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Showing posts from August 12, 2017

3% GST rate for gold is low

3% GST rate for gold is low Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian batted for a higher goods and services tax (GST) rate for gold and jewellery in the Survey, arguing these were consumed by the rich. The Survey also argued for inclusion of electricity, real estate, health and education in the GST framework, rolled out from July 1. “There isaneed to simplify the GST tax structure in the medium term,” Subramanian told journalists. The GST is expected to result in price reduction on account of lower taxation as compared to the combined incidence of central and state taxes previously, the Survey noted. It added that deflationary tendencies, including transitional friction from GST implementation, weigh on the economy, which was yet to gather full growth momentum. Gold, disproportionately consumed by the “very rich” is taxed at three per cent under GST, which the Survey said was “still low”. The view comes atatime whenaflood of gold import from free trade partner South Korea has alarmed the g…

Govt hikes import duty on crude, palm oil

Govt hikes import duty on crude, palm oil The government on Friday hiked the import duty on crude palm oil to 15 per cent from 7.5 per cent and on refined to 25 per cent from 15 per cent to curb cheaper shipments and boost local prices for supporting domestic farmers and refiners. The import duties on other crude edible oils like soya and sunflower have been raised to 17.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent, according toanotification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. The hike in import duty of crude and refined palm oil will help restrict cheaper imports from Malaysia and Indonesia and benefit farmers which are in distress due to fall in prices of oil seeds below minimum support price because of bumper production. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 12th August 2017

Aadhaar card link to PAN card: No time-frame fixed to complete linkage, says Jaitley

Aadhaar card link to PAN card: No time-frame fixed to complete linkage, says Jaitley Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today informed the Lok Sabha that the government has not fixed any time-frame to complete the linking of Aadhaar with PAN. He said this while replying to a query whether the government has fixed any time-frame to complete the linking of the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number with the permanent account number (PAN), said a PTI report. It may be noted that in view of taxpayers’ problems and in a bid to ease out the panic situation, the Income Tax Department had on July 31st extended the deadline for filing income tax return by 5 days to August 5. It had also extended the last date for the linking of PAN with Aadhaar to August 31, 2017. The government had said that for the purpose of e-filing return, it would be sufficient as of now to quote Aadhaar or acknowledgement No. for having applied for Aadhaar on the e-filing website. This meant that while filing your tax return on the …

Economic Survey: Renewable energy push may lead to increase in bad loans

Economic Survey: Renewable energy push may lead to increase in bad loans The Economic Survey says a shift to renewables may render a part of assets in conventional energy-generation plants idle or result in them being used at a much lower level India’s focus on increasing its renewable energy capacity may further exacerbate banks’ bad loan woes, according to the second volume of the Economic Survey 2016-17, released on Friday. The Survey said the social cost of producing renewable energy is around three times that of producing coal-fuelled electricity at Rs 11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Although solar and wind power tariffs have dipped to Rs 2.44 per kWh and Rs 3.30 per kWh, respectively, making renewable energy cheaper than coal-fuelled electricity, these low tariffs do not reflect the costs of integration with the grid, and other costs such as those of stranded assets and land opportunity costs. “A shift to renewables is likely to render a part of the assets in conventional energy-generati…

Economic Survey: Note ban hit informal economy, raised social insurance demand

Economic Survey: Note ban hit informal economy, raised social insurance demand The impact was acute between December and March, but has since faded, thanks mainly to social safety net programmes like MGNREGS, the Economic Survey said The Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation initiative impacted the informal economy, raising the demand for social insurance, especially in less developed states, according to the second volume of the Economic Survey 2016-17 tabled in Parliament on Friday. The impact was acute between December and March, but has since faded, thanks mainly to programmes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which performed its stated role of providing a social safety net at times of need, the Survey said in the chapter titled “State of the Economy: An Analytical Overview and Outlook for Policy”. In a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 8 November that effective from midnight, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes would no…

Govt has not written off corporate loans

Govt has not written off corporate loans Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday asserted that not even a single rupee of the loans taken by companies has been written off by the government and asked the Opposition to first get the facts before talking about it. He told the Lok Sabha that writing off a loan was a commercial decision of banks and added that there has been no scheme of farm loan waiver by the Centre since 2014. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 12th August 2017