HIGHLIGHTS OF BUDGET 2019

HIGHLIGHTS OF BUDGET 2019

1. Within 2 years, Tax assessment will be done electronically
2. IT returns processing in just 24 hours
3. Minimum 14% revenue of GST to states by Central Govt.
4. Custom duty has been abolished from 36 Capital Goods
5. Recommendations to GST council for reducing GST rates for home buyers
6. Full Tax rebate upto 5 lakh annual income after all deductions.
7. Standard deduction has been increased from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000
8. Exemption of tax on second self-occupied house
9. Ceiling Limit of TDS u/s 194A has increased from Rs.10,000 to Rs. 40,000
10. Ceiling Limit of TDS u/s 194I has increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000
11. Capital Gains Tax Benefit u/s 54 has increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses.
12. Benefit u/s 80IB has increased to one more year i.e. 2020
13. Benefit has been given to unsold inventory has increased to one year to two years.

Other Areas

14. State share has increased to 42%
15. PCA restriction has abolished from 3 major banks
16. 2 lakhs seats will increase for the reservation of 10%
17. 60000 crores for MANREGA
18. 1.7 Lakh crore to ensure food for all
19. 22nd AIIMS has to be opened in Haryana
20. Approval has to be given to PM Kisan Yojana
21. Rs. 6,000 per annum to be given to every farmer having upto 2 hectare land. Applicable from Sept 2018. Amount will be transferred in 3 installments
22. National Kamdhenu Ayog for cows. Rs. 750 crores for National Gokul Mission
23. 2% interest subvention for farmers pursuing animal husbandry and also create separate department for fisheries.
24. 2% interest subvention for farmers affected by natural calamities and additional 3% interest subvention for timely payment.
25. Tax free Gratuity limit increase to Rs. 20 Lakhs from Rs. 10 Lakhs
26. Bonus will be applicable for workers earning Rs. 21,000 monthly
27. The scheme, called Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, will provide assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 with contribution of Rs. 100 per month for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age.
28. Government delivered 6 crores free LPG connections under Ujjawala scheme
29. 2% interest relief for MSME GST registered person
30. 26 weeks of Maternity Leaves to empower the women
31. More than 3 Lakhs crores for defence
32. One lakh digital villages in next 5 years
33. Single window for approval of India film maker.

Auditors barred from putting a value on companies they are auditing

An income tax tribunal has barred auditors from issuing valuation certificates to the companies they are auditing. This is set to impact several tax disputes around valuations in companies including angel tax disputes involving start-ups.

The Bangalore Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) said that auditors of a company cannot double up as accountants especially in situations while dealing with “share valuation for the purpose of excess share-premium taxability.”

In several cases the income tax department has disputed valuations of companies around the time of investments.

The ITAT ruling came in a case where the tax department had challenged valuation of a company by its auditor.

In most cases, valuations of startups were challenged by the tax department, leading to “angel tax.” The angel tax controversy surrounds the valuations during various rounds of startup funding. In several cases, the revenues at startups kept reducing or remained stagnant, but their valuations increased. The taxman is questioning the premiums paid by the investors and wants to categorise them as income that would be taxable at 30%. In most cases, the investments made by angel investors, venture capital funds or any other investor have been challenged by the taxman.

Many accountants and valuers are already facing heat from the tax department. ET had, on December 25, reported that the tax department has started issuing show-cause notices to valuation experts, questioning the premiums several startups fetched during their investments rounds.

Valuation experts, however, say that they merely projected and calculated future growth, using the facts and figures provided by the startups. Many tax experts point out that the tax department’s approach to the fair value as a benchmark for calculating premiums may not be accurate in the context of startups.

Income tax officers claim that the scrutiny on startups is mainly due to concerns that black money may have changed hands.

ITAT Ruling

SEBI puts in place new framework to check non-compliance of listing rules

Sebi has put in place a stronger mechanism to check non-compliance of listing conditions, wherein exchanges will have powers to freeze promoter shareholding and even delist the shares of such defaulting companies.

The move is aimed at maintaining consistency and adopting a uniform approach in the matter of levy of fines for non-compliance with certain provisions of the listing regulations.

Under the new framework, exchanges would have the power to freeze the entire shareholding of the promoter and promoter group in non-compliant listed entity also holding in other securities, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular.

Besides, exchanges can levy fines on non-compliant company, move the stocks of such firms to restricted trading category and suspend trading in the shares of such entities.

Further, in case an entity fails to comply with the requirements or pay the applicable fine within six months from the date of suspension, the exchange will need to initiate the process of compulsory delisting.

The new rules would come into force with effect from compliance periods ending on or after September 30, 2018.

Grounds for suspension from listing include failure to comply with the board composition including appointment of women director and failure to constitute audit committee for two consecutive quarters; failure to submit information on the reconciliation of shares and capital audit report for two consecutive quarters.

According to new rules, Sebi has asked stock exchanges to impose penalties ranging from Rs 1,000-5,000 per day on violation of certain clauses of the listing agreement like non-submission or delay in submission of document related to the company’s financial and shareholding details, failure to appoint women director on the board.

Besides, the exchanges can levy a fine of Rs 10,000 per instance for delay in furnishing prior intimation about the company’s board meeting and delay in non-disclosure of record date or dividend declaration.

Such fines will continue to accrue till the time of rectification of the non-compliance to the satisfaction of the concerned recognized stock exchange or till the scrip of the listed entity is suspended from trading for non-compliance with the provisions of Listing Regulations.

Such accrual will be irrespective of any other disciplinary or enforcement action initiated by stock exchanges or Sebi.

Further, if a non-complaint entity is listed on more than one exchanges, the concerned bourses need to take uniform action in consultation with each other.

The board of directors need to be informed about the non-compliance and their comments need be made public so that investors can make informed decisions.

The exchanges would have to disclose on their websites the action taken against the listed entities for non-compliance of the listing conditions, including the details of respective including the details of respective requirement, amount of fine, period of suspension, freezing of shares, among others.

Every bourse is required to review the compliance status of the listed entities within 15 days from the date of receipt of information. Also, exchanges need to issue notices to the non-compliant listed entities to ensure compliance and pay fine within 15 days from the date of the notice.

If any non-compliant listed entity fails to pay the fine despite receipt of the notice, the exchange will initiate appropriate enforcement action including prosecution.

If the non-compliant listed entity complies with the Sebi’s requirement and pays applicable fine within three months from the date of suspension, the exchange will have to revoke the suspension of trading of its shares after seven days of such compliance and trading would be permitted only in ‘trade to trade’ basis for a week from revocation.

Source: Times of India

World Bank projects India’s FY19 GDP growth at 7.3%

The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update: India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31.

The World Bank today projected India’s GDP growth at 7.3 per cent for the next financial year and accelerate further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.

The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update: India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31.

The report, however, observed that a growth of over 8 per cent will require “continued reform and a widening of their scope” aimed at resolving issues related to credit and investment, and enhancing competitiveness of exports.

“The Indian economy is likely to recover from the impact of demonetisation and the GST, and growth should revert slowly to a level consistent with its proximate factors — that is, to about 7.5 per cent a year,” the report said.

 In November 2016, the government had scrapped high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in a bid to check black money, among others.

Later, India implemented its biggest indirect tax reform — Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Both of these initiatives had impacted the economic activities in the country in short run.

India’s economic growth had slipped to a three year low of 5.7 per cent in April-June quarter of the current fiscal, though it recovered in the subsequent quarters.

The economy is expected to grow at 6.6 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31, as per the second advanced estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), compared to 7.1 per cent in 2016-17. The earlier estimate was 6.5 per cent.

The Economic Survey tabled in Parliament has projected a growth rate of 7 to 7.5 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year.

The World Bank report further said that accelerating the growth rate will also require continued integration into global economy.

It pitches for making growth more inclusive and enhancing the effectiveness of the Indian public sector.

 

Source: MoneyControl.com

Indian Economy seems to be on way to recovering from Demonetisation Disruptions, says IMF

India’s economy has expanded strongly in recent years, said Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of IMF.

IMF has underscored the significance of reforms in other key sectors like education, health and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial systems.

 

The Indian economy now seems to be on its way to recovering from disruptions caused by demonetisation and roll-out of goods and services tax, the IMF said today. At the same time, the IMF has underscored the significance of reforms in other key sectors like education, health and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial systems.

India’s economy has expanded strongly in recent years, thanks to macroeconomic policies that emphasise stability and efforts to tackle supply-side bottlenecks and structural reforms. Disruptions from demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) did slow growth,” Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of IMF, told PTI in an interview.

“However, with the economy expanding by 7.2 per cent in the latest quarter, India has regained the title of the fastest-growing major economy, Zhang said.

Calling this development a “welcome change”, Zhang said the growth prospects remain positive.

“That said, the Indian economy would benefit from further reforms, such as enhancing health and education, encouraging private and public investment, and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial system. This would support durable and inclusive growth and enable India to move toward the income levels of wealthier countries, the top IMF official said ahead of his visit to India.

Given the dominance of cash in everyday transactions in the Indian economy it was inevitable that demonetization would temporarily affect economic activity, said Zhang who is travelling to India and Bhutan from March 12 until March 20.
The rollout of the GST last year was a landmark accomplishment that can be expected to enhance the efficiency of intra-Indian movement of goods and services, create a common national market, enhance tax buoyancy, and boost GDP growth and job creation, he said.

 

Yet the complexities and glitches in GST implementation also resulted in short-term disruptions. As I mentioned earlier, the economy now seems to be on its way to recovering from those disruptions, Zhang said in response to a question.

When asked about the latest Indian budget, which many critics say is protectionist in nature, Zhang said IMF research indicates that tariffs are broadly contractionary, reducing output, investment, and employment.

Trade tariffs may give limited relief to industries and workers that directly compete with affected imports. However, they can raise costs to consumers and other businesses that use the protected products. Tariffs also would reduce incentives for businesses to compete and improve efficiency, he cautioned.

Since the opening of the economy starting in the early-1990s, India has benefitted from trade liberalization, he observed.

Further supply-side reforms aimed at improving the business climate could enhance these benefits, the top IMF official asserted.

Noting that the IMF and India have close relations, and the two have always been good partners, Zhang said his visit is a reflection of this partnership, as is the newest regional capacity development center, SARTTAC, based in New Delhi.

The center partners with India and its South Asian neighbors to build strong institutions and implement policies that promote growth and poverty reduction in the region, he said.

My visit is an opportunity to exchange views with the Indian authorities, senior RBI officials, and representatives from the Indian business community, civil society, and others, he said.

Zhang will also have a presentation on financial technology that will take place on Monday at the National Stock Exchange of India.

We will go over the latest trends in financial technology and their effects on the global economy and India, said the top IMF official.

Source: NDTV

Private equity investors bring in deals worth $983 mn in January: Thornton

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52% of total investment volumes

Private equity (PE) investors announced deals worth $983 million in January, a 23 per cent rise in value terms over last year, driven by big ticket transactions, says a Grant Thornton report.

According to the assurance, tax and advisory firm, in January, there were 84 PE deals worth $983 million, against 81 such transactions worth $796 million in January 2017.

“Private equity deals recorded 4 per cent increase in deal volumes and 23 per cent increase in deal value in January 2018 as compared to January 2017,” said Pankaj Chopda Director at Grant Thornton India LLP.

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52 per cent of total investment volumes. On the other hand, energy & natural resources and real estate sectors witnessed big-ticket PE investment over $100 million together capturing 39 per cent of total PE deal values.

Altico Capital’s investment of $195 million across five realty projects in Hyderabad and Pune was the top PE deal in January.

Other major transactions include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s 6 per cent stake acquisition in ReNew Power Ventures for $144 million and Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners’ $50 million investment in Rivigo Services.

Going forward, the PE deal outlook looks bullish especially for the start-up sector.

“Increasing customer penetration in online transactions and increasing solutions to simplify online transactions offered by start-ups will attract interest in start-ups engaged in retail, fintech, foodtech, on demand services and travel and logistics,” Chopda said.

“Government reforms such as RERA, focus on cleantech and on increasing digital financial transactions will drive the momentum in banking and financial, real estate and energy and natural resources.

India-specific strategies by global and already present PE firms and funds raised by new players will act as catalyst for PE transactions,” he added.

Source: Business Standard

 

Qatar economy resilient, continues to perform well, says Seetharaman

Qatar’s economy has proven its resilience and continues to perform well amid the blockade, improving local liquidity and gaining the confidence of international investors, said Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman.

“The blockade (on Qatar by a quartet of nations) came as a rude shock to us. But Qatar has withstood… it has proven to be a resilient model. Qatar’s economy was performing around 2.5% last year.

This year we are not expecting less than 3.1% growth,” Seetharaman told Gulf Times in an interview.

He said Qatar improved local liquidity by disinvestment last year.

“If you look at Qatar economy, liquidity was under stress to start with. The government improved local liquidity. Now international investors have reposed confidence in Qatar. The banking system as a whole is improving.

“The loan to deposit ratio in the Qatari banking system has significantly improved and now stands at 112%. This is an improvement of the level, immediately post blockade, which was at 116%.”

Qatar’s banking sector had witnessed credit expansion of around 9%, the deposit book has grown of more than 10.4%, he noted.

He said in the days that followed the blockade, there were challenges in terms of international investors slowing down on Qatar.

“They were concerned about the Qatar economic momentum. Even the rating agencies looked sceptical, which explains the negative outlook on the sovereign.”

But, Seetharaman said, Qatar’s ‘AA’ rating, which is still very high, has not been challenged although the international rating agencies have changed the sovereign outlook to negative. The high rating (A) of Qatar’s banks is also not challenged.

Currently, Qatar holds Aa- by Fitch, AA- by S&P and Aa3 by Moody’s.

“With strong exports, positive economic outlook, and natural gas markets unaffected by the economic blockade, the overall growth for Qatar remains sustainable,” Seetharaman noted.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019, saying sweeping US tax cuts were likely to boost investment in the world’s largest economy and help its main trading partners.

Seetharaman also said new global forecast has a 3.9% growth this year and next. The advanced economies are expected to grow by 2.3% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019.

The emerging and developing economies are expected to grow by 4.9% in 2018 and 5% in 2019.

India is projected to grow at 7.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 making it the fastest growing economy among emerging economies following last year’s slowdown due to demonetisation and the implementation of goods and services tax.

China, which is spearheading the ‘Belt and Road’ concept is expected to grow up to 6.6% this year, he added.

Source: Gulf Times