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Showing posts from November 3, 2015

Court says no VAT for e-marketplaces

In a ruling that will give relief to digital marketplaces such as Flipkart and Amazon, Kerala High Court late last week held that they are only facilitators to a transaction, and not sellers themselves, and are hence not liable to pay value added tax (VAT). The court said that as the actual sellers have discharged their tax dues in full, the place of delivery holds no relevance, and as per Article 286 and Section 3 of the CST Act, tax is payable in the state where sales have occasioned. The ruling is a significant shot in the arm for companies such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, which have been contending that most norms applicable to offline retail should not apply to them, including those on foreign direct investment (FDI). Large retail companies have argued that the foreign money invested in e-commerce firms gives them the financial cushion to offer steep discounts, eating into the market share of brickand-mortar retailers. E-commerce companies did not respond to queries mailed by H…

Money Laundering to Become Difficult FM

Jaitley says real-time exchange of info will make life difficult for law breakers soon Tax evasion and money laundering will become extremely difficult going ahead, finance minister Arun Jaitley has said, warning lawbreakers that real-time global automatic exchange of information system will come into effect. “I am quite certain that the activity is going on in that direction and the next 1-2 years are also going to bring significant results because with almost real-time exchange of information, lives are going to become extremely difficult as far as lawbreakers in that regard are concerned,“ the minister said in his inaugural speech at international conference on 'Networking the Networks'. Jaitley said tax evasion and stashing away illegal money anywhere in the world is becoming increasingly difficult after a G20 initiative that is being taken up by various international agencies. The initiative, firmed at the Australia summit of G20 last November, is a new global arrangement un…

Sebi to Keep Close Tabs on Price Cartels in Commexes

Also wants to do risk profiling of brokers and their large clients Price cartels, which enjoyed a more or less free run in the commodity futures market till recently, will soon be on watch. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which only a month ago undertook regulation of the decade-old commodity futures market, will modify its state-of-the-art integrated market surveillance system (IMSS) used in the equity market, to track unusual price spikes and trading patterns in farm futures on bourses like NCDEX and MCX. “We will modify our IMSS software used for tracking prices, volumes and trading patterns on the equity market to detect instances of manipulation in the commodity futures market,“ a Sebi official told ET. “Our idea is to keep a tab on unusual spikes in volumes and futures prices on commodity exchanges and co-relate them with the spot market price and activity that suggest manipulation. Sebi also wants to do a risk profiling of brokers in the commodity markets and the…

With Fixed Deposits Losing Appeal, Investors Rush to the Post Office

A five-year deposit with a post office gives 8.5% returns against only 7-7.75% from a bank FD The recent cuts in bank FD rates are driving investors to post office instruments. After the rate cuts in early October, a five-year fixed deposit with the country's leading banks fetches 77.75%. In comparison, a time deposit with the post office for the same duration fetches 8.5%. With 10-year National Savings Certificates (NSC) you get 8.8%. Financial advisors said expectations of lower returns from post office deposits after the Union Budget in 2016 are prompting investors to lock in a portion of their money in this instrument. Soon after Reserve Bank of India's 50 basis points repo rate cut in September, the government said it would review the small savings rates in order to facilitate transmission of monetary policy easing. Banks have complained that higher in terest rates on small savings schemes have made their deposits rates uncompetitive. “I am advising investors to shift from ban…

Tax Road Map to Deal with Disputes in Works Adhia

India is preparing a plan to deal with the problem of a large number of tax disputes, a top finance ministry official said, in a bid to clear an almost intractable issue that's given the country's investment regime a bad name. “We are preparing a roadmap separately for dealing with the existing tax litigation,“ Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Monday. `Tax terrorism' has become part of the vocabulary in the country to describe the highpitched stance taken by the authorities, especially the amendment of the law that enabled taxation of indirect transfers of Indian assets with retrospective effect. Tax demands exceeding Rs.4 lakh crore are under dispute and litigation in various courts and appellate authorities, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in his 2014-15 budget speech. The government is considering an option to raise the threshold for cases to be filed before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The government will also come out with a roadmap by next month to ph…

Gold monetisation scheme to help cut loan rates

As the gold monetisation scheme is all set to start from Thursday, non- banking financial companies ( NBFCs) active in gold loan business are looking to cash in. Rolling out new schemes, these companies seek to attract more customers, as interest rates applied on loans against gold are expected to come down. “Definitely interest rates will come down,” said Thomas George Muthoot, director of Muthoot Fincorp, a leading gold loan company. Gold bond schemes will trigger fresh monetisation and competition in the business, as even physical infrastructure to handle and store gold is not a must for doing business. Gold loans can be released online or by bank transfers on the basis of demat accounts of gold deposits or bonds which will be used as collateral. So, “ new players will enter the business. Obviously, this will cut down the interest rates," he said. At present, interest rates on various gold loans range from 12 to 18 per cent. New attractive packages offering loans at lower rates w…