Manmohan Singh says Demonetisation was not required at all
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Manmohan Singh says Demonetisation was not required at all

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the economy is on a "downhill path" because of the "adventure" of demonetisation undertaken last year which was not required at all, either technically or economically. Manmohan Singh, a renowned economist considered to be the architect of the reforms of early 1990s, said demonetisation has not been successful in any civilised country, except some of the Latin American nation. "I don't think demonetisation was at all required ... I don't think it was technically, economically necessary to launch this adventure," he said at the Indian School of Business (ISB) Leadership Summit here when asked if the note ban decision was the right one. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced on November 8 last year scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. He said the process involved withdrawing almost 86 per cent of the currency from circulation and "there was bound to be fallout which we are all seeing." Manmohan Singh made a speech before answering a few questions at the event. "The economy has slowed down as I had projected a few months ago as a result of demonetisation and also the fact that demonetisation has been accompanied by the GST, which is a good thing that we have done in the long term. But in the short term, there are glitches that need to be resolved. Therefore, the economy has experienced a downhill path," he said. He said the GDP growth was much higher in the last quarter of 2016-17 than the first quarter of this financial year. There are certain things that need to be done immediately, the former PM said. "When we were in office, investment rate in the economy was 35-37 per cent but now it is less than 30 per cent. Private investment in particular is not growing," he said. He added that India needs much more investment in public sector "but we cannot rely exclusively on public sector realise our development initiatives. We must also simultaneously work on a foreign exchange situation." Manmohan Singh, who had served as the country's finance minister over two decades back, said growth cannot take place at a high rate if banking system is not performing its task of providing money to entrepreneurs and to others who need to invest in our economy. Responding to a question on healthcare, he said it is one area where the country is not spending enough and not giving the required emphasis on preventive healthcare. Although private sector has a role to play, the public health problems require strong leadership and this is one area where markets are important but not the final solution, he said. Asked what he felt would be the role of the government in forseable future and its interactions with the private sector, Singh said, "government in our country cannot be wished away.." He said public sector spending is only 30 per cent of the GDP, which is not too big compared to many other nations. Infrastructure, public healthcare, agriculture are the areas where the government will remain important, he said.Responding to a question on globalisation, Manmohan Singh said it is here to stay. Despite what US President Donald Trump said in his election campaign, the American public opinion will prevail, he said. "Also, I feel in Europe too there is today recognition of multilateral trading system. China today has become a great champion of globalization," he said.
Asked if the US president was being protectionist, the former Prime Minister said, "I am quite confident the US president's current thinking will not last more than a year or so."
0 0 45 23 September, 2017 Alternative, Business Top, Economy, india more
Belated income tax return and its consequences
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Belated income tax return and its consequences

If you think you will miss the extended income tax return filing deadline also, there's still a chance for you to file your return. However, there are certain points you need to understand before you make up your mind to avail this last chance. Returns filed after the due date are referred to as 'Belated Returns'. Below is your primer on filing belated tax returns: What is belated income tax return? If an individual fails to file the income tax return by the due date, then as per section 139(4) of the income tax he can file a belated return. What is the deadline to file belated ITR? A belated return can be filed at any time before the end of the relevant assessment year or before completion of assessment, whichever is earlier. If you are filing a belated return for FY16-17 then you need to fill the applicable ITRs as notified for this FY only and not for any previous or later FY. The relevant assessment year for a financial year is the immediately succeeding financial year. This means that you can file belated return for FY2016-17 by March 31, 2018 i.e. before the end of of the current assessment year (AY2017-18). Can you revise belated tax returns? Yes, I-T return for the FY 2016-17 and onwards filed under section 139(4), which is belated tax return can be revised. However, belated returns filed for previous financial years cannot be revised because the income tax law for this was changed from FY 2016-17 onwards. Is there a penalty? No, the penalty for filing income tax return after due date is only applicable from FY 2017-18. The government has introduced a maximum late fee of Rs 10,000 for delayed filing of income tax return by individuals in the last budget presented in February this year. However, this fee is applicable with effect from April 1, 2018 and will not apply for returns filed for FY2016-17 for which the deadline as of now is August 5, 2017.
0 0 92 05 August, 2017 Alternative, Business, Economy, life more
Modi govt to introduce Housing Challenge
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Modi govt to introduce Housing Challenge

After successful implementation of Smart City Challenge aimed at improving livability in Indian cities, the government is set to boost its Housing for All scheme, where a competition — Housing Challenge — would be conducted to select the most cost-effective technology to provide affordable housing for citizens.
The National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), under the ministry of housing affairs, would provide a housing model to the states and frame the problems that states are likely to face, including dwelling units, funding of the project. The ministry has identified 25 cities where the model can be rolled out on a pilot basis.
The NBCC has drafted 16 different construction technologies approved for Housing for All, as well as different public private partnership models, the business daily added.
What is 'Housing for All' scheme?
The government has identified 305 cities and towns in nine states for the beginning of construction houses for the urban poor.
The construction of the first 10,000 dwelling units in the first phase of ‘Housing for all’ project under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) will begin in Maloya in August. Out of the 10,000 units, there will be 3,500 dwelling units for the economically weaker section, 3,000 for low-income group, 2,000 for the middle-income group (MIG-I) and 1,500 for MIG-II. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015.
The government received an impressive 127,000 applications under the scheme and is currently carrying out screening to select eligible candidates. About 50,000 people in Chandigarh are proposed to get housing in 10 phases by 2022. ICICI Bank and AU Housing Finance will reportedly provide subsidized home loans and funding to the people eligible for this scheme.
 
0 0 90 04 August, 2017 Economy, india, life more
Government ends subsidy on kerosene
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Government ends subsidy on kerosene

The government has taken further steps to gradually reduce subsidy on kerosene, continuing the series of market-oriented reforms that have galvanised the petroleum sector and attracted big-ticket investment after an era of excessive controls, controversies and untargeted subsidies that made it difficult for private companies to operate. In a recent communication, it has asked state oil companies to keep raising prices of subsidised kerosene by 25 paise every fortnight until the subsidy is eliminated, or until further orders, sources said. The oil ministry had earlier ordered a similar increase only up to July this year. The fuel is still heavily subsidised but demand for kerosene is falling sharply because villages are being rapidly electrified and the government has supplied cooking gas connections to crores of poor people in the past three years. Delhi and Chandigarh are already kerosene-free cities. Subsidised kerosene is also misused to adulterate diesel. Officials said oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan is keen to ensure that market pricing of fuels does not hurt the interests of the poorest sections of society. Pradhan has led a massive drive to give 2.5 crore cooking gas connections to the poor. The price of cooking gas is also being increased gradually to eventually align it with market rates. The government has been aggressively discouraging use of subsidised kerosene, mainly used by the rural poor for lighting and cooking, as it is a polluting fuel and sometimes ends up as an adulterant at petrol pumps. By cutting subsidies, the government is bringing the commodity closer to the market price, which will eventually stop diversion for adulteration as well as encourage consumers to switch to the cleaner liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A record expansion of cooking gas, especially into the rural and remote areas, and increased supply of electricity in the past three years of the Modi government have provided a cleaner substitute for cooking and lighting to people dependent largely on kerosene so far. Kerosene consumption has fallen 21 per cent to 66,78,447 kilo litres in 2016-17 mainly on 20 per cent cut in allocation to states by the Centre. A financial incentive to states taking voluntary allocation cuts has also begun helping reduce kerosene sale. The under-recovery for kerosene shrank to Rs 11.39/litre in 2016-17 from Rs 27.93/litre in 2014-15. For a subsidised cooking gas cylinder, the underrecovery went down to Rs 108.78 in 2016-17 from Rs 409.72 in 2014-15.
MAJOR REFORMS Kerosene and cooking gas are the only fuels currently subsidised by the government. Pradhan had earlier lifted controls on diesel, which prompted Reliance Industries and Essar to build new petrol pumps. British oil major BP Plc has also taken approval to set up petrol pumps in India.
BP and its partner Reliance have also announced investment of $6 billion in developing a deep-sea gas field, following the government's decision to reform gas prices and allow higher rates for gas in challenging terrains.
Other reforms undertaken by the government include the end of the controversial profit-sharing system, which obliges the oil ministry to closely monitor oilfield expenditure, leading to bitter disputes with private investors. The new exploration policy also allows market price for gas and gives companies the freedom to carve out exploration blocks themselves.
0 0 86 03 August, 2017 Alternative, Economy more
Finance Ministry: Number of taxpayers increased after demonetisation
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Finance Ministry: Number of taxpayers increased after demonetisation

The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said the number of income tax payers has increased after demonetisation. From the date of demonetisation and March 31, 2017, 1.96 crore returns were filed as compared to 1.63 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2015-16 and 1.23 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2014-15, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance said in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. "Demonetisation seeks to create a new 'normal' wherein the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real. This exercise is a part of Government's resolve to eliminate corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror funding," Gangwar added. The government has collected over Rs 1.80 lakh crore in direct tax till July 15 in the current fiscal, an increase of 21.4 pre cent year-on-year, "belying" fears of slowdown in economic activities. "The current growth rate is higher than the target rate of 15.32 required to achieve the Budget Estimate," Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. The government aims to collect Rs 9.8 lakh crore through direct taxes in 2017-18. The minister further said the current growth rate in direct tax collections is "quite healthy, belying any apprehension of reduction" in the level of economic or commercial activities. He said the government has taken several initiatives to boost economic activity in the country and several measures were announced in the Budget 2017-18. Replying to another question, Gangwar said the number of cyber crimes pertaining to credit card, ATM, debit card and internet banking shows a marginal increase of 4.4 per cent from 13,083 in 2014-15 to 13,653 in 2016-17. He said the Reserve Bank has mandated banks to put in place a board approved cyber-security policy, which covers the risks threats and the measures to address these risks.
0 0 86 02 August, 2017 Economy, finance, Money more
IndiGo offers tickets starting Rs 1111 to mark 11th anniversary
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IndiGo offers tickets starting Rs 1111 to mark 11th anniversary

It's good time to book flight tickets, if you have plans to travel in the next few months, as low-cost carrier IndiGo is offering tickets starting from Rs 1,111. IndiGo is offering the tickets at discounted rates to mark the airline's 11th anniversary. Buyers can book the tickets between August 2 and August 6 to avail the offer. And, the travel date should be between August 21 to March 24, next year. The offer is valid only on select non-stop flights. Metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata - and smaller cities - Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Pune, Ahmedabad - where the IndiGo flights ply are covered in the list. IndiGo's scheme is also valid for some of its international destinations such as Sharjah, Singapore, Muscat, Dubai, Doha. Travellers can avail the discounts and book the tickets on IndiGo's all booking channels. However, the discount will be subject to availability. There's a separate offer for fliers who pay for their tickets through MobiKwik. Under this Offer, the customer may be eligible for "SuperCash" of 11% upto INR 600 on bookings made on www.goindigo.inor IndiGo Mobile App with MobiKwik. IndiGo lists the below terms and conditions on its website for the offer:
  • This offer is valid only on select non-stop flights from Agartala, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bagdogra, Bangkok, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Doha, Dubai, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Jammu, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Madurai, Mangalore, Mumbai, Muscat, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Sharjah, Singapore, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Udaipur, Vadodara, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam.
  • This offer is applicable on bookings made 15 days prior to travel.
  • This offer is subject to availability.
  • The offer is applicable on all our booking channels.
0 0 68 02 August, 2017 Business Top, Economy, offers, Travel more
Goodbye, Long Queues! Mumbai Metro to Launch India’s First Mobile Ticketing System.
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Goodbye, Long Queues! Mumbai Metro to Launch India’s First Mobile Ticketing System.

Mumbai Metro commuters will no longer have to carry their smartcards, stand in long queues to buy tickets or monthly passes to ride the city’s Metro. All they need is a smartphone. In a move to ease commuter woes, Mumbai Metro One announced the launch of India’s first mobile ticketing system, OnGo, on Wednesday. This system will help commuters pass the AFC (automated fare collection) gates using their mobile phones, an official told The Indian Express. The commuters will be able to buy tickets or monthly passes using the Mumbai Metro app on their smartphone. Once they make the payment using their mobile wallet or e-wallet, a QR code will be generated. The gate’s sensor will then scan this code and let them access the platform. “The new feature, the only one of its kind in the country, will add to the overall Metro experience of the commuters. We will endeavour to introduce even more customer-centric benefits in future,” said a Mumbai Metro One spokesperson. OnGo will be particularly convenient for commuters wanting to purchase tokens or passes while not being at the Metro station. The other benefits include: commuters can generate a QR code for journeys planned a week in advance. Apart from the app, tickets can also be bought through the payment partners’ apps.   The officials, however, do not plan to stop the sale of single and return journey tokens, 45-trip monthly passes and store value passes over the counter. “Most popular Metros in the world such as the London underground and the New York and Singapore subways use mobility cards,” said a senior official. The mobile ticketing system will also be introduced in the Delhi and Kolkata Metros soon. According to the officials, over 15,000 smartcards are bought daily by commuters. “The benefits of this new system are enormous. No longer will 1.60 lakh commuters have to wait in queue,” the official said. The system is currently in its advanced stage of testing and will be launched by mid-August.
0 0 55 01 August, 2017 Economy, india more
Shaikh Khalifa issues new Tax Procedures Law in UAE
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Shaikh Khalifa issues new Tax Procedures Law in UAE

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued the landmark Federal Law No. 7 of 2017 for Tax Procedures, which sets the foundations for the planned UAE tax system, regulating the administration and collection of taxes and clearly defining the role of the Federal Tax Authority (FTA).
The Federal National Council (FNC) approved the draft law in March this year and with the presidential approval to the tax law, the country now has a legal framework for taxation, implementation and administration. “The Tax Procedures Law is a significant milestone towards establishing the UAE’s tax system and diversifying the economy,” said Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and FTA Chairman.
“The Law, issued by Shaikh Khalifa is an all-encompassing legislative framework that lays the groundwork for the UAE’s plan to implement taxes as a means to ensure sustainability and diversify the government’s revenue streams. The increased resources will enable the Government to maintain the momentum of its development and infrastructure for a better future.”
The Law defines a clear set of common procedures and rules to be applied to all tax laws in the UAE, namely, value added tax (VAT) and excise tax laws, and clearly states the respective rights and obligations of the FTA and the taxpayer.
The law covers tax procedures, audits, objections, refunds, collection, and obligations, which include tax registration, tax-return preparation, submissions, payment and voluntary disclosure rules – in addition to tax evasion and general provisions. When the Tax Procedures Law goes into effect, all UAE-based businesses will be required to keep accurate records for five years.
The law also sets penalties for non-compliance, as well as clear processes for appeals which align with international best practices, and establishes a fair and transparent environment for the FTA to carry out its mandate. “The UAE is committed to meeting the most stringent international standards,” Shaikh Hamdan said. “We are working to establish an optimal legislative and executive environment to ease the nation into the VAT and excise tax systems. Implementing these taxes gives the UAE further leverage when it comes to international competitiveness and brings us one step closer towards building the future envisioned by our wise leaders, who have called on all those in charge to innovate and strive to spread happiness among citizens and residents.”
Muslim CRPF jawan snapped offering Namaz while a Hindu Jawan stands guard. What an inspiration to Humanity! Salute !
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Muslim CRPF jawan snapped offering Namaz while a Hindu Jawan stands guard. What an inspiration to Humanity! Salute !

This beautiful incidence happened on Saturday. A Muslim CRPF cop offered Zuhr prayers (afternoon Namaz) during duty while the other CRPF jawan, presumably Hindu stood guard for him till he finished his Namaz. This heart- touching moments of our CRPF jawans guarding each other was captured by Lateef Ali, a station house officer of Lar Police station. He says, “I was sitting in my office having lunch when I saw, from my window, someone offering prayers on the roadside and a CRPF soldier stand guard for him. It was a unique sight, and it also symbolizes our secularism. So I decided to capture it. Rest is history.” The internet has erupted in joy after the image went viral. “What a heartwarming moment. CRPF jawan standing guard while a Jammu and Kashmir cop offers prayers in Kashmir. Diversity is our strength!” tweeted Javaid Trali, media analyst of J&K government.