28th meeting of GST council held

28th meeting of GST council held
The 28th meeting of GST council was held in New Delhi on 21st July 2018 under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs. Refrigerators, washing machines, Lithium-ion batteries, Vacuum cleaners were reduced from 28% to 18% tax rate. Sanitary Napkins, Coir pith compost, Rakhi were exempted from tax slab from previous 12% tax slab.

Chhattisgarh’s first FM Ramchandra Dies

Chhattisgarh’s first FM Ramchandra Dies
The former and first finance minister of Chhattisgarh, Ramchandra Singh Deo died on 20th July, 2018. He served as the Minister of Water Resources before Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000. The first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, chose him as the minister with key portfolios, including finance, commercial tax and planning.

PAN-Aadhaar linking deadline extended

The CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) extended the deadline for the PAN-Aadhaar linking to March 31, 2019. The policy-making body of the tax department issued an order, under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act extending the deadline. The CBDT order has come against the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s extension of the March 31, 2018 deadline for linking Aadhaar card.

S. Ramesh appointed as Chairman of CBIC

S Ramesh has been appointed as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes. Ramesh, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service had mandated with the responsibility of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The CBIC, which works under the Finance Ministry, is headed by a Chairman and can has 6 members.

States got ` 10,000 cr tax online post e-gov

States have collected taxes worth 10,000 crore online since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Centre’s e-Governance initiative, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said. Over 19 crore vehicles and 10 crore driving license records have come under the National Register, it said. The ministry added that over 50 lakh national permits have been issued online.

Sushil Chandra gets another one-year extension

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra has got a one-year extension up to May 31, 2019. He took over as chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2016. This is the second extension that he has got. CBDT has six members, apart from the chairman, and is responsible for framing policy related to direct taxes and the Income Tax Department.

CBDT notifies DTAA between India and Kuwait

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified a protocol to amend the existing double taxation avoidance pact (DTAA) between India and Kuwait. It had entered into force on March 26, updating the provisions in the DTAA. The protocol, which was signed on January 15, 2017, was notified on May 4 this year. India and Kuwait had signed a double taxation avoidance pact on June 15, 2006.

CBIC to handle applications for Inland Depots

Applications for setting up of Inland Container Depots, Container Freight Stations, and Air Freight Stations will now be handled by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. The move will promote ease of doing business at trade front. Earlier, the commerce ministry used to handle these applications. The development would help India improve its ranking in trading across borders.

Govt. collects Rs 7.41 trillion from GST

Govt. has collected Rs 7.41 trillion in taxes in the first year of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) between August 2017 and March 2018The revenues for four months have not been accounted for because of the mid-year rollout and an accounting lag. Under GST, the tax levied on consumption of goods or rendering of service is split 50:50 between the Centre and the states.

Govt. signed 16 APAs in March 2018

The Central Board of Direct Taxes entered into 14 Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements and 2 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APA) during the month of March 2018.The APAs pertain to sectors like Telecommunication, IT, Automobile, Manufacturing and Banking, Finance & Insurance. The APA scheme launched by Government provides certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing.

LTCG tax & other taxes to begin from April 1

Several budget proposals, including the reintroduction of the tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) exceeding Rs. 1 lakh from the sale of shares, will come into effect from April 1. The 2018-19 Budget had reintroduced 10% tax on long-term capital gains. Tax proposals like the reduced corporate tax of 25% on businesses on turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore will come into effect.

Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation

The Union Cabinet has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran. The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa. The agreement will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

April-Jan fiscal deficit hits 113.7%

India‘s fiscal deficit for April-January reached 113.7% of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year that ends in March 2018. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs.6.77 trillion and net tax receipts in the first ten months were Rs.9.7 trillion, government data showed. Earlier, the fiscal deficit target for the current year was raised to 3.5% of GDP from 3.2%.

Chopra quits as ambassador for Nirav’s brand

Actress Priyanka Chopra’s spokesperson has confirmed that she has quit as the global ambassador of jewellery designer Nirav Modi’s brand following allegations of money laundering against him.The actress had earlier accused him of non-payment of dues for several advertisement campaigns. Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the $1.77 billion (?11,400 crore) scam involving Punjab National Bank.

Kakkar takes charge as ONGC Offshore Director

Rajesh Kakkar has taken over charge of Director (Offshore) of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.He will look after oil & gas production from ONGC’s offshore fields that contribute 70% & 78% of ONGC’s domestic crude oil & gas production respectively. Kakkar has more than 3 and a half decades of experience in the various aspects of operations and management in both offshore and onshore fields.

Singapore to impose carbon tax from 2019

Singapore would impose a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.The tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Singapore ranks 26th out of 142 countries in terms of emissions per capita. Singapore expects to collect carbon tax revenues of nearly Sg$1.0 billion in the first five years

Axis Bank hikes MCLR by 10 basis points

Axis Bank has hiked its benchmark marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 10 basis points in the three month to three year buckets.The bank’s 3 month MCLR is now 8.15% and 6 months at 8.30% while the 1 year rate is 8.40%. This is the second time that the bank has hiked its lending rates in two months. MCLR is closely linked to the cost banks pay on their deposits.

Trump threatens reciprocal tax on motorcycles

US President Donald Trump has slammed India for high import tariffs on high-end motorcycles and threatened to impose a ‘reciprocal tax’ on motorcycles imported from India.He added that the recent decision of India to reduce the customs duty from 75% to 50% was not enough. At present, US does not levy any tariff on Indian motorcycle imports.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%

The RBI has kept the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, steady at 6% for the third time in a row during its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review.This comes after retail inflation in December rose to a 17-month high of 5.21%.The RBI last cut the rate by 25 basis points in August last year.

5.7 cr GST evasion reported in first 5 months

The government has discovered Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion amounting to ?5.7 crore in 16 cases in first five months of the ongoing fiscal.Further, it found service tax evasion of ?9,660 crore in a total of 2,938 cases during April-December.Evasion of central excise amounting to ?7,242 crore in 614 cases was found during the same period.

Allahabad Bank eyes Rs 270 crore capital

Allahabad Bank is aiming to raise Rs 250-270 crore from the employee share offer which started from January 31, 2018.Allahabad Bank is the first among the public sector banks to offer share to its employees.The bank is giving a 25% discount on pricing at Rs 53.94 per share to the employees.So far in the current fiscal, the bank had raised Rs 700 cr as capital and also raised some bonds.

FY19 revenue loss estimated at 7K cr

In a big boost to the small and medium enterprises, Arun Jaitley announced a reduction in corporate tax rate from existing 30% to 25%, for companies with turnover of up to Rs 250 crore.The decision will benefit the entire class of MSME that account for almost 99% of companies filing their tax returns.But it will lead to an estimated revenue loss of Rs 7,000 cr in the financial year 2018-19

Lock-in period for capital gains inc.

Capital gains from property transactions will have to be invested for a minimum of 5 years to avail tax exemption.Arun Jaitley proposed to increase the investment tenure of capital gains arising out of sale of land or building into bonds from the existing 3 years to 5 years.Such benefit would only be available for long-term capital gains arising out of sale of land and building or both.

50% increase in indirect taxpayers

There has been a 50% increase in the number of indirect taxpayers.There has also been a large increase in voluntary registrations, especially by small enterprises that buy from large enterprises wanting to avail themselves of input tax credit. There were 9.8 million unique GST registrants, an increase by 3.4 million compared to the previous tax regime is seen.

GST Council reduces tax rates

GST Council has reduced the tax rate on 29 goods and 53 categories of services by bringing them in lower category.The GST rate on transportation of petroleum crude and petroleum products including ATF has been cut down from 18% to 5%. The GST rate on tailoring service has been reduced from 18 to 5%. The new rates will be effective from 25th Jan 2018.

‘Elcysma Ziroensis’ discovered in AP

A new moth species named ‘Elcysma Ziroensis’ has been discovered in the Talle Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.This discovery has been published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. This new species has been scientifically named Elcysma Ziroensis.It would be commonly called Apatani Glory. This has been named after a local tribe called Apatani.

Direct Tax for 2017 shows 18.2% growth

The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes. An amount of Rs. 3.18 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017.

Govt to divest 1.5% in NMDC

The government will begin the sale of 1.5% stake in NMDC at a floor price of Rs153.50 apiece.The two-day offer for sale (OFS) will open for institutional investors on and for retail investors on Wednesday. Sale of 1.5% would fetch Rs. 750 crore to the exchequer, a person familiar with the matter said. The NMDC Limited is a state-controlled mineral producer of the Government of India.

CBDT relaxes norms for MAT on insolvents

The Income Tax Department has relaxed norms for levy of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on companies facing corporate insolvency proceedings.As per Section 115JB of the Income Tax Act, MAT is levied on book profit after deducting the amount of loss brought forward or unabsorbed depreciation, whichever is less. This has been done to minimise the genuine hardships faced by such companies.

PNB hikes interest on term deposits

PNB has announced raising interest rates by up to 1.25% on domestic term deposits of up to Rs. 10 crore for different tenures, effective from Jan 1, 2018.For 1 yr term, rate has been increased from 5% to 5.7% on bulk term deposits.In maturity buckets of 3 yrs to 10 yrs, rate has been increased from 5% to 5.25%. In maturity bucket of 91 to 179 days, rate is up from 6 to 6.25%.

World’s second largest cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency ‘Ripple’ has surpassed ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ripple had a market cap of $86.3 billion, surpassing ethereum’s $73 billion.Bitcoin remains the largest digital currency by far, having a market capitalization of roughly $247 billion, accounting for about 41% of the total cryptocurrency market cap.

Lok Sabha passes bill for GST cess hike

Lok Sabha approved a bill to hike cess on luxury vehicles from 15% to 25% 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.Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax levied in India on the sale of goods and services. GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017.

Only 1.7% Indians paid income tax

Just over 2 crore Indians, or 1.7 % of the total population, paid income tax in the assessment year (AY) 2015-16, according to data released by the I-T department.The number of income-tax return filers increased to 4.07 crore in assessment year 2015-16 (FY 2014-2015) from 3.65 crore in the previous year.Only 2.06 crore actually paid tax as the others claimed income below taxable limits.

Trump signs Tax Overhaul Law

US President Donald Trump has signed a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code.Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago.This 1.5 trillion dollars overhaul is set to impact every corner of the economy through dramatic tax cuts.

Trump signs Tax Overhaul Law

US President Donald Trump has signed a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code.Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago.This 1.5 trillion dollars overhaul is set to impact every corner of the economy through dramatic tax cuts.

Number of ‘crorepatis’ grew 23.5%

21 : Individuals with over Rs 1 crore of declared income rose 23.5 percent to 59,830 in tax assessment year 2015-16.But the higher number of ‘crorepatis’ had Rs 50,889 crore less income than that of the previous year.The statistics for the assessment year 2015-16 shows that 59,830 individuals with gross total income of over Rs 1 crore had a cumulative income of Rs 1.54 lakh crore.

Syndicate Bank cuts MCLR by 0.05%

Syndicate Bank has slashed the marginal cost based lending rate (MCLR) by 0.05% for select maturities.The bank has cut the overnight, 1-month and 3-month MCLR by 0.05% each to 7.95, 8 and 8.05%.MCLR for 6 month & 1 year lending have been kept unchanged at 8.25% and 8.45%.Banks review their MCLR rates on a monthly basis, which is relatively a new method of charging interest on advances.

Deadline for Aadhaar linkage extended

The govt has extended the deadline for mandatory linking of PAN with Aadhaar by 3 months to March 31, 2018.This is the 3rd extension given by the govt to individuals to link the Permanent Account Number (PAN) with the biometric ID.Several taxpayers have not yet completed the linking of PAN with Aadhaar, hence to facilitate the process of linking govt decided to further extend the deadline.

CBDT signs two Indian APAs

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 2 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).These Agreements are the first ever Bilateral APAs with The Netherlands.With the signing of these Agreements, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has gone up to 186. This includes 171 Unilateral APAs and 15 Bilateral APAs.

Badri appointed as first chairman of NAA

Badri Narain Sharma, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer of 1985 batch, has been appointed the first chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority. This body was set up under the goods and services tax to ensure that the benefits of lower taxes under the new regime are shared with consumers. Sharma, at present is an additional secretary in the department of revenue in the finance ministry

New species of Gecko found

A new species of gecko was found in the Eastern Ghats in northern Andhra Pradesh. Named after eminent herpetologist Sushil Kumar Dutta from Odisha, Hemidactylus sushilduttai or Dutta’s Mahendragiri gecko is the 32nd species of house geckos in India. The discovery, report of which was published earlier this month in the taxonomy journal Zootaxa.

Cabinet approves setting up of 15th FC

Union cabinet has approved the setting up of 15th Finance Commission, which will decide on the distribution of tax proceeds among centre, states and local bodies in the post-GST era. The recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission will be implemented in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025. The government had allocated Rs10 crore in the 2017-18 budget to the 15th Finance Commission.

23rd GST Council Meet held in Guwahati

23rd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council headed by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley was held in Guwahati, Assam on November 10, 2017. GST rate on 177 items has been reduced from 28% to 18%. Now only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods will attract 28% GST rate. Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out from July 1.

Protocol between India-New Zealand

The Indian government has notified the third protocol with New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation. This protocol updates the existing protocol by incorporating new provisions about sharing of tax-related information. This protocol will not only help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between India and New Zealand but will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.

No Tax on Agri sale of less than 2 Lakh

The Income Tax Department has clarified that the cash sales of agricultural produce by a cultivator to a trader for less than 2 lakh rupees will not attract tax under the Income Tax Act. A circular issued by the Department stated the cultivator and the trader will also not have to provide their Permanent Account Number. Sushil Chandra is the Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Offline tool for GSTR-3B returns

GST Network (GSTN) has launched an excel-based offline tool for businesses to file initial GSTR-3B returns. Taxpayers can download excel-based offline tool from the GSTN portal under the download section and later fill in the data. Following this, the file can be uploaded on GST portal. The purpose is to create a platform for all the concerned parties related to the GST.

New species of large gecko discovered

According to a paper published in the taxonomic journal Comptes Rendus Biologies, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of gecko (lizard) from the Eastern Ghats. It was discovered at Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park. The Kanger Valley rock gecko grows over eight inches long and has a distinct black-bordered beige bands right from its neck to the tip of the tail.

Manika will be ambassador of Cambodia

Manika Jain is appointed as Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Manika Jain is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of batch 1993. She is presently the Consul General of India, Melbourne. Capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh and its currency is Riel.

IT department launches ‘online chat’

IT Department has launched an ‘online chat’ service for taxpayers to seek answers to their basic queries and doubts. A window has been hosted on the main page of the income tax department’s website, “” with an icon stating ‘Live Chat Online – ask your query. A team of experts from the department and independent tax practitioners will give answers.

Telangana’s app to detect fake GST

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Hyderabad) has come out with a technology solution to the problem of GST calculation. The institute has developed an app, tGST, for the Commercial Taxes Department of Telangana. Take a photo of the bill and uploaded it to the app. It will let you know whether the GST paid by you is going to the government or not.

22nd GST council meeting held in Delhi

22nd meeting of the Good and Services Tax (GST) Council was held on October 6, 2017 in New Delhi, under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Government reduced GST rates on 27 items which gave relief to small and medium businesses. It also said that PAN card not required for jewellery purchase of above Rs. 50,000.

Gujarat 1st state to slash VAT on fuel

Ahead of the state assembly elections, Gujarat government has cut value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, making it the first state to follow the Centre’s directions to do so. Recently, the union government cut basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre. Centre asked state governments to cut VAT on petrol and diesel to ease rates.

UAE begins collecting ‘sin’ taxes

United Arab Emirates has started collecting “sin” taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks & soft drinks. Tobacco & energy drinks will be taxed at 100% & soft drinks at 50%. New tax push comes as UAE & other Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices All 6 members of Gulf Cooperation Council have agreed to begin collecting VAT taxes, though others may begin later than January.

Govt to exempt small exporters

The government has decided to exempt small exporters from furnishing bank guarantee for shipping goods and services. Under the Goods and Services Tax, an exporter can get an exemption from payment of IGST if he submits bonds or Letter of Undertaking. The decision comes a day after exporters met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for resolution of GST-related problems to boost overseas shipments.

Govt extends deadline

Govt has extended the deadline to sell pre-GST goods by 3 months till Dec 31 this year. The decision came after companies & CAIT, the retailers body, highlighted that they were still left with huge unsold stocks of pre-GST goods & needed more time to clear that. Under the GST, stocks as on 30th of June with mandatory MRP labeling could be sold only up to Sept 30 by pasting new MRP stickers.

Significant decline in Infant Mortality

India has registered a significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate, the IMR declined by 3 points (8% decline), from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016 India also recorded a major drop in birth cohort, which has for the 1st time come down to below 25mn Gender difference between female & male IMR has reduced to <10%, giving a boost to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme

Syndicate Bank cuts interest rate

Public sector Syndicate Bank has cut savings account interest rate by 0.50 per cent to 3.50 per cent for deposits up to
Rs. 25 lakh. For the deposits above Rs. 25 lakh, the interest rate is unchanged at 4 per cent. With this, Syndicate Bank has joined over two-dozen banks, both from public and private sector, who have cut interest rate on deposits in various quantum.

ICICI Bank launches cashback home loans

ICICI Bank has announced a new home loan scheme that offers borrowers the benefit of 1% cashback on every EMI, for the entire tenure of the loan. The offer will be valid for home loans with a minimum tenure of 15 years and maximum tenure of 30 years. This offer is available for other mortgage products like loan against property, lease-rental discounting & top-ups on existing mortgage loans.

ADB Downgrades India’s Growth Projection

Asian Development Bank has downgraded India’s growth projection to 7% for the current fiscal while lowering its forecast for the next financial year as well. In the financial year 2018-19, the forecast has been adjusted down to 7.4%, from 7.6%. Demonetisation and implementation of the new goods and services tax regime have dented consumer spending and business investment.

Shinzo Abe to dissolve lower house

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has said he would dissolve Parliament’s lower house for a snap election, as he seeks a fresh mandate to overcome “a national crisis.” Abe said he needed a fresh mandate to proceed with plans to use tax hikes to increase social spending & take a tough stance towards North Korea. Abe is thought to be looking to capitalise on improved ratings and opposition disarray.

Bengal Gets $300 Million

Asian Development Bank has sanctioned $300 mn loan facility for carrying forward fiscal reforms in West Bengal. Activities under the programme include improved tax monitoring & support for IT systems in strengthening tax & land administration. Linking medium term expenditure plans to actual budgets & enhancements in integrated financial management system are also part of the reform process.

Harry Dean Stanton dies

Actor Harry Dean Stanton, known for his roles in films like The Godfather II, Alien and Cool Hand Luke, has died of natural causes at the age of 91. The Kentucky-born star had a career which spanned more than six decades, appearing in dozens of films, including 1984’s Paris, Texas. More recently, he appeared in the hit HBO show Big Love, and this year’s revival of the cult classic Twin Peaks

GoM to monitor, resolve IT challenges

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has constituted a Group of Ministers to monitor & resolve IT challenges faced in the implementation of Goods & Services Tax. The Group of Ministers has been constituted under the convenorship of Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. The group will be assisted in its work by chairman & chief executive officer of the Goods and Services Tax Network.

Bill to increase tax-free gratuity

Centre has approved an amendment Bill that increases limit of tax-free gratuity up to Rs 20 lakh for employees belonging to public as well as private sector. The current upper ceiling on gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, is Rs 10 lakh. Gratuity is a sum of money an employee receives from his or her employee in exchange of services rendered to the organisation.

Pandey appointed interim GSTN chairman

The Unique Identification Authority of India’s CEO A.B. Pandey has been appointed as the interim chairman of the goods and services tax network. Pandey was given additional charge days after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term on 29 August. GSTN is the firm providing information technology backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime.

CBDT Signs 4 Advance Pricing Agreements

Central Board of Direct Taxes has entered into 4 Advance Pricing Agreements, pertaining to sectors like telecom, banking, manufacturing & education. Out of these 4 agreements, 3 are unilateral & 1 is a bilateral. Bilateral APA is for international transactions b/w an Indian company & a UK-based company. With signing of these 4 agreements, total no. of APAs entered into by CBDT has reached 175

CBDT gets govt-honour

The Central Board of Direct Taxes was honoured by Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh for successfully resolving public grievances. The awards given to the CBDT was based on the theme of appreciation to the Ministries or Departments. The CBDT is the apex policy making body for the Income Tax department.

Karnataka Bank reduces one year MCLR

Karnataka Bank has reduced its One Year MCLR by 5 bps to 8.85% p.a. with effect from 01 Sep 2017. To support women entrepreneurs, the Bank has also decreased the rate of interest on its KBL-Mahila Udyog Scheme to 9.90% with effect from 01 September 2017. The Bank is also offering housing loan upto Rs. 75 lakh at a competitive interest rates of 8.60% p.a. (linked to 6 months MCLR of the Bank).

CBDT gets govt-honour

4 : The Central Board of Direct Taxes was honoured by Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh for successfully resolving public grievances. The awards given to the CBDT was based on the theme of appreciation to the Ministries or Departments. The CBDT is the apex policy making body for the Income Tax department.

Union Bank, Dena Bank reduce MCLR rates

Union Bank of India & Dena Bank have reduced their marginal cost of lending rates across various tenors with effect from today. Union Bank has cut its MCLR by 20 basis points across all tenor. New 1 year MCLR has been set at 8.20% as against 8.40% earlier. Dena Bank has reduced MCLR by 15 basis points across 1 year, 6 months, 3 months & 1 month. It has fixed its 1year MCLR at 8.40% from 8.55%.

GST earnings cross target

India’s maiden GST collections hit Rs. 92,283 crore in July, surpassing the target. The tax mobilisation so far is from 64.4% of the 59.57 lakh taxpayers registered with the new Goods and Services Tax and the number is likely to go up. Of the tax collected, Rs. 14,894 crore have come in as Central GST, Rs. 22,722 crore as State GST and Rs. 47,469 crore as Integrated GST.

Sunil Sanghai resigns

HSBC India’s vice chairman and investment banking head Sunil Sanghai quit British banking giant. Sanghai has joined hands with the Dinesh Kanabar-promoted tax & regulatory firm Dhruva Advisors to start a merchant banking division. Before joining HSBC, Sanghai worked as Goldman Sachs’ managing director & co- head of investment banking & also has had stints with Morgan Stanley & JM Financial.

Dena Bank cuts savings rate

Dena Bank has cut interest rate on savings account deposits up to Rs. 25 lakh by 0.5% to 3.50%. Those having deposits over Rs. 25 lakh in their savings bank accounts will continue to get existing interest of 4%. For deposits above Rs. 25 lakh, interest rate will remain unchanged at 4%. With this, Dena Bank has joined a host of peer banks after SBI started paying less on certain savings deposits

Govt extends tax break for industry

CCEA has given approval to the Scheme of providing budgetary support under GST for eligible industrial units in J&K, Uttarakhand, HP & north eastern states including Sikkim. Industries in northeastern & Himalayan states will continue to get tax exemption until March 2027, albeit as the refund, under GST. Budgetary support of Rs. 27,413 cr has been approved from July 1, 2017, till March 31, 2027.

India raises vegetable oil import taxes

India, World’s biggest buyer of vegetable oils, has raised import taxes on crude and refined edible oils to protect local oilseed farmers. India doubled the import tax on crude palm oils to 15% and raised the import tax on refined palm oils to 25%, increasing the differential in duty by 10 percentage points. India spends about $10 billion a year to import palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia

LS passes 2 bills extending CGST, IGST

Lok Sabha has passed 2 bills extending Central GST and Integrated GST to Jammu and Kashmir. The step will ensure greater economic integration of the state with rest of the country. It aimed at giving effect to the formal amendments required in Central GST and Integrated GST Acts by removing the exemption that was carved out for J&K. Jammu & Kashmir was the last state to pass GST.

Modi to inaugurate ‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’

Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate 2 day ‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’ on September 1, during which central & state tax officers will brainstorm on major issues. To be held in New Delhi, focus of the discussion will be on GST as well as on unearthing black money This will be for the first time that the tax officers of state governments will also be invited for discussion on the GST related issues.

Government enters into 9 unilateral APAs

Central Board of Direct Taxes entered into 9 Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements with taxpayers during July. APA Scheme aims to provide certainty to taxpayers in domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing & determining Arm’s Length Price of international transactions in advance for a maximum period of 5 future years. 18 UAPAs have been signed in current financial year.

SBI slashes interest rate

State Bank of India has cut the interest rate on savings accounts with up to Rs. 1 crore to 3.5% from 4%. The decline in the rate of inflation and high real interest rates are the primary considerations warranting a revision in the rate of interest on savings bank deposits. The cut in the savings rate by SBI is the first such move by any bank since the RBI deregulated the savings rate in 2011.

Morgan Stanley cuts CPI forecast

Global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has lowered its inflation forecast for 2017 to 3.1% from 3.6% earlier citing relatively benign outcomes of GST & monsoon. Factors that led to revision of forecast were slippage in food inflation year-on-year bases and impact of GST & rise in HRA. For ongoing fiscal, it expects headline CPI at 3.2% from (4% earlier), for 2018-19 to 4.3% from 4.5 previously

Supervisory Colleges for Scheduled Banks

Reserve Bank of India has setup Supervisory Colleges for 6 Scheduled Commercial Banks which have sizeable international presence. The objectives of the colleges are to enhance information exchange and cooperation among supervisors and to improve understanding of the risk profile of the banking group. The Supervisory Colleges have been setup for SBI, PNB, BOB, BOI, ICICI and Axis Bank.

Proposals for high-tech public transport

Niti Aayog has cleared 6 proposals of transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. Mass rapid transportation technologies such as hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses & freight rail road are part of transport ministry proposal. Transport ministry has formed a 6 member committee to study safety parameters associated with these technologies & global practices.

Centre to set up petrochemical clusters

Centre is planning to set up petrochemical clusters in eastern, western & southern India to spur growth of the sector amid increasing demand. 2 petrochemical clusters will be setup in east & west coasts, and some in south India. They will be created to make the entire value chain extremely cost effective. India’s petrochemical market is valued at $50 billion and is expected to grow at 89%.

BRICS sign memorandum on taxation

Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation. The authorities agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies BRICS nations total share in global economy has risen from 12% to 23% in the past decade.

Undue profit to come under GST

Proposed anti-profiteering authority under GST will take up for scrutiny only those cases that have mass impact & where undue profit of over 1 crore has been earned. 5 member National Anti Profiteering Authority headed by secretary level officer will be set up. ADG Safeguards will act as secretary to National Anti-Profiteering Authority & will coordinate b/w authority & DG Safeguards office.

Report on child brides in the world

According to Action Aid India report, India contributes 33% of the total number of child brides in the world with nearly 103 million Indians married before they were 18. Of every 28 girl child marriages occurring per minute in the world, more than two takes place in India. The report found that rural regions account for 75% of all instances of child marriages.

Cabinet nod to tax MOC with BRICS nation

Union Cabinet has approved signing of a memorandum of cooperation in respect of tax matters b/w India & revenue administrations of other BRICS countries. It aims to promote cooperation among BRICS revenue administrations on common areas of interest in tax matters and in capacity building & knowledge sharing. It also accords confidentiality & protection to information exchanged under the MoC.

GST Council raises cess on cigarettes

GST Council raised cess on cigarettes to address an anomaly under GST that had resulted in lower tax incidence than before. Tax burden on cigarettes will go up by
Rs. 4.8-7.9 per 10 sticks, depending on their length & whether or not they have filters. Increased cess is in addition to the highest rate of GST i.e. 28% & ad valorem cess of 5%. Anomaly would have cost govt Rs. 5000 crore in tax.

Soldiers exempted from toll tax

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced exemption for soldiers from paying toll-tax on highways in the state. Jawans will be provided with the relief in Madhya Pradesh after they present their official identity cards. The decision came after a delegation of BSF officials apprised him about their grievances while he was on a personal tour to Jaisalmer.

New wing to provide intelligence inputs

Union Govt has set up Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management, a new wing to provide intelligence inputs taking action against tax evaders. DGARM will be under Central Board of Excise and Customs to use internal & external sources for detailed data mining to generate actionable inputs. It will function as an apex body of CBEC for data analytics and risk management.

No GST on sale of old jewellery

Govt. has clarified that sale of old jewellery & old vehicles by individuals will not attract any GST as the sale is not for furthering any business. Tax will apply if an unregistered business sells gold ornaments to registered supplier. This comes in wake of Revenue Secretary’s comments in which he said that purchase of old gold jewellery by a jeweller from a consumer will attract 3% GST.

GST intelligence agency gets new chief

Senior bureaucrat John Joseph has been appointed as the Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DG GSTI). Joseph is a 1983 batch officer of IRS, has worked in Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the DRI. DG GSTI is the new name given to Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence, mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion.

GST Rates Finder app

Centre has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the GST regime. This app will not only benefit tax payers but also every citizen of the country will be able to find out how much GST is charged on a particular good and service. The app can be downloaded on any smart phone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded.

Jail term for not printing new MRP

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan warned of a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh, including a jail term, if new, post-GST rates are not printed on the inventory in the interest of consumers. Manufacturers have been allowed to clear the unsold stocks by September with new MRP. Under the GST regime, he said some prices of goods have fallen and some have risen.

J&K assembly passes resolution for GST

Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly has finally adopted the GST resolution during a special session on 5th July. The resolution moved by state finance minister Haseeb Drabu was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state. With this J&K has become the last state to pass the GST bill in the state.

5% for physically challenged items

5 : The Ministry of Revenue has announced a 5% concessional GST rate on the following assistive devices and rehabilitation aids for physically-challenged person. The concessional 5% GST rate on these devices/equipments would enable their domestic manufacturers to avail of input tax credit of GST paid on their inputs and raw materials. A total of 22 items have the concession.

Eight core sectors growth slips

The growth of eight core sectors slowed to 3.6% in May 2017 due to fall in output of coal and fertilisers. It was 5.2% in May 2016. In April 2017, these eight sectors had recorded a growth rate of 2.8%. In India, there are eight core sectors comprising of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity.

RBI sees economic growth rate at 7.3%

The RBI stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Sevice Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3% in 2017-18. The Financial Stability Report 2017 bases its optimism to the lower fiscal deficit at 3.2%. Reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand will fuel growth.

GST Council cuts GST rate on fertilizers

In order to give relief to farmers, GST Council has reduced the tax rate on fertiliser to 5% from the earlier 12%. Decision to reduce tax rate on fertiliser was taken due to apprehensions that price of the crop nutrient may go up. Council also decided to cut tax rate on exclusive parts of tractors from 28% to 18%. Council however did not reduce the rate of 18% on crop protection chemicals.

Highest GST rates in the world

GST rates in India are highest in the world among the 140 countries that have implemented it so far. India has 4 tax slabs: 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% which makes it the country with highest GST rate going past Argentina that levies 27% tax on goods and services. India has chosen the Canadian model of dual GST as it has a federal structure. France was the first country to implement GST