Varun Dhawan’s girlfriend flies down to London to ring in his birthday

NEW DELHI: Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal have always kept their relationship under wraps. The duo are childhood buddies and have been spotted together at various occasions. The couple was papped at Shahid Kapoor’s pre-birthday bash where they were seen walking hand-in-hand.

Varun is currently busy shooting for ‘Judwaa 2’ in London which is being helmed by his director dad David Dhawan. The ‘Badlapur’ actor celebrated his 30 the birthday on the sets of the much-awaited movie. People thought his lady love missed the celebration but that’s not the truth. Natasha made sure that he makes Varun’s day more special by paying him a visit. She also attended the family dinner

So can we assume that Varun-Natasha have family approval?

Earlier, in an interview, Varun confessed that he has a special woman in his life. “The day I settle down, I will announce it to the world. I am proud of the special woman in my life and the world should know about her. I don’t want to be in news for dating someone,” he said.

Well, Varun’s fans are eagerly waiting for sequel of ‘Judwaa’ which also has Anupam Kher, Jacqueline Fernandez and Taapsee Pannu.

Budget 2017: Well-heeled? No honesty hug

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley has decided to halve the tax rate at the lowest income slab of Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to 5 per cent but skewered the relatively well-heeled folk by levying a 10 per cent surcharge on incomes between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore a year.

“The present burden of taxation is mainly on honest taxpayers and salaried employees who are showing their income correctly. Post-demonetisation, there is a legitimate expectation of this class of people to reduce their burden of taxation,” Jaitley said in the budget speech.

Conversely, the levy of the surcharge on the higher income slab seems to indicate that the Modi government believes that the honest taxpayer only resides in the lower income slabs.

Let us not forget that the existing provision of a 15 per cent surcharge continues on taxpayers with a total income of over Rs 1 crore.

Taxpayers were expecting a higher exemption limit. But the government probably chose not to tinker with the tax slabs as that could shrink the tax base.

Around 2.5 lakh income tax payers stand to benefit from the proposal to halve the tax rate among 3.7 crore individuals who filed income tax returns in 2015-16.

As a result, a person having an income of Rs 5 lakh will be required to pay tax of Rs 12,875 only even if he or she does not avail any benefit under Section 80C or other sections. The tax incidence on the same income was Rs 20,600 in the corresponding year-ago period.

If the taxpayer takes the benefit of the Rs 150,000 deduction under Section 80C and Rs 25,000 as deduction for medical insurance and medical expenses under 80D, he or she could pay a tax of only Rs 3,863.

As always, the details lie in the fine print. The tax rebate under Section 87A of the Income Tax Act has been reduced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,500 and it will be available only to such taxpayers whose income is up to Rs 350,000. At present, taxpayers with an income of up to Rs 5 lakh can claim the rebate.

The relief to the salaried class is set to leave the exchequer poorer by Rs 15,500 crore.

Some operational changes aimed at improving the income tax structure were also announced. For example, the time for revising a tax return is set at 12 months from completion of the financial year, on a par with that for filing the return.

The time for completion of scrutiny assessments is being compressed from 21 months to 18 months for the assessment year 2018-19 and further to 12 months for the assessment year 2019-20 and thereafter.

Late fee

Taxpayers who are tardy in filing their returns will have to brace for a hefty fee. The government proposes to levy a fee of Rs 5,000 if the return is furnished after the due date but on or before December 31 of the assessment year. This means that even a single day’s delay will attract the fee.

The fee will jump to Rs 10,000 in any other case, says the explanatory memorandum that clarifies the meaning of the new Section 234F of the Income Tax Act. There is a rider here: the fee will not exceed Rs 1,000 if the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh.

People in India tend not to file their tax returns – especially those who have an income of up to Rs 5 lakh. The fee will act as a goad to persuade more people to file their tax returns.

Capital gain

Another crucial benefit comes in the form of a shorter holding period for individuals who were looking to sell off their properties.

In case of transfer of immovable property, if the taxpayer holds the asset for three years, the gain is considered long term. The finance minister has proposed to reduce the period of holding to two years.

Further, the base year for cost inflation index has been amended from April 1, 1981, to April 1, 2001. It will help taxpayers to easily ascertain the market value of long-term assets and this measure will also help in reducing their tax burden.

Section 54EC of the Income Tax Act has also been amended to authorise the Centre to notify any other bonds in addition to National Highway Authority and Rural Electrification Ltd to ensure that a taxpayer could claim a long-term capital gains tax benefit of up to Rs 50 lakh by subscribing to these eligible bonds.

This budget lays emphasis on affordable housing. The projects meant for the lower income group will be treated as infrastructure project and such companies will be eligible to certain benefits. The period for completion of project has been extended from three years to five years.

A promoter who has unsold flats will not have to pay tax on notional rent for one year from the end of the financial year in which the completion certificate is obtained.

Limit on cash spend

Cash expenses in case of business or profession will not be allowed if they are above Rs 10,000 on a single day. The present limit of Rs 20,000 has been reduced with the object of encouraging digital payment or payments through cheque or RTGS and NEFT.

The amended rule will apply even if amount is paid for acquiring any capital asset. This is a step in the right direction.

The benefit for making a donation will now be available in case of a donation exceeding Rs 2,000 to any trust or political party if the amount is paid by cheque or through a bank or a digital process. Political parties are also required to accept donations exceeding Rs 2,000 by any mode other than cash. This is also a well-meaning measure.

Let ourselves down by not competing well enough: De Villiers

France election: Le Pen accused of plagiarising Fillon

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of plagiarising defeated rival François Fillon in a speech she delivered on Monday.

Several sections of her speech in Villepinte, north of Paris, appear to repeat almost word-for-word comments Mr Fillon made in an address on 15 April.

An official of her National Front party said she had made a “nod” to Mr Fillon and it showed she was “not sectarian”.

Ms Le Pen faces centrist Emmanuel Macron in the final round on Sunday.

The similarity in the speeches was pointed out by the Ridicule TV YouTube channel, initially set up by François Fillon’s supporters to attack Mr Macron before the first round of voting that saw Mr Fillon eliminated from the contest.

Ridicule TV said the far right presidential candidate had plagiarised Mr Fillon’s speech “word for word” and set the two speeches side by side, inviting viewers to make up their own minds.

The videos were also posted on Twitter.

Several passages imitated Mr Fillon’s address word-for-word:

  • In Mr Fillon‘s speech, he made specific reference to France’s geography and neighbours. He called the Rhine border with Germany “the most open, the most dangerous, the most promising” but mentioned “a Germanic world we have been so often in conflict with and with which we will yet co-operate in so many ways”
  • Ms Le Pen also called the same border “the most open and the most promising” and also mentioned “a Germanic world we will yet co-operate with in so many ways, as long as we regain the relationship of allies and not of subjects”
  • Both speeches spoke of waiting lists to learn French in Shanghai, Tokyo, Mexico, Rabat and Rome
  • Both speeches used the same quotation from World War One PM Georges Clemenceau
  • At times, the words were almost exactly the same. Mr Fillon said: “France is a history, it is a geography, but it is also a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. It is a singular voice addressed to all the peoples of the universe”
  • Ms Le Pen echoed him with: “France is also a set of values and principles transmitted from generation to generation, as passwords. And then it is a voice, an extraordinary, singular voice that speaks to all the peoples of the universe”

The Liberation newspaper said that what was supposed to have been a key speech for the second phase of voting in the election became instead a focus of ridicule for social media users.

But Florian Philippot, deputy chairman of the National Front, told Radio Classique the party had owned up to the similarities and that Ms Le Pen’s speech was “nod-and-a-wink” to Mr Fillon’s speech to “launch a real debate” on French identity.

He earlier told Agence France-Presse that the speech showed “she is not sectarian”.