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Union Budget 2017: NITI Aayog urges 10% tax slab extension



Niti Aayog

New Delhi, January 12: Although RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch criticized NITI Aayog for its deliberation into sectors like agriculture and health and questioned its role as an institution, Aayog has defiantly come up with its recommendations for Union Budget 2017.


NITI Aayog has urged the Ministry to not change the threshold for the income tax exemption at Rs 2.5 lakh. However it wants to extend the slab for 10 percent tax up to Rs 7 lakh instead of current Rs 5 lakh.

At present, income tax is exempt till Rs 2.5 lakh annual income. While there are three slabs: 1) 10 per cent tax for annual income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. 2) 20 per cent tax on annual income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. 3) 30 per cent on income above Rs 10 lakh.

The NIT Aayog has outlined job creation as the central theme of the Budget.

It wants the government to curb discretionary powers of tax officials and pass a clear regulation on it. Post demonetisation, the move is much called for.

The Aayog seeks tax laws to be clearly laid out so that the future investors know their liabilities certainty. “China has firms such as Foxconn that employs 1.3 million workers and pays wages averaging $3 per hour… India cannot afford to miss out on good jobs that such firms promise,” the document said.

 “The rules governing construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes, trading across borders can be cumbersome and thus deter many potential investors from entering business in the first phase,” the document by Aayog said.

Further it promoted the need for massive research in improving seed varieties including the controversial genetically modified (GMo) seeds so as to boost agriculture production.

“Elsewhere, in the world, most notably in the United States, GMO seeds have been in use for over two decades with no adverse effect on either crops or those consuming the products of those seeds,” the paper said.

It also laid down the required attention to increase micro-irrigation, complete the pending irrigation projects, horticulture, fisheries and livestock, reforming the land leasing laws for agriculture sector.

Further, the Aayog advocated three times increase in social sector spending and a decent cut on the mega subsidies that the government doles out every year. The document further highlights points for sustained economic growth and elimination of poverty.

It wants government to divert the extra revenue earned to health and education over the next three years.

The Aayog has made these recommendations in a three-year action plan that it will unveil after the budget for 2017-18 is presented. A senior government official said that the think tank will make revenue and expenditure projections for key sectors.

“Public expenditure on health in India is significantly on the lower side. So the action plan will have some forecast of the tax revenues as well as some sort of road map for expenditure based on the budget estimates of 2017-18 for key sectors — health, education and railways,” the official said.

In January 2015, PM Narendra Modi had introduced National Institution for Transforming Indian (NITI) Aayog as a replacement to planning commission. Since two years of its inception, the autonomy and powers of Aayog have been questioned as it is sought as a no power institution headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At least the incidence of SJM grilling NITI Aayog on Tuesday suggests so. SJM said the aayog is confused about its role as a think tank or a policy-making institute. “What differences has NITI Aayog made in these two years?” asked SJM in a conference held to access performance of Aayog in two years.

Wefornews Bureau


Centre has 15 new rail projects for Northeast, says Modi



Aizwal, Dec 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday the Centre is committed to put all the state capitals of the northeast on the rail map and is executing 15 new projects in the region.

“We are committed to bring all the state capitals of the northeast region on the rail map. The government of India is executing 15 new rail line projects of 1,385 km length, at a cost of over Rs 47,000 crore,” Modi said during his visit to Mizoram.

“It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the Northeastern region,” Modi noted, adding: “My government wants to do ‘transformation by transportation’ through investment in infrastructure…”

He said the Centre has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. “As a gate-way to South East Asia, Mizoram stands to gain immensely from this. It can emerge as a key transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh,” said the Prime Minister.

The vision of New India can be realised only if fruits of development reach all, he said.

The Centre plans to focus on around 115 districts which are relatively backward when evaluated on various indicators. This will benefit backward districts of Northeastern states, including Mizoram, said Modi.

“In the spirit of “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” every Indian, irrespective of caste, gender, religion, class must have equal opportunities to partake in the new prosperity,” he added.

Modi was in Mizoram to inaugurate the 60 MW Tuirial Hydro Electric Power Project (HEPP). He dedicated the project to the people saying it will boost the socio-economic development of the state.

Tuirial Hydropower Project is the first major central government project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram, Modi said, also adding that besides electricity the reservoir water will also open new avenues for navigation.

“This will provide connectivity to remote villages. The huge reservoir, spread over an area of 45 square km, can also be used for development of fisheries,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said the project would boost eco-tourism and provide a source of assured drinking water supply.

He said the project was first cleared by the union government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, way back in 1998 but got delayed.

“The completion of this project is a reflection of our commitment to complete ongoing projects and usher in a new era of development in the Northeastern region,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also said that during the tenure of Vajpayee, significant work was done for the development of the Northeast.

“We have taken forward this vision and are devoting resources for the progress of the Northeast. My ministerial colleagues are frequently visiting the Northeast,” Modi said.

“There have been over 150 ministerial visits. Our initiative – the Ministry of DoNER at your doorstep has added impetus to the development of the Northeast. It has enabled us to understand the aspirations of the Northeast even better,” he added.

Modi also said that he was delighted to be in Mizoram and this was his first visit as Prime Minister as he had visited the state before also.

“I admire the beauty and friendly nature of the people,” he said.

“The high literacy rate, scenic beauty and availability of large English-speaking population in Mizoram make for a perfect blend to develop the state as a model tourist destination,” said the Prime Minister.


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Delhi Gang Rape: Five years on, Nibharya’s mother hopes for justice



Nirbhaya Mother

New Delhi, Dec 16: Five years since December 16, 2012 gang-rape case of Nirbhaya, the mother of victim Asha Devi Singh expressed hope for justice as the culprits are still alive.

“Even after 5 years, her culprits are alive. If justice isn’t served on time, people cease to be scared of law”, Nirbhaya’s mother said, news agency ANI quoted.

She stated, there is a need for the formulation of strong law, adding the mindset of everyone be it a politician or a common man, needs to be changed.

On this day, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was gangraped by six men in a moving charter bus in the national capital which left everyone stunned. After thirteen days, the victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

The shocking incident had triggered a nation-wide outrage over violence against women in the country.

The four convicts – Pawan, Vinay, Mukesh Singh and Akshay Kumar Singh – were granted death sentence by the High Court.

While, the fifth accused, Ram Singh, found hanged in the jail.  The juvenile accused has been released after completing mandatory probation period in a remand home.


Following this, on May 5 this year, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of all four convicts.

Last month, the chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to Tihar Jail Administration and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South District asking why Nirbhaya rapists not executed yet.

The step was taken as Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi in a complaint to DCW asked why death sentence has not been given carried out even after five months of Supreme Court’s verdict in Nirbhaya gangrape case.

In the notice, she has questioned that even after five months of Supreme Court’s verdict, why the accused have not been hanged. She also mentioned whether the Tihar Jail officials have issued an order of death sentence to the four accused. If the order has been issued, then reasons for not adhering to the order.

The Commission has sought a reply from the officials and DCP to the aforementioned inquiries by November 6.

Further DCW’s Chairperson expressed disappointment over delay in the execution and providing justice to Nirbhaya. Nirbhaya’s mother and the entire nation who are pleading for justice are yet to receive it. She demanded that the convicts must be hanged at the earliest.


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Policeman attempts to fire at Kamal Nath

Rajya Sabha MP and advocate Vivek Tankha posted two tweets informing about the incidence.



Kamal Nath

As per Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tanka, a policeman tried to fire his rifle at senior Congress leader Kamal Nath at the Chhindwara airstrip in Madhya Pradesh. The policeman was overpowered by the security personnel present at the airstrip and has now been placed under suspension.

Rajya Sabha MP and advocate Vivek Tankha posted two tweets informing about the incidence.

Kamal Nath represents Chhindwara in Loksabha and is presently the longest serving member of the Indian Parliament. He has been elected nine times from Chhindwara.

He has won every election since 1980 with the sole exception of elections to 11th Loksabha in 1996.

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