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Thin edge of the wedge

S. Murlidharan
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I fail to understand why National Stock Exchange has been punished so severely by waiving off charges for currency futures trading.

Dharam Pal Tokas, Gurgaon

Competition laws the world over frown on predatory pricing perceived to be anti-competitive. Predatory pricing includes fee waiver. Apparently, predatory pricing may appear to benefit customers, but could well be the thin edge of the wedge which is why it is perceived to be anti-competitive. You must have heard introductory offers. The rationale is the same —hooking the customers by making the services availed of indispensable.

Walmart strategy

In the USA, Walmart follows a policy of allowing ungrudging refunds for sales returns. How does it sustain this?

Roshan Tulzapurkar, Mumbai

It is a marketing strategy, the one designed to win the goodwill of the customers and woo new ones. WalmMart not only accepts returns but also refunds the current price even if higher. It does not lose out much in the bargain because it in turn passes the buck up the supply chain. The vendors do not complain either because they would not like to alienate a power house like Walmart which gives huge volume business to them.

E-filing tax returns

The due date for filing income tax return is round the corner. What are the pros and cons of filing online?

Shantanu Bhonsle, Thane

The chief merit is the ease of filing which is always the case with structured computer software. No computation mistakes are likely with the calculator built into the system taking care of this. Returns are processed faster and refunds, if any, granted quickly. But the downside is the TDS part. There is sometimes a huge discrepancy between the TDS certificates in hand and what the system shows thanks to the lag between feeding of data into the system which could result in lesser credit for TDS than warranted. In fact, individuals wanting to file online are disenchanted by this and plump for manual filing.

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(This article was published on July 10, 2011)
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