Petroleum & natural gas and electricity regulators also named for keeping a total Rs2,142 crore outside government accounts
New Delhi: The top government auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped five regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), for keeping their surplus funds worth over Rs2,142 crore, collected through fee and penalties, outside government accounts.
The CAG in its report has pulled up SEBI, IRDA, Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA), Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and PNGRB for "contravention of constitutional provision".
"Scrutiny of the annual accounts of the five regulatory bodies revealed that these bodies were retaining their surplus funds generated through fee charges, unspent grants received from the government, aggregating to Rs2,142.47 crore at the end of March 2010 outside the government accounts," the CAG said.
PTI reports that this practice by the regulators is in contravention of the instructions issued by the finance ministry that all ministries and departments of the government would ensure that funds of regulatory bodies are maintained in the public account, the CAG said.
"The finance accounts of the Union government, therefore, do not present a current and complete picture of government finances to the extent of funds of Rs2,142.47 crore lying outside the government accounts," it said.
Further, the CAG report noted that the finance ministry, in December 2009 and November 2010, had said that broad guidelines relating to operationalising SEBI and IRDA funds in the public accounts have been framed and conveyed to the Controller General of Accounts for drawing up the detail accounting procedure. "However, no funds in this regard, were opened in the public accounts of the finance accounts for the year 2009-10," the report added.
The CAG audit report for the years ended March 2008 and March 2009 had also highlighted retention of funds by IRDA and SEBI outside the government accounts.
The price increase has been necessitated on account of steep rise in input costs, the company stated
New Delhi: Passenger car and commercial vehicles maker Tata Motors today said it will hike the prices of its passenger vehicles, excluding the Nano, by up to Rs36,000 from 1st April, to offset rising input costs, reports PTI.
"Despite continuous cost control initiatives, the company have been forced to take these increases on account of steep rise in input costs," Tata Motors said in a statement.
Following the price revision, the Indica will be costlier by Rs7,000-Rs9,000, Vista and Indigo CS by Rs8,000-Rs11,000 and Manza by Rs10,000-Rs15,000.
The Nano will, however, not be revised.
In the utility vehicles segment, depending upon the model, Sumo prices will go up by Rs13,000-Rs15,000, Grande by Rs16,000-Rs19,000, Safari by Rs18,000-Rs29,000, Aria by Rs30,000-Rs36,000 and Venture by Rs9,000-Rs12,000.
The prime minister's statement has been welcomed by private players in the sector, saying it will help cleanse illegal funding
New Delhi: In order to check flow of black money into the real estate sector, prime minister Manmohan Singh today said stamp duty needs to be reduced, a step that realty players welcomed, stating it will bring in more transparency, reports PTI.
"I think as far as black money in real estate is concerned, unfortunately that is a reality and one way out of this would be to lower the stamp duties," Mr Singh said at the India Today Conclave here.
Replying to a poser on black money transactions in the real estate sector, the prime minister said stamp duties in the country are a "big obstacle to cleaning the mess with regard to transactions in real estate.
"So that's one way, in which we can work towards a system whereby black money would be less of a menace in transactions relating to real estate."
The prime minister's statement has been welcomed by private players in the sector, saying it will help cleanse illegal funding.
"Whatever the prime minister has said, is absolutely true. There has been rampant use of black money in the real estate sector. I think, this is a welcome move and will help the sector," Tata Housing Development Company managing director and CEO Brotin Banerjee told PTI.
Stamp duty is a property tax, to be paid in almost every deal at a prescribed rate on the transaction value or calculations based on circle rate, whichever is higher. It varies from state to state.
This particular tax varies from around 4% in Mumbai to about 13% in Kerala. Haryana charges 6% as stamp duty on properties, while it is 8% in Uttar Pradesh. Most of the states charge around 6%-8%.
Industry players have been asking to reduce stamp duty for a long time, terming it an unfavourable levy on the way to offer affordable housing to consumers. At present, stamp duty is charged from both consumers and developers.
Mr Banerjee, however, said Tata Housing does not indulge in trading black money in developing projects and utilises funds that are generated in a "transparent" manner.
"Reduction of stamp duty will benefit both consumers as well as developers. Currently developers pay stamp duty while registering the land and consumers again pay stamp duty while taking possession of the flats," he said.
He also said rationalising of the duties to around 4% will also help discouraging the firms in under-quoting property prices, thereby, checking revenue losses to the government.
Parsvnath Developers chairman Pradeep Jain said stamp duty needs to be rationalised as it will lead to corporate governance and transparency in deals.
"The central government had set up a fund to compensate the states to a certain extent which reduces the duty. Availing this, some states such as Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have cut stamp duties... Other states should also follow this," he added.