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Direct tax receipts soar 17.5% in April-August

Direct tax receipts soar 17.5% in April-August Collections at Rs 2.24 lakh crore higher than government estimates

Direct taxes fetched 17.5 per cent higher receipts to the exchequer for the first five months (April-August) of the current financial year (FY18), more than what was projected for the entire financial year. However, the growth rate slowed in August.

Direct tax collections, net of refunds, stood at Rs 2.24 lakh crore during the April-August period of FY18.

The receipts had grown 19.1 per cent in the first four months of FY18.

The government had projected 9.8 lakh crore from the direct taxes — corporation tax and personal income tax — in 2017-18, which would be 15.7 per cent higher than Rs 8.47 lakh crore in FY17. Till August, 22.9 per cent of the target has been achieved.

After adjusting for refunds, the growth in corporation collections was at 18.1 per cent during the period, while personal income tax collections rose 16.5 per cent.

Before refunds, corporation tax collections we…

Labourers to get unique ID number: Santosh Gangwar

Labourers to get unique ID number: Santosh Gangwar Labourers from both organised and unorganised sectors will be allotted a unique identification number as a part of labour reforms, Union minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Gangwar has said.

Gangwar said representatives of recognised labour organisations have been invited to New Delhi on September 14 for establishing better coordination and giving momentum to the process of labour reforms in the country.

Four labour laws, that had become irrelevant, have been done away with and the relevance of 36 other laws is being examined, he said at a function organised by the Indian Industries Association last night.

"As part of labour reforms, labourers in both the organised and unorganised sectors will be given a unique ID number," he said here.

Workers in the unorganised sector account for over 93 per cent of the country's total work force, whose size according to a National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 2009-10 survey is…

Sebi panel recommends easing block deal framework

Sebi panel recommends easing block deal framework An expert committee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has recommended easing the ‘block deal’ framework. The Secondary Market Advisory Committee ( SMAC) is in favour of extending the block deal window and allowing better flexibility in terms of pricing of deals.

Under the current framework, block deals are allowed during a 30-minute window — between 9.15 am and 9.45 am. Sources said the SMAC wanted the alignment of the block deal window with normal trading hours.

Block deals involve trading of a large number of shares between two parties, which are typically pre-decided.

The current framework also allows pricing of such deals close to the market rate — plus or minus one per cent from the previous close. The expert panel deliberated whether more flexibility could be provided by allowing pricing to be up to five per cent higher or lower compared to the last close.

The SMAC will soon submit its recommendations to the capita…

Individuals to get bankruptcy protection soon

Individuals to get bankruptcy protection soon Centre Begins Framing Rulesc

The government has begun work on laying down a process for individuals to be declared bankrupt, which will help them deal with a financial crisis rather than be bogged down by it. The rules being framed will help a defaulter repay the money in a structured way, rather than being forced to cough it up to banks in one go.

Sources said the idea is to make the process more humane as the rules would deal with a host of individuals — from farmers and kirana shop owners to a salaried middle class person who may be struggling to repay a loan for reasons like loss of job.“There is huge social stig-resolve and recover dues quickly ma attached to this. So, you cannot be punitive. People should be allowed to restructure their lives, ” said Sumant Batra, managing partner and head of the insolvency, secured transactions & corporate law practice at law firm Kesar Dass B & Associates.

From this year, Saudi Arabia has begu…

Sebi to turn the heat on audit committees

Sebi to turn the heat on audit committees Regulator’s board meeting on Sept 18; to take stock of action against 331 suspected shell firms

Capital markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to tighten norms pertaining to constitution and functioning of the audit committees for listed companies. These committees act as independent oversight bodies responsible for transparency and accuracy in functioning of company and the board.

According to sources, the markets regulator plans to look at how India Inc is appointing members on the audit committee, their qualifications and whether they are discharging their duties, without undue influence of the promoters.

‘Proceedings of audit committee and reconstitution of the same’ is among the top agenda of the Sebi board meeting scheduled on September 18, said sources. Other agenda items include the surveillance action report on 331 suspected shell companies, changes to infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) norms a…

Global auditors feel the heat, may face tighter scrutiny

Global auditors feel the heat, may face tighter scrutiny The move is expected to give a fillip to Indian audit firms and designed to fill the gaps the big four have allegedly misused, including with the help of their huge network and financial muscles, a top regulatory official said.

Global auditing firms may come under greater scrutiny for any wrong-doing as regulators mull ways to make them more accountable, with the role of such auditors -- especially the Big Four -- coming under the lens in various corporate misdoings. The move is expected to give a fillip to Indian audit firms and designed to fill the gaps the big four have allegedly misused, including with the help of their huge network and financial muscles, a top regulatory official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also talked of the need for Indian audit firms growing to join the ranks of global giants. A big area of concern pertains to the big guns seeking to wash off their hands whenever their names crop up in any accou…

When GST heads to the courtroom

When GST heads to the courtroom Compliance requirements, valuation, classification, transfer of input tax credit are likely to lead to tax litigation, say experts. SAYAN GHOSAL writes

Two months after coming into effect, India’s new indirect tax has already begun making its rounds in the courtrooms. Tax professionals and corporate lawyers are gearing up for a swathe of increased litigation, given the large influence that the goods and services tax (GST) has on economic participants.

“The GST has caused and continues to have some teething problems as to its applicability and compliance requirements. The concerns arising from these issues are reflected in the various writ petitions filed in high courts across the country,” says Nishant Shah, partner, Economic Laws Practice.

According to experts, several issues related to enhanced compliance requirements, valuation, classification and the availability and transfer of input tax credit are expected to take centrestage in tax litigation in the…