Karnataka launches e-payment system for commercial tax payers

The e-payment system enables dealers to remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere, without physically approaching an office of the commercial taxes department

Karnataka has launched an e-payment system for commercial tax payers. The system enables dealers to remit their commercial taxes anytime, anywhere, without physically approaching an office of the commercial taxes department (CTD).

Right now, e-remittances can be made from six banks—SBI, SBM, SBH, Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India.

Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said more public sector banks would be added to the list going forward. He said the system would also help curb tax evasion. Gopinath launched the reconciliation portal of the CTD.

Commercial taxes department officials said the new model was a “comprehensive e-payment reconciliation system” that would “run seamlessly from the dealer up to the government treasury”.

The CTD collects more than Rs2,000 crore per month and till now, these collections were by way of cheques by the dealers.

Every month on average, more than one lakh cheques were received by various offices of the CTD and these are then sent to the agency bank, which in turn processed them and remitted to the government account.

This involved a huge amount of manual work and at the same time, delay in realisations of amount and some cases of bounced cheques also. The reconciliation process was very difficult. Also, dealers were inconvenienced as they had to come to the respective offices and wait in a long queue to remit the tax.

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ICICI Lombard partners with Air India Express for travel insurance

The tie-up would enable customers to take advantage of group travel insurance facility provided by the insurer, valid for a period of 15 days or the return to India, whichever is earlier

Leading private insurer ICICI Lombard today said it has partnered Air India Express to provide travel insurance to its domestic and overseas travellers.

“This would be an exclusive tie-up, where Air India Express customers can avail travel insurance as a part of our bundle product,” its national manager (retail products and strategy) Amit Madhan said.

The tie-up would enable customers to take advantage of group travel insurance facility provided by the insurer, valid for a period of 15 days or the return to India, whichever is earlier.

“The policy will also cover pre-existing diseases in the case of life threatening situations, like heart attack, if it is proved that the hospitalisation was not planned,” he added.

The policy cover includes expenses due to accidents, loss from trip delay, loss or delay of checked-in baggage, and loss of passport.

The insurance company already has a partnership with Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Ezeego and Akbar Travels.

The overseas travel insurance market is estimated to be Rs400 crore, of which ICICI Lombard claims to enjoy a share of 15%.

ICICI Lombard, a joint venture between India’s largest private sector bank ICICI Bank, and Canadian financial company Fairfax Financial Holdings, has over 44 lakh policies with gross written premium of Rs3,694 crore.

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Black money case: SC pulls up Enforcement Directorate

The Supreme Court was angered by the fact that the ED had filed a charge-sheet in the black money case involving Hassan Ali Khan without informing a high-level committee formed by the government to monitor probe in sensitive cases. The court stated that it had come to know of the charge-sheet through the newspapers two days after it was filed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for filing a charge-sheet against Pune-based stud farm owner Hassan Ali Khan in a case of alleged money laundering without informing a high-level committee formed by the government to monitor probe in sensitive cases, reports PTI.

The apex court was also anguished that during the last hearing on 4th May when the ED placed its status report on the investigation in the black money case involving Mr Khan and others it did not make a mention of the charge-sheet to be filed on 6th May before a special court in Mumbai.

“You (ED) filed the charge-sheet without placing it before the committee you have constituted and we are surprised,” a bench comprising justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar said.

“We heard the matter on 4th May but there was no mention in the status report that the charge-sheet was ready to be filed which was filed on 6th May. You did not mention this in the status report. There was no mention of the charge-sheet.

Why it was not mentioned that the charge-sheet is to be filed?” the bench asked.

The bench also queried, “Why it was not mentioned that the investigation is complete and the charge-sheet will be filed? Two days later we read in newspapers that the charge-sheet has been filed.”

It said that the status report filed on 4th May had stated that the investigation was still going on.

The bench said it was “surprising” that the charge-sheet was not placed before the 10-member high-level committee headed by the revenue secretary.

“We thought that somebody should look into the charge-sheet. It should have been put before a committee created by the government,” the bench said.

It said the question was about monitoring the probe for which a mechanism was created by the government while opposing the setting up of special investigation team.

“We are surprised that you have suggested the mechanism and created the committee for monitoring,” the bench told Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam.

Mr Subramaniam agreed that the charge-sheet should have been placed before the committee and said corrective measures will be ensured.

The court directed the ED to provide the copy of the over 900-page charge-sheet to the petitioners.

The court was hearing a petition filed by eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani and others seeking action for bringing back black money stashed away by Indians in banks abroad.

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