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Only 2,200 professionals declared income above Rs 1 crore in FY19: CBDT

NEW DELHI, Feb 13: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Thursday reiterated that only 2,200 professionals had indeed declared annual income above Rs 1 crore in FY19, as had been stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his February 12 address at an event.

Modi's statement that it is was unbelievable but true that only 2,200 people in the country had declared earnings of Rs one crore per annum, drew flak on social media, as people contested that the number was incorrect.

In a series of tweets, the CBDT explained that 5.78 crore individuals filed income-tax returns in FY19. Of these, only around 1.46 crore individual taxpayers were liable to pay income tax.

"In the ITRs filed by individuals in the current financial year, only about 2,200 Doctors, Chartered Accountants, Lawyers & such other professionals have disclosed annual income of more than Rs.1 crore from their profession (excluding other incomes like rental, interest, capital gains etc),” read a tweet.

CBDT also noted that 3.16 lakh individual taxpayers disclosed income above Rs 50 lakh in FY19, while 8,600 have disclosed income above Rs 5 crore in the whole of the country.

"In the last five years, more than 1.5 crore cars have been sold in the country. Over three crore Indians went abroad for work or travel. But the situation is that only one-and-a-half crore people in our country of more than 130 crore pay income tax," Modi said at the Times Now Summit.

Modi lamented that when a number of people did not pay tax and found ways to evade it, "the burden falls on those who honestly pay their dues".

He said a faceless tax assessment system was being introduced, which meant that those assessing tax would not know whose tax was being computed and the ones whose tax was being assessed would not get to know which official was doing it.

"So all scopes for any 'game' will be done away with," he added.

"I urge all the countrymen to take a pledge, remembering those who dedicated their lives to the country, that they will pay their taxes honestly," the Prime Minister said.

L V Prabhakar takes over as MD, CEO of Canara Bank

By Deepak Arora

BENGALURU, Feb 1: L V Prabhakar has assumed office as Managing Director and Chief
Executive Officer of Canara Bank on February 1. He holds a Master Degree in Agriculture and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB).

Prior to his appointment as MD and CEO of Canara Bank, he was holding the post of Executive Director in Punjab National Bank. He spearheaded the recovery efforts of the Bank.

During his tenure, the gross domestic business increased by Rs.1 lakh Crore to landmark figure of Rs.11.45 lakh Crore with gross recovery of more than Rs.20000 Crore. His zest for perfection and workmanship was exemplified by the fact that for a long period of time he single-handedly managed the responsibilities of three Executive Directors and brought the Bank back on upward trajectory.

At Punjab National Bank, he has donned many hats which included heading various important verticals of the Bank viz Credit, Treasury and HR. He was also instrumental in strengthening systems and procedures by taking initiatives such as Stressed Assets Management Vertical, Digitization of Trade Finance. He was instrumental in effectively building high performance teams under stressful environments.

Chinese stocks plung 8% as coronavirus fears take hold

HONG KONG, Feb 3: Chinese stocks recorded their worst day in years as investors finally got a chance to react to the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) plummeted 7.7% and the Shenzhen Component Index fell nearly 8.5% on their first day of trading after an extended Lunar New Year holiday. They had been closed since January 24.

The losses wiped out a combined $445 billion in market value.

The plunge delivered Shanghai its worst day since August 2015's "Black Monday," when global markets were rattled by fears of an economic slowdown in China. Shenzhen, meanwhile, hadn't recorded a single-day percentage drop this bad since 2007.

China's currency also fell. The yuan sank 1.6% in onshore trading, dropping below seven to one US dollar in its first day back from the holiday break. The yuan also weakened below the seven mark offshore, where it moves more freely and has been trading since last week.

While global markets have had several days to weigh the rapid spread of the coronavirus, this is the first chance that mainland China has had to react in more than a week. Before the holiday, the number of cases numbered roughly 800 — now, there are more than 17,000.

Markets were originally due to reopen last Friday, but the Chinese government extended the holiday as it worked to control the outbreak.

Authorities knew Monday's shock was likely inevitable. The People's Bank of China said Sunday that it would inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the Chinese markets by buying short term bonds to shore up banks' ability to lend money. The measure will help maintain "reasonably ample liquidity" in the banking system and keep currency markets stable, the central bank said.

The net amount of liquidity being injected into the markets is much lower.
According to calculations using central bank data, more than 1 trillion yuan worth of other short-term bond agreements will mature Monday. That brings the net amount of cash flooding into the markets down to 150 billion yuan ($22 billion).
The central bank will also keep in contact with financial institutions and markets to determine what other policy responses may be necessary, according to Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the central bank.

Protecting China's financial markets and economy is a top priority for the government, which is also bracing for a potentially severe hit to first quarter economic growth. Economists have said that China's growth rate could drop two percentage points this quarter — a decline that could mean $62 billion in lost growth.

Along with Monday's liquidity kick, top financial and economic regulators have announced dozens of other measures to stabilize the situation.

For example, the National Development and Reform Commission — the country's top economic planning agency — said Monday the government would "go to all lengths" to make sure that people have what they need to live, including food and other necessities. It also encouraged companies "that are key to control and prevent the virus" or are "of vital importance to the national economy" to resume production as soon as they can.

And the People's Bank of China said Saturday that it would provide money at low interest rates to commercial banks so that those banks could offer cheap loans to companies that make clinical masks, virus testing kits and other types of medical supplies. The central government will also subsidize those special loans.
The country's stock exchange regulators have also said they would allow companies to delay 2019 annual reports and 2020 quarterly earnings reports if they are affected by the disruption.





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