Parliament proceedings | Budget Session 2018, Day 8 — As it happened

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Venkaiah Naidu issues fervent appeal to maintain decorum expected of House of Elders; Promises and commitments made in the A.P. Reorganisation Act are a work in progress, says Jaitley.

Friday marks the last day of the first part of the Budget session of Parliament. It will reassemble on March 5.

 

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Jio vs Airtel vs Vodafone: Who Offers the Best Prepaid Recharge Packs?

Sim_Cards_1517388104045.jpgJio, Airtel, and Vodafone have been extremely active over the last few weeks as the competition has intensified in the Indian telecom sector. Attempting to retain subscribers or gain new users, all three operators have started offering more data and validity without raising prices, or have reduced prices of popular plans. Jio has, of course, been on the forefront of this change, and is offering data at tariffs lower than ever before to prepaid users. Unsurprisingly, Airtel and Vodafone – the two biggest players in the industry – have been quick to catch up, and have kept their prices competitive. But with so much choice, it becomes difficult for the consumer to keep track of the best prepaid packs for them. We take a look at the recharge packs the three telcos offer across price points with the best daily data allocations.

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone plans under Rs. 200

The Jio Rs. 149 plan offers 1.5GB data per day, unlimited calls across India, no roaming charges, 100 SMS messages per day, and access to the company’s apps for 28 days. At the same price, Airtel offers 1GB data per day, unlimited local and STD calls, free roaming, and 100 SMS messages per day for 28 days. Vodafone, however, offers 1GB data per day at Rs. 149, along with unlimited calls, no charges for calls made while roaming, 100 SMS messages per day for 28 days.

Around the Rs. 200 price point, Jio users will get 2GB data per day for 28 days at Rs. 199 courtesy the Republic Day 2018 Offer, along with the same freebies as mentioned above. Airtel offers 1.4GB data per day for 28 days at Rs. 199, while Vodafone offers the same at Rs. 198; both plans come with the respective above-mentioned freebies.

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone plans under Rs. 300
Under Rs. 300, only Jio has a plan with a daily data allocation – subscribers will get 3GB data per day for 28 days, meaning a total of 84GB data for the entire validity period. Of course, the free calls, SMS messages, and apps subscriptions will be available with this recharge too.

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone plans under Rs. 400
The Mukesh Ambani-backed operator presently offers 1.5GB data per day for 70 days at Rs. 349, while Airtel and Vodafone give 2.5GB data per day for 28 days at the same price. At Rs. 398, Jio users will get 2GB data per day for 70 days, and 1.5GB per day for 84 days at Rs 399. Subscribers of both Airtel and Vodafone will get 1GB data per day for 70 days at Rs. 399. The respective freebies apply for each telecom operator.

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone plans under Rs. 500

At Rs. 448, Rs. 449 and Rs. 498, Jio offers 2GB data per day for 28 days, 1.5GB data daily for 91 days, and 2GB data a day for 91 days, respectively. With the Rs. 448 recharge pack, Airtel gives prepaid customers 1.4GB data per day for 82 days, while Vodafone gives the same daily data allocation for 84 days at Rs. 458.

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone plans under Rs. 600
Jio users will get 4GB data per day for 28 days at Rs. 509, while Airtel and Vodafone offer 1.4GB per day for 90 days at the same price. Airtel also provides 3GB data per day for 28 days at Rs. 549 to its prepaid subscribers.

Arun Jaitley’s Last Big Budget Before 2019 Polls, Eye On Taxes: 10 Points

In Budget 2018, the top priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will be to address farmers’ issue ahead of the key state and national elections in 2019

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NEW DELHI:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present the Union Budget 2018 at 11 am today, the last full-year Budget before the 2019 general elections. Before that elections are due in eight states this year and the budget is expected to focus on farmers, the rural poor and small businesses. To keep investors’ confidence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will need to be seen containing the fiscal deficit, while also increasing spending in key areas of a slowing economy.

 

Here is 10-point cheat sheet to Budget 2018:
  1. The government may tweak income tax slabs and rates in today’s budget to bring down burden on individuals, according to a survey by tax and advisory firm Ernst & Young.
  2. Arun Jaitley has already made it clear that the agriculture sector will be the top priority for the government in this year’s budget as the government attempts to address farmer distress ahead of the key state and national elections.
  3. The budget will be watched closely for the fiscal deficit target for the next year. The Economic Survey, which was tabled on Monday, called for a pause in fiscal consolidation, leading to concerns that the government could widen its fiscal deficit targets for 2018-19.
  4. Markets will be focused on how much the government widens its fiscal deficit beyond the 3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) projected for 2018-19. A Reuters poll showed most economists expect a 3.2 per cent deficit as the government looks to increase investments in areas like agriculture.
  5. A modest widening of that nature would calm investors worried that the government may slip away from its judicious spending. But a deficit above 3.2 per cent could hit shares and send bond yields up by 20-25 basis points, depending on the size of the blowout, on fears of populist policy ahead of next year’s elections.
  6. A prudent budget could also soothe the Reserve Bank of India, which holds a policy review on February 6 and 7 amid worries it could raise rates in coming months after inflation hit a 17-month high in December, well above its 4 per cent target.
  7. While investors expect some spending to support an economy that’s expected to post its weakest growth in four years, they will want to see such stimulus is well-financed. Growth was impacted by the launch of the goods and service tax last year and a shock move to ban high value currency notes in late 2016, which hit tax revenues and increased the chances of a fiscal deficit shortfall.
  8. An expected pickup in growth next fiscal year and state asset sales estimated to raise 1 trillion rupees ($15.74 billion) should boost tax revenues.
  9. The government is also expected to stay on course with its focus on building highways and modernising the railways. Mr Jaitley had allocated a record Rs. 3.96 lakh crore to infrastructure sector in last year’s Budget.
  10. Experts don’t see the possibility of a big cut in corporate tax rate for India Inc given the fiscal constraints. In his Budget speech of 2015-16, Mr Jaitley had said proposed reduction of the rate of corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over the next four years.

Man accidentally threw cash worth Rs 12 lakh in a trash bin; here’s what happened next

A man from China mistakenly threw a bag full of cash worth Rs 12 lakh in a trash bin. When he reached the bank, he saw that he had the other bag in hand that contained garbage. What happened next will leave you shockedchina-7593.jpg

A man accidentally threw away Rs 12 lakh in a trash bin, but got lucky. Read on to know what really happened. (Source: File Photo)

Ever made a careless mistake that cost you way too much? A man from Liaoning, China, walked out of his house with two plastic bags — one full of his household waste and the other with his hard-earned cash. Little did he know that he would throw the bag full of cash worth 1,24,000 yuan (approximately Rs 12 lakh) in the waste bin. According to media reports, the man known by the surname Wang, lost all his money and when he reached the bank to deposit money, he realised what was left in his hand was the garbage bag.

When he rushed back to the dump, he was unable to find the bag in the trash bin. He went to the police and lodged a complaint. The officers checked the CCTV footage and spotted someone discovering the bag and walking away with it. However, they didn’t have a proper clue about the missing bag due to the poor quality of the footage. As the police started interrogating the people in the locality nearby, a woman came forward and returned the bag full of cash to the police authorities.

Iranian women protest obligatory headscarf; Twitterati praise the bravery

Many Islamists believe hijab should not be imposed by the law, though they consider it a religious task for every Muslim woman. Both Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei support softer attitude toward women with improper hijab, but hard-liners oppose to easing such rules.

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Social media postings Monday showed at least five women in Iran protesting the obligatory Muslim headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks. The videos and photos showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan.

Masoud Sarabi, who witnessed one of the protests, confirmed the authenticity of a video shot on Tehran’s Enghelab Street. The others appeared to be authentic, but AP could not independently verify them. The women appear to be following the lead of a 31-year-old protester identified as Vida Movahed, who took off her headscarf on the same street in late December. She was detained for a few weeks and then released

President Trump Delivers First State Of The Union Address: Highlights

In the hour-long address, Donald Trump spoke about the American economy and the tax cuts undertaken by his government. He also talked about “decades of unfair trade deals”, “immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American Workers and American Families”, “what kind of nation” America will be, and America’s “fight until ISIS is defeated” among others.

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In the hour-long address, Donald Trump spoke about the American economy and the tax cuts undertaken by his government. He also talked about “decades of unfair trade deals”, “immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American Workers and American Families”, “what kind of nation” America will be, and America’s “fight until ISIS is defeated” among others.

‘Padmaavat’ banned in Malaysia by censor board

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Actor Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji in a poster from ‘Padmavati’. Source: Twitter/@RanveerOfficial

The chairman of country’s National Film Censorship Board (LPF) said the lavishly-mounted film was not cleared as it might offend the Muslims in the country.

The Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Padmaavat has been banned in Malaysia by the country’s censor board as the film touches on the “sensitivities of Islam”.

The chairman of National Film Censorship Board (LPF) Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz has said the lavishly-mounted film was not cleared as it might offend the Muslims in the country.

“The storyline of the film touches on the sensitivities of Islam. That in itself is a matter of grave concern in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country,” Aziz was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

The film, starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, is based on the 16th century epic, Padmaavat by poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi.

The film faced controversy at home as well after various Rajput groups accused Bhansali of “distorting historical facts” with the portrayal of queen Padmavati, a claim repeatedly denied by him.

According to the report, Aziz said the distributors of the film had filed an appeal against the ban which would be taken up by the Film Appeals Committee on January 30. “Currently, LPF is unable to provide further comments as the film distributor has submitted an appeal to the appeals committee.

“Therefore, further comments will only be issued after the appeals committee has made its decision,” Aziz said.

The film was released on January 25 in India after the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared it last month with a ‘U/A’ certificate and five modifications, including title change from Padmavati to Padmaavat.

In Pakistan, the censor board cleared film without any cuts for screening with a ‘U’ certification.