New Delhi: Middle class can hope for a big relief in Budget 2018-19, which will also be the last regular budget of the NDA government, as the finance ministry is contemplating to hike personal tax exemption limit and tweak the tax slabs, according to sources.
The proposals before the ministry is to hike the tax exemption limit from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh per annum to at least Rs 3 lakh if not 5 lakh, they said.
Besides, the tinkering of tax slab is also being actively considered by the ministry to give substantial relief to middle-income group, especially the salaried class, to help them tide over the impact of retail inflation, which has started inching up.
In the last Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley left the slabs unchanged but gave marginal relief to small tax payer by reducing the rate from 10 per cent to 5 per cent for individuals having annual income between Rs 2.5-5 lakh.
In the next Budget to be unveiled on February 1, the government could lower tax rate by 10 per cent on income between 5-10 lakh, levy 20 per cent rate for income between Rs 10-20 lakh and 30 per cent for income beyond Rs 20 lakh.
At present, there is no tax slab for income between 10-20 lakh.
“Considering the steep rise in cost of living due to inflation, it is suggested that basic limit for exemption and other income slabs should be enhanced to give benefit to low income group. The income trigger for peak rate in other countries is significantly higher,” industry chamber CII said in its pre-Budget memorandum to the finance ministry.
Although the industry chambers want the government to reduce peak tax slab to 25 per cent, it is unlikely that the ministry will agree to that due to pressure on fiscal deficit.
The subdued indirect tax collection following roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1 last year has put pressure on the fiscal deficit, which has been pegged at 3.2 per cent of the GDP for 2017-18.
The government recently raised borrowing target by additional Rs 50,000 crore for the current fiscal to meet the shortfall.
According to industry body FICCI, there is a likelihood that demonetisation effects may linger on for some more months and hence there is a need to further boost demand and therefore, the government should consider revision of income tax slabs, by raising the income level on which peak tax rate would trigger.
“This would improve purchasing power and create additional demand. For individual taxpayers, 30 per cent tax rate should be applicable only if the income is above Rs 20 lakh. Additionally, interest rates should be lowered to enable affordable finance for conducting business operation and expansion,” it said.
Among other things, chambers have suggested re- introduction of the standard deduction for salaried employees to at least Rs 1 lakh to ease the tax burden of them and keeping in mind the rate of inflation and purchasing power of the salaried individual, which is dependent on salary available for disbursement.
Standard deduction, which was available to the salaried individuals on their taxable income, was abolished with effect from assessment year 2006-07.
WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices
New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.
Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.
This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.
Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.
Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.
The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.
The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.
Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport
New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.
Three phases of facial recognition technology
First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.
Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.
Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.
The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.
When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.
Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.
Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000
New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.
Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.
The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.
Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.
The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.
“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.