World’s largest fund EPFO to start equity investment

India’s state social security fund will start investing in equity markets next month, as part of a reform drive aimed at boosting the economy. With more than USD 100 billion of assets from some 80-million members, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is one of the world’s largest. It will begin by investing in exchange traded funds, with the goal of earning higher returns.

“Starting with 1 percent in July and by the end of this (fiscal) year it will go up to 5 percent” of annual investments.

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India’s fiscal year ends March 31. An EPFO official said the fund annually invested nearly 1 trillion rupees (USD15.72 billion), out of which it could invest nearly 50 billion rupees (USD785.95 million) in equities between July and March.

The new EPFO rules may help Modi hit an ambitious target of raising nearly USD11 billion through selling shares in state-run firms and minority stakes in private companies this fiscal year, because for the first time EPFO will be able to buy the government’s shares.

India to be among top 3 economies by 2030

India to be among top 3 economies by 2030

While other emerging markets, such as Indonesia and Mexico, would rank among the top ten economies at market exchanges rates by 2050, overtaking economies such as Italy and Russia.

Emerging markets are expected to grow faster than developed economies, and India is likely to become the 3 rd largest economy by 2030 in the world after China and the United States.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), emerging markets are expected to grow faster than developed economies, and as a result developing countries such as China and India are likely to overtake current global leaders such as the US, Japan and Western Europe. “China is expected to overtake the United States in 2026 in nominal GDP in US dollar terms and maintain its position as the largest economy to 2050.

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India is expected to move up the rankings to third place, with real growth averaging close to 5 % up to 2050.

By 2030 the top 3 economies of the world would be the US, China and India.
Meanwhile, other emerging markets, such as Indonesia and Mexico, would rank among the top ten economies at market exchanges rates by 2050, overtaking economies such as Italy and Russia.

INDIA2

Besides, China, the US and India, the 10 economies in 2050 at market exchange rates would be Indonesia (4th), Japan (5th), Germany (6th), Brazil (7th), Mexico (8th), the UK (9th) and France (10th). Such will be the growth of China and India that by 2050 they will each be richer than the next five (Indonesia, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and the UK) put together, the report said adding “this will represent a scale of wealth relative to the rest of the top ten that is unique in recorded history”.

“Given China’s and India’s economic might, they will take on a much bigger role in addressing global issues such as climate change, international security and global economic governance,” the EIU report titled ‘Long-term macroeconomic forecasts’ said. However, despite their low growth outlook advanced economies cannot be ignored, as the spending power of consumers in these regions will remain significantly higher, the report added.

Changes made in Income Tax Return Forms in details

IT Department is creating a new online based tool for filing IT Returns, which will be active within June 3rd week. Tax Payers can directly log on to the tool, and file their returns.

1.Foreign Trips Details

2.Bank Accounts Details

3. Relief to Non-Indian Citizens

4. New Income Tax Return Form 2A

5.Length of the ITR

6.Filing ITR 1 (Sahaj)

7. Extension of Income Tax Return Filing Date

1.Foreign Trips Details

No foreign visit details or bank balances required . Assesse only needs to quote his/her passport number, if any.

2.Bank Accounts Details

Details of Bank Accounts are also not required to disclose now, only the IFS code together with the account number of all the current/savings account held by assesse in the previous year is required to be filled-up.
Further, details of dormant bank accounts in which no transaction is done from the last 3 years are not required to be furnished.

3. Relief to Non-Indian Citizens

Foreign Nationals who are not Indians and are living in India on either business purpose, employment purpose or education need not declare their overseas assets and income while filing for IT Returns. This is a huge relief for them, as they could have been prosecuted under the new ‘Black Money Law’ being implemented in India.
The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Act, 2015 or the Black Money law has powers to imprison an expat or a NRI for 5-6 years for ‘willful attempt to evade taxes’ and for failure to file return of foreign assets and bank accounts.

INCOME TAX

4. New Income Tax Return Form 2A

A new income tax return form 2A is introduced for the class of assesses having income from more than one house property but does not have any capital gains, income from business/profession or foreign asset/foreign income.
Earlier, assesse having income from more than one house irrespective of having any capital gains or income from business/profession had to file ITR 2. But now ITR 2A is to filed by them.

5.Length of the ITR

The length of the ITR Forms 2 and 2A will not be more than 3 pages. The scheduled is required to be filled-up only if applicable.

6.Filing ITR 1 (Sahaj)

Individuals who does not have any taxable income i.e. whose all incomes are exempt from taxes other than agriculture income exceeding Rs.5,000 can now file income tax return form ITR 1 (Sahaj).

7. Extension of Income Tax Return Filing Date

Since the forms have just been notified, the software for these forms will be launched by the 3rd week of June, 2015.
Due to the delay in releasing the income tax return forms and the software, it has also been proposed to extend the return filing date to 31st August, 2015.

Changes in Provisions of TDS and Rate of Service Tax

Changes in Provisions of TDS and Rate of Service Tax

1. TDS on Provident Fund Withdrawal

2. New Service Tax Rate of 14%

3. TDS on Recurring Deposits Interest Income

4. TDS on Fixed Deposit Interest Income

5. TDS on Life Insurance Proceeds

1. TDS on Provident Fund Withdrawal

Effective from 1st June, 2015, TDS @ 10% would be deducted from the money withdrawn from your provident fund before 5 years of continuous service. Earlier, withdrawal from the provident fund account before completion of 5 years of continuous service did not attract TDS but taxpayer is required to show the same under the head of income from other sources and pay tax as per his/her tax slab.
However, withdrawal up to Rs.30,000 is tax-free and no TDS will be deducted from the amount withdrawn. Further, if you transfer your EPF balance from one employer to another, the period of the service with the previous employer shall be counted while calculating the 5 years of continuous service.
Few other cases of tax-free withdrawal irrespective of the amount are:
Where the business of the employer is discontinued.
Employee is severely ill.
One thing to keep in mind is that while making withdrawal you should quote your PAN card else the rate of TDS shoots-up to flat 30% i.e. highest tax slab rate.

2. New Service Tax Rate of 14%

Hiking Service tax to 14% is the most controversial change in the budget 2015. As there are talks going on implementing GST (Goods and Service Tax) from the April, 2016, increasing of service tax hurriedly is not understandable.

Noticeably no date of applicability was announced in budget 2015 but on 19th May vide Notification no. 14.2015, finance ministry announced the applicability of the new service tax rate would be 1st June, 2015.

The new service tax of 14% is flat rate and both education cess or higher education cess get subsumed in the new service tax rate. This means service tax @ 14% will only be applicable on the services provided on or after 1st June 2015. Before this date Service Tax @ 12% would be levied on all the services provided.

The new service tax applicable on the various services w.e.f. 1st June, 2015 is as follows:

Restaurant – 5.6%
Hotel Lodging – 8.4%
Vehicle Rent – 5.6%
Hall with Catering – 9.8%
Catering – 8.4%
Building Repairing – 9.8%
Civil Contract with Material – 5.6%
Building Residential – 3.5%
Building Commercial – 4.2%
GTA Transports – 4.2%
All other Services – 14%

TDS

3. TDS on Recurring Deposits Interest Income

Another disappointing change in budget 2015 is bringing recurring deposits interest under the ambit of TDS. Now, if the interest earned from the recurring deposits exceeds the threshold limit of Rs.10,000, TDS @ 10% would be deducted. In case you fail to mention your PAN, the rate of TDS would be 20%.
However, the impact of the amendment is NIL on the taxpayer because earlier taxpayers had to include the recurring deposits interest income under the income from other sources and pay tax accordingly and now the same will be done by the bank on behalf of the taxpayer.
This amendment would cause problem only to the taxpayers who does not have any taxable income or having total income below the taxable limit. They would now be necessarily required to fill Form 15G (non-senior citizens) or Form 15H (for senior citizens) to request the bank not to deduct TDS.

4. TDS on Fixed Deposit Interest Income

Fixed Deposit interest is always taxable but a liberty of making fixed deposit in different branches of the same bank and gets escaped from the TDS provision, if the interest income at each branch falls below Rs.10,000, was there before budget 2015.
Budget 2015 has taken this liberty from the taxpayer by making a small change in the provision. Now interest from fixed deposit from all branches of the same bank will be summed up to calculate the threshold limit of Rs.10,000 under section 194A of the Income-Tax Act.

You can duly submit Form 15G or Form 15H to avoid the deduction of TDS from your interest income, if your total income falls below the taxable income limit.

5. TDS on Life Insurance Proceeds

Provision of deducting TDS @ 2% from the life insurance proceeds above Rs.1 lakh was introduced in budget 2014 under Section 194DA. Budget 2015 has granted a relief to the policy holder that if his/her income is not chargeable to the tax, he/she can furnish Form 15G or Form 15H before the end of the year to get tax-free payments.

Domestic flow in equity to be $300 bn in next 10 yrs: Morgan Stanley.

As per Morgan Stanley’s report Domestic households are expected to put in a whopping USD 300 billion (about Rs 19 lakh crore) in equities over the next 10 years.

Domestic households are grossly underexposed to equities in their total assets. They own, directly and through mutual funds and institutions about USD 400 billion dollars of stock.

“With regulations and demographics now more favorable for investors, investor education having increased, and a less risk averse population, the qualitative environment favours equity investing.

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The report further noted that there has been substantial attention paid to investor education over the past few years and this education process has heightened investor awareness about the merits and risks of equity investing.

SEBI now mandates mutual funds to spend 0.02 per cent of assets on investor education. Based on the current outstanding equity asset base of Rs 3,580 billion, this is about Rs 700 million spent in investor education annually, Morgan Stanley said.

The RBI is likely to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points.

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 percent.

India on a different path to the United States, where the Federal Reserve is widely expected to begin tightening policy later this year.

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 percent when it meets early next week and make a similar move before December.

The survey found 38 of the 48 economists polled expected the RBI would cut the repo rate at the June 2 meeting, with 35 of those expecting a 25 basis points cut.

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But according to Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian , RBI must cut by 50 bps on Tuesday

1. There was a strong case for interest rate cuts, with inflation under control and fiscal consolidation well underway;

2. when major competitors were aggressively cutting interest rates to keep their currencies competitive, India cannot be a holdout.

Moody forecast strong growth in India

“Moody forecast strong growth in India… at 7.5 % in 2015-16, the highest among the G20 economies. Lower oil prices will reinforce gradual growth-enhancing reforms to support robust economic activity over the forecast period,”.

G20 is a group of 20 developing and industrialised economies, which accounts for 85 % of the world’s economic output.

At a time of shifting global investment flows, India benefits from reduced external imbalances.

Moody’s

“Moody expect a broadly balanced current account, for the first time in 10 years, thanks to lower energy import bill and restrictions in gold imports,” It said India would be a major beneficiary of softer oil prices among the G20 economies as the country is a major crude importer.

The ‘Make-in-India’ campaign to boost domestic manufacturing and other reforms measures would bring in higher investment and boost growth.

“If implemented as intended, these reforms and the wide support for business-friendly policies will help achieve higher investment growth than in 2013-14,”

It said the targeting of inflation by the Reserve Bank (RBI) would ensure that higher inflation on food products does not spill onto other goods, services and wages. “We forecast that ongoing moderate inflation will enable better planning of investment.

Lower inflation will also raise real incomes, profits and overall GDP growth,”

GST Roadmap to strong nation

The Lok Sabha today passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill that will bring in the goods and services tax (GST), a single indirect tax that will come in place of a number of central- and state-level taxes and levies. The bill was passed after division, with 352 members voting in favour of the bill and 37 against.

The bill, however, still needs to pass muster in the Rajya Sabha.

By April 2016 from the next financial year India will be a more than 150 countries including Pakistan, Srilanka adopted Goods & Service Tax (GST) followed by France who invented & implemented this system first .
In the year 2000 then Vajpayee govt initiated a discussion of adopting this system & set up a committee headed by then West Bangle Finance Minister MR. Asim Dasgupta. For more than decade efforts are on to make consensuses within center & sates ruled by regional parties.
One sentence is sufficient to understand its significance that its implementation alone will help to increase GDP by 2%.But there are several benefits as well.

Considering the countries federal system & states prerogative to generate revenue by way of state tax for its proposed development expences.GST too has accepted this & incorporated dual GST structure in form of Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) & State Goods & Service Tax (SGST).
All the Central taxes will be clubbed in CGST such as

1. Central excise duty
2. 2. Additional excise duty.
3. 3. Service tax.
4. Additional customs duty- known as countervailing duty
5. Special additional duty.

All the state taxes will be clubbed in SGST such as
1. VAT.
2. Luxury tax.
3. Entertainment tax (except levied by local bodies).
4. Entry Tax.
5. Taxes on lottery , betting.

There are several positive impact of the GST.

-The main benefit of GST will be by way of eliminating cascading effects (i.e. tax on tax ) of taxes which will help reduce average tax burden of the consumers..

– It will be more transparent by merging all levies.

– It will not only bring uniformity in tax rates but also in the area of interpretation of law, procedure & exemptions.

By merging /eliminating several taxes & there several compliances , record maintenance , audit, enquiry will reduce the burden of the business & certainly will help to reduce corruption (major relief).

Limited tax slabs uniformity & clarity in interpretation & maximum two compliance (CGST,SGST) will increase the tax collection.
Also it will bring the cost competitiveness & create a level playing field for the manufactures & service providers.

As per proposed GST draft CGST & SGST will remain separate credit mechanism i.e. set of against the same tax mechanism)
That means cross subsidy ( SGST set off against CGST) between CGST & SGST will not available except in case of interstate transaction. To some extent this provision will be a big set back for businesses as it removes the cost competitiveness of the business.

Amazon Launches Amazonbusiness.in for Indian Businesses to Trade Online

Amazon Launches Amazonbusiness.in for Indian Businesses to Trade Online for small buisness

Amazon buisness
Amazon buisness

The portal can be used only after receiving an invitation, and its site highlights 4 features which differentiates it from other B2B portals

• Members-only website designed for businesses

• Thousands of products across multiple categories

• Bulk orders and Wholesale prices

• Trusted and convenient Amazon experience

Amazon will negotiate deals with the manufacturers directly, which will benefit the small business owner and trader to procure goods at a discounted, wholesale rates (which distributors and wholesales normally do in offline business)

• AmazonBusiness.in is a members-only B2B website that has been specifically designed for businesses including small offices, entrepreneurs, department stores, kirana stores, drugstores, clinics, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. As a member, you can purchase thousands of items, including business supplies and products for resale, at wholesale prices and in bulk quantities. You can order from anywhere at any time of the day, pay via Amazon’s trusted payment platform and get door-step deliveries through Amazon’s reliable delivery service.’

• The portal is currently is in pilot stage and is operated only in Bengaluru as of now.

https://www.amazonbusiness.in/faqs

India’s GDP reach to 8% by 2017: World Bank

The World Bank has predicted a GDP growth rate of 8 % for India by 2017 and said that a strong expansion in the country, coupled with favourable oil prices, would accelerate the economic growth in South Asia.

In India, GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 7.5 % in fiscal year 2015/16. It could reach 8 % in FY 2017/18, on the back of significant acceleration of investment growth to 12 % during FY 2016-FY 2018, World bank said in its semi-annual report.

The country is attempting to shift from consumption to investment-led growth, at a time when China is undergoing the opposite transition

Given India’s weight in regional Gross Domestic Product, the projections reflect to a large extent India’s expected growth acceleration, driven by business-oriented reforms and improved investor sentiment.
In March 2013, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the region had increased by 7.3 % year-on-year compared to 1.4 % in March 2015.
The decline in oil prices has been reflected in the domestic prices of oil products to different extents across the region. Together with favorable food prices, cheaper oil has contributed to a rapid deceleration of inflation.

The report noted India has already taken encouraging steps to decouple international oil prices from fiscal deficits and to introduce carbon taxation to address the negative externalities from the use of fossil fuels. The challenge will be to stay the course in the event of oil price hikes, something that may well happen in the medium- term. “Savings from reduced subsidy bills could be used to address the crying needs of the region in terms of infrastructure, basic services and targeted support for the poor,” said World Bank Vice President for South Asia Annette Dixon.