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GST implementation an example of tax terrorism: Chidambaram

On whether the Goods and Services Tax is flawed despite amendments, Chidambaram said that it proved that it was implemented in a wrong manner.

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P Chidambaram

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday attacked the Modi government on the falling value of rupee and said the manner of implementation of the GST is an example of tax terrorism.

The senior Congress leader also said that stagnant investment, fiscal deficit under pressure and the state current account deficit is having an impact on the macroeconomic stability.

Asked if absence of a regular Finance Minister in the Modi government is responsible for the economic slowdown, Chidambaram said: “I thought there were three Finance Ministers — one is de facto, one de jure, and one invisible.”

On the falling rupee, the former finance minister said:”The investment is stagnant at 28.5 per cent. You cannot expect the GDP to grow more than 7 per cent.

“There is something known as Implemental Credited Output Ratio (ICOR). In India, we normally take four ICOR. You divide investment by Incremental Capital Output Ratio. It gives you an indication of the growth. If investment is 28.5 per cent and you divide it by four you will get a growth of only 7 or 7.1 per cent.

“Fiscal deficit is under pressure. The current account deficit in 2017-18 has already touched two per cent and I am told that in the current year, it will cross 2 per cent. All this is having an impact on the macroeconomic stability,” he added.

On whether the Goods and Services Tax is flawed despite amendments, Chidambaram said that it proved that it was implemented in a wrong manner.

“I think, there are still grievances, there are still complaints. GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 have not been notified. Tax liability is being decided by temporary GSTR form called GSTR 3A. If you speak to business persons… they still face numerous difficulties in complying with GST laws,” he added.

Chidambaram said that extraordinary powers have been given to various tax departments and humongous numbers of notices are sent out by every department.

“It only creates fear among the individuals as well as business persons,” he said.

“Somebody who runs a medium-sized business gets a notice practically every third month… what is he supposed to do? Does the department have the capacity to deal with one lakh notices and two lakh notices? They don’t have the capacity. Yet these notices are sent.”

Chidambaram said that since this government had a majority in Parliament it should have repealed the so-called Vodafone amendment to the Income Tax Act.

“Far from that, they have sent Retrospective Tax demands to many other transactions. Vodafone did not turn out to be one-off case. There are several other cases where demands for tax retrospectively have been levied, which is frightening away investors.

“The way the GST is implemented is an example of tax terrorism… you ask someone to file 37 returns in a year in a single state. If he has all-India business, he has to file over 1,000 returns. What else is tax terrorism?” he asked.

Business

Petrol costs Rs 82.44/litre in Delhi, Rs 89.80 in Mumbai

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Petrol Price

Sep 22 : Fuel prices climbed to fresh highs across the metros cities on Saturday as in Mumbai, where the fuel cost is highest due to the highest VAT, petrol prices inched up to the psychological Rs 90 a litre-mark and sold at Rs 89.80 per litre.

In the national capital, petrol was sold at Rs 82.44 per litre, up from Rs 82.32 per litre on Friday, data on the Indian Oil Corp’s website showed.

As per rates released daily by state-run Indian Oil Corp, the depreciating rupee and expensive crude oil further pushed petrol and diesel to new record highs on Monday.

Fuel prices in the country have been rising almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 and have been on record levels for over two weeks now.

Sector experts say a weak rupee and high excise duty are major factors for the rise in fuel prices.

Inflationary risks along with broadly negative global cues depressed the Indian rupee to a new low of 72.91 against the US dollar.

Also, high global crude oil cost has become a major concern for the country, which imports over 80 per cent of its oil requirements. The UK Brent crude oil price hovers around $78 per barrel.

Since the start of the calendar year, the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by over 15 per cent from Rs 69.97 on January 1, 2018. The hike in diesel price has been even more steep. It has gone up by more than 22 per cent since January 1 when it cost Rs 59.70.

Last week, the West Bengal government reduced the excise on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each.

The Karnataka government announced on Monday that petrol and diesel will be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre each across the state from Tuesday following the reduction in cess on these fuels.

As per the country’s pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.

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Sensex swings 1,500 points, closes 280 points lower

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai, Sep 21: High volatility, following a likely credit crisis in the infrastructure lending and development sector, dragged the market in the red, with the S&P BSE Sensex swinging in around 1,500-point range on Friday.

A plunge of over 1,100 points was witnessed on the BSE Sensex around 1 p.m, only to recover from the day’s low within few minutes. Similarly, the NSE Nifty50 also recovered after dropping below the 11,000-mark.

The sudden sell-off took place across the board with banking and financial stocks losing the most.

At 3.30 p.m, the wider NSE Nifty50 provisionally closed at 11,143.10 points, lower 91.25 points or 0.81 per cent from the previous close of 11,234.35 points.

The BSE Sensex, which had opened at 37,278.89 points, provisionally closed at 36,841.60 points, lower 279.62 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous close of 37,121.22 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 37,489.24 points and a low of 35,993.64 points.

The fourth consecutive session’s slide was triggered also by other factors, including lower possibility of the Reserve Bank of India cutting its key lending rates, analysts said.

IANS

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Man finds insect in cake at Ikea Hyderabad store, Tweets video

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IKEA Cake insect
The photo tweeted by the customer who bought a cake at IKEA's Hyderabad restaurant.

Hyderabad, Sep 21: Swedish furniture major IKEA’s first ever store in India in Hyderabad has again landed in controversy. Weeks after a customer had complained about finding a caterpillar in his biryani, ordered at Ikea’s store in Hyderabad, another customer has said that he found an insect in a chocolate cake that he ordered at the Ikea store.

The customer, Kishore, tweeted on September 12 that he found the insect inside a slice of chocolate cake while his daughter was eating the dessert at the IKEA store. He also posted a video in which an insect can be seen crawling over the chocolate cake.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has reportedly fined the Swedish furniture major Rs. 5,000 based on Kishore’s complaint.

IKEA on Thursday expressed regret over the incident. “In our Hyderabad restaurant when a customer was eating a chocolate cake which he bought, a fly was seen on the cake which eventually flew away. We regret this and apologise to our customer for the unfortunate experience. We are taking steps to avoid such occurrences,” an IKEA spokesperson said.

This is the second such incident that happened at the Ikea Hyderabad store that was opened on August 9. On September 2, a customer reported a caterpillar in the vegetable biryani supplied to him. Ikea India subsequently took vegetable biryani and samosa off its menu and apologised to the customer.

Read More: IKEA stops selling biryani, samosa after complaint

In the incident of the caterpillar in biryani, the furniture giant was fined Rs. 11,500 by the Hyderabad civic agency.

IKEA opened its first India store in Hyderabad on August 9. It has a 1,000-seater restaurant that serves a wide range of food, from Swedish to Indian snacks.

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