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January GST Revenue At Record High Of ₹ 1.19 Lakh Crore Ahead Of Budget

NEW DELHI, Jan 31: Goods and services tax or GST revenue collected in January stood at ₹ 1.19 lakh crore, the finance ministry said on Sunday, in a record figure a day before the government unveils the country's annual budget.

"The GST revenues during January 2021 are the highest since introduction of GST and has almost touched the ₹ 1.2 lakh crore mark, exceeding the last month's record collection of ₹ 1.15 lakh crore," the finance ministry said in a statement.

Monthly GST revenues have been above ₹ 1 lakh crore for the last four months and a steep increasing trend over this period are clear indicators of rapid economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

"The gross GST revenue collected in the month of January 2021 till 6 PM on 31.01.2021 is ₹ 1,19,847 crore of which CGST is ₹ 21,923 crore, SGST is ₹ 29,014 crore, IGST is ₹ 60,288 crore (including ₹ 27,424 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹ 8,622 crore (including ₹ 883 crore collected on import of goods). The total number of GSTR-3B Returns filed for the month of December up to 31st January 2021 is ₹ 90 lakh," the finance ministry said.

The revenues for January 2021 are 8 per cent higher than that in the same month last year, which was more than ₹ 1.1 lakh crore.

During the month, revenue from import of goods was 16 per cent higher and the revenues from domestic transactions (including import of services) are 6 per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.

"Closer monitoring againstfake-billing, deep data analytics using data from multiple sources including GST, Income-tax and customs IT systems and effective tax administration have also contributed to the steady increase in tax revenue over last few months," the government said.

IMF projects 11.5% growth rate for India in 2021

WASHINGTON, Jan 26: The IMF on Tuesday projected an impressive 11.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2021, making the country the only major economy of the world to register a double-digit growth this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund's growth projections for India in its latest World Economic Outlook Update released on Tuesday reflected a strong rebound in the economy, which is estimated to have contracted by eight per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In its latest update, the IMF projected a 11.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2021. This makes India the only major economy of the world to register a double-digit growth in 2021, it said.

China is next with 8.1 per cent growth in 2021 followed by Spain (5.9 per cent) and France (5.5 per cent).

Revising its figures, the IMF said that in 2020, the Indian economy is estimated to have contracted by eight per cent. China is the only major country which registered a positive growth rate of 2.3 per cent in 2020.

India’s economy, the IMF said, is projected to grow by 6.8 per cent in 2022 and that of China by 5.6 per cent.

With the latest projections, India regains the tag of the fastest developing economies of the world.

Early this month, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva had said that India “actually has taken very decisive action, very decisive steps to deal with the pandemic and to deal with the economic consequences of it”.

India, she said, went for a very dramatic lockdown for a country of this size of population with people clustered so closely together. And then India moved to more targeted restrictions and lockdowns.

“What we see is that transition, combined with policy support, seems to have worked well. Why? Because if you look at mobility indicators, we are almost where we were before COVID in India, meaning that economic activities have been revitalized quite significantly,” the IMF chief said.

Commending the steps being taken by the Indian government on the monetary policy and the fiscal policy side, she said it is actually slightly above the average for emerging markets.

“Emerging markets on average have provided six per cent of GDP. In India this is slightly above that. Good for India is that there is still space to do more,” she said, adding that she is impressed by the appetite for structural reforms that India is retaining.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk overtakes Amazon’s Bezos to become world’s richest person

NEW YORK, Jan 7: Elon Musk, the outspoken entrepreneur behind Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, is now the richest person on the planet.

A 4.8% rally in the electric carmaker’s share price Thursday boosted Musk past Inc. founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

The South Africa-born engineer’s net worth was $188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York, $1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017. As chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, Musk is also a rival to Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the private space race.

The milestone caps an extraordinary 12 months for Musk. Over the past year his net worth soared by more than $150 billion in possibly the fastest bout of wealth creation in history. Fueling his rise was an unprecedented rally in Tesla’s share price, which surged 743% last year on the back of consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors alike.

The jump in Tesla’s stock price further inflates a valuation light-years apart from other automakers on numerous metrics. Tesla produced just over half-a-million cars last year, a fraction of the output of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. The company is poised for further near-term gains as Democrats captured both Georgia Senate seats and handed control of Congress to the party that’s advocated for quicker adoption of electric vehicles.

Musk, 49, has benefited from Tesla’s stratospheric rise in more than one way. In addition to his 20% stake in the automaker, he’s sitting on about $42 billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options. Those securities come from two grants he received in 2012 and 2018, the latter of which was the largest pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a corporate board.

Despite his astronomical gains, Musk has said he has little interest in material things and has few assets outside his stakes in Tesla and SpaceX. He told Axel Springer in an interview last month that the main purpose of his wealth is to accelerate humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring civilization.

“I want to be able to contribute as much as possible to the city on Mars,” Musk said. “That means just a lot of capital.”

The world’s 500 richest people added a record $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, equivalent to a 31% increase. The gains were disproportionately at the top, where five individuals hold fortunes in excess of $100 billion and another 20 are worth at least $50 billion.

Less than a week into the new year the rankings have already been upended by extraordinary rallies. China’s Zhong Shanshan has vaulted past Warren Buffett to claim the sixth slot after shares of his bottled-water company surged, adding $15.2 billion to his fortune.

GST collection for December shows economy is on fast track recovery: Finance Secretary

NEW DELHI, Jan 3: Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection for the month of December shows that the economy is on fast track recovery, and the country is witnessing positive growth, said Finance Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

Pandey said a record high GST collection of Rs 1,15,174 crore in December is due to economic recovery along with better compliance following the crackdown on malpractices to weed out taxpayers evading GST or using the fake bill to defraud the exchequer.

“The economy is on a faster recovery path as we are witnessing positive growth in the economy. We have better compliance besides having started a nationwide drive against GST evaders to minimize the misuse of the system, kept a check on those persons who were claiming excess Input Tax Credit (ITC),” he said highlighting the reasons behind all-time record high GST collection.

Pandey added that the government has centralized the data from different agencies and analyzing it through artificial intelligence.

“We got to know that there are a lot of people who are showing income of few lakhs in their income tax returns but in GST they are showing turnovers in crore. We are also getting information that some unscrupulous persons are importing items worth crores of rupees but they are not reflected in their GST or income tax returns. Now, we are acting on these tax evaders on specific data-based information with a targeted approach,” he stated.

The Finance Secretary explained that higher GST collection is also the result of higher collection efficiency and the trend should continue in the coming months too.

He further said that in the nationwide drive, investigating agencies have unearthed about 7,000 companies indulged in GST evasion, besides arresting 187 unscrupulous persons which include managing directors, directors, proprietors, partners of firms, and five chartered accountants, and a company secretary.

“So far, investigating agencies have booked about 2,000 cases against 7,000 fake entities. The majority of the arrested persons have not been able to get bails because of the seriousness of their tax frauds,” he said.

Talking about the direct taxes, Pandey said that ‘Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme’ of Income-tax has received an encouraging response lately.

“Out of 5.10 lakh tax dispute cases pending in various courts and tribunals of the country around 20 per cent of them - almost 96,000 - have opted in for Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme which was announced on March 15, 2020. For taxpayers’ convenience, we have extended the date to settle the dispute cases to January 31. By March 2021 they are to pay and settle their case. In this 96,000 cases total disputed amount of tax involved is Rs 83,000 crore,” he added.

Talking about the faceless assessment scheme which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 13, 2020, the Finance Secretary said that by end of December 2020, out of the first lot of 58,319 cases, the Income Tax Department has issued final scrutiny assessment orders in 24,711 cases, completely through the faceless system.

“In 94 per cent cases, the explanation of the taxpayer was accepted and no additional tax or penalty was imposed. Only in 1,551 cases, concealment or understatement of income was established and the addition of income has been made. These numbers dispel the myth that the faceless system is causing hardship to the taxpayers,” he stated further.

Pandey further added that the Income Tax Department has also identified a significant number of people who have deliberately chosen to ignore the notices calling for verification of the tax returns.

“Approximately in 6,000 cases, the devious tax evaders have tried the route of no-response in an apparent bid to escape from the rigors of the law. These persons have ignored the emails, the SMSs, and even the physical notices in some cases. In such cases, actions prescribed under the law including survey and search will be taken,” he said.

SEBI defers NAV applicability to Feb 1 at AMFI’s request

Mumbai, Jan 1: SEBI has deferred the effective date for implementation of SEBI circular dated September 17, 2020 for applying NAV based on availability of funds for utilization by the mutual funds from January 01, 2021 to February 01, 2021 at the request of the industry body, Association of
Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).

As per SEBI circular no. SEBI/HO/IMD/DF2/CIR/P/2020/175 dated September 17, 2020, SEBI had directed that effective from January 1, 2021 the closing NAV of the day on which the funds are available for utilization by the mutual fund shall be applicable in respect of purchase of units under ALL mutual fund schemes, irrespective of the amount and time of receipt of the transactions. This rule is already applicable for purchase transactions under Liquid funds and overnight Funds.

However, in the light of RBI circulars dated August 6, 2020 and December 14, 2020 titled “Opening of Current Accounts by Banks - Need for Discipline” – which have posed significant unexpected challenges and implications on the banking arrangements of mutual funds, AMFI had requested SEBI to defer the effective date for implementation of the abovementioned SEBI circular from January 01, 2021,so as to prevent potential disruption of service to investors and mitigate the hardship being faced by mutual funds.

AMFI has also written to RBI to permit MFs to continue operating collection account with multiple banks in order to provide better service to Unit holders and has also requested SEBI to kindly intervene on behalf of the MF industry to prevail upon RBI to consider AMFI’s request.

SEBI’s deferment has provided some relief to the industry as this would allow adequate time to first migrate all banking arrangements to be in compliance with the RBI circular, before taking up the necessary changes in order to comply with the referred SEBI circular.

N S Venkatesh, Chief Executive, AMFI commented that “AMCs have multiple payment and collection accounts/facilities for collections, redemption, dividend, custody, intra-day, borrowing etc. with numerous banks. To meet the requirement of the aforesaid RBI circulars mutual funds would need to change their operational process / restructure the banking operations / facilities/
relationships with banks at a very short notice. This would involve consolidation of banking relationships, change/withdrawal of facilities etc., which could potentially hamper the collection process. SIPs will be particularly impacted significantly as investors were accustomed to getting the same day NAV allotment as most SIPs are below INR 2 lacs. Keeping in mind the best interest of such retail investors, SEBI has deferred the NAV applicability circular by a month”.

Venkatesh thanked SEBI for considering the industry’s request and pushing the deadline to help alleviate the challenges that will be faced by the AMCs in aligning the banking operations.

AMFI was incorporated on August 22, 1995, as a non-profit organisation. As of now, all the 44 asset management companies that are registered with SEBI, are its members.

The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) is dedicated to developing the Indian Mutual Fund Industry on professional, healthy and ethical lines and to enhance and maintain standards in all areas with a view to protecting and promoting the interests of mutual funds and their unit holders.

AMFI, the association of SEBI registered mutual funds in India of all the registered Asset Management Companies, was incorporated on August 22, 1995, as a non-profit organisation.





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