DTC bill tabled in LS; proposes exemption limit of Rs2 Lakh

New Delhi: The government today tabled the much-awaited Direct Taxes Code bill (DTC) in the Lok Sabha, which proposes to raise the exemption limit on income tax from the current Rs1.6 lakh to Rs2 lakh, reports PTI.

The bill, introduced by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, seeks to widen income tax slabs to levy 10% rate on income between Rs2 lakh to Rs5 lakh, 20% between Rs 5-Rs10 lakh and 30% above Rs10 lakh.

For senior citizens, tax exemption is sought to be raised to Rs2.5 lakh from Rs2.40 lakh.

Currently, income between Rs1.6-Rs5 lakh attracts 10% tax; between Rs5-Rs8 lakh, 20% and beyond Rs8 lakh, 30%.

The proposed tax slabs are much lower than originally suggested in the draft DTC bill - 10% for Rs1.6 lakh to Rs10 lakh, 20% between Rs10-Rs25 lakh and 30% for income above Rs30 lakh.

The bill seeks to fix corporate tax at the current 30% but without surcharge and cess. With surcharge and cess, the current tax liability on corporates comes to over 33%.

The legislation also proposes to increase minimum alternate tax (MAT) from 18% to 20% of book profit of a company. It seeks to levy dividend distribution tax (DDT) at 15%.

When enacted, the DTC will replace archaic Income Tax Act.


Nokia to set up server in India in November

New Delhi: Finnish mobile handset firm Nokia today said it will set up its server in India in November this year to adhere to the government's security concerns, a move that may force BlackBerry to also follow it, reports PTI.

"We are launching the server on 5th November in compliance with all the rules and regulation in the country...It is for hosting mail and ensuring that the government has access (to the data)," Nokia India managing director D Shivakumar told reporters here.

The Indian government has been demanding greater access to mobile and online communications on the back of national security concerns.

Its competitor, Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry, are facing a closure of services after tomorrow as they do not have a server hosted in India.

"We met home secretary GK Pillai about a month ago and explained as to what Nokia is doing. He was fully satisfied," Mr Shivakumar said.

Nokia had launched a beta version of the messaging service in April 2009 and consumers can use up to 10 email accounts on the move with the service.


Personal finance Monday

Axis MF declares dividend under Axis Tax Saver Fund

Axis Mutual Fund has declared dividend under its scheme Axis Tax Saver Fund. The quantum of dividend decided for distribution is Re1 per unit on the face value of Rs10. The record date for distribution of dividend is 31 August 2010. The scheme recorded net asset value (NAV) of Rs11.8653 per unit as on 27 August 2010. Axis Tax Saver Fund is an open ended equity linked saving scheme (ELSS). The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income and long-term capital appreciation from a diversified portfolio of equity and equity related securities. The scheme is benchmarked against BSE 200.

Birla Sun Life MF files offer document with SEBI to launch Birla Sun Life Nifty ETF

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch Birla Sun Life Nifty ETF. The scheme is an open ended, index linked, exchange traded fund (ETF). The new fund offer (NFO) price will be Rs10 per unit. The investment objective of the scheme is to provide returns that closely correspond to the total returns of securities as represented by S&P CNX Nifty, subject to tracking errors. The scheme will only have growth plan. Minimum investment amount is Rs5,000 and in multiples of Rs1,000 thereafter. The minimum target amount under the scheme shall be Rs10 crore during the NFO period. The scheme will invest 90-100% in securities comprising underlying benchmark index. The scheme may also invest up to 10% in debt and money market instruments. The scheme will be benchmarked against S&P CNX Nifty.

IDBI Fortis Life Insurance is now IDBI Federal Life Insurance

IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Company, a joint venture company floated by IDBI Bank, Federal Bank and Fortis Insurance International, has changed its name to IDBI Federal Life Insurance Company. The company has obtained the approval of the Registrar of Companies and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority after completing all legal formalities. There is no change in the shareholding pattern of the company. IDBI Bank holds 48% stake in this joint venture company, while Federal Bank and Ageas hold 26% each. This change has been made consequent to the change in the ownership of Fortis Insurance International, which changed its name, following a decision by Fortis in April 2010 to globally change its name to Ageas.

ING Life launches new child insurance product 
ING Life India has launched a new child insurance product called ING Aashirvad. The product helps parents plan for their child's future goal and thereafter protect the life of the child-at no additional cost. ING Aashirvad is a non-linked and non-participative child plan. With this, parents can save for their child's future requirements by guaranteeing the maturity benefit they choose at the start of the plan. In case of any eventuality to the parent, the plan will offer an additional amount equal to 50% of the guaranteed maturity as death benefit, and the policy will continue, with the future premiums being waived off. On maturity, the child shall get the full maturity value of the policy. After the maturity payout is done, the plan automatically extends to protect the child who is now grown up adult, for the next 30 years. The risk coverage is at 50% of the maturity benefit amount-at no additional cost. Thus, the plan protects the parents during the policy payment term, and protects the child thereafter for the next 30 years. In case of any eventuality to the child during this period, the death benefit will be offered to the grand-child of the original proposer. The parents receive the payouts in structured way over five years as per the education and marriage requirements of the child. First four instalments of 5% of the maturity amount payout to meet the education expense requirements and the balance 80% paid out at the time of maturity for other milestones like marriage, etc. 


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