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Monday,02-August-2021

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RBI allows farmers enhanced loan on produce pledges

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Farmer

With a view to encourage farm credit, the RBI on Wednesday decided to enhance the loan limit for individual farmers.

Individual farmers will now be eligible for an enhanced loan amount of Rs 75 lakh from banks against the pledge or hypothecation of agricultural produce.

The borrowing limit under the scheme was earlier capped at Rs 50 lakh.

As per RBI’s statement on developmental and regulatory policies that enhanced borrowing limit for farmers against pledge of agricultural produce will be available if such pledges are backed by Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWRs)/electronic-NWRs (e- NWRs) issued by the warehouses registered and regulated by Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

The Priority Sector loan limit backed by other Warehouse Receipts will continue to be Rs 50 lakh per borrower. The circular in this regard will be issued separately by the apex bank.

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Ex-Axis manager swindled his own bank of Rs 26.84L: Police

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Ex-Axis-Bank-manager-ANIL-DUBEY

Former Manager of Axis Bank, Anil Dubey – who looted the ICICI Bank and killed a woman Deputy Manager on Thursday – has now been charged with allegedly cheating his immediate previous employer of Rs 26.84 lakh (Rs 2.68 mn), police said here on Saturday.

The huge amount was found missing during a recent audit of the cash reserves at the Axis Bank’s Naigaon Branch where Dubey was the manager before he was abruptly sacked on Friday, hours after the sensational ICICI Bank Virar East Branch heist and murderous attacks on two women staffers inside the bank premises.

The Waliv Police Station has registered a complaint of the missing amount under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and investigations are currently on, said an official.

“The discrepancy was found during the routine monthly tally of accounts and reported to the top authorities. Thereafter, an internal investigation has been launched and we have also lodged an FIR with the police,” an official of Axis Bank told IANS, requesting anonymity.

Simultaneously, the bank is attempting to confirm whether Dubey – who had joined Axis Bank in August 2020 – had cheated its customers or indulged in any other scams or misappropriation of public money.

Apprehending action from the Axis Bank or the police after his misdeeds were discovered in the past few days, he had skipped office during the week, but by the weekend masterminded the ICICI Bank heist to clear off his outstanding dues at one go.

Officials reveal that since he had served ICICI Bank for 15 months, he was on good terms with the staffers there, well acquainted with the bank’s routine activities.

These and other details may have helped him commit the daring – but unsuccessful – loot attempt on Thursday (July 29) night as the bank would be closed for the weekend after the July month-end accounts tally.

As his escape attempt was foiled by the local people, the Virar Police recovered the booty comprising cash and gold totally valued at around Rs 3.38 crore, said Senior Police Inspector Suresh Warade.

Dubey was produced before a Vasai Magistrate Court which remanded him to police custody till August 6, under charges of dacoity, attempt to murder, murder, theft, etc.

Meanwhile, the condition of the injured cashier Shraddha Devrukhkar – who was attacked by Dubey with a cut-throat razor, remains worrisome and she has been shifted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai.

“She is still in deep shock due to the bloody assault on her and also her senior colleague and close friend, Yogita Vartak Choudhary, who succumbed on Thursday,” said another staffer.

Owing to the serious injuries on her neck, shoulder and other parts, Devrukhkar, 32, is communicating through signs with her family, police and bank colleagues.

Dubey, 38, with over 15 years of experience in the banking sector, had piled up huge debts through a lavish lifestyle, expensive tastes, certain investments in lucrative residential/commercial properties, etc, though the sources of his finance are still not clear.

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NHSRCL casts first full height pier for Bullet train project

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The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) on Saturday said it has cast the first full height pier on the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, popularly known as the Bullet Train project.

NHSRCL Spokesperson Sushma Gaur said the NHSRCL took a significant step forward in its construction work by casting the first full height pier near Gujarat’s Vapi at Chainage 167 on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor which will run through 12 stations connecting Maharashtra, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Gujarat.

“The average height of the pier on this corridor is nearly 12-15 metre and exact height of this pier is 13.05 metres, which is almost equivalent to a four-storey building,” she added.

She said the pier was cast with 183 cubic metres of concrete quantity and 18.820 MT of steel.

The special shuttering arrangement in the lift is one of the major features of the corridor providing better quality in eight hours, Gaur added.

“This major construction milestone has been achieved despite severe shortage of manpower and other logistical challenges because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing monsoon season in the region. There are number of such piers planned to be cast in coming months paving way for the first high speed rail corridor,” she said.

NHSRCL is the executing agency mandated with building India’s first high speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 14, 2017 had laid the foundation stone for the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) project. The bullet trains are expected to run at speeds of 320 km per hour covering the 508-km stretch in nearly two hours.

In comparison trains currently plying on the route take more than seven hours to travel the distance whereas flights take about an hour.

The NHSRCL has awarded several tenders for the construction of railway tracks, railway bridges, tunnels, railway stations and depots for the project till date.

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Compliance not eased for GST taxpayers with over Rs 5 cr turnover, reconciliation statement remains

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Taxpayers looking at ease of compliance requirement for filing annual GST returns for 2020-21 are in for a rude shock as the government has not completely done away with the process of including the reconciliation statement along with the returns.

The preparation of the reconciliation statement to tally with the numbers given in the annual returns is always a challenge for taxpayers and even tax experts face problems in finalising these.

According to a notification issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) late on Friday evening, every registered person, other than specified persons, whose aggregate turnover during a FY exceeds Rs 5 crore, will be required to furnish a self-certified reconciliation statement as specified under section 44 in FORM GSTR-9C along with the annual returns.

While the notification brings clarity over filing of annual GST returns for FY21, it has made self-certified reconciliation statement a part of GSTR 9 itself now. In simple words, GSTR 9C existing currently is removed and has been made a part of GST Annual Return GSTR 9.

“So, taxpayers having aggregate turnover above Rs 5 crore need to file self-certified reconciliation statement even for FY 2020-21 as a part of Annual Return. The notification has brought charity over this aspect of compliance,” said Aditya Singhania, partner at Singhania GST Consultancy.

He added that the notification has also done away with the requirement of filing a GST reconciliation statement certified by chartered accountants (CAs) or cost and works accountants (CWAs).

“This should allow other professionals including legal counsellors working on GST cases to take up the preparing of reconciliation statement for taxpayers wherever required. But it also puts a responsibility on taxpayers to furnish details in Annual Return on true and correct basis on self-certification basis,” Singhania said.

While clarifying on annual filing requirement for taxpayers, the CBIC notification has gone with changes incorporated in the Finance Act, 2021 for easing the compliance burden on taxpayers.

Accordingly, it has exempted registered persons whose aggregate turnover in FY 2020-21 is upto Rs 2 crore from filing of annual GST return. It is not clear whether taxpayers with turnover between Rs 2 and Rs 5 crore would be required to attach reconciliation statement along with annual returns. However, going by precedence such taxpayers may be given the option on filing the reconciliation statement.

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