Tax structure reforms
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched a fully digitised system for the government’s unobtrusive interface with income taxpayers of all variety and buttressed it with a tax charter that spells out the rights and responsibilities of both the taxpayer and the taxman.
- He also hinted at a plan to have ‘fundamental reforms’ in the country’s tax structure.
- Launching a platform for “Transparent Taxation — Honouring the Honest” through video conferencing, he said ‘faceless asssessment’ and the charter had came into immediate effect, while the facility of faceless appeal would be available from September 25.
- Referring to Vivaad Se Vishwas scheme for settling legacy disputes in direct taxes, Modi said nearly 3 lakh cases had been settled un-der the scheme that was launched in the budget this year.
- Tax experts estimate the scheme, extended up to December 31 with full benefits including interest and penalty waiver, could potentially help the government mop up close to Rs 1 lakh crore.
- About Rs 4.8 lakh direct tax disputes are pending in various legal forums, locking up over Rs 9 lakh crore in revenue.
- Of course, it is likely that the cases involving hefty tax claims would get settled via the judicial route, comprising tribunals, high courts and the apex court.
- Prime Minister: The country’s tax structure needs fundamental reforms, as the current one, with its genesis during pre-independence colonial period, (has shortcomings).
- Taxpayer base of India is very low relative to its population (1.5 crore actual taxpayers against population of 130 crore)
- Bringing people under the tax net is one thing, and getting them pay their taxes, by making available fewer avenues for evasion or even for legitimate ‘tax avoidance’ is another.
- In FY2018-19, over 6.3 crore taxpayers filed income-tax return but nearly three-fourth of these had declared annual income below Rs 5 lakh and paid no taxes.
- So only about 1.5 crore return-filers paid taxes.
- More than 21,000 largescreen television sets are stuck at India’s ports with leading manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Sony and TCL yet to get the import licences that they now need.
- Most of them, about 17,000, are sets of 55 inches and above imported by Samsung India, the country’s largest television brand by market share.
- The company currently imports around 35% of what it sells in India.
- Companies had to seek a licence to import televisions with immediate effect.
- Companies such as Samsung, Sony and TCL have applied for licences but industry executives said there isn’t much clarity about when they will get them.
- Delay has upset their preparation for festive season.
- Tata Group may make a formal bid for Air India.
- The focus at the moment is to examine business synergies and viability.
- Other airlines interested in the national carrier are understood to be lobbying to carve out Air India Express to enable them to bid for the low-cost airline.
- The conglomerate has engaged top legal firms and consultants to conduct the due diligence.
- The group has two aviation joint ventures.
- The first is the five-year-old full-service airline Vistara, in which Singapore Airlines is the strategic partner (with 49% shareholding).
- The second is budget carrier AirAsia India, in which Tony Fernandes’ AirAsia Berhad is the partner.
Jobs for IITians
- Uber, Microsoft, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Sprinklr, Intel and Citi are among companies that have rolled out early job offers for the 2021 batch of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
- This initial flow of pre-placement offers indicate that despite hiring slowing down overall, companies are still betting on technology talent from these premier engineering institutes.
- Placement cells across IITs — Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Guwahati and Hyderabad — said that while some firms are still in the process of firming up hiring plans, the highest number of offers are from firms in IT, software, data science and analytics.
- Acceptance of PPOs, based on performances during six-eight week internships – which happened virtually during the pandemic– mean jobs in hand for students even before final placements.
- Reliance Jio’s plans to build its own 5G software stack and embrace Open-RAN techniques will help it save up on hefty premium payouts to traditional gear vendors
- It added that the Mukesh Ambani-led telco’s pact with Qualcomm would also help it roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services.
- The global push-back on China’s Huawei as a provider of 5G networking components
- The Aircraft Accidents Investigations Bureau (AAIB) on Thursday said that they have constituted a five-member committee to investigate into the crash of the Air India Express Boeing 737 at Kozhikode airport.
- The committee will be headed by Capt S S Chahar, a former examiner for Boeing 737s, and will have four other members, including the deputy director of AAIB.
- The report will be presented in five months