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July WPI prices fall 4.05 percent | Reuters

NEW DELHI India’s wholesale prices fell at a faster-than-expected annual rate of 4.05 percent in July, their ninth straight decline and their lowest in at least a decade, mainly driven by weak food and fuel prices, government data showed.

The data, released on Friday, compared with a 2.8 percent year-on-year fall forecast by economists in a Reuters poll and a provisional 2.4 percent annual decline in June.

The wholesale food prices fell 1.16 percent year-on-year, while fuel prices fell 12.81 percent from a year ago.

India’s retail inflation has cooled to a record low of 3.78 percent in July, adding pressure on the central bank chief Raghuram Rajan to cut interest rates after China devalued its currency this week.

The Reserve Bank of India kept rates unchanged at 7.25 percent this month even though the government and industry have been urging for lower cost of borrowing.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Malini Menon)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Eating out, holidays, phone calls to cost more from today as service tax goes up to 14%

NEW DELHI: People will have to shell out more from today while using mobiles, eating out and travelling as the service tax rate goes up to 14 percent.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget had proposed to raise service tax from 12.36 percent (including education cess) to 14 percent. The proposal takes effect from June 1.

The tax is levied on all services, expect a small negative list.

Some of the key services that will attract higher tax and hence become costlier are railways, airlines, banking, insurance, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards, event management and tour operators.

Mobile operators and credit card companies have already started sending messages to subscribers conveying the increase in service tax rate which will have a bearing on the bills.

ThinkStockThinkStock

ThinkStock

According to railway ministry officials, fares for First Class and AC classes in passenger trains, besides freight charges, will go up by 0.5 per cent from June 1.

“Currently, 3.7 per cent service tax is levied on train fares for AC Class, First Class and freight. This will go up to 4.2 per cent from June which means the rise is only 0.5 per cent,” the official said. Currently, there is abatement of 70 per cent on passenger services.

Jaitley had proposed to raise the service tax rate to 14 percent to facilitate a smooth transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which the government wants to roll out from April 2016.

Once implemented, GST will subsume service tax, excise and other local levies.

“To facilitate a smooth transition to levy of tax on services by both the Centre and the States, it is proposed to increase the present rate of service tax plus education cesses from 12.36 per cent to a consolidated rate of 14 per cent,” Jaitley had said in Budget speech.

Education cess, which is levied on service tax, will be subsumed in the service tax rate with effect from June 1.

Although the Budget also proposed a 2 per cent Swachh Bharat cess on selected services, the government is yet to come out with a notification in this regard.

PTI

Eating out, holidays, call rates to cost more from tomorrow as service tax goes up to 14%

NEW DELHI: People will have to shell out more from tomorrow while using mobiles, eating out and travelling as the service tax rate goes up to 14 per cent.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget had proposed to raise service tax from 12.36 per cent (including education cess) to 14 per cent. The proposal takes effect from June 1.

The tax is levied on all services, expect a small negative list.

Some of the key services that will attract higher tax and hence become costlier are: railways, airlines, banking, insurance, advertising, architecture, construction, credit cards, event management and tour operators.

Mobile operators and credit card companies have already started sending messages to subscribers conveying the increase in service tax rate which will have a bearing on the bills.

ThinkStockThinkStock

ThinkStock

According to railway ministry officials, fares for First Class and AC classes in passenger trains, besides freight charges, will go up by 0.5 per cent from June 1.

“Currently, 3.7 per cent service tax is levied on train fares for AC Class, First Class and freight. This will go up to 4.2 per cent from June which means the rise is only 0.5 per cent,” the official said. Currently, there is abatement of 70 per cent on passenger services.

Jaitley had proposed to raise the service tax rate to 14 per cent to facilitate a smooth transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which the government wants to roll out from April 2016.

Once implemented, GST will subsume service tax, excise and other local levies.

“To facilitate a smooth transition to levy of tax on services by both the Centre and the States, it is proposed to increase the present rate of service tax plus education cesses from 12.36 per cent to a consolidated rate of 14 per cent,” Jaitley had said in Budget speech.

Education cess, which is levied on service tax, will be subsumed in the service tax rate with effect from June 1.

Although the Budget also proposed a 2 per cent Swachh Bharat cess on selected services, the government is yet to come out with a notification in this regard.

PTI

India relaxes rules for foreign investment in real estate | Reuters

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The cabinet on Wednesday relaxed rules to allow foreign funds to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs), a move designed to revive the country’s capital-starved property sector.

The government introduced REITs last year to pool in capital from overseas and help developers reduce their debt.

But provisions in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) have, thus far, prevented actual investment flows.

The FEMA governs cross-border transactions.

“The approval is expected to enable foreign investment inflows into the completed rent-yielding real estate projects, which is, as of now, prohibited,” the government said in a statement.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; editing by John Stonestreet)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Left Wing Extremism reduced significantly over four years: govt

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Message to Lutyens power elite from Finance Commission: Pack up and go

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Bounty of Rs 1,00,786 announced on Muslim cleric’s head who called Shiva ‘messenger of Islam’

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Govt says 27 Indian satellites are operational in space

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Delhi HC notice to Nadda on plea seeking probe into AIIMS graft case

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Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to go on ‘SAARC yatra’, will resume Indo-Pak talks on 3 March

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PEB scam: FIR against MP governor Yadav, but state govt may not want him to leave

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Sahara’s woes continue: Supreme Court asks it to explain diversion of funds

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Ahmedabad: 65 kg gold worth Rs 17.84 crore seized at airport

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Rising crime: AAP MLAs demand Delhi Police chief be summoned to House

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Resuming ties? Foreign Secretary Jaishankar to travel to Pakistan next week

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Out of control? Ahmedabad collector invokes Sec 144 to prevent swine flu

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Ayodhya dispute: Both sides agree on proposal, to present it before SC

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Step up Uber: Even kaali-peeli taxis will have panic buttons installed inside them

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Coast Guard DIG who contradicted govt version of Pak boat case shunted out

<![CDATA[#bottom_popup{width:344px;background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/bottom_popup.gif) repeat-x;border:3px solid #6b6565;position:fixed;z-index:99;bottom:-130px;right:-350px}#bottom_popup .contbox{padding:5px 6px 25px 6px;position:relative}#bottom_popup .bptitle{border-bottom:1px solid #d3d3d3;font:19px/30px ‘FPfont’;color:#000;text-transform:uppercase;padding-bottom:5px}#bottom_popup .bptitle span{color:#F00}#bottom_popup .bptitle span.dot{color:#F00;font-size:30px}.f_flash_icon{background:url(http://s1.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/f_flash_icon.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:29px;height:29px;display:inline-block;vertical-align:bottom;margin-right:3px}.close_bottom_popup{background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/clost_bottom_popup.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:13px;height:13px;position:absolute;right:5px;top:5px}.bottom_infobox{font:14px Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;color:#333;border-top:1px solid #FFF;padding-top:10px}.bottom_infobox a{color:#333}]]><!– FP CRONTAB –>

Arunachal Pradesh an ‘integral and inalienable’ part of India: Centre

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RK Pachauri steps down as chairperson of IPCC following sexual harassment charges

<![CDATA[#bottom_popup{width:344px;background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/bottom_popup.gif) repeat-x;border:3px solid #6b6565;position:fixed;z-index:99;bottom:-130px;right:-350px}#bottom_popup .contbox{padding:5px 6px 25px 6px;position:relative}#bottom_popup .bptitle{border-bottom:1px solid #d3d3d3;font:19px/30px ‘FPfont’;color:#000;text-transform:uppercase;padding-bottom:5px}#bottom_popup .bptitle span{color:#F00}#bottom_popup .bptitle span.dot{color:#F00;font-size:30px}.f_flash_icon{background:url(http://s1.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/f_flash_icon.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:29px;height:29px;display:inline-block;vertical-align:bottom;margin-right:3px}.close_bottom_popup{background:url(http://s3.firstpost.in/wp-content/themes/firstpost2.0/images/promo/clost_bottom_popup.png) no-repeat 0 0;width:13px;height:13px;position:absolute;right:5px;top:5px}.bottom_infobox{font:14px Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;color:#333;border-top:1px solid #FFF;padding-top:10px}.bottom_infobox a{color:#333}]]><!– FP CRONTAB –>