Centre may disburse Rs 10,000 cr worth of loans in FY21 under agri fund


The Centre plans to disburse Rs 10,000 crore worth of loans at concessional rates to cooperative societies, farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), start-ups, and others in the current fiscal year under its ambitious Rs 1-trillion fund to create storage and processing infrastructure at the farm-gate level.

Loans up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to entrepreneurs at 3 per cent interest subvention for a period of seven years, according to the Union Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday. The loans will have moratorium on repayment that will vary from six months to two years.

The fund called the Infrastructure Fund, announced as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ in May by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, got formal Cabinet approval on Wednesday.

The fund, along with the three facilitating Ordinances on freeing marketing, amending Essential Commodities Act and framework for contract farming, is aimed at providing an ecosystem to private companies to encourage them to invest in storage and warehousing in a big way.

GSTR-4: Govt considering demand for extending date for filing I-T returns


The on Tuesday said the GST Implementation Committee is considering the demand for extending the due date for filing of annual return for 2019-20 by composition dealers.

“Representations have been received on non-availability and extension of date of Form GSTR-4 for FY 2019-20 on the common portal. The matter of extension of date of GSTR-4 for FY 2019-20 is under consideration by the GST Implementation Committee, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) tweeted.

The time limit to file GSTR-4 annual returns for the FY 2019-20 by the composition dealers had been extended till July 15, 2020 on April 3, 2020.

“But, as GSTN still grapples to provide the facility of smooth filing of the return, a further extension is expected,” AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said.

GST composition scheme can be opted by any taxpayer whose turnover is less than Rs 1.5 crore. Under the scheme, manufacturers and traders are required to pay GST at 1 per cent, while it is 5 per cent for restaurants (which do not serve alcohol).

Pvt trains to share gross revenue including onboard earnings with Railways


Just like in airlines, passengers of private trains, once launched, could have to pay for preferred seats, baggage and onboard services, the earnings from which will be part of the gross revenue to be shared with the Railways, according to a document of the national transporter.

The recently floated a Request for Qualification (RFQ) inviting private entities to operate passenger trains on its network.

The decision on whether to charge passengers for these services will rest with the private parties, officials said.

In the document, it has said that bidders based on their financial capacity, will be required to offer share in the gross revenue at the request for proposal (RFP) stage for undertaking the project.

While the has given private players the freedom to fix the fare to be charged from passengers, they will also have the freedom to explore fresh avenues to generate revenue, according to the RFQ.

The definition of gross revenue, which is under consideration is as below.

  • Any amount accruing to the concessionaire (private entity) from passengers or any third party from the provision of following

FinMin may review capital requirement of PSU banks after second quarter


The may assess the capital requirement of public sector banks after the September quarter as there would be greater clarity about a spike in bad loans by that time, sources said.

There is widespread fear that non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks will witness a surge due to the economic slowdown triggered by the Covid-19 outbreak and resultant lockdowns.

This will need higher provisioning by banks as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines. However, there could be a silver lining if RBI accepts request of loan restructuring for sectors hit badly by the coronavirus pandemic, sources said.

The pain of NPA will surface only after the extended moratorium ends in August, the sources said, adding it will be appropriate to assess capital requirement only after the second quarter numbers are finalised.

CII President Uday Kotak had said the PSBs would need financial support from the government to drive the economy, while private sector banks need to raise capital from various sources to meet the future challenges.

“While the government is facing the risk of higher fiscal deficit, the banking sector urgently needs the recapitalisation to the tune of

Govt approves Rs 574 crore annual plan for national highway works in J&K


The central government has approved an annual plan worth Rs 574.16 crore for works in for 2020-21, an official spokesperson said on Saturday.

The major works incorporated in the approved annual plan included construction of 3.23 km three fly-overs in Srinagar on NH-44 (Jammu-Srinagar highway) at Bemina, Sanatnagar and Nowgam with Rs 220.68 crore, the spokesman said.

Quoting a communication from the Centre, he said the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked for preparation of estimates for the proposed works in the approved annual plan, incorporating the technical parameters and designs as per IRC codal provisions or latest circulars of the ministry, and submission to it for consideration.

The other works incorporated in the approved annual plan included expressway, four laning, construction of 6 km 3rd bypass on NH-444 Shopian bypass with Rs 120 crore, and construction of 13.60 km bypasses in Pulwama and Kulgam with Rs 62.98 crore, the spokesperson said.

Covid-19 impact: Direct tax refunds down 16% to Rs 64,428 crore in Q1


refunds fell 16 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (Q1FY21), despite the government having fast-tracked the process. Refunds, or cash outflow from the income tax department, stood at Rs 64,428 crore at the end of June 2020, compared to Rs 76,575 crore at end-June 2019.

Tax officials have attributed the decline to slim attendance (caused by the lockdown), which, according to them, led to a delay in clearance of large refunds that require officers’ approval. To fight the economic fallout of Covid, the government had expedited refunds of up to Rs 5 lakh. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), in a statement on Friday, said tax refunds had been issued at a speed of 76 cases per minute between April 8 and June 30. “During this period, the CBDT issued refunds amounting to more than Rs 62,361 crore.”

refunds stood at Rs 40,482 crore, while income tax refunds stood at Rs 23,828 crore in Q1FY21.

“Taxpayers are experiencing this facet of the I-T department, which is not just taxpayer-friendly but also one of a facilitator providing liquidity in such

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