Double home loan repayment exemption limit to Rs3 lakh: ICAI

In a move to boost the housing sector in view of rising property prices and high interest rates, ICAI has suggested that the deduction in respect of interest on housing loan in case of self-occupied property be increased from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs3 lakh

New Delhi: Seeking relief for home buyers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has asked the finance ministry to double the tax exemption limit on loan repayment to Rs3 lakh, reports PTI.

“...it is suggested that the deduction in respect of interest on housing loan in case of self-occupied property should be increased from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs3 lakh”, ICAI said in a pre-Budget memorandum to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The move is necessary to boost the housing sector in view of rising property prices and high interest rates, it said.

ICAI has also pitched for aligning the provisions of the Income Tax Act, so that people above the age of 60 years can avail of all benefits meant for senior citizens.

“To bring more clarity and equality in every section which deals with senior citizens, it is suggested that 60 years age shall apply uniformly in the (Income Tax) Act and accordingly appropriate amendments may be made in the Act,” it said.

Although the Finance Act, 2011, had decreased the age of senior citizens from 65 years to 60 years for getting tax benefits of basic threshold limit, it has yet to amend other provisions related to the law.

The regulator has also suggested that the government should consider raising monetary ceilings of other tax exemption provisions in view of the inflation and declining purchasing power of rupee.

The government is expected to present the General Budget for 2012-13 anytime after 12th March.

 

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Efforts on to build consensus on FDI in multi-brand retail: FM

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s comments follow commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma telling prominent business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos that the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is “just a pause”, forced by the compulsions of coalition politics

Chicago: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that efforts to evolve consensus on the controversial decision to open up multi-brand retail to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) were on, reports PTI.

“We have further liberalised FDI in single brand retail, but our effort to open up the FDI in multi-brand retail trading has not been operationalised yet. We are in the process of building up consensus among the various stakeholders to take the next steps in that regard,” he said.

Mr Mukherjee was addressing a gathering of top business leaders, including from Fortune 500 firms, here on Saturday.

His comments follow commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma telling prominent business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos that the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is “just a pause”, forced by the compulsions of coalition politics.

After widespread opposition, including from its own ally, the government put on hold its decision to allow 51% FDI in multi-brand retail in November.

On the global growth scenario, Mr Mukherjee said the world is passing through turbulent times and the lingering effects of the financial crisis have of late become more pronounced.

“We have seen that the real danger to the global economy lies in the rapid contagion through today’s globally integrated financial markets...We cannot afford to have a piecemeal stop-go approach to address the issues confronting us,” he said.

Talking about the Indian economy, the minister asserted it is, in some ways, better placed than many other nations to withstand a fresh round of global economic turmoil.

He said the key objective this year is “to regain the growth momentum, strengthen the moderation in headline inflation... rejuvenate the markets and improve the business sentiments which have been at low levels for most of the last year”.

 

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Four companies drop IPO plans despite strong markets

If this slowdown in the IPO market continues, then there shall be significant impact on the fund raising abilities of Indian corporates. This will also have impact on the ability of exits for private equity funds

New Delhi: Despite bullish stock markets so far this year, four companies have refrained from coming out with initial public offers (IPOs) worth over Rs700 crore, letting their regulatory approvals lapse, reports PTI.

The companies which have let their regulatory approvals lapse include Micromax Mobiles, Pride Hotels, Betul Oil and Tara Jewels. These public issues were to raise about Rs701 crore, according to an analysts.

“The year 2012 has started on a very positive tone for the capital markets, with elevated mood of the sentiment and significant foreign institutional investment (FII) inflows,” SMC Global Securities strategist and head of research Jagannadham Thunuguntla said.

“Despite such positive momentum in the secondary market that momentum could not spill-over on to the IPO markets and about four IPOs were already called off so far this year,” he added.

Interestingly, there are at least 10 other companies who have valid approval in hand and are left with just two months in their validity period of one year from the date of approval.

These companies include Marck Biosciences, Tijaria Polypipes, Tara Health Foods, Embassy Property Developers, Dev Procon, VRL Logistics, Lokmat Media, Aravali Infrapower, Joyalukkas India and Semantic Space Technologies. The total amount that is expected to be raised by these 10 IPOs is to the tune of about Rs4,210 crore.

“The government’s disinvestment programme is also in “wait-and-watch” mood, the IPO market is not getting the kind of momentum that is expected to happen. If this slowdown in the IPO market continues, then there shall be significant impact on the fund raising abilities of Indian corporates. This will also have impact on the ability of exits for private equity funds,” he added.

Tara Jewels was the first company that failed to launch its Rs50 crore IPO before the regulatory approval lapsed on 3rd January, followed by Pride Hotels which failed to bring its Rs125 crore IPO till 12th January, Micromax Informatics could not come out with its Rs426 crore public offer which expired on 13th January and Betul Oil is the latest addition to the list after the approval for its Rs100 crore public issue expired on 18th January.

Last year, 29 companies, including Reliance InfraTel, Lodha Developers, Ambience, Glenmark Generics and BPTP, axed their IPO plans. The aggregate amount supposed to be raised by those 29 IPOs was to the tune of Rs32,398 crore.

 

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