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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

IT return form made simpler
New Delhi, April 28
The government today replayed ‘Saral’ with a new income tax return form ‘ITR-1’ for individuals having salary and interest income and no other income and also done away with the controversial ‘cash flow statement’ in the return form.

Tax collection touch Rs 4,70,077 crore
New Delhi, April 28
Total tax collection, including direct and indirect taxes, touched Rs 4,70,077 crore in 2006-07, crossing the budget estimates for all revenue heads, finance minister P Chidambaram said here today.

Champaran bags first pvt investment 
Patna, April 28
Beyond policies and announcements by 17-month old Nitish Government, Gandhi’s Champaran received its first tangible private investment in the form of a sugar mill.

OBC to hike home loan rates
New Delhi, April 28
The Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) is set to hike the rates between 0.50 to 0.75 bps, leaving the existing borrowers below Rs 20 lakh untouched.


EARLIER STORIES

 
Managing director and CEO of Daimler Chrysler India Dr Wilfried Aulbur at the launch of CL Class Mercedes Benz in Hyderabad on Saturday. The company has sold 690 vehicles in the first quarter, registering a 17 per cent growth over the corresponding period last year.
Managing director and CEO of Daimler Chrysler India Dr Wilfried Aulbur at the launch of CL Class Mercedes Benz in Hyderabad on Saturday. The company has sold 690 vehicles in the first quarter, registering a 17 per cent growth over the corresponding period last year. — PTI

Aviation Notes
Time for AAI to have a makeover
Civil aviation and defence are two vital ministries in the government that control flying in the country. If they come out of their egoistic inclinations and work in harmony with each other, several civil aviation problems can be sorted out. Then, and then only, will the open skies look like a brightly shining multitude of canvas for national and international flights to operate.

Investor Guidance
No deduction for short-term capital gains
Q: Is Sec. 80C deduction available for income which is taxed at concessional rates like say short term capital gains on sale of shares on which STT is paid? For example, If my income is Rs.1,50,000 consisting of Rs.80,000 normal income, Rs. 40,000 STT paid short-term capital gains & Rs.60,000 taxable long-term capital gains. There is also an investment of Rs.50,000 in PPF. What would be my taxable income?

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IT return form made simpler
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
The government today replayed ‘Saral’ with a new income tax return form ‘ITR-1’ for individuals having salary and interest income and no other income and also done away with the controversial ‘cash flow statement’ in the return form.

The ‘ITR-1’ form is one of the eight return forms, for various categories of IT assessees, prepared by the Central Board of Direct Taxes for the assessment year 2007-08.

As per the new form ‘ITR-1’, the individual assessee need not attach Form-16 and will have to just fill the relevant columns in the form pertaining to tax deducted at source.

All these forms, except ‘ITR-7’, meant for filing of returns by charitable/religious trusts, political parties and other non-profit organisations, have been designed as ‘annexure-less’ so as to make them amenable for electronic filing, finance minister P Chidambaram told newspersons.

While debunking the replaced form (Saral), introduced during NDA regime, as being ‘anything but simple’, Chidambaram said “earlier form was a case of much ado about nothing and the really simple form was the one which was being introduced now.”

Pointing that the CBDT has prepared two versions of ‘ITR-1’ — a two page and a three-page form, Chidambaram said the government has sought the opinion of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on whether to notify two-page version or three-page version.

“Though we believe that the three-page form is really assessee-friendly, the final decision as to which form should be accepted would depand upon the recommendations of the ICAI,” he said adding “all forms will be formally notified on May 14, 2007.”

Noting that even though 'Saral' was a one-page form, it was impossible to fill the form without annexures, which would run into three or four pages, the finance minister said the ‘annexure-less’ version was in line with the government’s move to make e-filing of returns compulsory for all categories of tax payers in the near future.

Referring to the controversy over the Form 2F with a cash flow statement, introduced last year, for individuals and HUF taxpayers, he said the government has decided to withdraw it in response to representations against it and also due to the recommendation made against it by Parliamentary panel.

Individuals and HUF taxpayers would now be required to furnish only information with regard to transactions, which are reported through the annual information returns (AIR).

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Tax collection touch Rs 4,70,077 crore
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
Total tax collection, including direct and indirect taxes, touched Rs 4,70,077 crore in 2006-07, crossing the budget estimates for all revenue heads, finance minister P Chidambaram said here today.

The direct tax collection, which include corporate tax, personal income tax, touched Rs 2,29,181 crore as against the revised budget estimate of Rs 2,29,007 crore.

As against revised budget estimates of Rs 82,510 crore, the collection of personal income tax, which includes FBT, STT, BCTT, during 2006-07 has been Rs 85,620 crore, Chidambaram said.

The corporate tax collection stood at Rs 1,43,561 crore as against the revised estimate of Rs 1,46,497 crore.

In the indirect tax front too, the collection was impressive. The customs duty collection stood at Rs 86,294 crore as against revised estimate of Rs 81,800 crore. The budget estimate was Rs 77,066 crore.

Regarding central excise, the government had scaled down the collection estimate from the budget estimate of Rs 1,17,967 crore to Rs 1,16,233 crore in the revised estimates. Though the collection during 2006-07 of Rs 1,17,250 crore crossed the revised estimate, it fell Rs 517 crore short of budget estimate.

In the service tax front, the collection during 2006-07 could not cross the revised budget estimate of Rs 38,169 crore, but was Rs 2,852 crore higher than the budget estimate of Rs 34,500 crore. “High GDP growth, better compliance and better tax administration has led to better revenue collection,” he said.

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Champaran bags first pvt investment 
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, April 28
Beyond policies and announcements by 17-month old Nitish Government, Gandhi’s Champaran received its first tangible private investment in the form of a sugar mill.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today laid the foundation stone for Maurya sugar mill at Gurawalia in Bettiah of West Champaran. Noted film producer Prakash Jha’s company P&M Infrastructures Private Ltd is investing Rs 150 crore to set up the first private sugar mill of Bihar since 1947.

Nitish assured the farmers that there would be no forceful acquisition of land in Bihar. Over 350 farmers donated 200 acres of land for the mill. The mill is expected to come up by 2009.

Incidentally, Champaran is the place where Gandhi had launched his Satyagraha movement in 1919 against the British after his retrun from South Africa. The district bordering Nepal is now more known for Maoist activities and related violence.

The credit for revival of sugar industry in Bihar, besides policy initiatives by the Nitish Government, also goes to UPA at center which played a supportive role.

Talking to The Tribune, state sugarcane minister Nitish Mishra said that the forthcoming sugar mill is expected to generate 1,000 direct employments, besides about 5,000 indirect employments.

The mill is part of Rs.4,600 crore private investments proposals approved by the Nitish Government to revive the ailing sugar industry in the state. 

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OBC to hike home loan rates
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
The Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) is set to hike the rates between 0.50 to 0.75 bps, leaving the existing borrowers below Rs 20 lakh untouched.

Home loan credit of the bank grew by 17 to 18 per cent to about 5,000 crore in 2006-07, OBC executive director Alen C A Pereira said.

According to the working results for 2006-07, the bank has posted a net profit of Rs 54.86 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2007, sliding down 73.23 per cent from Rs 204.94 crore during the same period a year ago.

Its total income, however, climbed 27.86 per cent at Rs 1,577.29 crore during fourth quarter of 2007 from Rs 1,233.54 crore during the corresponding period in the previous year.

OBC also declared a dividend of 47 per cent, including an interim dividend of 20 per cent paid earlier, subject to permission by the RBI.

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Aviation Notes
Time for AAI to have a makeover
by K.R. Wadhwaney

Civil aviation and defence are two vital ministries in the government that control flying in the country. If they come out of their egoistic inclinations and work in harmony with each other, several civil aviation problems can be sorted out. Then, and then only, will the open skies look like a brightly shining multitude of canvas for national and international flights to operate.

Many airports/air-fields continue to be in control of the Indian Air Force. While some are strategically located and need to stay with the IAF, many can be used and utilised for joint operations of civil and defence.

Agra airport, for example, can be upgraded for wide-bodied aircraft to operate. If this is done, both aviation and tourism will be gainers. Besides, a lot of needless congestion in the Delhi skies will be reduced significantly. Aviation analysts are of belief that the Agra airport is absolutely fit to handle international flights.

Recently, former Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah, in the consultative committee meeting on aviation, made a strong plea for operation of flights from Jammu airport in the evenings and the present CM Ghulam Nabi Azad hummed the same tune. Soon, there will be a meeting between civil aviation and the defence ministry to resolve many thorny issues.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has money and it should be ploughed for civil aviation to wear a bright, refreshing look.

The existing main runways at Delhi and Mumbai are not wide enough to handle the world’s biggest aircraft, Airbus A-380, which has a seating capacity for 853. But under pressure from an influential private operator, efforts are being made so that the mammoth jumbo can operate trial runs. The flights will be meant for VIPs, aviation officials and media persons.

The huge aircraft is almost double the size of the jumbo 747. It is as high as a seven-storied building with wing-span of 80 metres. Special arrangements will be made for persons to embark and disembark from the aircraft. Its parking will also be a great problem.

Experts feel that operations at this juncture should not be undertaken. It is great that a private operator has ordered for this version of aircraft but it should be flown in Indian skies only when facilities and infrastructure are in place.

Recently, at Indira Gandhi International Airport, two aircraft came dangerously close. They were cleared for two runways within 15 seconds of each other. Experts say clearance from the tower was injudicious and the lapse could have been suicidal. The DGCA should institute a thorough probe in the lapse. But, the problem is the DGCA is devoid of technical personnel. Even its chief is scheduled for retirement soon.

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Investor Guidance
No deduction for short-term capital gains
by A.N. Shanbhag

Q: Is Sec. 80C deduction available for income which is taxed at concessional rates like say short term capital gains on sale of shares on which STT is paid? For example, If my income is Rs.1,50,000 consisting of Rs.80,000 normal income, Rs. 40,000 STT paid short-term capital gains & Rs.60,000 taxable long-term capital gains. There is also an investment of Rs.50,000 in PPF. What would be my taxable income?

— Shantanu

A: The long-term capital gains are exempt whereas the STCG are taxed @10.3 per cent flat.

No deductions are allowed under Chapter-VIA like u/s 80C, 80D etc., for STCG which is charged to tax at the concessional rate of 10.3 per cent

Moreover, U/s 111A, for a Resident individual or an HUF, where the total income as reduced by short-term or long-term capital gains on which tax is exigible falls below the tax threshold of Rs 1.1 Lakh (Rs 1.95 lakh for senior citizens and Rs 1.45 lakh for non-senior females) the gains would be reduced by the amount by which the total income so reduced falls short of the threshold and the balance of the gains would be taxed at the rates applicable. In short, where the tax liability arises only because of inclusion of such capital gains in the total income, tax is levied on the excess over the minimum taxable limit.

Now, let us take your example:

Normal income Rs. 80,000

Less: deduction u/s 80C 50,000

Net taxable income 30,000

Add LTCG taxable @20 pc 60,000

Add STCG taxable @10 pc 40,000

Total 1,30,000

The excess over the threshold of Rs. 1,10,000 is taxable.

The gap of Rs. 80,000 can be set off against either LTCG first and the balance of the gap can be setoff against the STCG later or the other way round whichever is beneficial to you. In your case it is preferable to setoff LTCG fully first since the tax payable on the LTCG is @ 20 per cent and tax payable on STCG is @10 per cent. The balance of Rs. 20,000 of STCG will be taxable. The tax payable will be Rs. 2,000 plus the education cess.

Systematic investment

Q: I would like to know how to save tax by doing a systematic investment in funds.

— Sunita

A: Systematic investment is not a tax-saving strategy. It is more of an investment strategy. It averages out your cost of investment as per the market movements.

Mutual funds

Q: Can I know what are the mutual fund’s schemes which have the income tax exemption?

— Vinit

A: Equity-based MF schemes (65 per cent or more exposure to equities) are governed differently from the debt-based schemes. In both the cases, dividend is tax-free in the hands of the investor. However, there is a dividend distribution tax @14.16 per cent payable by the MF directly to the exchequer in the case of debt-based whereas the equity-based are exempt from this tax.

Equity-based schemes are also exempt from long-term capital gains tax. The short-term capital gains are taxed @10.3 per cent only. In the case of debt-based schemes, short-term gains are treated as normal income of the assessee and taxed at the rates applicable to the assessee. The long-term gains will attract tax @10.3 per cent without indexation or @20.6 per cent with indexation, whichever is more beneficial to the assessee. In the case of ELSS, there is an additional benefit of deduction u/s 80C.

You are requested to check our website for information on equity and non equity oriented schemes. Apart from the classification, you will find additional helpful information about the schemes, performance etc.

Tax threshold limit

Q: My annual income is less than Rs 50,000. Suppose I invest in fixed maturity Plan (growth option) of any mutual fund with maturity less than 1 year. After receipt of FMP total amount my income does not exceed Rs 1 lakh.

Do I have to pay Short-term capital gain?

Or My FMP maturity amount will be considered as income of particular financial year and I need not to pay Tax.

— Veer Raju

A: The recent budget has increased the basic threshold to Rs. 1,10,000 and this threshold is inclusive of taxable capital gains. If your income including short-term capital gains does not exceed this threshold, there is no tax liability.

The authors may be contacted at wonderlandconsultants@yahoo.com

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