Budget 2017: Personal Income Tax Rate Reduced To 5% For Those Earning Upto Rs 5 Lakh

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Union Budget 2017 slashed the existing rate of taxation for individuals with income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to 5 percent from the existing 10 percent.

“While the government is trying to bring in its tax net more people who are not paying tax, the present burden is on the taxpayer and on the employees who are showing their income correctly,” Jaitley said.


The finance minister added that there was a “legitimate expectation” post demonetisation that tax burden on honest individuals be lowered. Further, Jaitley emphasised that if the nominal tax rate is lower for the lowest slab, more people will prefer to come under the tax net.


Earlier, personal income tax was exempt for an annual income up to Rs 2.5 lakh but charged at 10 percent for income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
As this comes down to 5 percent, the tax burden of individuals in the income bracket is likely to become zero or halve as compared to previous years, Jaitley said.
Individuals with income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh will continue to be taxed at 20 percent and those above the Rs 10 lakh income bracket will be taxed at 30 percent, the finance minister added.

“If the exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh is used fully under Section 80C, the tax liability will be zero for income up to Rs 4.5 lakh,” Jaitley said. “All other categories of tax payers in subsequent brackets will also get a uniform benefit of Rs 12,500 per person.”
Jaitley said that the government will forego revenue to the tune of Rs 15,500 crore due to the tax incentive. To recover some of the revenue loss, he announced an additional surcharge of 10 percent for those whose annual taxable income is between Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore; Surcharge on income of Rs 1 crore or more remains unchanged.

In order to expand the tax net, the government also proposed a simple one-page form for individuals with an income up to Rs 5 lakh. Jaitley also said that anyone filing income tax return for the first time will not be subject to any income scrutiny in the first year unless there’s specific information with the taxman about high-value transactions.

“I appeal to all citizens to contribute to nation building by making a small contribution of 5 percent tax if their income is under Rs 5 lakh,” Jaitley said.

–Bloomberg Quint

Budget 2017: Cash No Longer Valid For Payments Above Rs 3 Lakh

Digital payments in India are set to get a big boost with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget 2017 speech, announcing that cash will be no longer allowed for transactions of more than Rs 3 lakh.

Budget 2017 year on cube with pencil and clockThe government also proposed a new payments regulator to be set up within the Reserve Bank of India. Jaitley said the government is also working to quickly roll out the recommendations put forward by a committee of chief ministers on digital transactions.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister In His Budget Speech To begin with, it is proposed to create a payment regulatory board in the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing board of regulations and supervision of payment systems. As we move faster to the path of digital and cheque payments, it is necessary to ensure that payees of dishonoured cheques are able to realise their payments. Therefore, the government is considering the option of amending the Negotiable Instruments Act suitably.

While the government brings about structural changes in payment regulation, it is also promoting digital transactions by proposing and potentially mandating petrol pumps, fertiliser depots, hospitals and colleges to have the option of accepting digital payments, including from the BHIM app.

Jaitley also announced two new schemes targeted at increasing the number of digital transactions through its flagship BHIM app — a referral bonus scheme for individuals and a cash-back scheme for merchants.

Budget 2017 set a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions in the upcoming financial year through various modes such as UPI, Aadhaar Pay and plastic cards.

While the government is yet to roll out Aadhaa- based payment systems — which come with their set of safety concerns — Jaitley said that 20 lakh Aadhaar enabled point-of-sale machines will be rolled out by September 2017.

According to Reserve Bank of India data, the value of debit card transactions at point of sale (PoS) terminals has grown by over 63 percent between 2012 and 2015. Credit card transactions at PoS terminals has grown 54 percent.

However, estimates suggest that 90% of transactions by value are still being carried out in cash in the country. This is set to change with the government’s latest push for digital payments post demonetisation.

In its attempt to boost use of cards, wallets and unified payments interface, the government has announced that banks will deploy 10 lakh additional PoS machines by March 2017 which will be complemented by the launch of Aadhaar Pay, which obviates the need of having a phone, debit card or passwords.

Bloomberg Quint

What is Direct and Indirect Taxes

Direct Taxes
The most fundamental classification of taxes is based on who collects the taxes from the tax payer.
Direct Taxes, as the name suggests, are taxes that are directly paid to the government by the taxpayer. It is a tax applied on individuals and organizations directly by the government e.g. income tax, corporation tax, wealth tax etc.

Indirect Taxes are applied on the manufacture or sale of goods and services. These are initially paid to the government by an intermediary, who then adds the amount of the tax paid to the value of the goods / services and passes on the total amount to the end user.
Examples of these are sales tax, service tax, excise duty etc.
How do these important Direct and Indirect Taxes affect you?



Income Tax

Income Tax is paid by an individual based on his/her taxable income in a given financial year. Under the Income Tax Act, the term ‘individual’ also includes Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), Co-operative Societies, Trusts and any artificial judicial person. Taxable income refers to total income minus applicable deductions and exemptions.
Tax is payable if the taxable is above the minimum taxable limit and is paid as per the differing rates announced for each tax slab for the financial year.

Capital Gains Tax
The profits made on sale of property are taxable under Capital Gains Tax. Property here includes stocks, bonds, residential property, precious metals etc. It is taxed at two different rates based on how long the property was owned by the taxpayer – Short Term Capital Gains Tax and Long Term Capital Gains Tax. This deciding period of ownership varies greatly for different classes of property.

Wealth Tax


Photo by ThinkStock Images

Wealth tax is applicable on individuals, HUFs or companies on the value of their assets in a given financial year on the date of valuation. It is taxed at the rate of 1% of the net wealth of any assesse exceeding Rs 30,00,000.
‘Net wealth’ here includes, unproductive assets like cash in hand above Rs 50,000, second residential property not rented out, cars, gold jewellery or bullion, boats, yachts, aircrafts or urban land. It does not include productive assets like commercial property, stocks, bonds, fixed deposits, mutual funds etc.

Corporation Tax

Corporation Tax is paid by Companies and Businesses operating in India on the income earned worldwide in a given financial year. The rates of taxation vary based on whether the company is incorporated in India or abroad


Sales Tax


Sales Tax is charged on the sale of movable goods. It is collected by the Central Government in case of inter-state sales (Central Sales Tax or CST) and by the State Government for intra-state sales (Value Added Tax or VAT). The rates of taxation vary depending on the product type.

Excise Duty


Excise duty is applicable on the manufacture of goods sold in India. Once goods are manufactured, it is originally paid by the manufacturer directly to the Central Government. When the goods change hands from the manufacturer to the buyer, this tax is bundled by the manufacturer along with the cost of goods and passed on to the buyer.

Service Tax


Photo by Thinkstock

Service tax is applicable on all services provided in India except a specified negative list of services that are exempt. It is paid by the service provider to the government who in turn collects it from the end user by the service provider at the time of provision of such service.

Source: Yahoo

Private sector output in India falls in March: HSBC

News 24 in 7Private sector output in India fell in March, after a fractional increase in the previous month amid moderation in domestic demand conditions, an HSBC survey has said.

The HSBC India Composite Output Index, which maps both services and manufacturing, declined from 50.3 in February to 48.9 in March, as manufacturing production growth eased and service sector activity fell at faster rate during the month.

Meanwhile, the HSBC services business activity index fell from 48.8 in February to 47.5 in March, remaining below the 50 level mark for the ninth successive month.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates growth while a lower reading means contraction.

The contraction in the services sector activity was largely on the back of softer domestic demand. New business received by Indian services companies decreased for the ninth month running in March.

According to the HSBC survey, the weaker client demand, that led to the latest drop in new work intakes, can be partly linked to the forthcoming elections.

“Following some stabilization in recent months, service sector activity weakened again in March led by softer domestic demand,” HSBC Chief Economist for India & ASEAN, Leif Eskesen said.

However, Indian service providers were optimistic that activity would rise over the next 12 months as growth of new business, supported by improved economic conditions and new marketing initiatives, is expected to drive the expansion.

On price rise, the report said inflationary pressures in the Indian private sector softened during March, with both input costs and output prices rising at weaker rates. “Looking ahead, growth is expected to remain subdued in coming months, but pick up gradually during the second half of 2014,” Eskesen said adding this, however, assumes that the election outcome provides the elected government with a workable mandate.

India’s economic growth slowed to 4.5 per cent in 2012-13 due to the global slowdown and domestic factors such as high interest rates. The growth rate during April-September of 2013-14 slipped to 4.6 per cent from 5.3 per cent in the same period in the previous financial year.

Subrata Roy’s true story unfolds

Can an Indian be jailed in advance?

Today there is plenty of private business, big and small. It was not so before the 1991 reforms. Big business was under government control, and not very different from the government. An educated young man had the choice of two bureaucracies. The difference was that if a business failed or if it did not like someone, he could lose his job.

One of my friends found himself out of a job. He did not have much money, but he had a brain. He found a strange new opportunity. Most small businesses were family firms. They were liable to get into trouble. The owner may die without an heir, or without a will. There may be too many claimants for the business. And while they quarreled, the business would go to the dogs. He made an offer to such people: he would manage the business professionally till they got over their troubles, and would hand it over to whoever succeeded. In the meanwhile, they could have the profits he made; he would only charge a commission on the profits. He recruited young IIM graduates, and put them in charge of the businesses. They got experience, he got his commission, and the failing businesses prospered.

However, his services were available only to businesses big enough to afford them; what about smaller businesses? Small businesses bear even greater risks. Banks do not like them, so they have to borrow from non-banks, also known as moneylenders. They too, like my friend, would want to make sure that the businesses were managed competently. So they would collect information about their borrowers, meet them frequently and get accounts from them.

Such a business is labour-intensive: collecting money from a lot of small kabuliwallahs and raddiwallahs is a lot of work. But there are richer fellows who need the same service. A girl from a Himachal village may learn to pose by watching television and rise to be a film star. She may suddenly find herself earning lakhs with no clue about how to invest them. If she finds someone competent and trustworthy to manage her money, she may continue to rely on him even after she becomes Deepika or Katrina.

sahara-india272__373758030Subrata Roy was one of these informal investment bankers. Famous actors did not turn up at his parties simply because he had a toothbrush moustache or  dressed smartly; they came to him because he gave them a valuable service, competently and honestly. He grew so big that he could afford a palace. They lent him so much money that he had to diversify his investments into expensive property. He could do this because the 1991 reforms created the business opportunity.

But the reforms did not abolish the old establishment. Manmohan Singh went up and up; he and his likes continued to control the public sector. They continued to promote and reward Sinhas and Banerjis. Judges joined sessions courts, and rose slowly up the ladder to the Supreme Court. They just refused to believe that a business like Sahara’s could be legitimate. This Roy was too flashy, too handsome; he had to be up to something shady. It must be hawala, tax evasion, sex ­— whatever an imagination run riot could grasp.

So they set their running dog Sebi after him. It asked him for documents. How to show them documents of thousands of little borrowers? He took truckloads of them to Sebi. Without looking closely at the business, it decided that he was a crook, and took him to court. The courts were not impressed by its lack of evidence, so it appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court summoned him. When he did not respond quickly enough, it sent him to jail for ten days.

Why 10 days? When someone misbehaves in court — not out of court — a court very occasionally sentences him to stay in his seat until it rises. Ten days’ jail for lese majesté is simply unprecedented. I must stop here because displeasing a court can be very costly, as Roy has illustrated. But from what I have said, it follows that the judicial process in his case has been less than perfect. And it is not just the judiciary, but also the government, in the form of Sebi.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 21-04-2014)

source: http://www.businessworld.in/news/opinion/columnists/the-mysterious-crime-of-subrata-roy/1311458/page-1.html

Executives likely to see 15-20 per cent salary hikes in FY15

News 24 in 7With economic prospects looking better, executives are expected to see their pay packets increase as much as 20 per cent in the next financial year, feel experts.

Although the salary hikes could see significant variations across sectors, pharmaceutical and automobile industries are likely to see the maximum increases, HR experts said.

“The expected hike is estimated to be 15-20 per cent. It should be better as economy is looking upwards,” HR firm Unison International’s Managing Director Udit Mittal said.

According to him, some multinational companies might also extend additional perks to their senior level executives.Latest projections by executive search firm MANCER Consulting showed that middle- and senior-level professionals in the country are likely to get a pay hike in the range of 10 to 20 per cent. Similar increases could also been with respect to bonuses.

MANCER Consulting CEO Satya D Sinha said executives especially in the pharmaceutical, automobile and realty sectors, are expected to see better appraisals next financial year.

While pharmaceutical industry is anticipated to get salary hike of 14-15 per cent, that in automobile segment is likely to 13-14 per cent. Real estate sector is projected to register 12-14 per cent increase in pay packets.

Executive search firm Spectrum Talent Management’s Director Vidur Gupta said sectors such as pharmaceutical, chemicals and consumer goods sectors – that are largely dependent on domestic economy – could see significant hikes.

“With a general election to be concluded by the end of May 2014, many are looking to the country’s next government to break India out of its economic doldrums. A stable government will definitely have a positive impact on the overall economic condition and hence there will be something good for employees as well,” he said.

Striking an optimistic note for the coming months, Sinha said services, mining, construction and infrastructure are expected to up their hiring activities as well as increase salaries.

“A hike of 2-4 per cent is expected in hiring in 2014. This is owing to positive growth in GDP and high expectations from Lok Saba Elections in 2014,” he noted.

Experts also opined that companies need to be careful while carrying out appraisals since there is need to retain performers and provide them with decent pay hikes.

aReputation-Fixing search results through Online Reputation Management

1389604954A recent study conducted by a team of researchers surveyed over 300 executives, mostly C-suite and board directors, and discovered that reputation is considered the highest impact risk area to business strategy.

This finding cuts across most industry sectors and ranks above threats to their business model and the impact of economic trends and competition.

Businesses and brands are increasingly seeking the services of companies that specialise in tidying up search engine results. The effect of a terrible review, a critical blog, an unflattering link or rant from a disgruntled ex-employee sitting in one of the top 10 Google spots can be devastating for a business as click-through rates plummet. Obviously, some companies have the online reputation they deserve, but an unjustified, malicious or obsolete complaint may linger for years, blighting every new query.

In most industry sectors, reputation has risen from outside the top five strategic risk concerns to the top of the list. In the energy and resources sector, for example, reputation ranked outside top-10 on the list of strategic risks in 2010, though today, it irritably sits on the top spot.

Large corporations and high-networth individuals are constantly targets of disenfranchised employees and customers. Companies and industries with reputation problems are prone to incur the wrath of legislators, regulators, shareholders and the public. However, what is said is not always a true reflection of a company. Perceptions are not always based on fact, but on opinion, conjecture and rumours.

“The breadth and depth of today’s reputational challenge is a consequence not just of the speed, severity, and unexpectedness of recent economic events but also of underlying shifts in the reputation environment. Those changes include the growing importance of Web-based participatory media, the increasing significance of NGOs and the declining trust in advertising,” said David Miller, spokesperson for aReputation.co.uk, an online reputation management company based in UK but operating extensively in the Indian sub-continent.

According to Miller, “the challenge with any reputation management crisis is effectively targeting those that need to be informed while not generating undue attention from those that don’t. The best way to accomplish this is to create targeted press releases within the News Room that can be linked to from a variety of sources. ”

Speaking to Forbes, Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of Reputation.com, put it succinctly when he said some time back, “you can relinquish your influence over that reputation and your cultivation of it and just let fate take over, but it’s actively costing you something. Even if your online reputation is neutral, there’s an opportunity cost because you may be missing out on visibility or connections that could help you.”

USA-based Reputation.com and UK-based aReputation.co.uk are two of the frontline global online reputation management companies that cater to a wide menu of clients. Their relatively niche, yet substantial, presence in India is likely to inspire Indian ORM companies who have so far been unable to tap the potential of the reputational market. While Reputation.com has a strong presence amongst small and medium companies across all sectors, aReputation.co.uk is known to cater to large corporations and high-networth individuals.

Unfortunately, companies struggle to categorize, let alone quantify, reputational risk. Risk managers are divided on whether reputational risk is an issue in its own right or simply a consequence of other risks. Whatever position companies take on this, almost all executives agree that reputation is a hugely valuable asset.

Whether you are handling your reputational needs or outsourcing it, generating positive content is critical. In a world where more and more people are likely to judge you based on what appears online, there’s no excuse for feigning ignorance or imagining it doesn’t matter.It’s much better to take a proactive approach to owning the real estate on Page 1, as opposed to clawing your way in, after bad news is attached to your brand.