1. Minimum threshold of tax amount for launching prosecution under GST has been raised from ₹1 crore to ₹2 crore.
- However, there will be no change in offences of fake invoices.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman chaired 48th GST Council meeting.
- It (48th GST Council meeting) deferred deliberations on reports of Group of Ministers (GoM) on Appellate Tribunal and Data sharing to the next meeting.
- The next meeting is expected after the budget. GoM report on Online Gaming, Casinos and Horse racing was not the part of the agenda.
- Announcing the outcomes of the meeting, Revenue Secretary and Secretary to the Council Sanjay Malhotra said that recommendation is to lower down the compounding amount from the present range of 50-150% of tax amount to the range of 25-100%.
- Decriminalization of certain offences under Section 132 of CGST Act, 2017 has also been proposed.
- These offences include obstruction or preventing any officer in discharge of his duties, failure to supply the information etc.
- CGST Act will now be amended through Finance Bill.
- To increase the compliance, GST Council recommended a proposal to carry out a pilot in Gujarat for Biometric-based Aadhaar authentication of registration applicants.
- This will help in dealing with the problem of fake registrations.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
2. India’s overall trade deficit in November 2022 declined $11.11 billion.
- India’s overall trade deficit in November 2021 was $13.19 billion in November 2021.
- Exports increased 10.97% y-o-y to $58.22 billion. Import in November increased 5.60% to $69.33 billion.
- In the April-November period, India’s overall exports increased 17.72% y-o-y to $499.67 billion.
- In November 2022, merchandise trade deficit increased to $23.89 billion.
- In November, merchandise imports increased by over 5% y-o-y to $55.88 billion. Merchandise exports increased by 0.59% y-o-y last month.
- In November, services exports increased 27% to $26.23 billion. Services imports grew 6% to $13.44 billion.
- In April to November 2022, services exports have grown to $204.41 billion.
- In services, trade surplus has been recorded, so far this fiscal, at $87.32 billion.
3. Government has cut windfall profit tax on domestically produced crude oil.
- Government has cut levy on crude oil produced by companies such as ONGC from Rs 4,900 to Rs 1,700 per tonne.
- The tax on export of diesel has been cut from Rs 8 per litre to Rs 5 per litre.
- The tax on export of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has been cut from Rs 5 to Rs 1.5 a litre.
- The new tax rates are effective from December 16. India first imposed windfall profit taxes on July 1.
- The tax rates are reviewed every fortnight based on average oil prices in the previous two weeks.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. Pockets, the in-house wallet of ICICI Bank, leads digital wallets in India.
- Payzapp by HDFC Bank comes at second in a recent study by Hansa Research on digital payments brands.
- ICICI Bank’s e-wallet, Pockets and HDFC Bank’s PayZapp is followed by Google Pay on the basis of their Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures brand perception and customer experience.
- Hansa Research uses NPS or Net Promoter Score to rate the wallets.
- The industry NPS for 2022 stood at 34. This remained unchanged from a year-ago.
- In terms of brand awareness, Paytm and Google Pay led the study. They rank low on customer sentiments.
- Hansa Research is an Indian consumer data provider.
Topic: Banking System
5. YES Bank has transferred stressed loans worth ₹48,000 crore to JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction.
- This has come after the declaration of JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction as the winner of the Swiss Challenge process.
- YES Bank has transferred stressed loans worth ₹48,000 crore to the ARC under 15:85 structure for ₹11,183 crore.
- 15% of the sale value will be paid upfront. The bank is likely to receive ₹1,678 crore upfront.
- Remaining value will be held as security receipts (SRs).
- YES Bank and JC Flowers ARC had entered into a agreement for the sale of NPAs in July.
6. RBI has asked RazorPay and Cashfree Payments to stop on-boarding new merchants.
- RazorPay and Cashfree Payments hold in-principal approvals for a payment aggregator licence.
- They have been asked to stop on-boarding new merchants till they get the final licence.
- RBI wants them to pause onboarding on the older system and complete the migration of existing merchants to the new platform.
- RazorPay, Pine Labs and US-based Stripe were first three firms to receive the RBI’s in-principal approval licence.
- Cashfree Payments received its in-principal approval in September.
- After the initial approval, they were given 180 days to comply with the norms.
7. Direct tax collection in FY23 increases 26%.
- Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) reported a growth of 26% between April 1 and December 17 in FY 2022-23.
- Gross direct tax collection for FY2022-23 stands at around ₹13.64-lakh crore as compared to over ₹10.83-lakh crore in last financial year.
- Gross tax collection is now 96% of budget estimate of gross collection of ₹14.20 lakh crore.
- Net direct tax collection have increased to over ₹11.35-lakh crore as against ₹9.48-lakh crore.
- Direct taxes consist of Personal Income Tax (PIT) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT).
- For this fiscal, government has estimated ₹14.40-lakh crore to be collected through direct taxes.
8. Reliance Communication’s (RCom) enterprise business, Globalcom IDC Ltd, has been taken over by Axis Bank.
- Axis Bank has taken over Globalcom due to non-payment of dues.
- RCom had received notice from Axis Trustee Services Limited seeking to sell 100% equity shares of Globalcom.
- Axis Bank has taken over Globalcom to recover RCom’s direct dues to the bank.
- Axis Bank is the private sector bank in India that is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Amitabh Chaudhry.
9. It will soon be possible for home buyers to seek GST refunds if contract cancelled.
- GST Council has approved a formal procedure for home buyers to seek refund of taxes collected by real estate firms under cancelled contracts.
- GST Council recommended CGST Rules, 2017 to be amended to prescribe the procedure for filing application of refund by unregistered buyers in such cases.
- Earlier, no procedure existed for claim of refund of tax borne by the unregistered buyers in cases where the agreement or contract for supply of services like flat or house construction and long-term insurance policy, is cancelled and time period of issuance of credit note by the concerned supplier is over.
- The GST council has made it clear that a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) will only be subject to a 22% cess if it meets all the four requirements.
- These four requirements are the vehicle is popularly known as SUV, has engine capacity exceeding 1500 cc, length exceeding 4000 mm and a ground clearance of 170 mm or above.