LIVE: Rs 1.81-trn I-T refunds issued to 17.4 mn taxpayers so far in FY21

CBDT issues refunds of over Rs. 1,81,336 crore to more than 17.4 million taxpayers between 1st April, 2020 to 25th January, 2021
Latest News LIVE updates: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday said it has issued over Rs 1.81 trillion worth refunds to more than 1.74 crore taxpayers so far this financial year.

Meanwhile, a soldier was killed and three others were injured in an IED explosion triggered by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district today.

Earlier in the day, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was today taken to a private hospital in Kolkata for a "checkup for his cardiac condition". Several tests conducted on the 48-year-old former Indian cricket captain at the emergency ward of the hospital revealed that his vital parameters are stable.

 
In another news, expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala was released today after serving four years imprisonment in a corruption case at a prison. She was sentenced to imprisonment in February 2017 in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case along with her sister-in-law J Ilavarasi and and Jayalalithaa's foster son V N Sudhakaran.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

New supercomputer in Wyoming to rank among world's fastest

A new supercomputer in Wyoming will rank among the world's fastest and help study phenomena including climate change, severe weather, wildfires and solar flares.
 
Houston-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise won a bid to provide the dollar 35 million to dollar 40 million machine for a supercomputing center in Cheyenne, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, announced Wednesday.
 
The HPE-Cray EX supercomputer will theoretically be able to perform almost 20 quadrillion calculations per second — 3.5 times faster than the existing machine at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center.
 
The new machine's maximum speed per second will be roughly equivalent to each person on Earth completing a math equation every second for an entire month.
That power will enable some of the most sophisticated simulations yet of large-scale natural and human-influenced events.
 
The supercomputer should rank among the world's 25 fastest after it's installed this year and goes into operation in early 2022, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
 
It “will support basic research in ways that will lead to more detailed and useful predictions of the world around us, thereby helping to make our society more resilient to increasingly costly disasters and contributing to improved human health and well-being," center Director Everette Joseph said in a news release.
 

Sullivan dials Indian NSA Doval, reaffirms commitment for strong, enduring relations

America's new National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in his first call with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on Wednesday reaffirmed the commitment of President Joe Biden to a strong and enduring bilateral strategic partnership based on shared commitment to democracy, the White House said.
 
“Sullivan reaffirmed President Biden's commitment to a strong and enduring US-India strategic partnership based on our shared commitment to democracy,” said the National Security Council of the White House in a statement.
 
This was the first call between the two national security advisers.
 
“They discussed the importance of continuing close cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, promoting regional security, and renewing efforts to collaborate on global challenges, including COVID-19 and climate change,” said the statement.
 
Sullivan, a close confidant of Biden, has so far spoken with his counterparts from eight countries.
 
They are Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Adviser to the French President; Jan Hecker, Foreign and Security Policy Adviser to the German Chancellor; Dominic Raab, British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs; Shigeru Kitamura, Secretary General of Japan's National Security Secretariat.
 
He has also spoken with National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib of Afghanistan; National Security Adviser Suh Hoon of the Republic of Korea and National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat of Israel.
 

Bird flu: Rajasthan reports 88 more bird deaths

Over 6,930 birds have died in Rajasthan since the outbreak of the avian influenza about a month ago, officials said on Wednesday. According to an animal husbandry department report, 54 crows, four peacocks, 10 pigeons and 20 other birds died in the state on Wednesday.


Seventeen districts of the state have reported the outbreak of bird flu. As many as 6,937 birds have died in the state since December 25. These include 4,853 crows, 413 peacocks, 593 pigeons and 1,078 other birds.

Internet suspension extended in parts of Haryana till 5 pm of Jan 28

Haryana government extends suspension of internet and SMS services in Sonipat, Palwal, and Jhajjar districts till 5 pm of Jan 28 to check misinformation, the state government says

SC stays defamation proceedings against BJP's Manoj Tiwari, Vijender Gupta

Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the criminal defamation proceedings against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Manoj Tiwari and Vijender Gupta.
 
The proceedings against the BJP leaders were initiated after a complaint by Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia. Later, Tiwari and Gupta moved to the apex court seeking the quashing of the summons issued against them in a defamation case.
 
On December 17, 2020, Delhi High Court dismissed the petitions by MP Tiwari and MLA Gupta challenging trial court order issuing summons against them in a defamation case filed by Sisodia. Justice Anu Malhotra dismissed the petitions challenging trial court order issuing summons against them and sought quashing of an order passed by Rouse Avenue Court on November 28, 2019. All the accused including Tiwari and Gupta were earlier granted bail after they appeared before the trial court.

Soldier killed, three injured in IED blast in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district

A soldier was killed and three others were injured in an IED explosion triggered by militants in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district on Wednesday, police said. Four soldiers of an Army patrol team sustained splinter injuries in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast inside an abandoned building of a school at Subhanpora in Kulgam district, a police spokesman said here.
 
The injured soldiers were provided first aid locally and then evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, PTI reported. One of the injured soldiers succumbed to injuries at the hospital, the spokesman added.
 
Earlier, a defence spokesman had said the soldiers were injured in a grenade attack. However, the police spokesman said preliminary investigation revealed that a rudimentary IED with a low-powered explosive and ball bearings was planted in an abandoned building inside the school premises, where the Army jawans used to visit on a routine basis.

FDI into India increases 37% to $43.85 billion during Apri-Nov 2020

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India increased by 37 per cent to USD 43.85 billion during April-November 2020, according to data by the commerce and industry ministry.
 
Total FDI inflows (including reinvested earnings) during the eight-month period of the current fiscal grew by 22 per cent to USD 58.37 billion, the ministry said on Wednesday.
 
"FDI equity inflow received during 2020-21 (April to November, 2020) is USD 43.85 billion. It is the highest ever for the first 8 months of a financial year and 37 per cent more compared to the first 8 months of 2019-20 (USD 32.11 billion)," it said. READ MORE...

Sourav Ganguly taken to hospital 'for check-up'; vital parameters stable

Less than a month after he underwent an angioplasty, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was on Wednesday taken to a private hospital in Kolkata for a "checkup for his cardiac condition", a senior official of the medical establishment said. Several tests conducted on the 48-year-old former Indian cricket captain at the emergency ward of the hospital revealed that his vital parameters are stable.
 
Earlier, a source in Ganguly's family had said that he felt discomfort in the chest following which he was taken to the hospital. Union Home Minister Amit Shah enquired about his health.
 
Ganguly "has come for a checkup for his cardiac condition. There is no change in his parameters since his last hospitalisation and his vital parameters are stable," the hospital said in a statement. He will remain at the hospital on Wednesday night as doctors may conduct an angiography on him on Thursday, a senior doctor said. Ganguly had complained of chest pain while exercising at his residence around three weeks ago. He was diagnosed with three blocked coronary arteries.

I-T refunds worth Rs 1.81 lakh crore issued so far in FY21

The Income Tax Department on Wednesday said it has issued over Rs 1.81 lakh crore worth refunds to more than 1.74 crore taxpayers so far this fiscal year.
 
Of this, personal income tax refunds of Rs 62,231 crore have been issued to over 1.71 crore taxpayers and corporate tax refunds of Rs 1.19 lakh crore have been issued in 2.12 lakh cases.
 
CBDT issues refunds of over Rs. 1,81,336 crore to more than 1.74 crore taxpayers between 1st April, 2020 to 25th January, 2021, the department tweeted.

Surgeries, other health services at Delhi govt-run hospitals to be resumed

In view of the falling number of Covid-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi health department has decided to resume surgeries, OPDs and other medical services at all city government-run hospitals, according to an official order issued on Wednesday.
 
Delhi recorded 157 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the fifth time the daily incidences' count stood below the 200-mark in January, even as the positivity rate dipped to 0.24 per cent.
 
The infection tally in the city stood at 6.34 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,820 with seven new fatalities. On Wednesday, the Delhi Health Department issued an order saying, "In supersession of all previous orders in this regard and in view of the decrease innumber of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, it is hereby directed that all kinds of surgeries/ invasiveprocedures/ IPD/OPDs and other medical services shall be started in all hospitals under the governmentof Delhi, including the society hospitals".

INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala drove a tractor to Haryana Assembly to hand over resignation letter to Speaker

Govt plans $41 bn reform in Budget 2021 to revive ailing power discoms

India plans to spend 3 trillion rupees ($41 billion) on a new plan to revive regional electricity retailers, people with knowledge of the matter said, after a previous attempt failed to stem losses at the utilities.
 
The spending would be spread over a few years and is likely to be unveiled on Feb. 1 as part of the government’s budget for the year starting April 1, the people said, asking not to be identified as the proposal isn’t public. The plan for carrying out reforms for reducing losses of state distribution utilities was sought by the nation’s power ministry and is under discussion. READ MORE...

Sasikala released from prison, but to be in hospital due to Covid-19

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa's close aide, V. K. Sasikala was released from Bengaluru's central prison -- Parappana Agrahara Central Jail -- on Wednesday after prison authorities completed the release formalities.
 
The central jail authorities wore Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and completed the formalities at the hospital where she is presently undergoing treatment for Covid infection. Her sister-in-law, J. Ilavaris too was admitted in the same hospital on January 22.
 
She will, however, remain in the hospital as she is being treated for Covid.

BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly taken to Apollo Hospital in Kolkata after he complained of chest pain

Sourav Ganguly hospitalised again with discomfort in chest

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was on Wednesday hospitalised again with discomfort in the chest, less than a month after he underwent angioplasty. The 48-year-old, who underwent angioplasty earlier this month after he was diagnosed with three blocked coronary arteries, felt "dizzy and slight discomfort in the chest" as he was rushed to a private hospital in the Salt Lake area near Kolkata for further diagnosis, a family source told PTI.
 
"He was feeling dizzy and had some discomfort in the chest. So, he was rushed to the hospital for further diagnosis," he said.
 
The Kolkata Police created a green corridor for smooth travel from his Behala residence to the hospital off the E M Bypass, authorities at the medical establishment said. Earlier this month, the former India captain had complained of chest pain while exercising at his Behala residence.

Supreme Court issues notice on plea of 'Tandav' makers

Supreme Court issues notice on plea of 'Tandav' makers and actor to club several FIRs registered against them across the country.

Skin to Skin contact: SC stays Bombay HC order acquitting man under POCSO

The Supreme Court Wednesday stayed the Bombay High Court order which acquitted a man under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act saying groping a minor's breast without "skin to skin contact" cannot be termed as sexual assault, PTI reported. A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian stayed the high court order after Attorney General K K Venugopal mentioned the matter.
 
The top court also issued notice to Maharashtra government and permitted the AG to file an appeal against the January 19 verdict of Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court.
 
On January 19, the high court had said that groping a minor's breast without "skin to skin contact" cannot be termed as sexual assault as defined under the POCSO Act.

BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly being taken to Apollo Hospital in Kolkata after he complained of chest pain

BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly being taken to Apollo Hospital in Kolkata after he complained of chest pain. More details awaited. 

Govt hikes MSP of milling copra by Rs 375 per quintal; ball copra up Rs 300/qtl

The government on Wednesday approved an increase in the minimum support price (MSP) of milling copra by Rs 375 per quintal and ball copra by Rs 300 per quintal to boost farmers' income. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the minimum support prices (MSPs) of copra for 2021 season, PTI reported.
 
The MSP for fair average quality (FAQ) of milling copra has been increased to Rs 10,335 per quintal from Rs 9,960 per quintal for 2020 season, while the MSP for ball copra has been increased to Rs 10,600 per quintal from Rs 10,300 per quintal last year.
 
Briefing the Cabinet decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the MSP of milling copra is higher by 52 per cent than the production cost, while the support price of ball copra is 55 per cent higher.
 
The increase in copra MSP for 2021 season is in line with the principle of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times the all India weighted average cost of production, which was announced by the government in the Budget 2018-19.

Union Cabinet approved MSP of copra at Rs 10,335 per quintal

Union cabinet decides to increase the minimum support price for copra: Prakash Javadekar

Union cabinet decides to increase the minimum support price for copra, the dried kernel of coconut. "Decision will benefit of farmers across India," says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

CCEA approved MSP of copra at Rs 10,335 per quintal: Prakash Javadekar

Ex-Jayalalithaa close aide Sasikala released after serving 4 years in prison

Expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala was released on Wednesday after serving four years imprisonment in a corruption case at a prison. The formalities for her release were done at the state- run Victoria Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infection, which she had contracted a week ago, along with her sister-in-law J Ilavarasi.
 
"Yes, she has been formally released," Parappana Agrahara Jail Superintendent V Sheshamurthy told PTI.
 
According to hospital sources, prison officials sporting PPE kits completed the formalities inside the COVID-19 ward of the hospital. However, she would remain at the Victoria hospital for another three days as mandated under the COVID-19 protocol, though she is now asymptomatic and her symptoms have reduced.

Google says North Korea-backed hackers sought cyber research, steal info

Google says it believes hackers backed by the North Korean government have been posing as computer security bloggers and using fake accounts on social media while attempting to steal information from researchers in the field.
 
Google didn't specify how successful the hackers were or what kind of information could have been compromised. Experts say the attacks reflect North Korean efforts to improve its cyber skills and be able to breach widely used computer products, such as Google's Chrome internet browser and Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. Read on...

Why Centre resisting directionto translate draft EIA in all vernacular languages: HC

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it cannot understand why the Centre was "vehemently" resisting its order to translate the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) in all 22 languages in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution.
 
A special bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said the government would have to understand the objections in local languages to the draft EIA and therefore, "what was the harm in translating it in all the 22 languages".
 
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma, appearing for the central government, told the bench that it has already received 20 lakh responses till date to the draft EIA and therefore, there was no need to translate it in more languages.
 
The ASG also claimed that translating it in all 22 languages would create a lot of administrative problems as the government "does not have the wherewithal to carry out the translations".
 
"It will be administratively chaotic. There will be gaping gaps in the different translations," he claimed and added that even the Constitution does not say that the notification has to be translated in all the languages.

Four soldiers injured in grenade attack by militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir: Official

Four soldiers injured in grenade attack by militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir: Official

Four soldiers injured in grenade attack by militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir: Official

Four soldiers injured in grenade attack by militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir: Official

Expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala released after completion of all formatilities, say authorities

Expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, who is undergoing Covid-19 treatment at a hospital in Bengaluru, was released after completion of all formatilities, say authorities

Jammu and Kashmir: Three army jawans injured in a terrorist attack in Kulgam district

Jammu and Kashmir: Three army jawans injured in a terrorist attack in Kulgam district. Details awaited.

A two-day special West Bengal Assembly Session to begin today

A two-day special West Bengal Assembly Session to begin today.

Additional DCP Central's operator was attacked with sword at ITO yesterday, reports ANI, quoting Delhi police

Additional DCP Central's operator was attacked with sword at ITO yesterday, reports ANI, quoting Delhi police.

Heavy security deployment at Tikri border where farmers are protesting against farm laws

People throng Marina Beach in Chennai where Jayalalithaa's Memorial will be unveiled today

People throng Marina Beach in Chennai where Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy will unveil former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's Memorial today.

Uddhav Thackeray to chair a meeting of High Power Committee constituted for the border dispute with Karnataka

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to chair a meeting of High Power Committee constituted for the border dispute with Karnataka.

Delhi's overall air quality in 'very poor' category

Delhi's overall air quality in 'very poor' category, with overall AQI standing at 339: System of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR).

Meeting of BAC (Business Advisory Committee) of Rajya Sabha to be held on 29th January, in the Parliament

Meeting of BAC (Business Advisory Committee) of Rajya Sabha to be held on 29th January, in the Parliament

Union Cabinet meeting to be held today, via video conferencing

Union Cabinet meeting to be held today, via video conferencing.

Venkaiah Naidu has called a meeting of floor leaders of Rajya Sabha on January 31 for Budget session of Parl

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has called a meeting of floor leaders of Rajya Sabha on January 31 at his residence for Budget session of Parliament.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel