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Friday,03-December-2021

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CBIC launches Turant Customs for faceless clearance of imported goods

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Tax

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) on Monday launched its flagship programme, Turant Customs, at Bengaluru and at Chennai, paving the way for technology-supported faster Customs clearance of imported goods.

Under the programme, importers could now get their goods cleared from Customs after a faceless assessment done remotely by the Customs officers located outside the port of import. So, the goods imported at Chennai may be assessed by the Customs officers located at Bengaluru and vice versa, as assigned by the Customs’ automated system.

The start of Turant Customs at Bengaluru and at Chennai would be the first phase of the All India roll out which would get completed by December 31 this year.

The first phase would cover imports of mechanical, electrical and electronics machineries at the ports/airports/ICDs of Bengaluru and Chennai.

CBIC said that Turant Customs would benefit the importers by eliminating routine interface with the Customs officers and providing uniformity in assessment across the country. This would reduce transaction costs and eliminate the practice of port shopping for favourable assessments.

Under the umbrella of Turant Customs, the CBIC promises the trade a faceless, contactless and paperless Customs clearance experience. While the assessment of Customs duty would be faceless, i.e., it would be done anonymously and remotely, critical steps in the process have been made contactless and paperless, CBIC said in a statement.

The indirect tax board also said that these steps include self-registration of goods on the system by importers, automated clearances of bills of entry, digitization of bill of entry, paperless processing by uploading documents on the electronic e-Sanchit platform, etc. Also, all communications between importers and Customs officers would be done electronically through the ICEGATE portal.

The launch of Turant Customs marks the culmination of a long pilot phase started in August 2019 at Chennai and later extended to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, and Visakhapatnam Customs Zones for select commodities.

Turant Customs is a mega reform for the ease of doing business. It is a continuation of the reform journey that CBIC embarked on few years back, resulting in India’s ranking in the World Banks’ Trading Across Border category of the Doing Business Report improving rapidly from position at 146 in 2017 to 68 last year, the statement said.

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Business

Unheard of Rs 3.3 lakh Cr bank deposit bulge in Diwali week slumped in a fortnight

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Indian-Rupee

State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department has highlighted the curious case of Rs 3.3 lakh crore deposit bulge and the Rs 2.7 lakh crore deposit slump in alternate fortnights.

As per the provisional data released by RBI for the fortnight ended November 19, ASCB’s aggregate deposits have slumped by Rs 2.7 lakh crore during the fortnight. The slump in deposits follows an abrupt increase by Rs 3.3 lakh crore during the previous fortnight ended November 5. Interestingly, such growth in deposits was around 36 per cent of the incremental deposit growth at that point of time. This increase in deposits and subsequent slump is quite a contrarian trend, says Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India.

While it may be exactly difficult to decipher the increase and subsequent decline, it does pose questions on liquidity management/financial stability or a shift in behavioural trend in customer payment habits through digitisation and hence lower currency leakage and concomitant deposit bulge or both.

First, the fortnightly increase of Rs 3.3 lakh crore. This has never happened during a Diwali week as there is always a currency leakage and concomitant deposit decline. This is also the fifth largest increase in any fortnight in the last 24 years. Such huge incremental addition has happened only a few times, with higher deposits accretion (than the current year’s fortnight) occurring during the fortnight ended November 25, 2016 (Rs 4.16 lakh crore), September 30, 2016 (Rs 3.55 lakh crore), March 29, 2019 (Rs 3.46 lakh crore) and April 1, 2016 (Rs 3.41 lakh crore). However, the increase in November 2016 was because of demonetisation and the March and April fortnightly increases could be attributed to seasonal year-end bulge. In this respect, the current deposit bulge requires a detailed explanation, the report said.

Next, the fortnightly deposit slump in the subsequent fortnight. ‘We believe that it is possible that there was a large influx of deposits into the banking system for the fortnight ended November 5, 2021 in anticipation of a build up in rally in stock markets post primary issuances of new age companies and others. However, when such a rally did not materialise, the bulge in banking deposits slumped and almost 80 per cent of deposit bulge was withdrawn, the report said.

Interestingly, the amount of money parked in fixed reverse repo window jumped from Rs 0.45 lakh crore on October 19 to Rs 2.4 lakh crore on November 17, 2021 and has remained at such level till December 1. However, it must be noted that the significant jump in digital transactions has also resulted in lower usage of cash in the current fiscal and ideally could also have resulted in a surge in deposits for the Diwali week.

Meanwhile, if we look at the quarterly ASCB data, though the deposits growth remains same in Q2 (2.6 per cent) as compared to Q1 (2.5 per cent), sequentially at all-India level, apart from Metro regions, the deposits growth has decelerated in Q2 as compared to Q1, particularly in rural areas indicating that the current economic recovery is mostly urban led and rural economy is still recouping. Meanwhile, ASCB’s credit has increased by Rs 1.18 lakh crore (7.1 per cent YoY) during the fortnight ended November 5, which may be due to festive demands.

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Business

Oil marketing companies keep diesel, petrol prices unchanged

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petrol

Oil marketing companies kept diesel and petrol prices unchanged across major Indian cities on Friday.

Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.

In the financial capital Mumbai, the prices remained unchanged at Rs 94.14 and Rs 109.98 respectively.

Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 89.79 and Rs 104.67 respectively.

In Chennai too, it remained at Rs 91.43 and Rs 101.40 respectively.

Across the country as well, the price of the fuel largely remained unchanged on Friday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.

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Business

Equity indices rise for third consecutive day

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) rose in the early trade on Friday. Indices have been gaining for the past three consecutive sessions.

At 9.15 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 58,671 points, up 0.37 per cent.

It opened at 58,555 points from the previous close of 58,461 points.

Till now it has touched a low of 58,512 points.

Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,424 points after closing at 17,401 on Thursday.

It traded at 17,475 points, up 0.39 per cent during the early-morning trade session.

Hindustan Zinc, Infosys, NMDC, L&T and BPCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, exchange data showed.

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