Income Tax Dept warns public against cash dealings of Rs 2 lakh or more saying that the receiver of the amount will have to cough up an equal amount as penalty.

ICAI waives off condonation fee on all applications forms filed between between 01st April 2019 to 30th June 2019

ICAI’s Members and Student services have been made online, in digitized form on a new platform which works on a Self Service Mode on the Self Service portal (SSP). Application forms are available online now barring a few which will also be available shortly. Kindly visit e-services on

ICAI has decided to waive off delay condonation fee on all application forms with transaction dates between 01st April 2019 to 30th June 2019 and submitted online by 31st July 2019.

The platform stabilization is underway & progressing to provide a user friendly interface. In the interim, all stakeholders are requested to kindly bear with us and continue to extend their support. We are thankful to ICAI family for understanding the implementation challenges.

The members and students are re-assured that SSP life Cycle Portal will be in full stream in next few days time and we regret for inconvenience caused to you.

In case of query may call on 0120-4648888 or email and
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CBDT issues revised guidelines for compounding of offences under Direct Tax Laws

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued Guidelines for Compounding of Offences under Direct Tax Laws, 2019 in supersession of earlier Guidelines, including the Guidelines vide F.No.285/3512013 IT(Inv.V)1108 dated 23rd December 2014.

These Guidelines shall come into effect from 17.06.2019 and shall be applicable to all applications for compounding received on or after the aforesaid date. The followings are key guidelines issued:

a) The offences are classified into two parts (Category 'A' and Category 'B') for the limited purpose of Compounding of Offences. Category A includes offences related to failure to deduct or pay tax/TDS, failure to furnish ITR, etc., whereas category B includes offences like, willful attempt to evade tax, Failure to produce accounts and documents, etc.

b) Category 'A' offence cannot be compounded on more than three occasions.

c) The compounding application may be filed suo-moto at any time after the offence(s) is committed irrespective of whether it comes to the notice of the Department or not (subject to conditions).

d) Any offence which has bearing on any offence under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 cannot be compounded.

e) Any offence which has bearing on any offence under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act,1988 cannot be compounded.

Notification F.No.28S/08/2014-IT(Inv.V)/147, dated 14-06-2019
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Government Reduces the Rate of ESI Contribution from 6.5% to 4%

Ministry of Labour & Employment 
Government Reduces the Rate of ESI Contribution from 6.5% to 4% 
Posted On: 13 JUN 2019 7:35PM by PIB Delhi 

The Government of India has taken a historic decision to reduce the rate ofcontribution under the ESI Act from 6.5% to 4%(employers’ contribution beingreduced from 4.75% to 3.25% and employees’ contribution beingreducedfrom 1.75% to 0.75%). Reduced rates will be effective from 01.07.2019.Thiswould benefit 3.6 crore employees and 12.85 lakh employers.

The reduced rate of contribution will bring about a substantial relief to workers and it will facilitate further enrollment of workers under the ESI scheme and bring more and more workforce into the formal sector. Similarly, reduction in the share of contribution of employers will reduce the financial liability of the establishments leading to improved viability of these establishments. This shall also lead to enhanced Ease of Doing Business. It is also expected that reduction in rate of ESI contribution shall lead to improved compliance of law.

The Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948 (the ESI Act) provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to the Insured Persons under the Act. The ESI Act is administered by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Benefits provided under the ESI Act are funded by the contributions made by the employers and the employees.

Under the ESI Act, employers and employees both contribute their shares respectively. The Government of India through Ministry of Labour and Employment decides the rate of contribution under the ESI Act. Presently, the rate of contribution is fixed at 6.5% of the wages with employers’ share being 4.75% and employees’ share being 1.75%. This rate is in vogue since 01.01.1997.

The Government of India in its pursuit of expanding the Social Security Coverage to more and more people started a programme of special registration of employers and employees from December, 2016 to June, 2017 and also decided to extend the coverage of the scheme to all the districts in the country in a phased manner. The wage ceiling of coverage was also enhanced from Rs. 15,000/- per month to Rs. 21,000/- from 01.01.2017.

These efforts resulted insubstantial increase in the number of registered employees i.e. Insured Persons and employers and also a quantum jump in the revenue income of the ESIC. The figures are as under: -
Year          No. of Employers         No. of Insured Persons (in crores)        Total contribution received                                                                                                                                  (in Rs. crores)
2015-16             7,83,786                           2.1                                                                 11,455
2016-17             8,98,138                           3.1                                                                 13,662
2017-18           10,33,730                           3.4                                                                 20,077
2018-19           12,85,392                           3.6                                                                 22,279
The Government of India is committed to the cause of welfare of employees as well as employers. It is also committed to improve the quality of medical services & other benefits being provided under the ESI scheme.

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Exams for company directors planned in Modi government's crackdown against corruption

Narendra Modi, who recently won a second term as Prime Minister, is looking to overhaul the nation’s corporate governance system that allowed a string of frauds to mar his first stint in office.
IIndependent directors on company boards will soon have to clear an exam before they can be appointed, said Injeti Srinivas, the top bureaucrat in charge of corporate affairs. The government is also seeking a ban on Deloitte Haskins & Sells saying it failed to warn of mounting risks at a major shadow lender, and the banking regulator suspended an EY affiliate this month after finding problems in one of its audits.

Who will watch the watchdogs has become a burning question n India, which has in the past year charged a jeweler with defrauding a state-run lender of more than $2 billion, seen defaults at non-bank financiers send its financial system to the brink of a crisis, and and watched as billionaires toppled into bankruptcy. Observers say the companies’ independent overseers should have detected signs of trouble even before they manifested.

“We want to demolish the myth that independent directors don’t have any fiduciary duty,” Srinivas said in an interview in New Delhi on June 6. “We want to propagate corporate literacy to make them aware of their duties, roles and responsibilities.”
The exam will be an online assessment covering the basics of Indian company law, ethics, and capital market norms among other areas, Srinivas said. While aspiring directors will have a fixed time frame within which they have to clear the exam, they will be allowed an unlimited number of attempts, he said.

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Chartered Accountant found Guilty of Misconduct for incorporating Company without permission of ICAI

The Appellate Authority has recently held that the incorporation of a Company by Chartered Accountant with 90% Shares without the prior permission of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) can be professional misconduct.

The main allegation against the appellant was that he incorporated a Company without the prior permission of the Council of ICAI. It was alleged that he engaged in other business as a Director of M/S MRIYOG Investments Pvt. Ltd. and has signed the balance sheet for this company for F.Y. 2012-13.

After conducting a thorough enquiry, the Board of Discipline of ICAI held that the appellant is guilty of committing professional misconduct.

After analyzing the relevant provisions, the Appellate Authority observed that while the Chartered Accountants Act permits a Chartered Accountant to be a Director of a company without the permission of the Council, it specifically provides that such a Director should not be a Managing Director or a whole-time Director.

The AA observed that a Director who is not involved in day to day business of the company but who participates in the Board meetings and even receives remuneration for such participation and takes part in policy decisions but does not execute the decisions, is a Director not doing the business of the Company, but is a Director simplicity.

“Such a Director would not be said to be involved in the business of the company. However, a person being a Director of the Company if operates the accounts of the company and executes the business of the company or participates in other activities of the company apart from attending Board Meetings and signing the statutory documents as required to be signed by a Director, then such a Director shall be considered as a Director involved in the business of the Company. Further, the very fact that the Appellant has taken initiative to promote the company with himself as the main promoter and Director of the company with 90% of the shareholding, goes to confirm beyond any doubt that the company was promoted by him as his new business. Hence, he should have taken the permission of ICAI,” the AA said.

Concurring with the findings of the BOD, the AA held that “A line has to be drawn between a director simplicitor and a director actively involved in the business activities of a company and we consider that a Director who attends Board Meetings for taking policy decisions, advising a company on the issue of compliance of laws and even signs only those statutory documents which he is duty-bound to sign as a director, would not be a director involved in the business of the company but would be a director performing statutory duties but not a Director who has incorporated the company with 90% of equity held by himself, authority to act on behalf of the company as a signatory to Annual Reports, resulting into promotion of the business of the company and corresponds with different persons on behalf of the company, would be a director involved in the business affairs of the company, even if he was not a whole time director or managing director. We, therefore, of the view that the Appellant, in this case, was actually involved in the business of the company and he formed this company along with his family members in order to venture into a new business apart from the profession of chartered accountancy.”
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12 senior I-T officers told to resign by Finance Ministry

As much as 12 senior officers of the Income Tax Department have been told to resign by the Finance Ministry on Monday, June 10, 2019. "12 senior officers of ranks of Chief Commissioner, Principal Commissioners & Commissioner of Income Tax Department compulsorily retired under Rule 56 by the Finance Ministry," news agency ANI said in a tweet citing unnamed Finance Ministry sources. Some of these officers have been allegedly involved in corruption, illegal and disproportionate assets and sexual harassment.

1. *Ashok Agarwal* (IRS 1985), Joint Commissioner Income Tax
Former Dy director, ED.* Remained suspended from 1999 to 2014. Serious complaints of corruption and major extortion from businessmen accused of helping the alleged Godman Chandraswami. CBI launched prosecution on charge of acquiring disproportionate assets worth RS 12 Crore in 2005. Departmental proceedings initiated in early 2000. Initiated more than 40 litigations in CAT, High Court, and Supreme Court to thwart any action and get the departmental proceedings and CBI chargesheets quashed. Hires eminent lawyers like Ram Jethmalalani to defend his cases.
Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases. Recently Initiated proceeding in High Court to direct the Government for appointing him as member of CBDT.

2. S K Srivastava ( IRS 1989) – Commissioner( Appeal), NOIDA
Accused of sexual harassment to two lady IRS officers of Commissioner rank.
Managed to get tax evasions petition filed through a Member of Parliament ( Jai Narayan Nishad) stating that the two lady IRS officers of Commissioner rank ( who were in vigilance department when S K Srivastava was suspended) had received huge income from corruption and prostitution. He pressurized the assessing officers to pass orders adding alleged income of bribery and prostitution in their incomes. He also pressurized the commissioner (appeal) to confirm the order. Now the appeals are lying pending in the ITAT. He threatens to expose every officer who does not cooperate with him. Recently, as an instance, he filed a contempt petition against Former Revenue Secretary and the Establishment Officer in a frivolous case. It is his standard tactics to coerce the senior and other departmental officer to fall in his line or else he starts defamatory campaign against such officers.
On the one hand, he has been prolonging conclusion of departmental inquiry cases for the last 10 years by filing as many as 75 petitions in CAT, High Court, and Supreme Court and on the other hand, he has approached UPSC to defer the cases of promotion of his batch and his juniors. Also, he has approached the UPSC to defer the cases of promotion of the batches of the two lady officers and their junior batches. As a result , promotion of three batches are held up for the last two three years. He has been pressurizing for being promoted as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax.
In an as many as eight cases, High Court and CAT have passed strictures and warning and imposed fines for his scandalous allegations against the lady officers and other higher officers. In one case he has been order to undergo civil imprisonment of 15 days for his scandalous allegations against former Chairman and Members of CBDT. He has also filed contempt petitions against former Secretary Revenue.
He also engaged Jethmalani to defend his cases in courts. Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases.

3. Shri Homi Rajvansh (IRS 1985 DOB 16.06.61)
a. He had acquired movable and immovable assets worth Rs.3,17,78,462/- in the name of self and his family members.
b. These movable and immovable properties had allegedly been acquired by abusing his official position and by corrupt and illegal means.
c. These movable and immovable properties were acquired without obtaining any prior permission or giving any intimation in this regard to Competent Authority in violation of Rules 18(2) and 18(3) of CCS (Conduct) Rules.
d. Shri Homi Rajvansh was arrested by CBI after absconding from his Headquarters to evade arrest. He was also placed under suspension following his arrest.
e. Shri Homi Rajvansh, while on deputation to NAFED as Addl. Managing Director had allegedly advanced huge amounts (totalling about Rupees Two hundred and Ninety-One crores) to 9 companies without obtaining approval of Competent Authority.
f. These funds were released in unauthorized and irregular manner without ensuring adherence to clauses of agreements and without obtaining bank guarantees.
g. These companies defaulted on repayment and thus caused huge financial loss of hundreds of Crores to NAFED..
h. Shri Homi Rajvansh has been delaying finalization of disciplinary proceedings by resorting to litigation and raising technical and procedural issues. Has been delaying cases for more than ten years by indulging in multitude of litigations
Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases.

4. Shri B B Rajendra Prasad (92092)
CBI, Visakhapatnam registered a case RC 08(A)/2017-CBI VSP on 01.05.2017 against Shri B.B. Rajendra Prasad on the allegations of obtaining illegal gratification in lieu of passing favorable appeal order in one case.
Shri B.B. Rajendra Prasad was arrested by the CBI and the bribe consideration was recovered. He was also placed under suspension on 02.05.2017 following his arrest by CBI.
CVC also directed vigilance inspection of the orders passed by Shri B.B. Rajendra Prasad during his tenure as CIT(A)-30, Mumbai.
Shri B.B. Rajendra Prasad had allegedly acquired assets to the tune of Rs. 2.73 Crores, which are disproportionate to his known sources of income.
CBI has filed a DA case against Shri B.B. Rajendra Prasad on 31.07.2017.

5 .Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh CIT, (87067)
a. CBI, ACB, Mumbai, had registered a Disproportionate Assets (DA) case (RC: 8(A)/ 2007-Mum) against Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh, the then Addl. Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, on 22.02.2007.
b. Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh was arrested by the CBI in connection with the case.
c. He was also placed under suspension w.e.f. 25.10.2009 following his arrest by CBI.
d. Hon’ble High Court of Bombay, vide order dated 08.10.2009 directed the CBI to file the Charge sheet on the basis of its report dated 08.09.2009.
e. Hon’ble High Court of Bombay had also directed the Income Tax Department to take expeditious action against Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh under the Service Rules applicable to him on the basis of CBI report dated 08.09.2009.
f. Criminal Prosecution is pending against Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh and the matter is being processed for initiation of disciplinary proceedings as advised by CVC and decided by Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the case of Shri Ajoy Kumar Singh (87067) in respect of the DA case filed against him by CBI.

6 . SHRI B. ARULAPPA, CIT ( 90116)
a. Shri B. Arulappa proved to be ineffective as a Supervisory officer as he failed to ensure assignment of important cases having large tax implication to senior and experienced officers.
b. Shri B. Arulappa proved to be ineffective as a Supervisory officer as he failed to ensure that pending major audit objections are duly answered and settled which resulted in loss of RS 15.69 Crores.
c. Shri B. Arulappa proved to be ineffective as a Supervisory officer as he failed to monitor whether the re-opened assessment involving major RAP objection is completed to its logical conclusion as mandated in the Manual of Office Procedure and Audit Manual.
d. Assessment completed by the ITO, Ward 3(3), Trichy on 31.03.2015 in the case of M/s. Vasan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. for assessment year 2009-10 (which was reopened u/s 147 of the Income Tax Act, 1961) by accepting the income returned and without discussing any of the issues raised in the audit objections raises serious doubts about the integrity of Shri B. Arulappa for assigning the case to the junior most officer in his charge.

7. Shri Alok Kumar Mitra (Civil List No. 92030)
Involved in many cases of corruptions and extortion. Passed many wrong and malafide assessment orders which were later on reversed by the appellate authorities.
Despite several complaints and departmental findings against him he managed to avoid action by filing cases in CAT etc.
Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases.

8. Chander Saini Bharti (94086)
a. Shri Chander Sain Bharti was apprehended by CBI in connection with a trap case and the bribe money of Rs. 30 lakh was recovered from angadiya (courier) used by him.
b. Shri Chander Sain Bharti was found using hawala channels for transferring the ill-gotten money.
c. Shri Chander Sain Bharti acquired assets worth Rs 1,63,12,939 (in his and his wife’s name). However their combined income from known sources was Rs 1,16,05,314 and household expenditure was Rs 1,08,09,344. Thus, Shri C. S. Bharti and his wife have amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1,55,16,969 which is 133.71% of their known sources of income.
d. Shri Chander Sain Bharti had failed to give prior intimation, to the department, of acquisition/ purchase of immovable properties in his name or in the name of his wife/ family members as required under the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases.

9. Andasu Ravindar (91110)
a. He was apprehended by CBI with an amount of Rs. 50,00,000/- with him.
b. Sh. Andasu Ravindar could not satisfactorily explain the source of that amount.
c. Sh. Andasu Ravindar received loans for himself and or his family members from various persons which were not intimated to the department as discussed in para 11 above.
d. Sh. Andasu Ravindar used his official position to influence financial dealings entered into by the parties related to him in his personal as well as official capacities
e. Sh. Andasu Ravindar acquired assets in his name and in the name of his wife Smt. Andasu Kavitha, to the tune of Rs. 81,01,322/- which are disproportionate to their known sources of income .
f. Sh. Andasu Ravindar abused his official position and obtained pecuniary advantage in the matter pertaining to the survey conducted on M/s A.S. Shipping Agencies Pvt. Ltd.
g. Sh. Andasu Ravindar accepted bribe M/s Aban Offshore Ltd., Chennai with whom he had official dealings.

10. Vivek Batra (92075)
a. Shri Vivek Batra has been accused by CBI in 2005 of abuse of his official position to accumulate assets disproportionate to his known sources of income amounting Rs 1.27 Crore.
b. Shri Vivek Batra has been alleged to be involved in dubious transactions related to accommodation entries of Share Capital and false capital Gains.
c. A reference had been made by the ADG (V) West Zone regarding non submission of requisite details regarding foreign travels by Shri Vivek Batra in spite of issue of letter in this regard. It has been reported that he undertook 10 private foreign visits in the last eight years.
d. Shri Vivek Batra is facing serious allegations of destruction of Government Records to scuttle a vigilance inspection.
e. Shri Vivek Batra is alleged to be behind formation of a Benami Company M/s. Deva Exim Pvt. Ltd. and purchase of 5 shops in Mahavir Rachna, Plot No. 54, Sector 15, CBD, Belapur, New Mumbai.
f. Shri Vivek Batra had made a complaint dated 18th September, 2012 to the Finance Minister against Shri Sanjay Puri, DIT (V)-II working in the Office of the DGIT (V), New Delhi. An inquiry was conducted into the complaint by Shri P. S. Tomar, DIT (V)-I, who examined the witnesses and CCTV footage to ascertain the facts of the matter. Shri P. S. Tomar, DIT (V)-I concluded that the complaint was factually incorrect, false and baseless and apparently filed with a view to discourage/ pressurize Officers working in the Directorate of Vigilance. The matter was placed before the Chairperson, CBDT who gave approval for issue of an administrative warning to Shri Vivek Batra, Addl. CIT cautioning him against making false allegations against any officer of the Department in future.
g. Shri Vivek Batra was facing a criminal case regarding forging the Will of Shri Ashok Malik (Father-in-law of Shri Vivek Batra) in collusion with his wife Ms. Priyanka Batra.
Either Colludes with or coerce departmental officers and government counsels / empaneled lawyers in CAT/High Courts to provide /leak department’s confidential internal documents and force them to dilute his departmental/ prosecution cases.

11. Sh Swetabh Suman CIT (88078)
1. Shri Swetabh Suman was arrested by CBI in New Delhi on April 13, 2018 for allegedly demanding Rs 50 lakh for giving relief in a shell company matter to a businessman. The amount was recovered from a middle-man and searches were carried out by CBI on the premises linked to Shri Swetabh Suman in Guwahati, Jorhat, Shillong, Noida and Delhi. A sum of Rs 40 Lakh (approx) allegedly meant for Shri Swetabh Suman and his accomplices was also recovered from one of the accused and middleman. The matter is under investigation by CBI.
2. Complaints were received against Shri Swetabh Suman relating to acquisition of immovable properties i.e. Bungalow at Dehradun, indulging corruption at a large scale, taking bribes, allowing issue of refunds or completing the scrutiny assessments by taking money from the parties etc. All complaints against Sh. Swetabh Suman received in the Department were forwarded to CBI for investigation. The CBI report on disproportionate assets was processed and sanction for prosecution was issued on 21.05.2010 and RDA for major penalty was initiated by way of issue of a Memorandum dated 08.02.10 under Rule 14 of CCS(CCA) Rules.
3. As per CBI press release dated 14.02.2019 the Court of Special Judge, CBI Cases, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) had sentenced Shri Swetabh Suman to undergo seven years Rigorous Imprisonment with fine of Rs.3.5 crore; his mother Smt. Gulab Devi to undergo one year Rigorous Imprisonment with fine of Rs.10,000/- and two other persons, namely Arun Kumar Singh & Rajinder Vikram Singh, both to undergo four years Rigorous Imprisonment with fine of Rs.20,000/- each in a disproportionate assets case. The Hon’ble Court has also ordered the confiscation of the properties of the accused Swetabh Suman including the house at Dehradun, 01 plot at Noida, the Hotel at Bodh Gaya (Bihar) and a Honda City Car.
4. It has been reported in the press release that the investigation into the matter established that Shri Swetabh Suman abused his official position as a public servant to acquire immovable / movable assets from his ill-gotten money amounting to Rs. 3,13,90,408/- (approx) in his name and in the name of the co-accused persons. The Trial Court found the accused guilty and convicted them.
5. A Vigilance inspection was carried out in respect of the work done by Shri Swetabh Suman Addl. CIT, Range-I, Dehradun. The vigilance inspection had shown irregularities in scrutiny assessments completed by Sh. Swetabh Suman, scrutiny assessments where approval was given by Sh. Swetabh Suman, surveys u/s 133a of the I T act authorized by Sh. Swetabh Suman and approval of refunds.
6. Information was furnished by SP, CBI, Delhi regarding seizure of certain confidential official files of the Office of CCIT, Dehradun during house search of Shri Swetabh Suman at Jamshedpur. It was found later that CCIT, Dehradun had lodged a complaint with the Police on 18.01.2005 regarding theft of these Income Tax files and FIR vide crime No. 18/2005 had been registered u/s 380 and 411 IPC.

12. Ram Kumar Bhargava (145FF)
Shri Ram Kumar Bhargava while holding the charge of TRO-4, Kanpur, initiated recovery proceedings against Ms Vaijanti Gupta. In the process he treated Mr. Jitendra Kumar Shaw as assessee in default being a sundry debtor of Vaijanti Gupta and started recovery proceedings against Mr. Jitendra Shaw. Sh Bhargava is alleged to have issued notice u/s 226(3) of the IT Act without jurisdiction and is alleged to have attached the housing loan account of Shri jitendra Kumar Shaw maintained in the bank.
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AO to issue notice before withdrawing any sum from bank a/c provisionally attached: HC

Where by non-speaking order Revenue rejected petitioner's application for stay on demand which was contrary to orders of appellate authorities in preceding years and, further, without issuing any reasonable notice, withdrew certain amount from provisionally attached bank account of assessee towards adjustment against demand for other years, action of Revenue was high handed and manifestly unfair towards petitioner

Refer:[2019] 105 292 (Bombay)
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More items likely to go off highest GST slab

India could review the goods and services tax (GST) structure to further prune the number of items in the highest slab of 28% as it attempts to stave off a slump in demand.

Some states have favoured a reduction in tax rates, worried that the slowdown may get entrenched, and have communicated their concern to the Centre.

The GST Council may meet on June 20, ahead of the budget presentation on July 5, and these issues could figure in the discussions. This will be the first meeting of the council to be chaired by Nirmala Sitharaman after she took over as union finance minister in the new government. 

“Something needs to be done urgently — demand slowdown is quite visible,” said a senior government official with a state government that’s likely to press for a reduction in tax rates. “It could get further entrenched... Jobs are getting impacted.”

Automobiles, for instance, are placed in the 28% GST bracket.

Will Depend on Revenue Position
They also face a compensation cess, depending on size and segment. A lowering of rates will reduce prices and possibly encourage consumers to spend.
A final decision will depend on the revenue position. One government official, however, said that the state of the economy will take primacy over this as a longer slowdown will in any case impact revenues.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut interest rates for the third time in succession to a nine-year low and has changed its stance to ‘accommodative’ amid burgeoning concerns on the growth front.

The Indian economy slumped to a five-year low of 6.8% growth in FY19, pulled down by 5.8% expansion in the January-March period — the slowest in 20 quarters.

Some states fear slowdown may get entrenched, reach out to Centre; GST Council may meet on June 20 

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// consumer goods companies reported a hit in March quarter earnings, mainly on account of a rural slowdown and weak consumer sentiment, according to an analysis by Edelweiss. Rural growth was down to about 1.1 times urban growth against 1.3 times in the preceding quarter. Consumer goods sales have remained sluggish, experts said .

Passenger vehicle sales dropped 17% in April and May was equally bad for most companies. The largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported 22% lower sales in May from the year earlier.

There have been reports of automobile dealers shutting due to tepid sales, not just in the metros but also states such as Maharashtra and Bihar.

Experts also pointed to the matter of accumulated credit in the auto sector.

“Many dealers have been facing the issue of accumulated input credit due to post-sale discounts and slow movement of inventory,” said Pratik Jain, national leader, indirect tax, PwC. Jain said there is a case for reduction in GST rates to spur demand, particularly for small and environment-friendly cars.

The GST Council could also take up a proposal on introducing electronic invoicing at its meeting, besides changes to the law. It could also discuss extension of the anti-profiteering framework, which can be carried out via a notification.

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Chartered accountants facing ‘most heat today’ as norms are strong, says corporate affairs secretary

The remarks of Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas also come at a time when the role of auditors has come under the scanner for alleged violations, including in the IL&FS case.
Amid instances of frauds at companies, chartered accountants are facing the “most heat today” as strong auditing and accounting standards are in place, according to a senior government official.

The remarks of Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas also come at a time when the role of auditors has come under the scanner for alleged violations, including in the IL&FS case.

“When all the corporate frauds, crises came one after the other, we ran after chartered accountants. I think they are facing the most heat today… the statutory auditors,” he said.

“They are facing the most heat. Why? (Because of) very strong auditing standards, accounting standards, institution for the chartered accountants and now NAFRA (National Financial Reporting Authority) has come,” he said.

He also mentioned that credit rating agencies are not facing as much heat as statutory auditors since there is some subjectivity for the former.
“Now, we are talking about revisiting framework for credit rating agencies also… It should be transparent and objective. There should not be any room for subjectivity,” Srinivas said.

Speaking at a national seminar on valuation, he wondered why valuation profession was flying below the radar.

“Why valuers are not having control? Because there is no institute for valuers, no valuation standards, no guidelines also.

“It is said that it never happens that a valuer doesn’t deliver what a client wants… Your assumptions have to be tailor made, bespoke… to market requirements. These are problems. Some of it is definitely in lighter vein,” he said, adding that valuation profession cannot fly below the radar anymore.
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MCA moving tribunal to bar KPMG, Deliotte Haskin from auditing for five years

BSR & Co, an arm of KPMG, was an auditor of IFIN for financial year 2017-2018 soon after the scam broke out.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is moving National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai next week to bar BSR & Co, an arm of KPMG, and Deliotte Haskin from auditing any company for five years.

The MCA is moving to bar these auditors after IL&FS finance (IFIN) received the first charge-sheet from Serious Fraud Investigation Office. SFIO found many lapses with the help of the Grant Thronton forensic audit. The Grant Thronton report found many instances of suppressed details of ever-greening loan without proper collateral.

According to the SFIO, Deliottee disregarded regulations from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and deliberately ignored of IFIN’s “ever-greening” of loans.

As per the company's act, if the application is made by the central government and the tribunal is satisfied that any change of the auditor is required, it shall make an order within fifteen days of receipt of such application that they shall not function as an auditor and the central government may appoint another auditor in their place.

An auditor, whether an individual or a firm, against whom that final order is passed by the tribunal under this section shall not be eligible to be appointed as an auditor of any company for a period of five years from the date of passing the order. And, the auditor shall also be liable for action under section 447.

BSR & Co was an auditor of IFIN for financial year 2017-2018 soon after the scam broke out. Deliottee did the audit from for a decade until 2016-17.

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