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India’s factory output dips in March



factory output

New Delhi, May 12 : India’s factory output growth slowed to 2.7 per cent in March on the back of poor manufacturing performance in the new Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with revised base year of 2011-12, which was released here by the government on Friday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the IIP had recorded a growth of 5.5 per cent in March 2016, whereas it only grew by 1.9 per cent in February 2017.

The IIP base year has been changed to ensure that it remains more relevant in the years that it is operational, Chief Statistician of India T.C.A. Ananth said at a joint briefing with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek.

“The objective is to converge more in line with the current consumption and production pattern of the country,” he said, adding that the DIPP and the Ministry Of Statistics and Programme Implementation coordinated closely for the change.

The March IIP data showed that electricity generation went up by 6.2 per cent, while that for mining rose by 9.7 per cent.

However, manufacturing output grew slower at 1.2 per cent from 1.4 per cent reported for February 2017.

On a full fiscal 2016-17 basis, the new series of IIP showed a growth of five per cent as manufacturing and mining activities rose.

The factory output, as per the IIP’s new base year, had increased by 3.4 per cent during 2015-16.

The factory output rose mainly on account of a 4.9 per cent increase in manufacturing.

Among the other two major sub-indices, electricity generation increased by 5.8 per cent while mining output was up by 5.3 per cent.

Further, the government released other macro-economic data — Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which showed that inflation eased in April.

India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices decelerated last month to 3.85 per cent from 5.29 per cent reported for March, as prices of food, fuel and manufactured products eased, official data showed on Friday.

The data on annual rate of inflation based on WPI was calculated on a revised base year of 2011-12.

The annual rate of inflation in April last year had declined to (-)1.09 per cent.

Retail inflation based on CPI for April slowed to 2.99 per cent from 3.89 per cent for March.

The Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) during the month under review plunged to 0.61 per cent, as compared to 2.01 per cent in March.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) data revealed that the annual retail inflation for rural India was 3.02 per cent, while that for the urban centres was 3.03 per cent.


Govt sharply cuts small savings rates, PPF to get just 7.1% now

Interest rates on the PPF and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana have been cut by 0.8 per cent or 80 bps each. Post office time deposits have seen the sharpest cut of 1.4 per cent or 140.




New Delhi, March 31 : The government on Tuesday steeply cut interest rates on various small savings schemes in line with sharp cut in policy rates announced by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday where it reduced repo rate by 75 basis points.

Accordingly, rate on interest on small savings schemes such as the Kisan Vikas Patra, the National Savings Certificate, the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and the Public Provident fund (PPF) scheme has been revised downwards between 70 basis points and 140 basis points for the first quarter (April-June) of FY 20 20-21.

Interest rates on the PPF and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana have been cut by 0.8 per cent or 80 bps each. Post office time deposits have seen the sharpest cut of 1.4 per cent or 140.

The PPF scheme that is subscribed by millions of salary earning class will get you an annual return of just 7.1 per cent as against 7.9 per cent earlier. Senior citizens will also have to do with just 7.4 per cent interest rate from the earlier 8.6 per cent. Even, the popular five year recurring deposit will get you just 5.8 per cent now.

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Donations made to PM-CARES Fund eligible for 100% tax deduction

It also extends the last date for linking Aadhaar and PAN to June 30.




Direct tax Incom

New Delhi, March 31 : In a move to encourage contributions for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to make all donations towards the PM-CARES Fund eligible for 100 per cent tax deduction.

The decision was part of an ordinance promulgated on Tuesday to put into effect the decisions announced by the Finance Minister last week regarding several compliance and regulatory norms in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Further, the limit on deduction of 10 per cent of gross income shall also not be applicable for donations made to PM-CARES Fund.

An official statement said that among the decisions, “the ordinance also amended the provisions of the Income-tax Act to provide the same tax treatment to PM-CARES Fund as available to Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Therefore, the donation made to the PM-CARES Fund shall be eligible for 100 per cent deduction under section 80G of the IT Act.”

Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM-CARES Fund) has been set up for providing relief to the persons affected by the outbreak of coronavirus.

The official statement said that as the date for claiming deduction u/s 80G under IT Act has been extended up to June 30, 2020, the donations made till then shall also be eligible for deduction from income of FY 2019-20.

Hence, “any person, including corporate, paying concessional tax on income of FY 2020-21 under new regime can make donation to PM-CARES Fund up to June 30 and can claim deduction u/s 80G against income of FY 2019-20 and shall also not lose his eligibility to pay tax in concessional taxation regime for income of FY 2020-21,” it said.

The ordinance also extends the deadline for the income tax and GST return filing for the financial year 2018-19 till June 30, 2020, as announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week.

It also extends the last date for linking Aadhaar and PAN to June 30.

The date for making various investment or payment for claiming deduction under Chapter-VIA-B of IT Act which includes Section 80C such as LIC, PPF, NSC, 80D (Mediclaim), 80G (Donations), among others has been extended to June 30, 2020. Hence the investment or payment can be made up to June 30 2020 for claiming the deduction under these sections for FY 2019-20.

The date for making investment, construction or purchase for claiming rollover benefit or deduction in respect of capital gains under sections 54 to 54GB of the IT Act has also been extended to June 30, 2020. Therefore, the investment or purchase made up to June 30, 2020 shall be eligible for claiming deduction from capital gains arising during FY 2019-20.

With this ordinance, the date for passing of order or issuance of notice by the authorities under various direct taxes and ‘benami’ law has also been extended till June 30. It also puts into effect the government’s decision to extend durations of the dispute settlement schemes for direct taxes (Vivaad Se Vishwas) and indirect taxes (Sabka Vishwas) till June 30.

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Banks must keep open for PM’s 27.5K cr package distribution: Govt




Customers Bank Queue Cash

New Delhi, March 31 : As the government is set to disburse Rs 27,500 crore financial package under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana this week and the coming weeks,the government has directed states and UTs to ensure functioning of all bank branches, cash management and maintenance agencies of ATMs amid the national lockdown.

The instructions were given to all the Chief Secretaries of states and Union Territories (UTs) by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Monday advising that local, district, state level authorities, and police should be coordinate with banks to ensure the disbursement of money to the people covered under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.

“As you are aware, smooth working of banks and related activities across the country are essential. Further the government has announced a financial package under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana under which approximately Rs 27,500 crore is going to be disbursed during this week and in the coming weeks to the targeted public through bank branches, ATMs and business correspondents (BCs),” the order said.

Under the guidelines on the lockdown measures as issued under the Disaster Management Act, vide orders dated March 24, 25 and 27, banks, ATMs including IT vendors for banking operations, BCs and ATM operation and cash management services have been exempted, the order said. However, the recent order was issued as it came to notice that many states have issued instructions with reduced working hours, functioning of limited number of branches, restriction on movement of personnel related to filling of cash into ATMs, and maintenance of ATMs.

Besides, banks were permitted to remain open and functional for extended working hours, if necessary, on March 30 and March 31 for their annual closure and government business. Only major government wings are functional and majority of them have instructed their employees to work from home aimd the 21-day lockdown which was imposed since March 24 midnight to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Following the announcement — the first of its kind in history, the Home Ministry issued various guidelines to exempt some essential services so that people do not face problem in this crisis.

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