News Update

 
Demonetisation - Not a rupee to exchange - Not a word of complaint

DDT in Limca Book of Records - Third Time in a rowTIOL-DDT 2973
18 11 2016
Friday

I met this girl Sumitra in Cherrapunjee yesterday. It rains in Cherrapunjee, not notes, but plain water. She told me on 9th November, she did not have a single 500 rupee note or 1000 rupee note and she doesn't have any money in any bank. On a good day she makes about 500 rupees selling snacks to tourists. She is married and has two children. Her business enterprise is shattered because of demonetization. Smart people from the cities are eager to pass on their useless 500 rupee notes to her. I saw at least two persons telling her that they don't have any money other than the 500 rupee notes. But she is firm - they are not legal. And the rich customers who were lying produce 100 rupee notes. She has no remorse, no complaint and she doesn't blame the Government; doesn't expect the government to help her. "Why should the government help me?", she asks me, "I am healthy; I can stand on my own feet." She believes that the 'inconvenience' will be only for a short time and good days are ahead. Her children study in an English Medium School and she has faith that they will have a bright future - for that she is prepared to work hard and is proud of her work. She was prepared to give me a discount of ten rupees on my bill but flatly refused to take the excess ten rupees I offered her. She even invited me to her house. I am honoured. Here is my co-citizen who is so confident and who doesn't expect anything from the government, even in a crisis. I look so little before her. You wonder how I communicated with her. This girl who studied up to the tenth class speaks fluent English. I wish she could be enlisted to draft some of our laws.

New Exchange Rates from Today

CBEC has notified new exchange rates for Imported Goods and for Export Goods with effect from 18th November, 2016. The USD is 68.80 for imports and 67.10 Rupees for exports.

Notification No. 138/2016-Cus (NT)., Dated: November 17, 2016

Stay Application filed without any application of mind as to consequences that may arise, hence dismissed

FOR staying the operation of the order passed by Commissioner(A), Revenue has filed a Miscellaneous application.

After hearing both sides, the Bench observed that the application is without any merits as the first appellate authority had dismissed the appeal filed by the Revenue before him on the question of limitation.

The CESTAT added -

+ Assuming that we agree with staying the operation of impugned order, nothing would be beneficial to the Revenue, as the adjudicating authority has held in favour of the respondent.

Holding that the application has been filed by the Revenue without any application of mind as to the consequences that may arise, the same was dismissed.

See 2016-TIOL-3002-CESTAT-MUM

On anvil?

AFTER the demonetisation stunner, the social media is suffocating itself with what next - the most innovative ones (myths) seem to have a great fan following only to be thrown into the gallows by the PIB with a barrage of intelligent and attractive looking tweets.

Incidentally, in the ongoing efforts of arresting the growth of corruption and blackmoney, perhaps this may also be recollected.

Government had notified the Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the limits for Exemption of Assets in Filing Returns) Rules, 2014 under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 on 14.07.2014.

The Government servants were required to file returns of their assets and liabilities by 15th September 2014. This date was extended to 31st day of December 2014. And later extended to 30th April 2015 and then again to 15th October 2015. And again to 15th April 2016.

Tired with this extension, the Government emphatically stated on 28th March 2016 that there shall be no further extension of the aforesaid last date i.e. 15.04.2016.

But on 11th April 2016, the Government extended it till 31st July 2016.

This was the fifth extension.

On 27th July, 2016, the Lok Sabha amended the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013.

The Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh had explained the position in Parliament thus:

Some of the provisions of this Act have created certain issues. For example, the Act requires that all public servants should file their declarations of assets including assets of their spouses and children. That is one issue which has raised considerable amount of discussion. The date for that was April, which later on extended and currently the deadline or the last date is 31st July, 2016.

I propose an amendment in Parliament today in order to substitute the provision of section 44 which precisely deals with the declaration of assets and the provision of making the assets public. I do so, so that the present or the immediate impasse which has happened with regard to the declaration of assets could be overcome and the same in relation to the public servants which include the Government officials as well as the political functionaries and the other category of NGOs could be deferred.

And the Bill was passed.

Please also see DDT 2405, 2433,  2504,  2505, 2585,  2702,  2815,   2826 and 2898.

Disciplinary proceedings against stung CAs

WHILE welcoming the historic decision of Government of India (of demonetisation of old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes) to fight against Corruption, Black Money, Terrorism and counterfeit Currency, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has issued a Press Release in the matter of a Sting Operation carried out by "Aaj Tak" News channel wherein two members of ICAI are shown talking about converting black money by charging a commission of 30% to 40%.

The Institute says -

- This interview has caused immense distress amongst the CA fraternity and the same has been treated as a serious misconduct causing disrepute to the profession.

- This professional misconduct by the CA members also contradicts the stand of ICAI in eradicating black money and lending support to the Government of India in this endeavor. This act by the members is unacceptable to ICAI.

- ICAI, as the premier accounting body of the country is pained and concerned about this grave matter and in terms of the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Rules framed thereunder, has issued show cause notice to the two Chartered Accountants. 

- The ICAI will launch Disciplinary proceedings against the erring members and will impose penalty by following due process as per the Disciplinary provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Rules framed thereunder.

GST & SAKSHAM

INTRODUCTION of GST will result in a several-fold increase in the number of taxpayers and resultant document load on the system. CBEC's current IT system was set up in 2008. It cannot cater to the increased load under GST without an immediate upgrade of its IT Infrastructure.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had, therefore, on 28th September approved 'Project SAKSHAM', a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the CBEC.

The total project cost is Rs.2256 crore over a seven year period and would be helpful in implementation of GST, extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of CBEC. [Source PIB Release]

Things, apparently, have started moving. The Directorate General of Systems & Data Management (DGSDM) has started implementing the SAKSHAM and is upgrading the infrastructure installed at the various field locations.

The ADG informs the Commissioners that in order to ascertain the exact requirements, M/s Hewlett Packard Enterprise India Pvt. Ltd. (HPE) will be conducting detailed field surveys across all locations in near future.

They are also told -

+ The central maintenance support being provided by M/s HPE for inkjet printers, laser printers, scanners and diesel generators installed at various field formations will end on 31st March 2017.

+ Since these equipments are not under the scope of the project Saksham, therefore after 31st March 2017, the concerned Local Commissionerates will be responsible for the purchase and maintenance of aforesaid equipment.

+ Further, during site survey, HPE may be asked to provide electric power point for inkjet printer, laser printer and scanner. If a network printer is to be put, provisions of LAN node may be made in consultation with HPE.

Please also see Bonanza for CBEC in DDT 2940

And miles to go…

F.No. IV(24)/12/2015-Systems/2364 dated November 8, 2016

GST FAQ now also available in Punjabi, Telugu & Kannada

DDT 2970 had reported the letter of DG, Directorate General of Taxpayer Services informing the Chief Commissioners that since the GST FAQ (in English) has been widely appreciated, the same should also be made available (within twenty days) in eleven regional languages viz. Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Bengali and Assamese to ensure that the nature, features and provisions of the new tax measure namely GST is understood by people speaking different languages across the country. Chief Commissioners were nominated with the task of bringing out the FAQ in the regional languages.

It was also mentioned that the FAQ was available in Hindi, Gujarati and Malayalam.

The update is that the authentic versions of GST FAQ in Punjabi, Telugu & Kannada are also now available on the CBEC website.

Until Monday with more DDT

Have a nice weekend.

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