New Delhi: A revolution in India’s tax system got started on Wednesday. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee unveiled a draft of the new direct tax regime, which he says will be simpler and easier to understand. The proposed tax code is now open to debate and discussion and could replace the existing income tax act, which is 48 years old. Mukherjee said that the proposed tax regime had many benefits. For instance it promises lower tax rates for individuals and companies.
The gas supply disputes involving RIL continued to trouble the government. India’s solicitor general said that the government’s stance was harming the interests of state-run power company NTPC. On Thursday the government decided to put an end to internal disagreements. The ministers of finance, law, petroleum, and power are now going to meet to come up with a unified stance. In the past, the petroleum ministry and the power ministry have taken conflicting positions on the gas dispute. Energy company RIL, owned by Mukesh Ambani, is fighting separate court cases on gas supplies with both NTPC and Anil Ambani-owned RNRL.
There was good news for the Indian economy on Wednesday. India’s industrial output rose by 7.8% in June from a year earlier. This is the highest growth in 16 months. Manufacturing output was also up on a year on year basis by 7.3%. Economists say higher government salaries and stimulus spending boosted consumer demand. This raised hopes of revival. But keep your fingers crossed, poor monsoons could play spoilsport.
There is countrywide panic over swine flu. Schools and colleges were closed in Pune and Mumbai. In Delhi too some schools were shut. Masks sales are zooming in some cities on a premium. People are avoiding enclosed spaces. According to some observers hysteria over the flu was proving to be more infectious than the viral itself.
The UPA government may have swept back to power with a strong mandate, but as hundred days of the new government draws closer the Congress party is going back to the drawing board. Controversial joint statement with Pakistan, soaring food prices and rapid spread of swine flu has put the government on the back foot. Some within the party are calling for a dramatic initiative to regain momentum, while others are suggesting a cabinet reshuffle.
CavinKare plans to take on fast-food industry giants like McDonald’s and KFC in India , and then expand overseas.
While full-fare airlines lose money and ask for government help, low-cost carrier IndiGo made Rs60 crore in the first quarter.
Delhi airport charges could go up for passengers. Mint queries under the Right to Information Act (RTI) reveal that the cost for modernization was not finalized and has already overshot by Rs3,000 crore.
It was a volatile week in the stock markets. Markets lost ground on Monday only to partially recover on Tuesday and then again fall on Wednesday. On Thursday, the sensex shot up nearly 500 points, the most it has gained in three weeks.
They started out as a joke, but blogs are no laughing matter. They’re now 10 years old, and have grown from a small experiment to become the dominant face of the nternet. 133 million new blogs have come up across the world since 2002. But in India, blogs have evolved much more slowly. Only about 60 million people have access to the Internet, and blogging in regional languages is started only recently.