Hexaware Q4 net profit rises at Rs39.60 crore

In the December 2010 quarter, Hexaware total income stood at Rs299.62 crore compared to Rs252.04 crore in the same quarter last year

Hexaware Technologies Ltd said that its net profit for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2010 increased to Rs39.60 crore from Rs36.03 crore in the corresponding period last year.

In the December 2010 quarter, the company's total income stood at Rs299.62 crore compared to Rs252.04 crore in the same quarter last year.

On Wednesday, Hexaware ended 3.07% up at Rs110.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.15% to 18,300.90.

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Insurers seek separate tax exemption limit for policies

Life insurance companies have recommended a standalone additional exemption of Rs 50,000 for life insurance premiums under the Income Tax Act. They also sought the Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE) bracket for life insurance policies

New Delhi: The insurance industry wants the government to create a separate tax exemption limit of Rs50,000 for life insurance premium in the forthcoming budget to encourage more individuals to buy such policies, reports PTI.

"It is suggested that a standalone additional exemption limit of Rs50,000 (over and above the already existing limit of Rs1,00,000) be specified for (life) insurance premiums alone under the Income Tax Act," Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance chief financial officer Anuj Mathur said.

Currently investment in saving instruments, like risk cover, pension products, PF contributions, National Savings Certificates and others, are eligible for aggregate deduction of Rs1 lakh.

Besides, investments in infrastructure bonds up to Rs20,000 also qualify for deduction.

"We recommend a separate limit for tax exemption for long-term saving instruments like life insurance or increasing the limits on life and health insurance premium could be looked at," Max New York Life Insurance MD & CEO Rajesh Sud said.

Industry experts said changing lifestyle made necessary an assurance for future income generation, thereby increasing the need for a life insurance policy.

Mr Mathur said in order to ensure better insurance penetration, life insurance companies should be allowed to come under the Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE) bracket.

Under EEE, a policy holder gets tax exemption at various stages during the term of the policy.

The insurance sector needs capital on a periodic basis for expansion and experts hope that the budget session would also see passage of FDI bill in insurance sector to 49%, from the current 26%.

"There is a need for more proactive regulatory architecture for insurance. Foreign insurers could be allowed to set up under a wholly-owned subsidiary with 100% FDI. The life insurance industry is very capital intensive and companies need huge capital to fund growth," KPMG executive director Naresh Makhijani said.

Life insurance companies currently pay tax of 12.5% and the Direct Taxes Code, which would replace the archaic I-T Act from 1 April 2012, does not specify any specific limit for the same. This would mean being taxed at 30%.

"A significant portion of funds of life insurance companies are invested in infrastructure projects. Also companies incur huge losses initially due to long gestation period. With higher tax rates, it will be unattractive proposal for new investors to invest in the sector," Max New York Life's Mr Sud said.

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State-owned oil retailers hike jet fuel prices by over 4%

The ATF price hike, the second biggest increase in a year, comes on the back of another 4.5% jump in rates effected from 1st February. This is the ninth straight increase in jet fuel prices since October 2010, when international crude oil prices started soaring

New Delhi: State-run oil marketing companies on Tuesday raised aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by a massive 4%, the ninth straight increase in rates since October, reports PTI.

ATF rates in Delhi have been hiked by Rs2,104 a kilolitre, or 4.12%, to Rs53,538 a kilolitre (kl) with effect from midnight of 15th February, an official of Indian Oil Corporation, the nation's largest fuel retailer, said.

The hike, the second biggest increase in a year, comes on the back of another 4.5% jump in rates effected from 1st February. "The hike has been necessitated because of spurt in international oil rates," the official said.

This is the ninth straight increase in jet fuel prices since October 2010, when international crude oil prices started soaring.

The ATF price in Delhi in 1st October was Rs40,728.52 a kl. The rates were increased by Rs12,334.48 a kl or 30.28% in nine tranches since then, in tandem with surge in global oil prices.

Jet fuel will cost Rs53,538 a kl in Mumbai, home to the nation's busiest airport, from tomorrow, as against Rs51,332.82 a kl currently.

No comment could be immediately obtained from airline companies on the impact of the latest price hike on passenger fares. Fuel cost accounts for 40% of the airlines' operating cost.

Indian Oil Corporation and sister public sector retailers Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation revise jet fuel prices on the 1st and 16th of every month, based on the average international price in the preceding fortnight.

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