Monday, March 7, 2016

Iran billionaire Babak Zanjani sentenced to death

Iran billionaire Babak Zanjani sentenced to death


    The uproar over the proposed EPF tax and JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar continue to hog the headlines of most newspapers.  The Hindustan Times lead reads "Modi steps in, EPF tax may be deferred". The paper refers to the move to tax EPF as a "political hot potato". It reckons that after the Prime Minister's intervention,  the Finance minister would give Parliament a clear picture on Tuesday.

    The Sunday Tribune reports that the government is likely to announce a rollback on the budgetary provision to tax 60 per cent of EPF withdrawals; and the ceiling on employer's contribution.  The Finance Minister is looking at fewer but stronger PSU banks and in order to devise a strategy to achieve this, a "body on PSU bank mergers is on the anvil" reports The Asian Age. The paper adds that the proposal of ESOPs for public sector bank's staff is under consideration.

    "No smooth ride for bike taxis in India" writes the Financial Express. After the recent launch of two wheeler taxis in Bengaluru, the regional transport authority has termed the bike taxi services illegal as the firms have not sought permission from the authority.  The Hindu reports that a new app - TrustID - will help "verify domestic helps and employees using Aadhaar". Using the Aadhar number, name, gender and phone number of a person, you could receive instant verification about a person. The person who has been verified receives a phone call along with a message saying that their Aadhar number was used to verify them.

    In order to facilitate "ease of doing business", the government has created a new category of "White Industries", covering 36 sectors that are "practically non-polluting". So sectors like Air coolers or conditioners, Handloom or carpet weaving and Surgical and medical products assembling will not require Environmental clearance and consent.

    And finally, the Hindustan Times reports that the government wants to run a quality check on engineering students to sharpen their skills before they graduate. The HRD ministry is engaging Stanford University to design a test to measure learning outcomes of engineering students. The test is likely to be introduced by the end of the year.

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