FM announces relief on jewellery, capital gains tax, defers GAAR by one year

Mukherjee halved the capital gains tax for private equity investors to 10%, and also withdrew 1% levy on gold and silber jewellery

New Delhi: Bowing to pressure, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday announced a slew of measures to provide relief to the jewellery sector and postponed implementation of the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) by one year, but offered no concessions to Vodafone involved in tax dispute, reports PTI.

Moving the Finance Bill, 2012 for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, Mr Mukherjee halved the capital gains tax for private equity investors to 10% and relaxed the norms for arrest of persons involved in violation of Customs Act.

"The government has decided to withdraw the levy (1% excise duty) on all precious metal jewellery, branded or unbranded, with effect from 17 March 2012," he announced, bowing to demand within and outside the House.

He said the threshold limit for TCS (tax collection at source) on cash purchase of jewellery will be raised to Rs5 lakh from the present Rs2 lakh.

However, the Minister said, the threshold limit for cash purchase on bullion will be retained at Rs2 lakh. Bullion will not include any coin or other article weighing 10 gm or less, he added, setting the tone for the debate on the crucial bill.

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iGATE removes Patni from brand name

According to iGATE CEO Phaneesh Murthy Patni, being a family name, is difficult to protect in several of its markets

Bangalore: A year after it completed the acquisition of Patni Computer, iGATE Corporation on Monday announced new identity, dropping Patni from its brand name, reports PTI.

The new brand identity of the subsidiary of the US-based consulting, technology and BPO company will be now just iGATE, the company said.

In January last year, an iGate-led consortium had bought nearly 63% stake in India's sixth largest IT company Patni Computer for about $921 million (Rs4,188 crore).

The Completion of the acquisition was announced on 12 May 2011 and company was called 'iGATE Patni'.

Unveiling the new brand, iGATE CEO Phaneesh Murthy said, "I have always articulated that Patni, being a family name, is difficult to protect in several of our markets. This brand change is in line with our vision of 'one company' that will follow the successful delisting offer process of Patni with the Indian stock exchanges."

He said in the statement, "With a revenue run rate of over a billion dollars and over 27,000 employees, the new iGATE symbolises a young and vibrant brand representing the merits of a fully integrated entity.

Mr Murthy said that the company, equipped with an innovative mindset of a game-changer, will engage with global customers to deliver high-impact outcomes through our proprietary iTOPS framework.

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Neyveli Lignite's about 2,000 contract workers arrested

The ongoing strike has led to a shortfall of 390MW and power generation on Monday was 2,100MW against the installed capacity of 2,490MW

Cuddalore: About 2,000 contract workers of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) were arrested on Monday when they tried to block roads and railways, police said.

According to a PTI report, these workers are part of 14,000 contract workers, who are on indefinite strike for the past 17 days, demanding regularisation of services in a phased manner and implementation of 'equal pay for equal work' formula, among other things.

An NLC official said the ongoing strike has led to a shortfall of 390MW. Power generation today was 2,100MW against the installed capacity of 2,490MW, he said.

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