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FTA with EU this year, says Sharma
Chennai, June 4
India is hopeful of signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) this year and negotiations are at an 'advanced stage', Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today. "We are in advanced stages in negotiations for signing the Free Trade Agreement with European Union..It will happen this year..", Sharma told reporters here.

Aviation Notes
Airport development fee unjustified
Passengers deserve permanent, not temporary, relief from paying airport development fee for flying out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) on national and international routes.

Investor Guidance
n One cannot have two PPF accounts
n Rebate on home loans
n Belated IT return
n Capital gains


EARLIER STORIES



Nokia bets big on dual-SIM handsets
New Delhi, June 4
Finnish handset maker Nokia may be a late entrant in the dual-SIM handset category, but it plans to make up for it by launching an entire portfolio in the category in the next 6-9 months.

Maruti workers go on strike
New Delhi, June 4
Maruti Suzuki India today said a section of workers went on a strike this afternoon at its Manesar plant. "A section of workers stopped work for a few hours on Saturday at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant," the company said.

 





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FTA with EU this year, says Sharma

Chennai, June 4
India is hopeful of signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) this year and negotiations are at an 'advanced stage', Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today.

"We are in advanced stages in negotiations for signing the Free Trade Agreement with European Union..It will happen this year..", Sharma told reporters here.

The proposed FTA would be beneficial to the Indian industry, he said, adding, government was also proposing to sign similar agreements with Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

"We are also looking to sign (FTAs) with New Zealand, Canada and Australia..", he said.

In reply to a question on BJP demanding resignation of Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on allegations of quid pro quo in awarding spectrum to Aircel, he merely said, "it was for the concerned person to respond..." Reacting to Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev going on indefinite fast against corruption and black money, he said his colleagues in the government had been talking to those who have opted to sit on fast, without elaborating.

"I will be very happy if all those who believe in activism take up larger issues like unemployment, poverty eradication, illiteracy and female infanticide", he said.

Sharma was here to take stock of the issues faced by exporters at a meeting organised by Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation, South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Association and Tiruppur Exporters Association. PTI

  • Talks at advanced stage
  • FTA to benefit Indian industry
  • FTAs with New Zealand, Canada and Australia also on radar

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Aviation Notes
Airport development fee unjustified
by KR Wadhwaney

Passengers deserve permanent, not temporary, relief from paying airport development fee for flying out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) on national and international routes.

The temporary relief has come as the Delhi High Court has stayed fee for three weeks on a petition filed by the Resources of Aviation Redressal Association (RARS). The decision prompted the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to direct airlines not to levy fee from the departing passengers.

According to aviation analysts, the levy charged by GMR's DIAL is wholly unjustified as the private outfit is not providing any additional facility to the passengers. Besides, while making the bid to construct new terminal-III, the GMR did not even remotely mention that it would levy this development fee from passengers after the building has been raised.

The analysts are emphatic that the private consortium of DIAL is already minting money from levying exorbitant rental from other users and the passengers, already paying several other taxes and fees, should not be burdened with this 'unjustified fee'.

In fact, the government should bar all private developers at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad not to charge any fee from the passengers. Does Railways levy any such charge while providing additional facilities in trains and on stations? If not, why private builders be allowed to charge fees to swell their own profits?

According to statistics, since the change over from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to the DIAL, the crimes at the IGIA have increased. The Terminal-III, according to senior citizens, is not friendly to 'disabled and aged persons' who are denied even wheel-chairs when requisitioned in advance. Also, there is not much rapport between air traffic controllers and the DIAL functionaries.

The analysts are of the firm view that the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority's (AERA) appellate tribunal should examine in detail this vex subject of fee and take a final call instead of courts coming to the aid of harassed and helpless passengers.

The IGIA has become the busiest airport in the country, ahead of Mumbai, as volume of traffic has gone beyond one lakh passengers a day on several occasions in May, 2011. But, becoming busiest airport is one thing, but being 'friendly airport to passengers is another.

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Investor Guidance
by AN Shanbhag

One cannot have two PPF accounts

Q. I have been an avid reader of your columns. They are very lucid and simple to understand.

In this respect, I wanted to clarify a thing or two about PPF. I have a PPF account in Delhi. I am now based in Mumbai. Can I now open a second PPF account in Mumbai?

Madhav P. Dhakras

A. Unfortunately, the answer is in the negative i.e. you cannot have two PPF accounts - you will have to transfer the account from Delhi to Mumbai or continue the same in Delhi, whichever is preferable. Normally, for effecting the transfer of the account, you may write to the bank in which you have your PPF account instructing them to transfer the account to the specified bank and branch. The process usually takes around 15-20 days. However, this above process may differ from bank to bank, so it would be best if you approach your bank and get the exact procedure from them.

Rebate on home loans

Q. I had availed my employees co-operative society loan at fixed rate of interest for the construction of house in addition to an SBI loan. I want to claim deductions for these loans. The house is completed within three years from the date of acquisition and it is used for self-occupation. Is there any format for claiming the interest and principal for housing loan towards income tax?

R Jaitly

A. The interest payable on capital borrowed for acquiring or constructing a self-occupied residential property is deductible with a ceiling of Rs 1,50,000. The acquisition or construction should be completed within 3 years from the end of the year in which the capital was borrowed.

The assessee should obtain a certificate from the lender that such interest was payable on the amount advanced for acquisition or construction of the house, or as refinance of the principal amount outstanding under an earlier loan taken for such a purpose.

Belated IT return

Q. I am a salaried class private employee and also draw pension for my previous engagement with the armed forces. Income tax deductions for the salary being drawn are being reflected in the Form-16. Due to some reasons, I could not file my income tax returns for the past three years.

I want to file the same for the past three years. Please suggest remedy for me.

Venkat Rao

A. One may file a belated return up to one year from the end of Assessment Year relevant to the financial year in consideration. Therefore, return filing for FY 08-09 and prior has been time barred. The return for FY 09-10 may be filed latest till 31st March, 2012. However, we would urge you to arrange to file the same as soon as possible. The return for FY 10-11 may be filed in the regular course by July 31, 2011.

Capital gains

Q. I have long-term capital gains due to sale of a residential house. I am going to invest this in Capital Gains Account Scheme for reinvestment in a house. I require clarification regarding the amount to be invested:

1. Is calculation of capital gains by indexation applicable here or is it only for payment of tax?

2. If indexation can be used, can I club the balance amount with my other savings in the bank without any problem of taxation rules etc?

S. Chitra

A. On sale of property, the long-term capital gains have to be calculated by reducing indexed cost from the net sale proceeds. The resultant figure is the long-term capital gain. It is this long-term capital gain that has to be invested in a new property in order to save the tax. And it is this figure that has to be parked in the Capital Gain Account Scheme (CGAS) till such time a suitable property is purchased.

The balance amount of sale proceeds over and above the computed long-term capital gain may be clubbed with your other savings if so desired.

The authors may be contacted at wonderlandconsultants@yahoo.com 

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Nokia bets big on dual-SIM handsets

New Delhi, June 4
Finnish handset maker Nokia may be a late entrant in the dual-SIM handset category, but it plans to make up for it by launching an entire portfolio in the category in the next 6-9 months.

The company had forayed into the dual-SIM category in August last year with the launch of two handsets (C1 and C2).

"We want to develop products that meet the changing needs and aspirations of Indian consumers. We will introduce a range of dual-SIM handsets, which have something more to offer, in the next 6-9 months," Nokia India director sales Vipul Sabharwal said while launching two new dual-SIM devices. He, however, declined to comment on the number of devices to be launched or their price points.

Nokia's new dual-SIM handsets - C2-00 and X1-01 - are priced at about Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively. Nokia C2-00 has expandable memory up to 32 GB and allows users to browse the Internet, while Nokia X1-01 offers up to 36 hours of continued music playback. PTI

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Maruti workers go on strike

New Delhi, June 4
Maruti Suzuki India today said a section of workers went on a strike this afternoon at its Manesar plant.

"A section of workers stopped work for a few hours on Saturday at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant," the company said. Management representatives were talking to the workers to understand the situation and find an appropriate solution, it said.

"Operations at the Gurgaon facility were normal," the statement added. PTI

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