Category Archives: current-topic-views

Budget 2018 proposals to be implemented from April 1. How it impacts you

NEW DELHI: Various changes proposed in the Union Budget 2018-19 (presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1), including reduced import duties on select items and reintroduction of tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG), come into effect from April 1, 2018 (Sunday). Here are some of the important decisions taken in this year’s budget that come into effect from Sunday:

LTCG on equities

The Union Budget 2018 proposed 10 per cent tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) over Rs 1 lakh. Till now, any long-term gains made on equity shares or any equity mutual fund units were exempt from tax. The government, however, extended indexation benefit for computing tax liability on sale of shares listed after January 31.

The 2018 Budget had after a gap of 14 years reintroduced 10 per cent tax on LTCG.

Standard deduction

There has been no change in the Income Tax slabs this year but for salaried employees, a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 is introduced by the government in lieu of transport and medical reimbursements.

Budget 2018 has also increased the cess on incomes from 3 per cent to 4 per cent, which can increase your tax bill.

Heyday for grey days (senior citizens)

The exemption limit on income from interest raised by five times to Rs 50,000 per year. No (tax deduction at source) TDS will be deducted from the interest income of senior citizens. The limit of deduction for health insurance premium and medical expenditure also increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 under Section 80D. This additional deduction of Rs 20,000 will help a taxpayer save up to Rs 6,000 per annum.

For senior and very senior citizens, the tax deduction for critical illness will be Rs 1 lakh from April 1, as against the existing limit of Rs 60,000 for senior citizens and Rs 80,000 for very senior citizens.

Corporate tax

Corporate tax on businesses with up to Rs 250 crore turnover has been reduced to 25 per cent from 30 per cent.

List of imported items that will become expensive or cheaper from April 1:

Costlier

* Completely knocked down (CKD): Custom duty increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.
* Completely build units (CBU): Customs duty increased to 25 per cent from 20 per cent earlier.
* Truck and bus radial tyres: Duty increased to 15 per cent as against 10 per cent earlier.
* Imported mobile handsets: Customs duty increased from 15 per cent to 20 per cent; mobile parts and accessories will attract duty of 15 per cent.
* Imported LCD/ LED/ OLED TV panels and other parts of TVs: Customs duty of 15 per cent levied.
* Perfumes, toilet water and imported beauty and make up preparations: Customs duty of 20 per cent as against 10 per cent earlier.
* Wrist/pocket/smart watches/wearable devices and sunglasses: Custom duty have been doubled to 20 per cent.
* Gemstones and diamonds: Custome Duty increased to 5 per cent from 2.5 per cent earlier.
* Duty on imported footwear and silk fabrics has also been doubled to 20 per cent.
* Customs duty on imported fruit juices has been hiked by up to 40 per cent.
* Imported cranberry juice will now attract customs duty of 50 per cent from 10 per cent earlier.
* Duty on orange fruit juice has gone up from 30 per cent to 35 per cent.
* Duty on other fruit and vegetables juice have been increased to 50 per cent from 30 per cent earlier.
* Crude edible vegetable oils like olive oil, ground nut oil: Custom duty hiked to 30 per cent from 12.5 per cent earlier.
* Refined edible vegetable oils including oil, ground nut oil: Custom duty hiked to 35 per cent from 20 per cent earlier.
* Imported gold items, including gold plated with platinum: Surcharge of 3 per cent of the aggregate duties of customs.

Cheaper

* Customs duty on imported raw cashew nuts has been slashed from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent

* Solar tempered glass or solar tempered glass for manufacture of solar cells/panels/modules reduced to nil duty from 5 per cent earlier.

* Customs duty on raw materials, parts and accessories of cochlear implants has been reduced to nil from 2.5 per cent earlier.

Apart from these, people need to shed out more for driving on national highways. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has revised its toll rates by 5 to 7%. As a result, prices of essential commodities are also likely to shoot up, transporters have said.

Women T20I tri-series: Australia beat England to claim series

Skipper Meg Lanning’s blazing knock helped Australia reach a record total before Megan Schutt led a brilliant bowling performance to beat arch-rivals England by 57 runs in the title clash of the women’s T20 tri-series on Saturday.

UK must recall more than 50 diplomats: Russia 

MOSCOW: Moscow has told Britain it must cut “just over 50” more of its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia in a worsening standoff over the poisoning of a Russian former spy and his daughter in England, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
Russia has already retaliated in kind against Britain and ejected 23 British diplomats after frosty relations between London and Moscow deteriorated further over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

London says Moscow was responsible for the attack, the first known use of a military-grade nerve agent on European soil since World War Two. Russia flatly denies that and has cast the allegations as part of an elaborate Western plot to sabotage East-West relations and isolate Moscow.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Laurie Bristow on Friday and told him London had one month to cut its diplomatic contingent in Russia to the same size as the Russian mission in Britain. It also expelled 59 diplomats from 23 other countries for backing Britain.

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office called the Russian move regrettable. She did not say how many diplomatic staff in Russia would be affected. The British Embassy in Moscow says it does not make staff numbers public.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Reuters the demand meant Britain would have to cut “a little over 50” more of its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia on top of the 23 diplomats who have already gone home.

“We asked for parity. The Brits have 50 diplomats more than the Russians,” Zakharova said on Saturday.

When asked if that meant London would now have to cut exactly 50 diplomatic and technical staff, she said: “A little over 50.”

Britain must now decide how it wants to make the cuts and may be forced to lay off some Russian support staff as well as sending home fully-fledged diplomats to satisfy Moscow’s demand.

Britain has an embassy and an ambassador’s residence in Moscow and a consulate in the city of Yekaterinburg. Russia ordered the closure of another British consulate, in St Petersburg, earlier this month in its first retaliatory step.

The Russian measure is similar to one Moscow used against the United States last summer to retaliate against new U.S. sanctions when it ordered Washington to slash its diplomatic staff in Russia by nearly two thirds.

Many local Russian staffers were laid off as a result.

The March 4 poisoning in the southern English city of Salisbury has united much of the West in taking action against what it regards as the hostile policies of President Vladimir Putin. This includes the United States under President Donald Trump, who Putin had hoped would improve ties.

When Bhopal marched for women safety #Walkacause

Shubhankar Sharma misses putts, misses cut at Houston

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma missed a lot of makeable putts on the second day to miss the cut at the Houston Open but took a lot of positives as he got into ‘Masters’ mode a week ahead of the year’s first Major.

Self-defence session held for school employees in Nashik

Protests erupt in California after shooting of black man

SACRAMENTO: About 200 demonstrators squared off with police in riot gear overnight in California’s capital and more protests are planned for Saturday, after a autopsy on Stephon Clark contradicted the police account of the shooting of the unarmed black man.

Waving signs and chanting the 22-year-old’s name in unison, the protesters gathered at city hall before marching into the Old Sacramento part of the city, filled with bars, restaurants and tourists.

Protesters, some with megaphones and black masks covering their faces, shouted “Shoot us down, we shut you down”, along with expletives directed at the police.

More than 80 police and California Highway Patrol officers in riot gear blocked protesters from marching onto a highway.

Clark’s death was the most recent in a string of fatal shootings of black men by police that have triggered protests across the United States and fueled a national debate about bias in the American criminal justice system.

The father of two, was gunned down in the backyard of his grandparents’ house by police responding to a report that someone was breaking windows. Police said the officers who shot at Clark 20 times feared he was holding a firearm, but that he was later found to have been holding a cellphone.

Police have said he was moving towards officers in a menacing way when they fired. The incident was captured on a body cam video released by police on Wednesday.

The latest round of demonstrations were touched off by a new private autopsy on Clark that showed that none of the eight bullets hit him in the front, contradicting the police version of events, a lawyer for the deceased’s family said on Friday.

Clark was hit six times in the back, once in the side and once in the leg, the autopsy found.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family of Clark said: “This independent autopsy affirms that Stephon was not a threat to police and was slain in another senseless police killing under increasingly questionable circumstances.”

The Sacramento Police Department said in a statement that it would have no further comment on the case until after the release of the findings of an official autopsy by the county coroner, and a review by state and local prosecutors.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who conducted the independent autopsy, said at a briefing that any one of seven bullets that entered the upper half of Clark’s body could have killed him.

Clark’s shooting has sparked largely peaceful demonstrations in Sacramento. On several occasions over the past two weeks, protesters have marched, held demonstrations and twice blocked fans from reaching games played by the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team at the Golden 1 Center.

At the funeral service for Clark on Thursday, veteran civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton said: “We’re going to make Donald Trump and the whole world deal with the issue of police misconduct.”

The service at a church in Sacramento came a day after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the shooting was a “local matter”.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has said state investigators will oversee the investigation and review the police department’s procedures and practices.

Another protest is planned for noon on Saturday and is to be led by retired Sacramento Kings’ basketball star Matt Barnes, a statement from the organizers of the Unity and Action rally said.

Khelo India champions Manu and Nataraj set for CWG debut

Set to make their debut at next month’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast (Australia), teenagers Manu Bhaker and Srihari Nataraj are two prodigious talents who emerged as champions from the Khelo India School Games, government’s ambitious flagship programme.

Sunrisers Hyderabad name Alex Hales as replacement for David Warner

Warner had earlier this week stepped down as captain of Sunrisers following the ball-tampering controversy that broke last Saturday in Cape Town, and then had his IPL contract torn up once Cricket Australia suspended him for 12 months.

SpiceJet crew accuse airline of strip search

NEW DELHI: A video showing an angry bunch of SpiceJet air hostesses accusing the airline of strip searching them at Chennai airport has gone viral, with the airline denying the claims.

The crew alleged that they were searched after de-boarding on the suspicion that they were swindling cash collected from the sale of food and other items on-board.

While SpiceJet confirmed that their security teams undertook “random pat down searches” at few of the stations on the night of March 28 and March 29 as part of security and safety standard operating procedures (SOP), the airline rejected the allegation that the crew was strip searched.

The budget carrier said the allegations regarding deviation from SOPs were being investigated and strict action would be taken if anybody was found guilty.

“One of the objectives of this search is to ensure that there is no pilferage of company money/goods, smuggling or any illegal activity that an employee may be lured into. This also ensures security and safety of our passengers, employees and assets. This search is essentially the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson.

He said the searches were conducted as per the laid down procedures in closed rooms by well-trained employees of same gender.

During the searches on March 28 and March 29, a few cases of pilferages were detected and appropriate disciplinary action was initiated, the spokesperson added.