I-T dept to make names of defaulters owing over Rs10 crore public

The measure has been initiated after the Central Board of Direct Taxes in June constituted a committee in this regard to examine suggestions on pending I-T demands under the categories “assessees not traceable” and “no assets/inadequate assets for recovery”

New Delhi: The Income Tax (I-T) department has decided to publish the names of defaulters who owe more than Rs10 crore as unpaid taxes after it unearthed details of such assessees recently, reports PTI.

The department has decided to send show cause notices to such assessees, who have reported “no assets/inadequate assets for recovery”, by the end of this month, asking why their names should not be published and put in the public domain.

“After receiving their replies, we will decide on making their names public in newspapers and on the Internet. Every case will be decided on merit,” a senior I-T official said.

The department got a boost in its efforts to trace such tax payers after it recently got a dossier on them from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and from the records of a few enforcement and intelligence agencies.

“The names have been finalised after the department got their details from various agencies. The show cause notices have been prepared,” the official said.

The measure has been initiated after the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in June constituted a committee in this regard and was headed by I-T director general (administration) to examine suggestions on pending I-T demands under the categories “assessees not traceable” and “no assets/inadequate assets for recovery”.

Constitution of this committee was among one of the many measures which the government initiated to fight black money.

For the cases where the assessees are not traceable, we are gathering more information before taking legal action. The publication of names will be done in a phased manner, beginning with those taxpayers who owe more than Rs 10 crore, the official said.

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Finance ministry flays rating agencies for creating crisis

Crisil in its report on Wednesday said the health of lenders to the power sector is under scrutiny, given the rising stress in the sector. “These lenders, including Indian banks, Power Finance Corporation, and Rural Electrification Corporation—have so far shown resilient performance, but urgently need strong policy actions to reform the sector, if they are to maintain their health,” it had said

New Delhi: The government on Thursday took strong exception to reports by rating agencies on bank finance to the power sector and the downgrading of State Bank of India (SBI), saying such reports are ‘uncalled for’ and ‘create a crisis of confidence’, reports PTI.

“How did they reach the figure of Rs56,000 crore. I don’t find reasons for saying.... these kinds of unsubstantiated reports create a crisis of confidence and which is something uncalled for,” Department of Financial Services secretary DK Mittal said.

On Wednesday a Crisil report had said that Rs56,000 crore loans given by banks and financial institutions to the power sector are potentially at risk.

Commenting on the report, Mr Mittal said the finance ministry strongly objects to these kinds of reports at a time when economy is passing through a crucial phase.

“They are (Crisil top honchos) are coming to meet us tomorrow and we are going to take it up with them,” he said.

All funding that has been done is supported by the government guarantees. So, does it mean questioning government guarantee? There are no loans without guarantees, he said, adding, “If there is a loan and there is a guarantee of the Government of India that is the sovereign guarantee.”

Crisil in its report said the health of lenders to the power sector is under scrutiny, given the rising stress in the sector. “These lenders, including Indian banks, Power Finance Corporation, and Rural Electrification Corporation—have so far shown resilient performance, but urgently need strong policy actions to reform the sector, if they are to maintain their health,” it had said.

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Ashok Chawla is new CCI chairman

A Gujarat-cadre IAS bureaucrat of 1973 batch, Ashok Chawla retired as finance secretary on 31st January. He was heading a committee on allocation, pricing and utilisation of natural resources till recently

New Delhi: Former finance secretary Ashok Chawla Friday sworn in as new chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), filling up the key post that was lying vacant for over four months, reports PTI.

Mr Chawla was sworn in by corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily in the presence of members of the CCI and MCA officials.

When asked about his mandate after taking charge, Mr Chawla said, “It is difficult for me to prioritise any matter right now as I am yet to take a stock of the Commission.”

Last week, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Mr Chawla as head of the anti-trust body—Competition Commission of India.

Other contenders for the post were Anurag Goel, a member in the Commission, and Vijay Sharma, former secretary in the environment and forests ministry.

The appointment assumes significance as after 1st June, all high-value merger and acquisition (M&A) deals have come under the CCI purview.

A Gujarat-cadre IAS bureaucrat of 1973 batch, Mr Chawla retired as finance secretary on 31st January. He was heading a committee on allocation, pricing and utilisation of natural resources till recently.

The Commission was established in 2003 to replace the erstwhile Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. Dhanendra Kumar was appointed its first chairman in February 2009 and his term ended on 5th June this year.

The commission draws its power from the Competition Act, 2002, to keep check on unfair practices including M&As that abuse dominant position by market players.

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