Taxation
Service tax applies only in AC restaurants: Finance ministry
Restaurants without air conditioning facility will not charge any service tax from their customers while those with ACs will charge only on the 40 percent of the total bill amount, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.
 
"Restaurants, eating joints or messes which do not have the facility of air-conditioning or central air-heating in any part of the establishment are exempt from service tax," the ministry said in a clarification.
 
"In other words, only air-conditioned or air-heated restaurants are required to pay service tax," the statement said.
 
For such restaurants, 60 percent of the value is to be deducted from the total amount charged while applying the rate of service tax, and tax is to be calculated on the balance 40 percent, it added.
 
With the increase in the rate of service tax to 14 percent from June 1, the tax rate is effectively 5.6 percent of the total amount charged.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget proposed to raise service tax from 12.36 percent (including education cess) to 14 percent. The tax is levied on all services, except a small negative list.

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Tax department conducts searches at Chettinad Group
A 450-member team of the Income Tax Department is conducting searches at offices of the Chettinad Group of companies in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, officials said on Wednesday.
 
The searches are on at 40 locations in the three states. "The reason for the raid is suspected evasion of taxes," a department official told IANS.
 
The searches come a day after M.A.M. Ramaswamy, the former chairman and director of the company, alleged that Chettinad Cement owes the government a huge sum in sales tax dues.
 
"The government has told the company to pay up a minimum of around Rs.252 crore before negotiations can take place," Ramaswamy said at a press conference called to disown his adopted son M.A.M.R. Muthiah, the managing director of the group.
 
Asked for clarifications, Muthiah had told IANS: "The company does not owe any sales tax dues to the government. The company pays its dues every month."
 
"Ramaswamy is an outsider to the company. He is not associated with the company in any capacity now. One should not take an outsider's charges seriously and ask for clarifications," he said.
 
Ramaswamy was ousted as a director of Chettinad Cements last year.

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Passenger car sales up 8 percent in May: SIAM
The domestic passenger car sales grew by 7.73 percent in May and stood at 160,067 units from 148,577 units sold during the corresponding month of 2014, industry data showed on Wednesday.
 
According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the total passenger vehicle sales, which include cars, utility vehicles and vans, went up by 4.67 percent to 217,671 units from 207,953 units sold in May 2014.
 
SIAM data showed that sales of utility vehicles fell by 2.27 percent at 43,260 units. The off-take of vans declined by 5.06 percent and stood at 14,344 units.
 
The industry data for the last month reported a 3.95 percent growth in the overall commercial vehicles segment sales, which is a key indicator of economic activity. 
 
The commercial vehicles segment off-take for May stood at 48,841 units from 46,986 units sold during the corresponding month of 2014.
 
However, the sales of three-wheelers declined by 9.71 percent in the month under review at 36,500 units from 40,425 units sold in May of 2014.
 
Sales of two-wheelers went marginally down last month by 1.25 percent to 1,380,950 units from 1,398,376 units sold in the like month of 2014.
 
Scooter sales in May were up 2.61 percent at 364,073 units, while motorcycle sales declined by 3.04 percent at 953,322 units.
 
Exports for the month under review went up by 3.99 percent at 310,518 units from 298,618 units shipped-out during May 2014.
 
Total automobile sales in May slipped by 0.58 percent at 1,683,962 units from 1,693,740 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.

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