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//December

DEMONETISATION – THE SOCIAL IMPACT

Post November 8, the country has been debating on whether it helps to have a cashless economy or not. With that, there have been discussions going on about how exactly to convert the economy into a digital one. Somewhere in the background, this move towards turning into a cashless economy has shown its effect on the social set up too. First, Demonetisation has brought the trafficking of women and girls for sex work to a stop. It has been estimated that this has been a Rs 20 trillion industry.

The process of trafficking of women is usually completed by November, after which trafficked women and girls are transported to various parts of the country to be sold to brothels, placement agencies and as child brides. Post demonetisation and the withdrawal of the Rs500 and Rs1000 currency notes, this trade, is said to have suffered a significant blow. Typically, the sex trafficking is carried on from Guwahati in Assam, Jharkhand in the North and Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the south. There hasn’t been any record of even one girl being trafficked in the past one month. Transactions related to this trade were carried out in cash. With the supply of notes in the economy reduced, people were suddenly left with no liquidity to pay to the middlemen.

Sex trafficking is one of India’s biggest organized crime rackets. The “cost” of a woman or girl is usually pegged at Rs2.5 lakh. This includes the cost of transporting her, paying off local politicians, authorities and police officials and finally, the cost of grooming her. Actual costs, however, are as low as Rs 20,000. The remaining Rs 2.3 lakh is taken by the trafficker or the middleman. A study by Global March against Child Labour (a network of trade unions, teachers, and civil society organizations) has estimated that the annual figure in India for this kind of trafficking is about Rs 18.6 trillion.

Cash payments dominate the category of prostitution too. There have been many media reports of sex service workers asking clients for digital payments – something that could prove to both awkward and arduous for people who indulge in these services.

One of the major impacts of the demonetisation process has also been felt in the Narcotics Trade. This has been another huge section of trade, and most marketing takes place through Afghanistan and other ports. Black money rules this business. In Maharashtra and Himachal, drug trade came to a virtual standstill after the government announced demonetisation. Drug peddlers found it difficult to sell their stock after high-value currency went missing from the economy. Even small transactions were affected – with most of the drug players having gone into hiding till the market gets into revival mode. Supply of narcotics from Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh into Maharashtra and other states has also gone down. The Narcotics Bureau has found that while the drug detection rate might be the same as before demonetisation, the quantity of drugs seized from the peddlers now is much less than earlier.

With all this, is also the effect on one of the key objectives of the demonetisation process namely, terrorism. The idea was to make fake notes flowing in from Pakistan, mostly in 500 and 1000 rupee denominations, useless. In doing so, black money, a significant source of terrorist funding, would dry up.

Behind the overwhelming debates, discussions and criticism of the demonetisation process that we have been seeing in the past one month or so, there have been some silent positive social effects too.  For all other detailed processes and policies on the eco-political impacts, do keep in touch with our posts on our website www.nrilegalservices.com

By | December 22nd, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation, Demonitization|0 Comments

Demonetisation effects on GST

GST Caught Between Political Tussles – Fallout of Demonetisation and the wave thereafter!

Would Prime Minister Modi have thought that his ‘surgical strike’ on black money have an impact on the other proposed wonder drug of the economy – the GST? Well it looks like it is creating an impact on those lines. The tsunami that the demonetisation process has brought has led to feuds between the government and the opposition, besides generating a mixture of responses from the public and media. This animosity on the political front has caused the GST drive to suffer a setback.

And while on Taxes, the country’s finance minister has hinted now that the tax rates might be lowered –the assumption being that demonetisation would bring in higher tax revenues from unaccounted wealth. Considering the fact that digitisation would push a greater number of people to be in the tax net, it is hoped that in the future the taxation levels would end up being much higher. Consequently, tax rates could be made more reasonable for both direct as well as indirect taxes.

For now, people are hoping that the government might bring in a number of concessions for the taxpayer – be it individuals or the corporate sector. This would ease out the pain felt during demonetisation. The steps could vary from tax slab revision to reduction in corporate taxes to tax exemptions and rebates. All this is expected to target farmers, small traders, small and medium businesses and the youth. Over the past one month or so, the government has in any case been giving incentives to encourage digital payments. The currency situation is expected to improve by the third week of December.

Meanwhile, more than a month after demonetisation, these are some of the noticeable trends in the Indian economy:

  • Projected GDP growth for this fiscal year is 7% – this is as per the estimate given by the Asian Development Bank.
  • The figure for the next fiscal year is about 7.8% – as per ADB, the impact of demonetisation is temporary
  • Some of the incentives for cashless transactions were :
  1. 5% discount by Railways for online payment on facilities like e catering and booking retiring rooms
  2. 5 % discount by the Railways on season tickets that are purchased digitally January 1, 2017 onwards
  3. The banks had released about Rs. 4 trillion back into the system till the first week of December
  4. Banks had got about Rs. 12.4 trillion in deposits till mid December , since Demonetisation
  5. Amongst other aspects, the IMF survey on Financial Access pointed out that the number of ATMs per 100,000 adults is 19.71.
  • As of midnight December 15, the usage of the old 500 notes would stop completely – beyond this, the notes would only be deposited in the banks till December 30 and be exchanged at the RBI till March 31, 2017 (under special circumstances).
  • Till midnight December 15, the old 500 notes can be used in the following places:
  1. Government hospitals and pharmacies
  2. Consumer Cooperative stores
  3. Government Agricultural Research centres and related organisations
  4. Government milk booths
  5. Payments at all pharmacies
  6. Purchase of LPG cylinders
  7. Toll payments
  8. Fees, charges taxes, penalties towards government organisations
  9. Utility charges like electricity and water
  10. Court fees, Government school fees
  • The RBI updates its notifications and frequently asked question list (FAQs) for people to understand the basics of note deposit and exchange – it lays down certain specifications for NRIs also.
  • Although we try to bring you all the latest information, there are frequent changes and declarations made by the government. We would advice all our readers to keep checking the RBI official site (www.rbi.org.in) for authentication of all facts.
By | December 17th, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation, GST|0 Comments

To Avoid Property Disputes- Learn Property Management

Over the years we have been handling various NRI clients with property dispute issues, and our observation has been that ignorance of fundamental rights and norms leads to a lot of hassle for NRIs. It would help if people were conscious about getting their property issues properly managed.

Professional Property Management is a domain that has come to gain importance over the past few years. Greater value needs to be given to this aspect so that the interest of NRIs is safeguarded. Technically, Property management is the administration or management of property whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.An individual who is hired to professionally handle the daily operations of a real estate investment and other issues would be called a property manager. They manage all types of properties, from single family homes to large apartment complexes. Property managers act on behalf of the owner to preserve the value of the assets while generating income.

The responsibilities of a property manager vary, based on their salary and the terms of their management contract, but mainly they include the following:

Rent
Property managers are responsible for setting the initial rent level, collecting rent from tenants and adjusting the rent.
Setting Rent – The property manager knows how to set the right rent level to attract tenants to the property by their understanding in respect of the market and property located in the area.
Collecting Rent – They play the role of the enforcer i:e fixing up a date for rent collection each month and ensuring it is paid (with late fees if needed).
Adjusting Rent – The property manager can increase or decrease the rent by a fixed percentage each year, according to law.

Tenants
One of the primary responsibilities of the property manager is to manage tenants i.e. finding the tenants, dealing with them, and their complaints and initiating evictions.
Finding Tenants – Property managers are responsible for marketing the property. They understand what attracts tenants and what kind of makeover the property needs to fill the vacancies.
Screening Tenants – They are responsible for sorting through the prospective tenant applications to find the best tenant for your property. They have a proper selection process, which includes running credit checks and criminal background checks.
Handling Leases – They are responsible for setting the length of the contract, the amount of security deposit and making sure it has all the necessary provisions to protect the owner.
Handling Complaints/Emergencies – They are paid to deal with all kinds of complaints, requests and handle emergency situations.
Handling Vacating process – When a tenant vacates a property, the manager is responsible for inspecting the property, checking for damages and deciding what portion of the security deposit is to be returned to the tenant. Besides this, small issues like cleaning, repairing, looking for new tenants are also the responsibility of the property manager.
Dealing with Evictions – In case a tenant doesn’t pay rent or disobeys the terms of the lease, it is the property manager who would see to it that the property is vacated by the tenant.

Maintenance and Repairs
All physical management, repairs, maintenance of the property also becomes the responsibility of the individual or firm doing the professional property management.
Responsible for Knowledge of Landlord – Tenant Law – The property managers must have a thorough understanding of laws regarding the proper ways to:

  • Screen a tenant
  • Handle security deposits
  • Terminate a Lease
  • Evict a tenant
  • Comply with property safety standards

Supervision
Property managers take care of the property in the absence of the owners, protecting it from vandalism and making sure the repairing is done adequately and timely.
Vacant Properties – Property managers are often hired to look after vacant properties so that there is no vandalism and they are properly maintained. They also make sure contractors or repairers complete their work in time.

Managing the Budget/Maintaining Records
Operating Budget – The manager must operate within the set budget for the building, but in any emergency situations where the tenant or property is in danger, they can order repairs without any concern for the budget.
Maintaining Records – The property manager is supposed to keep thorough records of transactions, leases, maintenance, repairs, complaints, rent, insurance regarding the property.

Taxes
The property manager takes it upon himself to assist the property owner with the tax-filing for the particular property.

WHY IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
The main benefit of Property Management is to the owners of houses, and other real estate properties are the preservation of their properties with regular maintenance and repairs.
Proper asset management also adds value to your houses for rent and helps in time of selling the property.
It helps in the continuous flow of business and income for the owners and the satisfaction of tenants’ needs.
This is a service that holds exceptional value for NRIs who cannot always travel back and forth to India – this limitation also causes mental harassment for them, as they land up in situations where their property might be under threat.

By | December 13th, 2016|Blog, Property Management|0 Comments

DEMONETISATION – The greatest move to eradicate Black Money.

SO MUCH CAN HAPPEN IN THIRTY DAYS!

Social Media is today dotted with tongue-in-cheek comments on how much can happen in one month – and how 30 days can change the way we live! Exactly a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced strict measures announcing the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and 1000 notes from the economy. This ‘Demonetisation’ that was initiated was aimed at eliminating fake currency, give a blow to terror funding and bring in control the hawala transactions in the economy. The core slogan that has been floating around is – “India Defeats Black Money.”

Where are we now? One month after this Demonetisation Tsunami hit the daily lives of the citizens, what is the state of affairs in the economy? A quick analysis could give us an idea about the following:

  • Major announcements regarding the demonetisation process were made on November 8, 2016.
  • Modifications followed on November 17, then 25th and subsequently at various steps, the government announced various measures.
  • The latest announcements, at the time of publishing this article, have come from Arun Jaitely in the form of incentives to go digital in transactions. These are:
    • Buying monthly seasonal tickets in the suburban railway networks through digital mode will get a discount of 0.75 per cent.
    • This will start from the Mumbai suburban railways and will start from January 1, 2017.
    • There will be 5 per cent discount if an individual pays through the digital mode for catering or retiring rooms at railway stations
    • People buying petrol and diesel through the digital methods will get 0.75 percent
    • People who pay general insurance premiums online will get a 10% discount and people paying life insurance will get a discount of 8%
    • Around 1 lakh villages of the population over 10,000 will be selected and provided with POS (point of sale) machines.
    • If you pay digitally at national highways and use Smart Cards and RFID facilities at toll plazas, then you would be entitled to a 10 percent
    • In addition to all these, the government has also announced that no service tax will be charged on transactions through the debit/credit cards, provided these are below Rs 2000.

Some of the declared effects of this entire process of demonetisation are:

  • About Rs 4 lakh crores has been injected into the financial system
  • The RBI has to plug back a total of Rs 14.48 lakh crores that had gone out of circulation
  • As per the RBI declarations, Rs 11.5 lakh crores of the illegal tender was deposited by the people in banks, till December 6, 2016.
  • The analysis shows that approximately 65% of the money taken out of circulation remains to be replaced.
  • As per reports, about Rs 1.5 lakh crores had been released into the system till on November 25.
  • The RBI has officially stated that only Rs 4 lakh crore is back into the system.
  • Meaning thereby that the RBI is releasing only a third of the cash that is being deposited back into the system in the form of illegal tender of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
  • This implies that though the printing of new currency started two months ago, in September, the paucity of cash in India may take a while to go.
  • The purchasing power of the people has been However, it is expected that this kind of a disruption in the system would be short lived and business activity would gain momentum as the high-value banknotes gradually get replaced, and black marketers end their operations.
  • It is broadly said that the current socio-economic disruption was an essential step in the country’s drive towards making its economy stronger and resulting in a higher GDP.

The current demonetisation is unprecedented and historic . Notifications and updates are coming in daily . While we are trying our best to bring you the most accurate and updated Information on this subject it is a possibility that by the time we relay the information it might have been changed. Please verify from the official site of RBI before taking any action (https://www.rbi.org.in/) We will not be held liable for any discrepancy in the information.

 

By | December 9th, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation|0 Comments

DEMONETIZATION AND NRIs

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There is a common online joke in India these days that the new definition of a Tsunami is the sombre voice uttering -mere pyaare deshvaasiyo…  With all the humour that it evokes on a daily basis, it is indicative of the powerful change that the storm named -Demonetisation-  has brought into the country in the past three weeks or so.

On November 8, Prime Minister Modi shook the nation by his announcements regarding the demonetisation process in the country. Broadly, his announcement enunciated the following:

  1. The legal tender character of the existing banknotes in denominations of  500 and 1000 issued by the Reserve Bank of India till November 8, 2016 (from now on referred to as Specified Bank Notes) was withdrawn.
  2. All these notes could be exchanged over the counter in any of the 19 offices of the Reserve Bank of India and deposited at any of the bank branches of commercial banks/ Regional Rural Banks/ Co-operative banks (only Urban Co-operative Banks and State Co-operative Banks) or any Head Post Office or Sub-Post Office.
  3. The minor details stood as following-
  • Over the counter exchange of the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs, 1000 was withdrawn post-midnight November 24, 2016.
  • From November 25, an individual could only deposit the old notes in their accounts and then withdraw new currency through ATMs or cheques at banks.
  • The government intends encouraging people who currently do not have accounts to open them and deposit the abolished notes.
  • There would still be a limit of Rs 24000 per week withdrawal per bank account
  • At the time of this article being published, ATMs can be used to draw up to Rs. 2,500 a day per card.
  • The RBI has doubled the limit on digital transactions through e-wallets like Paytm to Rs. 20,000 per month.
  • For Foreign citizens, the rule is that they would be permitted to exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week. However, now entries would be made in their passports. The RBI proposes to issue further guidelines regarding this.

The move also affected many NRIs who keep Indian currency with them sometimes. As per rules, NRIs are supposed to reconvert the Indian currency into their foreign currency before they leave India so that they don’t have much Indian cash with them. In case for some reason they were not able to reconvert, the following applies to them-

BRING THE CASH WITH THEM TO INDIA

  • If planning to travel to India before December 30, 2016, then bring the cash and exchange it at any bank or post office in India.
  • Also, up to March 31, 2017, exchange the money at specified RBI offices by producing required documents (passport showing you were not in India before current visit from the time of announcement of demonetization, valid identity proof etc. Please check RBI website for more information)

SEND THE PHYSICAL MONEY WITH SOMEONE TRUSTWORTHY:

  • If unable to travel to India give the money to someone else trustworthy who is travelling to India.
  • They could then exchange it on the person’s behalf.
  • It is advisable that an authorizing letter is provided to that person to exchange the bills on the NRI’s behalf with other valid documents like PAN card, Aadhar card, Passport copy, Visa copy, etc.
  • Please do remember that the limit on currency a traveler can bring into India without declaring is Rs. 25,000.

IF THEY ALREADY HAVE CASH IN INDIA:

  • According to RBI guidelines, if an NRI already has old banknotes in India, he may authorize in writing and enable another person in India to deposit the notes into his bank account.
  • The person so authorised, has to come to the bank branch with the old banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Valid Identity Proof is any of the following: Aadhar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Pass Port, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff).

DEPOSIT THE OLD NOTES IN YOUR NRO ACCOUNT:

  • NRIs can deposit your notes into their Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings Account.
  • However, this is an option only if they are traveling to India before December 30, 2016.

There have been some sections that are troubled by the system of changing old notes or withdrawals, but by and large, people are hopeful of positive changes happening in the economy. The bird’s eye view or the big picture opinion seems to point out to the fact that in the long term, this move would reduce the dependence on cash alone, increase the inflow in banks leading them to reduce lending rates in the economy and thus, help increase demand in the economy.

While we attempt to bring you the latest in the country on this issue, it is vital to remember that new notifications are being issued almost every day. We do suggest you keep a close check on our website www.nrilegalservices.com and also verify facts from the RBI website www.rbi.org.in.

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Detoxifying is an often misused word. However, if it were seen as yet another way to keep our body pure and free from diseases, one would learn to value this process. What is of immense importance, however, is that we respect our body, understand its needs and problems and then follow a detoxifying routine that adds energy to our basic system rather than leaves us feeling weak and starved. We do the routine cleaning at home only when we get time from our more pressing job or business responsibilities. In the same way, our digestive system takes care of the accumulated backlog only when we give it some rest. This rest comes in the form of light eating. As long as we are eating to our fill, there is no chance of the backlog to be cleared. The importance of weekly fast or a 12-day “detox” can be followed during the regime of a full Holistic course. We can reap huge benefits even by shorter rest periods too. Whenever you find yourself tired, out of sorts or uneasy, your first line of defence should be to skip dinner. Just this much of sacrifice will help you bounce back the next morning. It does not have to be zero food either. Maybe you can do with half the normal dinner? Or just a bowl of boiled vegetables or maybe soup. This intermittent fasting will help your digestive system to recoup fast. Some people rather skip lunch but that proves counterproductive because one feels voraciously hungry around 5 pm and ends up eating junk. If you are skipping dinner, make sure that you don’t indulge in a midnight binge. Steel yourself and make sure that even if you find it difficult to sleep, you do not take anything except water after 9 pm. You will be so much the lighter the next morning and will find yourself full of renewed vigour. By the way, skipping dinner is also a magical remedy for eliminating cough and cold. At the first sign of throat irritation, decide not to eat anything after sunset. You will be in fine fettle the next morning.

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ALL FOR A HOT CUP OF TEA!

Munnar is perhaps one of the leading examples of what Rudyard Kipling said, “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” Step into this city at the convergence of three rivers and be greeted by a range of flavoured aromas – tea, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, espresso, nutmeg, and cloves. From refreshing to pungent, Munnar offers you a taste of life in its most raw yet most ethereal form. Mountain peaks, lush sprawling tea gardens, wilderness, meandering rivers and spice gardens – this and more in this enthralling home to waterfalls and tea estates. You could be walking along curved paths and simply breathe in the freshness that the fragrance of tea leaves laced with that of spices brings with it. Couple it with the opportunity to buy all the sources and you’re bound to be in love with the experience that this part of the country offers. You could even indulge in sinfully delicious chocolates and convince yourself that the calories added are balanced by the sheer love, purity, and passion with which these are made by so many small ventures here – white or dark, liqueur or simple, plain or the ‘nutty’ ones!

At a height of about 6000 feet, this amazing geographical domain lends an enriching experience of walks through low floating clouds and misty roads, age-old architecture and nostalgic whiffs, dense wilderness and structured tea gardens! Childlike wonder and adventure could make you want to bounce and dance your way over the sloping tea bushes. Just as the misty environs during the rains and otherwise set your mind thinking on cinematic reels. Amongst the attractions here are a few tea estates at heights of almost 800ft – tough rides in jeeps through the mountain paths to reach the destination get negated by the spectacular view that you see from these heights. There are some tea factories standing strong and firm in their work since the early 1900s. The historical significance is enhanced by the fact that quality of the produce remains unmatched even now.

That Munnar has been an important summer resort for the British during the times of the Raj. One can still bask in the warmth of the colonial remnants even while enjoying the wilderness. Picture perfect gets a new definition here in Munnar. There is hardly any other place that offers such a vast spectrum of natural beauty. Lakes, hills, waterfalls, greenery and buildings, that tell different historical stories. The most amazing waterfall here called the ‘Powerhouse Waterfalls is located on way to Thekkady falling from an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level, this is a must visit site for all tourists. It gets its name from the Power station located here on the waterfalls. Another tourist delight is the Floriculture Centre where one gets to view hundreds of species of flowers, decorative and medicinal plants, orchids and even cactus. The Mattupetty dam and lake are ideal beauty spots for people to enjoy boat cruises. The town is famous for its Indo-Swiss livestock dairy project and people enjoy homemade chocolates and other decorative artefacts. Another vantage point is Echo Point, at some distance of a few km from Munnar. Like any hill station, this is a point which gets its name from the spectacular views and the echo phenomenon here. Trekking and mountaineering can be enjoyed here.

Munnar gets considerable fame from its lake associated with Sita Devi in the quaint hill station of Devikulam in this area. Said to possess minerals and acclaimed to have healing powers, this lake attracts a lot of religious and other tourists. The Eravikulam National Park, located about 15 km from Munnar is home to the Nilgiri Tahr too. Easily comparable to the best mountain ranges in the world this was declared as National Park in 1978 due to the ecological significance and the flora, fauna and zoological importance of the place.

One of the most enchanting historical attractions is structures called -Dolmens-. These are megalithic tombs which are made of large granite slabs to form square burial chambers. It is said that sages (munis) were buried here. Besides, one can also find a lot of caves which overlook the Pambar River, and depict forms of rock paintings painted by tribes here. Marayoor-the part of Munnar which houses these structures now attracts tourists and is definitely not to be missed when you visit this part of the country.

Munnar is a name that leaves you with memories of rain and mist, hilly walks and whiff of tea leaves, spicy sojourns and homemade chocolates and a rendezvous with Nature in one of its best forms. Indulge yourself and soak in all of this while you discover this part of the country.

 

By | December 6th, 2016|Demonitization, Newsletter|0 Comments

The new that shall accommodate the old too! New 20 and 50 rupees notes to be issued soon – old ones will stay

In its continued spell of changes in the economy, the RBI announced that it would soon issue newer versions of Rs 20 and Rs 50 notes. The saving feature, however, is that the old ones will still be valid. The newer Rs 50 notes would now not have inset letters in the number panels. The Rs 20 notes would have the inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels.

The signature of the RBI Governor Urijit Patel would be present on both the new notes. Also, the year of printing – 2016 – would be mentioned on the reverse of the notes.

The decision follows the 8 November demonetisation of high-value currency that has caused a major cash crunch, with the supply of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes released proving insufficient for meeting the current needs. The design and security features of these banknotes will be similar to the banknotes of Rs 50 denomination with the ascending font of numerals in both the number panels and without intaglio print issued earlier in Mahatma Gandhi Series- 2005 through Press Release No. 2016-2017/751. All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.

These changes have reportedly been brought about by the Modi government to streamline the Indian economy. It was a well-known fact that the incidence of fake Indian currency notes in higher denomination had increased in the economy. For ordinary persons, the fake notes look similar to genuine notes, even though no security feature has been copied. The fake notes have been used over the years for anti-national and illegal activities. It was also suspected and observed that the high denomination notes were being misused by terrorists. They were also being used for hoarding black money. Since India is the cash based economy, hence the circulation of fake currency notes is a menace.

The schemes to withdraw some denominations and being about changes in others were introduced to contain the rising incidence of fake notes and black money.

By | December 5th, 2016|Blog, New 20 and 50 rupees notes|0 Comments

Demonetising _ The changing Taxation scenario in India

In the past one month or so, there has been a wave of changes introduced due to the demonetisation process carried out by the Modi government. Besides a general ban on the old 500 and 1000 notes, in the recent days, there were many announcements made regarding gold and related schemes.

Somewhere in all this, there have been indications of measures being taken for streamlining the Taxation system in the country. Some of the proposed amendments in the Income Tax Act are:

  • Individuals with unaccounted cash or deposits of cancelled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will pay 50% tax
  • Out of the amount declared, a quarter would be locked up for four years in interest free deposits, leaving such declarant with only 25% of funds for immediate use.
  • The law also declares that there would be taxes imposed in the following manner:
    • Up to 60% (tax + penalty) – if it’s admitted and return is filed
    • 90% (tax + penalty) on cash seized in searches.
  • All individuals who declare their black money will have to mandatorily deposit 25% of the amount disclosed in anti-poverty scheme; that too, in schemes without interest and a four-year lock-in period.
  • Those who choose to declare their ill-gotten wealth stashed till now under the Pradhan Mantri Garibi Kalyan Yojana 2016 –
  • Will have to pay a tax at the rate of 30% of the undisclosed income.
  • And additional 10% penalty will be levied on the undisclosed income and surcharge called PMGK Cess at the rate of 33% of tax (33% of 30%).
  • All such declarants will have to deposit 25% of the undisclosed income in a scheme to be notified by the government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • If some individual is caught holding on to undisclosed cash, the existing provisions of the Income Tax law would be amended to provide for a flat 60% tax plus a surcharge of 25% of tax (15%), which will amount a levy of 75%.

Or

  • The declarant will have to pay a tax of 60 per cent and an additional surcharge of 25 per cent of the tax (i.e. 15 per cent of such income), resulting in a total tax component of 75 per cent.
  • Besides, if the assessing officer decides he can charge a 10% penalty in addition to the 75% tax.
  • Service tax will not be levied on tickets booked through the IRCTC website from 23 November to 31 December – Rs. 20 would be levied as service tax on Sleeper and Rs. 40 on AC classes for booking tickets through IRCTC.
  • On November 23, the government also asked banks towaive the merchant discount rate (MDR) or transaction fee charged on debit card payments until 31 December, 2016..
  • In moves to strengthen and support the rural sector, the government also decided that it will provide Rs21,000 crore to district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) through NABARD to provide loans to farmers.
  • RBI has provided anadditional 60 days for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans worth up to Rs. 1 crore.
  • The money from the scheme would be used for projects in irrigation, housing, toilets, infrastructure, primary education, primary health and livelihood so that there is justice and equality.

In the past few weeks, the government has been declaring various steps to flush out the economy of black money and improve the structure of the financial system. In the context of the steps being taken, there are frequent announcements made. While we try and bring the latest to you on a daily basis, sometimes there could be a variation in the data available. We suggest that you do verify all facts from the official RBI website too www.rbi.org.in , for all relevant information.

By | December 3rd, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation, exchange 500 and 1000 notes|0 Comments

All That Glitters, Will be Monitored – Gold Deposit Norms

In the plethora of guidelines being issued under the Demonetisation wave, the Government has now declared the following regarding the Gold deposit that individuals can have:

  • All jewellery that has been bought with declared wealth or income will not be taxed
  • Ancestral jewellery will also be spared taxation
  • Married women have been allowed to possess up to 500g of gold – and not worry about it being seized
  • Single women will be allowed 250g and men only up to 100g
  • All gold deposits that are over 500g and cannot be explained by known sources of income will attract heavy income tax under the gold monetisation scheme
  • The government aims to discourage people from converting black into white money, under the scheme
  • For people who have been paying wealth tax, only gold jewellery and ornaments which are more than the declared gross weight will be seized – the ceilings can be adjusted by the tax officers depending on the particular community or status of the family
  • The government had of course declared that there would be no relief on the know-your-customer (KYC) guidelines or the other reporting requirements of banks.
  • The government is hoping to reduce India’s gold imports with the help of its two schemes launched – the Gold Monetisation scheme and the Sovereign Gold Bond scheme
    • Under the Gold Monetisation Scheme, individuals will be able to earn some interest on the god lying in their bank lockers – this would be like a gold savings account which will earn interest for the gold deposited in it.
    • Gold can be deposited in any form-bars, coins or jewellery
    • The earnings therein would be exempt from capital gains tax, wealth tax or income tax
    • No capital gains tax on the earning that would accrue to an individual from the increased return on the gold you have deposited
    • By doing all this the government also hopes to convert gold into a productive asset
    • Gold holdings in India are estimated at more than 20,000 tonnes but since they are not commercially deployed, India still imports 800-1,000 tonnes of gold a year.
    • The second scheme – Sovereign Gold Bond scheme – is formulated to “enable individuals to benefit from the appreciation in gold prices without actually physically holding the gold”, according to RBI.
    • The government is offering an opportunity to individuals to buy Gold Bonds which would be taken as collaterals for taking loans.
    • These bonds can also be sold or traded on stock exchanges

Amongst other things, the new rules and highlights of the demonetisation drive listed by the RBI as of 1 December are:

  • From 3 December, old Rs500 notes are not allowed to be usedfor even purchase of petrol, diesel and gas.
  • The RBI on Wednesday announced that it will place cashwithdrawal limits on Jan Dhan accounts also, as a precautionary measure.
  • The central bank said that on accounts which are fully compliant of the know your customer (KYC) norms—the monthly withdrawal limit has been set at Rs10,000
  • In an effort to curb the hoarding of valid currency notes and increasing its circulation, theRBI in its latest notification allowed the withdrawal of the deposited sum in Rs2, 000 and Rs 500 notes, irrespective of the existing cash withdrawal limits.
  • TheRBI has also imposed stiff conditions for withdrawal of up to Rs 2.5 lakh in cash from bank accounts for weddings – now the money can be withdrawn only from the credit balance as on 8 November, the day demonetisation was announced.
  • Given the rumours of fraudulent deposits happening in various accounts, the government hasalso warned people against depositing their unaccounted old currency in someone else’s bank account.
  • All such transactions – the ‘Benami’ transactions, so to say – would be penalised and incur jail terms for a minimum of seven.
By | December 2nd, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation|0 Comments
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