Is it enough if laws are simplified or reduced to ease doing of business ? What about clarity and availability of competent people to explain them ? I am not talking of professionals and consultants whose bread and butter comes from advisory services. I am referring to the REGULATOR. Yes, many a times we find that despite our reading and interpretation there is no clarity in some
regulations which makes it difficult to structure transactions within the framework of law. Sometimes it results in violation too. We do approach the Regulator at such times for direction.
Recently we did that in one case since we were hitting a wall despite our reading and asking around fellow-professionals. However to our utter dismay the officials in the Regulator’s office were themselves not well-informed. Of course this is not uncommon to find but then how do you expect entrepreneurs and business owners to comply with law if the Regulators themselves are not knowledgeable ? Not only were they not aware of which circular we were referring to but also just advised us to write to the Central Office for clarification. You know very well how many months some of these powers that be take to respond. Email queries do get answered but more often than not they repeat the existing provisions of law and do not clarify. Phones remain unanswered constantly. Only option left is to personally visit the office and get the clarification – provided officials there are equipped to answer.
This brings me to the point of training. It is time the Regulators’ officials are trained both in the subjects they handle and also in how to communicate and respond to the general public. Unless this is done ‘doing business’ in India is not going to be easy. Our PM declares that he is the ‘Pradhan Sevak’ but unless this ‘seva’ or ‘service orientation’ percolates down the line to the babus and beneath, things are pretty much going to remain the same. There is a dire need for increased investment by the Government in knowledge updation, training and orientation of its employees – not just skill development in the private sector.
Do reflect on a few thoughts like these whenever you encounter something – will at least keep you warm this winter. To help you stay updated, we continue with our Lexspeak journey with yet another issue. Should you wish to refer to any of our older issues, do visit our Resource Centre at sharadasc.com.Warm regards
In terms of new Rule 5A(2) inserted in Service Tax Rules, 1994, departmental officers can conduct audit of service tax assesses. Such audit is included in the expression “verified” used in the Act for verification of records. This gives statutory backing to the powers of the department to conduct audit which was earlier quashed by the High Court in M/s. Travelite India case.
Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant are authorized conduct Service Tax audit alongwith departmental officers and CAG. Audit records would also include Cost Audit Report under the Companies Act, 2013 & Income Tax Audit Report under Income Tax Act, 1961.
Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014 has been introduced in parliament to make certain amendments in the Companies Act, 2013 in order to address certain issues raised by stakeholders. It is disappointing to note that most of the important changes requested do not find a place in this. A few are listed below:
No minimum paid up share capital
Common Seal optional
Prohibition of inspection of Board Resolution filed with ROC
Certain relaxation relating to “Related Party Transactions”
Threshold limit for fraud reporting to audit committee and central government
Some of the above are an attempt to rectify the drafting errors while some are owing to corporate demand for ease of doing business.
CBDT has issued a comprehensive circular on income tax deduction from salary income including perquisites, allowances, concessions and exemptions, applicable tax rates together with illustrations and TDS certificate details.
For further simplifying the process of submission of life certificate and facilitating accuracy and timeliness in disbursal of pensions, Digital Life Certificate called “Jeevan Praman” has been launched by the Government of India which is based on Aadhaar Biometric Authentication. Accordingly a web portal jeevanpramaan.gov.in has also been launched to facilitate the implementation of the same.
Note: The contents of this
Newsletter are only a summary and has not dealt with any issue in detail. Any action
taken or proposed to be taken must be in consultation with professionals and not
merely based on the articles / news updates. Lex Valorem disclaims all liability on action taken without professional advice.