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TAX ADMINISTRATION AND REFORM COMMISSION (TARC) 

  • The Government had constituted Tax Administration Reform Commission (the TARC) headed by Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, on August, 2013,
  • Banking cash transaction tax (BCTT)

    • Proposed levying of banking transaction tax on withdrawal of cash beyond a specified limit in a day to check black money
    • BCTT was introduced in June, 2005, to track unaccounted money and trace its source and destination, but was withdrawn in April, 2009.
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

    • Proposed reintroduction of fringe benefits tax.
    • FBT was introduced in 2005- 06 as a tax paid by employers on employee benefits that do not form part of the salary.
    • It was levied on a prescribed portion of expenditure on ‘fringe benefits’ such as employee stock options or ESOPs, entertainment, festival celebrations, gifts and running of cars and aircraft.
  • Taxing farmers with large land holdings

    • Against a tax free limit of Rs.5 lakh on agricultural income, farmers having income above much higher threshold income, such as Rs.50 lakh, could be taxed.
  • Against amnesty schemes: Taxpayers keep waiting for amnesty schemes to be announced and take advantage of these schemes to build their capital. Amnesty schemes also cause inequity among taxpayers, and there is no proof that they improve taxpayer behaviour among evaders.
  • A conducive environment and tax culture should be created to encourage unorganised retailers to pay tax dues voluntarily.
  •  Tax administration measures to improve SMEs tax compliance.
  •  The number of income taxpayers should be doubled, from slightly more than three crore to six crore in three years.
  •  Wealth tax base could be increased by including intangible financial assets in the base while considerably raising the threshold and decreasing the wealth tax rate.

TRADE RECEIVABLES DISCOUNTING SYSTEM (TREDS):

  • To make it easier and faster for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get their dues, the RBI put out final guidelines for setting up of a Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS).
    • Trade Receivables Discounting System or TReDS – an exchange driven trading mechanism that could end the agony of lakhs of Small and Medium Enterprises which face endless delays in receiving payments for their supplies to bigger companies.
    • TReDS will be like an exchange where an MSME that has some receivables pending from a large corporate will be able to trade the bill.

ASHOK LAHIRI COMMITTEE:

  • high-level committee to interact with trade and industry on tax related issues on a regular basis and ascertain areas where clarity in tax laws is required

MGNREGS REFORM:

  • likely to introduce a Mobile Monitoring System for effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  •  monitoring system will be introduced on a pilot basis to allow real time monitoring of all works, workers attendance and work site measurement.
  • move is expected to plug leakages in the rural job scheme. Moreover, the Centre has recently sanctioned Rs.147 crore to the States to strengthen the social audit structures.

MUNICIPAL BONDS

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) proposed a new set of norms for listing and trading of municipal bonds on stock exchanges. Such municipal bonds are also known as ‘muni bonds’
  • Bangalore Municipal Corporation was the first municipal corporation to issue a municipal bond of Rs.125 crore with a State guarantee in 1997.
  • Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) issued the first municipal bonds in the country without State government guarantee for financing infrastructure projects in the city. AMC raised Rs.100 crore through its public issue
  • Objectives:
  • To help in the Government’s ‘smart cities’ programme.
  • To help channelise household savings and provide a new investment avenue
  • Bonds issued by municipalities having good financial track record would be a good alternative investment opportunity for conservative investors.