February, 2011

Tunisia’s PM resign

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Mr. Mohammed Ghannouchi resigns, as security forces clash with protesters in the nation’s capital Tunis demanding the removal of some Ministers of his interim government which came to power following long-ruling President Zine EI Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster.

India votes in favour of Libya

27 : In its first major vote after joining the UNSC, India votes in favour of sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his relatives and associates.

65% teledensity in India

26 : A survey shows that although India has made great strides in telecom, having achieved more than 65 percent teledensity, 62,443 villages are yet to get the taste of the telecom revolution.

Extension of technology park scheme holds the key

When Budget 2011-12 is presented today Saravanan  Velrajan will be keeping its fingers crossed. The big expectation of this young product manager at an IT firm will be the same as that of his industry’s extension  of the decade-old Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme, which is otherwise set to expire this year. The STPI offers tax exemptions to firms located in IT parks. This is huge concern for a US-based networking and routes company like mine”, says Velrajan.

Panchayats key to inclusive growth

Inclusive growth can only be attained if the rights of dalits and woman are protected and panchayats are given the power to govern, according to additional chief secretary Qudsia Gandhi. She mooted the idea of colleges being run by panchayats. ‘When you can have panchayat-run school than why can’t you have panchayat-run colleges”. Ruing that more than 16 years have passed but the state was yet to implement the Panchayati Raj Act, she said Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of protecting the rights of the gross roots is still a distant dream. Interestingly, which West Bengal allocates 50 per cent of revenue for Panchayats and neighbouring Kerala gives 35 percent but Tamil Nadu Provides only 10 percent. “This shows the state’s indifference towards panchayats”.

University makes paper on research mandatory for UG courses

In an attempt to make more students opt for research work while doing undergraduate studies, the academic council of the University of Madras has announced the introduction of a paper of Research Methodology for all undergraduate and five-year integrated courses. The council meeting was held on Feb. 26. The paper with five credits will be offered in the fifth semester in all undergraduate streams in affiliated colleges. Other courses to be introduced include two year Diploma in yoga for Human Resource Management, Financial Economics, P.G. Diploma in Peace and Communal Harmony and a certificate course in Buddhist studies.

Oscar Awards for 2010

The Oscar Awards, also known as the Academy Awards, for 2010 are presented in a majestic ceremony in Los Angeles, USA. The prominent winners are: The King’s Speech (Best Film), Tom Hooper (Best Director for The King’s Speech), Colin Firth (Best Actor for The King’s Speech), Natalie Portman (Best Actress for Black Swan), Christian Bale (Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter), Melissa Leo (Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter), etc. Danish movie In A Better World, directed by Susanne Bier, picks up the award for the Best Foreign Film.

Effects of Arab World’s turmoil

The effects of the Arab world’s turmoil reach Oman, as widespread unrest, marked by deadly clashes, manifests itself in many regions of the country.

Union Budget 2011-12

28 : Union Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union Budget 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha.
Highlights of Union Budget 2011-12
Exemption for individual tax payers is raised from `1.6 lakh to `1.8 lakh, giving uniform tax relief of ` 2,000. Credit flow for farmers is raised from ` 3,75,000 crore to ` 4,75,000 crore in 2011-12; allocation for infrastructure is raised by 23.3 percent to ` 2,14,000 crore; allocation for education is raised by 24 percent to ` 52,057 crore and for health by 20 percent to ` 26,760 crore. Further, defence allocation is hiked by 11.6 percent to ` 1,64,415 crore,
• Credit flow for farmers raised from ` 3,75,000 crore to ` 4,75,000 crore in 2011-12. • Allocation for infrastructure raised by 23.3% to ` 2,14,000 crore. • Allocation for education up, by 24% ro ` 52,057 crore; for health by 20% to ` 26,760 crore. • A substantial increase in allocation for Defence by 11.6% to ` 1,64,415 crore. • Higher exemption limit for very senior citizens (80 years and above) at Rs. 5 lakh. • Current surcharge of 7.5% on domestic companies to be reduced to 5%. • Rate of Minimum Alternate Tax to be increased from 18% to 18.5% of book profits. • Net revenue loss of ` 11,500 crore estimated as a result of these proposals. • Additional deduction of ` 20,000 for investment in long-term infrastructure bonds to be extended for one more year. • Central Excise Duty to be maintained at standard rate of 10% • Nominal Central Excise Duty of 1% imposed on 130 items entering the tax net. • Basic Customs Duty reduced for specified agricultural machinery from 5% to 2.5% • Basic Customs Duty on two critical raw materials of cement industry, namely petcoke and gypsum, to be reduced to 2.5% • Concessional Excise Duty of 10% to vehicles based on fuel cell technology. • Basic Customs Duty on solar lanterns reduced from 10% to 5% • Direct Taxes Code to be finalised for enactment during 2011-12; to be effective from April 1, 2012. • Areas of divergence between Centre and States on proposed GST narrowed. • Government to more towards direct transfer of cash subsidy for people in BPL category in a phased manner for better delivery of kerosene. LPG and fertilizers. Task force set up to work out modalities for the proposed system. • ` 40,000 crore to be raised through disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings. • Government commited to retaining at least 51% ownership and management control of Central Public Sector Undertakings. • Women’s SHGs [Self-Help Groups] Development Fund to be created with a corpus of Rs.500 crore. • Housing loan limit under priority sector lending raised to ` 25 lakh. • Approval being given to set up 15 more Mega Food Parks. • To boost infrastructure development, tax-free bonds of ` 30,000 crore proposed to be issued by government undertakings. • National Food Security Bill to be introduced in Parliament this year. • Allocation for Bharat Nirman Programme up by ` 10,000 crore from ` 58,000 crore. • Plan to provide Rural Broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh panchayats in three years. • From April 1, 2011, remuneration for Anganwadi workers increased from ` 1,500 to ` 3,000 a month and for Anganwadi helpers from ` 750 to ` 1,500 a month. • Financial help for Metro projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.
` comes from
•    Borrowings and other liabilities    27 p.
•    Corporation tax                                 24 p.
•    Income tax                                         11 p.
•    Union excise duties                         11 p.
•    Customs                                            10 p.
•    Non-tax revenue                                  8 p.
•    Service tax & other taxes                    6 p.
•    Non-debt capital receipts                  3 p.
` goes to    
•    Central plan                                       22 p.
•    Interest payment                               18 p.
•    Other non-plan expenditure            11 p.
•    States share of taxes & duties        17 p.
•    Defence                                               11 p.
•    Subsidies                                              9 p.
•    Plan assistance to States & UTs          7 p.
•    Non-plan assistance to States &
UTs Govts.                                              5 p.
Budget 2011-12 at a Glance

(Figures in crore) 2009-10 Actuals 2010-11
Budget
Estimates

2010-11
Revised
Estimates

2011-12
Budget
Estimates
Revenue Receipts 5,72,811 6,82,212 7,83,833 7,89,892
Capital Receipts  4,51,676  4,26,537  4,32,743  4,67,837
Total Receipts  10,24,487  11,08,749  12,16,576  12,57,729
 Non-Plan Expend  7,21,096  7,35,657  8,21,552  8,16,182
Plan Expenditure 3,03,391 3,73,092 3,95,024 4,41,547
Total Expenditure 10,24,487 11,08,749 12,16,576 12,57,729
Revenue Deficit 3,38,998 2,76,512 2,69,844 3,07,270
Fiscal Deficit 4,18,482 3,81,408 4,00,998 4,12,817
Primary Deficit 2,05,389 1,32,744
1,60,241 1,44,831

Relief to the individual taxpayer

Men Women Senior citizens
(60 to 80 years)

Tax
percentage

Upto   1,80,000 Upto   1,90,000 Upto   2,50,000 Nil
 1,80,001 to
 5,00,000
 1,90,001 to
 5,00,000
 2,50,001 to
 5,00,000
10%
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
30%
Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000

28 : Union Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union Budget 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha.
Highlights of Union Budget 2011-12
Exemption for individual tax payers is raised from `1.6 lakh to `1.8 lakh, giving uniform tax relief of ` 2,000. Credit flow for farmers is raised from ` 3,75,000 crore to ` 4,75,000 crore in 2011-12; allocation for infrastructure is raised by 23.3 percent to ` 2,14,000 crore; allocation for education is raised by 24 percent to ` 52,057 crore and for health by 20 percent to ` 26,760 crore. Further, defence allocation is hiked by 11.6 percent to ` 1,64,415 crore,
• Credit flow for farmers raised from ` 3,75,000 crore to ` 4,75,000 crore in 2011-12. • Allocation for infrastructure raised by 23.3% to ` 2,14,000 crore. • Allocation for education up, by 24% ro ` 52,057 crore; for health by 20% to ` 26,760 crore. • A substantial increase in allocation for Defence by 11.6% to ` 1,64,415 crore. • Higher exemption limit for very senior citizens (80 years and above) at Rs. 5 lakh. • Current surcharge of 7.5% on domestic companies to be reduced to 5%. • Rate of Minimum Alternate Tax to be increased from 18% to 18.5% of book profits. • Net revenue loss of ` 11,500 crore estimated as a result of these proposals. • Additional deduction of ` 20,000 for investment in long-term infrastructure bonds to be extended for one more year. • Central Excise Duty to be maintained at standard rate of 10% • Nominal Central Excise Duty of 1% imposed on 130 items entering the tax net. • Basic Customs Duty reduced for specified agricultural machinery from 5% to 2.5% • Basic Customs Duty on two critical raw materials of cement industry, namely petcoke and gypsum, to be reduced to 2.5% • Concessional Excise Duty of 10% to vehicles based on fuel cell technology. • Basic Customs Duty on solar lanterns reduced from 10% to 5% • Direct Taxes Code to be finalised for enactment during 2011-12; to be effective from April 1, 2012. • Areas of divergence between Centre and States on proposed GST narrowed. • Government to more towards direct transfer of cash subsidy for people in BPL category in a phased manner for better delivery of kerosene. LPG and fertilizers. Task force set up to work out modalities for the proposed system. • ` 40,000 crore to be raised through disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings. • Government commited to retaining at least 51% ownership and management control of Central Public Sector Undertakings. • Women’s SHGs [Self-Help Groups] Development Fund to be created with a corpus of Rs.500 crore. • Housing loan limit under priority sector lending raised to ` 25 lakh. • Approval being given to set up 15 more Mega Food Parks. • To boost infrastructure development, tax-free bonds of ` 30,000 crore proposed to be issued by government undertakings. • National Food Security Bill to be introduced in Parliament this year. • Allocation for Bharat Nirman Programme up by ` 10,000 crore from ` 58,000 crore. • Plan to provide Rural Broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh panchayats in three years. • From April 1, 2011, remuneration for Anganwadi workers increased from ` 1,500 to ` 3,000 a month and for Anganwadi helpers from ` 750 to ` 1,500 a month. • Financial help for Metro projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.
` comes from
•    Borrowings and other liabilities    27 p.
•    Corporation tax                                 24 p.
•    Income tax                                         11 p.
•    Union excise duties                         11 p.
•    Customs                                            10 p.
•    Non-tax revenue                                  8 p.
•    Service tax & other taxes                    6 p.
•    Non-debt capital receipts                  3 p.
` goes to    
•    Central plan                                       22 p.
•    Interest payment                               18 p.
•    Other non-plan expenditure            11 p.
•    States share of taxes & duties        17 p.
•    Defence                                               11 p.
•    Subsidies                                              9 p.
•    Plan assistance to States & UTs      7 p.
•    Non-plan assistance to States &
UTs Govts.                                              5 p.
Budget 2011-12 at a Glance

(Figures in crore) 2009-10 Actuals 2010-11
Budget
Estimates

2010-11
Revised
Estimates

2011-12
Budget
Estimates
Revenue Receipts 5,72,811 6,82,212 7,83,833 7,89,892
Capital Receipts  4,51,676  4,26,537  4,32,743  4,67,837
Total Receipts  10,24,487  11,08,749  12,16,576  12,57,729
 Non-Plan Expend  7,21,096  7,35,657  8,21,552  8,16,182
Plan Expenditure 3,03,391 3,73,092 3,95,024 4,41,547
Total Expenditure 10,24,487 11,08,749 12,16,576 12,57,729
Revenue Deficit 3,38,998 2,76,512 2,69,844 3,07,270
Fiscal Deficit 4,18,482 3,81,408 4,00,998 4,12,817
Primary Deficit 2,05,389 1,32,744
1,60,241 1,44,831

Relief to the individual taxpayer

Men Women Senior citizens
(60 to 80 years)

Tax
percentage

Upto   1,80,000 Upto   1,90,000 Upto   2,50,000 Nil
 1,80,001 to
 5,00,000
 1,90,001 to
 5,00,000
 2,50,001 to
 5,00,000
10%
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
 5,00,001 to
 8,00,000
30%
Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000 Above  8,00,000

Public owners told to arrange for transportation of tipplers

Tipplers can no longer mix drink and drive as the transport department has decided to crack the whip on them. In a recent meeting with representatives from publics in the city, state transport authorities have instructued the publics not to allow drunkards to drive on their own. “Instead, the publics must arrange chauffeurs for dropping the loozers at their places,” Transport commissioner M. Rajaram informed reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on road safety and traffic management held on Feb. 26. “A driver after consuming liquor is equal to committing suicide”, he stressed