CHENNAI SATURDAY DECEMBER 23, 2017 `3.00 PAGES 14 VELLORE EDITION KISS KISS BANG BANG: ROHIT EQUALS T20I MILESTONE India opener hits 35-ball ton against Sri Lanka in Indore, emulates record set by South Africa’s David Miller against Bangladesh MORE 6s THAN IN A MATHS TEXTBOOK NEW PARTNERSHIP RECORD The only thing that went the visitors way was the toss. But they opted to field first and the openers did the rest. The Mumbaikar, in particular, was harsh on the visiting bowlers. His 43-ball 118 contained 10 sixes and 12 boundaries. In fact, at one of point it looked like he may end up with a double century ■ ■ Rohit’s innings may take the gloss out of what was a fine knock by his partner KL Rahul, who scored 89 from 49. The two put together 165 runs, an Indian record in this format The hosts eventually scored 260/5, just three short of the all-time T20I innings score, Australia’s 263 against Sri Lanka 21 NO OF SIXES INDIA SCORED IN THEIR 20 OVERS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR Rajini fans to get political entry gift-wrapped on New Year’s eve? T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai AFTER months of speculation on actor Rajinikanth’s political entry, perhaps it’s time for the real thing. If the sense you get from sources close to him is anything to go by the , superstar will make the announcement on December 31, gift-wraping it for his fans for the New Year. Last time around in May he had , just stopped short of announcing his political entry This time, he is . scheduled to meet his fans for six days consecutively from December 26. On the concluding day, he will disclose his future agenda in the political arena. Thamizharuvi Manian, who has been advising the actor on his political entry, told Express that “There is no change in Rajinikanth’s entry into politics. This time, he will definitely open up his mind to the fans. I am sure he will contest the next Assembly elec- tions in Tamil Nadu.” On Friday Manian had a one-on, one with the superstar but refused to share the details. “I have no right to speak on behalf of Rajinikanth. We have met many times in the recent past. This time too, we had a detailed discussion. Please wait for a week or so.” The Rajini fans association has been asked to appoint grassrootslevel office-bearers as that network would be useful when he launches a political party sources said. , Significantly, both Rajini and fellow actor and wannabe politico Kamal Haasan have maintained an enigmatic silence on the by-election to RK Nagar. So far, they have not uttered a word. Rajini has scheduled his meeting with fans a couple of days after the bypoll verdict. Ahead of the interaction with fans, office-bearers of the fans association have started issuing 1,000 TO MEET, GREET AND SHOOT WITH HIM DAILY On Dec 26, Rajini will meet fans from Krishnagiri, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and The Nilgiris. On the 29th, he will meet fans from in and around Madurai, and on the 30th and 31st, he will meet those from Chennai. Rajini will arrive at the venue each day at 9 am and stay till 3 pm. Photo sessions will go on till 2 pm identity cards to the participants. Rajini is expected to meet 1,000 a day. Chennai has been divided into three divisions as far the fans association is concerned. From Chennai, 2,000 would get the opportunity to be up close with him. Fans from Krishnagiri will be the first to meet the actor on December 26. Incidentally, Rajinikant’s fans believe that the actor’s forefathers were from Krishnagiri district. No I-T break likely, expect Jaitley to propose a reformist budget Slabs to remain unchanged; medical reimbursement claim limit may be increased Current scenario I-T slab for individual tax payers LESS THAN 60 YEARS OLD TAX RATE INCOME SLAB TALKING HEADS Up to J2.5L* No tax Rupani to stay Gujarat CM, no decision yet on Himachal M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi STICKING to its pre-poll decision to contest the Gujarat Assembly poll under the leadership of incumbent CM Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel, the BJP legislative party meeting in Ahmedabad on Friday endorsed status quo even as the saffron outfit is in a bind with intense lobbying for the leadership role in Himachal Pradesh. In the presence of Central observers — Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey — the BJP legislative party elected Rupani as the CM and Patel as his deputy BJP national . general secretary Bhupendra Yadav had proposed their names, and it was seconded by five legislators each, to complete the formality, which was apparently guided by party chief Amit Shah. The swearing in of the new State council of ministers is likely on December 25, which is also the birthday of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Jaitley, however, told the media that the date of swearing in would soon be announced. Meanwhile, the BJP during the day hit a century after Independent MLA Ratan Rathore, who was elected from Lunawada constituency as a Congress rebel, joined the saffron outfit. The BJP is seemingly in a bind on the leadership issue in Himachal Pradesh, with central observers — Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar — returning to the national capital with three names — Prem Kumar Dhumal, J P Nadda and Jairam Thakur, sources said. FUNDS SAFE WEAK BANKS WON’T BE WOUND UP: GOVT, RBI E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai WEAK banks deserve to be shut, but the government and the RBI have categorically said no such thing will happen. For the past few months, WhatsApp messages are being circulated listing nine public sector banks allegedly on the brink of closure. Panic gripped social media on Friday amid reports that the Bank of India may c l o s e 7 0 0 AT M s by February . Incidentally, the International Monetary Fund in its latest report suggested privatisation of weak banks. “Exit of weakest banks should be considered, with voluntary transfer of liabilities and good assets to stronger market participants, leaving bad assets behind in liquidation,” it said. This prompted Rajeev Kumar, secretary, Department of Financial Services, to step in and stem the confusion. “No question of closing down any bank. Govt is ` strengthening PSBs (Rs) 2.11 lakh cr recapitalization plan. Do not believe rumour mongers. Recap, Reforms roadmap for PSBs firmly o n t r a c k , ” R a j e ev Ku m a r tweeted. Giving a rare clarification, RBI in a separate statement said its Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework neither impacts banks’ daily functioning nor constrains regular operations. What the framework does is to slip out unwelcome changes to the banks’ rule book preventing them from adding new branches and hiring more people. Instead, it would help rationalise operations to save costs. The central bank has put 10 banks under PCA so far. In April, The New Indian Express reported that at least 10 out of the 22 PSBs may freeze branch expansion, while 16 lenders may cease paying dividends for FY17 as part of the ongoing regulatory crackdown. P13 5% From J5L to J10L 20% Above J10L Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former chief Sonia Gandhi (L), ex-PM Manmohan Singh and Gulam Nabi Azad (R) during the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Friday. For the first time, Rahul chaired the meet after taking charge | SHEKHAR YADAV | P9 From J2.5L to J5L 30% SURCHARGE 10% of income tax, where total income exceeds L50 lakh up to L1 crore 15% of income tax, where the total income exceeds L1 crore What may the salaried class expect? A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi IF you’re expecting tax cuts in the upcoming Budget, you may be disappointed. According to two highly placed sources, both of them part of Budget discussions, the Budget will be reformist and not populist. For one, income tax slabs are likely to remain unchanged for individual tax payers. While tweaks in exemptions are likely, the overall limit is unlikely to be raised. However, many structural reforms may be unleashed aimed at boosting tax collection. “Unlike the previous government, this government is targeting reforms at the tax collection level. The process for filing returns will be simplified. Another focus is to widen the tax net to protect the interest of honest tax payers,” said a senior Finance Increase in tax exemption for medical reimbursement from J15,000 currently ADARSH CASE: HC QUASHES GUV’S NOD TO PROSECUTE FORMER MAHA CM ASHOK CHAVAN P7 Three die of asphyxiation in Kovai sewage tank E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Coimbatore BANNED manual scavenging continued to be a killer in the State, this time asphyxiating three youth who had entered a sewage plant at a gold smithery unit at RS Puram in the city on Friday . R Gowrishankar (21), a resident of Nambiazhaganpalayam near Vedapatti and M Ezhumalai (23), from Kandasamy Gounder Street at Rathinapuri, were hired to clean the sewage tank in the basement of the private gold smithery unit. Around 1.30 am, when the youth started yelling for help, P Suryakumar (23), a security guard at the unit, entered the septic tank to offer aid. But the toxic fumes got Suryakumar as well. Before he collapsed, he managed to alert his colleagues on the ground. By the time other workers at the unit rushed in and informed the fire and rescue personnel, it was too late. Gowrishankar and Ezhumalai died on the spot while Suryakumar was taken to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital in a critical condition, where he died shortly thereafter. Waste water and chemicals used for cleaning gold get collected in a tank, which is cleaned yearly or by-yearly, depending on the size of the unit. This is done to segregate gold from the waste. RIGHT TO PLAY Ignored in RS, Sachin pitches for sports on Facebook E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Sachin Tendulkar OBSTRUCTED from giving his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha, nominated member and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Friday took to social media to emphasise the need for India to be a sport-playing nation. Tendulkar was to speak in the upper house Thursday on the ‘right to play and the future of sports in India’, but was unable to do so with the Congress resorting to protests. The cricket legend later posted a video on Facebook to reach out to the masses. “Being a sportsman, I am going to talk on sports, health and fitness of India for it has a telling impact on our economy My vision is a healthy and . fit India,” said Tendulkar. Expressing concern over India being the diabetic capital of the world, he said: “Our fitness sessions are becoming lighter while eating sessions are becoming heavier. We need to change this habit.” In this world of mobile phones, we become immobile. Many of us discuss but don’t play at all. We need to transform India from a sportloving nation to a sport-playing nation... A young, unfit, unhealthy India is a recipe for disaster Sachin Tendulkar, RS member and cricketer 2018 Ministry official. The official said while the government will not alter individual tax slabs, there may be some changes in exemptions. At the moment, the maximum tax exemption allowed via Section 80C of the Income Tax Act is `1.5 lakh. The government may also increase entitlements under medical expenses, health insurance, and investment in infrastructure bonds, the official added. As of now, exemption up to `15,000 per annum is allowed on medical re- Increase in tax exemption limits for life insurance term plan Increase in tax exemption for health insurance under family insurance plan imbursements paid by the employer. The government recognises the fact that this is not commensurate with rising medical costs, he added. Another highly placed source, who is a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said, “The government will continue with the reform process, keeping in view fiscal prudence. The discussions suggest that even while the government is planning to simplify income tax laws, there may not be any change in individual tax slabs.” He, too, confirmed that the Budget is set to increase tax exemption on medical reimbursement. He said the Budget may increase the exemption limit of health insurance premium under family insurance to include more people to be covered under health insurance. FD taxation may be brought on par with debt mutual funds
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