Thứ Ba, 17 tháng 1, 2017

India: GST now set for July 1 roll-out, dual control hurdle finally over


January 16, 2017



The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Monday broke a deadlock over issues of administrative control over assessees and broadly agreed to roll out the GST from July 1, instead of the earlier deadline of April 1.  Whether a state or the Centre will assess an entity would be decided by a computer programme. The Council also resolved a logjam over the right to tax economic activities within 12 nautical miles from India’s coasts. Against the earlier proposals of reserving administration of assessees up to Rs 1.5 crore in annual turnover for states, or of allowing both the Centre and states to jointly administer these, the Council decided to blend the two suggestions. The entire tax base would be shared between the Centre and states in a predetermined ratio, Union Finance Minister ArunJaitley, the chairman of the Council, said at a press conference after the meeting.  The Centre agreed the states would have the powers to administer 90 per cent of assessees with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore. The Centre will have the powers to audit, send notices and scrutinise the remaining 10 per cent. Only West Bengal’s AmitMitra did not agree, Jaitley said. Mitra later told reporters this agreement pertained to services only.

Assessees with a turnover over Rs 1.5 crore will be administratively controlled by the Centre and states in equal measure. However, Jaitley said no assessee would be controlled by two authorities and there would be computer-based enforcement at both the Centre and the states. Those assessees who fall under the integrated GST (IGST) — for the movement of goods and services between states — will also be administered by the Centre and states, depending on their annual turnover (Rs 1.5 crore, or more).

However, if there is a dispute between states over the place of supply, the Centre will have the power to administer those assessees. In all situations, the Centre will retain the power to collect this tax.

“Revenue will mostly come from entities with turnover of more than Rs 1.5 crore. Under that we get just three per cent revenue,” said a central government official. On whether or not assessees will change every year, he added, “Mostly, they will remain the same over a two- to three-year period. But, we are yet to take a call on that.”  Mitra also opposed the power of arrest given to officials under the GST.  The proposed structure has an arrest provision for tax evasion of Rs 2 crore and above. The offence is bailable up to Rs 5 crore.  Mitra said, “Many of us strongly oppose it… Our officers do not have the right to arrest. It was, of course, watered down but is still there.”

The Centre also gave the right to tax economic activities within 12 nautical miles to coastal states, even as it will be the territory of the Union. At present, these states have the right to tax these activities.

The next meeting of the Council has been convened on February 18. By that time, changes to various Bills will be worked out and these will ready to be passed by Parliament and state Assemblies. Rules and segment-wise GST rates will take till March to finalise, pushing the introduction of the GST to July 1. Jaitley said the tax could be imposed at any time during the year, and trade and industry would get time to prepare for it. M S Mani of Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, said, “We hope the subsequent legislative processes are calendarised, so that the final legislation with relevant rules is available to businesses at least three months ahead of the roll-out.” According to Pratik Jain of PwC, uncertainty over the GST was now over and India Inc would be happy.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/

Thứ Hai, 16 tháng 1, 2017

India: Commerce Ministry starts review of foreign trade policy: Nirmala Sitharaman

January 11, 2017



The commerce ministry has started the review of the foreign trade policy by consulting all stakeholders to see whether any support is required for certain sectors to further boost exports. Commerce and Industry Minister NirmalaSitharaman said the foreign trade policy (FTP) is in the process of a review. "When it (FTP) was announced in 2015, we had said we will go in for a mid-term review so that if there is any tweaking that has to be done, it will be done," she said here at the Vibrant Gujarat summit.

She said that the exercise of consulting people and taking stakeholders into confidence is on. The ministry is doing this "to see as to where and which sectors need that kind of tweaking in the policy". Since December 2014, exports fell for 18 months on the trot till May, due to weak global demand. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year, thereafter again entered the negative zone in July and August. The outbound shipments are growing from September. But the global situation is still uncertain.

In April 2015, the government unveiled its first five-year Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), aiming to double exports of goods and services to USD 900 billion by 2020. In the FTP (2015-20), the government replaced multiple schemes with Merchandise Exports from India Scheme and Services Exports from India Scheme.Sitharaman also said that the ministry had requested the states to appoint export commissioners and formulate a policy

"The strategy behind that is that the states must have, in line with the FTP, but highlighting their own states' strengths," Sitharaman added. When asked extending extra concessions to US-based iPhone maker Apple to set up manufacturing unit in India, the minister said: "we have not taken a final call" on this. A team of the US-based iPhonemaker Apple will meet a group of senior officials from ministries, including IT and finance, on January 25 to discuss its demands for setting up a manufacturing unit in the country. The company had sought exemption on the ground that it makes state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology products for which local sourcing is not possible.


Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

Vietnam moves away from cash transactions


January 11, 2017



Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has signed a policy decision encouraging cash-free transactions in Vietnam in order to reduce the number of cash-based deals, improve overall electronic payment methods and control tax evasion. Under the plan, by 2020, total cash transactions would total less than 10% of total market transactions; all supermarkets, shopping malls and distributors would accept credit cards; 70% of water, electronics and telecommunication service providers would accept cash-free payments from households and individuals, and 50% of total urban households would use electronic payment methods for daily transactions.

The policy also proposes the development of new payment methods for rural and remote areas in order to encourage financial inclusion and increase overall access to transaction services, so that at least 70% of Vietnamese over the age of 15 would have bank accounts by the end of 2020. Social welfare and pensions would also be paid through electronic payment methods.

“Cashless payment is an inevitable step,” said Le Xuan Nghia, a member of the National Advisory Council on Finance and Monetary Policy. “This move will save both time and cost to the nation, as well as to businesses and individuals.”

The few remaining challenges, he added, include online security for customers at commercial banks and the need for an automatic payment centre to be established by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to connect between paying customers and businesses or commercial banks. He believes this could be achieved in three to four years, noting that countries like Singa­pore, Malaysia and Thailand have long had such centres. — Viet Nam News/Asia News Network

Source: www.thestar.com

IVC: Quality of raw cashew nuts at the heart of a workshop in Grand Bassam

January 11, 2017



Since this Wednesday, the Cotton and Anacarde Council has organized a workshop on improving the quality of raw cashew nuts in Côte d'Ivoire. This meeting, which takes place from 11 to 13 January 2017 in a hotel receptive of the city of Grand-Bassam, brings together deconcentrated administrations, actors, technical structures, technical and financial partners and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development .

Representing the Mayor of Grand-Bassam, the 2 nd deputy expressed the city council's pleasure to host this workshop which contributes to the development of the cashew sector in particular and the Ivorian agriculture in general, pillar of our economy.

The president of the quality platform, Mr. Kouakou, for his part thanked first of all the Mayor of the first Ivorian capital (Grand-Bassam) for having accepted to host this brainstorming meeting. He also thanked the Director General of the Cotton Council and of the Cashew Council Dr Adama COULIBALY for this fine initiative, because, according to him, quality is an important factor in the development of the northeast and central areas and contributes to the balance of all chain. After four months of work, Mr. Kouakou is pleased today to share the fruit of their reflection and especially wants their proposals to be taken into account for an improvement in the quality of cashew nuts made in Côte d'Ivoire.

"Improvement and preservation of quality must now guide all stakeholders in the conduct of operations at each stage of the value chain and no effort should be spared as the challenge of improving Ivorian nuts is d 'All the more important that the equilibrium and the sustainable profitability of the sector depend on it because certainly the quality has a cost but it has especially a price on the international market. "Said Dr Adama COULIBALY, Director General of the Cotton and Cashew Council, who said he had great hope for the quality of the work of this workshop, the results of which must be immediately operationalizable It should be noted that it was the representative of the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) who officially opened the proceedings.

Source: DS (lepaysan.ci)

India: Cashew factories may reopen soon


January 14, 2017



Talks held by Minister for Cashew Industry J. Mercykutty Amma on Friday with the owner of a private cashew factory chain that has been lying closed for the past 18 months have given hopes that these factories could reopen soon.

The talks were held by the Minister as part of the government’s efforts to reopen the private cashew factories. Many owners closed down their factories following the last revision of minimum wages for cashew workers.

Owners had claimed the wage revision would push up the cost of production making them uncompetitive in the international cashew kernel markets. They said many States in India and Vietnam now processed cashew and the cost of production at these places was much lower than that in Kerala.

The owners said close on the heels of the wage revision came the Centre’s decision to impose duty on imported raw cashew nut. In Kerala, more than 90 per cent of the factories depended on imported raw nut for processing.

All these aspects were pointed out to the Minster by the owner during the talks. The Minister said the government would extend all help possible to the owners to reopen and sustain their factories.

Source:http://www.thehindu.com

Thứ Năm, 12 tháng 1, 2017

India: Take over closed cashew factories: Kanam

KOLLAM: JANUARY 10, 2017 00:00 IST


CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran inaugurating a dharna by cashew workers in Kollam on Monday.—Photo: C. Suresh Kumar  

State secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Kanam Rajendran has called upon the State government to take over private cashew factories which are being kept closed by the owners.
“Such factory owners are challenging the government and the cashew workers,” he said.
Mr. Rajendran said this while addressing cashew workers here after inaugurating the 101-hour dharna at Chinnakada here by the AITUC-affiliated Cashew Workers Central Council on Monday. In 1979 when factory owners resorted to the same modus operandi to deny fair wages to the workers, the then C. Achtha Menon government countered that threat by taking over the closed factories, he recalled. It was that bold move which led to the creation of the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation which played the role of a model employer in the sector to ensure fair wages to the employees.
The dharna is being organised by the council to press for the demand of urgent government intervention to reopen the factories which are being kept closed after the last wage revision.
The State president of the council A. Fazaluddin Haq presided over the dharna. AITUC general secretary, K.P. Rajendran and CPI leaders K. Prakash Babu, K.R. Chandra Mohanan, J. Chinchurani and R. Ramachandran, MLA spoke.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-kerala/Take-over-closed-cashew-factories-Kanam/article17016239.ece


India: Shortage in CNSL and Cashew Shells

10 Jan. 2017

Indian exporters’ buying interest is still in W240 but the North Indian demand is for mid-size grades. Price of W320 is around Rs 9000/including VAT/11.340 kilo/Goa-Mangalore.
However, activity is improving in cashew shells and shell oil. 
Most probably, the period of ‘through-away price’ is over due to severe shortage and sellers’ resistance. 

Source: World Cashew Blog