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Sensex sheds 220 points amid profit booking; midcap, smallcap stocks hit

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Mumbai, May 28 (IANS) Indian equity benchmarks closed in the red on Tuesday as investors took to profit booking before the Lok Sabha election results to be announced next week.

The Sensex was down 220 points or 0.29 per cent at 75,170, while the Nifty shed 44 points or 0.19 per cent to close at 22,888 on Tuesday.

The midcap and smallcap stocks were the worst hit, as the Nifty midcap 100 index closed at 52,294, down 466 points or 0.89 per cent, while the Nifty smallcap 100 index was down 144 points or 0.85 per cent, at 16,875.

The India volatility index (VIX) was down 4.31 per cent at 24.19.

Sector-wise, auto, IT, PSU bank, metal, realty, and energy stocks were the major losers, while pharma and media shares were the major gainers.

Nineteen out of the 30 Sensex stocks closed in the red on Tuesday.

Power Grid, Tech Mahindra, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, and Reliance were the top losers, while Asian Paints, Wipro, HUL, JSW Steel, Bajaj Finserv, and M&M were the top gainers on Tuesday.

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Vaibhav Vidwani, Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd, said that investors are opting for a cautious approach before the exit polls on Saturday, which can give an idea of the possible election results.

“Expectations of a budget in July, which will support the order books of defence, infra, railway, and sectors which will benefit from the budget, have already given movement in near terms,” he added.

–IANS

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Over $122 million embezzled by financial firms' workers over past 6 years in South Korea: Data

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Seoul, June 23 (IANS) Nearly 170 employees of banks and other financial firms embezzled around 180 billion won combined ($122.21 million) over the past six years in South Korea, but less than 10 per cent has been retrieved, data showed on Sunday.

According to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), a total of 168 officials from the country’s financial firms pocketed 178.92 billion won combined from 2018-2023.

The amount of stolen money came to 5.67 billion won in 2018 but surged to 15.69 billion won in 2021 and 82.76 billion won in 2022 before falling slightly to 64.26 billion won last year, reports Yonhap news agency.

But a mere 9.8 per cent, or 17.45 billion won of the total, has been redeemed, indicating that their embezzlement has caused damage to corporate profits and ultimately to customers.

In 2022, the FSS announced a set of measures to strengthen internal control, but critics have said that they are far from enough to prevent such cases.

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This year alone, 11 officials have been caught for pocketing 1.51 billion won combined, and 6.7 per cent of the amount has been retrieved, the data showed.

There have been renewed calls for stronger rules and supervision after a Woori Bank employee in his 30s was arrested earlier this month on charges of embezzling around 10 billion won by forging corporate documents.

The FSS is considering the introduction of a new law that holds CEOs of financial firms accountable for such embezzlement and similar crimes by their officials.

–IANS

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GST Council waives interest, penalty on notices to taxpayers under Section 73

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) As part of several taxpayer-friendly decisions, the GST Council on Saturday recommended the waiving of interest and penalty in cases of tax demand notices that have been sent under Section 73, of the GST Act, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after the meeting.

“In the case of demand notices issued for 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, interest and penalty will be waived off, if tax is paid by March 31, 2025,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The GST Council has also recommended that the time limit to avail input tax credit in respect of any invoice or debit note under section 16(4) of the CGST Act filed up to the 30-11-2021 for the financial years 17-18, 18-19, 19-20 and 20-21 may be deemed to be 2011 to 2021.

So for the same requisite amendment retrospectively with effect from 1 July 2017, the Finance Minister said.

In order to reduce tax litigation which is expected to benefit both taxpayers and the government, the GST council recommended a minimum limit for filing appeals of Rs 20 lakh for the appellate tribunal, Rs 1 crore for the High Court and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court.

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In another taxpayer-friendly measure, the GST Council has decided to introduce Form GSTR 1A to enable taxpayers to add information they have missed when filing Form GSTR 1.

The new form can also be used to correct mistakes that they have made while filing their particulars in form GSTR 1.

–IANS

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Govt rolling out pan-India biometric authentication to prevent GST fraud

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council at its 53rd meeting on Saturday decided to roll out pan-India Aadhaar-based biometric authentication to check fake invoicing used to fraudulently claim input tax credit (ITC) by unscrupulous elements, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Two pilot projects for biometric authentication have already been carried out successfully and now the facility will be rolled out nationwide in a phased manner, the Finance Minister said at a press conference.

To facilitate GST registration, Aadhaar biometric authentication will become mandatory for new registrations across the country, she added.

“This will help us to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices,” FM Sitharaman said.

FM Sitharaman also said that a Group of Ministers (GoM) for reationalising GST rates has been set up, which will submit a status report in the next meeting.

Bihar Deputy CM Samrat Choudhary will chair the GoM.

FM Sitharaman said that while a lot of decisions were taken at Saturday’s meeting, not all GST issues could be included in the agenda.

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The GST Council will meet again after the Budget Session of Parliament is over to take up these issues.

The meeting is likely to be held in mid-August, she added.

–IANS

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GST Council okays uniform 12 per cent GST on milk cans, cartons, water sprinklers

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The GST Council meeting held on Saturday recommended a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all milk cans whether they be made of steel, iron, or aluminum, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Milk cans will be governed by a standard measurement and not by the material they are made of, in order to avoid ambiguity, the Finance Minister said.

They are called milk cans but wherever they are used, that will be the rate applicable so that no disputes arise out of it, she added.

The council also recommended a uniform GST rate of 12 per cent on all carton boxes and cases of both corrugated and non-corrugated paper or paper board.

This will in particular help the apple growers of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

A uniform 12 per cent GST has also been recommended on all types of water sprinklers including fire water sprinklers, she added.

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–IANS

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Railway services, students' hostels exempted from GST

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) The GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday decided to exempt services provided by Indian Railways from GST.

Addressing the media after the council meeting, the Finance Minister said the purchase of railway tickets and payments for waiting room and cloak room charges have been exempted from GST.

Similarly, no GST will be levied on services provided like battery-operated vehicles and intra-railway services.

The Council has also decided to exempt GST on charges for hostels for students that are located outside educational institutions.

The exemption will be extended to hostels run by communities as well.

However, the condition will be that the upper limit of charges will be Rs 20,000 per person per month and the student must have stayed in the hostel for a continuous period of 90 days.

The condition has been introduced to prevent hotels from taking advantage of the exemption, she added.

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The Finance Minister clarified that hostels located within education institutions are already exempt from GST.

–IANS

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