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Major News and Events of 28 February 2013

What Happened on 28 February 2013

Chidambaram's budget have features for welfare to win confidence

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram presented India’s 82nd budget with an aim to please all. There has been a substantial that is 30 percent hike in expenditure and a lower deficit. Stress is on women, youth and the poor who can vote the government back to power as the experts feel. Cigarettes, sports utility vehicles will pinch more and the smart-phone will have higher excise duty.

There is promise to desist excessive spending and the fiscal deficit target has been set at 4.8 percent of India's gross domestic product, against 5.2 percent in the current fiscal, without an across-the-board increase in direct and indirect tax rates or slabs.

The small tax payer, who earns between Rs.200,000 to Rs.500,000 per annum, will now enjoy Rs.2,000 rebate, while the rich will be imposed a super rich tax that equates to a surcharge of 10 percent on an annual income of over Rs.10 crore.

For average taxpayers, the take-aways are: Additional rebate on home loans for first-time buyers, two-year extension of the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme for first-time investors with higher limit of Rs.1.2 million, and introduction of inflation-indexed bonds.

With regards to home loan deduction scheme, as much as Rs.30,000 can be reaped as benefit for the tax payers in the upper bracket. Goods worth Rs.50,000 duty-free in the case of men and Rs.100,000 in the case of women returning from abroad.

For women, an exclusive public sector bank will be there for their service with an initial corpus of Rs.1,000 crore ($180 million), along with Nirbhaya Fund, named after the recent Delhi gang-rape victim, for those subjected to abuse in one form or the other.

A reward of Rs.10,000 under the skill development programme has been introduced for the youth and the budget promises a pan-India roll-out of the direct cash transfer scheme by next year for the poor.

The investors, both domestic and overseas, Chidambaram pledged to do away with any distrust on any undue regulatory or tax burden, coupled with quick decisions, as investments were crucial for the revival of the growth of an economy.

Steps will be initiated so that the promised $1 trillion during the current Five Year Plan on roads, ports, highways, waterways, energy and industrial corridors are invested.

Other highlights of the budget were- A pilot programme for promotion of micro-nutrients, a National Livestock Mission, inflation-indexed bonds, a new corporate tax avoidance tax from 2016, a direct tax code and a new bill for a pan-India goods and services tax in the current fiscal.

Assembly election results in Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya

Tha Nagaland People's Front returned to power emphatically winning 37 seats of the 60 seats assembly in Nagaland. This time it won 11 more than last year's total of 26 seats. It is the main party of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland and the other partners BJP and Janata Dal United won a seat each. Congress secured only 8 out of 23 seats while the NCP got 4 seats, and there were 8 independent candidates who also won seats.

Left won in Tripura with a sweeping majority securing 50 out of 60 seats and trampling Congress in the process left with only 10 seats. CPI-M got 49 seats and CPI 1 seat. The party did their best after 1978 when they won record 56 seats.  Congress ally the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) did not win any seat this time.

The Congress turned out as the single largest party in Meghalaya by securing 29 seats, two less than majority in the 60-member assembly and now there are speculations who would be the chief minister.Three former chief ministers, including Mukul Sangma, who led from the front in the assembly election as well as D.D. Lapang and Salseng C. Marak are in the fray. This time Congress got four more seats than in 2008.The Congress legislators will have a meeting on Friday to decide their new leader who will be the chief minister as well.

Sensex plummets 291 points after budget proposals

As there was no remarkable proposals for the market in the union budget the benchmark index for Indian equities plunged to nearly two percent in volatile trade. The budget proposals like higher taxes on corporates and individuals further affected the mood of the market which could not be revived with the proposals like the liberalization of the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) with an extension beyond one year to three years and increasing the income limit under the scheme from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.12 lakh.Capital goods, bank, metal, public sector undertakings (PSUs) and oil and gas stocks fell down. Consumer durables, information technology (IT) and technology, media and entertainment stocks, went up.The 30 scrip Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), started at 19,264.80 points and closed at 18,861.54 points, down 290.87 points or 1.52 percent from its previous close at 19,152.41 points. The Sensex reached an intra-day high of 19,322.28 points and a low of 19,793.97 points. The midcap index dipped 158.95 points, while the smallcap index dipped 124.83 points. The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended lower by 103.85 points or 1.79 percent at 5,693.05 points.The BSE bank index ended lower by 491.82 points, followed by capital goods, down 321.79 points, metal index, down 275.39 points, PSUs index, down 198.27 points, and the oil and gas index, down 143.97 points.The BSE consumer durables index moved up 60.61 points, while the IT index moved 31.78 points higher and the TECk index was up 4.19 points. The BSE capital goods index went up 223.57 points, followed by the bank index, which ended 109.30 points higher, metal index, up 102.87 points, oil and gas index, up 102.05 points and the public sector undertakings (PSU) index, up 72.10 points. The main losers were State Bank of India (SBI), down 5.80 percent at Rs.2,085.40; Tata Steel, down 4.04 percent at Rs.342.35; ICICI Bank, down 3.86 percent at Rs.1,040.30; Maruti Suzuki, down 3.74 percent at Rs.1,356.65; and Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 3.17 percent at Rs.1,365.80. Out of 30 Sensex companies only five were gainers- Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), up 2.14 percent at Rs.1,514.75; Bharti Airtel, up 0.62 percent at Rs.323.55; Tata Motors, up 0.49 percent at Rs.287.40; Sun Pharma, up 0.40 percent at Rs.802.50; and Bajaj Auto, up 0.35 percent at Rs.1,971.60.

BCCI captains and coaches conclave on Mar 5 in Mumbai

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will host the annual captains and coaches conclave at the Taj Land's End in Mumbai from March 5. The captains and coaches of the twenty-seven Ranji Trophy teams will atttend the conclave. The 2012-13 domestic season, and cricket-related issues that may have cropped up during the same, will be part of the discussion in the conclave. Special invitees are Technical Committee chairman Anil Kumble and Ground and Pitches Committee chairman Daljit Singh.

UAE Censor Board rejects RGV's 'The Attacks of 26/11'

Ram Gopal Varma's "The Attacks of 26/11", which is based on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has been rejected after it was viewed by the UAE censor board. The film has got clearance from the Bahrain and the Oman governments and viewers from Emirates may have to go to Oman if they wish to watch the movie. Nana Patekar portrays a joint commissioner of police who faces an enquiry over the attacks, while Sanjeev Jaiswal will essay the character of the terrorist Ajmal Kasab, whose death sentence was executed recently. The film releases in India on Friday and also includes in the cast Atul Kulkarni and Ganesh Yadav.

Rs.200 crore fund to ensure scientfic innovations go to people

The science and technology sector got an increase of 12 percent in the union budget while a dedicated fund of Rs.200 crore has been assigned to ensure that the comman people can utilize the benefits of scientific innovations, This was informed by the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram when he presented the Union budget today. He said though there were restrictions still there should be initiative to look for resources for departments of science and technology, space and atomic energy. There has been an allocation of Rs.6,275 crore ($1,170 million) compared to Rs.5,030 crore ($938 million) in 2012, an increase of 24 percent. The finance minister also stated that few brilliant scientific innovations have been identified with the help of ministry of science and technology and the principal scientific adviser.

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