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GST revenue to fall Rs 50K crore short

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Arun jaitley, Finance Minister (File Photo

New Delhi, Feb 1: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley projected a higher fiscal deficit of 3.5 percent of the GDP for 2017-18, as against the target of 3.2 percent, on account of GST implementation and deferment of spectrum auction.

The fiscal deficit or gap between total expenditure and revenues has been pegged at 3.3 percent for 2018-19, as against the FRBM mandate of 3 percent.

As per the revised estimates presented by Jaitley in the Union Budget 2018-19, the net borrowing for the current fiscal was raised steeply to Rs 4.79 lakh crore as against the estimate of Rs 3.5 lakh crore.

The government will borrow Rs 4.07 lakh crore from the market in 2018-19, around Rs 73,000 crore lower than the current fiscal.

Referring to public finances, Jaitley said that in 2017- 18, the central government will be “receiving GST revenues only for 11 months, instead of 12 months”.

“This will have fiscal effect,” he said.

There has also been some shortfall in non-tax revenues on account of certain developments, including deferment of spectrum auction, he added.

A part of this shortfall has been made up through higher direct tax revenues and bigger disinvestment receipts, Jaitley said.

“Revised fiscal deficit estimates for 2017-18 are Rs 5.95 lakh crore at 3.5 per cent of GDP,” he announced.

As per the budget document, total revised estimates for expenditure in 2017-18 are Rs 21.57 lakh crore (net of GST compensation transfers to the states) as against the Budget Estimates (BE) of Rs 21.47 lakh crore.

Later, at a press conference, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said GST revenue collection will fall short by Rs 50,000 crore.

Jaitley further said in order to impart unquestionable credibility to the government’s commitment for the revised fiscal glide path, he would be accepting key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management Committee.

The recommendations relate to adoption of the debt rule and to bring down the central government’s debt to GDP ratio to 40 per cent.

“Government has also accepted the recommendation to use fiscal deficit target as the key operational parameter,” Jaitley said.

Meanwhile, according to the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) the fiscal deficit at end of December 2017 worked out to be 113.6 per cent of the BE for 2017-18.

In actual terms, the deficit totals to Rs 6.20 lakh crore during the April-December period.

The government has received Rs 10,78,006 crore or 67.4 per cent of the BE up to December 2017.

The total expenditure works out to be Rs 16.98 lakh crore

PTI

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Excise duty collection surges 48% in FY21 on high fuel levies

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

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Modi Poster on Petrol Pump

New Delhi, Jan 17 : As the government has kept excise duty on petrol and diesel elevated amid the pandemic with a view to increase revenue, the total excise duty collection during April-November FY21 has surged nearly 48 per cent as compared to the year ago period.

The excise duty collection during the first eight months of the current financial year was over Rs 1.96 lakh crore, compared to over Rs 1.32 lakh crore collected during April-November FY20, official data showed.

The collection in November 2020 was highest so far in the financial year 2020-21 at Rs 35,703 crore. In November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 18,948 crore.

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

As fuel prices are at record high despite low crude oil prices, demand has been raised from several quarters to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the common man.

In the national capital, petrol is sold at a record high level of Rs 84.70 a litre while diesel is priced at Rs 74.88 per litre.

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Bill Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates owns the largest chunk of private farmland in the US across 18 states, a new report has revealed.

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San Francisco: Bill and Melinda Gates amassed 242,000 acres of land in the US, with the largest holdings in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres), according to The Land report.

Bill Gates also owns a stake in more than 24,800 acres of transitional land outside of Phoenix.

Research indicated that the lands across the US is held by Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ private investment vehicle.

“Gates also backs online used-car seller Vroom through Cascade as well as the Canadian National Railway Company,” Geek Wire reported.

According to the Tri-City Herald, a 14,500-acre swath of choice Eastern Washington farmland in the Horse Heaven Hills in Benton County has just traded hands for almost $171 million – part of Gates’ holdings.

It is unclear why Gates has invested so heavily in farmland, but it could be connected to climate change.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new nonprofit group a year ago, focused on helping small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they’ll need to deal with the effects of climate change.

Bill Gates is currently at the third spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $132 billion.

But even with his big new agricultural holdings, Gates still doesn’t rank in the Top 100 private landowners overall in the US, considering owners of land of all types.

The list is topped by Liberty Media’s John Malone, with 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos makes that list at No. 25 with 420,000 acres.

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HDFC Bank’s Q3 standalone net profit rises 18%

The rise in net interest income was driven by advance growth of 15.6 per cent and a core net interest margin for the quarter of 4.2 per cent.

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HDFC Bank

Mumbai, Jan 16 : Lending major HDFC Bank on Saturday reported an 18.1 per cent increase in standalone net profit for the quarter ended December 31 of FY21 on a year-on-year basis.

The bank’s net profit for the third quarter of FY21 rose to Rs 8,758.3 crore on a YoY basis.

“After providing Rs 3,013.6 crore for taxation, the bank earned a net profit of Rs 8,758.3 crore, an increase of 18.1 per cent over the quarter ended December 31, 2019,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank’s net revenues (net interest income plus other income) grew to Rs 23,760.8 crore during the period under review from Rs 20,842.2 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Besides, net interest income (interest earned less interest expended) for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 grew by 15.1 per cent to Rs 16,317.6 crore from Rs 14,172.9 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

The rise in net interest income was driven by advance growth of 15.6 per cent and a core net interest margin for the quarter of 4.2 per cent.

“The bank’s persistent focus on deposits helped in the maintenance of a healthy liquidity coverage ratio at 146 per cent, well above the regulatory requirement.”

Furthermore, the bank made provision and contingencies worth Rs 3,414.1 crore as against Rs 3,043.6 crore during the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

“Total provisions for the current quarter include contingent provisions of nearly Rs 2,400 crore for proforma NPA as described in the asset quality section.”

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