Saturday, March 28, 2015

RESOURCES (food for thoughts) BL, ICL, et al Exclusives


April 17

 Big rise in deposits at year-end: RBI
Banks have booked huge business in the run up to the close of financial year 2014-1

<Xtract (for ready reading):

< The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said banks will have the discretion to offer differential interest rates based on whether the term deposits are with or without premature-withdrawal facility.
While all term deposits of individuals (held singly or jointly) of ₹15 lakh and below should necessarily have premature withdrawal facility, the RBI said for all term deposits above this amount banks can now offer ‘the without premature withdrawal’ option.
“Banks want sticky deposits. Hence, they will pay more interest to depositors who exercise the option to not prematurely withdraw their deposits,” said a senior public sector bank official. When it comes to bulk deposits, banks hitherto faced uncertainty as depositors could redeem their deposits whenever better deployment opportunities cropped up, before the maturity date.
Now with the ‘without premature withdrawal’ option, banks can plan their resource deployment well.
Bulk deposits

So far, banks could quote differential rates of interest for deposits of the same maturity on bulk deposits of ₹1 crore and above. In its latest notification on interest rate on deposits, the RBI said banks should disclose in advance the schedule of interest rates payable on deposits — all deposits mobilised by banks should be strictly in conformity with the published schedule.
Banks should have a board-approved policy with regard to interest rates on deposits, including those with differential rates of interest. And, they should ensure that the interest rates offered are reasonable, consistent, transparent and available for supervisory review/scrutiny as and when required.>

Viewpoints (as shared): 

< The directive, long awaited /being pressed for by the aggrieved but pending for long, is quite welcome. It is noted to be clarificatory enough, to set right the ongoing dubious practices, in vogue in the banking sector, in several respects. And is expected to usher in a disciplined and principles -based rules and upright procedure to be strictly followed, and more so, uniformly by all banks, There is no valid reason, but it is reprehensible, to allow Banks, being the constituents of the RBI, and coming within its supervisory control, to be left with any option or choice to have own independent internal rules, flagrantly in violation of, and flying in the face of, such principle- based rules and procedure. Now that the regulatory authority has made clear of what is expected of them, it is for,- not only the bank’s own management and its personnel, but also the independent officers /statutory bodies- i.e. internal audit, secretary, and external statutory auditor,- to take a serious note of and ensure that there are adequate and foolproof checks and balances, in place, and is in-built in the bank’s system itself; so that the lawful rights and interests of the deposit holders, mostly being gullible hence remaining low aroused, are taken the utmost care and safeguarded even in the normal course. The directive is, regrettably, silent on one important aspect. That is, to add and clarify the intended incentive (or disincentive !) is meant to cover only premature withdrawal by the FD holder (s) during lifetime, sel-f (-ves). In other words, such withdrawal should necessarily be permissible, as hitherto, in case of demise of the only or both (joint) holders, for the designated nominee, or successor (testamentary or otherwise), if so opted, to have the deposit treated as foreclosed before the maturity period and receive the proceeds. For, after all, that is not a case of ‘premature withdrawal’ in its strict sense, as envisaged; but is one of closure by the person to whom the property in the FD proceeds, as on the date of demise of the holder(s), same way as any other property of all kinds, involuntarily /automatically ‘passes’ and becomes vested in, by operation of the governing law(s). >

The RBI’s directive mandates, “they should ensure that the interest rates offered are reasonable, consistent, transparent and available for supervisory review/scrutiny as and when required.”

By necessary implication, therefore, all the more reason why, the same should apply to, apart to ‘interest rates’, also to all “terms and conditions” attached to FD,-

(a) not barring in regard to any premature withdrawal,  as at the time of account opening, and

(b) in as clear and unambiguous language as possible, so as to be read and understood by anyone,  particularly by so called ‘commoners’, in majority.

April 12
 Kkramani Legal

< emailed comment sent to kkr is saved in yahoolmail, AT separate folder.

April 11

 CCI Newsletter

Rengaraj RK, Advocate Mail Id:  renga

 Under the domestic law on income-tax , the concept of ‘best judgment’ has been given a legal shape and specially covered in sec 144; and is intended to be attracted in the circumstances as specified therein. Even so, if care to and study, -or even simply look at the expert commentary with cited case law, in a text book, - one will find a long line of court cases in which the matter has been taken up time and again, for adjudication. Even so, by and large, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case, off and on even if not materially varied, issues still continue to be taken up to courts, right unto the north, questioning the applicability or otherwise of sec 144 in a given case.

Perhaps, if were to be insight fully reflected upon, the stated scenario could be found a very valid and impressionable justification, to be urged and stressed, rightly so, as to why most of all such disputes could be resolved much easier, and with an enduring finality, should the common law principle of ‘natural justice’- mainly founded on common sense ideals of ‘equity’ and ‘good conscience’ – are given preponderance ; instead of to , as traditionally, the so called ‘letter’ and /or spirit of the enactment.

In this context, yielding to an irresistible provocation, one is tempted to invite pointed attention to an obnoxious development of its singular kind; that is, as found in the latest amendment of Sec 145, sub-section (3) , which as amended , now reads:

(3) Where the Assessing Officer is not satisfied about the correctness or completeness of the accounts of the assessee, or where the method of accounting provided in sub-section (1) 83b[or accounting standards as notified under sub-section (2), have not been regularly followed by the assessee], the Assessing Officer may make an assessment in the manner provided in section 144.]

Should more thoughts be given, it is bound to be realized that , its implications are most likely to turn out to be far reaching- so far reaching as right up to the proverbial end of the horizon, so to say. In order to form a satisfactorily definitive opinion, - if not an absolutely right but at least a better one, one and all concerned , besides tax gatherers, tax, accounting, and audit professionals, active in the field, might have to obligingly study and critically examine , by necessarily reading it through, together with sec 144. And must do so, also after deeply studying and clearly understanding what the earlier notified accounting standards and the recently notified tax accounting standards really purport to mean; and what those have in store- good or bad- for the future, so on.


ALL IN A ROW /(in quick succession)  ( -NOT  UNRELATED ?! )  >

        INDIAN CORPORATE LAW: CSR in Government Companies

      Is provisioning a necessary precursor to CSR spending?




Financial Sector Legislation, Anti-terror Laws, Human Rights and the Indian Constitution

The author is a partner of JSA, Advocates & Solicitors. The views expressed herein are his own.


SELECTEDs to Comment :

March 26, 2015.

Some inconsistencies
With its focus on harsh penalties and imprisonment, it is apparent that the Bill seeks to invoke fear among persons having assets located abroad that they have not declared. The Bill says it is applicable to the whole of India. One of its provisions states that abetment or inducement of another person to make a false return or a false account or statement or declaration under the Act will be punishable with rigorous imprisonment of 6 months to 7 years. 
These provisions would apply to banks also (a learning from the HSBC episode).
A glaring inconsistency in the Bill is that if the person abetting is located abroad, nothing can be done under the Bill as it is applicable only to India.

<> This obviously refers to the preceding portion stating that the BILL provides that abetment or inducement of another person to make a false return or a false account or statement or declaration under the Act will be punishable. If so , begging to differ, if were to be critically looked through, it is not simply an instance of 'glaring inconsistency' , but much more serious. It is, as perspectively viewed, a more- than- obvious instance of  inept , ineffective and mindless drafting, with no regard or thought given to the very dubious nature of     

Will it enable India’s population to leapfrog to health and wellbeing? Yes, if implemented with care »

"....the draft national health policy (dNHP) is progressive in outlook."
May be so, should the said policy be considered in isolation. However, how far the progressive outlook could be translated into reality has to be, in one's firm conviction, necessarily considered and insight fully examined, in the context / light of the 2015 Bill of amendments to the age old law on 'insurance;. To be precise, one strongly feels that, the proposal to make the benefit of 'insured interest' assignable and transferable, according to a possible line of thinking, sane and better one, cannot be regarded to be progressive, from the viewpoint of insured and other related parties / stakeholders. For knowing the viewpoints canvassed on those lines, recommend to look up the ICL and like Blogs in public domain.       

Bad idea
This refers to the article, ‘A taxing thought’ by Mohan Lavi (March 9). Abolishing income tax will be disastrous. There is no such thing as a free market. The government provides a currency, courts for dispute settlement , the police for law and order, the army for national security and all the other infrastructure needed for any business to operate. For all these and to provide an educated work force the government needs money.
If anything, we should have a competitive tax policy so that our businesses can compete in a global marketplace.
Banking transaction tax is a bad idea; it will encourage cash transactions and take us back in time. Every system will have a large population who need the helping hand of the government. We need to tax the super rich at much higher rates and use that money for uplifting the needy. Abolishing income is bad economics. Let’s not go down that path.
CR Arun

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