New CVC, CIC appointed
Former Central Board of Direct Taxation chief K.V. Chowdary has been appointed the new Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), it was announced here on Monday.
 
T.M. Bhasin, chairman and managing director of the public sector Indian Bank, has been appointed vigilance commissioner, an official release said.
 
Seniormost Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma was named the new Chief Information Commissioner, said informed sources
 
The post of CVC had been lying vacant since Pradeep Kumar retired on September 28 last year, while the post of vigilance commissioner was also unfilled since incumbent J.M. Garg completed his tenure on September 7 last year.
 
Chowdary, a 1979 batch Indian Revenue Service officer, has also headed many high-profile income tax probes, including that of the 2G spectrum allocation case and the HSBC Geneva taxpayers' list.
 
The appointments have been made for a term of four years from the date(s) on which the officials enter upon their office(s) or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
The government was under attack from the opposition for delaying the appointments and various RTI activists had also questioned the delay.

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Tax: New Three-page Income-tax Return Forms
The finance ministry has issued new three-page income-tax return (ITR) forms, dropping the controversial provision of mandatory disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts; it also extended the last date of filing tax returns to 31st August.
 
The ministry has also released a note with the new ITR forms for assessment year 2015-16 (FY 2014-15). Taxpayers have been anxiously awaiting these forms. As the forms have seen some changes and are a little delayed, the ministry has proposed that the due date for filing tax returns be extended to 31 August 2015.
 
The note has a proposal to release a new form—ITR-2A—for taxpayers who own more than one house property and do not have any capital gains. Owners of one house property have to file ITR 1. Taxpayers who own more than one house property are required to file ITR 2.
 

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Banking: ICICI Launches Voice ‘Password’ Facility for Users
ICICI Bank has launched a service where customers can make transactions using just their voice, without using other means of authentication like a password. According to a statement issued by the Bank, the voice recognition service authenticates customers based on their speech patterns and allows them to execute banking transactions through the Bank’s call centre.
 
Customers, in general, use various means of authentication like entering card numbers, answering security questions and entering a personal identification number (PIN) to carry out a phone banking transaction. “Their voice will now act as the password for banking transactions through the call centre,” the statement said, adding that the service is secure. Over 33 million savings bank and credit card customers will be able to use the service.
 

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