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Kumaraswamy increases rate of tax on petrol and diesel

Press Trust of India

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Bengaluru: In a big relief to the farm sector, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday announced a mega Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme in the maiden budget of the Congress-JDS coalition government.

Unveiling the budget proposals in the Assembly, Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, said he has limited the loan amount to Rs 2 lakh, as it was “not right” to waiver higher value crop loan.

“Due to this crop loan waiver scheme, farmers will get the benefit of Rs 34,000 crore,” Kumaraswamy said, seeking to fulfil a major electoral promise made by the JDS in its manifesto for the recently held assembly polls in the state.

 

With the waiver scheme imposing a huge burden on the exchequer, he also announced proposals to mop up additional resources, including increase in the rate of tax on petrol by Rs 1.14 per litre and diesel by Rs 1.12 per litre. He also proposed a hike in the additional excise duty on Indian-made liquor by 4 per cent across the board on all 18 slabs.

Kumaraswamy recalled his assurance to waive all types of crop loans of farmers taken for agricultural activities within 24 hours of formation of a full-fledged government.

“However, even though the people of the state have not blessed a single party government, I have been provided with a good opportunity to form a coalition government and to work as chief minister of that coalition,” he said.

Kumaraswamy said he had decided to waive all defaulted crop loans of the farmers made up to December 31, 2017 in the first stage.

Besides this, it has been decided to credit the repaid loan amount or Rs 25,000, whichever is less, to each of the farmers account, to help farmers who had repaid the loan within time, the chief minister said.

 

The families of the government officials and officials of the cooperative sector, farmers who have paid income-tax for the past three years and other ineligible farm loan recipients will be outside the purview of the loan waiver scheme.


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India one of world’s fastest growing large economies:IMF

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Washington: India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, asserting that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years, but more needs to be done.
Responding to a question on India’s economic development in the last five years at a fortnightly news conference here, IMF communications director Gerry Rice Thursday said, “India has of course been one of the world’s fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about seven per cent over the past five years.”
“Important reforms have been implemented and we feel more reforms are needed to sustain this high growth, including to harness the demographic dividend opportunity, which India has,” he said.
Details about the Indian economy would be revealed in the upcoming World Economic Outlook (WEO) survey report to be released by the IMF ahead of the annual spring meeting with the World Bank next month, he said.
This report would be the first under Indian American economist Gita Gopinath, who is now IMF’s chief economist.
“The WEO will go into more details. But amongst the policy priorities, we would include accelerate the cleanup of banks and corporate balance sheets, continue fiscal consolidation, both at centre and state levels, and broadly maintain the reform momentum in terms of structural reforms in factor markets, labour, land reforms and further enhancing the business climate to achieve faster and more inclusive growth,” Rice said.

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Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 6.8 pc

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New Delhi: Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8 per cent from its previous estimate of 7 per cent, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy.
“While we have cut our growth forecasts for the next fiscal year (FY20, ending in March 2020) on weaker-than-expected momentum, we still see Indian GDP growth to hold up reasonably well, at 6.8 per cent, followed by 7.1 per cent in FY21,” Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook. Fitch Ratings cut India’s FY19 GDP growth forecast to 7.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent on December 6.
The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent from 7.3 per cent, respectively. According to Fitch, the RBI has adopted a more dovish monetary policy stance and cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage at its February 2019 meeting, a move supported by steadily decelerating headline inflation.
“We have changed our rate outlook and we now expect another 25 bp cut in 2019, amid protracted below target inflation and easier global monetary conditions than previously envisaged,” it said. “On the fiscal side, the budget for FY20 plans to increase cash transfers for farmers,” it added. Fitch said, it’s benign oil price outlook and expectations of accelerating food prices in the coming months should support rural households’ income and consumption.

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India’s total wireless subscribers grew to 1.18 bn in January 2019: TRAI

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New Delhi: India’s total wireless subscribers grew by 0.51 percent to 1,181.97 million (1.18 bn) in January 2019, as per a report by telecom regularor TRAI.
Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) increased from 1,176.00 million at the end of December 2018 to 1,181.97 million at the end of January 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.51 percent, the TRAI report said.
As on January 31, 2019, the private access service providers held 89.95 percent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 10.05%, the regulator said in its report.
The Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 647.52 million at the end of December 2018 to 654.20 million at the end of January 2019, however wireless subscriptions in rural areas declined from 528.48 million to 527.77 million during the month.
The monthly growth rates of urban wireless subscription was1.03 percent and rural wireless subscription was 0.13%, the report said
The Wireless Tele-density in India increased from 89.78 at the end of December 2018 to 90.15 at the end of January 2019.
The Urban Wireless Tele-density increased from 155.48 at the end of December 2018 to 156.85 at the end of January 2019, however Rural Wireless Tele-density declined from 59.15 to 59.04 during the same period.
The share of urban and rural wireless subscribers in total number of wireless subscribers was 55.35 percent and 44.65 percent respectively at the end of January 2019.

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