DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2019, PUNE, LATECITY, 22 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES JOURNALISM OF COURAGE `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 THE MACRO: Govt gives fiscal deficit target a miss | TAXATION: Salaried class and pensioners can save more REAL ESTATE: Incentive for purchase of second house | SOCIAL WELFARE: Unorganised sector: Rs 3,000 pension FULL COVERAGE PAGE 7-11, 14-15 Directed Benefit Transfer After tri-state loss, BJP gets new talking points for election campaign Half of households are target: small farmers, middle class, urban poor; PM calls it trailer NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 WITH THE Lok Sabha elections justacoupleof monthsaway,the NDA government’s last Budget, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “trailer” of what will take India “towards prosperity”, targeted two critical voter segments: an estimated 12 crore farmer families and 3 crore middle-classtaxpayers.Ithanded them more money that can spur consumption-led growth. To address the growing disquiet over jobs, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, in his debut Budget, announced a string of incentives not just for builders, but also home buyers, to boost demand in a sector that couldbeaforcemultiplierforthe economy. In the Interim Budget 20192020, Goyal set aside Rs 75,000 crore towards the Pradhan Mantri - Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), under which farmers holding upto 2 hectares will get Rs 6,000 as assured income support every year. “Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this,” Goyal said in his BUSINESS AS USUAL RAVISH TIWARI & LIZ MATHEW BY UNNY NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 100-plus minute speech that was unusually long for an interim Budget. The income support will be spread over three instalments and the first one will be handed out by March 31, well before the Lok Sabha elections. For the middle class, the Finance Minister offered full tax rebate up to a taxable income of Rs 5 lakh, potentially raising disposable income by Rs 10,000 a year. “Even persons having gross incomeuptoRs6.5lakhmaynot be required to pay any income CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal at Parliament House on Friday. Praveen Khanna NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 EXPRESS NETWORK Of country’stotal14.57crore operationalholdings,there are12.56croreof lessthan twohectaressize. Gurmeet Singh scheme,allfarmerscultivatingup to two hectares (5 acres) will get directincomesupportofRs6,000 annually, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each. SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 THEGOVERNMENT’Sannouncement of zero tax for all individuals — salaried, self-employed, pensioners, small business and traders — who have a taxable income of up to Rs 5 lakh will incentiviseindividualswithgross income of even around Rs 10 lakh to visit their HR and chartered accountants to make the best use of the deductions available. Goal: to bring taxable income under Rs 5 lakh. While it does not benefit As per the 2015-16 Agricultural Census, out of the country’s total 14.57 crore operational holdings, there were 12.56 crore of less than two hectaressize.TheInterimBudget has provided Rs 75,000 crore for PM-Kisan in 2019-20, which can more or less finance the proposed Rs 6,000 payment for these farmers. But that payment can happen only after April, by which time the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct would already be operational. However,thebudgethasalso made of provision of Rs 20,000 croretowardstheschemeforthe CONTINUEDONPAGE2 SHAJI VIKRAMAN & HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 WEEKSBEFOREthepresentation of the Budget for 2015-16, Union FinanceMinisterArunJaitleyand top officials sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s views on allowing extra government spending that would have entailed an overshooting of fiscal deficit targets. This came even as the Finance Ministry’s own midyear economic review tabled in ParliamentonDecember19,2014 had made a case for “reviving public investment” and a review of the government’s mediumterm fiscal policy to enable such additional expenditures. “Aap nirnay kijiye (you may thosewithtaxableincomeabove Rs5lakh,FinanceMinisterPiyush Goyal,speakingtothemedia,did suggest that there may be more tax relief in the offing when the full Budget is presented in July. “I had the constraint of this being an interim Budget. However,thereweremanythings MAHARASHTRA BUDGET BETRAYAL LIKE RAM TEMPLE ISSUE: SHIV SENA PAGE 3 takethecall)”iswhatJaitleysupposedly told the Prime Minister, according to an official who was present at that meeting. The response couldn’t have been less ambiguous: Modi was clear he didn’t want any deviation from the path of fiscal consolidation. Theresponsewasonmoreor less similar lines in the run-upto the 2016-17 and 2017-18 budgets, with the pressure for showing “flexibility” on fiscal targets even more given there was no revival in private investments and the demand destruction that followed demonetisation. Modi’s nirnay was again the same both times: There shall be no compromise on fiscal prudence, which was highlighted in his government’s very first CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Six-month chase for Ravi Pujari ended in a barber shop in Senegal PAGE 1 ANCHOR 2 IAF PILOTS KILLED IN MIRAGE 2000 CRASH FOR NEW CBI CHIEF, PANEL SHORTLISTS NAMES, PAGE 6 JOHNSON T A BENGALURU, FEBRUARY 1 A TIP-OFF about elusive underworld don Ravi Suliya Pujari, 50, being a partner in a restaurant chain called ‘Namaste India’ in several west African countries set the police on the trail of the gangster six months ago, and eventually led to his arrest in Senegal on January 19, according to Karnataka Police. Karnataka Police has now set in motion the process for extradition of Pujari, with the help of theCentralgovernment,tostand CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Plan some, pay 0 tax on Rs 10 lakh annual income Rs 2000 won’t pay for fertilisers for 1 acre of wheat HARISH DAMODARAN ● NO TAX FOR TAXABLE INCOME BELOW RS 5 LAKH Rs 6000 farmer payout: won’t cost 0.1% fiscal slip: In handout much but won’t mean much either year, Govt keeps fist tight WORK OUT the basic arithmetic of a farm’s expense — fertiliser, machinery, fuel, seeds — and an annualRs6000-payout,anaverageof Rs16.40aday,doesn’tadd up to much. In fact, a Rs-2,000 payout to about12crorefarmersbeforethe ensuing Lok Sabha polls — that’s what the government’s much-awaited “farm package”, unveiled in the Interim Budget for 2019-20 on Friday, would practically amount to. Under the Pradhan Mantri — KisanSammanNidhi(PM-Kisan) and Rajasthan last December. While the full tax rebate for individual annual income up to Rs 5 lakh is being seen as an attempt to woo the middle class aheadof theLokSabhaelections, the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), offering flat cash transfer of Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments every year, seeks to addressalingeringissuethatthe party thought had been overplayed by the Opposition. “TheBudgetannouncements E WITH THE Interim Budget proposals focusing on an estimated 12 crore small farmers, three crore middle class taxpayers, and about 10 crore workers in the unorganised sector, smiles returned to the faces of BJP MPs who had looked increasingly downcast after the party’s defeat in the Hindi heartland states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh EXPLAINED ANIL SASI & P VAIDYANATHAN IYER Budget initiatives will join 10% EWS quota, Ayodhya on party list of issues Ravi Pujari’s Burkina Faso identity card. trial, primarily in a 2007 case where his shooters had killed two employees of Shabnam Developers,aftertheBengaluru- basedrealestateagency’sowner resisted his extortion attempts. There are 96 other extortion casesagainstPujariinKarnataka, of them 39 in Bengaluru and 36 in Mangalore. “Ravi Pujari’s identity has beenestablishedbythecriminal justice police of Dakar, Senegal, and confirmed to Indian authorities based on the relevant documents that were provided,’’ Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Amar Kumar Pandey said on Friday. Pandey played a central role in locating Pujari with the help of Indian foreign officials in west Africa and Senegalese officials. KarnatakaChief MinisterHD Kumaraswamy today said he haddirectedstatepoliceofficials CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ANOTHER REPORT PAGE 6 which could not have waited for the final Budget, particularly relief for the small taxpayer whichIhavepassedon.Therestis for the then Finance Minister to decide in July 2019,” Goyal said. While taxpayers can claim deductions of up to Rs 1.5 lakh CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In ED case, Vadra seeks anticipatory bail in court RCom of Anil Ambani files for insolvency PRITAM PAL SINGH ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU FEARING ARREST in an alleged money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding “ownership of undisclosed assets abroad”, Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, approached a Delhi court Friday, seeking anticipatory bail. His application is likely to be heard Saturday. On December 7, the ED conducted searches in Delhi and Bengaluru and one of the premises searched, according to Vadra’s lawyer Suman Khaitan, was Vadra’s office in Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi. In a statement a day later, the RELIANCE COMMUNICATIONS, controlled by the Anil Ambani group, Friday decided to opt for insolvency proceedings through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after failing to sell assets to pay up debt to the tune of around Rs 45,000 crore. “RCom board of directors decidesuponimplementationof debt resolution plans through NCLT framework,” the company said in a statement. The board of directors of RCom on Friday reviewed the progress of the company’sdebtresolutionplans since the invocation of strategic debt resolution on June 2, 2017. RCom’s plan to sell spectrum NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 1 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 1 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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