Goa to get Rs 80 crore central funds for fisheries infrastructure
Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar informed that the central government has agreed to the state’s demands of financial grants for fisheries infrastructure and imposing ban on LED fishing techniques beyond the territorial waters of Goa.
Palyekar, who called on Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh in Delhi, discussed various issues pertaining to the state fisheries department.
“We had demanded around Rs 80 crore for fisheries infrastructure which includes Rs 60 crore for the renovation of existing infrastructure and Rs 20 crore for the proposed floating jetties at Malim and Chapora; which has been agreed to by the Union Minister for Agriculture,” stated Palyekar.
He also claimed that the centre has agreed on the LED ban and soon an advisory would be released by the central government in this regard.
During his visit, he also urged the centre to revise and consider the old pattern of assistance under blue revolution scheme.
Palyekar also sought a hike in financial grants for infrastructure development of four fish lending centres – Malim, Chapora, Cortalim and Cutbona for which the work had commenced on 75 per cent central funding. However, it was later revised and came down to 50-50 per cent share of both, central and the state governments.
“The pattern of the scheme has been revised by the government of India with 50-50 basis from the year 2016-17 due to which there was an additional liability on the state. And the project cost of the four fish landing centres, which was submitted in the year 2013 has been revised and increased from Rs 84.18 crore to Rs 160 crore due to change in GSR rate and revision of the design and estimate of the project,” he explained.
Govt to HC: policy decision on taxi digital meters by month end
The High Court of Bombay at Goa has heard a case related to the North Goa Rent a Cab Association (NGRCA) moratorium issue.
The NGRCA had claimed that the state government has exceeded its authority and that under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, it is clear that the central government alone is authorised to frame rules applicable to rent–a-cab scheme, and the state government has no power or authority to impose moratorium on the rent a-cab scheme. The NGRCA plea mentions that impugned inactions is violations of rent-a-cab scheme, a beneficial scheme and, therefore, the challenged inaction is arbitrary, unconstitutional, illegal and cannot be sustained under any law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said that it is ready to lift the moratorium and will take a fresh policy decision by November end.
The High Court has adjourned the hearing in the digital taxi meters case and it has given time for the state to file a reply.
4 months after rollout, GST cut on over 210 items. 180 of them in top 28% slab
Making the biggest change in the four-month-old GST regime, the GST Council moved 80% of items in the top 28% tax bracket to lower rates. Starting November 15, eating out could cost 5-6% less than before and a whole host of consumer products like shampoo, deodorant, chocolates, fans, furniture and sanitary fittings, should get cheaper by up to 10% or more.
Only 50 products, classified as sin or luxury items like tobacco products, aerated drinks and automobiles, will still be in the top GST rate bracket of 28%.
When GST was rolled out on July 1, over 250 items were in the highest bracket. That’s a reduction of 80% in the number of items in just 132 days.
The total tax on several products still in the highest slab will be higher than 28% since they also attract a cess.
The government also reduced the levy under composition scheme for traders and industry to 1% of turnover, with further easing for those selling exempted goods.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the rate adjustment was part of the rationalisation exercise undertaken over the last few months. “Optically, some of them should not have been there (in 28% slab). There are some items in which small players were exempted from excise (duty payment before GST was rolled out),” he told reporters after a seven hour meeting of the panel that has representation from all states and two Union Territories. A lower tax rate is expected to translate into a reduction in prices of over 200 products.
The council went beyond the recommendations of the fitment committee comprising officers. The committee had suggested keeping 62 items in the highest bracket. The ministers however ignored demands for duty reduction from the construction sector and left cement and paints in the 28% slab.
The latest round of changes will leave a Rs 20,000-crore hole in the pockets of the states and the Centre. It is the Union government that will have to bear the burden of any shortfall in collections since it has committed to make good any revenue loss for five years. Jaitley, however, said the revenue loss was notional.
“Rate reduction for 200 plus goods and services may suggest that there is buoyancy in tax collections,” said a tax expert, suggesting that the revenue loss will be compensated.
More than the revenue considerations, the move is aimed at cheering consumers and placating traders and small business who have been complaining of higher compliance burden. With consumers on its side, the Centre is hoping that the protests from traders will wane.
The rate cuts should reduce leakages as there is lower incentive to evade taxes.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who headed the group of ministers for reviewing the tax structure for restaurants, said, “Today we have addressed every small issue raised by industry, traders and consumers.”
In May, when rates were finalized by the GST Council, the Centre and the states had agreed to rework rates to ensure that they would be close to the combined incidence of Union excise duty and state VAT. That principle has been given a go-by, at least in the highest bracket.
Gold loans stopped by co-op societies
Tightening regulation in the co-operative sector, the state government has clamped down on the ‘loans against gold’ business of all co-operative institutions in the state; and has directed co-operative institutions to discontinue this practice immediately.
The Registrar of Co-operative Societies (RCS), vide a recent circular issued, has directed all urban credit societies, multipurpose societies and the remaining societies to discontinue the practice of ‘loans against gold’ with immediate effect.
Co-operative societies that have advanced gold loans are directed to recover the installments (with specific interest) promptly and in no case can they allow relaxation in due date. Overdue installments, even if a single installment, must be recovered immediately and the hypothecated gold ornaments must be returned to the borrower, says the circular. Co-operative societies have also been advised to speedily close the gold loan account after receiving the amount disbursed and returning the ornaments.
The circular points out that various urban credit societies, multipurpose co-operative societies and VKSS societies etc are advancing loans against gold to members without having any specific provisions in their bye-laws, without framing loan rates and without the approval of the registering authorities (RCS).
“It has been observed that societies tend to develop snags in the process of loan transactions caused by procedural flaws and loopholes in the process of appraisal of loan proposals and the valuation report of the valuer,” points out the circular. It says that due to failure to go by the valuation report for reasons ranging from “inadvertency to indifferent attitude of the personnel or lack of adherence to procedures, cooperative societies face the risk of heavy loss.”
Some time back, the issue of a loan against fake gold ornaments mortgaged by a co-operative society was highlighted by the press. “Such cases make the functioning of co-operative societies come to a standstill and put general members and depositors in distress. It also causes embarrassment to the regulating authority,” the circular stated.
To prevent the co-operative societies from losing funds due to improper gold loans transactions, the government has decided that it is advisable to discontinue the practice of dispensing funds against gold loan securities.
The circular has been issued under provisions of Section 69 of the Goa Co-operative Societies Act, 2001 and has to be scrupulously adhered to by all co-operatives.
Gold auctions have also increased significantly due to defaults in loan repayment.
37K students of 12th Std. of last year and present to get the benefit under Cyber Age
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has exhorted the students to develop themselves as well knowledgeable persons with the help of modern devices of information and technology. “The Government had implemented the Cyber Age scheme some years ago with the intention to make our students well versed and more accessible to the knowledge of the modern world,” he said.
Parrikar was speaking as the Chief Guest at a Laptop distribution programme organized by the Directorate of Education in association with Info-tech Corporation of Goa Ltd.
Minister for Information & Technology Rohan Khaunte while speaking said that the Government has re-implemented Cyber Age scheme under which 37000 students of 12th Std. of last year and present will get the benefit.
WIRC and Institute of Company Secretaries host Annual Regional Conference in Goa
Western Region Council (WIRC) along with Goa Chapter of the Institute of Company Secretaries (ICSI) organised Annual Regional Conference 2017 based on theme “Unveiling new opportunities for Company Secretaries” recently. Over 250 Company Secretaries from all over India attended this conference.
The conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar. While addressing delegates at the conference Parrikar, informed that GST is bringing down prices and in turn helping State Government to save money and has brought down works contracts by 5-8%. He also mentioned about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence for ICSI’s Golden Jubilee Celebration and he expects support from Company Secretaries in nation building for fulfilling Modij’s dream of cleaning up the economy off black money and shell companies. He appreciated the Company Secretaries for their knowledge and for holding responsible position in the corporate sector.
Parrikar also appreciated the Goa Chapter of ICSI for electing an ‘all women committee’.
CS Makrand Lele, Vice President of ICSI in his address informed that new opportunities are opening up for Company Secretaries in future; they are recognised as registered valuer in financial assets. He also informed that to cope up with new opportunities, ICSI is working on the syllabus and on training facilities for its students.
CS Shilpa Dhulapkar, Chairperson of Goa Chapter of WIRC-ICSI, made the welcome address and CS Prakash Pandya, Chairman of WIRC-ICSI provided insight of the theme of the conference, “unveiling new opportunities for Company Secretaries” and informed that most opportunities have emerged after revision in the Companies Act and one of these opportunity include Company Secretaries role as a ‘key managerial person’ in an organisation. He also added that Company secretaries can help the nation resolve the problem of Non Performing Assets in the banking sector.
Manohar Parrikar was presented with ‘Shaheed Ki Beti’ certificate as a token of appreciation by CS Makrand Lele, Vice President of ICSI marking the initiative taken by the Institute to fund the education of the daughters of our martyrs .