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RCF rolls out country’s first double-decker rake
Kapurthala, October 16
Union Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee’s dream of running air-conditioned double-decker trains is becoming a reality soon.

The air-conditioned rake has a capacity to carry 1,024 passengers and can run at a speed of 160 km per hour.

The air-conditioned rake has a capacity to carry 1,024 passengers and can run at a speed of 160 km per hour. Tribune photo: 
Malkiat Singh


EARLIER STORIES


Aviation Notes
Rules ‘differ’ for different operators
Foreign airlines are tough operators. They do a lot of study before finalising their routes. They embark on areas that have potential market. Lucknow, for example, has a sizable population, which has Gulf contacts. No wonder FlyDubai, a no-frills airline, started flights to Lucknow and back in June. Statistics reveal that flights to Dubai and back to Lucknow have generally been more than '70 per cent occupied'.

Investor Guidance
NSCs not covered under DTC

Q: My questions are regarding the imminent Direct Tax Code (DTC). 1) After DTC, can senior citizen invest in PPF up to Rs. 1 lakh? 2) If not then should our existing accounts be closed at the age of 65 years? 3) Are NSCs still included in tax saving instruments in the new DTC?





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RCF rolls out country’s first double-decker rake
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, October 16
Union Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee’s dream of running air-conditioned double-decker trains is becoming a reality soon.

The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) here rolled out India’s first AC double-decker rake from its premises in the presence of its GM Pradeep Kumar and its CME Charanjit Singh on Saturday. RCF has offered this rake comprising eight double-decker and two power car coaches to Eastern Railway Kolkata as the first AC double-decker train will run between Howrah in West Bengal and Dhanbad in Jharkhand within a fortnight.

The Railway Minister will formally flag off the train run within a fortnight after its necessary Emergency Breaking Distance (EBD) test by Research Design and Standardisation Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow.

Mamta had announced in Parliament during presentation of rail budget 2009-10 of running such trains in high crowded corridors to provide commuters AC travel at a lower cost.

On this occasion, Pradeep Kumar said: “These coaches are capable to run at a speed of 160 km per hour against that of 110 kmph of ordinary trains.” This train has the capacity of carrying as much as 1,024 passengers at a time as each coach may carry 128 passengers in comparison to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair car.

The GM further stated the overall height of the double-decker coach was increased marginally by 4.5 inches keeping in view the constraints like overhead structures, bridge, electric traction equipment and platforms.

However, the height of the coach from its deck is just six feet which may create a bit problem in movement for tall passengers. Further, the luggage racks right above the seats on both sides of the coaches are too low which will cause difficulty to passengers as it hit to heads when one stands from his or her seat.

This correspondent suggested secretary to GM, Rajnish Bansal, to fix some padding at the lower end of luggage racks to avoid any head injury to passengers, he appreciated this suggestion and immediately directed the concerned staff to make this modification during manufacturing of more such coaches.

To a query, Bansal said RCF would prepare two such rakes in the next year.

Bansal said: “RCF manufactured 30 non-AC double-decker coaches in 2001 which are presently being run between Pune and Mumbai section.

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Aviation Notes
Rules ‘differ’ for different operators
by KR Wadhwaney

Foreign airlines are tough operators. They do a lot of study before finalising their routes. They embark on areas that have potential market. Lucknow, for example, has a sizable population, which has Gulf contacts. No wonder FlyDubai, a no-frills airline, started flights to Lucknow and back in June. Statistics reveal that flights to Dubai and back to Lucknow have generally been more than '70 per cent occupied'.

"We have chosen Lucknow because it has a lot of potential", said FlyDubai official, adding: "We wanted our maiden venture to be successful and, if passenger-load in three-four months is any indication, our decision is 100 per cent on target". When asked why metro or an important city was ignored, he said: "Why fly to already crowded destinations", adding:"We are looking for market and we find Lucknow is a lucrative centre".

The FlyDubai airline's decision of choosing 'tier-II’ city like Lucknow was based on the results achieved by Sharjah's Air Arabia and Air Asia's operations on subsidiary routes. These airlines chose to fly to Trichy, Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Kochi, Lucknow, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.

Analysts say the assessment on no-frills foreign carriers is based on good logic. "They are commercial airlines and they want to secure their profits and not bother about ego-satisfaction", opined analysts.

According to officials of small foreign carriers, flying to busy centres is a big hassle as securing a proper slot for taking-off and landing is a nightmare.

The Indian skies are open to foreign airlines without any 'dos and don'ts'. Reverse is the rule for the Indian carriers wanting to start operations to foreign countries. There is a 'cap' of five years before a private airline is allowed to opt for flying abroad. Why this ruling? According to the analysts, the government apparently seems to be interested in safeguarding interests of a few well-known private operators. The rule is highly 'discriminatory' and protests by affected airlines have been very feeble.

The feeling among domestic airlines is that the skies should be open for all instead of enforcing one rule for Indian operators and another for foreign carriers.

The participants from 70 foreign countries for the 19th edition of the CWG and officials were all praise of the Terminal-3. The participants were provided facilities at the Terminal-3 and they all were appreciative of them. The regular flyers on both international and national routes had their own quota of complaints against the needless levy of fee as 'users' tax'.No wonder, India continues to be 'incredible' in every aspect.

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Investor Guidance
NSCs not covered under DTC
by AN Shanbhag

Q: My questions are regarding the imminent Direct Tax Code (DTC). 1) After DTC, can senior citizen invest in PPF up to Rs. 1 lakh? 2) If not then should our existing accounts be closed at the age of 65 years? 3) Are NSCs still included in tax saving instruments in the new DTC?

— Adi Chinoy

A: 1. The maximum annual contribution that can be made to PPF account of an individual or HUF is Rs. 70,000 as per the PPF Act. This limit is not decided by ITA or DTC. You can continue your PPF account, regardless of your age even under the DTC. It has been clarified that PPF balances will continue to remain tax-free even under DTC.

2. A PPF account cannot be closed depending upon your age. It can be only closed at the end of its term of 15 years. Post-maturity continuation is available for 5 years.

3. NSC is not covered for income deduction under DTC. Also please note that the DTC is not finalized yet. It has been presented before the standing committee which is going to take feedback and inputs from various stakeholders before the DTC is finalized as an Act.

HRA exemption

Q: I am a regular reader of Your column in ‘The Tribune’. I have the following query.

My HUF, of which I am the Karta, owns a house at Panchkula & I, with my wife, have been living in this house since its purchase. I am not paying any rent to the HUF. A portion of the house has been given on rent. Now, one of my sons, who is a member of the HUF, has been transferred to Chandigarh & has started living in the portion earlier given on rent to others. My query is whether the HUF can charge any rent from my son. If so, can my son claim exemption from tax allowable u/s 10(13) on the House Rent Allowance (HRA) being paid to him by his employer."

— Farangi Lal Kansal

A : HUF can charge rent to anyone, including one of its members. Your son can claim HRA deduction exemption u/s 10(13A) if the other conditions laid by the section are satisfied. The rent collected by HUF is liable to income tax.

Senior citizen

Q : I will become 65 years of age in February 2011. Can I claim income tax rebate as a senior citizen in this financial year (FY), or should I wait for the next FY? For this FY, is there any increase in the lower limit of taxable income for a senior citizen above Rs 1,60,000?

— T. C. Balan

A : Since you complete 65 years of age in February 2011, you can claim the higher basic exemption limit in FY 10-11. The basic exemption limit, income below which tax is not payable stands at Rs. 1,60,000 for FY 10-11. However, for senior citizens (like yourself) a higher limit of Rs. 2,40,000 applies. In other words, if your total taxable income for FY 10-11 is below Rs. 2.40 lakh, you do not have to pay tax or file a tax return.

The authors may be contacted at [email protected]oo.com

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