Top headlines: India's budget hikes spending; Myanmar military takes power

An amount of Rs 35,000 crore will be spend on Covid-19 vaccines as part of the Rs 2.23 trillion spending, Sitharaman said in her Budget 2020-21 speech.
Interest earned on PF contributions above Rs 2.5 lakh to be taxable: Budget

The government on Monday said the employers who delay the deposit of workers' share of social security contributions like employees' provident fund will not be able to claim the amount as deduction from their income. An amendment in this regard is proposed in the Finance Bill 2021, to ensure that firms deposit the social security contributions of their employees like Employees' State Insurance (ESI) well in time. Besides it is proposed to tax interest earned on annual provident fund contribution of over Rs 2.5 lakh from April 1, 2021. At present there is no tax on interest earned on provident fund deposits. Read more

Budget 2021 to spend Rs 2.23 trn on healthcare, raising outlay by 137%

India will spend Rs 2.23 trillion on healthcare and launch a new central scheme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore over the next six years to improve health systems nationwide, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. An amount of Rs 35,000 crore will be spend on Covid-19 vaccines as part of the Rs 2.23 trillion spending, she said in her Budget 2020-21 speech. "The investment on health infrastructure in this budget has increased substantially," said Sitharaman. Read more

Myanmar military says taking control of country; Suu Kyi, leaders detained

Myanmar military television says the military has taken control of the country for one year. An announcer on military-owned Myawaddy TV made the announcement Monday morning. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was detained under house arrest, reports said, as communications were cut to the capital. Phone and internet access to Naypyitaw was lost and Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party could not be reached. Read more

India's Jan factory activity at 3-mth high, manufacturing PMI rises to 57.7

India's factory activity expanded at its strongest pace in three months in January, fuelled by a continued recovery in demand and output, according to a private survey which also showed firms cut jobs at the slowest pace in 10 months. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index , compiled by IHS Markit, rose to 57.7 in January from December's 56.4, above the 50-level separating growth from contraction for the sixth straight month. Sub indexes tracking new orders and output rose to their highest since October, indicating strong growth in demand. Read more

Govt asks Twitter to block 250 tweets, accounts for 'provocative' posts

Twitter has blocked several accounts and tweets after the government asked the microblogging platform to take action against 250 handles and posts for containing 'false and provocative content' related to the ongoing farmers' agitation, according to sources. These include accounts of Kisan Ekta Morcha and BKU Ekta Urgahan that have thousands of followers and have been actively involved in the ongoing protests. According to sources, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets/Twitter accounts that were making 'fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets' on January 30 with hashtags accusing the Modi government of planning farmers 'genocide' without any further substantiation. Read more

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