• The Direct Tax Code (DTC) task force, set up to overhaul the 58-year old Income
    Tax Act, has recommended a significant increase in the highest income tax slabs,
    besides slashing corporate tax rate to an even rate of 25% for both domestic and
    foreign companies, sources said. Income tax payers earning up to Rs 55 lakh per
    annum may end up with a major tax relief if recommendations to change the tax
    bracket and rebates are accepted, according to the sources.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the corporate tax rate for companies
    with over Rs 400 crore turnover will be gradually cut to 25% and the government will
    support wealth creators.
  • In her maiden Budget last month, she had cut corporate tax for companies with annual
    turnover of up to Rs 400 crore to 25% from 30% earlier.
  • India is the world’s largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide, which is produced
    from coal burning, and greatly contributes to air pollution, a study claimed on August
  • According to an analysis of a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    data released by environmental NGO Greenpeace on August 19, India has more than
    15% of all anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) hotspots in the world detected by the
    OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.
  • The major SO 2 emission hotspots in India are Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Neyveli
    and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh,
    Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in
  • The NASA data also highlights other hotspots across the globe, with the Norilsk smelter
    complex in Russia being the largest SO 2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by
    Kriel in Mpumalanga province in South Africa and Zagroz in Iran.
  • Environment experts called for strict action on coal power plants. They said these
    plants should not be given a free hand to continue polluting and causing a health
    emergency situation in the country.
  • In the next three decades the deregulation of the steel market (abolition of freight
    equalisation) and imports having been put under open general license led to a
    paradigm shift to the concepts of supply, capacity creation through differential
    technologies, SME’s role, demand assessments, competitiveness, pricing and export
    strategies, Sushim Banerjee, DG, Institute of Steel Growth and Development said.
  • ArcelorMittal may face a tough challenge in reviving the fortunes of Essar Steel after
    paying a huge premium for the acquisition amidst falling steel prices and bleak outlook
    for the sector.
  • Also, global steel demand is expected to remain subdued with the ongoing trade war
    between the US and China and uncertainty over the US elections slated for next year.
  • In India, steel prices recently dipped below the ₹40,000 a tonne mark for first time in
    the last two years due to weak demand. Globally, steel prices have fallen 18% to $490
    a tonne from about $600 a tonne when ArcelorMittal first placed its bid for Essar Steel
    in early 2018.
  • The government may consider amendments in the real estate law RERA, if required, to
    make it more effective, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shankar Mishra
    said. He said that the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry will soon take up the model
    tenancy law to the Cabinet for approval and then the same will be circulated to states
    for implementation.