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Showing posts from July 12, 2017

Restriction likely on import of items that hit local companies

India is looking to impose restrictions and standards on products where imports have replaced domestic production, an attempt to give a push to 'Make in India' programme and reduce the widening trade gap.  The commerce department has instructed various ministries to analyse data and compile lists of products which are being produced domestically but losing market share to imports.  The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been assigned the task of setting standards that will have to be met by imported goods as well as goods manufactured in the country. "We need to do an analysis of the deficit before putting any technical restrictions because there are certain areas where we do not have domestic production," said an official aware of the development.  Medical devices, solar cells, ceramics, plastic wares and toys, among other products, may be subjected to manda ..  Most line ministries, especially those which have a regulatory role such as textiles and health, along with…

No GST on free food supplied by religious institutions

The government on Tuesday said free food supplied in anna kshetras (food areas) run by religious institutions have been kept out of the goods and services tax (GST) ambit.Besides, prasadam distributed by religious places of worship like temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras and dargahs, would not attract any GST.Clarifying on media reports which suggested that the GST would be levied on free food supplied in anna kshetras run by religious institutions,afinance ministry statement said “this is completely untrue.No GST is applicable on such food supplied for free”.However, some of the inputs and input services required for making prasadam would be subject to the GST. These include sugar, vegetable edible oils, ghee, butter, service for transportation of these goods, among others.

Business Standard, New Delhi, 12th July 2017

GST launch should pave way for repo rate cut

The RBI could wait for CPI inflation to settle and then reduce the repo rates. Or it could take a calculated risk by cutting the rates immediately

In the meeting held on June 7, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided not to cut the repo rate. The lone dissenting voice was that of IIMA professor Ravindra Dholakia, who wanted the repo rate to be reduced by at least 50 basis points from the present 6.25 per cent. The RBI, too, has reasons to abstain from a repo rate cut. After signing the new Monetary Policy Framework Agreement with the Union government in February 2015, the responsibility of maintaining Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation becomes the only factor in deciding the repo rate.

As per the agreement, it is mandatory for the RBI to maintain CPI inflation at four per cent, plus or minus two per cent, from FY 2017-18 onwards. However, the track record of the Indian economy shows that in the last 20 years average CPI inflation was about 6.7 …

Tax demand arrears amounting to Rs 8.4 lakh cr unlikely to be recovered

Income tax (I-T) officials fear 80 per cent of the outstanding tax demand arrears, quantified over Rs 8.4 lakh crore, is unlikely to be recovered. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) plans to adopt a two-pronged strategy to reduce such huge dues. It would focus on optimising disposal in terms of numbers and on maximising disposal of appeals involving high quantum of demand.

The CBDT has asked commissioners of I-T (appeals) to dispose of at least 30 per cent of appeals that involve I-T arrear demands of over Rs 10 lakh. It has also directed them to conclude 100 per cent of cases that involve demands of over Rs 50 crore.

Arrears of tax demands are demands raised against assessees in the past that have not been paid. The total outstanding arrear demands increased to Rs 10,52,084 crore in April 2017 from Rs 9,29,972 crore in March 2016. Officials indicated 80 per cent of this would be difficult to recover in this fiscal year. The arrears are piling up because of litigation, liquidatio…

Entities Opting for Composition Can’t Levy GST, Must Declare So

Eateries, shops need to put up display boards saying they have chosen low-tax scheme Eateries and shops that opt for the low-tax composition scheme will have to prominently display a board stating this and can’t charge goods and services tax (GST) from customers. Small establishments in the Rs  20 lakh to Rs  75 lakh annual turnover range are eligible for composition scheme. “They will need to upfront state that they are under the composition levy… They will not charge GST from customers,” said a government official. Composition scheme norms specify that the entity has to mention the words ‘composition taxable person, not eligible to collect tax on supplies’ at the top of the bill of supply.  ‘Composition taxable person’ has to be displayed prominently at all places of business. “Since composition dealers are not allowed to collect GST from the customers, a display is needed for consumer's information and protection,” said Pratik Jain, leader, indirect tax, PwC. “In the case of a norm…

Labourmin Seeks Cabinet Nod for Code on Wages

The labour ministry has sought Cabinet approval for the new labour code on wages, a move which is seen as a first step towards labour reforms. Once approved, it will be laid in Parliament during the upcoming monsoon session. It is expected to significantly improve the ease of doing business as well as ensure minimum wage to all. “The final bill on labour code on wages, after being cleared by the inter-ministerial group, has been sent to the Cabinet yesterday (Monday). The effort will be to introduce it in the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament,” labour minister Dattatreya told ET. The Code on Wages Bill, which will ensure universal minimum wage for all industries and workers, has already been approved by the finance minister Arun Jaitley-led inter-ministerial panel on labour. The Code on Wages Bill also seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across sectors, and states will have to follow that. However, states will be able to provide higher minimum wage in their jurisdic…

Government to keep an eye on price rise & GST glitches

Keep an eye on price rise and shortage of any commodity, report immediately in case of software glitches and complaints from traders, and file weekly reports by Sunday – this is a fresh directive to all central ministries from cabinet secretary PK Sinha, who has initiated a mechanism to keep ground level checks on the implementation of the goods and services tax regime. Sinha has written to secretaries of all ministries to put in place a grassroots mechanism to report price rise post-GST, software glitches, trader complaints, shortage of commodities and stakeholders who still have not switched to the new taxation regime. “To make the transition smooth and painless for the general public as well as for the traders, it is essential that all the government functionaries constantly obtain and analyse feedback from ground level and take corrective steps wherever necessary,” the letter said.  Earlier, the revenue department had asked all ministries to set up a GST cell in the ministries, subo…