10 , November 2017

1.GST Council to tighten norms for Composition Scheme
Source: The Hindu

The twenty-third meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was held in Guwahati. It is set to tighten the noose on players who, authorities believe, have started splitting their business operations into smaller entities to avoid higher tax liabilities.

  • The Council is set to cut tax rates on a large number of product lines.
  • The Council is expected to further liberalise the Composition Scheme for small businesses and traders to pay a flat and low tax on their turnover.
  • The annual turnover eligibility threshold is likely to be raised to ₹1.5 crore from the Rs.1 crore limit, imposed at the Council’s October meeting.

Composition Scheme

  • The composition levy is an alternative method of levy of tax designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs. 75 lakhs ( Rs. 50 lakhs in case of few States).
  • The objective of composition scheme is to bring simplicity and to reduce the compliance cost for the small taxpayers. Moreover, it is optional and the eligible person opting to pay tax under this scheme can pay tax at a prescribed percentage of his turnover every quarter, instead of paying tax at normal rate.

Who cannot opt for the scheme?

  • Supplier of services other than restaurant related services
  • Manufacturer of ice cream, pan masala, or tobacco
  • Casual taxable person or a non-resident taxable person
  • Businesses which supply goods through an e-commerce operator

 Conditions to be satisfied in order to opt for composition scheme:

  • No Input Tax Credit can be claimed by a dealer opting for composition scheme
  • The taxpayer can only make intra-state supply (sell in the same state)e. no inter-state supply of goods
  • The dealer cannot supply GST exempted goods
  • Taxpayer has to pay tax at normal rates for transactions under Reverse Charge Mechanism
  • If a taxable person has different segments of businesses (such as textile, electronic accessories, groceries, etc.) under the same PAN, they must register all such businesses under the scheme collectively or opt out of the scheme
  • The taxpayer has to mention the words ‘composition taxable person’ on every notice or signboard displayed prominently at their place of business
  • The taxpayer has to mention the words ‘composition taxable person’ on every bill of supply issued by him.

2.Odd-even rule back in Delhi from Monday
Source: The Hindu

The odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will be enforced in the capital for a five-day period, from Monday, as part of a graded response plan to tackle pollution in Delhi.

The policy mandates that private vehicles ply on the basis of the last number of their licence plates — odd numbered cars on odd dates and even-numbered ones on even

It has been enforced in Delhi twice earlier: from January 1 to 15 and April 15 to 30.

  • It will be in place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniform, in addition to VVIPs, would be exempted from its provisions
  • Vehicles driven or occupied by handicapped persons will also be exempt.
  • According to the government, vehicles of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, Governors, the Chief Justice of India, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Union Ministers, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, and SPG protectees, among others, will be exempt.
  • Embassy vehicles do not come under odd-even rules and neither do commercial vehicles bearing yellow number plates.
  • The Delhi government has not given any exemption to its Ministers, including the Chief Minister.
  • Motorists will have to pay Rs.2,000 if they violate provisions of the scheme.
  • It will be enforced by teams of the Delhi police, the transport department and sub-divisional magistrates.

3.Olive Ridleys keep date with Odisha coast, arrive in large numbers
Source: The Hindu

Olive Ridley turtles have kept their date with Gahirmatha beach in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, known as world’s largest rookery of this endangered species, arriving just offshore for mating in large numbers.To ensure safe mating, day and night patrolling has been intensified so that fishing attempts can be checked

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • These turtles, along with their cousin the Kemps ridley turtle, are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
  • Though found in abundance, their numbers have been declining over the past few years, and the species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary

  • It is a marine wildlife sanctuary located in Odisha
  • It extends from Dhamra River mouth in the north to Brahmani river mouth in the south.
  • It is very famous for its nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles. It is the one of world’s most important nesting beach for turtles

4.High Court restrains Rajasthan government from increasing quota
Source: The Hindu

The Rajasthan High Court restrained the government from implementing the provisions of a Bill passed in the State Assembly, by which it increased reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 21% to 26%.

  • The Bill, passed created the “most backward” category within the OBCs for providing reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities in government employment and educational institutions.
  • The Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, gave 5% reservation to the Gujjar, Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya communities.
  • With its passage, reservation in Rajasthan stood at 54%, exceeding the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court.

What does the government say about this?

  • The State government has maintained that as per the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Indra Sawhneycase, special circumstances exist in Rajasthan for giving reservation to the OBCs beyond the 50% ceiling.
  • The State OBC Commission has recommended quota to the communities classified as OBCs, which comprise 52% of the State’s population.

 SC commented in that case:

  • The Supreme Court said, “the reservations contemplated in clause (4) of Article 16 should not exceed 50 per cent. While 50 per cent shall be the rule, it is necessary not to put off consideration of certain extra-ordinary situations inherent in the great diversity of this country and the people. It might happen that in far-flung and remote areas, the population inhabiting those areas might, on account of their being out of the mainstream of national life and in view of the conditions peculiar to and characteristic of them need to be treated in a different way; some relaxation in this strict rule may become imperative. In doing so, extreme caution is to be exercised and a special case made out.”

5.FEMA norms eased to spur investment from overseas
Source: IE

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has simplified the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) Regulations, by putting all the 93 amendments under one notification, a move that will significantly make it easier for foreign investors to invest in the country.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), introduced in 1999, was amended 93 times.

Guide to investors:

Anyone who wants to invest in India, from this notification, he will know in which company he can invest, who can invest, how they can invest, how the money should come in, what the reporting is, everything is there in the notification. Earlier it was in a very disjointed manner in various places.

The Notification by RBI:

  • One which is popularly called investment in an Indian company or a partnership, or in a limited liability partnership, or FEMA 20.
  • The other FEMA 24, which is investment in a partnership firm.

Another significant change is the introduction of a late submission fee that could allow an investor to regularise any contravention due to non-reporting, by paying the fee.

It is going to impact in a very big manner because 60-70% of the contravention cases which RBI receives are due to delays in reporting.In addition, any transfer of investment from non-resident Indians to any non-residents has been brought under the automatic route, subject to reporting.

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