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Tuesday,15-June-2021

Business

Health insurers seek higher tax deductions, lower GST on policies

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GST

The health insurance sector has sought favourable tax treatment from the government to help penetrate this important security to the masses especially on account of rising hospitalisation bills during the pandemic.

In a set of recommendations involving tax treatment for health insurance policies, the industry had urged the government to immediately increase the 80 D tax deduction benefit for individuals on their premium payment for health insurance policies.

The limit currently stands at around d Rs 25,000 for health insurance cover for self and family and additional amount of Rs 25,000 for premium payment towards health policies taken for dependent parents upto 60 years of age and Rs 50,000 deduction for cover to patents above 60 years.

The industry has also sought tax treatment for health policies at par with life insurance cover that attracts lower GST rate of 5 per cent against 18 per cent payable on health insurance.

“The health insurance has become an essential commodity and needs to be slotted in the 5% GST tax slab along with commodities such as food items to make it more affordable for people to get access to quality healthcare care. Also, the increase in the limit of tax deduction in Section 80D of the Income Tax Act can help better penetration of health insurance,” said Prasun Sikdar MD & CEO ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the consumer mind set has undergone a tectonic shift from looking at health insurance as a priority to seeing it as a necessity. Whether it is the government, bureaucracy, industry, media or common man, all now discussing protecting lives and financing for the same in the form of health insurance. In this regard greater support from the government could help to improve penetration of these life saving insurance policies.

“The healthcare sector must be supported and encouraged to expand and thrive so that it can make a real difference to the country’s economy and employment,” Sikdar said.

Business

TASMAC sold Rs 164 cr worth of liquor in just one day

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wine-shop

The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has sold liquor worth Rs 164 crore in the state in just one day.

All liquor outlets and bars opened in the state on Monday.

According to reports from the TASMAC, Madurai zone accounted for the maximum sales of Rs 49.54 crore followed by Chennai region with sales worth Rs 42.96 crore, Salem Rs 38.72 crore, and Trichy region accounting for the sale of Rs 33.65 crore worth of liquor.

However there was no sale in the Coimbatore region as the shops are closed in the area following the higher number of Covid-19 cases. Shops in Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Tiruvavur, Nagapattinam, and Myladuthurai remain closed as the number of cases are high.

Of the 5,338 shops in Tamil Nadu, 2,900 reopened on Monday.

The founder president of Pattali Makkal Katchi(PMK), Dr S. Ramadoss has called upon the state government to rework its policy on liquor and to enforce a total prohibition in the state for the health of the people of the state. He has also said that the claims of Chief Minister Stalin that TASMAC shops were allowed to function following the brewing of illicit liquor in the state as well as to prevent smuggling of liquor from neighbouring states.

Ramadoss has in a statement said, “Stalin should work his way to enforce total prohibition in the state of Tamil Nadu for the sake of the health of the people of the state, both mental and physical.”

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Business

Sensex, Nifty climb new record highs

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Bombay-Stock-Exchange

The key Indian equity indices continued their record run on Tuesday.

The BSE Sensex touched a fresh high of 52,836.31 and the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange hit an all-time high of 15,889.60 points.

Healthy buying was witnessed in banking and realty stocks.

Around 9.40 a.m., Sensex was trading at 52,813.83, higher by 262.3 points or 0.50 per cent from its previous close of 52,551.53 points.

It opened at 52,751.83 and has touched an intra-day low of 52,671.29 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was at 15,875.05, higher by 63.20 points or 0.4 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank and Tata Steel, while the losers were Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, SBI, Titan Company and L&T.

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Business

Fuel price hike paused: Petrol, diesel prices unchanged

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Petrol

The Oil marketing companies paused the hike in fuel prices on Tuesday providing respite to people already burdened with all time high petrol and diesel retail rates.

Accordingly, the price of petrol continues to remain at Rs 96.41 per litre and diesel at Rs 87.28 per litre in Delhi.

OMCs had raised the price of the two petroleum products on Monday to take retail levels at new highs across the country.

In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached new high of Rs 102.58 per litre on Monday. Diesel price also increased to reach Rs 94.70 a litre, the highest among metros. The price levels remain unchanged on Tuesday.

Across the country as well petrol and diesel price rise was paused on Tuesday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.

Petrol prices in three other metros apart from Mumbai has also already reached closer to Rs 100 per litre mark and OMC officials said that if international oil prices continue to firm up, this mark could also be breached in other places by month end.

With Tuesday’s price pause, fuel prices have now increased on 24 days and remained unchanged on 22 days since May 1. The 22 increases hasve taken the petrol prices up by Rs 6.01 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel has increased by Rs 6.55 per litre in the national capital.

With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of world’s largest fuel guzzler – the US, retail prices of fuel in India are expected to firm up further in coming days. The benchmark Brent crude is currently close to $74 on ICE or Intercontinental Exchange.

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