QBiz: I-T Filings Set Record; GST Collection Slips Below Rs 1 L Cr

Catch the latest business news in today’s QBiz.

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1. Income-Tax Return Filings Surge to a Record

Filing of income-tax returns hit a new record, with a peak filing rate of 196 returns per second on Saturday, 31 August, the final due date for filing, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

There has been a sharp increase in filing returns closer to and on the due date because of pre-filled forms and other steps taken by the tax department, leading to 56.5 million returns filed so far for assessment year 2019-20, CBDT said in a statement on Sunday.

(Source: Livemint)

2. GST Collection Slips Below Rs 1 Lakh Crore Mark to Rs 98,202 Crore in August

In another indicator of economic slowdown, GST collection in the month of August dropped below Rs 1 lakh crore mark to Rs 98,202 crore. The tax collection was at Rs 1.02 lakh crore in July this year. The August mop-up was, however, 4.5 percent higher than the Rs 93,960 crore collected in the same month last year.

This is the second time during this year that the revenue collection from the GST has slipped below the Rs 1 lakh crore mark. First, it happened in June when the collection was Rs 99,939 crore.

(Source: The Economic Times)

3. Disinvestment: Govt Shelves Plan for OIC, NIC, UIIC

The government will prepare a road map to improve the solvency ratios of Oriental Insurance Company (OIC), National Insurance Company (NIC) and United India Insurance Company (UIIC) to at least the regulatory norm of 1.5 times (of assets over liabilities) by infusing capital, before it revives disinvestment plans in these unlisted public sector general insurers, official sources said.

“A road map has to be prepared to first to bring their solvency ratio to the required level before merging the three. After the merger, if the solvency ratio meets the norm, disinvestment of merged entity will be considered,” an official told FE.

(Source: Financial Express)

4. Centre Looks to Cut GST Rates as Car Sales Slump Persists in August

The Union government has finally decided to bite the bullet on a tax cut for the automobile sector, on a day the industry reported the worst August for passenger vehicles in 18 years. Dispatches to dealerships during the month plunged 34 percent from a year ago, sales data showed, in the sharpest decline since September 2001.

The government will take a proposal to reduce the goods and services tax (GST) rate on automobiles to the GST Council, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters in Chennai, while briefing them on efforts to arrest the economic downturn. Automobiles currently attract the highest tax rate of 28 percent, apart from a cess.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Faceless Tax Assessment Pilot Likely From 8 October

If you are a taxpayer in Mumbai, New Delhi or Ahmedabad, it’s likely that tax officer assessing your income could soon be doing so from anywhere in the country.

Taking the first concrete steps toward “faceless tax administration,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has given its approval for a programme that will kickstart the ambitious plan for jurisdiction-free assessment, which is aimed at reducing the scope for corruption by eliminating the need for face-to-face interaction between officers and tax payers.

(Source: The Economic Times)

6. Govt May Sell Entire Stake in BPCL Worth Rs 40,000 cr, IOCL Likely Suitor

The Centre is planning to offload its entire stake worth a little more than Rs 40,000 crore in Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), most likely to fellow state-owned oil-marketing company Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), a deal that will go a long way in the Narendra Modi government meeting its highest-ever disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 trillion.

If it goes through, an IOCL-BPCL merger will be the third mammoth amalgamation of state-owned companies, excluding banks, in three years.

(Source: Business Standard)

7. Economy Deeply Worrying, India Can Grow Much Faster: Manmohan Singh

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday termed the state of the economy as “deeply worrying", adding the June quarter growth rate of 5 percent shows that India is in the midst of a prolonged economic slowdown.

“India has the potential to grow at a much faster rate, but all-round mismanagement by the Modi government has resulted in this slowdown," Singh said in a statement.

India’s June quarter growth is the worst in more than six years, with private consumption expenditure decelerating to an 18-quarter low.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Willing to Address Sectoral Grievances: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Centre is actively addressing sectoral grievances and taking inputs from businesses to alleviate operational pressures, amid a milieu of piling inventory and slowing sales that have raised concerns of a slowdown in the economy.

“Wherever there is a need for Government to come up with facilitation and support, we are willing to hear them and respond. I’m not of the view that it’s just the automobile sector but any other sector which needs consultations, we welcome them and respond to them,” adding that she had committed to more announcements on her first tranche of measures to boost the economy.

(Source: The Economic Times)

9. Donald Trump's 15% Tariffs on Chinese Goods Worth USD 112 bn Take Effect

The Trump administration's latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports took effect early Sunday, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer goods in advance of the holiday shopping season.

The 15 percent taxes apply to about USD 112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff hikes.

(Source: AP)

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