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Thursday, December 26

Abolish Income Tax, Excise & Sales Tax, compensate it by Transaction Tax - BJP

Former Bharatiya Janta Party President Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said his party, if it comes to power, will consider a proposal of abolishing a host of taxes including Income tax, Sales tax, Excise in order to eliminate black money and “Inspector Raj” in the country.

“We have received a proposal (under India Vision policy 2025) in which Income tax, Sales tax, Excise and octroi should be eliminated. A transaction tax should be levied (instead),” Gadkari said while addressing a gathering of traders here today.

Citing an example, he said if somebody buys a car and visits a restaurant, then two per cent tax will be imposed on such transactions.

“If these transactions are carried out through banks, then our total revenue should go up to Rs 40 lakh crore as against current revenue of Rs 14 lakh crore,” he said, adding, it would also curb the practice of black money and provide relief to traders from “Inspector Raj”.


"If we abolish these taxes and if we apply around 1 or 1.5 per cent of expenditure or transaction tax, then we will get revenue to the tune of around Rs 40,000 lakh crore. So those 3.5 lakh people who are using becons of various colours now, they will not be required anymore as no tribunals or commissioners will be required," he said.

However, he said, “This proposal is under consideration and no decision is taken yet. But when BJP comes to power then we will consider it. We also want a debate on this issue.” Gadkari, who is incharge of party’s India Vision document, said the party is in the process of preparing India Vision Document 2025 incorporating all issues relating to trade, industry, agriculture, transport, power etc.

“We have received about 10,000 suggestions so far on different issues from public on India Vision document,” he said.

He further said the party has received another proposal in which 3.29 crore tax payers could be exempted from filling income tax returns.

About fake currency issue, he said there is a proposal to grow special fibre made of plastic or jute at over 1,000-1,500 acres of land which would be used in making currency thus help in dealing with the fake currency in the country.

Gadkari also accused the Congress-led UPA government of its wrong economic policies, vision less leadership and poor governance. “The country is facing big problems like corruption, unemployment and inflation and the Congress-led UPA has failed miserably on addressing these issues,” he said.

Comparing the performance of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government with the current UPA government at the Centre, Gadkari said the country’s GDP, which was 8.5% during the NDA rule, has come down to 4.5% under the prime ministership of Manmohan Singh.

Biggest scams like coal scam, 2G scam and Commonwealth Games scam were unearthed during the UPA rule, he alleged.

He also compared key factors of growth in the BJP-ruled states with the UPA government at the Centre.

The farm growth in Madhya Pardesh and Gujarat remained at 18.90% and 11.50% respectively which was much higher than the country’s agriculture growth of 8.5%.

The former BJP president also took dig at Congress for weakening the rupee, spiralling inflation and rising import of coal, petroleum products and fiscal imbalance.


1. DNA
2. PTI
3. Economic Times

However, Study suggests that, the transactions has to be between 4.5 - 5 %, then only it can compensate the tax revenue. Secondly, what will be the impact of it on retail prices and also it will have bad impact on poor and middle class, as they have to pay more. Yashvant Sinha, BJP leader, personally not in favour of bringing such tax scheme.

Tuesday, December 24

Companies to decide about CSR spendings, MCA will not interfere

The Corporate Affairs Ministry will not be the “judge or jury” on CSR spending, and companies can take a call on how they want to use the funds, said Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot.

This should come as music to India Inc, given that the new company law prescribes a regime for corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending.

But the key issue now is how will the Corporate Affairs Ministry provide this relaxation in the CSR regime as it may require changes to the law.

“I am very clear that it cannot be the Ministry or the Secretary or the State Government that can tell you where you should spend the CSR money,” Pilot said at a CII-ITC sustainability awards 2013 event here. India Inc can spend the CSR money on environment, ecology or even wildlife if it so desires, he said.



The CSR provisions in the new company law are yet to come into effect. The Corporate Affairs Ministry will by this month end come up with the final rules on CSR provisions, Pilot told Business Lineon the sidelines of the event. The seven phases of draft rules on the new company law have seen tremendous response from stakeholders. The Corporate Affairs Ministry has apparently received more than 25,000 responses to the draft rules. The proposed final rules are expected to clear the air on CSR spends.


The Corporate Affairs Ministry has several options to change the prescriptive regime of CSR spending.

With the new company law in place, some legal experts feel that Schedule VII has to be amended if company boards are to get the power to decide on the areas of CSR spending.

According to the new company law, the CSR committee of a company will have to formulate and recommend to the board a policy. This policy will have to indicate what the company proposes to do from the Schedule VII list of 10 activities, including “such other matters as may be prescribed”. Indications are this phrase will be replaced with “such other activities that a company may deem fit”.


Dolphy D’Souza, Senior Partner, S. R. Batliboi & Co, says it is possible to add to the list of CSR activities either by prescribing in the rules or by amending Schedule VII or using Section 470 of the Companies Act, 2013 to remove the difficulty. “I guess the rules will be an easy option,” he told Business Line.

Lalit Kumar, Partner with law firm J. Sagar Associates, said the Centre has under Schedule VII the powers to prescribe additional matters for CSR activities other than those already listed in the Schedule. But it has no powers to delete or amend the subjects already listed unless the Centre invokes its power under Section 467 of the Companies Act, 2013. This will, however, require approval of both Houses of Parliament.

Source : Hindu Business Line

Soon SMS to be regarded as official document for legal purposes

People may soon be able to use SMS communication with government departments as a documentary proof while utilising citizen-services for making payments, registrations and various other schemes.

The Centre on Monday launched a platform with about 241 applications for the public after completing pilot project of mobile governancewith about 100 departments and testing proof of concepts.

The applications relate to services covering areas such as Right to Information (RTI), health, Aadhaar, education, directory services and so on.

Launching the 'Mobile Seva' service, department of electronics and IT secretary J Satyanarayana said: "Like Railways, we have to bring in a system wherein by showing (transaction) SMS or, whatever be the case (like e-mail), the proof on mobile is accepted as valid document.


"To increase our reach we need to bring this kind of practice in mobile and e-governance."

India has around 90 crore mobile phone subscribers. Satyanarayana said that at present digitally signed certificates are accepted as valid document but similar rule has to be made for mobile phone users where SMS or a communication available on mobile phone can be accepted as valid proof.

Joint secretary at DEITY Rajendra Kumar said the department is ready with digital signature for mobile phones which the government can use in messages that are to be sent to the citizens applying for a service.

"We will start allocating digital signature (Public Key Infrastructure) to all government department on board in first quarter of 2014. Government departments can send communication on mobile of citizen seeking service," Kumar said.

He said any communication with PKI, say SMS, can be shown instead of a paper receipt or document.

At present, most of the mobile applications work on Android mobile phones and Java enabled phones.

Kumar said that in six months the government will bring all applications to HTML5 standard which will make them compatible with all mobile platforms.

DEITY additional secretary Rajiv Gauba said about 830 departments from the Centre, state and local authorities have come on board, and the department is working on the third phase to further scale up the mobile governance platform and bring more services under its ambit.

"We have to go through inter-ministerial consultations to scale this m-governance store for launch of third phase. The third phase will have many more departments and capacity to add more services application on this store. Final shape of third phase can be known only after consultation process is complete," he said.

Source : Times Of India

Monday, December 23

Soiled, Scribbled currency notes will be ACCEPTED even after 1st january, 2014 - RBI confirms

RBI confirms that it will allow banks to ACCEPT soiled, scribbled rupee notes

With 2013 coming to an end, some believe it is also the end for scribbled currency notes. The social media is abuzz with ‘warnings’ that banks will stop accepting notes with any scribbles on them from January 2014. This, however, isn’t true.

The confusion stems from a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular issued on August 14 this year, urging banks “to issue suitable instructions to all dealing officers and staff to forthwith stop writing or scribbling of any kind on any part of the banknote (currency notes).”

This was part of the central bank’s ‘Clean Note Policy’ under which all soiled and scribbled currency notes, once submitted to the RBI, are not reissued for circulation. The RBI destroys such notes by shredding or briquetting and issues fresh ones into the system through banks.

“Nowhere have we said that banks should not accept notes on which something is written or scribbled,” a spokesperson of the RBI. “The purpose was to discourage the practice of writing or scribbling on the body of notes in banks so as to achieve the objectives of the Clean Note Policy,” the official added.


As per RBI guidelines, soiled banknotes can be exchanged for full value at any bank. However, if the banknote is ‘mutilated’ or torn to a great extent, it can be exchanged for half its value.

Either way, banks cannot turn away people who wish to exchange soiled or mutilated or scribbled notes. “All banks are authorised to accept soiled currency notes for full value. They are expected to extend the facility of exchange of soiled notes even to non-customers,” said the RBI.

“Customers will not get impacted by RBI’s Clean Note Policy. Banks cannot ask their branch staff to stop accepting any soiled or scribbled currency notes,” said a zonal manager of a Chennai-based public sector bank.

Time and again, the RBI requests people to respect banknotes by not making garlands, decorating pandals and places of worship or showering them on personalities at social events.

“Such actions deface the notes and shorten their life,” said an RBI official. The central bank has also advised not to staple notes or put a rubber stamp or any other mark on them.

The RBI disposed of 14 billion banknotes and supplied 18.8 billion fresh ones in the last financial year. In all, there were 73.5 billion notes worth Rs1,160 crore value in the system as on March 31, 2013.

The issue

The confusion stems from a RBI circular issued on August 14, urging banks “to issue suitable instructions to all dealing officers and staff to forthwith stop writing or scribbling of any kind on any part of the banknote (currency notes).”

This was part of its ‘Clean Note Policy’ under which all soiled and scribbled currency notes, once submitted to the RBI, are not reissued for circulation. The RBI destroys such notes and issues fresh ones into the system through banks.

Source : DNA India

Team CAhelpers advice all the users to not to scribble the rupee notes.

Vodafone will be challenging Rs 3,700 crores tax demand

Vodafone Group Plc will challenge the Income Tax Department’s notice seeking Rs 3,700 crore relating to its call centre business.

The department has sent the notice, which is the final assessment order, to its Indian arm.

“Vodafone maintains that there is no tax payable on this transaction and the company will file an appeal before the tax appeal tribunal as soon as possible,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mail reply toBusiness Line.

Defended strongly
“The facts of this case – including the transaction structure – were examined in considerable detail by Supreme Court, which delivered an unambiguous judgment affirming that there is indeed no tax due. Vodafone will continue to strongly defend its position against this order,” the British telecom major said in the mail.


Vodafone disagrees with the dispute resolution panel’s decision relating to the transfer pricing order, which it received in December 2011, it added.

The case relates to the transfer pricing order in connection with sale of call centre business to Hutchison Whampoa Properties India Ltd and the “assignment of call options” to Vodafone International Holdings BV.

In its December 2011 order, the Tax Department had asked Vodafone to add Rs 8,500 crore to its taxable income, thus raising the tax liability of the company.

Now, the IT Department has issued a final assessment order and a notice of demand, providing the company with 30 days to comply or approach an appropriate forum for relief.

Another tax liability

The telecom major is also facing a Rs 11,200-crore tax liability (plus interest) on its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in India’s telecom major, Hutchison Essar.

Source : The Hindu Business Line

Friday, December 13

Cloud Computing : A boon for CA students and CAs

Cloud Computing : A boon for CA students and CAs

What is cloud server?
Cloud server is something what we can say is a server, which is installed on web just like a server installed in our office. This is just a layman's view about Cloud Server. Let's not get into technicalities as our subject is to explain cloud computing and how it can be used by a CA (students & professionals).

Examples of cloud
In a narrower term box, dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, 4shared are cloud services.

What it exactly does?
It actually works as a server which stores all our data and the same data can be accessed at any time at any place on any computing device, be it a tablet, PC, laptop or even a mobile.

Can only MS office or utility files be stored on cloud?
No, it is not so.

Can it be used for purpose other than storing files?
Yes. In today's time, even web based application are also made which are based on cloud computing. These applications can be used for HR management, Time Sheet maintenance, Project monitoring, File exchange, Accounting, Office management, and what not.

What is the financial part for using these services?
All the examples given above are free up to a certain limit (say 5 GB), which is enough for a common man, but for a practitioner, the space may be low, and s/he can go for Pro version, cost of which is not much high. For creating web based application and cloud computing relating to it costs to the organization.

How it can be used by CA students?
Well, the CA students are too much tech-savy these days. Cloud service can be used by the students for keeping study material, e-books, notes, presentations, video lectures, etc. on the cloud, which can be accessed at any time from anywhere from any device. These files can also be shared by the students, so that they can exchange files & views on such file. Whenever any file is used, in case of modification, the same get stored on cloud and the updated version can be used by the users. 

How it can be used by CAs in service?
Cloud service can be used by CAs in service for keeping presentations, financial data, office related files, important legal documents, etc. on the cloud, which can be accessed at any time from anywhere from any device. These files can also be shared with colleagues and clients. Whenever any file is used, in case of modification, the same get stored on cloud and the updated version can be used by the users.

How it can be used by CAs in practice?
Ahh! This is the point where even if I write much, it will be less. Cloud computing for a CA can be a boon, if it is used in the best way. It can automate the office. It would not be exaggeration if I say, a CA or his employees even need not to visit office and whole work can be done form anywhere, even home or outstations. A CA can store on cloud all documents relating to office, client's data, client's files, legal papers, employee related data, office accounting related data, project data, etc. Whenever any employee or partner want to access the file, he can do so, even access rights can also be managed. The partner can monitor the progress of the work, while sitting from home, and he can guide the way ahead to his employees and articles. Specialized software can also be purchased, though which, work, projects, employees and administration related work can be monitored. How about an instant solution to the querry raised by employees? Yes it is possible by help of cloud computing. The senior can access the querry, view the related financial data of client, related laws, judgments, etc. instantly on the click. Just imagine, how the life will be much easier in office after this. But on a lighter note, it comes with a caution for articles, there work can be monitored and the partner can instantly see his working.

What are the cautions for using cloud services?

Internet is the most vulnerable place, when it comes to information security, because while sending or receiving the information online, it travels through the web, and it can be evesdropped or misused by someone with ill intention. But don't worry, there are 'n' no. of solutions for security. While you are using any of the examples mentioned above, they are most safe, and till you keep your password with you, there can be no harm. For specially designed cloud computing web based application, the extra security layer can be installed through many mechanisms.

Just imagine, how easy our life would be, if we use such services in the best way possible! Yes, it is indeed a boon to us.

In case of any difficulty, you may comment below, and we will surely revert you back.


This post has been written by Mr. Anshul Mandowara. He is a Chartered Accountant and B.Com. He is having much interest in Information Technology, Information Security, Cloud Computing and Internet. He can be reached at or

Monday, December 2

The NaMo impact on Indian Stock Market - Market all set for Pro-business Government

The website do not indorse any political party. The below reports given are facts and market phenomenon.

Indian stocks are surging as foreign investors return to emerging markets with an enthusiasm that mirrors their exodus after being seized by taper panic in May. Now, with elections around the corner, some are even calling the latest Indian advance a political leap of faith, with market participants betting in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

"It seems like a NaMo bull run," said Ramesh Damani, a BSE broker. "Otherwise, there is no good reason for such a strong run-up."

The 30-share Sensex crossed the 21,000 mark for the first time in January 2008, the year of the financial crisis that sparked a run on markets globally.


Analysts have Made up Mind

The benchmark index hit 21,078 in intra-day trade before closing at 20,873 on Oct 24. The broader index CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange touched 6,252, its highest in three years. Seven months are left for general elections, but analysts said investors appear to have made up their mind about the result. This comes after ET's Heartland Poll, published on October 17, showed support building for BJP in the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

China's third-quarter GDP growth and prospects of a delay in tapering by the US Fed are propelling world markets into expectations that dollar liquidity will be sustained. India, however, is struggling to recover from an economic slump, a crisis of business confidence and restrictive rules on investment. Rising inflation, high interest rates and fears of a burgeoning subsidy burden add to concerns, experts said.

"Clearly, markets are discounting that BJP would form the next government," said Saurabh Mukherjea, CEO (institutional equities), Ambit Capital. "FIIs (foreign institutional investors) only want to talk about Modi and what stocks they should bet on if he leads the next government."

Overseas investors have bought Indian equities worth $15 billion thus far this year. More than $3 billion came after September 13, the day Modi was named as prime ministerial candidate. Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of Gujarat-based Gautam Adani who's perceived to be close to the Modi camp, has risen 52% since September 12. "The Indian stock market's greatest hope in this respect (amid the economic slump) is the emergence of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate," Christopher Wood, chief equity strategist, CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, had told ET in September. Mukherjea said some of his clients have even sought a Modi portfolio, or stocks of companies that are likely to benefit from his victory. "We may look to do that after state elections," he said.

A Times NOW-C Voter national opinion poll earlier this month projected BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would get 186 Lok Sabha seats with a 35% vote share while United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was estimated to get about 117 seats with a 27% share. In 2009, Congress-led United Progressive Alliance had secured 259 seats.

"BJP's lead in polls is the key reason for market rally," said Manish Sonthalia, senior vice-president and fund manager, Motilal Oswal. "The Nifty could touch 7,000 if BJP fares well in upcoming state elections." Voting takes place for assemblies in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh between November and December. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are ruled by BJP and the other two by Congress, which is fighting to avert an anti-incumbency wave.

"The polls set the stage for a market rally and if they come true the worries will be bygones for markets," said Deven Choksey, managing director of KR Choksey Shares and Securities. However, given that there are still several months before the general elections and that food prices are likely to ease following a good monsoon, experts said predicting outcome of the vote this far ahead would be difficult.

Christopher Wood, chief equity strategist at foreign brokerage CLSA Asia Pacific Markets, said in his newsletter on 22 August: “The Indian stock market’s greatest hope… is the emergence of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.” That sentiment is echoed by practically everybody in the market.
The reason is simple. Modi has always been pro-business, which is what counts in the stock market. Many commentators have said Gujarat scores badly on social indicators. The markets don’t really give a damn. What they want is not inclusive growth, but earnings growth.
Some have argued that we need to have growth before we start distributing the fruits of development. The market is not interested in that debate either. Distribution raises the spectre of more government spending, a higher fiscal deficit and the possibility of higher interest rates, all anathema to business and to investors.
A minimum of distribution to avert social strife may be inevitable, but anything beyond that is unwelcome. Thousands of crores spent on sops for industry are an incentive, but money spent on ensuring food for poor families is a subsidy.
Modi’s track record of development also inspires confidence. Some say that while Gujarat’s growth has been high, there have been other states that have done equally well. But, has any other chief minister built up the kind of charisma exuded by Modi? It doesn’t matter if part of it is hype—perception makes a big difference. The packaging is even more important than the content. These days, even ordinary folk need to package their personalities to be sold in the job markets. We are all salesmen now.
A leader must not only lead, he must be seen to do so, in order to inspire confidence. And confidence is all-important for the markets. The sole difference between D. Subbarao and Raghuram Rajan is that the latter comes across as much more self-assured.
Some may argue that the stock market is a microscopic part of Indian society and its opinion doesn’t count. They would be completely wrong. During the boom years of 2003-07, the discovery of India by foreign investors led to a euphoric rise in the market, which allowed companies to raise money cheaply, which allowed them to expand capacity and the result was a virtuous circle of growth and wealth and job creation.
The markets are terribly important for the economy. Foreign investors are even more so, for the dollars they bring in help bridge the country’s current account deficit. In 2010, multinationals based in China were responsible for 68% of its trade surplus. Why else did finance minister P. Chidambaram hold those road shows abroad if not to sell India to foreign investors? Modi is an even better salesman. Earning the trust of investors, both domestic and foreign, is absolutely critical.
But, isn’t the Congress the original party of economic reform? That is true, which is why the Sensex went up 2,000 points when the news came in that the United Progressive Alliance had won the 2009 election without the support of the Left. But that hope has been completely demolished. Not only did UPA-II see an orgy of corruption and utter mismanagement, a section of the party believes that more sops for the masses will ensure re-election. Why else did they push through the land acquisition law, so inimical to industry? The party, in a confused attempt to project itself as social democratic, has vacated space on the political right to the Bharatiya Janata Party, in spite of identical views on most economic policies.
That is why businessmen and the markets are overwhelmingly for Modi. He has also been projected as having a decisive personality, but everything depends on what a leader is decisive about. The markets would hate a strong-minded personality on the Left. The fact is you cannot have a capitalist economy and not do what capitalists want to be done, especially in these times of globalisation. You cannot expect capitalists to be the engine of economic growth and then put a spoke in their wheels. Look at the pickle the social democrats of Europe find themselves in. As Maggie Thatcher pointed out long ago—TINA, or there is no alternative.
Will Modi be a polarising force for Indian society, as many observers believe? That is of no consequence for the markets. The markets took no notice of the carnage in Muzaffarnagar, just as our media took little notice of the bomb blast in Imphal. As long as the polarisation doesn’t happen along class lines, it doesn’t really matter.
But there are many populist elements in the BJP’s economic agenda. Modi opposed foreign direct investment in retail and wanted a more comprehensive food security law. BJP legislators waxed eloquent about the benefits to farmers from the land acquisition legislation. The problem is that India’s economy is trying to take off while having all the trappings of democracy, a feat attempted by no other late-developing country in the world. No party, if it wants to win elections, can be seen as ignoring the masses. But the BJP has its Hindutva ideology, which diverts attention from issues of social justice. And its support base is certainly not among the poor. That is why the markets believe it will be less populist than the Congress.
Some may find the stock market’s attitude cold-blooded and callous. Keynes explained it thus in 1930: “For at least another 100 years, we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not.” He was, of course, an incurable optimist.

Sources :
1. The Economic Times Reports

2. LiveMint's Reports

Punching PIN must for debit card transactions

Debit card holders from December 1 are required to punch in their PIN numbers every time they make a transaction, a move aimed at minimising frauds.

In June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had extended the deadline for implementation of mandatory PIN punching at point-of-sales (PoS) and merchant outlets till November 30 following representation of banks.

"Our back-end system is in place and we have made changes in all our PoS and merchant outlets to accept PIN (basically ATM PIN) from tomorrow," said Parag Rao, head of card payment products and merchant acquiring service at HDFC Bank.

"We have around 3 lakh PoS terminals across the country," he said. He also said the bank has informed all its customers through all channels including SMS and mailers.


As part of awareness drive, SBI has in a notice asked its customers not to handover ATM-cum-debit card to any person. It also advised its customers to not keep any records of the PIN in physical form.

The PIN is another layer of security for the debit card, according to a senior Canara Bank official.

First, merchants will swipe the cards at a PIN-enabled PoS terminals and punch in the transaction amount. That will be followed by customers entering their PINs to complete the transaction.

As for credit cards, this requirement has been made mandatory for international transactions, including on the internet.

In such cases, users will have to replace their existing credit cards with the EMV chip card and get a PIN.

Increased use of credit and debit cards has led to rise in frauds, especially in the case of lost or stolen cards.

Also, there have been reports of data on cards being compromised and cards skimmed/counterfeited.

To deal with this, the RBI asked banks to comply with all security features such as EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip on cards, real time fraud monitoring system, use of PIN, limit on transactions and the like by November 30.

The apex bank had in September, 2011 issued the guidelines for additional security features with a view to guarding card holders against cyber frauds and other misuse.

Professionals, students and businessmen have appreciated RBI's move to make it compulsory for customers to punch in their personal identification number (PIN) while using their debit/credit cards at point-of-sale (PoS) and merchant outlets.

"It will be helpful to control rising cyber frauds, including cloning," said an IT management consultant, Anil Sapre.

Mini Jain, a management student who was surprised when asked to punch in the secret number of her debit card at a local restaurant on Sunday, said, "It was for the first time when I was asked to enter the PIN. The initiative is really wonderful, especially for students like me, for whom every single penny counts.

"This move of RBI will assure the safety and protection of customers' details," said HDFC circle head Sunil Panjwani.

"In case of a theft, the person who has stolen the card will not be able to use without knowing the PIN number. The measure would come as a big relief for people," said State Bank of India's assistant general manager Jagat Singh Bisht.
Source : NDTV, The Hindu & The Times of India

Friday, November 29

CAse Law : AO empowered to launch fishing and roving enquiry with a view to detect tax evasion

S. 133(6): AO empowered to launch fishing and roving enquiry with a view to detect tax evasion

The ITO issued a issued a notice u/s 133(6) to the assessee-bank u/s 133(6) of the Act calling for general information regarding details of all persons who have made cash transactions and time deposits of Rs. 1,00,000/- and above for the period of three years between 01.04.2005 and 31.03.2008. The assessee claimed that s. 133(6) does not empower the ITO to conduct a roving or fishing enquiry into the affairs of the assessee or regarding the deposits made by its customers. It was also contended that the AO can only seek “case specific” or “area specific” information u/s 133(6). The High Court dismissed the Writ Petition. On appeal by the assessee to the Supreme Court HELD dismissing the appeal :


The legislative intention behind s. 133(6) was to give wide powers to the income-tax department to gather general particulars in the nature of survey and store those details in the computer so that the data so collected can be made use of for checking evasion of tax effectively. It would not fall under the restricted domains of being “area specific” or “case specific.” S. 133(6) does not refer to any enquiry about any particular person or assessee, but pertains to information in relation to “such points or matters” which the assessing authority issuing notices requires. This clearly illustrates that the information of general nature can be called for and names and addresses of depositors who hold deposits above a particular sum is certainly permissible (Karnataka Bank Ltd vs. Government of India (2002) 9 SCC 106 followed; M.V. Rajendran vs. ITO 260 ITR 442 (Ker) approved)

Download full judgement here

Thursday, November 28

Sting Operation : Banks violate RBI norms to deny zero-balance (Small) accounts

Banks have been found to use the Reserve Bank of India's norms as an excuse to avoid opening zero-balance accounts. In a sting operation conducted by a web portal, an IIT Mumbai professor sought to open a basic bank account in 19 banks without address or identity proof. In all the 19 branches, the professor was shooed away although RBI regulations require banks to open a 'small account' without address or identity proof.

The professor's sting operation seeks to expose how banks use the pretext of 'know your customer' guidelines to turn away business that is unprofitable. Incidentally, these are the same banks which fell victim to a sting operation by a web portal which exposed their willingness to violate the 'know your customer' guidelines to grab business. The professor's experience was that the underprivileged were chased away from bank branches by intimidating them, citing RBI norms and account opening requirements ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 3 lakh. The lenders included public, private and foreign banks.

The surprising part was that even when confronted with RBI regulations, nearly all front office staff were clueless. None were aware that RBI norms do indeed allow customers to open an account with zero balance requirement and ATM card facility merely on the basis of an application form, a photograph and a self-declaration.


Ashish Das from the department of mathematics at IIT Bombay conducted the survey across bank branches as part of a study, titled Banks Violating Prevention of Money-Laundering Act for Excluding the Excluded. The study has now been published by the department and also released in the form of a report.

The notification on the basic savings account facility was issued by RBI on August 2012. RBI norms on its website state that a basic account can be opened with simplified KYC norms. But if simplified norms are used, the account would be treated as a 'small account'. In other words, such accounts will be eligible for a maximum balance of Rs 50,000 and maximum withdrawals cannot exceed Rs 10,000 in a month. Also, these accounts cannot be used for receiving money from abroad. While the limits ensure that these accounts cannot be misused for money laundering, it provides individuals without address proof or identity cards the opportunity to maintain savings with banks and also use ATMs.

But rather than open these accounts, banks are instead pushing underprivileged customers to 'business correspondents', who charge for opening bank accounts. Das's report shows that majority of bank employees are unaware that RBI norms allow a small basic bank account on the basis of a mere application form and declaration that proof of address will be provided within a year.

Even at the head office level, the awareness of account opening requirements appear to be low. Six of the banks covered gave RBI norms as a reason not opening the basic accounts.

RBI has not made it any easier for banks to open small accounts. The requirement for banks to open a 'small account,' without address or identity proof, comes in a directive from the finance ministry notification dated December 16, 2010. The reference to the notification on simplified KYC norms is buried in an annexure to RBI on directions for opening small accounts.

Source : Times of India

Digital signatures will be available in USB Token Only

The Security of Private Keys Corresponding to the DSCs being issued by Certifying Authorities (CA) to subscribers has always been matter of concern. In this regard the Certificate policy pertaining to India PKI lays down the technical security controls for the key pair generation and installation.

CAs are advised to ensure that procedures to give effect to the above are immediately incorporated in the DSC issuance process (if not done yet) so that Security of Private Keys is maintained. 

A Compliance to this should be reported to the Office of CCA within a month.

Read below full letter

F.No. CCA/DC (T)/2013-98 (pt.)
Government of India
Ministry of Communications &Information Technology
Department of Electronics & Information Technology
Office of Controller of CertifyingAuthorities
New Delhi
25th October 2013

Detailed instructions were also issued on vide our letter No. 13(2)/2009-CCA dated 23rd September 2009covering guidelines for storage of Private Keys and the same has been reemphasized subsequently in meeting held with the CAs (ref. minutes of meeting held with all CAs on 19thOctober 2012 and 23rd January 2013). The Compliance to this requirement is however not entirely satisfactory and it is imperative that procedures are put in place to ensure that no Class 2 or Class 3 DSCs are issued in cases where the key pair has not been generated on a FIPS 140-1/2 Level 2 validated Hardware Cryptographic Token.

CAs are advised to ensure that procedures to give effect to the above are immediately incorporated in the DSC issuance process (if not done yet) so that the Security of Private Keys used bysubscribers is maintained.

In respect of Class 1 Certificate, in case the subscriber does not wish to procure a Cryptographic device, the corresponding risk should be made known to the subscriber and an undertaking taken from him/her to the effect that he/she is aware of the risks associated with storing private Key(s) on a device other than a FIPS 140-1/2 validated cryptographic module.

A Compliance to this should be reported to the Office of CCA within a month. This is being incorporated on the audit process.


RBI instructed banks to levy SMS charges on actual usage basis

Banks were advised to identify basic banking services on the basis of broad parameters indicated by the Working Group constituted by Reserve Bank of India for the purpose and the principles to be adopted/ followed by them for ensuring reasonableness in fixing and communicating the service charges for the basic banking services.

Banks are required to put in place a system of online alerts for all types of transactions irrespective of the amounts involving usage of cards at various channels.

With a view to ensuring reasonableness and equity in the charges levied by banks for sending SMS alerts to customers, banks are advised to leverage the technology available with them

Read full instructions below.

DBOD. No. Dir. BC. 67/13.10.00/2013-14
November 26, 2013
All Scheduled Commercial Banks
(Excluding RRBs)

Dear Sir/ Madam

Charges Levied by Banks for Sending SMS Alerts
Please refer to paragraph 37 of the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy Statement 2013-14 announced on October 29, 2013 (extract enclosed) on ‘Customer Service- Charges Levied by Banks for Sending SMS Alerts’.

2. In this connection, a reference is also invited to our circular DBOD. No. Dir. BC. 56/ 13.03.00/ 2006-2007 dated February 2, 2007 on ‘Report of the Working Group to Formulate a Scheme for Ensuring Reasonableness of Bank Charges’ whereby banks were advised to identify basic banking services on the basis of broad parameters indicated by the Working Group constituted by Reserve Bank of India for the purpose and the principles to be adopted/ followed by them for ensuring reasonableness in fixing and communicating the service charges for the basic banking services.

3. Banks are required to put in place a system of online alerts for all types of transactions irrespective of the amounts involving usage of cards at various channels in terms of circular RBI/ DPSS No. 1501/ 02.14.003/ 2008-2009 dated February 18, 2009 and DPSS. CO. PD. 2224/ 02.14.003/2010-2011 dated March 29, 2011. Banks have accordingly put in place a system of SMS alerts so as to help customers in fraud mitigation and have been levying uniform service charges to various categories of customers.

4. Considering the technology available with banks and the telecom service providers, it should be possible for banks to charge customers based on actual usage of SMS alerts. Accordingly, with a view to ensuring reasonableness and equity in the charges levied by banks for sending SMS alerts to customers, banks are advised to leverage the technology available with them and the telecom service providers to ensure that such charges are levied on all customers on actual usage basis.


Saturday, November 23

Air-Conditioned factory canteens exempted from Service Tax

As per notification dates 22'nd october 2013 , A/C Restaurant or Canteens in Factory premises serving food to workers and employees has been excluded from purview of service tax. Due to Negative List restaurant & catering services was included in taxable services, where genuine service of catering to workers at nominal price without intention of earning profit been taxed. To abolish the anamoly MoF decided to exempt the same. 

Read full notification as below.

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
(Department of Revenue)

Notification No. 14/2013-Service Tax
New Delhi, 22nd October, 2013

 G.S.R.____ (E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994,  (32 of 1994),  the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby makes the following further amendments in the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No.25/2012-Service Tax, dated the 20thJune, 2012, namely:-

            In the said notification, in the opening paragraph, after entry 19, the following entry shall be inserted, namely:-

“19A. Services provided in relation to serving of food or beverages by a canteen maintained  in a factory covered under the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948), having the facility of air-conditioning or central air-heating at any time during the year.”.

[F. No. B1/13/2013-TRU]

(Akshay Joshi)
Under Secretary to the Government of India 

Note.- The principal notification was published in the Gazette of India, vide notification No.25/2012-Service Tax, dated the 20th June, 2012, vide G.S.R.467(E), dated the 20th June, 2012 and was last amended by notification No.13/2013-Service Tax, dated the 10th Sep, 2013 vide G.S.R.616(E).

Friday, November 22

IPC & CA Final Nov. 13 - Question papers

We will try to bring you the question papers of the Novemeber 2013 attempt earliest. Please download it and share it with everyone, it will be beneficial for students who are preparing for upcoming attempts.

Join the conversation on facebook & twitter using #Nov13 .


CA Final

For Previous year papers for IPCE, Final, PCE

Wednesday, November 20

Important Announcement for CS Executive & Professional Student regarding relaxation on procedural issue of Oral Coaching & Response Sheet

Council of Institute has decided to omit the requirement of submission of coaching completion certificate with immediate effect for appearing in CS Executive / Professional Programme Examinations

This would make students eligible for enrolment to Executive and Professional Programme examinations after expiry of six months or nine months as the case may be, from the date of registration to the respective programme.

Henceforth, students of Executive Programme and Professional Programme are not required to:

a. submit response sheets to test papers on various subjects to the Institute under Postal Tuition Scheme, or
b. obtain coaching completion certificate from the Institute or from Class Room Teaching Centres of the Institute, or

c. submit coaching completion certificate for enrollment to examinations of Executive and Professional Programmes.

Download full Announcement click here


Zone Shifting of Candidates for CPT exam to be held on 15th December 2013

Announcement – Zone Shifting of Candidates for 15th December – 2013 CPT. - (20-11-2013)

November 19, 2013

Subject: Zone-shifting of candidates for 15th December - 2013 CPT

Due to paucity of accommodation in certain Zones opted by the candidates in the cities of Chennai, Delhi and Indore, some of the candidates have been allotted examinations centres in the zone other than the zone opted by them. In view of this, it is not possible to accede to the requests of the candidates for transfer to an examination centre in a particular zone of the city opted by them. 

While inconvenience caused in the matter is deeply regretted, we seek the cooperation from the examinees and other stakeholders in this regard.

(G. Somasekhar)
Additional Secretary (Exams)



Tuesday, November 19

May 2014 CA exams likely to be held as per schedule, there are less chances of postponements. STOP SPREADING RUMORS. - CAhelpers

ATTENTION : May 2014

We are receiving numerous querries that whether the MAY 2014 CA examinations will get postpone due to the General Elections during May - June 2014.

To address this question, we are writing this post.

Please go through below facts carefully-
1. The term of current UPA Government will get over on 31st May, 2014 officially.
2. There are high chances that UPA Govt. will complete it's full term.
3. There are remote chances, that UPA government leave it's power before the term and declare election before due time.
4. Seeing to the current political scenario in India, there are less chance that election will be held in May 2014.
5. ICAI have not issued any announcement on this part yet..
6. Even if the government surrenders power and declare early election, then we can see a postponement but chances are remote.
7. Generally ICAI does not pre-pone exams, but it can do on request by Election Commission or in interest of students, so we can even see 5-7 days pre-ponement of exams. 
8. ICAI has not issued even schedule of May 2014 examinations yet.

There may be a possibility of election in June 2014, that means the CA exams will not be postponed and may even be pre-poned to get exams finished by 15th May, 2014. So we request everyone not to spread rumor of postponement of exam and also do not believe on rumors.Please do not take rest, study hard, burn your midnight oils, the exams are near now.

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We request every student appearing in May 2014 exams, to prepare as hard as possible and not to get relaxed believing on rubbish rumors of postponement of exams. There is no announcement by ICAI. And as stated by us there are remote chances of postponement. So please study as if exams are in May 2014 only. Please do not get relaxed. Team CAhelpers is always available for your help.

As and when ICAI issues an announcement regarding, pre-ponement or postponement or schedule of May 2014 examinations, we will be updating you on our websites as well as social media. 

Issued in interest of students by CAhelpers

Monday, November 18

The Companies Act, 2013 will NOT BE APPLICABLE in May 2014 CA exams

Non-applicability of Companies Act, 2013 for May 2014, Examinations
Announcement dated 18th November, 2013

Attention: Intermediate (IPC) and Final Course students

This is to bring to the notice of students that the Companies Act, 2013 notified in the Official Gazette on 30th August, 2013 (with partial enforcement of only 98 sections of the Companies Act, 2013 from 12th September, 2013) shall not be applicable for May 2014 examinations both at the Intermediate (IPC) and Final levels.

The examinations will be based only on the existing syllabus.

Director, BOS

Source :

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THE COMPANIES ACT, 2013 will not be applicable for IPC and Final exams of ICAI, and paper will be based on THE COMPANIES ACT, 1956 only. There is no announcement by other institutes like ICSI and ICAI (Cost) regarding their courses.

Friday, November 15

DTC wind again in the air, DTC bill likely to be tabeled in winter session

In a time when high inflation is blowing holes in pockets of consumers, if a relaxation is granted on tax deduction, consumers will definitely get a reason to celebrate. Well, Ministry of Law and Justice has approved the proposal to raise annual income tax exemption limit from 2 lakh to 3 lakh.

The Direct Tax Code (DTC) draft will now be sent to Cabinet for approval. Thereafter, the approved draft will be introduced in Parliament. According to an official of Ministry of Finance, Parliamentary Committee has nearly agreed to the tax exemption limit under the latest draft of future DTC bill.

The proposal was first drafted by the standing committee led by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha. The committee had raised the cap of annual tax exemption from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh. Moreover, the committee has recommended maintaining the tax percentage at 10% for income group earning annual pay up to Rs. 10 lakh.

Current tax rates

Currently, income tax rate for income group of Rs. 2–5 lakh is 10%. Professionals earning annual income of Rs. 5–10 lakh are required to pay an income tax of 20%. Finally, the income group of Rs. 10 lakh above must 30% of their income as tax to the government.

Way through the Parliament

The DTC draft is expected to be introduced to the Winter Parliamentary Session commencing on 5 December. If the government is indeed keen to consider the DTC bill, it has to be introduced while the winter session. The bill shall not be delayed post the coming session, because in the following session Budget shall be presented to secure ‘vote on account’.

Finance Ministries

Three drafts of the DTC bill have already been prepared so far. The first draft was charted by P Chidambaram back in 2009, when he held the position of Finance Minister. The Ministry was however dissolved after that as the Ministry was taken over by Pranab Mukherjee. Mukherjee charted a fresh draft; however, neither of the two drafts could be taken forward.

Chidambaram is now a Finance Minister again and Pranab Mukherjee is now President of India. The Finance Minister has prepared a new draft on the proposal. It is now to be seen how far the proposal proceeds as there is little time left in general elections 2014.

Super Rich Category

The super rich may have something to cheer about. The finance ministry, which is all set to introduce amendments to the Direct Tax Code (DTC) in the Parliament in the winter session, is likely to withdraw or at least dilute the provision of the additional tax slab of 35% on those earning more than Rs10 crore annually, which is contained in the recommendations. The code seeks to overhaul the Income Tax Act, 1961 and widen the tax base.

The DTC has been on the drawing board for the last couple of years and the bill was introduced in Parliament in 2010. In March last year, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by ex finance minister Yashwant Sinha gave its recommendations on the bill. Since then, the finance ministry has been working on amendments to be introduced in accordance with the recommendations – an exercise, which officials concede is now over. The changes, however, could not pass the cabinet muster in August this year.

A senior finance ministry official told dna on condition of anonymity, “A section of the government was not comfortable with the provision of introducing 35% taxation on earnings of Rs10 crore or above. The ministry has revisited the matter among others and we will approach cabinet so that the amendments go to Parliament. We are looking at introducing the amendments in the winter session.”

The finance ministry had planned to introduce the amendments to the DTC in the monsoon session, but could not do so because of the cabinet red flag.

The other provisions contained in the code are for the setting up of a special court for black money cases, wealth tax of .25% for those having net worth in upwards of Rs50 crore, and disincentive on keeping houses vacant by owners.