While 29th March is a Saturday, 30th March is Sunday and 31st March is the last year of financial year and is a public holiday (Gudi Padwa) in some parts of the country
Bank branches across the country will remain open for full day between 29th to 31st March to facilitate tax collection.
While 29th March is a Saturday, 30th March is Sunday and 31st March is the last year of financial year and is a public holiday (Gudi Padwa) in some parts of the country.
“The Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs has requested the Secretary Financial Services to issue instructions to have the banks open for full day on 29th, 30th and 31 March 2014 so that the efforts made for collections of revenue are reflected appropriately,” an office memorandum said.
Bulk of the revenue is received at the end of the month, it said, adding banks need to facilitate electronic tax payment by assessees.
In the 2014 interim budget, the government has lowered the indirect tax collection target for the current fiscal by Rs45,483 crore to over Rs5.19 lakh crore.
Of this, over Rs1.75 lakh crore and Rs1.79 lakh crore is to be mobilised from customs and excise duty collection and about Rs1.65 lakh crore from service tax.
Subrata Roy of Sahara has probably always believed that he does not need not follow laws, as long he has powerful connections. This belief of his has been badly dented by the Supreme Court. But does Mr Roy understand it still?
Once again, as we go to print, the Supreme Court of India (SC) has remanded Subrata Roy, head of the Sahara group, to custody until 25th March. On 13th March, Mr Roy’s lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, challenged his imprisonment on the grounds that it was ‘illegal and unconstitutional’. The two-judge bench of Justice JS Kehar and Justice KS Radhakrishnan was unmoved and refused to grant bail saying Mr Roy had failed to come up with a written repayment plan as directed by the Court. The Sahara group has been asked pay up over Rs20,000 crore, plus 15% interest, to the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in compliance with its August 2012 order.
Some would argue that since Sahara failed to comply with its orders, the Supreme Court hardly had a choice but to keep Subrata Roy in jail. After all, consider the situation. The apex court has given Sahara a really long rope for over three years. But it is almost as if Sahara does not even comprehend the sanctity and seriousness of Supreme Court hearings. All through the trial, it issued defiant and childish advertisements in all national newspapers on the trial days; many bordered on contempt but the Court chose to ignore them. Mr Roy also ignored the apex court’s instructions to be personally present in Court, finally leading to the arrest. It is safe to bet that no other corporate group would have exhibited such defiance.
Sahara claims to have paid back over Rs22,885 crore to those who invested in optionally fully convertible debentures issued by two realty companies of the group. In addition, it has deposited Rs5,120 crore with SEBI under the court orders. Sahara’s alleged CASH refunds were in defiance of the Supreme Court’s explicit order to deposit the money with SEBI, to be disbursed to investors after verification by a retired Supreme Court judge.
Worse, Sahara is unable to demonstrate how such a large amount of cash was generated to make the payments. Surely, any business group would need to liquidate some assets to pay back a whopping Rs22,000 crore in cash. The UPA government and the entire political establishment, which is watching the proceedings in silence, does not seem to notice the irony of the finance ministry’s claim about monitoring cash payments. No questions have been asked by the tax department which routinely harasses retired, middle-class, senior citizens about tax returns filed a decade ago.
Interestingly, Sahara has got away with similar refund claims in the past because the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remained silent. Sahara issued advertisements claiming to have raised Rs73,000 crore in deposits through its residuary non-banking company and claimed they were repaid long before the 2015 deadline set by RBI. While RBI remained silent, bankers admitted that the money was simply rolled over to its new, highly publicised retail venture called Q-shop, without any direct repayments to savers.
Clearly, Sahara does not believe that laws, regulations and tax compliance apply to it, so long as it is able to forge powerful connections across politics, cricket and cinema and hire India’s best legal brains. But with Subrata Roy behind bars since 4th March, and its political friends busy with a game-changing general election, things are getting hot for this group. While SEBI is seeking help from foreign investigators to track its properties abroad, the group attempted to cobble up support from a rag-tag bunch of film stars and cricketers which fell flat. It is unclear if the group has even begun to understand the gravity of the situation.
The market awaits triggers like the RBI monetary policy and the March quarter results...