67.4 kg seized gold misplaced at IGI this year; Customs told to sell rest urgently 

  Revenue department has asked Customs to take “urgent steps” to dispose confiscated gold while permitting the department to utilise the services of public sector banks, MMTC and STC, to sell the seized metal. The government had informed Parliament that 67.4 kg gold was misplaced from the vaults of Customs department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this fiscal. “In addition to the SBI, the sale of seized/confiscated gold found ripe for disposal can be routed through all public sector banks (approved by RBI to import and sell gold), MMTC and STC,” the Central Board of Customs and Excise (CBEC) said in a communication to its top officials. The Board also “desired that all Custom Houses should take urgent steps to dispose of seized/ confiscated gold…” Earlier, the Customs was

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Outcome Budget norms tightened; departments to meet objectives timely 

  In order to improve the quality of public expenditure, the Finance Ministry has tightened norms under which each ministry and department will have to prepare an Outcome Budget in consultation with NITI Aayog to achieve certain objectives within a timeframe. As per the ministry’s directions, every ministry will have to prepare an outcome budget statement linking outlays against each scheme as well as project with the deliverables and medium term outcomes. A finance ministry official, involved in Budget making, said every “allocation for scheme/project will be against a firm set of deliverables which will need to be adhered to”. The ‘Outcome Budget’ is to be prepared after finalisation of the estimates for budgetary allocation, the official added. “The outputs/deliverables should be mandatorily given in measurable/quantitative terms on the basis

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Just depositing black money doesn’t make it white: Hasmukh Adhia 

  Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia today said it is wrong to assume that black money that has come into the banking system following the demonetisation will become white and unless tax is paid on such amount it will continue to be remain black. He also said the Brics nations have pledged to automatically share tax information and adopt global standards on tax transparency to check cross border tax evasion. “Do you think that by simply depositing the money in a bank account makes black money into white? It doesn’t. Merely, black money has come into banking channel, you can’t tell that the entire black money has been converted into white. “It will become white when we charge taxes, when the income tax department is able to reach to them and

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Germany offers support to India for high speed rail, smart cities 

Germany wants to support India in developing high-speed railway, smart cities and renewable energy, a senior official said on Tuesday. “Germany’s economy and exports are on a good path. We need to strengthen our business abroad,” said Uwe Backmeyer, Germany’s Parliamentary state secretary unveiling a new strategy paper detailing a fresh stimulus for tenders for major international projects. However, the extent and form of support will depend on the project, the minister said and added that development of port facilities is also an area of interest for the European country. There are almost 1,700 German companies present in India. “The terms of project financing will depend on individual project,” he said. On ease of doing business in India, Backmeyer mentioned red tape, multiple taxes and lack of coordination between centre

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Tata Group exposed to perilous regulatory violations: Mistry

Alleging that individuals prone to “impulsive control” have exposed the Tata Group to perilous violation of regulatory requirements, ousted Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry today said his fight is to protect the conglomerate from “capricious” decision-making by Interim Chairman Ratan Tata. Refuting remarks that he was trying to take over control over all Tata Group activities, Mistry’s office alleged that those individuals were seeking to procure unpublished price sensitive information from listed group companies, breaking down governance. “Mr Mistry’s fight today is to protect the Tata Group from capricious decision-making by the Interim Chairman,” his office said in a statement. Mistry, who yesterday sought government intervention to “remedy and repair breakdown” in the governance of Tata Trusts, without naming Ratan Tata, said “individuals prone to impulsive control who have inflicted

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Tatas hit back, say Mistry violating corp governance norms

Tata Sons tonight refuted charges of breakdown of governance levelled by Cyrus P Mistry, saying it was the ousted chairman who has been violating such guidelines. “The same Corporate Governance Guidelines, Mr. Mistry’s office is referring to, prescribes that a Tata employee must step down from the Boards of Tata companies, after he ceases to be a Tata employee. “After being replaced as Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr Mistry ceases to be a Tata employee. It is he who is violating the Guidelines that he himself propounded, and not Tata,” a Tata Sons spokesperson said. The response was to Mistry’s office issuing a statement saying the ousted chairman was fighting to protect the conglomerate from “capricious” decision-making by Interim Chairman Ratan Tata. Refuting remarks that he was trying to take

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Follow due diligence for activating dormant A/Cs: RBI to banks

With people thronging banks for depositing old notes in dormant accounts, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today asked banks to strictly follow customer due diligence guidelines while allowing operations in such accounts. “It has been reported that, of late, a lot of customers are approaching banks for re-activation of dormant accounts,” the Reserve Bank said in a notification. In this regard, the RBI asked the banks that operation in dormant accounts “may be allowed” after due diligence as per risk category of the customer. “Due diligence” would mean ensuring genuineness of the transaction, verification of the signature and identity, it added. The RBI asked the banks to ensure compliance of its instructions on activation of dormant accounts, customer due diligence and record management, “scrupulously”. As part of the Customer

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Apple talking to Govt to open stores in India

  Apple Inc officials today met Commerce Ministry top brass amid its plans to open stores in India without initially having to source components locally. According to sources, the meeting chaired by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek lasted for almost an hour with senior officials from Apple discussing details of the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules in single-brand retail and the company’s retail expansion plans. Apple officials are believed to have sought clarity on the changes in mandatory domestic sourcing norms for single brand retail brought in earlier this year. However, no official word on the meeting was received from either side. In June this year, government had relaxed FDI norms by giving a three-year exemption from local sourcing to foreign players in single-brand

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Banks gearing up for second round of pay day rush

  Banks are gearing up to meet the second round of pay day rush as several organisations give salary to their employees on the seventh of every month. Many bank branches are still facing cash crunch and are rationing withdrawals much below the Rs 24,000 allowed by RBI per week. Long queues were witnessed at many places as majority of ATMs are running dry because of withdrawal rush. According to bankers, second pay is due tomorrow which would lead to increase in queues at branches for withdrawal and banks are making arrangement to meet the demand of people. The bank is making arrangement at those branches where there would be withdrawal pressure, Axis Bank executive director Rajesh Dahiya said. With regard to ATMs, he said, although about 95 per cent

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Govt asks banks to install additional 10 lakh PoS

  In order to promote digital transactions across the country, government has asked banks to install 10 lakh additional point of sale (PoS) terminals within four months. Towards this end, banks have already placed orders for 6 lakh PoS machines and another 4 lakh are likely to be ordered in the next few days, a Finance Ministry statement said. There are about 15 lakh PoS terminals currently across different merchants to facilitate card based payments. “As part of the plan to expand the digital payments ecosystem and facilitate the move towards cashless transactions, the government has decided that an additional one million new PoS terminals should be installed by March 31,” it said. To encourage purchase of PoS machines, the excise duty payable on acquisition of POS machine which was

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