Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to reduce the number of tax slabs under the clutter-free New Tax Regime from six to five. The new rates under the new regime will be applicable for Assessment Year 2024-25 or for the income made in finan cial year 2023-24. For income in financial year 2022-23, a person will have to file Income Tax Return as per the old tax rates. As per the latest tax slabs under the New Regime, individuals having an annual income of Rs 5-6 lakh will have to pay 5% tax while those earning Rs 6-9 lakh will have to pay 10% of their income as tax. Further, individuals earning Rs 9-12 lakh per year will pay 15% tax while those earning Rs 12-15 lakh annually will pay 20% tax. The tax rate for individuals earning more than Rs 15 lakh will pay 30% tax. Interestingly, the Finance Minister has made annual income up to Rs 7 lakh tax-free by increasing the rebate limit.
Next to Industry, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, once again reclaimed India and Asia’s richest spot with a net worth of $81 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ambani’s rise to the top once more comes as billions were shaved off Gautam Adani’s net worth after a US-based short seller Hindenburg Research released a report alleging Adani of fraud and stock manipulation. With a net worth of $72.1 billion, Adani is now ranked 13th on the index, one spot behind Mukesh Ambani who is the 12th richest person in the world. On 17 January, a day before Hindenburg came out with its report, Adani’s net worth was $124 billion, making him the world’s third richest person at the time. Since then, his net worth has gone down by nearly $52 billion. From being the biggest wealth gainer in 2022, the Indian billionaire has become the biggest loser on Bloomberg’s rich list this year. Adani has lost $48.5 billion year-to-date, according to Bloomberg data. Since short-seller Hindenburg released its report, Adani companies lost $90 billion in market value, which wiped billions off Adani”s fortune. The Hindenburg report alleged stock manipulation and accounting fraud by Adani. It also accused Adani’s brother of shady dealings.
Meanwhile, The country’s Fast-moving consumer goods FMCG industry witnessed a consumption slowdown in the December quarter, with an overall “negative” volume growth, as consumers continue to reel under inflationary pressure, says a report. According to the report released by data analytics firm NielsenIQ on Thursday, in October-December, the FMCG industry grew 7.6 per cent in terms of value but its volume growth was -0.3 per cent.”… Overall FMCG volume growth is negative, the absolute values, as well as volumes, continue to be above pre-Covid levels across markets,” it said. The rural markets declined 2.8 per cent registering the sixth consecutive quarter with negative volume growth, while the urban market maintained stable positive growth of 1.6 per cent. In the retail space, Modern Trade channels maintained a double-digit value growth of 23.3 per cent and volume growth of 12.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis. While the FMCG sales from traditional trade channels such as Kirana stores witnessed continuous negative consumption growth -1.5 per cent for the fifth consecutive quarter.
Let us have talk on infrastructure, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on February 1, 2023, announced that India will have its first hydrogen train ready by December this year. Keeping in line with this year’s budget for green growth, Vaishnaw said that the Indian Railway will contribute to this mission via the country’s first hydrogen train which will be designed and manufactured in India by December. The hydrogen train, once ready, will initially run on heritage circuits like Kalka to Shimla. The train route will later be expanded to other places as well. Vaishnaw said that the motive of the train is to show India’s cultural heritage through trains which will also be updated by adding new circuits like the Guru Kripa circuit to the list. This means that these heritage routes will completely go green. Hydrogen trains, as the name suggests run on hydrogen fuel cells. These are much more environmentally friendly than traditional diesel engines. Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen which then produces the electricity that is used to power the train’s motors.
Lastly, Domestic indices colncluded Thursday’s volatile session on a mixed note. The BSE Sensex closed in green above 59,900 while NSE Nifty 50 ended in red below 17,650. The NSE Nifty 50 fell 5.90 points or 0.03% to 17,610.40 and NSE Nifty 50 rose 224.16 pts or 0.38% to 59,932.24. Britannia, ITC, IndusInd Bank, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys were the top gainers while Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, UPL, HDFC Life nd Eicher Motors were the laggards.