Category: Asia

Budget 2011-12 Highlights

Indiamart | 28/02/2011

  • AC restaurants serving liquor and AC hospitals with more than 25 beds under service tax.
  • Service tax on air travel to be increased.
  • Customs duty on raw silk reduced from 30 to 5 per cent.
  • Legal services to be expanded to business entities.
  • 20% export duty for iron ore.
  • Custom duty on Pet Coke and Gypsum to minimized to 2.5%.
  • No new tax exemption limit for women.
  • Mandatory levy of 10 pct on branded garments.
  • Budget estimates for 2011-12 projects- Rs 9,32,440 crore.
  • No change in Central excise duty rate. Base rate on excise duty raised from 4% to 5%.
  • Surcharge rate reduced from 7.5 percent to 5 percent for domestic companies.
  • Hike in exemption IT limit from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh.
  • New series of coins with new rupee symbol expected.
  • Simplify tax collection procedure.
  • 1 million UID cards to be distributed per day shortly.
  • Targeting to reduce deficit to 4.6% for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Plan and Non-Plan expenditure to be increased by 23%.
  • BPL pension eligibility age limit reduced.
  • Group formed to monitor corruption;will start implementing from 62 dept. in first phase.
  • Amendment of Indian Stamp Act shortly.
  • Simplified form ‘Sugam’ for small tax payers.
  • Rs 1.64 lakh crore for Defence.
  • Rs 1000 crore to build judicial infrastructure.
  • Group of ministers to sort out Environmental concerns.
  • 1000 crore for improvising judiciary system.
  • Rs 8,000 cr to Northeast.
  • 60 schemes for SC/ST to be implemented.
  • Rs 100 crore for Ladakh.
  • Rs 150 crore for Jammu.
  • Pension amount increased for 80 years and above.
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme eligibility revised from 65 to 60 years.
  • Rs 200 cr grant to IIT Kharagpur.
  • Rs 20 crore to IIM Calcutta.
  • 50 Crore to muslim universities in different states.

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Does Inflation Facilitate Foreign Investments in Indian Retail Sector?

If one observes the comments of Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s, a doubt arises whether the Indian government is going to show rising inflation as an excuse for inviting foreign private investments in Indian retail sector.

The Vice-President of planning commission Mr Montek Singh Ahluvalia has been telling thatManmohan S supply side bottlenecks have been the major cause for the rising inflation in India. Today, speaking at a conference in New Delhi Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concerns over rising inflation adding that inflation is becoming a major obstacle for the growth prospects of India.

An important aspect of Mr Singh was that what he opined for rise in inflation. He said that the farm supply chains needed to be boosted with organised retail chains. This raises doubt that Indian government is going to give permission for foreign entry into retail sector in the name of organized retail chains.

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Foreign Observers Arriving in Bilaspur for Binayak Sen Hearing

IANS | Yahoo News | 24/01/2011

An-eight member delegation of the European Union (EU) is expected to arrive in Bilaspur town Monday to attend a bail plea of rights activist Binayak Sen that is to be heard by the Chhattisgarh High Court. The EU delegation members who landed Sunday night in state capital Raipur amid protests of ‘Go Back’ by somebinayak-sen local groups left for Bilaspur town Monday by car to attend the hearing. The high court is based in Bilaspur town, 110 km from here.

Sen, 60, who is a People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) leader, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a district and sessions court in Raipur Dec 24 on sedition charges and his links with Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal. The court verdict has been widely slammed by human right activists in India and abroad who say he was victimised by the Chhattisgarh government for highlighting human right abuses.

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India’s Apex Court Takes on Political Corruption

Article first published as India’s Apex Court Takes on Political Corruption on Blogcritics.

India’s apex court, the Supreme Court has been on collision course with the country’s top politicians and powerful bureaucrats. The apex court is furious at federal Human Resources Minister Mr Kapil Cibal, who is also dealing the Telecommunications ministry, for trying to downplay what is said to be the biggest fraud of the country ever since it achieved independence in 1947. Mr Kapil Cibal criticized the statutory and independent auditing body, theindian corruption CAG (Comptroller and Auditor Genera) for concluding that the nation might have lost $39 billion in revenue because of irregularities in awarding 2G spectrum licenses in 2008. He said the government did not lose single rupee in awarding 2G spectrum licenses adding that there was no ground for alleging that the nation had lost billions.

Indian left parties asked the minister why the previous minister resigned from his job if there was no fraud. The Supreme Court took a serious note of ministers’ comments and told the government counsel that the minister’s comments were unfortunate adding that the ministers had certain statutory responsibilities of respecting statutory bodies. It wondered how the minister could find wrong with the CAG’s report when it is based on government sources. The court observed the minister’s comments should not influence the investigation process looking in the matter. The CAG also responded to the minister’s comments saying that it was committed to its report.

Other Issues

The Supreme Court is also hearing some other politically sensitive issue of similar nature. The former justice minister and a renowned lawyer Mr Jethmalani appealed the apex court to order the government for initiating steps to bring back billions of dollars of Indian money hidden in offshore accounts of tax havens by the rich Indian politicians, bureaucrats and corporate owners. The Supreme Court yesterday said that the issue was not a routine one but about a big plunder of nation’s money. The court has asked the government to reveal the names of the people who hid the nation’s money illegally to escape from paying taxes. The court is worried that the black money was the source of financing terror groups operating against India.

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Development Model of EMEs Goes Against Environment Protecting Laws

Article first published as Development Model of EMEs Goes Against Environment Protecting Laws on Blogcritics.

Two international conferences aimed at formulating an agreement to be accepted by all countries of the world have failed to achieve their goal. Copenhagen Conference in December 2009 and South Korea Conference in December 2010 have utterly failed due to pressures from multinational companies of the US and the EU, which are mainly responsible for theGlobal-Climate-Change greenhouse gas emissions and hence for increase in temperature of the Earth planet. Recently, the development model proposed for the Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) by the world’s big powers such as the US, the EU and Japan along with WB and IMF are adding fuel to fire.

Because of the policies of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation, forced through WB and IMF by the imperialist powers, EMEs have become so by relegating welfare principles of the state capitalism implemented for the so-called benefit of people by the earlier leaders of those countries. As national character of the ruling classes in majority of the EMEs are subservient to the interests of the imperial powers these countries adapted principles of the free market economy with the successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round trade negotiations under supervision of the imperialist countries.

As environmental concerns occupied the main stage in imperialist countries because of the movements of the environmental organisations, such countries have brought tough environment laws that effectively limited the activities of the multinational companies. MNCs of the imperial countries had to curtail their production activities to escape from higher costs emanated from the environment laws. They shifted their production and assembling activities to third world countries to benefit from the absence of tough environment laws along with utilising cheap labour costs available in those countries.

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