Union Budget 2020 India: Listing of insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) may be done in the second half of the next financial year, Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Budget 2020-21 on Saturday announced stake sale in LIC through an initial public offer in the next fiscal. There are a number of processes which have to be followed for the listing and some legislative changes would also be required for the listing of LIC. “We will follow the extant procedure for listing and for other things including the legislative changes it requires in consultation with the Ministry of Law and that process we already started … listing in the second half of FY21 seems logical,” a LIC officer said.
Budget 2020 India: The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her second budget speech announced major reforms in the education sector but the allocations for Educations and Skill development differ by a big margin. The education sector was allocated Rs 99,300 crore but the Skill development got only Rs 3,000 crore in its purse.
DDT: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 abolished dividend distribution tax (DDT). But the measure came with a twist, leaving a bitter taste on investors, particularly those falling in the higher income tax slabs. While the Centre abolished DDT, dividends will now be taxed in the hands of recipients at their applicable rate — which can be as high as 43 percent for the ultra-rich.
NRI Income Tax: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 2 announced that there is no intention to tax the global income of NRIs and only income generated in India will be taxed. “What we are doing now is that the income of an NRI generated in India will be taxed here. If he’s earning something in a jurisdiction where there is no tax, why will I include that into mine that has been generated there?” she said. “Whereas if you have a property here and you have rent out of it, but because you are living there, you carry this rent into your income there and pay no tax there, pay no tax here … since the property is in India, I have got a sovereign right to tax,” she further added.
Budget 2020: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced an optional new income tax regime that levies a lower tax rate on people who do not want to claim any of the specified exemptions or deductions. At a Press conference after she presented the budget proposals in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the intention was to reduce the rate as much as to simplify the tax structure.
“We wanted to be sure that the money is in the hands of people so we brought down tax for the middle class and the lower middle class,” she said.
Shaheen Bagh: In the backdrop of the forthcoming Delhi assembly elections, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has directed Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to ensure outsiders and suspicious characters are thoroughly frisked before they can access the Shaheen Bagh protest side. Baijal’s clear directive comes against the backdrop of a shooting incident just 50 metres from the stage earlier in the day.
New tax regime: Chief Election Commissioner, his two colleagues and the key public service recruitment body Union Public Service Commission leadership will have to start paying more taxes from April next year. In her budget proposals that introduced a new tax regime for individuals to reduce tax exemptions for lakhs of taxpayers, Nirmala Sitharaman also incorporated a proposal to amend the law that had exempted the top-ranking functionaries from paying tax on four allowances.
NIRVHYA CASE: Dec 16 gangrape convicts won’t be hanged tomorrow. Just 12 hours before the four men who raped a 23-year-old in 2012 were to be led to the gallows at Tihar, a Delhi court on Friday stayed the black warrant for their execution. This was the second time that their execution was put off by the judge. This time, the judge did not issue a fresh warrant for their execution.
THREE TERRORIST KILLED: Three men, suspected to be Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives, were killed in the gunfight that followed when a constable started searching the vehicle. Police said truck driver Samir Dar was trying to ferry armed terrorists to Srinagar from Dayalachak in Hiranagar area of Kathua district. Samir Dar, the driver of the truck that was intercepted near Jammu on Friday, is the Pulwama suicide bomber’s cousin, a senior Jammu and Kashmir police officer said. Samir Dar was among the three persons caught after the truck was intercepted at Ban toll plaza and searched.
ONLINE LOTTERY BAN: The Punjab government on Friday decided to ban all types of online lottery schemes in the state, an official spokesperson said. The ban, under Section 5 of the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998, would not only check illegal lottery business but also give a boost to the state’s tax and non-tax revenue, the spokesperson said after a Cabinet meeting here.
Royal estate discovered: Archaeologists uncovered a gigantic complex in northern Israel that they think once served as a rural estate for ancient kings of biblical fame. The stunning building is in Horvat Tevet, an ancient site just outside modern-day Afula. About 2,900 years ago, archaeologists say, the structure served as a key place for Israelite officials to collect and redistribute agricultural produce from the region.
Farukkhabad hostage: Nearly 20 children have been held hostage by a man at his house in Uttar Pradesh’s Farukkhabad. The man, Suresh Batham, with criminal antecedents is reported to have invited the kids over to his place on the pretext of a birthday party and then held them hostage. When some local people tried to get the door opened, he started firing from inside injuring three policemen and a villager. Batham even hurled a low intensity bomb from the window.
Chatbot Meena: Google introduced chatbot Meena: “Meena is an end-to-end, neural conversational model that learns to respond sensibly to a given conversational context. The training objective is to minimize perplexity, the uncertainty of predicting the next token (in this case, the next word in a conversation). At its heart lies the Evolved Transformer seq2seq architecture, a Transformer architecture discovered by evolutionary neural architecture search to improve perplexity,” it said in a blog post.
Palestine: US President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan Tuesday, calling for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in portions of east Jerusalem, saying it is a “win-win” opportunity for both Israel and the Palestinians. The plan calls for the creation of a State of Palestine with its capital in portions of east Jerusalem, ending speculation as to whether his administration, in preparing a proposal without input from Palestinian leaders, would abandon a “two-state resolution” to the conflict.
Online Food Industry: India’s online food industry heading to become a $8 billion market by 2022 — growing at a CAGR of 25-30 per cent, a new report said on Tuesday. The report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) revealed that variety in cuisines (35 per cent) was one of the top reasons for recurrent use of online food ordering apps, followed by good discounts and convenience.
RD: India marks its 71th Republic Day today, the occasion commemorating the Indian Constitution coming into effect after careful deliberations in the Constituent Assembly. The day marked the completion of independent India’s transition towards a nation that defines itself a republic.
CAA: The European People’s Party (EPP) Group, a centre-right group that is the largest with 182 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), said the CAA “is selective and excludes Muslims from provisions provided to other religious groups” and expressed concern about the “wide range of negative consequences that it might have for India’s international image and internal stability”.
MAN KI BAT: In his “Mann ki Baat” programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the insurgency in the Northeast had reduced significantly due to “peaceful dialogue”. “Those who had strayed towards the path of violence, have expressed their faith in peace and decided to become a partner in the country’s progress and return to the mainstream,” Modi said, adding that as many as 644 militants of eight different militant groups had surrendered in Assam.
CPI Index: The report of the corruption perception Index 2019 has been published by the Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals. Position of India is 41 out of 100 in rank.
The top countries are New Zealand and Denmark, with scores of 87 each, followed by Finland (86), Singapore (85), Sweden (85) and Switzerland (85).
The bottom countries are Somalia, South Sudan and Syria with scores of 9, 12 and 13, respectively. These countries are closely followed by Yemen (15), Venezuela (16), Sudan (16), Equatorial Guinea (16) and Afghanistan (16).
PADMA AWARD: Names of people to be awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma awards were announced on the eve of the 71st Republic Day on Saturday evening. This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/Non-Resident Indians/Persons of Indian Origin/Overseas Citizens of India and 12 Posthumous awardees.
MILITARY HONOUR: Six soldiers have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, including one posthumously, for displaying gallantry during anti-militancy and anti-insurgency operations, the Army said on Saturday. Lt Col Jyoti Lama, Maj Konjengbham Bijendra Singh, Naib Subedhar Narender Singh and Naik Naresh Kumar were among the recipients of the award. Naib Subedar Sombir was posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra.
SPEEDY TRIAL: Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Friday made a case for speedy resolution of tax disputes saying it will act as an incentive for tax payers and free the funds locked in litigation. “A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the taxpayer. To the tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary assures that demands arising out of legitimate assessment are not strangled in delayed litigation,” Bobde said at the 79th foundation day celebrations of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
NSA ON CAA PROTESTOR: The Supreme Court Friday said it cannot issue blanket orders restraining authorities from invoking the stringent National Security Act against people protesting the enactment of Citizenship (Amendment) Act.The Supreme Court Friday said it cannot issue blanket orders restraining authorities from invoking the stringent National Security Act against people protesting the enactment of Citizenship (Amendment) Act. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee refused to entertain a plea challenging the imposition of NSA in few states as also in the national capital amid anti-CAA protests. “We are of the opinion that general writ will not lie in this case. We cannot invoke powers under Article 32. We agree that the NSA should not be misused but there cannot be a general command. This will create chaos,” the bench said.
INDIAN WORDS INCLUDED: The latest edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary features 26 new Indian English words, including Aadhaar, chawl, dabba, hartal and shaadi. The 10th edition of the dictionary, which was launched on Friday, has 384 Indian English words and incorporates over 1,000 new words such as chatbot, fake news and microplastic. The dictionary focuses on language change and its evolution through the years and has ensured that the language and examples used in the new edition are relevant and up to date with the times, Oxford University Press (OUP) said.
ANANDA MAHINDRA: Despite the Indian economy facing a slowdown, industrialist Anand Mahindra said that the economy has been going through a process of ‘detoxification’. Since the negative impact of disruptions is now over, the economy is expected to see an upside in FY21, Bloomberg TV reported chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra as saying at an event in Davos, Switzerland. “The prime minister has been quite obsessed with the kind of growth he wants and that is about transparent, free of corruption and any rent-seeking,” he also said.
SC ON DEATH SENTENCE: While hearing a plea to commute the death sentence of two convicts for killing a family of seven, the Supreme Court Thursday underlined that the “finality” of death sentence is extremely important and said that condemned prisoners should not be under the impression that the death penalty remains “open ended” and can be challenged all the time by them. The court asked lawyers Anand Grover and Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the convicts, whether “good behaviour” of convicts post their conviction is reason enough for commuting their sentence. “I thought it is the crime that is punished. If one goes by innocence of a human being, even the worst criminal has an innocent heart. There is no one who is a criminal at the deepest level,” CJI Bobde observed.
CAA: The Supreme Court on January 22 gave the Centre four weeks to respond to pleas challenging the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the petitions. SC said that it will not grant any stay on the CAA without hearing the Centre. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on CAA till it decides the petitions. The bench said it will hear petitions related to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the rest of the country.
UP: The UP government will provide land subsidy to the proposed food park of Patanjali Group in Greater Noida. Patanjali is going to invest more than Rs 6,000 crore in the mega project spread over 91 acres of land in the National Capital Region (NCR). The decision was taken at the UP cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on January 21. Subsidies granted to the company include stamp duty rebate of 25 per cent.