How India can realize its dream of Housing for everyone by 2022 ?

How India can realize its dream of Housing for everyone by 2022 ?

What is Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and how it is going to change the face of the nation?

 

If you notice,even with such a big nation like India, in the last 60-70 years not everyone has a house of their own. We’ve also been noticing from the past few years that every person wants to have his/her own house. However, it’s only after they spend time between the ages of 25-40 working a job or a business that they manage to think about buying their own house.

Today, the statistics of the country show that about 40-45% population of our country is earning a monthly income of about ₹10,000 – 25,000. So someone with an income of 10,000 – 25,000 cannot even think about buying their own house and those who have a higher income even if they buy a house, it takes them 20-25 years to make their house, so they cannot actually enjoy living in their property in their prime years.

 

So how do we solve that? How do we make sure that every citizen in the country has their own property? Considering that vision, our esteemed prime minister – I always say he has really good vision, he made a unique plan. The statistics of our country say that the requirement of a house is 96% for LIG & EWS which means smaller affordable housing. But in our country, whether it was a government agency or private builders, they would try to earn super normal profits and to do that they kept making such properties which were suitable for the super rich, who could buy them for their investments. The person who had 1 house s/he bought 2 more, 3 more and then sold them at a higher price. This way the person continued doing his/her business but the common man who earned about Rs 25,000 – 40,000 was left out and just kept wondering if they’d ever be able to afford a house of their own or not. So to fulfill that, this Yojna was made which made affordable housing possible.

 

So the government announced that by 2022, they aim at making about 3 crore properties in the country side (gramin shetra) and 2 crore houses in the cities. They wanted to make a total of 5 crore houses due to which every person, every household i.e., a person and his/her family should at least have a house of their own. That is why this Yojna was brought into action.

Why India’s Act East Policy can usher in a new era of Economic Growth

Why India’s Act East Policy can usher in a new era of Economic Growth

The link between a nations foreign policy and economic development is well known. With the advent of digital technologies the world has become increasingly interconnected and any change is nations foreign policy is quickly transmitted and impacts many key economic indicators like trade deficit, FDI flows and more. India’s Act East Policy has been a major focus of current government , it not only reflects the growing role of East Asia as a bloc in new economic order but is also very important for India from a trade standpoint. So the Act East policy is a reflection of internal circumstances and a rapidly fluid external environment. India has renamed its Look East policy to Act East Policy [AEP] which  is a glowing recognition that India’s economic agenda has now shifted eastwards to as high as 50% now. The core driver of this shift are nations like Japan, China, Bangladesh and the ASEAN block. ASEAN has a history of trading more with the rest of the worlds than within the region. ASEAN accounts for a combined population of 1.9 Billion which is close to 25% of global population and combined GDP is estimated to be close to US $ 4 Trillion. There are sub-regional initiatives like BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) within the ambit of AEP as well for example the electricity grid of Bangladesh Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan are now connected with India and they already have Power Purchase Agreements with India’s National Power Grid. Work has already started on 45 Km railway link between Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Chittagong in Bangladesh. Other than that there are major economic investments underway which have been summarized below

  1. Trilateral Highway Project

Trilateral Highway proposal aims to link India, Myanmar and Thailand and is part of an overarching multi sector economic initiative of (BIMSTEC), an international organization comprising of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bhutan. The project will boost economic relationship between India and ASEAN. This project will connect Moreh in Mainpur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. There will be 2 border crossings, four customer checkpoints and three customs Electronic Data Interchange systems which will usher in a new era of trade prosperity of India. According to many empirical studies the states in North East Region which would be part of this corridor will witness an increase of 35% over other states through which this corridor does not pass by 2040

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  1. BCIM Economic Corridor

This economic corridor has been proposed between Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) and will involve multi-modal connectivity to promote trade and investment. It would run between Kolkata (India) to Kunming (China) and pass through  Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to a study it can have a positive total trade effect spillover of 5671 Mn dollars.

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Source : Md. Tariqur Rahman and Muhammad Al Amin, “Prospects of Economic Cooperation in the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Region: A Quantitative Assessment,”

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There are countless other initiatives as well which are part of the India’s act east policy towards especially through Japan which have been India’s long standing counter to China. India is one of the largest beneficiary of Japanese official development assistance loans since 2003 and   has been one of the largest recipients of Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loans and has been an official partner of choice be it investments in India’s much fabled Bullet Train project, Japanese Auto clusters in India’s Gurgaon-Manesar-Neemrana Belt, DMIC corridor among others as well.

Conclusion

India’s Act-East policy today is one of the best strategized policy by Indian government. It is being largely on economic rationale to integrate India’s economy with rapidly expanding East Asian economies. It has expanded its focus to not only ASEAN but also to far east economies like Japan and South Korea. This will also help us counter the trade deficit India have with China which is a major trade concern. Incorporation of North East Region by establishing commerce and connectivity projects also have the potential to double GDP of these states in coming five years.

About the Author

Sunil Kumar Gupta is an entrepreneur par excellence, philanthropist and a great visionary. He is the Leader of Indo European Business Forum (IEBF) and also the Founder Chairman of SARC & Associates, Chartered Accountants and SARC Foundation and Life Trustee of Rashtriya Antyodaya Sangh, a Public Charitable Trust. He has over 32 years of experience in diverse fields such as Corporate planning, Financing, Taxation, Banking, Education, Investments, Oil & Gas and in project implementations. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Life Member of Indian Council of Arbitration and Full Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (CPA-U).

How REIT will be a game changer for Indian Real Estate Industry

How REIT will be a game changer for Indian Real Estate Industry

The concept of REIT which is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust has been there for nearly 60 years now REITs. REIT’s as an investment asset class came into being when President Eisenhower of USA enacted a law in 1960 that enabled all investors to invest in diversified large scale portfolios of real estate that produce income in form of rent and lease. The first REIT was launched in 1961 by American Realty Trust in 1961. In 2018, globally REIT’s had over 2 trillion US Dollars worth of assets under management. In budget of 2014, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has introduced a law for setting up REITs and in August 2014 India approved creation of Real Estate investment trust. Last month, Blackstone Group LP – Sponsored, Embassy Office Parks raised Rs 4750 cr through India’s first REIT IPO. The IPO was over subscribed 2.58 times. Investors in this REIT IPO were allotted units at a price of Rs 300. On its listing day the REIT IPO received a thumbs up from market when it touched a daily high of Rs 325 and closed at Rs 314, thus enabling IPO investors to earn a sizeable gain of 4.7% on issue price. With it India became another market having REIT offerings for individual investors.

  • Reduced Risk, Stable Returns and Diversification for Investors in Real Estate  

A new fund-raising avenue for the cash-strapped real estate sector in the country. Firstly it gives investors having investible corpus of only a few lacs to invest instead of conventional Real Estate where you were set back by huge amount. Secondly it also gives investors exposure to a pool of real estate thus giving them much needed diversification across properties and geographies. This reduces risk as end users are holder of units of securitized real estate pool.  According to the guidelines, REITs will have to invest in a minimum of two projects with 60% asset value in a single project. REIT will showcase the full valuation on a yearly basis and will also update it on a half-yearly basis. Thirdly it is managed by professional investment team so investment risk is further reduced. Last but not the least is friendly taxation structure. if a REIT unit will be by investor for a period of more than 3 years than long term capital gain will be applicable. If the periodic income is through dividends  then it be tax-free and if pay-out is in the form of interest then tax will be applicable as per the tax slab of unit holder. For Indians Real Estate have always been a preferred investment class as according to RBI study about 56 percent of Indian household savings have been concentrated in Real Estate but Indians have for long invested largely in Residential Real Estate which has lower rentals. Retail investors have stayed away from commercial real estate because of higher ticket size of investment and complexity associated with commercial property ownership. Colliers Research shows that Indian market is rife with great opportunities in terms of rental yields as evident from infograph shown below.

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Launch of first REIT will certainly be a game changer for Real Estate as it has potential to revive commercial real estate segment by introducing Retail investors to contribute sizeable inflows across this segment.

 

  • Much needed Liquidity Boost for  Real Estate Industry

The greatest benefit for Real Estate industry as a whole will be that of fast and easy liquidation of investments in the real estate market unlike the traditional way of disposing of real estate which is very opaque and fraught with risks of frauds, cheating and legal disputes emanating from property records. The assets under REIT corpus are rent bearing assets where an established name that has gone through due diligence from multiple bodies including SEBI, so property records will be transparent and it will boost Real Estate industry sentiment. India’s real estate has endured a lot in recent years. Despite the high credit growth environment and factors like Demonetisation , Global Recession and rapidly evolving GST structure, Real estate has held forth as a preferred asset class for Indians. This is a much welcomed move and will give real estate industry a much needed boost. Given the prevalent situation of funding crunch, launch of first REIT offering in India is very well-timed for real estate developers who want to unlock much needed capital to fund further  projects or to pare down their debt.It will also greatly reduce a great deal of pressure on the NPA saddled banking industry. It will ensure more liquidity for Banks to lend to end users and customers instead of relying on much riskier way of lending through Loan Against Property (LAP) and Lease Renting Discounting (LRD).

About the Author

Sunil Kumar Gupta is an entrepreneur par excellence, philanthropist and a great visionary. He is the Leader of Indo European Business Forum (IEBF) and also the Founder Chairman of SARC & Associates, Chartered Accountants and SARC Foundation and Life Trustee of Rashtriya Antyodaya Sangh, a Public Charitable Trust. He has over 32 years of experience in diverse fields such as Corporate planning, Financing, Taxation, Banking, Education, Investments, Oil & Gas and in project implementations. He is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Life Member of Indian Council of Arbitration and Full Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (CPA-U).

Remove flaws to make GST a gamechanger

Remove flaws to make GST a gamechanger

The Goods and Service Tax (GST) was successfully implemented across the nation on July 1, 2017 with a lot of fanfare. It is a buzz word in India these days spanning across trade circles, financial pundits, and investment gurus. GST is the biggest tax reform in India’s 70-year history as an independent nation. It has replaced a complex net of existing taxes, bringing uniform tax rates and rules and simplifying compliance for businesses. It is a single, unified tax which justifies the adage ‘One Nation-One Tax’ and will have a very positive impact on Indian economy.

Impact of GST on Indian Economy

GST will bring about a uniformity in process and centralised registration that will make starting a business and expanding in different states across the India much simpler.

GST will ensure that interstate movement becomes cheaper and is less time consuming, by eliminating small border taxes and resolving check post issues.

GST also introduces an optional scheme called the composition scheme, which empowers small businesses with turnover between Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 75 lakh to pay lower taxes.

In the near future, GST will enable financial inclusion in the economy.

Broader Tax Base and decrease in “Black” transactions.

Improved compliance and revenue collections

Automation of compliance procedures to reduce errors and increase efficiency.

GST will reduce tax evasion.

Cascading effect of tax on tax will be eliminated.

It will harmonise Central and State tax administrations

Make in India will get a huge boost as both tax and logistics cost will fall and lead to higher investments for the manufacturing industry.

Salient Features of GST

Destination-Based Consump-tion Tax: GST is a destination-based tax. This implies that all SGST collected will ordinarily accrue to the State where the consumer of the goods or services sold resides.

Dual GST: A dual GST with the Centre and States simultaneously levying it on a common tax base. The GST to be levied by the Centre on intra-State supply of goods and / or services would be called the Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States would be called the State GST (SGST).

Computation of GST on the basis of invoice credit method: The liability under the GST will be invoice credit method, i.e. cenvat credit will be allowed on the basis of invoice issued by the suppliers.

Payment of GST: The CGST and SGST are to be paid to the accounts of the central and states, respectively.

Input Tax Credit: Input Tax Credit available on taxes paid on all procurements (except few specified items).

Technology based Assistance: GSTN and GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) to provide technology based assistance.

The government is trying very hard to implement GST successfully for the benefit of the common man but there are certain oversights, loopholes, or shortcomings in entire gamut of GST implementation that become a hurdle in sectoral growth, synergised policy making and financial transparency, which the Modi government has been encouraging ever since it has come to power.

Even though simplified, GST still has certain complexities entwined in it. GST has an anti-profiteering provision empowering the Central Government to constitute, or appoint, an authority to monitor prices businesses charge for goods and services in the lead up to, and following the introduction of, the GST. This provision prevents entities from making excessive profits due to the GST.

But, there are no clear methods of assessing the GST benefits for purposes of passing it to the consumers. A GST anti-profiteering authority is also yet to be formed.

While, the reason behind such anti-profiteering measures is to protect the masses, the government should ensure that the entities will pass the tax savings from the seamless input credit to its consumers. For the successful implementation of GST and to attain its objective, the rules and methodology of anti-profiteering provisions need to be clearly stated.

In India, various developmental authorities/governmental authorities have been entrusted the function of urban planning. Urban planning is one of the functions enlisted in Article 243W and Schedule XII of the Constitution of India.

These authorities while discharging the function of urban planning, lease out the land for a period of 90 years or more for various planned uses like industrial, institutional, residential, commercial and mixed use.

The leasing of land for such a substantial period of time is akin to sale as per the provisions of Transfer of Immovable Property Act. As such the payment made for acquisition of land popularly termed as Land Premium, Salami, Cost of Land, is treated as capital payment which is subject to levies such as stamp duty, etc., on transfer.

IN the service tax era, there was no tax on such transactions as it was taken as similar to sale of land. But, while framing the GST provisions, it has not been considered that these transactions have been brought under the GST net. However, exemption has been provided for the Lease Premium/ Salami/cost of land received by the developmental authorities/governmental authorities for allotment of land for industrial purposes.

There is no logic why land being allotted for purposes other than industrial purposes has been kept out of exemption list, while in current scenario, almost all lands being allotted by development / governmental Authorities are on a lease of 90 years or more

Land has always been kept out of the meaning of goods and service, but by taxing the Lease Premium/ Salami/cost of land, the basic concept of levy of GST has been missed.

Under the GST, where Central and State-level taxes have been merged and a provision has been put that any manufacturer with a turnover of Rs. 20 lakh (Others)/10 lakh (Special Category States) or more has to comply with GST norms related to excise duty, which earlier were exempt up to turnover less than Rs. 1.5 crore will serve as a dampener for many MSMEs. For an MSME, a lot of self-effort is utilised is staying in business by running business in a most cost effective way. Now, they will have to spend resources – time, money, and manpower – on fulfilling the GST obligations.

This can have negative impact on compliance for GST.

GST implementation has a high compliance cost to MSMEs. The single window tax regime intended to simplify processes under GST is facing many challenges in its interpretation and implementation. To reduce the GST compliance burden on MSMEs, the Government has to provide all GST compliance utilities on the GST portal. So that MSMEs can accomplish all the compliances without any hassle and any professional support.

In conclusion, I would like to state that GST is a welcome change for the Indian economy. It is bound to reap fruits of profit for India in the long term. However, while drafting the GST bill and categorising the items, there have been multiple oversights which will have adverse to negative impact on the common man of India, certain sectors and the economy at large. The government and the GST Council have not closed their doors for suggestions or observations. They have promised the country to revisit the rules and rates periodically till all the dust settles down. We need to be patient and let the financial experts do their work, however, if we need to share anything then we should be duty bound to bring it to their notice. I am very sure that with time GST will become the strongest backbone of the economy and will help Indian economy to walk miles into bliss.

The writer is an author, economist and philanthropist. He can be contacted at www.sunilkummargupta.com

Top Accounting Technology trends you need to know

Top Accounting Technology trends you need to know

Technology has really shaped up the mindset of professionals from all walks of life and its utilization has given a holistic understanding in order to pester the needs of working professionals. Now this revolutionary change applies to people in accounting industry as well.

We are in an era where without the use of technology, we can easily be ostracized and this cobwebbed situation especially in our working atmosphere can pull us out of business. Even if you’re an aspiring accountant or you’ve been a CPA for decades, you may not think much of your preferred accounting system. If you are dedicated in the field of accounting or currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then it is important that you must be up to date on the kind of technology being used in your professional workspace.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important accounting technologies that can help accountants to approach their workspace through an effective and efficient lens:

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing plays pivotal role as one of the efficient technologies within the accounting sector. According to Forbes, worldwide spending on cloud services will grow radically.

This paradigm shift for professionals following traditional accounting pattern has given them a technology that is used for storage and accessibility of data online rather than on your hard drive.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is the distribution and decentralization of database technology. It can protect encrypted data and sustain an expanding list of transaction between all parties of those transaction.

This accounting technology will assist many financial advisors in Delhi to bring a qualitative change in the financial industry.

Automated accounting

This type of technology eases human effort and does most of the job for you. Automated is an efficient tech that will make virtual controllers of automated accounting high in demand.

This lucrative technology will be able to redefine the role of an accountant and bring quantifiable results for the same.

Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character recognition is a new technology in the market that electrically converts images and handwritten texts or printed text into machine encoded text.

OCR is finding an elbow room in automated, cloud based applications. These technological trends create a powerhouse for business experts within the accounting software

All About GSTR-1

All About GSTR-1

GSTR-1: Every supplier needs to file a monthly or quarterly return. This return is called GSTR-1. All the details regarding the outward supplies are contained in GSTR-1. Hence, this return becomes the basis upon which the whole compliance structure in GST would be primarily based.

Due Date for filing GSTR-1

Quarterly returns are required to be filed by taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs. 1.5 crores.

Period (quarterly) Due dates
July – Sept, 2017 Jan 10, 2018
Oct – Dec, 2017 Feb 15, 2018
Jan – Mar, 2018 April 30, 2018
April – June, 2018 July 31, 2018

Monthly returns are required to be filed by taxpayers whose turnover is above Rs. 1.5 crores.

Period (monthly) Due dates
July – Nov, 2017 Jan 10, 2018
Dec, 2017 Feb 10, 2018
Jan, 2018 March 10, 2018
Feb, 2018 April 10, 2018
March, 2018 May 10, 2018
April, 2018 May 31, 2018
May, 2018 and onwards 10th of  Next Month

GSTR-1 Should Be Filed By?

Every registered person needs to file GSTR-1 irrespective of the fact that there are any transactions in the reporting period or not.

The below mentioned Taxpayers are exempt from filing of GSTR-1:

  • Dealers opting Composition Scheme
  • Input Service Distributors
  • Suppliers of online information and database access or retrieval services (OIDAR), who need to pay tax by themselves
  • Taxpayer liable to collect TCS
  • Taxpayer liable to deduct TDS
  • Non-resident taxable person

Can GSTR-1 Be Revised?

Once you file GSTR-1, it cannot be revised. However, in case of any changes, the same can be provided for in the next return by giving the details of revised Invoices, Debit Notes or Credit Notes.