Excise duty on petrol, diesel cut by Rs 2/L; Govt may suffer Rs 26k-cr loss

Facing public resentment over the recent spike in fuel prices, the government on Tuesday cut the excise duty on both branded and unbranded petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre from Wednesday.
According to sources, the finance ministry was initially reluctant to reduce the duty due to revenue concerns, but relented after discussions with the petroleum ministry on implementing steps to bring down petrol prices to Rs 60-65 a litre.
While this would hit the revenues of the exchequer by Rs 13,000 crore in the second half of the current financial year at a time when the fiscal deficit has already touched 96 per cent of the Budget Estimates, consumers will get relief as the move would reduce the read more
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Cheap fuel: After new highs, experts see petrol, diesel prices falling soon

Diesel prices in Delhi on Tuesday scaled a new all-time high of Rs 59.14 per litre, while other cities too saw a considerable increase.
However, industry experts and the government believe that prices will ease in the next few weeks as international prices are showing a declining trend.
In Delhi, the price of petrol, too, was at a two-year high on Tuesday at Rs 70.88 per litre.
Since the implementation of daily pricing from June 16 this year, Indian basket crude oil has gone up by around 19 per — from $46 a barrel to $55.36 a barrel. However, domestic retail selling prices of petrol  and diesel in Delhi have gone up by only eight per cent during this read more

Honeypreet does not deserve bail since she is evading arrest: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s ‘adopted’ daughter Honeypreet’s transit anticipatory bail application.

Court in its order observed that the applicant is just wasting its time and that it was merely a camouflage that she applied for bail in the Delhi High Court.

Speaking to reporters here, Honeypreet‘s lawyer, Pradeep Arya said, “We are examining the order and will see how to take this further”.

Meanwhile, the prosecution lawyer stated that, “She (Honeypreet) has filed an application before the Delhi High Court, whereas she should have done that in Punjab and Haryana High. The Delhi High Court stated the jurisdiction of Delhi does not lie here, and she does read more

President poll: 99.5% vote, result on Thursday

Of the total 4,880 valid voters — 4,109 members of legislative Assemblies or MLAs and 771 elected members of Parliament (MPs) — 99.49 per cent on Monday voted to elect the next President of India.
Three MPs and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strategists said they were confident that more than anticipated numbers of Opposition legislators and MPs voted for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, Ram Nath Kovind.

 

The counting of votes is scheduled for July 20 but Kovind’s victory is not in doubt. The only point of interest is the margin of his victory, and whether some MLAs or MPs of the 17 Opposition parties supporting the candidature of Meira Kumar have also voted for him.

 

“The voting was close to 99 per cent. I think this would perhaps be the highest-ever percentage,” Anoop Mishra, Lok Sabha, secretary general and returning officer for the election, said.

 

Mishra said while the sanctioned strength of the Lok Sabha (LS) and the Rajya Sabha (RS) is 776 (543 and 233), 771 MPs were eligible to cast their votes.  There are two vacancies each in the LS and the RS, while one BJP MP, Chhedi Paswan, does not have voting rights, following a judicial pronouncement, he said.
Of the total 771 MPs who are entitled to vote (four vacancies and one disqualified), 768 or 99.61 per cent cast their votes.
Likewise, of the 4,109 MLAs entitled to vote (10 vacancies and one disqualified), 4,083 or read more

Gifts up to Rs 50,000 by employer, free club membership exempt under GST

The government on Monday clarified that gifts worth up to Rs 50,000 by an employer to its employees as also free membership of clubs, health and fitness centres will not attract the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Also, the services by an employee to the employer in the course of or in relation to his employment is outside the scope of the new indirect tax regime, it said.
Any club, health and fitness centre membership provided by an employer to its all employees free of charge will not be subject to the GST.
The same would hold true for free housing as part of cost-to-company (C2C) package.
Commenting on reports of gifts and perquisites supplied by companies to their employees being taxed under GST, the finance ministry in a statement said gifts up to a value of Rs 50,000 in a year by an employer to his employee are outside the ambit of GST.
“However, gifts of value more than Rs 50,000 made without consideration are subject to the GST, when made in the course or

furtherance of business,” the statement said.
While the GST law does not define gifts, the ministry said for tax purposes gift is something that is made without consideration, is voluntary in nature and is made occasionally.
“It cannot be demanded as a matter of right by the employee and the employee cannot move a court of law for obtaining a gift,” it said.
On the issue of taxation of perquisites, the ministry said

read more

Modi’s strongman economics

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India has strong views on economics. Speaking to a big crowd of tycoons, investors and journalists in New Delhi, Mr. Modi once admitted that he is “not a big economist.” Yet he promptly set out an economic vision for India to be a global manufacturing power. Investors should rush to “make in India,” he said. He claimed that his strong leadership would usher in economic revival and 100 million new manufacturing jobs by 2022.
During the prime ministerial campaign in the 2014 national elections, Mr. Modi mocked the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, for supposedly presiding over economic failure. He jeered that Mr. Singh — who has a doctorate in economics from Oxford University and was the architect of the liberalization of the Indian economy in the early 1990s — could not stop onion prices rising and that economic growth was jobless, both popular concerns.
Later, as prime minister, Mr. Modi told me that India’s economic performance had been embarrassing under Mr. Singh. (In fact, Mr. Singh’s record was pretty good: In his full decade as prime minister, economic growth was on average 7.8 percent a year.) The world, Mr. Modi told me, saw that “the ‘I’ in the BRICS had become a burden,” meaning India had fallen behind Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. He bragged he was restoring India’s image.
Parts of India’s $2.3 trillion-strong economy are in better shape today than they were three years ago. Onion prices are down. Deficits are lower. Businesses face somewhat less red tape. Foreign investment has come — over $160 billion in the first three years, compared with just $38 billion in the first three years of Mr. Singh — even if Indian firms are reluctant to spend.
Continue reading the main story
Local business leaders quietly grumble there is no dynamism on the ground, little consumer demand. Much infrastructure, such as wobbly roads and slow freight trains, needs improving. Indebted banks — state-run and READ MORE

Delhi University declares third cut off. Admissions re-open

EDUCATIONAL NEWS

As the third cut-off list announced by the Delhi University (DU), the students applying for various courses are left with not too many options. However, some of the colleges have re-started the admission process for certain academic courses that were closed after the 2nd cut-off list was made public. Following the release of third cut-off list by DU, there sprang up a descending trend as most of the colleges bringing down the minimum required percentages. Admissions to some colleges are still open, on-campus and off-campus. The prestigious Shree Ram College of Commerce is no longer taking admission to B.A. (Hons), Economics and B.Com (Hons) for Open Category applicants. Only five courses of fourteen offered by Lady Shri Ram College can still be grabbed, though the cut-offs plunged slightly.

Colleges Reopen Admissions
The SGTB Khalsa College has brought down its cut-offs for more admissions. Earlier the college had announced its cut-offs above 95% for most of its academic courses. It is to be noted that the cut-off for B.SC (Hons) Electronics which stood at 99.66% has been brought down to 93.66%. Similarly, cut-offs for B.A. (Hons.) Psychology and B.A. (Hons.) Journalism which stood at 98.25% and 97.75%, respectively, are now at 98% and 97.5%. Admissions to B.A. (Hons.) Economics at 97.5% after closing admissions in the second list are now open again.

The Delhi University’s Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB) on Thursday announced its second cut-off list, with the highest being 88% for B.Com at Miranda House. The NCWEB offers B.Com and B.A. It announced its first cut-off lists on July 1 (Saturday). The highest cutoff stood at read more