding is that there is a growing urban/rural conflict emerging as the elites in the major urban areas are growing wealther and wealthier due to outsourcing by wealthier nations to India and the rural areas continue to be rather impoverished. So the net impact on the populace is only going to be really hitting the urban areas and the new tax revenue could be used through-out the country. Not saying I like the idea of this tax, I'm just speculating on what could be the root idea behind it.
  • Shocked, I tell ya. Goverments will tax! Unbelievable!

    In related news, it's been proved that men are mortal, but behave as if they weren't.

  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:02PM (#16380913) Homepage Journal
    We are looking to find an algorythm which can compress data into as many 0's as possible.
    We will pay handsomly for such an algorythm since our light bill will be substantially lowered.
    Note, we have already tried piping the data through /dev/null and whilst this has the desired effect, we cannot rebuild the data at the other end.
    In this case, the lights are off but we are home.

    Incidentally, our engineers did try to come up with a novel way to transmit binary data using darkness alone.
    We transmitted a zero as a single off state, and a one as a double off state, this saves electricity and light but our engineers are again having trouble reading it.
  • Instead of a 12.5% VAT, shouldn't it be only 6.25% since it's "light" energy?
  • EE 101 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 955301 (209856)

    Nevermind that the photons don't go past the first repeater. Was anyone else reminded of when California tried to apply annual property taxes on satellites in orbit?

    Sometimes the principal that I hold so dear, that lawyers are the worst of all humans is tested by a group of legislators.
    • by rk (6314) *

      "Sometimes the principal that I hold so dear, that lawyers are the worst of all humans is tested by a group of legislators."

      I wouldn't worry about trading this principle, given the percentage of the latter that are also the former.

  • "Reporting a turnover and then claiming exemption is one thing. But some of the OFC operators don't even report their turnovers," Mr. Chitaguppi alleged.

    I'm sorry, is this /.?

    Today, it seems more like fark.
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:07PM (#16380983)
    So am I buying light? I'd say I'm buying information transport services. I don't want the light, I don't need the light, in fact I can't see the light and get the service I want. One could say the light is incidental to the data delivery. One could even claim you're not buying the light, but the dark pauses that carry the information.

    One way around it-- they could switch to infrared LED's, then you're not getting visible light.

    If they claim you're still getting heat, challenge them to feel the end of the fiber and detect any heat coming out.

    It does make Ben Franklin, or was it Faraday, apropos to today. Back then he was showing some govt official batteries and electromagnets. The official asked "What good is it?" Reply: "Soemday, you'll tax it".

    • Actually there is no light, only absence of dark, making this truly a scam. Not only are you buying something that doesn't exist (light) but you are paying taxes on it, and in fact the actual amoutn of energy that the bits require is far less than the light that is provided.

      The Dark Sucker Theory

      For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proved otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark Suckers. The Dark Sucker T
  • by Sergeant Beavis (558225) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:12PM (#16381055) Homepage

    I wish you 100% success in your initiative to tax light energy from Indian ISPs

    You will single handedly kill outsourcing to your country. Many American IT workers will deliver many thanks upon you

  • This is an example of the government using a blatent loophole to extract more taxes from people. When people use the same tricks to avoid being taxed it is called tax evasion and considered a crime.
  • ... until they tax anyone using sunlight to see?
  • The tax department should rebate a percentage of the tax they collect for the value of the paper on which the paid taxes are printed.
  • You may not get the behavior your desired but you always get the behavior you incent.

    What unforeseen behavior will this tax create to avoid it?
  • Light is Free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by richardtallent (309050) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:25PM (#16381277) Homepage
    The fiberoptic light energy is a *free* service, available to anyone without charge.

    However, if you would like the ISP to modulate some well-timed *dark* spots in the line for the purposes of data transmission, *that* is going to cost you.

    Since darkness (the absence of light) can't be defined as a product, no VAT.

    Problem solved.
    • by popo (107611)

      Very true. The "data" is just as much the absence of light as it is the presence of it.
    • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:28PM (#16382257) Homepage
      The fiberoptic light energy is a *free* service, available to anyone without charge.

      However, if you would like the ISP to modulate some well-timed *dark* spots in the line for the purposes of data transmission, *that* is going to cost you.

      Since darkness (the absence of light) can't be defined as a product, no VAT.

      Problem solved.


      Wait... So, you want to charge people for *not* shooting a laser at them. That's bloody brilliant.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      I'm reminded of the old saying about how government works;

      If it moves, tax it
      If it keeps moving, regulate it
      If it stops moving, subsidise it

      They have just figured out that light is actually doing the first of these... expect regulation soon!
  • I'd pay sales tax on photons if it meant I really owned them. Then anybody who tried to restrict what I could do with them could go piss up a rope.

    (Unless the Oppressors found a way to say that the photons are yours, but once you convert them back into bits, all their restrictions applied again.

    Which they probably would.

    btw, is the revolution any closer yet?)

  • This is utterly stupid, blockheaded, yep. D-Dumb! But if they want to have their cake... then surely one would have to offset the light received for the light return from the user to the ISPs. And I think we need to call some experts on PPPoE protocol but does a higher downstream actually have to do with more light coming thisaway than thataway? And it's not a lot of light to be sure, that's very expensive light. Could users not shine some light back? Can users get a tax break if they do a lot of uploading?

  • But please be aware that all verbal complaints are considered "sound energy" and will be taxed at
    $10 per nano-decibel.

    Thank you and have a nice day
  • Electricity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gebbeth (720597)
    Isn't the electricity used to generate the light already taxed?
  • Does having a really heavy rack in my datacenter mean that I'm slightly bending light, and thus modifying the "goods" in question? Does that mean that I'm also subject to a value-added tax of some sort? And if I look at my data through rose-colored glasses, then what... do some of the "goods" never get delivered? This is a lot to take in... but server virtualization is looking better every minute: fewer places for that light to actually go. Whew!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Oswald (235719)
      I'm sorry, what did you say? I started daydreaming after you said "really heavy rack."
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ScentCone (795499)
        I'm sorry, what did you say? I started daydreaming after you said "really heavy rack."

        Like I said, "value added." But, no extra charge, today.
  • Will users face the same power-generation taxes for sending packets back to the ISP?

    In the unlikely event that this ruling passes muster with the Delhi High Court, it could also hasten India's already-rapid migration to wireless broadband [sifycorp.com].

      -c.
  • by alphabetsoup (953829) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:39PM (#16381521)

    I am an Indian and I have no idea what the government is trying to achieve by this. India already has a tax on services, at 12%. How would changing the classification from goods to service help ? The tax revenue will be increasing by just 0.5%.

    In any case, this is being done only by a state government, so its valid only within that particular state. It will have no effect on any other parts of the country. And I expect this to be struck down by the courts anyway.

  • That was the sound of electromagnetism going over the heads of lawmakers worldwide.

    I love it.
  • I hope the Indian government sees the light and drops this.
  • In addition to the novel interpretation of communication signals as goods, there's this absurd claim that the telecommunication companies are commiting "tax evasion" by failing to comply retroactively with this peculiar interpretation of the tax law.
  • by posterlogo (943853) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:02PM (#16381903)
    ...and not get all racist here and make fun of another country (after all, our politicians still think of dump trucks and series of tubes). They know it sounds dumb, but the purpose was to levy a tax, and they achieved that goal.
  • by jonatha (204526) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:14PM (#16382061)
    Is electrical service subject to VAT in India?
  • by Clueless Nick (883532) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @02:17PM (#16382101) Journal
    This is one of innumerable instances where the bureaucracy (or an unbelievably numb part of it) will reclassify something at a whim and want to tax it. The motives are many - revenue to the exchequer, corruption, or just plain sadism.

    You've got to meet some of these revenue officials to realize what absolute crud they are actually.

    It should be clear to anybody having the slightest knowledge of business transactions and indirect taxation that the ISPs are not selling light energy, they are just providing data communication service. If we go by their logic, they would start levying VAT on the electrical charge in phone lines, microwaves for cellphones, radio waves, God knows what else.

    And as the value of the 'goods' being sold is much higher than the input cost, namely electricity, the value added could be computed as a major chunk of the rental/data transmission charges unless allowed to be set off by connectivity expenses.

    Oh well, not everyone in India has to worry about this, the tax is being assessed only in Karnataka, where Bangalore - and its most notorious, useless products are located. In a sense, it is moving forward quicker to the planned unification of VAT and Service Tax under GST. More power to you, o techie!

    -clueless
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:00PM (#16382733) Homepage Journal
    So India will finally decide if a photon is a particle or a wave [wikipedia.org]?

    this is great! SCREW YOU EINSTEIN!
  • Taxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @03:54PM (#16383515)
    Do you know the joke about "how come they didn't come up with tax for air?"

    It's pretty old as well. There's no reason for a government owning your ass to stop at such trivial obstacles such as common sense and morale. It just has to be legal.

    Coincidentally, what is legal is decided by the government. Man, I so wanna be in the next elections, come to think of it!
  • by gsn (989808) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @04:30PM (#16384061)
    Clearly, this entire comment page is a failure to understand the Indian mindset.

    Really what happened is the company (Airtel) didn't bribe some politician or offended one in some manner (such as an employee of the company playing his music too loud next door, or the company CEO refusing to let the politicians layabout son marry his daughter or some such, or indeed because the politicians astrologer told him it would be beneficial if he put shani in the 4th house of Airtel...).

    Clearly Airtel is in the deepest shit because
    "While the assessment on Airtel was completed and a notice issued to it for alleged tax evasion during the year 2005-06, no assessment has been concluded on other OFC broadband providers," A.K. Chitaguppi, Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, said.
    Ahh the Chitaguppis of this world are getting upitty these days.

    The problem will go away when either Airtel does bribe said politico or this goes to court for ten years and lawyers bicker back and forth using words that do not mean what they think they mean, and it dies a nice peaceful death. Or the politician does.

    In the event that this is the tax department trying to be "creative", I'd points out that cellular providers, radio providers and indeed basically any device that has a counter (your speedometer for instance)that you look at uses photons to transmit data to your cellphone/radio/eye. Ofcourse just imagine the increase in revenue if they taxed all those devices. Or argue that light is energy and Airtel (might be) is paying for their energy and simply changing energy from one form to another is a perfectly dull thing to do and is all allowed by this lovely little principle called conservation of energy.

    Also for your general light entertainment (hyuk hyuk) have a song. [haverford.edu]
  • by CptNerd (455084) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @07:07PM (#16385837) Homepage
    It's a shame we can't get a tax credit for every bit of "stupid" that government generates, of course, if we did then the government wouldn't get any revenue.

    Trouble with this law, US providers might see it and decide to start charging users for the light they "use".

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