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Cabinet okays Bill to replace Medical Council of India

Cabinet okays Bill to replace Medical Council of India The Union cabinet has approved a bill to replace the much criticised medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new commission to ensure transparency and reform.The National Medical Council Bill, 2016 will be tabled in Parliament in the current session, law and justice minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a briefing shortly after the cabinet meeting on Friday The draft bill, proposed by a fou rmember Niti Aayog committee in 2016, was modified by a Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to relook it in July 2017. It has been awaiting approval for some three months. MCI has long been criticised for rampant corruption and a lack of accountability which, according to a parliamentary standing committee report on health last year, would lead to great social, financial and political cost if unchecked. "The MCI as the regulator of medical education in the country has repeatedly failed on all its mandates over the d…

Exports jumps 30%, trade defict high at Rs 13.8 bn

Exports jumps 30%, trade defict high at Rs 13.8 bn Non oil ,non gold imports up 23%,showing signs of industrail recovery The GST Council´s efforts to resolve exporters´ woes on refunds seem to have started yielding results.Exports grew 30.55 per cent in November,amonth after it contracted 1.1 per cent, also due to the low base effect and rising petroleum prices. In fact, petroleum products, along with engineering goods, gems and jewellery, and chemicals, drove nearly 80 per cent of the rise in merchandise exports.The outbound shipment stood at Rs 26.19 billion in November against Rs 20.06 billion a year ago. To put things in context, exports had declined by 24.43 per cent in November 2016, the steepest that year. Exports rose 12.01 per cent at Rs 196.48 billion during the first 11 months of the current financial year.But exporters complained that their funds were still stuck and demanded government intervention to address their concerns including issues related to the goods and services t…

Growth slowdown bottoming out, says RBI governor

Growth slowdown bottoming out, says RBI governor  While expectations on price rise remain stable for the moment, “considerable caution and vigilance is warranted on the inflation front” but the slowing in growth could be over, said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Pate “Recent success in containing inflationary pressure needs to be viewed in the broader context of entrenching macroeconomic stability, in which the government has play edacrucial part,” Patel said in opening remarks at a recent conference on ´Financial System and the Macroeconomy´. The consumer price index (CPI)based inflation rate quickened to 4.88 per cent in November, from 3.58 per cent in October.The rate in June had fallen to a record low of about 1.5 per cent.The central bank works within a framework that aims to keep inflation anchored around a central 4 per cent, in a range of another two percentage points either way. The government has actively managed price pressure on some key food items, the governor sa…

GST Council to meet tomorrow, e-way bill, tax evasion top on agenda

GST Council to meet tomorrow, e-way bill, tax evasion top on agenda The all-powerful GST Council will meet on Saturday to discuss early implementation of e-way bill as well as ways to plug tax evasionThe all-powerful GST Council will meet on Saturday to discuss early implementation of e-way bill as well as ways to plug tax evasion. Headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, the meeting will be held via video conferencing and deliberate on cementing gaps in the system as well as curbing evasion, sources said.The meeting assumes importance as there has been Rs12,000 crore revenue decline in the goods and services tax (GST) in October over the preceding month and tax evasion is considered one of the reasons for this, they said. This would be the 24th meeting of the Council. The last meeting was held in Guwahati in November where taxes on 178 items were slashed.In an earlier meeting, the Council had decided that e-way bill — an electronic document generated on the GST Network portal — would be…

Govt to bear MDR cost for online payments of up to Rs 2,000

Govt to bear MDR cost for online payments of up to Rs 2,000 In an effort to boost digital payments in India, the government has decided to bear the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges for transactions up to Rs 2,000 made through debit cards, BHIMUPI or Aadhaar Pay for two years. The decision will be effective from January 1, when the Reserve Bank of India´s (RBI´s) revised guidelines on the MDR come into force.The MDR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.It is expressed as a percentage of the transaction amount. The outgo on account of reimbursement for MDR charges is estimated to be Rs 2,512 crore over the next two years.The amount to be reimbursed to banks could be Rs 1,050 crore in FY 2018-19 and Rs 1,462 crore in FY 2019-20 for transactions of value less than Rs 2,000, said the Union government in a press statement. The government has set up a committee to look into the industry cost structure of such transactions, which will form t…

ED to issue FEMA notices in 46 cases

ED to issue FEMA notices in 46 cases The Enforcement Directorate is set to issue fresh notices to more than 45 Indian entities named in the Panama Papers liston charges of possible for exlaw violations, official sources said.The agency, they said, is investigating about 46 “actionable” cases of Indians on this global leaks list for possible violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act.The central probe agency will soon issue notices to about three dozen entities soon.The agency, one of the members of the multi agency group of investigative agencies on PanamaPapers, will also submit a report of this action to this panel that will subsequently forward a consolidated report for review to the Prime Minister´s Office. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 15th December 2017

Call on GST e-way bill on Saturday

Call on GST e-way bill on Saturday Early implementation a possibility in view of slowing tax collectionsAfter reducing tax rates on over 200 items in the last meeting, the goods and services tax (GST) Council is set to meet again on Saturday to discuss early implementation of the electronic way bill, or e-way bill, from January amid slowing revenue collections. If implemented, the move could be a setback to the industry, which has been seeking the e-way bill’s deferment, citing increased compliance burden.The meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will take place through video conferencing to discuss the advancement of the e-way bill implementation from April to January to check tax evasion, officials said. Tax collections in October touched their lowest, to Rs 83,000 crore, since the roll-out of the GST on July 1. The e-way bill is a compliance mechanism wherein by way of a digital interface the person causing the movement of goods uploads the relevant information prior to t…