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Showing posts from December 15, 2016

Govt to audit banking tech to check cyber crime

In a bid to tackle cybercrime, the central government is planning to review the Information Technology Act. A technology infrastructure audit of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), for possible holes that could be exploited by cyber criminals, is also on the government's action plan. The government, which plans to strengthen the computer emergency response team or CERT-In with ethical hackers who would respond to cyberattacks across the country, has directed digital payment agencies to report to CERT-in if any unusual activity is discovered on their platforms. The IT ministry has approved setting up of CERTs in 5 states and creating 26 new posts in CERT-In. "All digital payments agencies have been asked to report to CERT-In any unusual activity on their platforms. We are taking several measures to ensure a resilient system. We will audit the IT infrastructure of NPCI and have formed crack teams at CERT-In for immediate response," Union Information Technology M…

Tax uncertainty worries India Inc

India Inc is facing tax uncertainty on account of a slew of taxation changes kicking in from the next financial year to plug leakages and discourage treaty abuse but without much clarity. With barely three months to go for the current financial year to end, the government is yet to release a guidance note or final rules of general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR) and place of effective management (PoEM), which tax consultants argue the government could defer implementation by at least a year to prevent avoidable litigation. In fact, the new accounting standard for large companies, IndAS, was implemented from the current financial year, but final rules are still awaited. “Companies are in the dark and grappling with a bit of tax uncertainty. We have asked them to opt for guidance available as of now. There is no finality on issues like GAAR and PoEM. Guidance note on country-by-country reporting (CBCR) under base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) are expected, but have not come out yet. Lar…

Cabinet nod for new Ports Bill

The Cabinet on Wednesday has approved the proposal of Ministry of Shipping to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 by the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016. This will help major ports to perform with greater efficiency as they will get full autonomy in decision making. “With a view to promote the expansion of port infrastructure and facilitate trade and commerce, the proposed Bill aims at decentralising decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of ports,” a government statement said. The new Major Ports Authority Bill, 2016 would help in faster and transparent decision making benefiting the stakeholders and better project execution capability, it said. The Bill is aimed at reorienting the governance model in central ports to landlord port model in line with the successful global practice. This will also help in bringing transparency in operations of Major Ports. The new Bill is compact in comparison with the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has bee…

Fed raises rates, sees faster pace of increases in 2017

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday and signaled a faster pace of increases in 2017 as the Trump administration takes over with promises to boost growth through tax cuts, spending and deregulation. The rate increase, regarded as a virtual certainty by financial markets in the wake of a string of generally strong economic reports, raised the target federal funds rate 25 basis points to between 0.50 percent and 0.75 percent. "In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the committee decided to raise the target range," the central bank's policy-setting committee said in its unanimous statement after a two-day meeting. "Job gains have been solid in recent months and the unemployment rate has declined," the Fed said, noting that market-based measures of inflation compensation had moved up "considerably." More significant was a fresh batch of Fed policymaker forecasts that indicated the curr…