Odisha seeks Rs 6,500 cr for railway projects in Budget

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday sought Rs 6,500 crore for railway projects in the state in the Union Budget for 2018-19.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Patnaik said such a package will help both Odisha and Indian Railways in furthering their goals of economic and social justice.

"This packages includes detailed proposals for the ongoing

Railway budget to provide for installation of escalators and lifts at all major stations

With the aim of providing better amenities, Railways will make a budget provision of Rs 3,400 crore for installing about 3,000 escalators and 1,000 lifts at all major urban and suburban stations across the country.

This will facilitate smooth movement of passengers, including old and physically-challenged people.

While 372 escalators are meant to cover all stations including

Budget likely to approve 4 rail corridors: Reports

According to Officials, 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. As per reports, two corridors of the quadrilateral -- Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah -- were sanctioned at a cost of Rs 11,189 crore and

Budget 2018: Opportunity to fulfil housing expectations of millions

 The "Housing for All by 2022" mission has set the stage for a robust recovery in the residential property market. In the past two years, we have seen an unprecedented focus on reforms channelised through the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016, demonetisation, Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. So, this time, the Budge

Commerce Ministry for reduction in gold import duty in budget

A senior government official has said that the commerce ministry has pitched for reduction in import duty on gold in the forthcoming Budget with an aim to promote gold jewellery exports. As per reports, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has demanded cut in import duty on gold to 4 per cent from the current 10 per cent. The sector contributes significantly in the country

Budget 2018: ASSOCHAM seeks 10% customs duty on pulp imports

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the Centre to impose 10 per cent customs duty on import of hardwood chemical pulp and bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp (BCTMP) to encourage domestic pulp production, provide fillip to job creation and promote overall economic development of India’s vast rural hinterland housing pulpwood plantations.

“These measures would help ener

Food subsidy bill may swell by 10% in 2018-19 budget

The Centre's food subsidy bill is likely to go up by 10 per cent to around Rs 1.60 lakh crore in the 2018-19 budget due to rise in minimum support prices but no change in subsidised rates of foodgrains, sources said. The 2018-19 Union Budget will be presented on February 1. Since November 2016, the government is implementing the National Food Security Act, under which foodgrains are supplie

This budget will be Modi government`s biggest challenge in 4 years

Unlike most countries, the budget is usually an eventful affair in India and is a heated topic of national conversation around the time of its release. The underlying national interest behind it is mostly because the budget holds something for everyone -- ranging from a small farmer to a big industrialist. However, from this year onwards, much of its sheen will be off by a bit.

The ti

Public health infra needs priority in upcoming budget: ICRA

A report has said that public sector accounts for only 30 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure in the country and investment in building and maintaining public health infrastructure needs priority in the forthcoming budget for FY 2018-19. According to ICRA, public sector investment on healthcare accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of GDP, which is one of the lowest globally, and the gov

ICRA expects increase in budgetary allocation for highways

Budgetary allocation for highways sector is likely to be higher for FY19 in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 85,000 given the government's plans to build more roads, rating agency ICRA said as per the PTI report. "In order to support the new programme, allocation for FY2019 is expected to be in the range of Rs 80,000-85,000 crore to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as against Rs 64,

`Government may not alter fiscal consolidation targets in Budget`

The government will stick to the fiscal consolidation roadmap targets in the upcoming budget due to the risk of RBI shifting its stance to hiking rates, which may impact recovery, a foreign brokerage said as per the PTI report. Though analysts are opining that the government may relax the fiscal consolidation roadmap targets, Deutsche Bank says it may stick to curtailing the fiscal gap at 3 per

Set DDT rate to 10% in budget: CII

Industry body CII has said that it has sought rationalisation of the dividend distribution tax rate to 10 per cent in the upcoming Budget to encourage participation of different stakeholders in the country's financial markets. Commenting on the issue, industry body CII said, “Alternatively, to negate the multiple level taxation issues pertaining to dividend distributed, the dividend p

Budget session to commence from January 29

The Budget session of Parliament will commence from January 29 and conclude on April 6, reported PTI. "The President has summoned the Rajya Sabha to meet on Monday, January 29. Subject to exigencies of business, the session is scheduled to conclude on Friday, April 6," a Rajya Sabha Secretariat statement read.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat in a statement said that in order to en

Pressure on Finance Minister to fulfil promise of cutting corporate tax rate

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be under pressure to moderate tax rate for the industry which was promised a lower levy of 25 per cent by the government three years ago, experts said as per the PTI report. With the US substantially cutting corporate tax, the minister will also need to keep India's tax rate globally competitive, they added. The industry is doubtful whether Jaitley would f

There won`t be a populist Budget: NITI Aayog Vice Chairman

New Delhi, Jan 10 NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday dismissed concerns of fiscal slippage and said the next Union Budget will not be a populist one.

"There shouldn't be a fear of fiscal risk because of slippage, because if at all, a fiscal slippage happens, it would only be for the right reasons.

"Fear would be if you

Employment key to better future, Economists tell Modi ahead of Budget

Even as NITI Aayog claims to have found that statistics on lack of employment are overstated, there was consensus during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interaction with country's leading economists that employment generation was the key going forward.

At an event organised by the NITI Aayog ahead of the Union Budget, over 40 economists shared their views on various themes

Crop insurance scheme likely to get Rs 13,000cr in FY19 budget

The government is likely to increase the budget allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to Rs 13,000 crore for 2018-19 from Rs 10,701 crore for the current financial year, sources said. The Union Budget for 2018-19 will be presented on February 1.Under the upgraded crop insurance scheme PMFBY, launched early 2016, farmers pay very nominal premium and get full claim for the c

Should discourage budget Indian tourists: Goa Minister

Goa as a tourism destination should become so expensive that low-budget Indian tourists are discouraged from coming to the coastal state, a minister said on Friday.

Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai also said Goa should re-orient its tourism to attract high-end tourists and focus on quality tourism rather than a tourism apparatus which focuses merely on footfalls.

India lowers economic growth forecast ahead of budget

By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI - India lowered its forecast for the current year's economic growth on Friday before a federal budget is released next month, as businesses were hit by the chaotic launch of new nationwide tax last July.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier estimated the economy would grow around 7.5 percent in the 2017/18 fiscal year, gener

Ficci urges government to lower corporate tax in upcoming budget

Industry body Ficci has said that it has urged the government to lower the corporate tax rate to 28 per cent from 30 per cent in the forthcoming Budget, a move that would boost the industry and help tide over the problems created by the US tax reforms. As per reports, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his 2015-16 Budget had promised to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 per cent over the next f

Exclusive: India plans to boost tourism, travel in annual budget - sources

By Manoj Kumar and Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI - India is planning to cut taxes on travel and tourism in next month's federal budget and give more incentives to the $210 billion sector, government sources said, hoping to boost economic growth and create more jobs.

The move could add to a domestic tourism boom in the world's second most populous nation, wher

Budget session of Parliament to begin from Jan 29; Union Budget on Feb 1

The Budget session of Parliament will commence from January 29 and the Union Budget will be presented on February one, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs recommended on Friday, reported PTI. President Ramnath Kovind will address the joint sitting of the two Houses on January 29 and the Economic Survey will be tabled on the same day, Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar told r

Assocham seeks lower taxes, venture capital pool for electronics sector in Budget 2018-19

 Industry body Assocham on Wednesday recommended a weighted tax deduction of 150-200 per cent on actual cost of specified components for the consumer electronics sector in the upcoming Union Budget.

The deduction is required as costs pertaining to finance, energy and logistics/transportation constitute a major portion of consumer electronics sector, the chamber said in a release.

Jaitley to have pre-Budget meeting with finance sector regulators

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will on Friday chair a pre-Budget consultation meeting with financial sector regulators, according to official sources on Thursday.

Finance Ministry sources here said that Jaitley would chair the meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) which is likely to discuss issues related to the fiscal position, external sector environment,

Reliance Nippon AMC garners Rs 462-cr from anchor investors

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group's asset management arm raised a little over Rs 462 crore from anchor investors, ahead of its initial pubic offering which opens today, reported PTI. The company's IPO committee has finalised allocation 1,8,360,000 equity shares to 24 anchor investors at Rs 252, which is also the upper price band for the offer, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Company