Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to Leave for Six Day Official Visit to Uk and Switzerland on Sunday, 17 Th January, 2016;

Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley to Leave for Six Day Official Visit to Uk and Switzerland on Sunday, 17 Th January, 2016; to Address Various Investors’ Meet Inviting Them to Invest in India; Participate in India-Uk Economic and Financial Dialogue Among Others 
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley will leave tomorrow i.e. Sunday, 17th January, 2016 for London for two day official visit to UK followed by four day official visit to Zurich, Switzerland.

During his official visit to UK, the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley will meet his UK counterpart and Secretary of Exchequer Mr. George Osborne on Monday, 18th January, 2016. He will also participate in three different Investors’ Meet organized by Goldman Sachs, Mastercard and CII & Kotak Mahindra among others. During his interaction with International Investors, the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley will apprise the investors, UK based in particular, about the investment opportunities in different sectors in India including infrastructure, manufacturing, services and through National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) among others. The present Government has taken various initiatives in the last one and half year making India an attractive destination for investment. These initiatives have resulted in making the Indian economy more transparent, stable and reliable. Now policy decisions have become faster and predictable. Other major initiatives include various tax rationalisation and simplification measures and opening-up of different sectors of the economy for FDI among others. Shri Jaitley will invite them to make best use of the opportunity and invest in India.

Next day i.e. Tuesday,19th January, 2016, the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley will participate in India-UK Bilateral Meet and Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD). In the evening, he will leave for Zurich, Switzerland.

During his stay in Zurich, the Finance Minister will participate in various World Economic Forum (WEF) programmes and meetings. He is leading a large Indian delegation mainly consisting of Captains of Indian Trade and Industry who in turn will also meet their counterparts from different participating countries to explore the possibilities of trade and investment among others. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley would also address a Seminar jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and BCG on the topic of “India-Next Growth Engine of Financial Inclusion and Financial Governance”. The Finance Minister will also hold meetings with his counterparts from other participating countries on the sidelines of WEF Meetings and would discuss among others the world economic situation and India’s economic preparedness to meet any future challenges.

After completing his six day official visit to UK and Switzerland, the Finance Minister will return to the National Capital on 24th January, 2016. 
CBDT: Initiatives for Reducing Litigation 
Reducing litigation with the taxpayers has been a key focus area for the Income Tax Department. Several initiatives have been taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the last three months up to December 2015 to significantly reduce disputes and provide relief to taxpayers facing long standing litigation.
The significant steps taken by CBDT include issue of a Circular revising the monetary limits for filing of appeals by the Department with the objective of reducing litigation as a part of its initiatives to reduce grievances of the taxpayers. CBDT has also directed Principal Chief Commissioners to constitute a collegium of Chief Commissioners of Income Tax to consider withdrawal of appeals filed by the Department in cases involving tax effect above the revised monetary limit from the High Courts in cases where, no question of law is involved, the issue is considered settled by the Department, or the appeal is no longer relevant in view of subsequent amendment.
Besides this, the CBDT has issued a number of Circulars for withdrawing or not pressing of appeals on settled issues relating to the subjects listed below:

·         Non applicability of Rule 9A of the Income-tax Rules 1962 in case of abandoned feature films.
·         Measurement of the distance for the purpose of section 2(14)(iii)(b) of the Income-tax Act for the period prior to assessment year 2014-15.
·         Interest from non-statutory liquidity ratio (non-SLR) securities.
·         Allowability of employer’s contribution to funds for welfare of employees in terms of section 43(b) of the Income-tax Act.
·         TDS under section 194Aof the Act on interest on fixed deposit made on the directions of the courts.
·         Recording of satisfaction note under section 158BD/153C of the Income-tax Act.
·         Non levy of penalty u/s 271(1) (c) wherein additions/disallowances were made under normal provisions of Income-tax Act 1961 but tax was levied under MAT provisions under section 115JB/115JC, for cases prior to A.Y. 2016-17.

The relevant Circulars are available on the website of the Department .
Issue of IT Refunds of Smaller Amounts 
In an initiative to reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance the taxpayer satisfaction, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to Central Processing Center (CPC), Bengaluru and the field officers in December, 2015 to issue refunds of amounts less than Rs.50,000/- expeditiously.
As a result of the special drive to issue smaller refunds, 18,28,627 refunds below Rs.50,000/- involving a sum of Rs.1,793 crore have been issued between        1st December, 2015 and 10th January, 2016. These refunds relate to Assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16.
In order to further expedite the process of issue of small refunds, CBDT has also directed CPC-Bengaluru and the field units that refunds up to Rs.5,000/-, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs.5,000/- may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears. Office Memorandum F. No. 312/109/2015-OT dated 14th January 2016, conveying these directions of CBDT is available on the website of the Department

Government committed to Promoting and Strengthening inclusive and sustainable Development by ensuring proper and effective Utilization of Funds without compromising Fiscal Consolidation 
Government is committed to promoting and strengthening inclusive and sustainable development by ensuring proper and effective utilization of funds provided in the Annual Budget without compromising fiscal consolidation. As a result of sound prudent policies formulated during 2015-16, the fiscal deficit at the end of November 2015 is Rs. 4.83 lakh crores or 87% of the Budget Estimate for this fiscal. The fiscal deficit i.e. the gap between expenditure and revenue, for the entire current fiscal year has been pegged at Rs 5.55 lakh crore (3.9% of GDP).

The present fiscal situation is an improvement over the previous year when the fiscal deficit was then 98.9% of Budget Estimates 2014-15. In absolute terms, there is a decrease of Rs. 41, 611 crore over November 2014 figure.

Similarly, the Effective Revenue Deficit (revenue deficit net of grants for creation of capital assets) which is Rs.2,64,404 crores in November 2015 has shown a significant decrease of 20 % (Rs. 65,087 crores) over November 2014.

As regards expenditure, against the Budget Estimates of Rs. 1,35,257 crores for Plan Expenditure for creation of Capital assets, the Government of India has already incurred Rs. 97,788 crores (72% of BE) as compared to Rs. 62,146 crores (51% of BE) in the corresponding period of last year. Total expenditure also increased from 60% of BE in November, 2014 to 64% in November, 2015. 

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