Regulations
Coal Mines Bill passed by Rajya Sabha
With the coal ordinance permitting auction of cancelled blocks due to lapse early April, the Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014, in the nick of time before parliament goes into its scheduled month-long recess.
 
Failure to pass the bill, already cleared by the Lok Sabha, would have put into jeopardy the status of mines already auctioned, which has yielded revenue of more than Rs.200,000 crore from winning bids. 
 
The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, provides for allocation of coal mines and vests the right, title and interest over mine infrastructure together with mining leases to successful bidders through a transparent bidding process.
 
The bill will now replace the ordinance which outlines the procedure for auction of coal blocks that were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September.
 
The Bill also provides for allotment of blocks to public sector undertakings. As per rules the auctions are being conducted under tariff based reverse bidding where the
end-use is power generation, and forward bidding for production of steel, cement and generation of power for captive use.
 
While the criteria for calculating the floor price for bidding is based on state miner Coal India's (CIL) price of coal of the same grade, the auction would also have a ceiling price for power sector bidders to keep the lid on power tariffs.
 
The floor price would not be less than Rs.150 per tonne, while potential bidders would have to pay upfront as floor price is 10 percent of the intrinsic value of the mine. The bidder with the highest floor price would be the preferred bidder.
 

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Post data analysis, SBI would even put ships on e-auction
India's largest mortgage lender, State Bank of India (SBI) would even offer ships online in the future after studying the analytical data on its recent e-auction of around 300 properties, said a senior official on Friday.
 
"We have a small coastal transport ship in our inventory of seized recovered properties. Putting it on e-auction is also a good idea. We have earlier sold couple of ships in the traditional manner," Parveen Kumar Malhotra, deputy managing director and group executive (Stressed Assets Management) told IANS.
 
On March 14, SBI auctioned around 300 properties (mix of residential/offices/shops/factory buildings) valued around Rs.1,200 crore online.
 
"We are studying the data to see the efficiency in price discovery for properties sold online. The study is to see whether the online sale price is better or the offline price is better," Malhotra said.
 
He said the around 130 properties got sold for a sum of Rs.80-90 crore.
 
The auction got good response for the residential properties put on sale.
 
"The experience gained is good and we are also studying how we can share more information about the properties (mainly about industrial properties) so as to conclude the sale," Malhotra said.
 
He said the bank had received many queries about the water supply to the factories and the approach roads.
 
"If it is a local bidder, he would have done the survey before the auction. Our legal department has to see whether what additional information could be shared about the property without compromising on client confidentiality," Malhotra said.
 
One of the views regarding the industrial properties is that the bidders need additional time and the bank is also looking at the possibility of giving a longer pre-bid period.
 
Another banker told IANS that SBI could also do an efficiency/economic analysis of various modes of recovering dues.
 
Malhotra said on the whole the e-auction was satisfactory and it was a good experience to take it forward.
 
Other bankers too enquired in a friendly manner as to the e-auction modalities, he added.

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Anti-black money bill tabled in Lok Sabha

A bill on unearthing black money and punishing those with ill-gotten wealth was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the last day before parliament goes into its scheduled month-long recess.

The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of New Tax) Bill, 2015, proposes a short window to overseas income tax assessees to declare their assets, pay tax and a penalty and thus avoid imprisonment.

It provides for a maximum of 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for evading tax on foreign assets.

There will also be a penalty at the rate of 300 percent of taxes on the concealed income and assets.

The new legislation will provide that income in relation to any undisclosed foreign asset or undisclosed income from any foreign asset will be taxable at the maximum marginal rate.

 

Salient points of the Anti-black money bill tabled in the Lok Sabha Friday

 
* Maximum of 10 years rigorous imprisonment for offenders who evade taxes on foreign assets.
 
* Penalty at the rate of 300 percent of taxes on the concealed income and assets.
 
* Income from any undisclosed foreign asset or undisclosed income from any foreign asset to be taxable at the maximum marginal rate.
 
* Beneficiary of foreign assets will be mandatorily required to file return, even if there is no taxable income.
 
* Non-filing of income tax returns or filing of returns with inadequate disclosure of foreign assets liable for prosecution with punishment of rigorous imprisonment up to 7 years.

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