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Showing posts from July 26, 2019

New Defence Fund may Reduce Divisible Central Tax Pool

The Fifteenth Finance Commission (15th FC) headed by NK Singh is expected to create a defence and internal security fund likely to be called Rashtriya Suraksha Nidhi (RSN) by setting aside money from gross tax revenues of the central government. The Cabinet cleared enabling approvals on July 17, increasing focus on national security while also indicating it wants states to share the financial burden of maintaining and upgrading its security apparatus, including buying weapons from global suppliers, ET’s conversations with highly placed sources and review of confidential documents reveal. Although the original terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th FC did ask it to look into the demand on central resources for defence and national security, they had not specifically mandated FC to suggest creation of a fund outside the Consolidated Fund of India. The Cabinet decision to amend ToR came after prolonged discussions between the government and the commission and splitting hairs over its manda…

Panel on RBI Reserves May Meet Again

The high-level Bimal Jalan panel could hold another meeting before submitting its report on the Reserve Bank of India’s economic framework that will dictate how much of its surplus could be transferred to the government and when. This follows a bureaucratic reshuffle late on Wednesday evening. “We could hold another meeting as a new economic affairs secretary has been appointed,” said a person familiar with the matter. The call will be taken in some time, the person told ET. ET had reported that the recommendations of the report weren’t unanimous with Subhash Chandra Garg having dissented. Garg was transferred to the power ministry from his post as economic affairs secretary on Wednesday. The panel favoured periodic transfers of the RBI’s surplus reserves to the government over three to five years, contrary to the government’s expectation of a lumpsum payment. Any additional fund transfers from the RBI will help the government bridge its fiscal deficit as also meet other obligations. …

FM Nirmala Sitharaman busy, GST Council meet pushed back to Saturday

The meeting, which was to be held through a video conferencing, had a single agenda to boost production of electric vehicles The GST Council meeting, which would have taken up the issue of slashing of tax rates for electric vehicles, was on Thursday rescheduled for Saturday. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the chairman of the Council, was busy with the ongoing Parliament session, officials said. The meeting, which was to be held through a video conferencing, had a single agenda to boost production of electric vehicles (EVs). The agenda included reduction in GST rate from 12 per cent to 5 per cent for electric vehicles and from 18 per cent to 12 per cent for their chargers. It was also to discuss GST exemption on hiring electric buses. All state finance ministers and officials were logged in for 15 minutes for the meeting at 3 pm before being informed of further delay and a possibility of deferment. In fact, a few finance ministers, mostly from Opposition-ruled states, quest…