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Jaitley hopes to resolve dual control issue in next GST Council meet

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New Delhi, Jan 4: Admitting that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was racing against time on the government’s implementation target of April 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said it is hoping to resolve the vexed issues of Integrated GST (iGST) and dual control over assessees in its next meeting on January 16.

“We know the difficulties, we are moving against time. Dual control is a complex issue. We started a discussion that was inconclusive. We have decided to meet on January 16 to untie the knots in this issue,” Jaitley told reporters here after the two-day GST Council meet.

“We will be meeting to conclude the discussion on the gaps in draft laws. The gaps are on two issues. The first pertains to the definition of the word territory (in iGST) and the second is on dual control and cross empowerment,” he said.

Even after eight meetings of the GST Council, the deadlock continues between the Centre and the states on the vexed issue of “cross empowerment”, or dual control of assessees. The question of who will exercise control over GST assessees – the Centre or the states – remains critical.

The states want exclusive control of businesses with a turnover below Rs 1.5 crore (the current threshold for central excise), including the service taxpayers.

The impact of demonetization on states’ tax revenues was brought up at the GST Council meeting and Jaitley said that the states presented their estimates of December revenue figures based on collections made in November, the month of the demonetization announcement.

“A number of state finance ministers gave details of how revenue has actually increased in their states during this period. We’ve asked for detailed data in this regard,” Jaitley said.

To a query on the impact of the November 8 demonetization of high-value currency, Jaitley said that excepting the next quarter of the fiscal, the demonetisation-led process of “integrating the informal economy into the formal one” will actually result in higher revenues.

“My assessment is that with the integration of the informal into the larger economy, the revenue of states, unless very badly administered, will increase,” the union Finance Minister said.

“We will end this year with higher revenues…in both direct and indirect taxes we’ll exceed the budget estimates,” he added.

IANS

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Cabinet nod to amend Specific Relief Act for ease of business

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Ravi Shankar Prasad( Law Minister)

New Delhi, Dec 15: In a move to further ease procedures for doing business in the country, the cabinet on Friday approved a bill proposing to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced here.

Briefing reporters here after a cabinet meeting, the Minister said that with the concerned bill slated to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, he was unable to elaborate any further on the proposed legislation apart that it was for “ease of doing business.”

“Among the significant decisions, the cabinet approved the proposal to introduce amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963, as part of ease of doing business,” Prasad said.

“The Specific Relief Act, 1963, is being changed substantially..being modernised for promoting growth and investment,” he added.

The government has been contemplating amendments to the Specific Relief Act to limit the compensation and relief that courts can give in cases involving execution of infrastructure and development projects.

According to official sources here, the proposed changes seek to introduce guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to courts and tribunals while granting performance and injunctive relief.

The government constituted a five-member expert committee last year, to review the Act and suggest changes needed to remove bottlenecks in execution of contract-based infrastructure development, public private partnerships and other public projects.

In its report, the committee recommended changes in the law to limit the powers of courts to award relief.
“Any publi” work must progress without interruption. This requires consideration whether a court’s intervent’on in public works should be minimal. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that public works projects will not be impeded or stalled,” the committee “aid in its report.

IANS

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CBEC hikes customs duty on mobile phones, TVs and other electronic items

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New Delhi, Dec 15: The Ministry of Finance on Friday increased customs duty on import of mobile phones and other electronic devices such as televisions, mobile projectors, microwave and water heaters.

In a notification issued by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the customs duty on certain sections of mobile phones has been raised from 10% to 15%.

While customs duty on television sets has been scaled up to 15 per cent from the existing 10 per cent.

Similarly, the customs duty on monitors, microwave ovens, projectors has been doubled to 20 per cent, as per the notification.

The Custom duty on push button telephones or mobile phones has been raised to 15 per cent from nil.

The changes will impact tech and electronic titans such as Apple, Sony which have been planing to set up manufacturing units in India.

WeForNews 

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Manish Dawar to become Vodafone India CFO

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New Delhi, Dec 15: Vodafone India on Friday announced that Manish Dawar will take over as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect from January 1, 2018.

Based in Mumbai, he will report to Sunil Sood, Managing Director & CEO, Vodafone India.

Dawar will take over from Thomas Reisten.

Manish joins Vodafone from Den Networks Limited where he was Group CFO.

IANS

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