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Service tax amnesty scheme: Govt. cannot get more liberal than this, says FM

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Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speaks at the Service Tax Voluntary Complaince Encouragement Scheme meeting of trade and commerce in Hyderabad on Wednesday . - Photo: P V Sivakumar
Business Line Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram speaks at the Service Tax Voluntary Complaince Encouragement Scheme meeting of trade and commerce in Hyderabad on Wednesday . - Photo: P V Sivakumar

Describing the amnesty scheme for service tax compliance as a golden opportunity, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “Unless it is complied, law will ultimately reach you.”

He described the current opportunity to pay up service tax as the one similar to the Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme of 1997 and called upon all those liable to pay services taxes to come forward and disclose their dues and pay the taxes.

The Centre has deliberately adopted a benign approach for recovery of service tax. The Government cannot get any more generous than this. All you have to do is pay up now. There is no interest, there is no penalty, there is no prosecution and no questions are asked, he said.

Speaking at an interactive session on Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme 2013 here today, the Finance Minister said that the Government has come forward with such a scheme after 16 years. It is not possible to come up with anything like this again as the Supreme Court has categorically stated that such schemes cannot be encouraged.

It is heartening to note that 17 lakh persons have voluntarily registered for services tax and of this about 7 lakh actually pay tax. He described the rest as no filers or stopped filers. Ten lakh do not either know that they have to pay tax or have stopped payment of axes. In comparison there are merely, 1,20,000 to 1,30,000 excise assesses, he said.

“There is no way one can be a no filer and get away. As ultimately law will reach you,” he said.

Referring to the contribution of services to the GDP at about 57 per cent, he said tax compliance is extremely important. Therefore, he told service tax payees to come lean, be smart and get a fresh start.

“In the last two weeks there has been good response. Of the 9,000-plus declarations received so far, there have been just about 107 rejections. Even these would be reconsidered,” he said.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 4, 2013)
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Union Budget 2014-15 Highlights

  • Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on July 10, 2014
  • Income-tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
  • Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
  • Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
  • Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
  • Committee to look into all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
  • Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6% in FY 16
  • Rs 150 crore allocated for increasing safety of women in large cities
  • LCD, LED TV become cheaper
  • Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
  • 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
  • 5 more IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  • 4 more AIIMS like institutions to come up in AP, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP
  • Govt proposes to launch Digital India’ programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
  • National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
  • Rs 100 cr scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
  • Rs 100 cr for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
  • Govt expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
  • Govt’s plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-Plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
  • Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called ‘Namami Gange’
  • Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
  • FDI limit to be hiked to 49% pc in defence, insurance
  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
  • Contours of GST to be finalised this fiscal; Govt to look into DTC proposal.
  • ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme’ launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
  • Govt provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
  • Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
  • Govt in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
  • Govt considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
  • Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities
  • A project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose.
  • Govt proposes Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology
  • Expenditure management commission to be setup; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
  • Impasse in coal sector will be resolved; coal will be provided to power plants already commissioned or to be commissioned by March 2015
  • Long term capial gains tax for mutual funds doubled to 20%; lock-in period increased to 3 years
  • Rs 4,000 cr set aside to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
  • EPFO to launch the ‘Uniform Account Number’ service to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts
  • Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
  • Minimum pension increased to Rs 1,000 per month
  • Union Budget 2014: List of products getting cheaper/ costlier

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today spared the common man from price hikes by keeping duties on commonly used day-to-day items unchanged but made it costlier for smokers and tobacco consumers with a steep increase in excise rate in tax proposals in Budget 2014—15.
  • Following is a list of what will be cheaper and costlier:
  • YOU WILL PAY LESS FOR
  • CRT television
  • LED/LCD TVs especially below 19 inch
  • Footwear priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per pair
  • Soaps
  • E—book readers
  • Desktop, laptops and tablets
  • RO based water purifiers
  • LED Lights, fixtures and lamps
  • Pre forms of precious and semi—precious stones
  • Sports Gloves
  • Branded petrol
  • Matchbox
  • Life micro insurance policies
  • HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic kits
  • DDT insecticides
  • YOU WILL PAY MORE FOR
  • Cigarettes
  • Aerated drinks with sugar
  • Pan masala
  • Gutka and chewing tobacco
  • Jarda scented tobacco
  • Radio Taxi
  • Imported electronic products
  • Portable X—ray machines
  • Half cut/broken diamonds.

  • DATA BANK

    Exchange Rate

    Dollar Spot Forward Rate

    Open-Ended Mutual Funds

    MCX-SX Currency Futures

    NSE Currency Futures


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