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Monday, February 28, 2011

Budget : IT sops, air travel, health check-up to become costlier

PTI, New Delhi, 28 February : A play-safe budget today raised the threshold income tax exemption limit from Rs 1.60 lakh to Rs 1.80 lakh that will leave at least Rs 2000 more in the hands of tax payers across the board and made changes in the service tax that will make air travel, hotel accommodation and drinking in AC restaurants costlier.
Presenting the budget for 2011-12 that will result in a net revenue loss of Rs 200 crore, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee imposed an excise duty of one per cent on 130 specified items which will, however, exempt food and fuel.
He also gave some relief to corporates by reducing the current income tax surcharge of 7.5 per cent on domestic companies to five per cent but raised the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from 18 to 18.5 per cent including developers of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in it.

Bangladeshi nationals start returning home from Libya
UNB, Dhaka, 28 February : The first group of 101 Bangladeshi nationals arrived here this (Monday) afternoon from Libya via Istanbul while another 1,000 Bangladeshis are expected to return home by 2-3 March.
Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes disclosed this during a regular press briefing on the issue of evacuation of Bangladeshis from violence-torn Libya. He said more than 8,800 Bangladeshis have either left or are poised to leave Libya by ships or buses to safer destinations in Greece, Egypt, Tunisia and Malta.
The Foreign Secretary said 700 Bangladeshis, who were stranded at Tripoli International Airport, will be shifted to Tunisia by buses tomorrow with the help of IOM. Giving a break-up of evacuation, he said Korean Hanil Company will shift 1,500 Bangladeshis to Tunisia while Daewoo will shift 2,000 to Piraeus island of Greece.
Some 3,500 Bangladeshis have already reached the Egyptian border. Of them 1,000 were given travel documents today to enter Egypt from where they will be brought back to Bangladesh.
Already 804 Bangladeshis reached Crete Island of Greece by a ship arranged by Chinese State Company. They will be accommodated at a hotel arranged by the Bangladesh government.