TAX DEMAND AGAINST FREE SERVICES PROVIDED BY BANKS: The Director General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence has sent notices to many banks to pay taxes on free or bundled services (free services provided to customers who maintain balance in the account) provided by the banks to the account holders. The total demand as per ET report could exceed Rs. 6,000 crore. The demand is retrospective with a 12% service tax claimed since 2012, 18% interest on the amount and a 100% penalty. The notice has shocked the banking industry which is already reeling under an enormous amount of bad loans. The Indian Banks’ Association is planning to appeal against the arbitrary tax notice.
DEPOSITS IN JAN-DHAN ACCOUNTS CROSS Rs. 80,000 CRORE: Total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts crossed Rs. 80,000 crore mark with more people joining the flagship financial inclusion programme. The latest report of the World Bank titled “Global-Findex Report 2017” released last week cited the success story of the Jan Dhan Yojana. Deposits under these accounts are on the rise after the demonetization exercise.
SBI TO SAVE Rs. 30 CRORE EVERY YEAR FROM WIND, SOLAR POWER INSTALLATIONS: State Bank of India has announced that it has saved Rs. 125 crore in the last 8 years by installing windmills and many solar power units and expects to save Rs. 30 crore annually through its “renewable energy” investments. The bank has installed 10 windmills with a capacity of 1.5 MW each, of which three are in Tamil Nadu, six in Maharashtra and one in Gujarat. It has also invested in solar power and now possesses a capacity of 21.23 MW in renewable power sources. Energy generated through these renewable sources is solely for captive use by the bank’s various offices and branches across the country, making them free of any carbon emission.
PNB TO HIRE DETECTIVE AGENCIES TO LOCATE UNTRACEABLE BORROWERS: Fraud hit Punjab National bank has invited applications for empanelment of detective agencies to locate its untraceable borrowers as it looks to strengthen and supplement its efforts to recover bad loans which surged to Rs. 57,519 crore as on 31/12/2017. All NPA accounts (Sub-standard, Doubtful and loss assets category) would be allocated to detective agencies thus appointed for gathering information.
CREDIT GROWTH OUTSTRIPS DEPOSITS IN FY’18: Banks have ended Financial Year 2018 (FY’18) with more credit growth than the deposits. During this period credit growth was at Rs. 8,29,187 crore, while the Deposit growth was Rs. 7,28,765 crore. The incremental credit-deposit (CD) ratio for FY’18 works out to 114%. But what is alarming is during the last fortnight of FY’18, banks seem to have gone all out to disburse loans in a hurry. Credit disbursal during this last fortnight jumped by Rs. 2,79,361 crore, which almost amounts to 34% of the total credit disbursed in FY’18. In our opinion, this kind of last minute disbursals just to meet the year end targets may further lead to more deterioration in quality of credit.
I-T DEPARTMENT SAVES Rs. 977 CRORE IN 5 YEARS ON POSTAGE AFTER RISE IN ONLINE COMMUNICATION: The Income Tax Department has said that it has saved up to Rs. 977 crore over the last 5 years due to the rise in online communications or E-mails. The department has saved on postage cost due to the increase in online communications. Online communication of the department has more than doubled since 2013-14.
KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK BECOMES SECOND MOST VALUED BANK: Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd pipped State Bank of India to become India’s second most valued bank after HDFC Bank in terms of market capitalisation. Data from BSE shows that Kotak Mahindra Bank now has a market capitalisation of Rs. 2,22,970 crores where as SBI’s Market cap is Rs. 2,22,043 crores. HDFC remains the country’s most valued bank with a market cap of Rs. 5.04 lakh crore.
LIC PROFIT BOOKING RISES TO Rs. 25,000 CRORE IN FINANCIAL YEAR 2018: Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has booked record equity trading profits of Rs. 25,000 crore in 2017-18, up from Rs. 19,000 crore during 2016-17. LIC’s record profit booking is a positive sign for market and this means the insurer now will be able to announce better bonus to its policy holders and pay better dividends to the government. LIC will also be in a better position to pump in more funds in to the market.
AS BANKS SHY AWAY FROM EDUCATION LOANS, NBFC’s SEE A LUCRATIVE OPPORTUNITY: While public sector banks are facing high accretion levels of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the education loans, leading to a slowdown in education loans in PSBs, Non- Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) are expanding their education loan books. Over the last few years many standalone education loan NBFCs have come up, and many of them are experimenting new products as well, by adopting student-led approach which includes an overall screening of students, these NBFCs are redefining the norms of education loan lending.
E-WAY BILLS HIT TRUCK DISPATCHES, INTER-STATE GOODS MOVEMENT DOWN BY 15%: By introducing the E-way Bill concept in GST, truck movement is becoming more difficult. Because of this, dispatches by Road transport under GST were almost down by 15% in the first 15 days of E-way bill mechanism. In our opinion these are initial teething problems which will become normal in days to come.
PSBs FAILING TO RECOVER BAD LOANS: Public Sector Banks are having lot of difficulty in recovering bad loans. The recovery rate in NPAs which were written off is declining. As per a RBI report, 90% of written off loans could not be recovered during the period 2014-15 to 2017-18. The worst performer is UCO bank, which had written off Rs. 6,087 crore during the above mentioned period, has failed to recover a single rupee.
ICICI BANK LAUNCHES DIGITAL FORM FOR OPENING CURRENT ACCOUNT: ICICI Bank has introduced a “Digital form” which will help open current account in a few hours. The bank captures the information about the customer and the business digitally and verifies KYC documents in real-time at the premise of the customer. This is for the first time that any bank has introduced digital format for opening current account and as per the bank it will help in “ease of doing business” and help increase the bank’s market share.
INCOME TAX DEPARTMENT WARNS AGAINST TAX EVASION BY SALRAIED EMPLOYEES: The I-T Department has cautioned salaried tax payers against under-reporting their income or inflating their deductions in assessment year 2018-19. It has also warned intermediaries like chartered accountants and other consultants against abetting such tax evasion. Any infractions will invite action under various provisions of Income Tax Act. The I-T Department will also ask their employer to take action against such erring employees.
BANK OF BARODA SLAPPED WITH Rs. 9 CRORE FINE OVER REMITTANCE SCAM: The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has slapped Rs. 9 crore penalty on Bank of Baroda for failing to adhere to Anti-money Laundering norms and not having an effective system of reporting suspicious transactions linked to the Rs. 6,000 crore scam in Delhi based branch.
REGIONAL RURAL BANKS COME UNDER PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION PLANS: Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework will also be applicable to Regional rural Banks (RRBs). The National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD), which supervises RRBs, has directed them to initiate self-corrective action plans based on parameters such as capital adequacy, asset quality and profitability which largely is based on the framework for bigger commercial banks. Accordingly, RRBs will also slow down their business if their capital adequacy falls below 9%, net non-performing assets rises over 10% of total advances and return on assets falls below 0.25%.
SBI AND PNB PUT 15 NON-PERFORMING ASSETS WORTH Rs. 1,063 CRORE FOR SALE: Leading public sector banks, State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank have put their 15 Non-Performing Assets worth Rs. 1,063 crores for sale. They will be conducting the E-Auction of the said assets on 20Th
START-UP INVESTORS MUST DISCLOSE DEAL VALUATIONS IN TAX RETURNS: Promoters and Investors in new age start-ups can no longer expect to make easy profits from any exits without paying taxes on them. The Income Tax Department has introduced new disclosure norms in the latest edition of I-T Return forms which requires the Individual tax payer to provide the fair value of the unlisted shares and disclose the full value of the consideration received or receivable in respect of unquoted shares sold by them during the year. This norm is included to ensure that promoters and investors disclose the information correctly.
5 STATES ACCOUNT FOR 61% OF E-WAY BILL GENERATION : The 5 states, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have accounted for 61% of the inter-state E-way bill generation. The Electronic Bill or E-bill has become mandatory for movement of goods valued over Rs. 50,000 from one state to the other from 1ST These 5 states have emerged as the leaders in generating E-way bills and is an example for other states to follow.
BANKS CANNOT DENY PENSION PAYMENT FOR LACK OF AADHAAR: There is good news for senior citizen who are drawing their monthly pension. In a major relief to pensioners, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has asked all the pension-disbursing banks not to turn away pensioners for want of Aadhaar. EPFO has issued circular to heads of all pension disbursing banks, instructing them to provide with alternate options of identification in cases where the pensioner is unable to provide Aadhaar proof.
CANTEEN SERVIVCES TO EMPLOYEES WILL ATTRACT GST: Henceforth providing canteen meals to its staff for a price will attract GST. According to a decision of the Authority for Advance Taxes, Recovery of food expenses from the employees for canteen services provided by the employer would come under the definition of outward supply as defined under the GST Act 2017.