Field trial to be taken up in second half of 2014, says Namo Narain Meena

Plastic notes in the denomination of ₹10 will be introduced on a pilot basis, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narayan Meena told to the Lok Sabha on Friday.

In a written reply to a question, Meena said about 1billion ₹10 plastic notes will be introduced on a trial basis in five cities — Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar. The field trial is expected to be launched in the second half of 2014.

On a question on corporate tax dues, Minister of State for Finance JD Seelam informed the Lok Sabha that the Income Tax Department has devised six points strategy to recover corporate tax dues.

As on December 31, 2013, total corporate tax demand outstanding has reached ₹2.46 lakh crore. There are 45 corporate cases where direct tax demand above ₹500 crore is outstanding.

However, “No separate data of outstanding demand from big corporate as a separate category or class is mentioned.”

He also disclosed that the strategy to recover outstanding tax dues will include strict monitoring and review of actions for recovery of tax demand by jurisdictional income tax authorities, use of information from Individual Transaction Statement as an effective tool of recovery in cases where taxpayers is untraceable or no asset is available for recovery, besides others.

Income Tax Raid

Seelam also said that in a total of 3,139 searches were conducted by the Income Tax Department. These resulted in seizure of disproportionate assets worth ₹565.4 crore. It may be noted that in 2012-13, 3,889 searches related in recovery of assets over ₹575 crore.

Gold, Silver duty

To another question, Seelam said “There is no proposal under consideration to reduce import duty on gold, taking into account the likely impact on the Current Account Deficit.” Last year, the Government hiked import duty thrice to 10 per cent on import of gold in wake of high CAD, which in turn was impacting the value of the rupee.

The Reserve Bank too imposed a series of curbs to restrict gold imports.

The CAD had touched a record high of $88.2 billion in 2012-13.

However, following a series of measures, by both the RBI and the Government, the deficit is likely to fall below $45 billion in the current financial year ending March 31. Finance Minister P Chidambaram had recently said the restrictions on gold imports will be reviewed by March-end.

Meanwhile, the Government collected ₹7,590 crore by way of import duty on gold during April-December 2013. In 2012-13, the collection was ₹10,463 crore.

(This article was published on February 7, 2014)
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