New Delhi: The current basic income tax exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh is unlikely to be raised in the forthcoming full Budget 2019-20, according to informed sources, as the Finance Ministry has already announced a provision whereby individuals earning up to Rs 5 lakh can get full tax rebate under Section 87A. Those earning Rs 5 lakh per annum will, however, be required to file tax returns even if they have zero tax liability. There is a huge expectation from the new Finance Minister of an increase in the basic exemption limit from Rs 2.50 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep Though there is an expectation among salaried class that the Modi 2.0 government would reward them for voting it to power, officials here have earlier said that increasing the basic exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh will defeat the purpose of the interim budget announcement. According to them, increasing the basic exemption limit will not require many people to file income tax and it could result in a dip in tax filing, and would even defeat the purpose of expanding the tax base. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs Tax experts have suggested to the Finance Minister in their pre-Budget meeting that raising the basic income tax exemption level would not prove to be a wise move since the Narendra Modi-led government’s focus has been on increasing the country’s taxpayer base. There is also little possibility that the government would tweak the existing tax slabs in a way that a 10 per cent tax rate applies to those earning up to Rs 10 lakh, instead of the existing 20 per cent. Sources said there could be some additional tax-saving measures for salaried individuals. Income tax collections have been lower than expected which also does not support any possibility of raising the exemption limit. Sources also said that there is no possibility of the threshold for the highest 30 per cent tax rate being raised to apply to incomes above Rs 15 lakh in the upcoming Budget but could happen in future years. The Finance Ministry is not only looking to increase the taxpayer base but also wants to increase revenue from taxes as it needs to invest aggressively to revive growth and consumption. Therefore, there are minimum chances that the government would tinker with income tax rules in the upcoming budget.
“Nature’s assets underpin the very lives and livelihoods of more than six billion people. They make our very existence possible in the vacuum of space,” Mr. Ban said in a statement, delivered by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, to a major conference on biological diversity which kicked off today in Bonn, Germany.He stressed that inaction on the issue will jeopardize progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, as well as impact the entire world.“Now the economics are coming to the fore, underlining the costs of degradation but also the abundant returns if we invest in this bottom green line,” the Secretary-General observed.In spite of progress, with more than 12 per cent of land now in protected areas, the speed of response has not kept pace with the scale of degradation, he said.Mr. Ban pointed to the increased need to preserve natural assets to provide protection against climatic events, such as Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Myanmar earlier this month. “Half the country’s mangroves – its natural sea defenses – have been cleared over the past 30 years,” he said, adding that this made communities more vulnerably to the deadly storm.In his address to the three-day meeting – attended by the leaders of Germany, Canada and Palau, together with 87 ministers – the Assembly President noted that “the world is now facing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity.”He said that four species or sub-species are lost every hour, while 20 hectares of forests disappear every minute and forests covering an area four times the size of Belgium are lost annually.Mr. Kerim underscored that if “we conserve biodiversity, we preserve our chances of developing sustainably and of living healthy lives even as the climate changes.”As part of the International Year for Biodiversity in 2010, he voiced his support for the convening of a one-day high-level segment of the General Assembly to allow the international community to focus global attention on the biodiversity crisis.“We have seen in various instances that leadership at the highest level is required to move issues forward,” the Assembly President pointed out.Participants at the high-level conference are discussing measures on how to meet the globally-agreed target of substantially reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss by 2010. They are examining such issues as the expansion of expanding protected areas, developing a system for fairly accessing and sharing the world’s biodiversity wealth, the sustainable use of biofuels and the protection of the world’s forests and marine areas.On the sidelines of this meeting, Mr. Kerim met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the two conferred on current UN steps to combat climate change and reform the world body, including modifying the Security Council.Biodiversity and global warming were also discussed during his meeting this morning with German Environmental Minister Sigmar Gabriel.From Germany, the Assembly President will travel tonight to Albania’s capital Tirana, where he will meet tomorrow with the South-East European nation’s President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and Foreign Ministry officials.He is also scheduled to meet with the UN country team in Albania, which is one of the eight pilot countries of the “One UN” programme, which seeks to better coordinate UN operations and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by establishing a joint office for UN development agencies. 28 May 2008United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim today warned of the consequences resulting from the loss of biodiversity, including the impacts on the economy, development and efforts to mitigate climate change.
Women and young girls were afraid to leave the camps in some areas, and fighting continued to put civilians at risk in various places, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) spokesman José Luis Díaz told reporters in Geneva in a briefing on the findings of agency monitors in Darfur during November.As an example of the ongoing conflict he cited the launching of 18 mortars by Government forces into the village of Masteri in West Darfur in response to an attack from that region. The UN has called the conflict the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis, in which nearly 1.7 million people have been displaced and Janjaweed militias stand accused of killing and raping thousands of villagers after the rebels took up arms last year to demand a greater share of the economic resources of the area the size of France.Attacks and counter-attacks have continued despite accords signed in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on 9 November between the Government and two rebel groups – the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – aimed at improving the humanitarian and security situation.Mr. Díaz said IDPs continued to distrust and fear the police and that widespread impunity continued, with reports that police still refused to record complaints of attacks. Armed Janjaweed militia and the Popular Defence Forces continued to roam throughout Darfur, contributing to the sense of insecurity. In South Darfur, there was an escalation in the number of forced relocations of IDPs.He added that during the reporting period, there were apparently no arrests or trials of members of the Janjaweed. There were also reports of cases of abduction of civilians by the rebel Sudan Liberation Army in West Darfur.