Daily GK Update: 14th March 2020

Mobile phone prices to go up as GST Council raises tax to 18%

  • The GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council has decided to increase the levy of tax on mobile phones and specific parts from 12 per cent to 18 per cent.
  • The council decided to work towards boosting the capacity of the GSTN system and improving staff response and solutions, as proposed by Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani. The task will be completed by July 2020 instead of January 2021, the council stated.

Source: Business Today

Govt brings masks and hand sanitizers under the Essential Commodities Act

Image result for Corona Virus: GoI brings hand sanitizers and masks under Essential Commodities Act
  • In view the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) and concern of the logistics for COVID-19 management particularly during last couple of weeks and that masks (2 ply & 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitizers have been noted to be either not available with most of the vendors in the market or are available with great difficulty at exorbitant prices, Government has notified an Order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare these items as Essential Commodities up to 30th June, 2020 by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • It has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act. Under the E.C Act, after discussions with the manufacturers, States can ask them to enhance their production capacity of these items, to make the supply chain smooth, while under the L.M. Act the States can ensure sale of both the items at MRP.  

Source: Ministry of Consumer Affairs

Parliament approves Vivad Se Vishwas Bill

Image result for Parliament passed Direct Tax Vivad Se Viswas Bill, 2020
  • After nudging the central and state public sector units (PSUs) to avail of the Vivad se Vishwas dispute resolution scheme, the Income-Tax department is reaching out to India’s top corporate houses and high net-worth individuals so that pending cases before various platforms could be settled quickly.
  • In Mumbai alone, the megacity that makes up 37% of India’s direct-tax collections, about 64,400 cases are being pursued. The cumulative tax demand in these cases is Rs 4.43 lakh crore, official sources told ET. The government aims to mop up around Rs 9.32 lakh crore from across the country through the scheme and meet its shortfall in direct-tax collections.

Source: The Economic Times

RBI lowers single, group borrower limit for urban cooperative banks

Image result for Exposure Limits for Urban Cooperative Banks revised by RBI
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday lowered the single borrower and group exposure limit for urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to 15% and 25% of tier I capital, respectively, to reduce concentration risks arising out of such large loans.
  • Existing norms allowed 15% for single borrowers and 40% to group exposures of a bank’s total capital, including tier I and tier II capital.

Source: Livemint

Cabinet approves RoDTEP scheme to reimburse taxes, duties paid by exporters

Image result for MEIS scheme to be replaced with RoDTEP Scheme

  • The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP), a scheme for exporters to reimburse taxes and duties paid by them such as value added tax, coal cess, mandi tax, electricity duties and fuel used for transportation, which are not getting exempted or refunded under any other existing mechanism.
  • “This RoDTEP scheme is very important for our exports to get level playing field at the international level,” said commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal.

Source: The Economic Times