1. Thousands of Taxpayers Get Notices for Minor Defaults
Meant primarily to tackle black money, I-T officials have lately been using the punitive provisions widely.
A slew of prosecution notices have been issued to small taxpayers by the Income-Tax department for what are seen to be minor violations under punitive provisions of the I-T Act.
To shore up revenue, Sushil Chandra, chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in a recent letter to his cadres called for filing of prosecution against persons who were wilfully evading payment of outstanding taxes and also for ‘substantial’ defaults in remitting TDS to the government.
The CBDT’s action plan has also given targets to I-T officials for serving prosecution notices for TDS defaults.
(Source: The Economic Times)
2. India to Soon Have Own Standard of Apparel Size: Smriti Irani
India is all set to get its own size and measure in garments and apparels on the lines of US, UK and European nations, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said on Sunday, 20 January.
“One of India’s biggest challenges in apparel exports is that unlike UK, US and Europe that have a country specific size, India does not have one. The government will soon roll out a size India project across the country. This will be the first of its kind in the country’s history," the textile minister said, adding that a formal announcement on the same will be made soon.
The government will also initiate a statistical study on domestic demand in the Indian market with a view to frame better textile policies in future, the textile minister said.
3. Govt Writes to Google, Twitter & Facebook Over Fake Videos on Food Quality
Taking cognisance of the fake-news menace on social-media platforms, the government has written to Facebook, Google and Twitter to do due diligence to prevent the uploading of such material and warn those who misuse the platforms that their accounts could be blocked.
Sources said the development comes after Pawan Agarwal, CEO of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, expressed concerns saying “such false propaganda is neither good for citizens nor for businesses.”
“It has come to our notice that some miscreants are using various social-media platforms for circulating fake and objectionable material, including false and malicious videos regarding safety and quality of food available in India. Specific instances include creating false scare of plastic eggs, plastic rice and melamine in milk,” said the letter, which was sent to the three companies last month.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line
4. Brokers Write to SEBI, Oppose Higher Margin Framework
The proposed hike in margin requirements for equity derivatives will hurt the very same market, brokers said, adding margin framework should be linked to risk, not exposure or open interest.
In a series of letters and representations to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) the Association of National Exchange Members of India (ANMI) said higher margins will damage the functioning and growth of the equity derivatives market.
“ANMI is opposed to idea of using excessive margining as a tool to control market volumes and exposures and ANMI believes margin should be taken at levels appropriate with the risk of a given portfolio (position)," an ANMI letter to the regulator said.
5. Tepid Start to Q3 Earnings as India Inc Reports Net Profit Growth at 10.1%
The third quarter (Q3) earnings season has started on a sluggish note for Corporate India. While India Inc has reported robust sales growth of 37.5 percent year-on-year (YoY), net profit growth has been disappointing at 10.1 percent, indicating margin pressure.
The combined net profit of 94 companies that have declared their results for the October-December 2018 quarter stood at Rs 35,723 crore, up from Rs 32,452 crore a year ago.
(Source: Business Standard)
6. India Likely to Surpass UK in the World's Largest Economy Rankings: Report
India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC.
As per the report, while the UK and France have regularly switched places owing to similar levels of development and roughly equal populations, India's climb up the rankings is likely to be permanent.
PwC's Global Economy Watch report projects real GDP growth of 1.6 percent for the UK, 1.7 percent for France and 7.6 percent for India in 2019.
"India and France are likely to surpass the UK in the world's largest economy rankings in 2019, knocking it from fifth to seventh place in the global table," the report said.
7. Middle Class Cheer in Interim Budget Likely; I-T Exemption Limit May Go Up
The 2019-20 interim Budget may lay out a road map for possible tax incentives for the middle class.
While the specific measures are expected to wait for the full Budget, the finance minister is likely to announce the government’s vision for an income-tax (I-T)-friendly regime, possibly including exemptions and raising of the I-T exemption limit from the current Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
However, the government is still considering whether to bring these changes in the Finance Bill to enable amendments to the I-T Act or stick to convention and merely announce its intention to introduce .
(Source: Business Standard)
8. Anil Ambani’s Youngest Son Anshul Ambani Joins Reliance Group
Anshul Ambani, the youngest son of Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani, has joined the group as a management trainee, following the completion of his education.
The 23-year-old joined group company Reliance Infrastructure as a management trainee earlier last week.
“Excited to have my brother @AmbaniAnshul back from university, and joining us at the group. Time to kick it,” Anmol Ambani, Anil Ambani’s elder son, had tweeted.
Anshul had graduated in December 2018 from Stern School of Business, New York University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, an RInfra note said.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)
9. Rs 10-Lakh-Plus Car Will Not Cost More as of Now
You will not have to pay more for buying car worth Rs 10 lakh or more as the Kerala High Court has stayed inclusion of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) in the value of supply for GST (Goods & Services Tax) purposes until final disposal of a writ petition.
The issue arose after a circular was issued by the Finance Ministry on 31 December 2018, prescribing the valuation methodology in case of TCS under the Income Tax Act and defining owner of goods related to the GST.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)