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Ease capital requirement for banks, parliamentary panel tells RBI

In 2017, the government announced a plan for an infusion of 2.11 trillion rupees ($30.06 billion) into 20 state banks by March 2019 to meet Basel-III global demands A parliamentary panel on Thursday asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ease its rules on capital requirements for banks so that they can increase lending. "Such stringent norms stipulated by the RBI for our banks ... is unrealistic and unwarranted," said a report tabled in parliament by the Parliamentary Committee on Finance. The report comes after the government and some of the board members of the RBI have put pressure on the central bank to relax capital requirements for banks as they seek to boost credit and economic growth. Former RBI governor Urjit Patel, who quit last month, opposed the government's demand for lowering capital requirements and warned about the need for a cushion to offset unexpected risks. Indian banks are required to maintain a minimum capital to risk weighted asset ratio (CRAR) at…

Govt staring at a shortfall of Rs 500 bn to Rs 1 trn in GST collection?

The Narendra Modi government could be staring at a shortfall in Goods and Service Tax (GST) collection of anywhere between Rs 500 billion and Rs 1 trillion this fiscal, according to estimates put out by analysts over the last month. Any potential shortfall in GST revenues – a prospect that the Centre has tried to ignore – will have an impact on government spending, which in turns has implications for India’s economic growth. A report put out by the State Bank of India’s research wing this week expects a shortfall of “around Rs 900 billion in GST and excise collections”. Out of this, Rs 105 billion is on account of recent reduction in petrol taxes. The SBI report reckons that it could result in a federal spending cut of nearly Rs 700 billion, or one-fourth of projected capital expenditure for 2018-2019. This, it notes, would be twice the Rs 360 billion cut in capital spending that the Centre carried out in 2017-2018 in order to make sure the fiscal deficit didn’t cross 3.5% of gross dom…

Govt waives late fee for GST returns during July 2017-September 2018

The fee for late filing of the returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST and an equal amount under State GST. The government has waived late fees for non-filers of summary and final sales returns for the July 2017-September 2018 period by businesses registered under the goods and services tax (GST). However, these businesses would have to file their returns for the 15-month period by March 31, 2019, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said. Giving effect to the decision of the GST Council in its December 22 meeting, CBIC has notified waiver of late fees for non filing of GSTR-3B, GSTR-1 and GSTR-4 and non-payment of taxes between July 2017 and September 2018. While GSTR-3B is the summary sales return filed by businesses, GSTR-1 is the final sales return. GSTR-4 is filed by businesses who have opted for composition scheme, under which they have to file returns quarterly. The fee for late filing of the returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST (CGST) and an equal amount u…

UPI transactions rise 25%, cross Rs 1 trillion mark in December

The volume of UPI transactions for December stood at 620 million.Transactions via the unified payments interface (UPI), the country’s flagship payments platform, crossed a value of Rs 1 trillion in December, according to the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India. The value of UPI transactions in December stood at Rs 1.02 trillion, against Rs 82,232 crore in November — a rise of 25 per cent. The volume of UPI transactions for December stood at 620 million, a growth of 18 per cent over the previous month. The UPI transaction volume for November stood at 525 million. Mobile wallet transactions for the month of October stood at 368.45 million, with a value of Rs 18,786 crore. This was a rise of 25 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively, over the previous month. According to the latest set of data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), card transactions in the month of October saw a rise of 9 per cent in volume to 1.4 trillion and 12 per cent rise in value to o…

GST collection drops to Rs 94,726 cr in December

GST collection dropped to Rs 94,726 crore in December 2018, lower than Rs 97,637 crore collected in the previous month. The total number of sales returns or GSTR-3B filed till December 30, 2018, is 72.44 lakh, the finance ministry said in a statement. Compensation released to states for August-September stood at Rs 11,922 crore. Of the Rs 94,726 crore collected, Central GST (CGST)collection is Rs 16,442 crore, State GST (SGST) is Rs 22,459 crore, Integrated GST (IGST) is Rs 47,936 crore and Cess is Rs 7,888 crore. The government has settled Rs 18,409 crore to CGST and Rs 14,793 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement, it said. The total revenue earned by central government and state governments after regular settlement in December is Rs 43,851 crore for CGST and Rs 46,252 crore for SGST, the ministry added. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore in April, Rs 94,016 crore in May, Rs 95,610 crore in June, Rs 96,483 crore in July, Rs 93,960 crore in …

RBI Decides Not to Touch Valuation Gain

The board of Reserve Bank of India, under new governor Shaktikanta Das, has set the basic rule that would determine future payout by the central bank to the government. At its last meeting, the board is learnt to have recorded the decision that the central bank will not touch the ‘unrealised gains’ in its balance sheet for dividend distribution to its sole shareholder, the government. “Unrealised gain is valuation gain in currency and gold. To tap this, it has to be realised or converted in the market. This is now ruled out… this has been minuted,” a person familiar with the matter told ET. Of RBI’s total reserves of ?10.46 lakh crore, about ?6.9 lakh crore is recorded under ‘currency and gold revaluation account’ while ?2.32 lakh crore is ‘contingency fund’. The quantum of dividend to the government and the sharing of any surplus over and above RBI’s economic capital has been a contentious issue between RBI and the government reviving the old question on what’s the optimum capital tha…

The GST journey since launch and the road ahead

Since India introduced the goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017, the tax reform has seen numerous changes. About 18 months into its life, it is still under intense scrutiny. Mint takes a look at GST’s evolution and its future direction. Then and now In the pre-GST tax regime, each commodity would attract up to 17 taxes, Under the GST, four tax slabs were introduced, with each item taxed at one rate. The plan is to move towards a single standard rate in the future of around 15% Since its implementation GST rates have been sharply cut on many items. The highest slab of 28% has only 27 categories of products, down from close to 228 at the time of rollout Has GST succeeded in achieving its goals? The goods and services tax (GST) replaced 17 central and state taxes that existed before and has led to the removal of check posts at state borders, transforming India into a single market. It cut business costs by removing what is called “tax on tax”. GST has also increased the number of taxpa…