Connect with us


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


Office of profit case: Delhi HC sets aside disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs




New Delhi, March 23: In a massive relief for Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi high court on Friday restored membership of 20 disqualified AAP MLAs who were disqualified by the Election commission of India in connection with the office of profit case.

After delivery the judgement, the Court referred the case back to the poll panel citing the disqualification of AAP MLAs was bad in law.

In its verdict, the court said “the violation of oral hearing norms by EC and failure to communicate that  Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat after recusing had rejoined proceedings were the reasons to quash the January 19 order”.

The MLAs who had been engaged in the battle were Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gehlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar and Nitin Tyagi.

On January 19, the election commission sent its recommendation to the President for his assent to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi party MLAs for holding ‘office of profit’.

Following this, President Ram Nath Kovind disqualified 20 AAP MLAs for holding Office of Profit.

The poll panel was referring to the fact the MLAs had been appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.

Challenging EC’s recommendation, then AAP MLAs approached the Delhi High Court.


Continue Reading


INX Media case: Delhi High Court grants bail to Karti Chidambaram



New Delhi, March 23: The High Court on Friday granted bail to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the INX Media case. 

Earlier, the court had reserved order on the bail plea of Karti Chidambaram on March 16 after hearing arguments from prosecution as well as defence counsel.

Karti Chidambaram’s advocate had told the court that his client has been co-operative during the investigation.

Countering his claim, the Central Bureau of Investigation contended that he did not co-operate and has tried to influence witnesses in the case. However, the probe agency did not reveal the name of witnesses.

The special court March 12 sent Karti Chidambaram to judicial custody till March 24.

Karti Chidambaram was held in February for allegedly taking money to facilitate Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister.


Continue Reading


Anna attacks Modi government on Lokpal, agrarian crisis



Anna Hazare
Anna Hazare begins fast for LokPal

New Delhi, March 23: Launching a fresh anti-corruption agitation with an indefinite fast here on Friday, social activist Anna Hazare said his efforts to communicate with the Modi government on issues of Lokpal and agrarian distress had yielded no result.

“I have written 43 letters to the Modi government in the last four years but did not get any reply,” he said soon after he began his hunger strike at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan here after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

“The farmers in the country are in distress as they are not getting remunerative prices and the government is not acting to ensure fair prices.”

Hazare has been pressing for setting up Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states to probe corruption cases, bring in new electoral reforms and implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Committee report to address the agrarian crisis in the country.

He said he would hold discussions with the government during the agitation but his indefinite hunger strike, called ‘Satyagraha’, would continue “till the government comes out with a concrete action plan”.

The activist, who held a major agitation in 2011 against corruption catching the imagination of Indians, said Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and some ministers from Maharashtra met him on Thursday and gave certain assurances.

“But I said I don’t trust you. How many promises you have fulfilled so far? Nothing. So come with concrete action plan,” he said in his address to thousands of supporters gathered at the iconic ground in the heart of Delhi.

Hazare said the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), which decides prices for 23 crops, should be made autonomous for fair price fixation.

Currently, the Central government controls CACP and cuts the fair price rates suggested by states by 30-35 per cent, he said.

“I will prefer dying for the nation than by heart attack,” said the 80-year-old activist, whose 2011 agitation gave birth to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) now ruling in Delhi.

The agitation also contributed to the Congress-led UPA losing the 2014 general elections that brought the BJP to power at the Centre.

Last month, Hazare accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not being interested in the appointment of the Lokpal at the Centre.

The veteran activist said Modi was “never serious about Lokpal”.

The reason behind the delay, he said, in the appointment of a Lokpal was because the Prime Minister was afraid that once this became a reality, his office as well as that of his cabinet members would also come under its purview.


Continue Reading

Most Popular