Jaitley against burdening salaried, middle class-Business Standard

He said he would encourage more money being put in the pockets of tax payers that will lead to spending

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said that he does not favour burdening the salaried and middle-class with more taxes but would go after the evaders in widening the net.

In fact, he would encourage more money being put in the pockets of tax payers that will lead to spending and collection of more indirect taxes.

"This widening of the tax base. What does it mean? ...I pay the same indirect tax as my attendant. Our volume of consumption may be different. So everybody is paying indirect taxes.

"And literally almost half your taxes are indirect taxes today. He pays excise, he pays customs duty, he pays service tax. Now as far as income tax is concerned, to bring those who evade tax is widening the tax net, I am all for it," the Minister said in an interaction with PTI journalists at PTI headquarters.

He was replying to a question on whether his budget would look at widening the tax base to maximise revenue.

Jaitley, who will be presenting his first full fledged budget in February, said that in his last budget he had increased the tax exemption limit from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and would even raise it further if he had more money.

Bank unions plan zone-wise relay strike from Dec 2-HBL

Vadodara, Nov 22:

Employee unions of public sector banks across the country will go on zone-wise relay strike from December 2 to 5 to press for wage revision.

The public sector bank employees had stopped work on November 12 on the wage issue, affecting services like cheque clearance and withdrawal from branches across the country. The strike call was given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).

“After the nationwide stir (on Nov 12), we are moving close to our next action — that is relay zonal strike scheduled from December 2 to 5.

“This will be first such strike in the banking industry,” C H Venkatchalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) told PTI.

AIBEA is a major constituent of UFBU, an umbrella organisation of nine bank employee and officer unions.

According to the programme finalised by the unions, the strike will be preceded by demonstrations in each zone.

Bank employees of Southern Zone will be the first to go on strike, on December 2, followed by Northern Zone (Dec 3), Eastern Zone (Dec 4) and Western Zone (Dec 5), said Venkatchalam.

“We hope the IBA (Indian Banks’ Association) and the Government would understand the seriousness of the issue and initiate steps to resolve it at the earliest.

“In the event of the issue remaining unresolved, we may be forced to resort to more strike actions, including indefinite strike, in the days to come,” he warned.

The wage revision of public sector bank employees has been due since November 2012. While the unions demanded a 25 per cent rise in wages and later scaled it down to 23 per cent, the IBA stuck to its position of 11 per cent increase.

There are 27 public sector banks in the country with employees’ strength of about 8 lakh. There are about 50,000 branches of these banks across the country.

RBI warns public about fraudsters issuing credit cards in its name-HBL

Mumbai, Nov 21:

Reserve Bank of India on Friday alerted the public about fraudsters perpetrating fraud by issuing credit cards in its name.

Explaining the modus operandi, the Reserve Bank stated that the gullible member of the public is sent a credit card which allows withdrawal of money up to a certain limit, albeit a small sum, from a bank account.

Having gained the confidence of the victim thus, the fraudster gets him to deposit a huge sum of money in the same bank account. Once the money is deposited, the card stops working and that would also be the last time the holder of the card (victim) would hear from the fraudster, the RBI said.

Warning against such efforts, the Reserve Bank reiterated that as India’s central bank, it does not carry out any business with an individual, whether through savings bank account, current bank account, credit card, debit card, online banking services or receiving and holding funds in foreign exchange or any other form of banking services.

Reserve Bank has listed out the other kind of prevalent frauds, such as: fictitious offers of large sum of money/lottery winnings by email or through phone calls by posing as RBI official and fake Reserve Bank website for online transactions

Further, fraudsters lure members of public to secure their bank accounts against such frauds by asking them to share the bank account details, including user id/password, through an email or by clicking on a link given in email.

They also make offers of employment in the Reserve Bank through email

The Reserve Bank has also stated that fictitious offers are also made in the name of other public institutions, such as, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Income Tax authorities, Customs authorities or public figures like Governor, Dr. Raghuram Rajan or other senior RBI officials.

The Reserve Bank has pointed out that once the money is paid in fraudsters’ accounts; there are remote chances of the members of public recovering the money.

The Reserve Bank has cautioned members of public that falling prey to such offers can result in compromising one’s own crucial personal information that may be misused to cause direct financial and other loss to them.

The public, in their own interest, should refrain from responding to such offers in any manner. Rather, they should immediately lodge a complaint with Cyber Crime branch of the Police.

48 new power projects approach banks for ₹1.5-lakh cr funding

New Delhi, November 21:

The power sector leads the race in seeking bank loans for new projects with investment proposals of over ₹1.50 lakh crore. This despite the sector facing problems of stranded assets and fuel supply constraints.

Across 20 sectors, including power and real estate, banks have received proposals for 194 new projects between January 1 and September 30 with an investment of over ₹4.68 lakh crore.  Each of these projects entailed an investment of ₹250 crore or more, according to data collected by the Finance Ministry.

Though the power sector is behind commercial real estate in terms of number of projects, the size of investments in higher. The projects include generation, transmission and distribution, and new and renewable energy.

Sesa Sterlite leads the pack with plans for a ₹16,000-crore project in Odisha. The proposal is with Syndicate Bank, which has already sanctioned and disbursed₹1,525 crore. This is followed by Teesta Urja in Sikkim with an investment of ₹11,382 crore, Talwandi Sabo Power in Punjab (₹11,040 crore), Bhushan Power and Steel in Odisha (₹9,765 crore) and East Coast Energy in Andhra Pradesh (₹9,343 crore).

Credit off-take

A large number of projects approaching banks will give some boost to credit off-take, it is felt. According to the data, gross advances of public sector banks has recorded a year-on-year growth of 9.06 per cent against 18.8 per cent as on September 30, 2013. At a recent meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had asked bankers to take steps to increase credit flow to various sectors.

Jaitley expressed hope that credit growth will pick up in the second half of the fiscal.

The commercial real estate sector has 67 projects with a total investment of around ₹82,000 crore. This includes Wave Megacity Centre in Uttar Pradesh with an investment of ₹8,764 crore, Navi Mumbai SEZ in Maharashtra (₹6,300 crore), Parsvanath Rail Land Project in Delhi (₹4,568.72 crore), Raghuleela Builders in Maharashtra (₹4,076 crore) and Nava Raipur Development Authority (₹3,590 crore).

Campaign boost

With the Make in India campaign, the number of new projects/proposals seeking funds from public sector banks is likely to go up. The new campaign is being complemented by a liberal FDI regime, particularly in Defence and Railways, as well as easing of environmental procedures, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

The power sector also tops the list of unresolved or stalled projects. The Finance Ministry, quoting data as on November 19 from the Project Management Group in the Cabinet Secretariat, has listed 93 unresolved or stalled projects, of which 33 belong to the power sector.

Stalled projects

Under the unresolved or stalled projects category, State Bank of India has 22 projects with a cost of over ₹1.89 lakh crore, followed by IDBI Bank with 15 projects involving a cost of ₹15,000 crore and UCO Bank with two projects at ₹7,234 crore. Although no reasons have been given for the projects being stuck, it is understood that land acquisition, environmental clearances and fuel linkages are the key reasons.

RBI alerts public about a latest form of fraud
RBI in its press release dated 22.11.2014 alerted the public about the credit cards issued by fraudsters in the name of ‘Reserve Bank’.
The modus operandi used by the fraudsters is as under.

Step 1:
The gullible member of the public receives a credit card which allows withdrawal of money up to a small limit from a bank account. ...
Step 2:
The victim receives a small sum through the card.
Step 3:
Having gained the confidence of the victim, the conmen ask the victim to deposit huge amount in the same account (i.e. fraudster’s account), which will enable him to withdraw multiple size of money deposited by him in the account.
Step 4:
Once the money is deposited by the card holder, the card stops working.
That is the end. The card holder (victim) receives no more communication from the conmen.
RBI has been alerting the members of public on falling prey to other prevalent frauds such as (i)Fictitious offers of large sum of money/lottery winnings by email or through phone calls by posing as RBI official, (ii) Fake Reserve Bank website for online transactions, (iii) Luring members of public to secure their bank accounts against such frauds by asking them to share the bank account details, including user id/password, through an email or by clicking on a link given in email.(iv) Offer of employment in the Reserve Bank through email etc.

Show more