Economy
Budget 2015: Govt to set up five new UMPPs
Jaitley said all clearances and linkages will be in place before the 4,000 MW UMP project is awarded in a transparent auction system
 
 
India will set up five more ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), each of 4000 MW entailing investments of around Rs1 lakh crore, the government said today.
 
Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all clearances and linkages will be in place before the project is awarded by a transparent auction system. This shall unlock investments to the extent of Rs1 lakh crore, he added.
 
UMPP is coal-based thermal power project that has 4,000 MW generation capacity. The minister, however, did not announce the states where these projects are proposed to be set up.
 
Under the “plug and play” system coal blocks will be auctioned after they are granted various clearances to speed up and simplify mining and get better valuation, Jaitley said.
 
One such project is likely to be set up in power starved state of Bihar. The proposed plant in Bihar may be fed from a mine either in Jharkhand or Odisha.
 
Jaitley said the Government would also consider similar plug-and-play projects in other infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, rail lines and airports. 
 
The Finance Minister also announced that the second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station will be commissioned in 2015-2016. 
 
Earlier in November, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that sufficient number of coal blocks will be allotted for the purpose. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is the nodal agency for UMPPs in the country.
 
So far, four UMPPs have been awarded, of which Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) have been bagged by Reliance Power. Tata Power is operating the Mundra UMPP in Gujarat.
 

 

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Budget 2015: FMC to be merged with SEBI

The proposed merger of FMC with SEBI would help streamline the monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations, Jaitley said 

 

In a significant move, the Union Government Saturday said commodities market watchdog Forward Markets Commission (FMC) will be merged with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
 
Presenting his maiden full-fledged Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would merge “FMC with SEBI’’.
 
The proposed merger would help streamline the monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations, he added.
 
To implement the merger, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act (SCRA) as well as the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act (FCRA) would need amendments.
 
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) had recommended that SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and FMC should be merged into a single entity into a unified financial agency (UFA).
 
In September 2013, FMC was brought under the Finance Ministry after the emergence of a major crisis at National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
 
The move came in the wake of the Rs5,600-crore payment crisis at NSEL. Earlier, FMC was with the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
 

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Jaitley: Aam Admi must save more for tax benefits

While there are no changes in income tax rates for individuals, Jaitley has increased exemption limit for health insurance premium, contribution to pension scheme and transport allowance

 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday kept the tax exemption limits for individual taxpayers unchanged. However, he asked the middle class to save more, by either contributing more to National Pension Scheme (NPS) or buying health insurance.
 
In his first full Budget, the Finance Minister increased the exemption limit for contribution to NPS to Rs1.50 lakh from Rs1 lakh. Health insurance premium exemption is also increased to Rs25,000 from Rs15,000. For senior citizens the health insurance limit would be Rs30,000. “Individual tax payer will benefit to the extent Rs4.44, lakh from the exemptions announced,” Jaitley said.
 
Here are Jaitley’s proposals for the middle class…
 
A.     Increase in the limit of deduction in respect of health insurance premium to Rs25,000 from Rs15,000.
 
(1)   For senior citizens the limit will stand increased to Rs30,000 from the existing Rs20,000.
 
(2)   For very senior citizens of the age of 80 years or more, who are not covered by health insurance, deduction of Rs30,000 towards expenditure incurred on the treatment will allowed.
 
B.     The deduction limit of Rs60,000 towards expenditure on account of specified diseases of serious nature is proposed to be enhanced to Rs80,000 in case of very senior citizens.
 
C.     Additional deduction of Rs25,000 will be allowed for differently abled persons under Section 80DD and Section 80U of the Income-tax Act.
 
D.     The limit on deduction on account of contribution to a Pension Fund and the New Pension Scheme is proposed to be increased to Rs1.5 lakh from Rs1 lakh.
 
E.      To provide social safety net and the facility of pension to individuals and additional deduction of Rs50,000 is proposed to be provided for contribution to the New Pension Scheme under Section 80 CCD. This will enable India to become a pensioned society instead of a pensionless society.
 
F.      Investments in Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme is already eligible for deduction under Section 80C.  All payments to the beneficiaries including interest payment on deposit will also be fully exempt.
 
G.     Transport allowance exemption is being increased to Rs1,600 per monthly from Rs800 per month.
 
H.     For the benefit of senior citizens, service tax exemption will be provided on Varishta Bima Yojana.
 
Last year, Jaitley had increased the tax exemption limit to Rs2.5 lakh from Rs2 lakh, while raising the housing loan rebate to Rs2 lakh from Rs1.5 lakh for self-occupied property. 
 

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