Banking - RBI: RTGS Facility Will Not Operate on 2nd, 4th Saturdays
The RTGS (real-time gross settlement) system, which allows real-time transfer of large funds, will not be operated on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Banks will observe a holiday on those days, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a notification. However, the system will operate for the full day on other Saturdays, said RBI.
 
As per the new schedule, for regular days, including Saturdays (except the second and fourth Saturdays), business will open at 08:00 hrs while the initial cut-off (for customer transactions) would be 16:30 hours. The final cut-off (inter-bank transactions) will be at 19:45 hours and IDL (international date line) reversal between 19:45-20:00 hours. Close of business will be at 20:00 hours.

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Breath of Fresh Air
Tax administration may see some change thanks to Hasmukh Adiha’s initiative
 
A heartening move that has attracted little media, or public, attention is the series of tweets by Hasmukh Adhia, who has recently taken charge as revenue secretary at the Union finance ministry. 
Mr Adhia, whose twitter handle is @adhia03, tweeted: “I request people to send me their suggestions on tax reforms on my personal email ID address [email protected]” More importantly, he added, “I would be opening this email myself so whistleblowers also kindly send me information with verifiable facts.”
 
Mr Adhia’s openness in sharing his personal email and the assurance to whistleblowers are very significant. One of the biggest worries for those who want to expose wrongdoing in India, and not merely by tax and enforcement officials, is vindictive action, if their identity is revealed. Government officials, even in the prime minister’s office (PMO) under different regimes, are extremely cavalier about revelations of whistleblowers’ identities, leading to their murder, as in the Satyendra Dubey case, or extreme harassment. 
 
Mr Adhia has further said that using information technology (IT) to “bring transparency in the tax department” and “removing complexity of rules and procedure” is his top priority, followed by assessment of readiness to implement GST whenever it is approved by parliament. A positive move in that direction is the quick acceptance of the Justice AP Shah Committee’s report about granting relief on MAT (minimum alternative tax) to foreign institutional investors for the period before 1 April 2015. A clean-up of the tax administration is going to be key to every initiative of the government, whether it is rolling out GST (goods & services tax), building entrepreneurship and job creation, the ‘Make in India’ initiative or issues affecting large corporates and multinationals. In this context, it is heartening to see two of India’s most dynamic bureaucrats—Hashmukh Adhia and Amitabh Kant, secretary, DIPP (department of industrial policy & promotion) on the same page. After a very inspiring talk in Mumbai at Moneylife Foundation, the questions that Mr Kant was repeatedly asked were about harassment over taxes, the lack of a stable tax regime and lack of accountability. Mr Kant was himself was emphatic that the ‘Make in India’ effort would depend on a stable tax regime and predictable policies. The way forward lies in cutting the number of regulatory clearances and impediments to doing business by using technology which would improve India’s ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’. 
 
However, both, Mr Adhia and Mr Kant’s biggest challenge would be to tackle the deep vested interests among the rank and file at tax and investigation agencies, who, over the past decades, have become habituated to collecting bribes, not only for themselves, but also to buy promotions and postings and pass them up the line to senior officials. It remains to be seen how this will be dealt with. 

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COMMENTS

J Pinto

1 year ago

Please read the biography of eminent IAS officer (retired) KJ Alphons

It may be downloaded free here

http://www.alphonskannanthanam.com/book....

He reveals that India's biggest asset turned liability is its "brilliant" IAS officers who have lost their spine.


50% are corrupt.
49% are spineless - bending to please their political master
Only 1% of IAS officers are fearlessly true to their calling.

Suketu Shah

1 year ago

I wrote to him and got his ack in 5 days.Remarkable and great that we have such a person in very imp top govt post.

Ravindra Shetye

1 year ago

Good initiative. However, the vested interests will have to be RUTHLESSLY tackled. I know of a case of ITO in Mumbnai IT Office who was caught red handed while taking bribe and more money was recovered from his drawers. It was therefore surprising to see the officer at his desk again after about 1.5-2 years. Such a thing obviously happens when it is a GROUP BRIBING.

Ravindra Shetye

1 year ago

Good initiative. However, the vested interests will have to be RUTHLESSLY tackled. I know of a case of ITO in Mumbnai IT Office who was caught red handed while taking bribe and more money was recovered from his drawers. It was therefore surprising to see the officer at his desk again after about 1.5-2 years. Such a thing obviously happens when it is a GROUP BRIBING.

MG Warrier

1 year ago

I look at such initiatives with lot of optimism.I believe the large majority of bureaucrats, politicians(not political leaders),teachers, media persons, 'rich people', technocrats etc. are good people and left to themselves would try to be honest and helpful to the people around. I agree things have gone wrong. But, corrective action is possible. I think, AAP, Modi and the enthusiasm of the present generation(those born in Independent India and more particularly those under 35 now)as positive signs. Change is here to stay. What is happening in Income Tax Department or finance ministry is part of that change.

REPLY

Meenal Mamdani

In Reply to MG Warrier 1 year ago

I heartily agree with Mr. Warrier.

If India did not have the good people Mr. Warrier lists, it would be a basket case.

The crucial factor is today's young. They have a "can do" mind set and unlike the older people, do not expect govt to come up with solutions to problems.

I think that there is a great need for online forums like MoneyLife has provided in finance, to discuss problems in various sectors and offer solutions.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the energy of millions who voted for Modi, not for his hindutva ideology, but his promise of bringing about change in governance, will lead to a more dynamic and socially just India.

VISWANATHAN K N

1 year ago

A CA said in many high value refund cases the assessment is not made at all. When the assessee approach the IT dept they prepare a back dated demand notice which was never sent to the assessee. Then the official agrees to process the refund with interest provided 50% of the interest is paid as bribe.

Dahyabhai S Patel

1 year ago

As every body knows the funds given to political parties is black money and majority of it remains unaccounted even by parties. Mr. Adhiya must be knowing this. Will he really do something fruitful to expose this as well as the following in this text and take action? Even IT officers are making "tod/jugad" in most of IT raids!! All registrations of properties transfers etc. are not done without paying bribes to revenue officers and intermediaries!! Will he do any thing suo moto?

REPLY

Gupta

In Reply to Dahyabhai S Patel 1 year ago

Can we for a change stop criticising every good step simply because there are other good steps that can also be taken! Take it easy.

Sunil Kapadia

1 year ago

I liked it. Hope to see some positive changes in our tax administration soon.

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