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Showing posts from December 27, 2016

Govt forms task force to enforce contracts in move to ease business dealings

The government has formed a task force on enforcing business contracts as part of its efforts to improve India’s ease of doing business rankings. India ranked 130 of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2017 rankings. Under the head of enforcing contracts, India stood at 172, up six points from 2016. Improving this rank is a priority for the government, which has taken steps to enable this. The government on 19 December finalized eight reforms (bit.ly/2h88aWK )to make it easier to do business. Improving its rank under ‘enforcing contracts’ was one, with commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman asking for e-courts to be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments, especially in commercial courts. The nine-member task force, headed by secretary of the department of justice (DoJ) Snehlata Shrivastava, has a 12-point reform agenda to address concerns on enforcing contracts, as per a 23 December notice on the DoJ website. The World Bank’s rankings on contract enforcement assess…

Sebi puts out disclosure norms for REITs

Putting in place the disclosure norms for real estate investment trusts (REITs), Sebi on Monday said the offer document will contain financial information, related-party transactions and past performances. The move came after Sebi, earlier this month, issued detailed norms for public issuance of REITs, including allocation of units to institutional investors. To facilitate the growth of REITs, Sebi last month notified revised and easier regulations for raising capital through this instrument. Sebi had notified the REIT regulations in 2014, allowing setting up and listing such trusts, which are very popular in some advanced markets. However, not a single trust has been set up in India as of now as investors await further measures, including tax breaks, to make these instruments more attractive. In a circular issued on Monday, Sebi said the offer document would contain financial information of last three financial years. These include balance sheet, statements of profit and loss, income a…

India needs globally compatible tax rates

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said a lower level of taxation that is globally compatible is necessary if the country has to have a broader base of economy. He said gone are the days of the philosophy that high taxation will bring greater revenues and that since 1991 the course of economy has altered itself. "... What you need is a broader base of economy for which you need a lower level of taxation. You need to manufacture products and provide services which are more competitive in character and therefore your taxes have to be globally compatible," Jaitley said while inaugurating the professional training of IRS officers. He said competition is not merely domestic but global and therefore in the last two-and-a-half decades, governments have been guided by these principles. Tracing the behaviour of people in the last 70 years, the Finance Minister said there has been an impression if avoidance could be done of government revenue, there is nothing "improper or immoral&q…

Short-termcapital gains tax rate may rise in Budget

Higher levy on dividend searned by individualsal so on govt’sradar The government is mulling a hike in the short-term capital gains (STCG)tax rate,and also a higher levy on dividends earned by individuals. At present,the STCG (profits on sale of shares held for less than 12 months)tax rateis15 percent;the government is planning to increase it to 20 percent, according to sources in the know.The Centre has already started gathering feedback from key market participants. Also, although the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley ruled out changes to the long-term capital gains(LTCG)—currently tax free—the government is toying with the idea of increasing the time frame for availing such benefits from 12 to 36 months. The government is taking securities market regulator Securities and ExchangeBoardof India’s(Sebi’s)and stock exchanges’ views on the proposals to change the tax structure in the capital markets.Announcement regarding this could be a part of the Union Budget on February1, 2017. On Saturday, …