INDUSTRY NEWS
BANKING FINANCE|July 2020
INDUSTRY NEWS
FM launches new facility for issue of PAN in just 10 minutes

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, launched a new facility for issuance of PAN on the basis of e-KYC (Know Your Customer/Client) to be completed with Aadhaar.

The new facility is available for those PAN applicants who possess a valid Aadhaar number and have a mobile number registered with Aadhaar. The allotment process is paperless and an electronic PAN (e-PAN) is issued to the applicants free of cost. The Union Budget 2020 had said that instant PAN facility will be launched shortly.

This new facility's 'Beta version' was started on trial basis on February 12 on the e-filing website of Income Tax Department. Since then over 6.77 lakhs instant PANs have been allotted with a turnaround time of about 10 minutes.

The process of applying for instant PAN is very simple. The applicant is required to access the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department (www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) to provide her/his valid Aadhaar number and then submit the OTP (One Time Password) received on her/his Aadhaar registered mobile number.

After this process, a 15-digit acknowledgement number is generated. If required, the applicant can check the status of the request any time by providing her/his valid Aadhaar number and on successful allotment, can download the e-PAN. The e-PAN is also sent to the applicant on her/his email id, if it is registered with Aadhaar.

As on May 25, a total of 50.52 crore PANs have been allotted to taxpayers, out of which, 49.39 crore were allotted to the individuals and more than 32.17crore were seeded with Aadhaar.

Centre taps oil sector for revenue

The Centre increasing the excise duties on petrol (by Rs. 10/- litre) and on diesel (by Rs. 13/- litre) is along expected lines. A cash strapped government reeling from the economic hit due to Covid19 has again tapped into its time-tested cash cow - the petroleum sector.

This is the second hike in the excise duty on these fuels in less than two months; the Centre had earlier raised the duty on petrol and diesel by Rs. 3 a litre on March 14. The Centre is trying to make up by higher tax rates what it is losing in volumes due to the crash in demand for these fuels.

Employees face income loss of Rs. 4-lakh crore

State Bank of India's economic research department has cut its GDP growth estimates for FY21 from 2.6 per cent to 1.1 per cent, with the possibility of first-quarter growth contracting 6 per cent, or more and second quarter witnessing no growth.

This comes in the backdrop of the continuous nation-wide lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The FY20 GDP growth has been revised downwards from 5 per cent to 4.1 per cent, the report said.

For causal labourers, this income loss it at least Rs 1 lakh crore. Thus any fiscal package should at least strive to more than makeup for this Rs 4 lakh crore income loss. said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, SBI.

India blocks automatic FDI route for neighbors

In a major policy shift for its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, India mandated that all the investments from neighbouring countries, including China, would now require government approval. This effectively closes the automatic route for these nations through which an increasing number of foreign firms and individuals had begun to invest of late.

The sudden move has been attributed to the rising possibility of opportunistic takeovers of Indian companies by those in neighbouring nations, as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the domestic economy. Until now, Chinese investments were automatically allowed, similar to those from other nations, in all but 16 sectors, such as telecom, defence, and national security.

According to Press Note 3 issued by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), an entity of a country that shares a land border with India can invest only after receiving government approval.

A non-resident entity can invest in India, subject to the FDI policy, except in those sectors/activities which are prohibited. However, an entity of a country, which shares a land border with India or where the beneficial owner of investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the government route, the note stated.

Besides China, the new rule will impact residents of Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. So far, similar conditions were in place for the residents and entities from the latter two countries.

The new rules will also apply to all the existing and planned investments by foreign firms in Indian businesses, the DPIIT said. Several Indian start-ups have existing investment from Chinese investors. For instance, Flipkart has an investment from Tencent (about 5 per cent) and Alibaba owns a significant stake in Paytm.

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July 2020