Budget 2018: From digitisation to NPAs, a lot expected for banking sector

PwC and Business Standard look at the current scenario in India’s banking sector, the issues facing it and what the industry expects from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in upcoming Union Budget 2018-19

npa

While there has been a lot of push lately on digital transactions from the Narendra Modi-led central government, it is expected that the coming Union Budget 2018-19 will see Finance Minister Arun Jaitley renewing the thrust by announcing some incentives for small businesses to increasingly go digital in so far as banking transactions are concerned.

Also, against the backdrop of the government’s plan to recapitalise public-sector banks, which have been suffering because of their ballooning non-performing assets, Budget 2018 will be keenly watched for any announcement towards that end.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

Digitisation push
Various measures and app-based services have been introduced to promote digitization
Cabinet has approved the proposal that the govt would bear merchant discount rate (MDR) charges on digital transactions up to Rs 2,000 for two years.

In Budget 2018, the government might introduce additional incentives like tax rebates of, say, 0.2% on digital transactions up to a threshold for small businesses

Capital infusion in PSU banks
The govt has announced a recapitalisation scheme to infuse capital in the banking system.

Additional capital may be infused based on banks’ governance structure, bad debt recovery plan, capital planning & budgeting and HR strategy.

ISSUES FACING THE SECTOR & WHAT INDUSTRY WANTS

Bankruptcy code: It is still evolving. It needs to be strengthened and the objective and spirit have to be adequately demonstrated

Home loan benefits: Considering higher unit prices in metros, higher tax deduction is needed on principal repayment of housing loan under section 80C

Insurance penetration: Currently, a high GST rate of 18% is applicable on insurance premium. That is a drag, especially given a weak life insurance penetration of under 4%.

Regulatory timelines: Various regulations like IFRS, margining of non- centrally cleared trades, New Basel III norms are under way, but clearer timelines need to be defined.

Pension plans not tax-friendly: The pension from annuity is currently treated as income and taxed accordingly which is unfavourable when compared with PF, PPF, etc.

LTCG tax benefits: The MF industry and brokerages expect long-term capital gains tax benefits for equities/equity-oriented funds to continue.

Dividend distribution tax: There is no dividend distribution tax applicable on equity-oriented mutual funds but debt mutual funds, AMCs pay DDT at the rate of 28.33%. Industry expects removal of this dividend distribution tax to improve investor sentiment.

Click here to read → Budget 2018

Advertisements

Indu Malhotra to be 1st woman lawyer to directly become Supreme Court judge

Indu Malhotra will be the first women lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court

Indu Malhotra

The Supreme Court collegium has recommended the name of senior advocate Indu Malhotra as the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the apex court, sources said on Thursday. | Today’s Paper

9Along with her, Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph, who was part of the bench which in 2016 had quashed the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, has also been cleared for elevation to the apex court.

Malhotra, who was designated as a senior advocate in 2007, would be the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge of the top court, instead of being elevated from a high court.

She will be the seventh woman judge since independence to make it to the Supreme Court. At present, Justice R Banumathi is the lone woman judge in the apex court.
The first woman to be appointed as a judge of the apex court was Justice M Fathima Beevi in 1989.

Thereafter, Justice Sujata V Manohar, Justice Ruma Pal, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai made it to the top court as judges.

Click here to read → Indu Malhotra

India to launch 100th satellite into orbit today: All you should know

The Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high-resolution, scene-specific spot imagery

 PSLV-C40

India is set to launch its 100th satellite into orbit. The countdown of the PSLV-C40/Cartosat-2 series satellite mission started on Thursday morning. Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) officials said that they are ready for the historic 100th mission, which is scheduled for Friday morning. | Today’s Paper 

The 42nd flight of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) carrying the 710-kg Cartosat-2 series satellite is expected to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, at 0930 hours IST on Friday, January 12, 2018.

The Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high-resolution, scene-specific spot imagery. It carries panchromatic and multi-spectral cameras operating in time delay integration mode and is capable of delivering high-resolution data. This will be the third satellite in the Cartosat-2 series.

ALSO READ: After many gains & an unexpected loss in 2017, Isro ready for a better 2018

Isro officials said that after the PSLV-C39 failure, the organisation conducted repeated tests to ensure that such problems did not occur again, which is why Isro took slightly more time for the PSLV-C40 launch.

On August 31, following a perfect launch, India’s mission to put its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in orbit onboard PSLV-C39 failed after a technical fault in the final leg.
The officials added that the launch of three Indian satellites during the mission would mark the rollout of the 100th satellite from Isro.

The 28-hour countdown activity for the mission started at 05:29 hours IST on Thursday, January 11, 2018, after the Mission Readiness Review committee and Launch Authorisation Board cleared the countdown on Wednesday. After the countdown began, the propellant filling operation of the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C40 was carried out.

ALSO READ: Isro banks on private players as it plans series of satellite launches

The rocket will carry a Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation and 30 co-passenger satellites. Together, the 30 other satellites will weigh about 613 kg at lift-off.
The co-passenger satellites comprise one microsatellite and one nanosatellite from India as well as three microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, the Republic of Korea, UK, and the US. The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried onboard PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kg.

ALSO READ: Isro looks to return to Mars, eyes Venus

The 28 international customer satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), a Government of India company under the Department of Space, the commercial arm of ISRO and the international customers.

The co-passenger satellite comprises one microsatellite and one nanosatellite from India as well as three microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites from six countries including Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and USA.

Primary Satellite The Cartosat-2 Series Satellite is the primary satellite being carried by PSLV-C40.

This remote sensing satellite is similar to the earlier six satellites of the Cartosat-2 series and is intended to augment data services to the users. After its injection into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit by PSLV-C40, the satellite will be brought to an operational configuration, following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using its Panchromatic and Multispectral cameras.

The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) as well as Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.

Click here to read → ISRO

Impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra moved by Opposition: Top updates

Opposition parties, led by Congress, are meeting Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today to submit the motion for impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra. Read for latest updates related to the impeachment

Dipak Misra, illustration

The impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will be given a final shape on Friday at a meeting involving Opposition parties led by the Congress. After the meeting, the Opposition parties are likely to submit the motion to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has called the meeting, coming days after the party said the option of moving an impeachment motion against CJI Misra was still open. The Opposition parties meeting in Parliament to discuss the matter include the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party (SP), and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), according to sources quoted by news agencies in their reports.

If the parties decide to move the impeachment motion, it would come just a day after a Bench headed by CJI Misra threw out all petitions demanding an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who was conducting a trial in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case – Amit Shah, now the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was an accused in the case.

Ahead of taking such a step against the CJI, Congress leaders said that the issues raised by four Supreme Court judges had not been addressed yet by Misra. They have said the party was concerned about the independence of the judiciary and that people must protect the institution from “gross interferences by the government”.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Congress and Opposition’s move to bring in an impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra:

1) Opposition parties to meet to firm up impeachment motion against CJI Misra: Opposition parties, led by the Congress, will on Friday meet to give a final shape to the proposed impeachment motion against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and are likely to submit it to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. Opposition leaders are set to meet Vice-President Naidu at 12 pm today, news agency ANI reported.

Speaking to news agencies, an Opposition leader said, “We will meet today to give final shape to the impeachment motion to be moved against the Chief Justice of India.”

2) Congress, SP, BSP, others working on impeachment motion: The Opposition parties expected to attend the meeting to discuss the impeachment motion include the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Rashtriya Janta Dal, the Communist Party of India, and the Nationalist Congress Party.

3) TMC, DMK no longer part of the possible impeachment motion: The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which were initially in favour of an impeachment motion against the CJI, are no longer part of the initiative, sources told news agencies.

Click here to read → Impeachment

Naroda Patiya riot case: Gujarat HC acquits ex-BJP minister Maya Kodnani

The conviction of Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi who had also moved the court challenging the previous ruling, was upheld

Gujarat High Court on Friday acquitted former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Maya Kodnani in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case in which 97 Muslims were killed following the Godhra riots.

Maya Kodnani was sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment.

However, the conviction of Bajrang Dal leader, Babu Bajrangi who had also moved the court challenging the previous ruling, was upheld. He was sentenced to life imprisonment till death.

A division bench of the court comprising justice Harsha Devani and justice A. S. Supehiya concluded the hearing and reserved the order in the case last August.

In 2012, a special court for Special Investigation Team (SIT) cases had sentenced 32 people to life imprisonment.

Apart from this, seven accused were given enhanced life imprisonment of 21 years and the remaining were given simple life imprisonment for 14 years.

All the convicts had appealed against their conviction in the High Court.

Around 58 people lost their lives when the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was allegedly torched at the Godhra Railway Station on February 27, 2002.

Following the incident, on February 28, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal declared Gujarat Bandh. A total of 97 people were killed by rioters in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patiya area on this day.

Sikh woman on Pak pilgrimage converts to Islam, marries Lahore man: Reports

She has applied for an extension of visa, citing “threats of assassination” to her life in India, before Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad

Sikh woman on Pak pilgrimage converts to Islam, marries Lahore man: Reports

A Sikh woman pilgrim from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district has reportedly converted to Islam and married a Lahore-based Pakistan national, reports reaching her family in Punjab have indicated.

Kiran Bala, daughter of Manohar Lal, wrote to the Pakistan Foreign Office that her visa should be extended as she married one Mohammad Azam, a resident of Lahore, during a ceremony held at Jamia Naeemia seminary in Lahore on April 16, The Express Tribune reported.

She went to Pakistan on her Indian passport with Pakistan visa valid till April 21.

Her old father-in-law, Tarsem Singh, alleged on Thursday that his daughter-in-law could have fallen into the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and may have been forced to convert and remarry there.

Kiran’s father-in-law, Tarsem Singh spoke to ANI and said, “My daughter-in-law called and said that she has converted to Islam and got re-married in Pakistan. I want to request the Prime Minister, CM of Punjab to take her out of this situation. I suspect she might have fallen into the hands of ISI.”

As per Pakistani media reports, Kiran embraced Islam from Darul-Aloom Jamia Naeemia in Lahore on April 16 and later performed ‘nikah’ (marriage) with Muhammed Azam, a resident of Hanjarwal Multan Road in Lahore.

According to ANI, she also changed her name to Amna Bibi which she used to sign the letter addressed to the foreign ministry, the report said.

“Now in the given circumstances, the undersigned could not return back to India and the undersigned have received life threats of assassination, therefore, the undersigned intends to extend her visa,” she wrote in the letter, published by the local media.

However, what is curious is that in her application for extension of the Pakistan visa, her name is typed as Amna Bibi while the signature has been done as Amina, IANS reported.

She has applied for an extension of visa, citing “threats of assassination” to her life in India, before Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, a report in Daily Times said.

The News also posted pictures of the woman and her visa extension application on its website.

Around 1,700 Indian pilgrims had gone to Pakistan to visit Sikh shrines, including Panja Sahib Gurdwara near Lahore and Nankana Sahib — the birth place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 13. | Readmore…

Mecca Masjid blast case judge’s resignation rejected: Top 10 developments

Following the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict, Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA over the acquittal of the five accused and assured to provide legal help to the family of the victims

Mecca Masjid blast, Swami Aseemanand

The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court on Thursday rejected the resignation tendered by special National Investigation Agency (NIA) judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict. Judge Reddy has been asked to attend to his duties immediately. The NIA court of Reddy had on Monday acquitted all the five Hindu activists accused in the decade-old bomb blast that killed nine worshippers at Hyderabad’s historic Mecca Masjid. The accused included Nabakumar Sarkar alias Swamy Aseemanand. Within hours, Reddy, who ordered the acquittals, resigned, citing “personal reasons”.

Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA over the acquittal of the five accused in the Mecca blast case. Addressing a rally in Hyderabad, Owaisi said that the investigation agency had turned deaf and blind. Further, he assured to provide legal help to the family of the victims.

Accusing the Congress party of indulging in vote bank politics, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Wednesday asked Rahul Gandhi to apologise to Hindus for labelling them as terrorists. “In pursuit of vote bank politics, the Congress popularised ‘Hindu Terror’ and tried to implicate some Hindu activists in the Meccas Masjid blast case in Hyderabad over a decade ago, though a NIA court acquitted them,” said Shah at an event in Bengaluru.

While the politicians duked it out over the verdict, following the exoneration of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, the family of one of the deceased demanded justice. Rehana Begum, the younger sister of deceased Saleem, said that her brother had died in the police firing that ensued after the blast took place and held those who planned and executed the blast responsible for his demise.

The blast, which took place on May 18, 2007, during Friday prayers at the Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad, killing nine people and leaving 58 injured, was allegedly carried out by a group of right-wing terrorists.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Mecca Masjid blast case verdict, the subsequent resignation of the judge who pronounced the verdict, and the rejection of the resignation:

1) Resignation of judge who delivered Mecca Masjid blast verdict rejected: The High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana today rejected the resignation filed by special NIA judge Ravinder Reddy, who delivered the Mecca Masjid Blast verdict. According to sources, Reddy has been asked to attend to his duties immediately.

On Monday, a special NIA court at Nampally had acquitted all the five accused in the case due to lack of evidence. Hours after the verdict was pronounced, Reddy had tendered his resignation.

2) Owaisi calls NIA blind and deaf after the Mecca Masjid blast verdict: After the acquittal of the five accused in Mecca blast case, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the NIA, saying that the investigative agency has turned deaf and blind. He assured the families of the victims that he would provide them help in appealing against the verdict. “If the family of any victim wants to appeal against the verdict, then I am ready to provide them legal help. People call NIA a caged parrot, but I will say that it is blind and deaf also,” Owaisi said.

Click here to read → Mecca Masjid Blast case

SC rules out fresh probe in Sohrabuddin case judge Loya’s death: 10 points

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which dismissed the pleas, said that attempts were made to scandalise the judiciary

Tripods of television crew stand in front of the Supreme Court building in New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the mysterious death of special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case involving Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah. Loya had on December 1, 2014 died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

Further, the apex court said that the submissions of the petitioners prima facie amounted to criminal contempt of court but that it was not initiating contempt proceedings.

Attempts were made to scandalise the judiciary by levelling serious allegations against judges and judicial officers of the Bombay High Court, said a Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. Further, dismissing the pleas for an independent probe, the Bench said there was no reason to doubt the statements of four judges on the circumstances leading to the death of judge Loya. The apex court said that the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the CBI judge’s death was due to a natural cause.

The apex court had earlier asked the Maharashtra government to submit the post-mortem report of the CBI judge, who had died under suspicious circumstances in 2014, citing that the “matter was very serious”. Maharashtra-based journalist B S Lone and activist Tehseen Poonavala had filed independent pleas seeking a fair probe into the death of Justice Loya.

The issue of Justice Loya’s death had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his demise and its possible links with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. However, Justice Loya’s son had on January 14 said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.

In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, BJP President Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin, have already been discharged.


Here are the top 10 developments around the Supreme Court’s verdict on pleas seeking an independent probe into CBI judge B H Loya’s death:


1) SC dismisses pleas seeking fresh probe in judge Loya’s death: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that there would be no independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and dismissed a batch of pleas seeking the same.

2) ‘Attempt made to scandalise judiciary’: The Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which dismissed the pleas, said that attempts were made to scandalise the judiciary by levelling serious allegations against judicial officers and judges of the Bombay High Court.

3) Documents show judge Loya died of natural causes, says SC: The Bench further said that there was no reason to doubt the statements of the four judges on the circumstances leading up to the death of judge Loya, adding that the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the special CBI judge’s death was due to natural causes.

4) Frivolous litigation filed to settle political scores, says SC: The Supreme Court said that with these petitions it became clear that a real attempt and a frontal attack was being made on the independence of the judiciary. The apex court also said that a frivolous and motivated litigation had been filed to settle a political score. It also said that political battles should be fought in the “halls of democracy” and not inside court, reported Bar & Bench.

5) SC says petitioners in contempt of court but no action to be taken: The judgment made strong observations against the conduct and submissions of senior counsel Dushyant Dave, V Giri, and advocate Prashant Bhushan, reported Bar & Bench, adding that the Supreme Court stated the submissions of the petitioners prima facie amounted to criminal contempt of court. However, the court said that it was not initiating civil contempt against the petitioners for scandalising the judiciary.

Click here to read → Judge Loya

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the mysterious death of special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case involving Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah. Loya had on December 1, 2014 died of cardiac arrest in Nagpur, where he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague’s daughter.

Further, the apex court said that the submissions of the petitioners prima facie amounted to criminal contempt of court but that it was not initiating contempt proceedings.

Attempts were made to scandalise the judiciary by levelling serious allegations against judges and judicial officers of the Bombay High Court, said a Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. Further, dismissing the pleas for an independent probe, the Bench said there was no reason to doubt the statements of four judges on the circumstances leading to the death of judge Loya. The apex court said that the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the CBI judge’s death was due to a natural cause.

The apex court had earlier asked the Maharashtra government to submit the post-mortem report of the CBI judge, who had died under suspicious circumstances in 2014, citing that the “matter was very serious”. Maharashtra-based journalist B S Lone and activist Tehseen Poonavala had filed independent pleas seeking a fair probe into the death of Justice Loya.

The issue of Justice Loya’s death had come under the spotlight in November last year after media reports quoting his sister fuelled suspicion about the circumstances surrounding his demise and its possible links with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. However, Justice Loya’s son had on January 14 said in Mumbai that his father had died of natural causes.

In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, BJP President Amit Shah, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Rajasthan-based businessman Vimal Patni, former Gujarat police chief P C Pande, Additional Director General of Police Geeta Johri and Gujarat police officers Abhay Chudasama and N K Amin, have already been discharged.

Here are the top 10 developments around the Supreme Court’s verdict on pleas seeking an independent probe into CBI judge B H Loya’s death:

1) SC dismisses pleas seeking fresh probe in judge Loya’s death: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that there would be no independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high-profile Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, and dismissed a batch of pleas seeking the same.

2) ‘Attempt made to scandalise judiciary’: The Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and judges A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, which dismissed the pleas, said that attempts were made to scandalise the judiciary by levelling serious allegations against judicial officers and judges of the Bombay High Court.

3) Documents show judge Loya died of natural causes, says SC: The Bench further said that there was no reason to doubt the statements of the four judges on the circumstances leading up to the death of judge Loya, adding that the documents placed on record and their scrutiny established that the special CBI judge’s death was due to natural causes.

4) Frivolous litigation filed to settle political scores, says SC: The Supreme Court said that with these petitions it became clear that a real attempt and a frontal attack was being made on the independence of the judiciary. The apex court also said that a frivolous and motivated litigation had been filed to settle a political score. It also said that political battles should be fought in the “halls of democracy” and not inside court, reported Bar & Bench.

5) SC says petitioners in contempt of court but no action to be taken: The judgment made strong observations against the conduct and submissions of senior counsel Dushyant Dave, V Giri, and advocate Prashant Bhushan, reported Bar & Bench, adding that the Supreme Court stated the submissions of the petitioners prima facie amounted to criminal contempt of court. However, the court said that it was not initiating civil contempt against the petitioners for scandalising the judiciary.

Click here to read → Judge Loya

Filing income tax returns: Here’s how to avoid being labelled a tax evader

The income-tax department on Wednesday warned salaried-class taxpayers against using illegal means while filing their returns, stating that violators would be prosecuted

Income tax department asks 10 PSU firms to pay more tax

Filing income-tax returns (ITRs)? Take note: Those who furnish incorrect information while filing ITRs will be reported to their employers and punished under the law, the Income Tax Department on Wednesday warned salaried-class taxpayers. The I-T department’s Central Processing Centre (CPC), which receives and processes ITRs, in Bengaluru, has issued a “cautionary advisory” warning taxpayers that they should not “fall prey” to tax advisors or planners who help them prepare wrong claims to get tax benefits.

The I-T department’s warning comes after its investigation wing in January unearthed a racket by employees of information technology companies based out of Bengaluru who werre allegedly helped by a tax advisor to get fraudulent tax refunds. Do you think this is a small matter? Think again. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently registered a criminal case to probe this nexus.

The latest ITR-1 form, largely used by the salaried class of taxpayers, has been activated on the official e-filing portal of the income-tax department.

Here are the top 10 things that you need to know before filing your income-tax returns:

1) Don’t give wrong info in your ITRs: The Income Tax Department on Wednesday warned salaried-class taxpayers against using illegal means while filing their returns, stating that violators will be prosecuted and their employers will be intimated to take action against them.

2) No under-reporting of income or inflated claims: What ‘illegal means’ is the I-T department referring to? The warning refers to under-reporting of income or “inflating” of deductions.

Calling it a “cautionary advisory” on reports of tax evasion by under-reporting of income or inflating deductions or exemptions by salaried taxpayers, the I-T department said such attempts “aided and abetted by unscrupulous intermediaries have been noted with concern”.

3) Wrong claims to be seen as tax evasion: What action will the I-T department take if it detects such wrong information in your ITR? The taxman has warned that wrong claims will be treated as cases of tax evasion. Such offences are punishable under various penal and prosecution provisions of the Income Tax Act, it said.

The one-page advisory added that if the department notices any fraudulent claims in the ITRs, such claims “may be punishable under provisions of the IT Act and this may also delay issuance of their refunds”.

“Taxpayers, are, therefore strictly advised not to fall prey to false promises or mis-advice by unscrupulous intermediaries and submit wrong claims in their ITRs, which would be treated as cases of tax evasion,” said the advisory.

4) This advisory applies to government employees as well: In case government or public sector undertaking employees make wrong claims and are caught, the I-T department will inform the vigilance division of their place of employment. Subsequently. the vigilance division will take action under conduct rules.

5) Extensive risk analysis system to catch wrongdoers: How will the taxman catch you if you file wrong information in your ITR? The advisory added that the I-T department possesses an “extensive risk analysis system”. This is an automated system that has no human interface. It identifies persons who are non-compliant and aim to subvert the trust based-system “envisioned” while processing of ITRs at the CPC. “In all such cases of high risk, the department may examine and verify the details submitted by taxpayers in their ITR subsequent to the processing of returns,” it said.

6) Tax advisors and planners can be punished, too: The I-T department also asked tax planners and advisors to “confine their advice to taxpayers within the four corners of the IT Act” and warned that the violators will be prosecuted and such instances will also be referred to enforcement agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for criminal prosecution.

7) ITR-1 forms available now: The latest ITR-1 form that is largely used by the salaried-class of taxpayers is now available on the official e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department. The single ITR form, notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on April 5, has been put on its website, https://www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, on Monday.

Click here to read → Filing Income tax returns

IPL 2018: KKR breach Rajasthan fortress at Jaipur, beat RR by 7 wickets

Rajasthan Royals lost their first match at Sawai Mansingh stadium after winning 9 matches here on the trot. Kolkata Knight Riders clinched their third win beating RR by 7 wickets

Kolkata Knight Rider batsman Dinesh Karthik  plays a shot during an IPL 2018 cricket match against Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Photo: PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clinched their third win of IPL 2018, beating Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur to reach the top of Vivo IPL points table. KKR captain Dinesh Karthik led from the front and scored a 23-ball 43. Robin Uthappa was good with the bat too as he scored 48 runs off 36 balls after Chris Lynn wicket in the first over. At no point, Rajasthan Royals’ bowlers seemed to create any pressure on KKR batting line-up. With this, Rajasthan Royals’ nine-match winning streak at Sawai Mansingh Stadium comes to an end.

After a bad start, Sunil Narine and Uthappa stabilised the Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings. They both hit the ball well and rotated the strike regularly. Rajasthan Royals’ bowlers failed to take wickets at regular intervals and create pressure on the KKR batsmen. Poor fielding added to the woes of Rajasthan Royals.

ALSO READ : IPL 2018 Points Table

While batting first, Rajasthan Royals made 160-8 in 20 overs. The innings turned out to be a roller coaster. While runs were coming at a decent pace, wickets kept falling as well. Ajinkya Rahane made 36 from 18. D Arcy Shorts finally found some form and made 44. Sunil Narine was very expensive, in fact, today’s spell was his most expensive in IPL ever. He gave away 48 runs in 4 overs and went wicketless.

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals were invited to bat first by Kolkata Knight Riders. RR had a rather stable start. Runs came at decent pace wickets kept falling hence the run rate never crossed 8 at any point.

ALSO READ : IPL 2018 results & fixtures

Rahane played well but could not carry his innings for long. He was dismissed for 36. D Arcy Shorts was dismissed for a well made 44.

Kolkata Knight Riders innings update: Over by over

Kolkata Knight Riders Playing XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav

Over 1: Sunil Narine to open with Chris Lynn. Krishnappa Gowtham to start for Rajasthan. One run. Bowled him. Chirs Lynn tries to go across the line, misses. clean bowled. Robin Uthappa joins Narine. Keeping it very tight. KKR 1-1.

Over 2: Dhawal Kulkarni is in. Miscommunication. Almost a run out. Four to Narine, over the keeper’s head. Single. Another single to Uthappa. KKR 9-1.

Over 3: Gowtham continues, gets hit for four by Uthappa.In the air, falls short of Stokes. Narine tires to cut, straight to the fielder. Another dot. KKR 15-1

Over 4: Kulkarni to continue. Dot after dot. Here is a four. Another four to Narine, pierced through the in-field. Narine pulls, and gets a four. Three in a row. KKR 27-1

Over 6: Ben Laughing into the attack, missed the good line, hit for four. Single to Uthappa. Single to Narine. Quick single, good running between the wickets.Narine dispatches Laughlin for six. KKR: 53-1

Over 7: Shreyas Gopal is into the attack. Hit for six. KKR 62-1

Over 8: Ben Stokes comes in. Good ball. Single to Uthappa. Outside edge and four. Bad Luck. 68-1

Over 9: Narine is run out. Shreyas Gopal gets hit for six by Uthappa, he has found some form. Nitish Rana is the new man in.

Over 10: Stokes came to bowl, Rana took a single in the backward point region. Stokes to Uthappa, a miss field went for 4. Two consecutive single of the 3rd and 4th ball. The slower ball went gone wide. Stokes end the over with two single. KKR 87/2. | Readmore