The Great Debate (India)
The annual budget, to be unveiled on Feb. 28, is likely to be the last ahead of the 2014 elections and is perhaps the government’s final chance to announce steps to improve India’s investment climate.
Reuters India asks its readers to share their views on the budget and what they would do if they were in the finance minister’s shoes this year.
What is your budget wishlist for this year? What should the income tax slabs look like? Which investment products should be added or removed from the exemption list?
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from The Great Debate UK:
While coverage of health care has increased considerably since the international community defined its millennium development goals to improve health around the world, health gains remain stubbornly elusive, especially in developing countries, and poor quality of care may be the reason why.
Since India’s independence, the mammoth task of feeding its hundreds of millions, most of whom are extremely poor, has been a major challenge to policymakers. In the coming decades, the issue of food insecurity is likely to affect almost all Indians. However, for the poorest amongst us, it could be catastrophic. India ranks 65 of 79 countries in the Global Hunger Index. This is extremely alarming.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the biggest ally in Manmohan Singh’s UPA government, pulled out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday, escalating a political firestorm over big-ticket reform measures launched last week.
The political establishment is abuzz about who will be the next Indian president, a largely ceremonial post that comes open in July.
The president is the constitutional head but has limited powers, similar to that of the monarch in the United Kingdom, despite living in a 340-room palace that was once the British viceroy’s residence.
Rahul Dravid has announced his retirement from international cricket.
The 39-year-old is the second highest run scorer in test history and scored 13,288 runs in 164 tests, including 36 hundreds.
Post your wishes for Dravid and share your views on his career.
Exit polls show the Samajwadi Party winning by far the largest number of seats in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. This would almost certainly mean a return to power for Mulayam Singh Yadav and the ouster of Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati as the chief minister.
Rahul Gandhi had staked his political future on reviving the Congress party in a state where it has not held power for 22 years. But elections have proven notoriously hard to predict in the past, and Congress officials are defiantly upbeat about the party’s chances despite the surveys.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the annual budget in parliament on March 16.
The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) will be in focus this year. Individuals will seek more clarity on income tax slabs and the investment instruments eligible for tax exemptions. Options like tax-saving funds (ELSS) may no longer be eligible for tax breaks going ahead.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has summoned top executives of Kingfisher Airlines to explain a large number of flight cancellations, even as civil aviation minister Ajit Singh rules out providing any aid to the loss-making airline.
Kingfisher has so far failed in efforts to get fresh equity capital. Banks own about a quarter of its shares after the company’s debt was restructured early last year. And the State Bank of India has refused to lend further if the airline did not infuse fresh equity.