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India’s real estate, construction industries in deep trouble: Raghuram Rajan

MUMBAI, Dec 7: India’s real estate, construction and infrastructure industries are in “deep trouble,” and non-bank finance companies which lend to these sectors should have their asset quality reviewed, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

There is also “significant distress in rural areas,” Rajan wrote in an opinion piece in India Today magazine. He said India is in a growth recession, defined as an economy growing at a slow pace and where unemployment is rising.

India’s GDP growth slowed to 4.5% in the quarter ended September, a six-year low. A crisis among shadow lenders and a build-up of bad loans at banks have curbed lending in the economy.

The Reserve Bank of India should carry out an asset quality review of the non-bank finance companies, Rajan said. The central bank closely monitors the top fifty non-bank financiers, which account for about 75% of total assets in the shadow banking sector, Governor Shaktikanta Das said in a press conference on Thursday.

“We have a fairly good idea of where the vulnerabilities lie,” said Das, reiterating that the central bank won’t allow any large or systematically important non-bank lender to collapse.

20% increase in processing Income Tax refund returns this year: CBDT

NEW DELHI, Dec 3: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has said that there has been a 20% increase in processing of refund returns with the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) of the Income Tax Department at the forefront of the strategy to ensure highest priority to issue of refunds in an automated manner.

“The CPC processed 2.10 crore refund returns for current AY2019-20 as on November 28, 2019, compared to 1.75 crore AY2018-19 refund returns for the same period in FY2018-19, an increase of 20%,” it said in a statement.

“The expeditious issue of refunds in this year demonstrated its commitment to faster and more efficient taxpayer service,” it said.

The total amount of refunds issued in FY 2019-20 till November 28, 2019 was Rs 1,46,272.8 crore as compared to Rs 1,19,164.7 crore in same period previous year (increase of 22.7%)

There has also been a 20% increase in total number of returns processed with the CPC processing 4.70 crore returns during FY2019-20 as on November 28, 2019, while for the same period in FY2018-19 the figure was 3.91 crore, the statement said.

It said, “The CPC has also issued faster refunds 43 lakh more refunds issued within 30 days in FY2019-20 compared to previous year which translates to an increase of over 42%.”

In FY2019-20 of the 2.10 crore refund ITRs processed, 68% of refunds were issued within 30 days from the date of e-verification of ITR as compared to 57% for the same period in FY 2018-19.

“All 2.28 crore refunds issued by CPC has been directly credited to the taxpayers’ bank accounts by ECS, eliminating paper cheque and ensuring faster, accurate and safer credit.”

According to the statement, the number of verified refund ITRs pending as on November 29, 2019 is 20.76 lakh and are currently being processed [2.10 crore refund ITRs (91%) have already been processed].

Not only were 20% higher number of refunds processed for the current AY2019-20, the pendency of refunds for verified ITRs has been reduced by 36% from 31.97 lakh last year at the same time to 20.76 lakh this year as on November 29. The rest of the refunds are being processed.

It said the Department has issued several reminders to taxpayers to e-Verify their ITRs so that any ITR with refund claim can be taken up for processing.

The CBDT said in this financial year, CPC has proactively re-issued 22.30 lakh refunds by ECS to taxpayers that had previously failed due to address not found, bank account closed etc whenever fresh bank account number for current year was found to be valid.

The CBDT said it expects that these measures will facilitate the taxpayer towards better voluntary compliance and improve their confidence in the tax administration.

 

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