Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

No Haj subsidy from this year

There will be no subsidy for Haj from this year, minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday. Naqvi told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India.

CJI meets 4 dissenting SC judges, but crisis unresolved

In a bid to resolve their differences, Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Tuesday reached out to the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court who had hurled accusations against him including on the issue of allocation of PILs of sensitive nature.

Modi’s successful seaplane may go to Mamata now

The seaplane, as a symbol of political success, could move from Gujarat to Bengal. Prime minister Narendra Modi may have stolen the show on a seaplane before the Gujarat polls, but it now turns out that the same seaplane from the stable of the private low-cost carrier SpiceJet may end up with his political bête noire, Mamata Banerjee.

CII urges govt to bring oil, natural gas under GST

Industry association CII has asked the government for inclusion of oil and natural gas in the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime at the earliest.

The GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017 by subsuming most of the Central and State indirect taxes into a single tax. But, crude oil, natural gas, diesel, petrol and ATF have not been included in the ambit of GST as of now.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said till such time that the five are included in GST, C Form should be continued to avoid high tax incidence on these products.

Four rail corridors to complete 'golden quadrilateral' likely to get nod in budget

The budget is likely to approve the four remaining corridors that will complete the railways' ambitious 'golden quadrilateral', connecting the four metros -- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata -- through a high-speed network, officials said today.

Two corridors of the quadrilateral -- Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah -- were sanctioned at a cost of Rs 11,189 crore and Rs 6,875 crore respectively in the last Union budget.

FinMin may set fiscal deficit target in a range

The finance ministry may set a range for fiscal deficit target in budget FY19 instead of an absolute number, giving itself a window for sudden and structural changes that may become necessary during the year, sources said.

It being the last full budget before the general elections in 2019, the government may be tempted to step up expenditure and offer poll sweeteners. Such steps, however, would have adverse impact on fiscal deficit. Setting the target in a range could save government the blushes.

Bank of India seeks to exit STCI Finance this fiscal

As part of its drive to monetise non-core businesses and strengthen the capital position, Bank of India has invited fresh bids for selling its 29 per cent stake in the state-run STCI Finance in the current fiscal.

The state-run bank is seeking new bids for the stake, as bids in the previous round last year fell short of its price expectations.

STCI Finance Ltd is a non-banking finance company majority-owned by government institutions.

Excise duty cut on petrol, diesel likely

Consumers could expect relief from the surging price of auto fuels as the government may opt for another round of excise duty cut on petrol and diesel in the forthcoming Union budget. By doing so, the government aims to tame inflation and prevent rising crude oil prices from adversely affecting the retail price of these two commonly used products.

Sources said that Rs 2 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel might be announced by the government as a shield to prevent a further spike in prices of auto fuels.

AI gives preferential treatment to Jayant Sinha’s son

Air India’s favouritism to political class continues. Amid talks of ending VVIP culture, the cash-strapped airline earlier this month was generous enough to upgrade junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha's (in pic) son's travel to New York from New Delhi to business class without charging anything extra for the comfort. The divestment-bound Air India was benevolent to the minister’s kin but at the expense of almost 300 other fliers.

Indian coffee the best, needs proper branding

The garden city is hosting a four-day international coffee festival, beginning Monday, amidst global uncertainty over the future of the commodity. Excess coffee production from leading coffee growing countries like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam and Indonesia has caused an oversupply with the prices of the commodity falling by about 30 per cent in the global markets.