Tag: Finance Minister

NE states to get tax exemption till March 2027: FM

NE states to get tax exemption till March 2027: FM

17/08/2017 14:06

The Indian Government has said that industries in the north eastern and Himalayan states will continue to get tax exemption till March 2027 under the current GST regime which was rolled out on July 1.

Commenting on the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the media, “Within the framework of the GST Act each industry will be entitled to its own refund mechanism during this particular period (March 31, 2027). Industries in the north eastern and Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand under the previous excise regime used to get 10-year exemption.”

“As per the scheme, industries which commenced operations during the period got excise tax holiday for 10 years. There is a separate residuary period for every industry because of commencement of production and their consequent entitlement of 10 year exemption,” he added.

As per reports, under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, there is no provision for exemption but there is one section under the Act which permits refunds.

FM to review performance of PSU banks, FIs on June 12

FM to review performance of PSU banks, FIs on June 12

09/06/2017 15:43

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet heads of public sector banks and financial institutions on June 12 to discuss issues related to rising bad loans, interest rate reduction and credit flow to various sectors.

He will also review the performance of the lenders.

The meeting assumes significance as it will be the first after promulgation of the ordinance amending the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, last month.

The government had through this ordinance empowered the Reserve Bank to ask banks to initiate insolvency proceedings to recover bad loans and promised more measures to resolve the NPA crisis.

“Major issues on the agenda of the meeting, the first during this fiscal, include issues and solutions relating to Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs), status of MSE Credit, Stand-up India and Mudra Yojana among others,” the finance ministry said in a statement today.

Other issues on agenda include discussion on financial inclusion and literacy, review of performance of Social Security Schemes including Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) etc, it said.

The day-long meeting will also cover areas like cyber security, digitalisation of the banking transactions, rural development, agriculture credit and education loans.

Role and preparedness of banks in the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also likely to be discussed in the one day Meeting of PSBs, it said. GST is going to be rolled-out from July 1.

As for the recovery of bad loans, the RBI has also made substantial changes in the related norms and warned banks of monetary penalty for missing NPA resolution timelines.

Jaitley had said the ordinance empowered the Reserve Bank to issue “directions to any banking company or banking companies to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016”.

Toxic loans of PSBs rose by over Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 6.06 lakh crore during April-December 2016-17.

Gross NPAs of PSBs nearly doubled to Rs 5.02 lakh crore at the end of March 2016, from Rs 2.67 lakh crore at the end of March 2015.

Will request FM to reduce tax rate on hybrid vehicles: Gadkari

25/05/2017 15:45

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said that he will urge Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to bring down GST rate on hybrid vehicles and other automobiles that run on alternate fuels.

Under the GST rates announced last week, hybrid cars, which are considered eco-friendly, are slated to attract a 15 per cent cess over and above peak rate of 28 per cent, same as those of large luxury cars and SUVs.

The automobile industry has expressed concern on the high rate on hybrids stating it would put a spanner in the wheels of government plans to promote green vehicles.

At present hybrid vehicles attracts excise duty of 12.5 per cent with an effective overall tax rate of 30.3 per cent.

“I will be meeting Arun Jaitley soon to request that tax slabs for vehicles run on ethanol, bio diesel, bio CNG should be reduced. I will also request him to reduce tax rate on hybrid vehicles in order to tackle air pollution in the long run,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI in an interaction.

The minister, who also holds Shipping portfolio, said the government’s policy is to promote electric mobility in the country. GST rate on electric vehicles has been kept at 12 per cent.

“It is our policy to encourage electric cars and buses. Shortly, I will be coming out a policy regarding this. Hybrid cars should also be encouraged, it saves fuel,” he said.

Electric and hybrid vehicles along with alternate fuels like ethanol should be encouraged in order to reduce India’s import of crude oil.

“We import crude worth Rs 7 lakh crore. Electric, ethanol, bio diesel, bio CNG these are import substitutes and are cost effective, pollution free and indigenous too,” Gadkari said.

If such vehicles are encouraged on a large scale, the cost will also come down, he added.

Auto industry is also planning to take up the matter of higher tax rate on hybrid vehicles with the Finance Ministry this week.

Some of the popular hybrid vehicles sold in India are Camry Hybrid and Prius from Toyota and Honda Accord. These cars are priced between Rs 31.98 lakh and Rs 38.96 lakh.

A host of other companies were also planning to foray into the segment.

Budget 2017: Govt to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for homeless

Budget 2017: Govt to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for homeless

01/02/2017 11:47

The Finance Minister in his budget speech said that the government is looking to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses.

The FM also said that open defecation free villages were now being given priority for piped water supply.

Also, FM was confident that 100 per cent village electrification would be achieved by May 1, 2018. Also, FM said that sanitation in rural areas had gone up from 42 per cent in October 2014 (launch of Swachh Bharat) to 60 per cent now.

The FM has also raised allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana up from Rs 15,000 crore to 23,000 crore.

Low inflation to be a factor for RBI while deciding rates: FM

Low inflation to be a factor for RBI while deciding rates: FM

16/09/2016 15:26

As Urjit Patel, the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gears up to deliver his maiden monetary policy decision early next month, the country’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is hopeful that the central bank will take into account the retreat in consumer inflation in August, which according to analysts could prompt a further relaxation in monetary policy.

“I expect when the policy review takes place next month then RBI, and hopefully if MPC is constituted by then, they will collectively keep all these factors in mind”, Jaitley said, when he was asked whether a recent dip in inflation would leave space for policy easing, the PTI reported.

Consumer inflation retreated to 5.05 per cent in August 2016 from 6.07 per cent in July 2016, falling below the government’s upper limit of its official inflation target of 4 per cent plus or minus 2 percentage points, leaving leeway for the apex bank to press the interest rate cut button when it meets on October 4, 2016.

The RBI’s 5 per cent consumer inflation target by March 2017 looks in sights as a likely record harvest owing to a good monsoon eases pressure on food prices.

In his final meet as the RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan had left key rates unchanged citing upside risks to inflation.

Implement bankruptcy law in time bound manner: FM to officials

24/08/2016 11:11

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has directed senior officials of the ministries of finance and corporate affairs to take steps, including setting up of a board, for the implementation of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 in a time bound manner.

“Implementation in a time bound manner is very crucial in order achieve the desired goals of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016,” Jaitley told senior officials of both the ministries.

An immediate action is needed on key requirements for implementation of the IBC including setting-up of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), notifying Rules and Regulations relating to Insolvency Professionals (IPs), Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs) and Corporate Insolvency among others, he added.

“Jaitley asked the officials of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to notify NCLT Benches to deal with Corporate Insolvency, take action for registration of IPs and IPAs among others,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 — notified by the government in May — seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

Education contributing to growth of services sector: Jaitley

Education contributing to growth of services sector: Jaitley

23/08/2016 16:52

Exhorting students to take advantage of expanding economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said education has become a powerful tool, which is contributing to the growth of services sector.

Jaitley was the chief guest at the Convocation of Delhi School of Business, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS).

Addressing the students, Jaitley also called upon them to work hard in their initial years to attain higher goals than remaining mediocre.

“For us in India, education is a powerful resource. It is a powerful resource because the largest contribution to our economy comes from services sector. And in the services sector, the human resource itself has the largest role to play,” he said.

Services sector contribute about 60 per cent to the country’s GDP.

Referring to declining population in several developed countries, the minister said the movement of human resource is “an important item” on the agenda of international trade talks.

VIPS, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, conducts LLM, MCA, LLB, BBA LLB, BCA and B.COM (Hons), among other courses.

Govt to revive urea plants to generate employment

15/07/2016 11:03

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the Indian Government is planning to revive Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni fertiliser plants which will make urea available locally, besides creating jobs in and around those areas.

As per reports, the Cabinet yesterday approved the restoration of these three closed fertiliser units, at a likely cost of Rs 18,000 crore, as part of its efforts to meet demand of eastern states and make India self-reliant in urea output.

The cabinet approved the revival of three defunct units with a capacity of 1.27 million tonnes per annum each.

Commenting on the development, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the media, “Revival of Gorakhpur, Sindri & Barauni fertiliser units would provide employment opportunity & ensure availability of urea locally.”

As per reports, Fertiliser Corporation India Ltd (FCIL) had two closed urea plants at Sindri (Jharkhand) and Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), while Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation Ltd (HFCL) had one closed factory at Barauni (Bihar).

Tax collection in 2015-16 exceeds target by Rs 5000 cr

Tax collection in 2015-16 exceeds target by Rs 5000 cr

07/04/2016 00:25

Helped by buoyancy in indirect taxes, the government managed to surpass the total tax collection target for 2015-16 by Rs 5,000 crore at Rs 14.60 lakh crore, reported PTI.

In the revised estimates, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17, the tax collection was pegged at Rs 14.55 lakh crore, higher than the original Budget estimate of Rs 14.45 lakh crore.

While indirect taxes collections have exceeded revised estimates (RE) by Rs 9,885 crore, direct tax realisations fell short by Rs 4,000 crore over the RE.

“The actual collection (provisional) is Rs 14.60 lakh crore. The total collection has exceeded the RE and represents a growth of 17.6 per cent compared with the last financial year,” a finance ministry statement said.

The indirect tax revenues worked out to Rs 7.11 lakh crore and direct tax collection came in at Rs 7.48 lakh crore.

The indirect tax revenue exceeded budget estimates (BE) for 2015-16 by Rs 65,618 crore and the RE by Rs 9,885 crore. The collection represents a growth of 31.1 per cent over 2014-15.

The direct tax collection, however, is lower than the RE of Rs 7.52 lakh crore. The realisation was 7.61 per cent higher than 2014-15 receipts.

RBI policy review: Rajan faces calls to pull the trigger

RBI policy review: Rajan faces calls to pull the trigger

05/04/2016 00:10

The Reserve Bank will unveil its first bi-monthly policy review for this fiscal today amid expectations of a 0.25-0.50 per cent cut in interest rates to boost industrial growth and economy, said the PTI report.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had pitched for policy easing, saying high rates could lead to a sluggish economy.

Bankers and experts too are expecting lower borrowing costs as the inflation trajectory is down and the government has pledged to stay on the fiscal consolidation path.

Keen to show that it means business, the government has pared the small savings interest rate by up to 1.3 per cent, providing cushion to the Reserve Bank for lowering the policy rate and for banks to pass on its benefits to consumers.

Bank of Maharashtra CMD Sushil Muhnot said: “There is possibility of RBI reducing rate by 0.25 per cent as inflation has eased.”

According to a senior official from a state-owned bank, although a 0.25 per cent rate cut has been factored in by the market, there is also a high possibility of RBI slashing it by 0.50 per cent.

Jaitley said: “The government has stuck to fiscal deficit commitments and inflation has been under control. I do hope that this movement will continue in order to make our economy more competitive with more competitive interest rates.”

Industry chambers on their part are pitching for 0.5 per cent reduction in the key interest rate.

“A 0.25 per cent cut in the policy rate is almost given, but the real impact of falling lending cost can be felt only if the central bank goes in for a bold reduction of at least 0.50 per cent,” industry body Assocham said.

Retail inflation as measured by the consumer price index eased to 5.18 per cent in February as food prices rose at a slower pace while the wholesale price index stayed in the negative territory for the 16th month in a row.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had last month said the government sticking to the fiscal consolidation road map in Budget was comforting, a statement which raised hopes for a rate cut in April 5 monetary policy.

RBI, in 2015, had lowered interest rates by 1.25 per cent.