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Showing posts from February 9, 2017

Fiscal Deficit Target of 3.2% Realistic, Revenues to Improve: Shaktikanta Das

Rejecting arguments that fiscal deficit target of 3.2% is optimistic, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said it is realistic and there is all possibility that revenues will exceed the target as Budget has not taken into account the demonetisation windfall.

“Revenue, if at all, can exceed because people are pointing out that you have not taken into account windfall you will get from RBI because of demonetisation,“ he said in an interview.

Besides, he said, there would be collection taxes next fiscal from those who fail to avail Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). “Excess cash which has come into the banking system, income tax department has already analysed those data and there are large number of bank accounts where deposits made are totally disproportionate to the income of the individuals. It does not tally with their income tax returns.

“So it is far in excess of what income tax re turns reflect for the previous years. So there is a strong po tential in those cases to…

CBDT Chief Allays Fears of Arbitrary I-T Searches

Chandra says authorities will need to submit before HC `satisfaction note' defending search 

Income tax authorities will need to submit `satisfaction note' before a high court on why a search was carried out, CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra has said, allaying fears that income-tax officers have been given arbitrary powers to conduct raids.

“There will be no arbitrary searches...no additional powers have been given for searches or seizure,“ Chandra told ET, refuting reports that the budget proposal to allow I-T authorities to initiate a search without disclosing the “reason to believe“ will lead to more intrusive tax administration.

A proper procedure including permission from principal director general has been laid out for a search and no junior officer has powers to conduct one on his own, he said.

Satisfaction note prepared for the search is shown in the court and it is provided to the court whenever it seeks it in a sealed cover, Chandra said. The note provides the justification …

Cyber Security Panel for Banks

The RBI has constituted an inter-department Standing Committee on Cyber Security to continuously review security and analyse emerging threats to protect the Indian banking system from cyber attacks, the RBI stated in its sixth bi-monthly policy statement for 2016-17 announced on Wednesday .

“With the need to be continuously vigilant in the area of cyber security , it has now been decided to constitute a standing committee on cyber security. It will be cross functional and have industry experts as well as the government representative (as members),“ said SS Mundra, deputy governor, RBI. The committee's main functions would be to review threats inherent in upcoming and existing innovations in the financial technology space, adoption of security protocols, checking interface with various stakeholders and suggest possible policy interventions to strengthen cyber security .

The standing committee was constituted following the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Information Technology …

Govt to cap assessment numbers of tax filings

The income tax (I-T) department is considering a proposal to further cut the instances of scrutiny of taxpayers’ returns as it looks to sharpen focus on tax evaders and provide respite to honest taxpayers.

The department is looking to make the process completely based on information of possible tax evasion, said a tax department official, who did not wish to be identified.

Less than 1% of around 40 million taxpayers are selected for scrutiny every year to determine whether all the income earned is reflected in their tax return.

Taxpayers are at present selected for scrutiny based on a computer-assisted selection system or CASS. Typically those who have made high-value transactions are chosen for scrutiny.

“The tax department has set up a committee to look into how we can reduce the number of scrutiny cases further. We want to reduce the number of notices that are sent out and ensure that scrutiny is absolutely informationbased,” said the tax official cited earlier.

Currently, the tax depar…

Excessive cash boosts parallel economy, says finance minister

NEWDELHI: Defending the demonetisation move and listing out several measures undertaken by the NDA government to fight corruption and black money circulation, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the usage of cash only boosts parallel economy and thus it must be curbed.

He said demonetisation was just a part of the several initiatives taken by the government to weed out black money.

The fight against corruption and black money should not be seen as a political fight, Jaitley said, adding that the demonetisation move was primarily aimed at weeding out the ills of society.

“It is no credit to any economy that you deal in cash… cash has a lot of vices,” he said in the Rajya Sabha, just before PM Narendra Modi’s address in the Upper House. Jaitley said most other countries are “less-cash” economies and people must be encouraged to adopt technology and move towards a digital economy.

Taking a dig at Congress leader Anand Sharma, who said the government was not throwing any light on the status of…

E-tailers shed rivalry to voice GST concerns

Arch rivals  Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have formed a united front for the first time to raise concerns over the coming Goods and Services Tax (GST), which they fear could hurt their businesses. The founders of Indian e-commerce firms Flipkart and Snapdeal,  Sachin Bansal and Kunal Bahl, will join Amit Agarwal, the India head of their fierce rival Amazon, which has been grabbing their market share, to voice their concerns on GST to the government.   

They have sought help of trade body Ficci, with members who are from traditional sectors, whose business have been disrupted by the new economy firms. Joining these in the representation would be other players,such as Paytm, Grofers and Zomato,among others.

Taking acue from old economy, established e-commerce unicorn shave finally decided to form a united front to discuss with the government.According to sources, interestingly, it was Ficci which,as a pre-condition,told the start ups that the only way the industry body would represent th…

Rate pause season gets longer; RBI weighs risks

The six- member monetary policy committee (MPC) kept the Reserve Bank of India’s policy rates unchanged on Wednesday. And, shifted the policy stance to “neutral” from “accommodative”,as it wanted to keep the flexibility to move either side,hike or cut, considering the uncertain inflation landscape.

Bond markets were shocked by the pause and change in policy stance.Yields on the 10 - year government security jumped 32 basis points (bps) to close at 6.75 percent,the steepest climb in a day since September 29, 2013.

According to credit rating agency CRISIL, the shift could “very well mark the end of the current rate cut cycle, which began in January 2015 — atleast in the near term.” Business chamber Ficci said a cut would have given a push to demand,which has been hit by demonetisation.

Following RBI’s sixth bi monthly monetary policy review and the last for the financial year,at which all the six members voted in favour of a pause, the repo rate remained unchanged at 6.25 percent.

“The MPC …