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Govt open to further review of GST rates: Rajnath

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi:Home minister Rajnath Singh said the central government is open to further review of the GST rates of different items as it has just reduced taxes of 88 consumer-centric products such as refrigerators, washing machines and sanitary napkins.
Inaugurating the National Traders’ Conclave organised by the Confederation of All-India Traders in New Delhi, he said the economic reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi government during the last four years will push India among the world’s top economies.
“GST rates of several items have recently been slashed and many items have been brought under zero per cent and five per cent slabs. The government is open to further review of the slabs,” he said.
The Goods and Services Tax Council, in its 28th meeting on Saturday, approved rate reductions for 88 consumer-centric items such as cosmetics, refrigerators, washing machines, and small screen televisions, and cleared the widely demanded exemption on sanitary napkins.
The home minister said out of 6.5 crore traders and shopkeepers, around 1.25 crore have registered under the new indirect tax regime. According to the Economic Survey, during November, 2016-2017, more than 1.15 crore returns have been filed.
The GST is a major tax reform in the country where only 6.10 crore people are under the taxation regime out of a population of more than 130 crore, he said.
Singh said in 2014, according to a survey by a reputed consultancy firm, India was ranked ninth among the world’s top 10 economies, and today the country has raced ahead of France to the sixth position.
“I am confident, as economists predict that in the next two-three years, India’s economy will be among the top five. With this pace of GDP growth, by 2030 we will break into the world’s top three economies,” he said.
The home minister said India is the most attractive destination for foreign investors and the country received more than $ 150 billion FDI in the last four years, while in “Ease of Doing Business”, the country’s ranking has improved from 142 to 100.
“Besides, the manufacturing sector has got a fillip with the ‘Make in India’ programme. In 2014, there were only two mobile phone factories in India, today we have 120 handset manufacturing units,” he said.


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Business

ADB cuts India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast to 7% on fiscal shortfall worries

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Asian Development Bank on Thursday lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 7 per cent for the current year on the back of fiscal shortfall concerns.

“India is expected to grow by 7 per cent in 2019 (FY20) and 7.2 per cent in 2020 (FY21), slightly slower than projected in April because the fiscal 2018 outturn fell short,” ADB said in its supplement to the Asian Development Outlook 2019.

For the south Asian region, ADB said the outlook remains robust, with growth projected at 6.6 per cent in 2019 and 6.7 per cent in 2020.

 

Earlier in April this year too, the Manila-based multi-lateral funding agency had lowered India’s growth forecast for FY20 to 7.2 per cent from 7.6 per cent estimated previously due to moderation in global demand and likely shortfall in revenue on the domestic front.

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Jalan panel proposes ‘nominal’ transfer of RBI funds to govt over 3-5 years

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New Delhi: The Union government may not get the windfall gain it was expecting from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reserves as the Bimal Jalan committee, tasked with reviewing the central bank’s economic capital framework, has proposed a “nominal” transfer of surplus to the central government in a phased manner, according to a source in the know.

“The report has proposed a formula for a nominal transfer of a portion of the RBI’s reserves to the central government in a period of three-five years. This is in line with the current practice being followed by the RBI for transferring dividend annually,” a person close to the development said.

The person said the panel members might “not be unanimous” on the suggestions the committee made. These will be submitted to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das “in a few days”. The RBI’s central board, headed by Das, will take up the matter.

 

The report would likely include a dissent note by Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, who is the government’s representative on the panel.

The committee has recommended a periodic review of the RBI’s economic capital framework, according to the source.

Initially, the finance ministry had expected around Rs 3 trillion from the RBI’s reserve funds, which were at the heart of a conflict between the regulator and the government last year.

On the insistence of the finance ministry, the central board of the RBI formed a six-member committee — headed by Jalan and co-chaired by former RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan — in December to review the central bank’s economic capital framework.

The main difference of opinion within the panel was over transferring the RBI’s “excess” capital reserves. While most panel members are in favour of a phased transfer of the RBI’s capital reserves to the government over the years, the government’s view, voiced by Garg, was for a one-time transfer.

For this financial year, the government had accounted for around Rs 20,000 crore as “additional dividend” from the RBI, a finance ministry official said. This, the official said, is unlikely to happen.

In the Receipts Budget, allocation towards the “dividend or surplus of RBI, nationalised banks and financial institutions” was increased by Rs 23,130 crore to Rs 1.06 trillion in 2019-20, compared to the Interim Budget.

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Nod to bankruptcy code changes, will help home buyers

Agencies

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New Delhi: The government today gave its approval to seven amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), a move that will benefit unsecured creditors like home buyers in a big way.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, the IBC (Amendment) Bill, 2019, would be introduced in Parliament during this session and will have retrospective effect. An official statement read: “The amendments aim to fill critical gaps in the corporate insolvency resolution framework as enshrined in the Code.”

of all financial creditors, including unsecured ones (home buyers) covered under Section 21 (6A) “shall be cast in accordance with the decision approved by the highest voting share (more than 50 per cent) of financial creditors on present and voting basis”, it said. It also said greater emphasis had been given “on the need for time-bound disposal at application stage and a deadline for completion of CSRP within an overall limit of 330 days, including litigation and other judicial processes”. Experts say this provision will help unsecured creditors (mostly home buyers) in a big way.

 
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