Ministry of Finane Current Affairs - 2019
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As per the information provided by Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan to the Lok Sabha 61 individuals who declared an income of more than Rs 100 crore during the assessment year 2017-18.
Even though the numbers have increased sharply from the 38 individuals reporting income over Rs 100 Crore in the previous assessment year, it is still a minuscule number in a population of 1.3 billion Indians.
In the assessment year 2014-15, the number of individuals disclosing a gross total income of over Rs 100 crore in a year in his/her return of income filed with the Income Tax (IT) department was 24.
Even though there has been a sharp increase in the number of individuals declaring income of over 100 crore, it has been said the actual numbers are predominantly more and reported numbers are less due to the large scale underreporting.
The following steps have been initiated to prevent the under-reporting:
- Government is taking stringent actions under the Benami Properties Transactions Act and properties valued at Rs 6,900 crore were under attachment by agencies.
- Income tax authorities had identified more than 2,000 benami transactions till December 2018 which includes include deposits in bank accounts, land, apartments and jewellery and the provisional attachment of properties had been done in over 1,800 cases.
- The Revenue Department under the Ministry of Finance is setting up a mechanism to ensure that all returns are processed within 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously to increase the compliance in the filing of IT returns.
The government has already sanctioned Rs 4,200 crore for the upgrade of information technology infrastructure of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for processing returns, refunds, faceless scrutiny and verification.
The Central Government has raised Rs. 1,200 crore by divesting 9.2% of paid-up capital in National Aluminum Company Ltd. (NALCO). With this disinvestment, Government’s shareholding in NALCO has become 65.37%.
Disinvestment involves the sale of Government’s share in the Public Sector Undertakings. In disinvestment, the government sells only a part of the equity which is essentially less than 51% so that ownership and management rights can be possessed by the Government itself.
Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance, has set a record target of Rs. 72,500 crore to be realized through disinvestment in this fiscal. This target follows the 2016-17 all-time high achievement of Rs. 46,247 crore.
For the fourth time in a row, retail investors out-performed institutional investors. It shows that retail investor backs disinvestments of CPSEs. In fact it satisfies one of the objectives of disinvestment policy of the government which aims to make PSU shareholding as broad-based as possible so that nation’s wealth is shared by its citizens. In this disinvestment exercise, the government for the first time has used the green shoe option (over-subscription option) since the modified OFS procedure has been put in place by SEBI in 2016. DIPAM exercised the green shoe option owing to the overwhelming response from the market.
Greenshoe option is a special provision in an IPO prospectus. Green shoe option permits the underwriters to sell more share to the investors than originally planned by the issuer. This option is exercised if the demand for a security issue is higher than the expected.
The Department of Disinvestment was set up as a separate Department on 10th December 1999 and functions as one of the Departments under the Ministry of Finance since 2004. In 2016, the Department of Disinvestment was renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). DIPAM advises the Union Government in the matters of the financial restructuring of PSUs and also for attracting investment through capital markets. It deals with all matters relating to the sale of Union Government’s equity through private placement or offer for sale or any other mode in the erstwhile Central PSUs.
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is a Navratna CPSE functioning under Ministry of Mines. It was established on 7th January 1981. It has integrated and diversified operations in mining, metal and power.