"If we have the report of the standing committee in the Winter Session of Parliament, I will have no problem in effecting it (DTC) from 1 April 2012," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said in an interview to private news channel
New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee hopes that the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), which seeks to replace the Income Tax Act of 1961, would come into force from 1 April 2012, reports PTI.
"If we have it (the report of the standing committee) in the Winter Session (of Parliament), I will have no problem in effecting it from 1 April 2012," Mr Mukherjee said in an interview to private news channel CNBC TV18 on Friday.
The DTC is an ambitious tax reform that will replace the half a century old direct tax laws.
On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Mr Mukherjee said, "We are on track ... there has been some progress".
He said both the Centre and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers were in talks for implementation of the GST regime.
Besides Parliament, the GST Bill needs to be cleared by half of the state assemblies. Once implemented, GST would subsume most of the indirect taxes like excise duty.
On economic prospects this fiscal, Mr Mukherjee said agricultural output is expected to be good. Besides, a better show by the core sector industries would help the country in achieving economic growth in the coming quarters.
"Growth scenario will move upwards from the second quarter or at least from the third quarter onwards," he said.
While the Reserve Bank of India has pegged the economic growth for 2011-12 at 8%, the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council has estimated it at 8.2%.
The Indian economy expanded at the slowest pace in six quarters by 7.7% in the first (April-June) quarter of the current fiscal. It was 8.8% in the corresponding period last fiscal.
The output of eight infrastructure industries rose at its fastest pace in 15 months in July at 7.8%, against 5.7% in the corresponding period last fiscal.
The bears will try to counterattack after last week’s drubbing. But if they fail, the bulls will try to make further gains. So volatility is bound to be high
S&P Nifty close: 5040
SHORT term: Down MEDIUM term: Down LONG term: Sideways
The Nifty opened higher and rallied further in a week with fewer trading sessions on account of the festival holidays. Volumes were significantly lower, but volatility remained high. Short covering was witnessed across the board and this resulted in the Nifty gaining a hefty 293 points (+6.15%) through the week. Sectoral indices which led the advance were BSE Metal (+11.52%), BSE Realty (+10.09%), BSE Bankex (+6.87%) and BSE Auto (+6.50%). The ones that underperformed the benchmark were BSE Power (+2.44%), BSE FCMG (+2.65%) and BSE PSU (+2.83%).
The histogram MACD continues to be below the median line as the medium-term trend is firmly down. Last week we saw a contra-trend rise begin, as anticipated, and those who covered their shorts and brave hearts who went long were rewarded handsomely. The 'morning star' pattern on the weekly charts has raised the possibility that we may have seen a significant bottom that could hold for a few weeks at least, if not for a few months.
Here are some key levels to watch out for this week.
The bulls have succeeded in putting a foot in the door of the bear juggernaut, but they will have to ensure that the recent low holds in any corrections which take place from here on. On the support levels,
1. The Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent rise from 4,720-5,113 points are 4,963 (38.2%), 4,916 (50%) and 4,870 (61.8%). These should act as supports in dips.
2. The resistance in any further rise will be provided by the 'gap area' between 5,229 and 5,323 points.
3. A close in the mentioned 'gap area' could lay the foundation of a retracement of the fall from 6,338-4,720 points, although no confirmation is available as yet.
The bears will try to counterattack after last week's drubbing, but if they fail to break the mentioned Fibonacci support levels, then the bulls would try to make further inroads into bear territory. As a result volatility is bound to be high. The significant resistance to watch out for is the 5,229-5,323 points range.
(Vidur Pendharkar is a consultant technical analyst and chief strategist at www.trend4casting.com.)
Sailesh Gandhi, central information commissioner, says citizens should get proactive about government functioning through the use of RTI. But this should not become a tool to harass officials. Rather, there should be minimum friction between the information seeker and the provider
"Even a government servant spends only 32% of his time at his job and he is an ordinary citizen for the rest of the time. His stake in the ruling government is much lesser than in his citizenship. So it is in his benefit to uphold the Right to Information and improve governance," Shailesh Gandhi, central information commissioner, said today.
Mr Gandhi was addressing a seminar on "How to use the Right to Information effectively," hosted by Moneylife Foundation at Ravindra Natya Mandir, in central Mumbai.
The central information commissioner described the history and scope of the Act and outlined the provisions, and even elaborated on the proper format and procedure for citizens to seek information. He explained the functioning and powers of public information officers (PIOs) and deemed PIOs. "The procedure and system should be so smooth that there is minimum friction between the information seeker and the provider," Mr Gandhi said.
Referring to an observation made by VS Das, executive director of the Reserve Bank of India, on the needless and voluminous queries that tax an organisation's resources and time, Mr Gandhi said the RTI should not become a tool to harass officials.
He also drew attention to the definition of 'public authority' in the Act to point out that cooperative housing societies, unless specified by a government body or funded substantially by the government, cannot be termed as public authorities.
However, he argued that public-private partnerships should come under the RTI Act. "A lot of public assets will be shifted to these PPPs soon, so these should be covered by the RTI. Otherwise, it will be like a fraud, when public resources are privatised without anybody's consent," Mr Gandhi said.
The central information commissioner also talked about section 4 of the RTI Act, which relates to suo moto dissemination of information by public authorities, which he said is at the heart of the Act.
On the matter of exemptions mentioned in the Act, Mr Gandhi gave examples from his personal in this area saying that government deals with any private businesses or parliamentary papers (six months after they are tabled) must not be exempted from the purview of the Act. "A PIO cannot deny information just by saying that the matter is sub judice or that it is personal," he said.
Asked about the proper way to sensitise people about the Right to Information and how to become pro-active in demanding good governance, Mr Gandhi said it requires a combination of lobbying and campaigning to develop a culture of transparency.
On disciplinary penalty for erring PIOs, the central information commissioner said, "Asking for more penalty is not a solution. Lots of corrective measures can be taken by the authorities within the framework of the law available." But he agreed that a time frame must be specified for the second appeal as well.
On the inspection of files under the Act raised by a participant, Mr Das, who is the appellate authority at the RBI, said that in case information was left out of the manuals and other documents, or they are not updated, the people should draw the bank's attention to this. On this matter, SS Mundra, executive director, Union Bank, said, "In physical form, most information is available at the offices."
Mr Das said RTI activism has a long way to grow. "Very few applications are received from less developed areas of the country. It we get only two applications from Tripura and four from Assam this year, I think there is a need to educate people on the scope of the Act," he said.
Mr Das outlined the RBI's engagement with the Act, how the highly centralised operation had spread out to all its regional offices, and said that the RBI has proactively disclosed a lot of information on its website. "Being the central bank of the country, it is our duty to disseminate information and also protect sensitive data," he said. In six years since the RTI Act was adopted, the RBI has received over 18,000 applications, but only 16% of these have gone for first appeal.
In this respect Mr Mundra added, "There are doubts in the mind of both the provider and the seeker of information. The central information commissioner can dispel these doubts and give us guidelines on how to access and disseminate information." He said Union Bank was committed to organise six seminars on different topics with Moneylife Foundation this year and felt privileged to be a part of this initiative.
This seminar is the latest in a series of discussions on RTI organised by Moneylife Foundation, which have been very popular with alert citizens, activists and civil society workers.