Taxation
Abandoned feature film projects get tax relief
Filmmakers unable to complete their movies or who had to abandon them before completing will now be eligible for relief following the latest directive of the Income Tax department doing away with a provision of claiming tax on abandoned projects.
 
"It is clarified that Rule 9A does not apply to abandoned feature films and that the expenditure incurred on such films is not to be treated as a capital expenditure," a recent office order of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.
 
"The cost of production of an abandoned feature film is to be treated as revenue expenditure and allowed as per the provisions of Section 37 of the Income Tax Act," it said.
 
"Revenue" expenditure implies a work that led to loss in the business.
 
"No appeals may henceforth be filed on this ground by the officers of the department and appeals already filed, if any, on this issue before various courts or tribunals may be withdrawn or not pressed upon," the order said.
 
Rule 9A allows for deduction of tax relief on taxable income in respect of the cost of production of a feature film certified by the censor board.
 
A senior official told reporters here on the sidelines of the CII Big Picture Summit on Tuesday that the latest order came after earlier court rulings in favour of filmmakers seeking that expenditure made on an abandoned film be treated as revenue, rather than capital expenditure.
 
The CBDT order raises the issue of films completed that have, however, not had a commercial release for some reason.
 
An example is the Anurag Kashyap produced "Michael", starring Naseeruddin Shah and Mahie Gill, which had only an initial release at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, but has not officially hit the screens. 
 
Meanwhile, actor-producer Ajay Devgn was felicitated for his valuable contribution to Indian cinema at the Confederation of Indian Industry's Big Picture Summit that concluded on Tuesday.
 
"The two-time National Award-winning film actor is today among Bollywood's most bankable box office stars," CII said in a statement.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Services spared from extra tax during GST transition
The government on Tuesday said that the services sector will not be charged extra tax levied during the transitional period of the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).
 
According to Rashmi Varma, special secretary, revenue, in the finance ministry, the one percent additional tax which is proposed to be levied during the transitional period of GST for two years will not impact services sector.
 
Verma, who was addressing the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) Big Picture summit held here, elaborated that the additional levy will only be charged on the manufacturing sector. 
 
The special secretary assured the media and entertainment (M&E) industry that the soon-to-be-implemented GST will be a game changer for the sector.
 
“Multiplicity of tax will go in one stroke. Entertainment, services and goods tax both at the Centre and states will be built into one -- making compliance hassle free.”
 
However, the entertainment tax levied by local authorities like panchayats and municipalities will remain, she clarified. 
 
"But, the share of such taxes to the total tax collected would be insignificant. Close to 99 percent of the taxes levied under the Centre and state dispensation would be merged with GST," Verma said.
 
She assured the industry that under the GST regime, goods and services would be taxed uniformly.
 
The industry had voiced concerns over the lack of definitional clarity between goods and services, tangible and intangible goods. 
 
Verma said all industries would be eligible to take credit under GST to set off against other tax liabilities. 
 
“We are working on the transition roadmap, so that the change-over hiccups will be minimal and if there are any concerns remaining, the GST Council, which will be set up after the constitutional amendment, will look into it and take corrective actions,” she said.
 
Besides the ongoing process, the top finance ministry official mentioned that a fourth draft proposal on returns will be put in public domain to seek the views of all stakeholders.
 
The ministry plans to place a model legislation in public domain by mid-November. It also plans to hold regional workshops to elicit the views of the industry associations at the apex and state levels. 
 
Verma said there would not be any concessions or incentives schemes under the GST regime. 
 
"The states which want to continue with the fiscal concessions for specified sectors could do so, setting apart resources from their own kitty," she said.
 
She added that no final decision has been taken on GST rate.
 
"The slabs under the GST would be minimal - one low and the other high and in between a standard slab - to keep the cascading effect to the minimal and easy to comply." 
 
“It is not in the sinful list, I can assure you that," Verma added 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India ranks low in WHO's global road safety rankings
The data on road crashes in the country is highly fragmented, barring states of Punjab and Tamil Nadu which have a good Road Accident Data Management System.
 
Yet, India stands out miserably in the latest World Health Organisation's (WHO) "Global Road Safety Report-2015" with an estimated 2,07,551 deaths on roads.
 
In 2014, India reported 137,572 deaths, since accidental deaths are clubbed with suicides, totalling to 141,526 deaths, said SafeLife Foundation, an NGO that analysed the India-specific findings of the WHO report.
 
Over 1.20 million people perish on the world's roads annually, making it a leading cause of deaths, especially in low and middle-income countries and entailing a loss of almost three percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to their economies.
 
While the number of road traffic fatalities have remained nearly constant, given a four percent increase in global population and 16 percent increase in motorisation, road safety efforts in the past three years have saved human lives.
 
But in India, there has been a continuous rise in road accident deaths since 2007 -- with a brief annual decline in 2012. The 2014 data stood at 141,526, marking a three percent increase over 2013.
 
Road deaths in low and middle-income countries are more than double of those in developed countries.
 
The noteworthy aspect is that 90 percent of the road deaths occurred in the underdeveloped or developing countries, housing 84 percent of the global population but having only 54 percent of the world's vehicles.
 
In the same context, of the 68 countries which saw a rise in road traffic deaths since 2010, 84 percent are in the low and middle-income group countries.
 
Similarly, 79 countries reporting a decline in road traffic deaths include 56 percent which are in the low and middle-income group countries -- making it clear that the risk of dying in road accident remains highest in the underdeveloped/developing nations.
 
Almost half of all the road accident deaths are among the vulnerable users -- two-wheeler, cycles or pedestrians, with WHO recommending more attention to be paid to the needs of the pedestrians and cyclists.
 
India has no laws protecting these (pedestrians/cyclists) who account for more than one-third of all road accident deaths in the country.
 
The WHO estimates that half a million lives could be saved each year in developing countries by creating an efficient emergency system to tackle road accident casualties.
 
While India boasts of a multiple access numbers for emergencies, only a few are reliable, compared to 116 countries that have a universal access number to activate emergency services response.
 
Moreover, after a road crash in developing countries like India, the local community leaders, police or drivers, if trained in basic injury care and coordination of transporting the victims to a hospital can fulfil the role of saviours in the absence absence of professional experts or medicos.
 
The SaveLife Foundation's Chief Executive Officer Piyush Tewari also endorsed WHO recommendation that health-care staff must be trained in emergency care and there is no legislation ensuring efficient emergency care and protection to bystanders rendering help to the victims.
 
Added to this is the lack of robust data on road traffic fatalities in most countries, though many submit vital registration date to the WHO on all causes of deaths, including many which now use hospital data as the basis for their figures.
 
The WHO feels that coordination of road safety efforts across multiple sectors and stakeholders is critical for success and currently 167 countries, compared to 162 in 2010, have an agency that leads the initiative.
 
India has no lead agency to effectively execute road safety strategies despite most states having their own Road Safety Policies.
 
Regarding legislation and road user behaviour, 17 countries have laws relating to one or more of five key behavioural risk factors, representing 409 million or 5.7 percent of the world population.
 
These are -- speed limits, use of motorcycle helmets, using seat belts, reducing drunken driving and child restraint use in which India meets the WHO criteria only pertaining to seat belts usage.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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