NEW DELHI: The new fiscal (2016-17) began on a sweet and sour note, with drop in cooking gas price, but an increase in fuel used by airlines, a fund for senior citizen and a stringent income tax return norm, besides the Bombay Stock Exchange closing 72 points down. The introduction of GST, managing inflation, creating jobs, achieving higher agriculture and manufacturing growth would require fine balancing by the government.
Airline travel may cost more
The vacations ahead could become more costly as airlines could increase prices in the upcoming holiday season. The oil marketing companies on Friday increased the price of its jet fuel or primarily known as Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) by 8.7 per cent
“We have been insisting with the government that ATF should be considered as a declared commodity. It should realise airline business is no longer luxury any more,” says Debashish Saha, member, Aeronotical Society of India.
Simultaneously, the oil firms cut prices of non-subsidised domestic cooking gas, which consumers buy after exhausting their quota of 12, by Rs 4 per 14.2 kg cylinder. The non-subsidised cooking gas now costs Rs 509.50 in Delhi as against Rs 513.50 previously.
IT gets tough on high income group
The government seems to be determined to take a hardliner on individuals coming under higher income bracket. People with an income of more than Rs 50 lakh per annum and having the pleasure of owning a yacht, aircraft or valuable jewellery will now have to disclose these costly assets with the Income Tax Department notifying as a new set of Income Tax Return (ITR) forms for assessment year 2016-17.
“Individuals are likely to face a challenge in determining cost for gifted assets (such as jewellery), inherited assets and for assets purchased several years earlier where records have not been retained,” said Tapati Ghose, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP.
Tax experts said the CBDT has done the right thing by notifying the ITR Form for Assessment Year 2016-17 in March itself, it has not yet come with the required instructions for determining the cost of immovable and movable assets. Individuals are required to file their tax return for the previous financial year by July 31.
Welfare Fund for Seniors
In order to provide financial security to senior citizens, the government has set up a ‘senior citizens welfare fund’ which will utilise unclaimed money, estimated to be in excess of Rs 9,000 crore, lying in Public Providend Fund, employees provident fund and small savings schemes to provide healthcare facilities and pension to senior citizens.
According to a notification, public institutions like post offices, employees provident fund organisation ( EPFO) will be required to assess the unclaimed amounts and transfer them to ‘Senior Citizens Welfare Fund’ before March 1 every year.
The money will be utilised to promote financial security of senior citizens, old age pension, healthcare, health insurance and welfare of elderly widows. It will also fund schemes related to old-age homes, day care of senior citizens and research activities related with ageing.
Markets begin on sour note
The new fiscal commenced on a cautious note, with the market benchmark Sensex closing 72.22 points or 0.28 per cent down at 25,269.64, while NSE Nifty shed 25.35 points or 0.33 per cent lower at 7,713.05 as depressed stocks in Asia and Europe forced investors to book profit. Moreover, in the first outflow of overseas funds from Indian capital markets in seven years, foreign investors took out an estimated `18,000 crore during fiscal 2015-16.