With the new financial year round the corner, it’s the season of change. As the world rings in FY2022-23, here are five things that change from April 1.
1. Prices of essential medicines are going up
The prices of some of the most essential medicines, including painkillers, anti-infectives and antibiotics, will rise from April, with the Centre having allowed an increase of more than 10 per cent for scheduled drugs.
The prices of drugs such as paracetamols, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin hydrochloride and metronidazole medicines — used to cure fever, infections, skin and heart diseases, among others — are set to increase from April 1.
“Based on the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) data provided by the office of the Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual change in WPI works out as 10.76607% during the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding period in 2020,” the NPPA notice said. This translates into the prices of around 800 drugs under the National List of Essential Medicines going up by 10.7 per cent beginning April 1.
2. Luxury cars are getting costlier
If you’re eyeing a luxury car, go for it within two days.
After Audi and Mercedes-Benz, luxury automobile company Volvo Car India has decided to increase the prices of its cars in India, due to a surge in input costs, from April 1. Volvo, however, has not yet revealed the date when the price hike would take place.
There has been a major hike in the prices of commodities which are used in the automobile industry, due to the Russia-Ukraine war. On an average, the price of aluminium has increased by 48 per cent, palladium by 38 per cent, platinum by 13 per cent, rubber by 28 per cent and copper by 15 per cent, in the second half of 2021.
The country’s largest luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz and Audi will hike the prices of their models by more than 3 per cent in India from next month due to high logistics cost.
3. Much talked of cyrpto tax is kicking in
The 30 per cent income tax on virtual digital assets (VDA), which was announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Budget day, will come into effect on April 1.
The Lok Sabha cleared the Finance Bill, 2022 on Friday and hence, approved the Budget’s proposal of tax on all digital currencies, making investors wonder whether to sell their crypto holdings now or continue holding them.
Apart from the 30 per cent tax, a TDS of 1 per cent will also be deducted from every crypto transaction. Additionally, investors are not allowed to set off losses in one cryptocurrency against gains in another, as per the new rules.
4. There’s tax on additional EPF contribution
Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions of over ₹2.50 lakh per year will be taxed from April 1. For government employees, the limit has been set at a higher slab of ₹5 lakh.
From April 1, the PF accounts will be divided into taxable and non-taxable contribution accounts, under the new Income Tax Rules. This comes at a time when retirement body EPFO has reduced interest rates to the lowest in more than 40 years for the ongoing financial year 2021-22.
With the new rules, the Centre aims to prevent people with high salaries from taking advantage of government welfare schemes. It said the move would impact less than 1 per cent of taxpayers
5. Some more travel curbs are coming down
In some good news, international travel curbs are coming down further from April 1.
For instance, Singapore is reopening its borders to all fully vaccinated travellers, removing all existing vaccinated travel lanes and unilateral opening arrangements from April 1.
Instead, it will transition to a new simplified travel framework, the vaccinated travel framework, where countries and regions will be classified into two categories – general travel or the restricted category.
Also, UAE-based carrier Emirates has announced that from April 1, it would resume flights from Dubai to India at full, pre-COVID level capacity. It will be operating 170 flights weekly to nine Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.