By Shailesh Yadav New Delhi [India], January 29 (ANI): Ahead of the upcoming Union Budget to be presented on February 1 exporters’ bodies have made a presentation to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and are waiting eagerly for a favourable Budget.
They had made a presentation to the Finance Minister for tax deductions on product development and Research and Development, Income Tax rate reduction for non-corporates, double tax deduction scheme for internationalisations and deemed export status to Indian industry under the global bidding of procurement.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) in their presentation to the government have suggested to bring a Double Tax Deduction Scheme for Internationalizations to allow exporters to deduct against their taxable income, twice the qualifying expenses incurred for approved overseas activities including market preparation, market exploration, market promotion, and market presence.
Talking to ANI, Ajai Shai, Director General and CEO, FIEO said, “We want the budget to draw a road map for export. Recently, only exports were in positive territory. The basic focus for the export sector should be Research and Development. Research and Development is extremely important for countries’ export. We had requested that tax deduction on Research and Development expenditure, which has come down from 200 per cent to 100 per cent now may be restored to its original position as Research and Development investment in India is extremely low.”
“We also want that Centre can provide duty-free import of Research and Development equipment and consumers to large companies who are in the field of exports. We are also focusing on the marketing expenses for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). If we can create an export development fund this will help the SMEs,” he added.
He further suggested that the central government may consider introducing a scheme in line with Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 to resolve all disputes relating to Customs and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
Dr A Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC said for bolstering the textile and apparel sector, the government should provide higher budgetary allocation, mitigate the high cost of working capital, strengthen the brand value of Indian textile and apparels, ease access to funds for technological upgradation, remove the cap on benefit under the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme, increase research and development into new products to suit emerging global demand, increase international technical collaborations, raise Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in multi-brand retail and draw an aggressive export policy.
Echoing similar concern Karthikeyan Natarajan, President, and Chief Operating Officer, Cyient told ANI that Budget should focus on innovation in India.
“We hope the Budget lays down a clear roadmap for a higher innovation quotient and sets a vision to carve India into an innovative economy by 2050. This would require India to grow from 0.5 per cent of Research and Development spends to the GDP to improve to 1.5 per cent by end of this decade and reach 2.5-3 per cent by 2050,” he said.
Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India also harped on research and development.
He said, “We are also hopeful that the budget will address measures essential for an accelerated digital transformation. This includes investment in Research and Development, automation technologies, skilling and development of a talent pool trained in digital age skills, which will help accelerate the pace of development.” (ANI)
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PM Modi dedicates 7500th Janaushadhi Kendra to nation
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the 7,500th Janaushadhi Kendra at North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong on Sunday via video conferencing.
The Prime Minister is also addressing Janaushadhi Diwas celebrations and interacting with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana and will also give awards to stakeholders by recognising their excellent work.
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda was also present on the occasion.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’s initiative endeavours to provide quality medicines at an affordable price. The number of stores under the scheme has grown to 7499, with all districts of the country covered. Sales in the financial year 2020-21 (up to March 4, 2021) led to total savings of approximately Rs. 3600 crore for common citizens, as these medicines are cheaper by 50 per cent to 90 per cent than the corresponding market rates.
In order to create more awareness about Janaushadhi, an entire week from March 1-7 is being celebrated as ‘Janaushadhi Week’ across the nation, with the theme of ‘Jan Aushadhi – Seva bhi, Rozgar bhi’. The last day of the week- March 7 is being celebrated as ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’. (ANI)
If TMC comes back to power, Bengal will turn into Kashmir: Suvendu Adhikari
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 7 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is contesting against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nandigram seat in the upcoming Assembly polls on Saturday said the state will turn into Kashmir if Trinamool Congress (TMC) comes back to power.
Addressing a public meeting in Behala yesterday, Adhikari said, “If Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was not there, this country would have been an Islamic country and we would be living in Bangladesh. If they (TMC) came back to power, West Bengal will become Kashmir.”
“Nandigram is not a challenge for me. I am going to Nandigram to defeat her (Mamata Banerjee) and send her back to Kolkata. I thank the national party leadership for the responsibility given to me. I will work to make lotus bloom in Nandigram and across West Bengal. She (Mamata Banerjee) is going to lose this election (in Nandigram) by over 50,000 votes,” added Adhikari.
The BJP on Saturday fielded Adhikari from Nandigram against TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, setting the stage for a high-profile contest from the seat in the state assembly elections.
Adhikari’s name figured in the BJP’s first list of 57 candidates for the March-April assembly elections, out of which six are women and one seat ( Baghmundi) has been given to the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
TMC had on Friday released its list of 291 candidates with Mamata Banerjee announcing that she will be contesting from Nandigram.
Banerjee, who has been representing Bhawanipur, had earlier announced that she will contest from Nandigram.
Adhikari, a former minister in the Trinamool Congress government, had joined the BJP in December last year. He had earlier said that BJP will defeat Mamata Banerjee by over 50,000 votes from Nandigram.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes in the state will take place on May 2. (ANI)
WB Assembly polls: Brigade Ground ready for PM Modi’s rally, over 1,500 CCTVs, drones to ensure security
By Joymala Bagchi
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 7 (ANI): With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to address his first rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, after the announcement of the West Bengal Assembly poll schedule, security has been tightened across the city.
More than 1,500 CCTV cameras have been installed across the city for security purposes. Drone cameras will also be used to monitor the venue. The rally is expected to be attended by at least 7 lakh people, sources said.
At the rally, the Prime Minister will seek support for the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates in the fray for the 294 member Legislative Assembly.
Along with the main stage which is 72-feet long, two other stages have been set up, one for Tollywood actors and another for important personalities present at the rally. The two stages are 48-feet length, 24-feet width and 7-feet height.
Special Protection Group and Kolkata Police have deployed special units for the security of the rally.
Three main barricades have been strategically placed toward the main stage for security purpose. Barricades and a helipad has been created at the Race Course near the Brigade Ground.
Bharatiya Janata Party has installed LED screens at the ground for the convenience of the people.
Just a week ago, Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front (ISF) alliance organised a massive public meeting at the Brigade Parade Ground which witnessed the presence of lakhs of supporters.
West Bengal will witness Assembly election in eight phases starting from March 27 and polling for the last phase will take place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
After winning 3 seats in the 2016 Assembly election in West Bengal, the BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank. (ANI)
Surat court acquits 122 accused of being SIMI members 20 years after arrest
Surat (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): A court in Gujarat’s Surat on Saturday acquitted all the 127 accused arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for participating in a meeting organised here in December 2001.
Most of the accused were in jail for over 20 years since their arrest over the allegations of being members of a banned organisation Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an advocate said.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate AN Dave on Saturday acquitted 127 persons arrested on the charges of being members of the banned outfit SIMI, giving them the benefit of doubt.
Speaking to ANI, Advocate Abdul Wahab Shaikh said the court acquitted the accused after accepting the defence arguments.
“In 2001, people from various parts of the country participated in an event organized at Rajeshree Hall in the Sagrampura area under the banner of All India Minority Education Board. The police raided the event in the night on December 27 as it thought SIMI members were participating in the event. Police arrested many people. The hearing of the case went on for 20 years,” he said.
“On Saturday, the court acquitted all the 127 accused. The court accepted defence arguments stating that the accused did not belong to the SIMI and had gathered there to participate in a seminar organised under the banner of the All India Minority Education Board. The court acquitted all the accused persons and said they cannot be held guilty under the UAPA,” he added.
Hanif Vohra, one of the accused who was granted bail after 14 months in jail recalled the time spent in jail.
“I was in jail for 14 months. I was granted bail later. My family suffered financially and psychologically. Now, the court acquitted all accused and I am happy over the verdict,” he said.
The central government had through its notification dated September 27, 2001 banned SIMI. (ANI)
Second part of Parliament’s Budget Session to commence from Monday
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): The second part of the Budget Session of Parliament will commence from Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place.
The Budget Session of Parliament, which commenced with the address of President Ram Nath Kovind on January 29, concluded on February 29. The Union budget was tabled in the Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.
The Rajya Sabha will function from 9 am to 2 pm while Lok Sabha will function between 4 pm to 10 pm. The second part of the session will conclude April 8, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had informed.
The Lok Sabha clocked 99.5 per cent productivity during the first phase of the two-part Budget session of Parliament, Lok Sabha Secretariat said. Birla informed that during the first part of the Budget Session 2021, Lok Sabha sat for 49 hours and 17 minutes against the stipulated time of 50 hours.
“The Discussion on the Motion of Thanks on President’s Address took place for 16 hours and 39 minutes and 130 Members participated in the Discussion. Whereas 10 hours was allocated for General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-2022, the House debated for 14 hours and 40 minutes. As many as 117 Members took part in the General Discussion on Union Budget 2021-2022. 173 Members participated in Zero Hour discussions. Several matters of urgent public importance were raised by the Members during Zero Hour. House lost an effective time of 43 minutes due to disruptions,” he said.
A total of 49 women MPs participated in the discussion on Motion of Thanks on President’s Address and Budget, said the Lok Sabha Speaker, and appreciated their enthusiasm and participation in House proceedings.
A vaccination centre for MPs has also been set up inside the Parliament complex.
“For the welfare of Members of Parliament, a COVID-19 vaccination centre has been set up at the Parliament House Medical Centre from Tuesday, March 9,” said a Lok Sabha bulletin said, adding that vaccination is voluntary.
In accordance with the prioritisation guidelines by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGAVAC), Members of Parliament above 60 years of age are eligible to get vaccinated in the current phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Persons aged above 45 years, who have comorbidities, are also eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to parliamentary data, 36 per cent of Lok Sabha MPs and 62 per cent of Rajya Sabha MPs are above 60 years of age.
The vaccine will be administered on all working days by trained health care workers. Family members of the MPs too will get vaccines.
“Two vaccination centres have also been set up for the family members of MPs, one at CGHS Dispensary North Avenue and the other at CGHS Dispensary South Avenue. Members can undertake vaccination in their respective constituency also,” the bulletin said. (ANI)
Delhi air quality in ‘moderate’ category today
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Air quality in Delhi is in the ‘moderate’ category on Sunday morning. The air quality index (AQI) was 159 according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The AQI will marginally deteriorate to the “Moderate to Poor category” on Monday and Tuesday.
“The overall Delhi air quality is in the Moderate category as forecasted. Surface winds are high and southwesterly and forecasted to change in direction towards easterly. AQI is forecasted to further improve and in the Moderate to Satisfactory category for March 7 and marginally deteriorate to Moderate to Poor category on 8 and March 9,” SAFAR said in its bulletin.
The concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 181 and 78, both falling under the ‘moderate’ category respectively, as per SAFAR data.
The concentrations of PM with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 141 and 132 at Delhi University. The concentrations of PM with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 155 and 183 at Pusa and 158 and 166 at Lodhi Road. The AQI at these locations of Delhi is falling under the ‘moderate’ category.
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. (ANI)
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