Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Is Dead at 41


Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 41.

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Portrait Session

Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death, in Palos Verdes Estates, and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide after law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m.

Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The most recent, “One More Light,” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was scheduled to start a tour with a concert on July 27 in Mansfield, Mass.

Mike Shinoda, one of Linkin Park’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band would issue a statement.

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Mr. Bennington also performed in a side project, Dead by Sunrise, and joined Stone Temple Pilots as its lead singer after the band split with the vocalist Scott Weiland in 2013.

In May, he responded to the suicide by hanging of his friend the singer Chris Cornell in a note he shared on social media. “I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” he wrote. “I pray you find peace in the next life.” (Mr. Bennington also performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Mr. Cornell’s funeral. Mr. Cornell would have turned 53 on Thursday.)

A week later, he posted a series of positive tweets, including one about being artistically inspired: “Feeling very creative this last week. I’ve written 6 songs and I’m happy with all of them. Just getting started.” He added the emoji for the devil-horns hand gesture.

But Mr. Bennington had been open about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, which had fueled many of his biggest hits with Linkin Park.

“I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain, so to speak, and kind of being able to vent it through my music,” he said in a 2009 interview with the website Noisecreep. “I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I had a drinking problem. That’s who I am, and I’m kind of lucky in a lot of ways ′cause I get to do something about it.”

On “Crawling” — one of the band’s defining singles from its debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” which went on to sell more than 11 million copies in the United States — Mr. Bennington sings: “There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface / Consuming, confusing / This lack of self-control I fear is never ending.”

The song, he said later, was “about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol.”

“That feeling,” he added, “being able to write about it, sing about it, that song, those words sold millions of records, I won a Grammy, I made a lot of money.”

Still, as the group’s career progressed, Mr. Bennington was adamant that he would remain transparent in his music about his personal ups and downs. The recording studio, he told Rock Sound, “is not a safe place for me to be unless I’m doing what I need to do — taking care of myself, being real, being open, getting it out, taking all the steps to make myself whole.”

“If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead,” he added. “One hundred percent.”

Chester Charles Bennington was born on March 20, 1976, in Phoenix, the youngest of four children. His mother was a nurse and his father a local police detective prone to pulling double shifts. Mr. Bennington described his childhood as unhappy, citing his parents’ divorce when he was 11 and frequent molestation by an older friend, beginning when Mr. Bennington was “about 7 or 8” and continuing until he was 13.

“It destroyed my self-confidence,” he said of the abuse in an interview with Kerrang! magazine in 2008. “Like most people, I was too afraid to say anything. I didn’t want people to think I was gay or that I was lying. It was a horrible experience.”

Mr. Bennington found solace in writing angst-filled poetry, in drawing and eventually in music; he cited Stone Temple Pilots and Depeche Mode as two of his earliest influences. As a teenager, he started his first band, Grey Daze, and gained something of a local following in the wake of the grunge explosion.

At 23, Mr. Bennington was married and working in an unfulfilling job when a music industry acquaintance sent him a demo by the band Xero, featuring Mr. Shinoda, a California rapper and songwriter interested in mixing hip-hop and rock sounds.

“I never pretended I could carry the vocals on my own,” Mr. Shinoda told Kerrang! “I had these great melodies in my head, and I couldn’t get them across. I wanted to find someone who could do them justice.”

After he auditioned an array of vocalists, he gave the job to Mr. Bennington, who had already recorded himself singing over the band’s early work. Together they became Linkin Park.

“Hybrid Theory” was released by Warner Bros. Records on Oct. 24, 2000, at the peak of the teen-pop mania fueled by Britney Spears and ’N Sync. Despite its rougher edges, the album’s raw emotion and radio-ready hooks found a mass audience — and a fair amount of critical derision — as part of the growing nu-metal boom led by acts like Korn and Limp Bizkit.

Mr. Bennington’s worldview could be bleak and his lyrics self-lacerating, but his honesty and the steeliness of his vocals on tender subjects bred fierce loyalty in the band’s listeners.

Though the band was popular among the headbangers of Ozzfest and the annual “Family Values” tour, it never shied from its pop sensibilities, as Mr. Bennington shifted easily between belting and growling. “In the End,” with his soaring chorus, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001.

Linkin Park pushed even further into the rap and pop realms on its 2003 follow-up, “Meteora,” which sold four million copies. The band even collaborated with Jay-Z on the platinum mash-up album “Collision Course” the next year. The band’s latest album, “One More Light,” features Pusha T and the grime rapper Stormzy and uses songwriters who have written for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.

Mr. Bennington said that his sobriety had faltered throughout his rise to fame, pointing to his divorce in 2005 as a catalyst for his drinking. In a radio interview last year, he recalled going to counseling with other band members in 2006.

“I knew that I had a drinking problem, a drug problem, and that parts of my personal life were crazy,” he said, “but I didn’t realize how much that was affecting the people around me until I got a good dose of ‘Here’s-what-you’re-really-like.’ ”

Mr. Bennington married Talinda Bentley, a schoolteacher and former model, in 2006. In a Wired article the next year, he revealed that he and his wife had been victims of an aggressive cyberstalker who had gained access to everything from their Social Security numbers to their social plans. The experience was deeply unsettling, leading Mr. Bennington, who was famously open and available to his fans, to withdraw.

“It sparks the sort of anger you don’t normally experience,” he told Wired. (Devon Townsend, the woman who had tormented Mr. Bennington and his family, was sentenced to two years in prison in 2008.)

In addition to his wife, he is survived by six children.

Despite his years of turmoil, Mr. Bennington was optimistic in interviews during the lead-up to the new Linkin Park album this year.

“Where I’m at right now in 2017 is as far on the opposite side of the scale to where I was at this time in 2015,” he told Rock Sound. “I literally hated life and I was like, ‘I don’t want to have feelings.’ And now I’m like, ‘Bring it on!’ ”

Source

 

China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea


south-china-sea-reuters

BEIJING: China will build its first long-term underwater observation platform in resource-rich South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with many south-east Asian countries including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The platform aims to observe underwater conditions in real time.

“Construction work on the long-term observation platform covering key areas in the South China and East China seas will be done with the help of Shanghai’s Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics,” Wang Pinxian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

Building the observation network showcases that China is actively joining in the international competition, Wang told scientific forum in Shanghai last Saturday, state-run Global Times reported.

Institute of Acoustics refused to reveal the exact location and further details of the researches on the platform due to its sensitive nature, it said.

China has maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

It claims almost all the waters, which carry a third of the world’s maritime traffic and has huge amounts of oil and natural gas BSE -0.15 %.

The waters are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China also contests Japan’s hold over the islands in the East China Sea.

Quoting a report from ‘sciencenet’, Global Times report said the observation platform will probe the undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics, and will also be used for other purposes.

At an offshore drilling project led by Chinese scientists, 33 scientists from 13 countries including the US, France, Italy and Japan left Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 7 for the South China Sea.

The scientists have completed the first drilling task of the expedition to the South China Sea.

The first hole, identified as U1499A, has reached 3,770 meters below sea level, for collection of sediment samples, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to Sun Zhen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, chief scientist of the research expedition team, a preliminary lithologic study was conducted on sediment believed to have been formed eight million years ago.

The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow.

A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions, as part of the International Ocean Discovery Programme.

Source

Jitu Rai wins bronze medal in ISSF World Cup


jitu-rai

Jitu Rai (sports rediscovered Image)

NEW DELHI: Ace pistol shooter Jitu Rai staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event for India’s fourth podium finish in the ongoing ISSF World Cup on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old shot a total of 216.7 in the eight-man final to finish third on the podium.

The Asian Games and World Championships silver-medallist was languishing at the seventh position after the end of the first competition series that included an 8.8.

But he clawed his way back with two 10.6 and a 10 in the second competition series. At the end of that series, Rai was placed sixth with a total of 98.7.

He managed to maintain the status quo even as the final entered the elimination stage at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. He shot two 10s in the following shots to continue his gradual ascent.

The Army man roared back to contention with a couple of 10.6 and ensured a bronze with a 9.9, finishing ahead of China’s Zhanyi Xu (197.9).

With a lead of 0.1 point over Vietnam’s Xuang Vinh Hoang, Rai was in the hunt for a silver but an 8.6 meant he had to be content with the bronze.

The gold went to Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda with a world record total of 240.1 points, while Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang claimed silver with 236.6 points.

The other Indian shooters in the fray in the air pistol event — Omkar Singh and Amanpreet Singh — failed to cross the qualification stage.

Source: Times Of India

Sirens to alert people in case of earthquakes in Uttarakhand


soundwave

DEHRADUN: IIT-Roorkee has developed a regional early warning system which will alert people in Uttarakhand in the event of an earthquake by sounding a siren.

A siren will scream after getting required signals from sensors to be put up in quake-sensitive areas across the state and alert people in case of earthquakes so they get enough time to reach safety, seismic scientist from IIT-R Ashok Kumar said in a presentation at a meeting of the Advisory Group Committee on disaster management chaired by Chief Secretary S Ramawamy.

84 sensors have already been installed in quake-prone areas of Uttarakhand out of a total of 1,100 sensors to be put up throughout the state, Kumar said at the meeting.

After the installation of sensors is complete, sirens will begin to be installed in sensitive areas, an official release quoting him said.

A mobile app has also been developed which will alert users about a quake by producing a unique beeping sound.

n areas where there is no mobile connectivity, the early warning system will be connected with All India Radio.
An early warning system software has also been prepared, Kumar said.

Via

— TimesofIndia

 

Congress says it won’t let Modi speak in Parliament unless he says sorry to Manmohan, Rahul attacks PM


rahul-gandhi

Outraged over Narendra Modi’s remarks against predecessor Manmohan Singh, the Congress warned on Wednesday that it will not let the Prime Minister speak in Parliament unless he apologises for his “unacceptable” comment.

Congress members in the Rajya Sabha staged a walkout soon after Modi accused Singh of “allowing corruption under his nose but at the same time managing to steer clear” of any charges. The Prime Minister was replying to a debate on the motion of thanks on the President’s address.

Terming the events in Parliament “shameful”, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “When a Prime Minister reduces himself to ridiculing his predecessor-years his senior, he hurts the dignity of the parliament &the nation.”

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Even though many scams took place in the country (in the previous UPA regime), Singh’s image remained clean, Modi said, taking a dig at the former PM. “People should learn from Dr. Singh how to bathe in bathroom wearing a raincoat.”

“How can you have a dialogue with the opposition with this kind of language used against us… You can’t get personal in a debate,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal later told reporters in the Parliament House complex. “We too could get personal and start talking about things where the Prime Minister’s name has occurred but we never did that.”

While Singh did not respond to the Prime Minister’s statement, the Congress fielded all its senior leaders to attack Modi on the issue.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram claimed that the Prime Minister doesn’t come to the House to listen to anyone from the Opposition. “Today, he was scheduled to come in at 5pm. He deliberately did not come at that time and came only after the last speaker from the opposition had concluded. Then he begins his speech and within minutes attacks the former Prime Minister in the most unacceptable manner,” he said.

“It was in extremely poor taste. It is unbecoming of a Prime Minister to use such language against the former PM. It certainly is unbecoming of anyone to say such harsh, ugly statements about Dr Manmohan Singh. We are very disappointed and angry.”

We have expressed our protest by walking out. We could have stayed back, created a ruckus, stormed the well of the House and shouted down the Prime Minister. But that would have in the circumstances of today brought us down to the level of the debate which the Prime Minister wanted. We don’t want such a debate to take place. We want the people to know that no Prime Minister has ever used such a language against a former Prime Minister,” Chidambaram added.

In a strongly worded attack on the government’s demonetisation exercise in the Rajya Sabha during the winter session in November last year, Singh said that several deaths and distress among the poor, farmers and small traders convinced him the demonetisation plan led to “organised loot and legalised plunder”.

On Wednesday, in an apparent reference to these comments, PM Modi said, “We have the ability to pay back in the same coin,” Modi said. “If anyone speaks like this, he should also be ready to face the consequences.”

But Sibal defended the use of words “plunder and loot” by Singh, saying those were not personal remarks against Modi but about the demonetisation policy. “We have never seen such arrogance. There is a dignity of the chair he occupies. The PM gives speeches in Parliament as if he speaks in a locality or in a ground. He doesn’t know what to say and what not in Parliament. The PM thinks that only he is clean and the rest all of us are black marketers,” he said.

From the government benches, information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu supported PM Modi and said that the Congress had earlier described Modi as Hitler as well as Mussolini.

However, Congress’ deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma refuted these charges. “Never ever have we called the Prime Minister names even if he functions in a dictatorial manner. The fact is that he is behaving in an extremely insulting and arrogant manner towards the entire opposition. He has also insulted the memory of India’s martyred Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and used unacceptable language against the former Prime Minister. We cautioned him initially not to drag the debate to such a low level,” he said.

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “PM is not a person but an institution it has a decorum, propriety, morality and discipline in language. Sadly, Modi ji forgets he is PM of India!”

Via (HT)

New Hyundai Grand i10 Facelift Launched at Rs 4.58 Lakh, Gets New Styling and Features


hyundai-grand-i10

One of the best selling cars by the country’s second largest automaker has been the Grand i10 and the Korean automaker has launched the facelift model at a starting price of Rs 4.58 lakh. The prices of the diesel variant, which gets a new engine, start at Rs 5.68 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

It garnered much appreciation post its launch a few years ago, largely due to the big list of features and comforts it came with. But the competition has caught up with the likes of the Mahindra KUV100 and the Maruti Suzuki Ignis and just as the car started to appear a bit dated, the company has updated the car with fresh styling and addition of several creature comforts.

The biggest attraction, though, has to be the new 1.2-litre U2 CRDi diesel engine and the 1.2-litre petrol engine which are claimed to be much more refined, responsive and deliver better fuel efficiency. The petrol engine delivers 82 horsepower and 11.6 Kgm of torque. The diesel engine delivers 74 horsepower and 19.4 Kgm of torque.

Speaking at the launch of New 2017 Grand i10, Y K Koo, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said, “It is an aspirational car that has won the hearts of its customers across the globe and has become a landmark product in HMIL’s growth story. Over 5.5 lac units of Made in India Grand i10 have been sold in India and world markets which show strong brand admiration. The launch of The New 2017 Grand i10 will create a new benchmark for the segment by offering enhanced Modern Premium Hyundai Experience to the aspirational customers.”

The exteriors of the 2017 Grand i10 follow Hyundai’s Fluidic 2.0 design language. At the front, there is a new radiator grille design, redesigned bumper with LED DRLs (daytime running lights). The back too gets redesigned dual-tone bumper. The side profile remains largely the same except with the addition of a new design diamond cut alloy wheels.

hyundai-grand-i10-rear

The biggest change inside the car has to be the inclusion of a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system that supports smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirror Link. It also gets features like rear parking assist system with dual airbags, ABS, reverse parking sensors, rear parking camera and a cooled glove box. There’s also the fully automatic temperature control along with rear AC vents.

hyundai-grand-i10-interior

Interestingly, Hyundai is also offering 2 years unlimited kilometre warranty with the new Grand i10.
Here is the complete pricing of the 2017 Hyundai Grand i10 facelift.

Petrol

  • Era – Rs 4,58,400
  • Magna – Rs 5,22,990
  • Magna (AT) – Rs 5,98,990
  • Sports – Rs 5,65,990
  • Sports (O) – Rs 5,96,295
  • Sports (O) AT – Rs 6,82,790
  • Asta – Rs 6,39,890

Diesel

  • Era – Rs 5,68,400
  • Magna – Rs 6,15,990
  • Sports – Rs 6,58,989
  • Sports (O) – Rs 6,89,791
  • Asta – Rs 7,32,890

(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)

via (News18)

Anushka Sharma turns ghost for Phillauri


Anushka Sharma released the first trailer of her second production venture, Phillauri

phillauri-movie

Anushka Sharma released the first trailer of her second production venture, Phillauri Anushka Sharma, who turned producer with NH10 in 2015, the film has now unveiled the trailer of her second film under her production. There were many reports suggesting that Anushka plays ghost in

Anushka Sharma, who turned producer with NH10 in 2015, the film has now unveiled the trailer of her second film under her production. There were many reports suggesting that Anushka plays ghost in the film but she did not confirm it. With the first trailer it is clear that Anushka is indeed playing a ghost in the film. This quirky trailer has been getting a good response from the industry so far.

This love story is set in Phillaur village in Punjab. It stars Diljit Dosanjh opposite Anushka. Diljit plays a singer. Suraj Sharma of the Life of Pi fame and Mahreen Pirzada are also part of the cast. The film is directed by a debutant director Anshai Lal, who has assisted many directors like Saket Chaudhary, Shimit Amin and others.

The film is set to release on March 24.

via (Yahoo)

‘Spine-tingling’ lost Bob Marley tapes restored after 40 years in a cellar


London concert recordings from 1970s were water damaged

bob-marley

A cache of lost Bob Marley recordings has been discovered after lying for more than 40 years in a damp London hotel basement.

The 13 reel-to-reel, analogue master tapes were discovered in cardboard box files in a run-down hotel in Kensal Rise, north-west London, the modest lodgings where Bob Marley and the Wailers stayed during their European tours in the mid-1970s.

The tapes – known as “the lost masters” among elements of Marley’s huge fanbase – were at first believed to be ruined beyond repair, largely through water damage. Yet after more than 12 months of painstaking work using the latest audio techniques, the master reels have been restored, with the sound quality of Marley – who died in 1981 but would have been 72 on Monday– described as enough to “send shivers down one’s spine”.

The tapes are the original live recordings of Marley’s concerts in London and Paris between 1974 and 1978, and feature some of his most famous tracks including No Woman No Cry, Jammin, Exodus and I Shot the Sheriff.

The concerts – at the Lyceum in London (1975), the Hammersmith Odeon (1976), the Rainbow, also in London (1977), and the Pavilion de Paris (1978) – were recorded live on the only mobile 24-track studio vehicle in the UK at the time, loaned out to Marley and the Wailers by the Rolling Stones.

The tapes were rescued from the rubbish by Marley fan and London businessman Joe Gatt, who had received a call from a friend saying he had found what appeared to be some old Marley tape recordings.

“He was doing a building refuse clearance that included some discarded two-inch tapes from the 1970s. I couldn’t just stand by and let these objects, damaged or not, be destroyed so I asked him not to throw them away,” Gatt said.

He passed the master recordings to business partner and jazz singer Louis Hoover, who regularly headlines at Ronnie Scott’s in London.

Hoover said: “I was speechless, to be honest. It was quite comical, looking back now, as Joe was so cool and matter of fact about rescuing these global artefacts that I actually had to stop the car to check that I had heard him correctly.

“When I saw the labels and footnotes on the tapes, I could not believe my eyes, but then I saw how severely water damaged they were. There was literally plasticised gunk oozing from every inch and, in truth, saving the sound quality of the recordings, looked like it was going to be a hopeless task.”

The tapes were handed to sound technician specialist Martin Nichols of White House studios in Weston-super-Mare, who said they would have been lost for ever if anyone had tried playing them in their decrepit condition.

“They really were in such an appalling condition they should have been binned, but I spent hours on hours, inch by inch, painstakingly cleaning all the gunge off until they were ready for a process called ‘baking’, to allow them to be played safely,” Nichols said.

He added: “The end result has really surprised me, because they are now in a digital format and are very high quality. It shows the original recordings were very professionally made. From the current find of 13 tapes, 10 were restored, two were blank and one was damaged beyond repair.”

When Hoover first heard the recordings, which cost around £25,000 to restore, he admits to being blown away. “It made the hair on the back of our necks stand up and genuine shivers ran up our spines with joy,” he said.

“The experience was comparable to, say, finding Van Gogh’s easel, paint pallet and paints in an old room somewhere, then Vincent emerges through a secret door to paint 26 of his finest masterpieces … purely for us.”

Via (theguardian)

Kanpur building collapse toll rises to 7


news24in7

Army jawans carry out rescue and relief works after collapse of an under-construction building in Chakeri, Kanpur | PTI

Feb 2 (IANS) The death toll in a building collapse here in Uttar Pradesh rose to seven on Thursday, with three more labourers succumbing to their injuries, a police official said.

Eight persons trapped in the debris of the six-storey under-construction apartment building, owned by SP leader Mehtaab Aalam, were also rescued, the police official said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajesh Modak confirmed the number of deaths and informed that many of the injured were still in critical condition.

Most of the victims were labourers and their families from Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the sixth floor was being constructed.

All of a sudden, the building crumbled like a pack of cards and thereafter there was chaos and wails for help, an eyewitness told IANS.

All through the night, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, who were rushed in from Varanasi and Lucknow, continued their relief and rescue operations.

The Army was also helping, a district official informed. But since the building is located in a narrow lane, rescue work was hampered.

–IANS

Middle class can breathe bit easy as tax rate halved


news24in7(IANS) In a major relief to the tax-burdened middle-class people, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday proposed to halve the income tax to five per cent for those earning between Rs 250,000 and Rs 500,000 per annum.

Presenting the 2017-18 Budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said he proposes to halve the income tax for persons earning between Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh from the current 10 per cent.

“This will reduce the tax liability of all persons with incomes below Rs 500,000 either to zero (with rebate) or 50 per cent of their existing liability,” Jaitley said.

The existing benefit of rebate available to the same group of beneficiaries is being reduced to Rs 2,500 that is available only to assessees up to an annual income of Rs 350,000.

According to him, the combined effect is that there will be nil tax liability for people with incomes of up to Rs 300,000 per annum.

The tax liability will only be Rs 2,500 for people with incomes between Rs 300,000 and Rs 350,000.

If the limit of Rs 150,000 under Section 80C for investment is used fully, the tax would be zero for people with incomes of Rs 450,000.

While the tax liability of people with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 is being reduced to half, all other categories of taxpayers in the subsequent slabs will also get a uniform benefit of Rs 12,500 per person.

“The total amount of tax foregone on account of this measure is Rs 15,500 crore,” Jaitley said.

In an effort to somewhat make good the loss of revenue, Jaitley proposes to levy a surcharge of 10 per cent of tax payable on individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

The surcharge will generate additional revenue of Rs 2,500 crore.

The existing surcharge of 15 per cent of the tax on people earning more than Rs 1 crore will continue.

For those with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 — other than business income — Jaitley said a single-page income tax return form will be introduced.

“It is a populist budget for the middle class. The budget proposes to give relief to the middle class while taxing the super-rich,” Neha Malhotra, Executive Director, Nangia & Co., an international tax advisory and accounting firm, told IANS.

“It was a legitimate expectation post-demonetisation that the personal income tax rate will be reduced to soften the tax hit on the pockets of the individuals,” she added.

According to Malhotra, immovable property owners have been relieved by lowering the holding period for availing lower rate of long-term capital gains tax from three years to two years.

“Also, the base year for computing capital indexation benefit has been changed from existing April 1, 1981, to April 1, 2001. This move will give significant relief to the taxpayers earning profits from sale of house property and will encourage investments in the real estate sector,” she said.

Another woe of the taxpayers is that provisions applicable on dishonoured cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act are ineffective.

New effective way to tackle the issue of bounced cheque is a welcome move which shall relieve those facing hardship on these fronts, she added.

–IANS