Mutual fund industry seeks tax sops in budget

Mutual fund industry seeks tax sops in budget

Kolkata: The country's mutual fund industry is seeking tax sops from the forthcoming Union Budget.

"The industry has asked for separate concession over and above the Rs 1.5 lakh deduction under section 80C for ELSS and National Pension Scheme," industry body AMFI Chairman Sundeep Sikka said Wednesday on the sidelines of the ICC organised mutual fund summit.

"The need for industry is long term money. This (additional concessions) will boost long term flows into the capital market," he said.

"The Finance Ministry should also consider tax concessions for unit linked pension plans under section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act," Dinesh K Khara, Managing Director and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund said.

Coal India production jumps 6%, focus on evacuation

Kolkata - With coal production increasing over six percent and offtake at only 3.2 percent during the year, logistics and coal evacuation comes into core focus for Coal India.

"Evacuation is growing at 3.5 percent while, production is growing at more than 6.7 percent till January 6 this year. Unless there is evacuation, what is the point in production," Coal India Chairman Suthirtha Bhattacharya said.

Amitabh Bachchan sings national anthem for 'Shamitabh' at Tagore home

Amitabh BachchanKolkata: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has sung the national anthem, sans any accompanying music, for his forthcoming film 'Shamitabh' and it was shot today at the Jorasanko Thakurbari here, the ancestral home of Rabindranath Tagore, who penned the song.

Though the R Balki-directed film is slated to be released on February 6, the decision to include the national anthem in the movie was taken only a couple of days ago.

"We went to music director Adesh Srivastava's studio in Mumbai who felt it (the anthem) does not require any music," Bachchan told reporters at the press launch of the film here.

Dubai Open winner Arjun Atwal to tee off at RCGC

Arjun AtwalKolkata : It will be a special homecoming for Indian golfer Arjun Atwal, who recently won the Dubai Open, when he tees off at the prestigious Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) for the Rs 1.5 crore McLeod Russel Tour Championship, here on Thursday.

Atwal, who battled career-threatening back injury and earned his first career victory in four years clinching the Dubai Open title, will be the star attraction in a field that boosts of the likes of Gaganjeet Bhullar, SSP Chowrasia and Rahil Gangjee -- all playing on sponsor's invite.

Rohit Sharma becomes only player to score double ton twice in ODI

Rohit SharmaKolkata, Nov 13 : India's opening batsman Rohit Sharma made history by becoming the only batsman to score a double ton for the second time, as India set up Sri Lanka a massive target of 404/5 in their allotted 50 overs in the fourth ODI of the series.

Sharma was brought into the match to help him improve on his form, replacing Shikhar Dhawan in the dead rubber.

Sharma hit a massive 264 of 173 deliveries. His mountainous innings included 33 fours and nine sixes.

Indo-US trade poised for exciting times: US official

Indo-US tradeKolkata : Two-way trade between India and the US is poised for "exciting times" at this juncture and has scope of increase in bilateral trading volumes, a US official said Monday.

"This is an exciting time of trade between India and the US... There is a huge possibility of increasing bi-lateral trade between the two countries. Economies are huge and so the opportunities of cooperation are endless," US Foreign Commercial Service's newly-appointed Principal Commercial Officer (PCO) Matthew Hilgendorf said here.

AAI to develop 50 low-cost airports

G K ChaukiyalKolkata: The state-owned airport operator Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to develop 50 new low-cost airports across the country to cope with the growing air traffic.

Announcing this at a conference on Communication, Navigation and Surveillance systems (CNS), AAI Member (Operations) G K Chaukiyal said that the low-cost airports would be built over 10 years in an effort to reduce the cost of operation.

Bajaj Auto hopes for better days from September

Bajaj AutoKolkata : Bajaj Auto is bullish on its two new 150cc bikes and is aiming to regain lost ground in the second half of the FY15.

"From September onwards, we hope to come to a zero deficit situation compared to last year's monthly numbers," Bajaj Auto President (Motorcycle) Eric Vas said here.

"We are in deficit by about one lakh units in sales till now (April-August 14) this year. We can add about 35,000 units a month even if the mid-segment (above Rs 50,000) of the industry grows from 17 to 20 percent of the total motorcycle market," he said.

Canara Bank expects Rs 500 cr capital from govt this fiscal

Canara-BankKolkata: State-owned Canara Bank on Thursday said it is expecting a capital infusion of Rs 500 crore from the government this fiscal.

"We are expecting a capital infusion of Rs 500 crore from the government this fiscal," Canara Bank CMD R K Dubey said.

The bank is already Basel-III compliant, he said, adding that it would require additional capital to support its lending activity.

For this purpose, the bank was awaiting the finance ministry's nod for a QIP (qualified institutional placement) of Rs 3,000 crore which it plans to raise.

US envoy stresses on strengthening relationship with India

Kathleen StephensKolkata: The US Ambassador Charge d' Affaires ad interim to India Kathleen Stephens on Thursday stressed the need for strengthening the relationship with India.

"We have to work on sustainable economic growth. President Barack Obama said that the US needs to have a good relationship with India. I believe relationship should be strengthened. We have relationship for centuries," she told reporters at 'Nabanna', the West Bengal state secretariat.

"I believe our best stage is still to come. We have a common goal. I am honoured to be here," she said.

Mamata Banerjee to visit Singapore from August 17

Mamata BanerjeeKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will pay a six-day visit to Singapore from August 17 at the country's invitation for improving business and cultural relations.

This would be her first foreign visit after assuming office in 2011.

She would be accompanied by a 'very high level' official and business delegation and would use the opportunity to attract foreign investment to the state.

Briefing reporters on her visit, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam has invited Banerjee to improve relations and she has accepted it.

Britannia plans up to Rs 200 cr capex over two years

BritanniaKolkata: FMCG company Britannia Industries Limited is planning a capital expenditure between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore over the next two years, its chairman Nusli Wadia said.

"We are going to finalise our plans for a capital expenditure of Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore over the next two years," Wadia told shareholders at the company's AGM Tuesday.

Wadia said the capital expenditure would be made on two counts - upgradation and innovation and for creating new capacities.

He also said that the company was willing to have a good market share in the SAARC countries.

'Singham' series is like superhero films: Ajay Devgn

Ajay DevgnKolkata: Ajay Devgn, who is back as a tough cop with "Singham Returns", has said that his character Bajirao Singham is nothing less than a superhero.

"He is like a real superhero. Our culture is such that we don`t need a lot of back up to become superheros. The character is already larger than life," Devgn said.

He was asked to compare his character Singham, who fights against evil forces in his own fiery style, with other superhero films like `Superman` and `Spiderman`.

Kareena Kapoor considering Bengali film

Kareena-KapoorKolkata: Trying to walk into the footsetps of her mother-in-law and veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor is now considering acting in Bengali films.

"I have been offered a Bengali film and I am thinking about it. I love the way Bengali directors project their heroines beautifully and aesthetically," Kapoor told reporters.

However she didn`t disclose details of the Bengali film which she is considering.

Admitting that she is a great fan of the late Bengali directors Satyajit Ray and Rituparno Ghosh, the 33-year-old said she would love to act in Bengali films.

World Bank to fund ecologically safe power projects

World BankKolkata : A World Bank economist has said that the lender will fund only those hydro-power projects where safeguards are in place to prevent any adverse impact on the environment.

"We are prepared to support only those good hydro-power projects in India which make economic sense as well as take socio-environment safeguards very seriously," Michael Toman, lead economist on climate change in World Bank said here during a visit to the city.

India's first jellyfish lake discovered

Jelly fishKolkata: Marine biologists have discovered a jellyfish lake in Gujarat, probably the first such in India.

"This is probably the first jellyfish lake to have been found in India. The concentration and density of jellyfish is very high here. You can even see them from outside during low tide and when the water is clear," wildlife scientist B C Choudhury said.

Led by him, a team of researchers from the Wildlife Trust of India have recently stumbled on the jellyfish habitat during a routine field visit to a small town named Armabada in Gujarat.

NTPC Bangladesh power JV to be operational by FY18

NTPCKolkata: The USD 1.2-billion Indo-Bangla power joint venture is planning to award the contract for construction of the plant by April 2015 and expected to start commercial generation by FY18.

"We expect to award the contract next year. The company has recently appointed Fichtner Consulting Engineers and is in the process of finalising a consultant who will help in sourcing coal for the project," NTPC Chairman & Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury said.

The plant is likely to consume around 8 million tonnes of coal every year and the entire generation will be based on coal imported into Bangladesh, he said last evening.

'RBI to soon announce rules for on-tap banking licenses'

RBIKolkata: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon come out with policy guidelines for differentiated banking licenses which would be given on tap, deputy governor of the apex bank R Gandhi said.

Besides, he criticised banks for not extending financial assistance to the micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) and asked lenders to consider the working dynamics of this sector while extending credit.

"The RBI will soon come out with policy guidelines in differentiated banking licenses within a short period of time", Gandhi told reporters on the sidelines of ICC Banking Summit here today.

Bengal govt to provide banks space for opening branches

Amit MitraKolkata: The West Bengal government will provide space to banks in order to set up new branches in Gram Panchayat offices in villages, with the view to promote financial inclusion.

"The government would give space in the offices of Gram Panchayat so that banks could set up brick-and-mortar branches in the rural areas which will promote financial inclusion," state Finance Minister Amit Mitra told reporters on the sidelines of ICC Banking Summit here today.

He said that banks would be offered typically spaces of around 400 square feet.

'RBI to soon announce rules for on-tap banking licenses'

'RBI to soon announce rules for on-tap banking licenses'Kolkata: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon come out with policy guidelines for differentiated banking licenses which would be given on tap, deputy governor of the apex bank R Gandhi said.

Besides, he criticised banks for not extending financial assistance to the micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) and asked lenders to consider the working dynamics of this sector while extending credit.

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