22 crore high value transactions under I-T scanner

Under the I-T scanner are 15,23,728 individuals who made payments of Rs2 lakh or more against their credit cards in the same fiscal while 32,21,695 individuals who acquired mutual fund schemes of Rs2 lakh or more, bonds or debentures of Rs5 lakh and above, shares issued by companies worth Rs1 lakh and RBI issued bonds worth Rs5 lakh and more

New Delhi: In a major crackdown, the Income Tax (I-T) department has under its scanner more than 22 crore instances of high value transactions in the country and abroad which include unreported credit card operations and deals in real estate, reports PTI.

The department has obtained, through its data mining and intelligence tools, instances of unreported transactions involving an estimated amount over Rs2,000 crore.

“The department is on the job to verify all the details of these unreported deals and a major operation is already underway in the country,” a top I-T official said here.

The total deals under the probe lens are 22, 52,06,979, the official said.

The step is seen as a major drive to garner as much revenue as possible by the I-T before the fiscal closes and the budgetary target of Rs5.32 lakh crore is achieved.

According to the official data of the tax department, its officials are working on sale and purchase of house property by 6,23,384 individuals worth Rs30 lakh each.

These transactions were made during 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years.

The department is also working on 27,50, 545 individual cases where cash deposits aggregating to Rs10 lakh or more were made in savings bank account during the same fiscal.

Under the I-T scanner are 15,23,728 individuals who made payments of Rs2 lakh or more against their credit cards in the same fiscal while 32,21,695 individuals who acquired mutual fund schemes of Rs2 lakh or more, bonds or debentures of Rs5 lakh and above, shares issued by companies worth Rs1 lakh and RBI issued bonds worth Rs5 lakh and more.

“These high value transactions have not been reflected on the I-T returns.

“The department has asked tax offices to get in touch with these taxpayers or individuals urging them to file the returns or revise them,” the official said.

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Govt may enhance tax deduction for housing loan in forthcoming Budget

In order to arrest the declining growth rate, industry associations have demanded raising the tax limit ceiling for housing loans. According to Ficci secretary general Rajiv Kumar the exemption should be harmonised with the rising interest rates and increased to at least Rs2.5 lakh

New Delhi: In a bid to boost housing sector credit, the government is contemplating to enhance income tax exemption up to Rs3 lakh paid as interest on housing loans in a year, from the existing limit of Rs1.5 lakh, reports PTI.

The government is considering raising the tax deduction limit for housing loan in the coming Budget, which is scheduled to be tabled on 16th March, sources said.

At present, a deduction of up to Rs1.5 lakh is available from taxable income towards interest on loan taken for house.

Besides, borrowers can enjoy exemption on payment of principal amount. However, it is part of exemption to savings capped at Rs1 lakh per annum.

With the property prices and interest rates rising with each passing year, there is need to revise the limit, sources said.

In order to arrest the declining growth rate, industry associations have demanded raising the tax limit ceiling for housing loans.

According to Ficci secretary general Rajiv Kumar the exemption should be harmonised with the rising interest rates and increased to at least Rs2.5 lakh.

“We recommended that the existing tax deduction limit on income tax of an individual should be increased from the current level of Rs2.5 lakh to at least Rs5 lakh,” CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said.

Of this, Rs3 lakh should be towards interest payment to offset the impact of high interest rates, he said, adding the remaining Rs2 lakh should be exclusively towards principal loan repayment as the present limit of Rs1 lakh is already overcrowded with several other items.

Echoing views, Assocham and PHD chamber said that exemption limit needs to be raised both for interest and principal.

As per the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), which would replace the decades old Income Tax Act, there is income tax exemption for up to Rs1.5 lakh paid as interest on housing loans in a year.

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Indian petrochem industry to grow 12-15% annually: Assocham

The petrochem sector, which employs more than 10 lakh people, would attract foreign funds as the global petrochemical industry moves eastwards—in Asia and the Middle East—with major hubs being set up in these regions, an Assocham study said

New Delhi: The $40-billion Indian petrochemicals industry is expected to grow at 12%-15% annually over the next five years and generate millions of new jobs, reports PTI quoting an Assocham study.

The sector, which employs more than 10 lakh people, would attract foreign funds as the global petrochemical industry moves eastwards—in Asia and the Middle East—with major hubs being set up in these regions, it said.

With sales of $2.5 trillion in 2010, the global petrochem industry is moving eastwards which presents opportunity for India to attract investments in the sector, it added.

“This (movement) simultaneously represents a tremendous window of opportunity for Indian chemical and petrochemical industries,” Assocham said in the study, ‘Mark Up for Growth: PCPIR in Andhra Pradesh’.

India can take advantage of this shift and attract large funds from investors keen to invest in the region near mega demand centres—India and China.

However, the Indian industry faces major competition from hubs in China, Singapore and the Middle East to grab a share of the investment pie. India needs to maintain certain levels of competitiveness and cost effectiveness to tackle this competition, it said.

The government, so far, has notified four petroleum, chemicals and petrochemical investment regions (PCPIRs)—Dahej in Gujarat, Haldia in West Bengal, Paradeep in Orissa and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

The proposal of the Tamil Nadu government for a PCPIR at Cuddalore is in the pipeline. Another project at Mangalore in Karnataka is at planning stage.

In Andhra Pradesh investment zone, major players like Hindustan Petroleum, LG Polymers, Coromandel Fertilisers, Andhra Petrochemicals, Godavari Fertilisers & Chemicals and Nagarjuna Fertilisers & Chemicals have shown interest to set up units.

Meanwhile, according to the global consultancy firm McKinsey, about one-third of the specialty chemicals business worldwide could move to Asia by 2020.

By 2020, approximately $350 billion of the projected $1 trillion global specialty chemical industry could move to Asia (excluding Japan), driven by downstream demand and competitive manufacturing costs, the firm had said.

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