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Parliament passes bill amending Forest Act

Parliament passes bill amending Forest Act The Parliament passed on Wednesdayabill to exclude bamboo from the definition of tree under the Indian Forest Act, claiming it would improve the earnings of tribals and dwellers living around forests.The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, which was adopted by the Lok Sabha on December 20, was passed byavoice vote in the Rajya Sabha, amidawalkout by member of the Congress, Biju Janta Dal and the Samajwadi Party. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 28th December 2017

Tax payers can see status of returns filed on GSTN portal

Tax payers can see status of returns filed on GSTN portal Tax payers can now view the status of the returns filed by them on the GST Network portal, the company handling the technology backbone of the new indirect tax system said on Wednesday. "All users logging on the GST portal can now see the status of their returns filed for all the returns like GSTR1 or GSTR3B at one place," GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar said. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 28th December 2017

LS passes bill for GST cess hike on luxury cars to 25%

LS passes bill for GST cess hike on luxury cars to 25% The Lok Sabha approved on Wednesday a bill to hike cess on luxury vehicles from 15 per cent to 25 per cent with a view to enhance funds to compensate states for revenue loss following the rollout of GST. The GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017, was passed by the Lower House amid uproar by the opposition over controversial comments made by Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde on secularism and the Constitution.

The Business Standard, New Delhi, 28th December 2017

SEBI notifies norms allowing REITs, InvITs to issue bonds

SEBI notifies norms allowing REITs, InvITs to issue bonds This would be allowed for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) which are listed on stock exchanges.To make REITs and InvITs more attractive to investors, markets regulator Sebi has notified relaxed norms to allow these trusts to raise funds by issuing debt securities. This would be allowed for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) which are listed on stock exchanges.Further, Sebi has amended REITs and InvITs regulations in order to facilitate the growth of such trusts, Sebi said in notifications posted on its website today. According to the regulator, REITs and InvITs, "whose units are listed on a recognised stock exchange, may issue debt securities in the manner specified by the board provided that such debt securities shall be listed on recognised stock exchange(s)". It said debt securities means non-convertible debt securit…

SEBI orders attachment of bank, demat accounts of 22 entities

SEBI orders attachment of bank, demat accounts of 22 entities The decision was taken after the entities failed to pay the fine imposed on them by Sebi for violating securities regulation in 20 different cases.Markets regulator SEBI has ordered attachment of bank accounts as well as share and mutual fund holdings of 22 entities, including individuals, to recover dues totalling Rs 2.8 crore. The decision was taken after the entities failed to pay the fine imposed on them by Sebi for violating securities regulation in 20 different cases.These entities include Triumph International Finance India, Innovision E-Commerce, DPS Shares and Securities, Systel Infotech and T H Vakil Shares & Securities. The pending dues range from Rs 54,000 to Rs 70 lakh.In 20 attachment orders dated December 21, the Securities and Exchange Board of India directed the banks to attach all accounts, including lockers held by these 22 entities. Also, the regulator has directed the depositories -- NSDL and CDSL -- an…

GST collections fall to lowest in November

GST collections fall to lowest in November  In continuance with the slide, the mopup under the goods and services tax (GST) in November fell to just above Rs 80,000 crore –a decline that could be attributed to the rate reduction for more than 200 items in the same month and the use of the integrated GST (IGST) as credit for paying taxes This will heighten the Centre´s fiscal concerns ahead of the Union Budget, dashing hopes of any further reduction in rates in the near future.“The collection under the GST for November has been Rs 80,808 crore till December 25, 2017,” the government said in a release on Tuesday. The collections are lower than the Rs 83,346 crore in October and way below the average target of Rs 91,000 crore a month.Experts say the GST collections will decline also in December and stabilise from January.The slow down has prompted the GST Council, in meeting on December 16, to a nation wide rollout of electronic way bill on June next year to plug revenue leakages and tighte…

Proportion of return filers at lower levels of income declining

Proportion of return filers at lower levels of income declining Number of individuals reporting an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh has risen by 21 per cent The Central Board of Direct Taxes may(CBDT) celebrate the arrival of “acche din” with the latest in come tax returns data showing a 23.5 percent increase in the number of individuals reporting an annual gross total lincome of over Rs 1crore to  59,830.But it may also need to closely examine the rapid decline in the number of returns by individuals who a reat the lower ranges of reported income. This raises questions on the efficacy of the government´s drive towards filing of more returns by individuals and on whether raising tax exemption levels has led to reduced compliance in filing of returns by those who go out of the tax net.In 2012-13, the share of returns by individuals declaring an annual gross total income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh was 43 percent of the 33.58million returns filed that year.

In the following year, the l…