Taxation
No tax on food items, contraceptives; mobile phone levy at 12% under GST
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council deciding the tax rate on 1,211 goods on Thursday, there is cheer for the common man as 81 per cent of the goods are below 18 per cent, though people will have to shell out more even for small segment cars with additional cess levied on them.
 
Milk, eggs, salt, fresh vegetables, fruits, contraceptives, organic manure, earthen pots, coconut, prasadam supplied by religious places like temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras and dargahs have been exempted under GST.
 
Live animals, fruit juices and meat will call for a 12 per cent tax while fish has been put in the 5 per cent tax rate.
 
Butter and cheese have been placed under the 12 per cent tax rate and condensed milk under 18 per cent. 
 
Beverages such as coffee (not instant), tea and groundnut, coal, hand pumps will attract 5 per cent tax under GST.
 
While jaggery is exempt under GST, cane sugar and beet sugar are in the 5 per cent tax slab. Bio gas plant, wind mills and kerosene lantern will also be under the 5 per cent tax rate.
 
Mobile phones, fountain pen ink, tooth powder, incense sticks, feeding bottles, Braille paper, children's colouring books, umbrellas, pencil sharpeners, tractors, bicycles, contact lenses, spectacle lenses, utensils, sports goods, fishing rods, combs, pencils and hand paintings have been placed under the 12 per cent tax rate under GST.
 
Bindi, vermilion, glass bangles, handlooms, hearing aids and handmade musical instruments have also been exempt under GST. A total of 7 per cent of items have been kept zero rated.
 
The goods which will fall under 18 per cent tax rate include helmets, LPG stoves, nuclear reactors, clocks, military weapons, electronic toys and plastic buttons.
 
The items which have been put in the highest tax slab of 28 per cent include aerated drinks, perfumes, after-shave lotions, deodarants, clothing of furskin, razor blades, cars, revolvers, pistols, 
 
More than 200 products appear in the 28 per cent tax slab. 
 
"Ideally, few products should have been put in 28 per cent bracket and 18 per cent should have been a miscellaneous schedule (to cover all balance products). The temptation of putting more products under 28 per cent bracket will certainly complicate the Indian GST structure," GST expert Pritam Mahure told IANS.
 
Compensation cess: 55 products will attract compensation cess. 
 
The cess on small cars ranges from 1-3 per cent, 3 per cent on motorcycles with 350 cc engine, personal aircraft and yachts while mid-segment and large cars will attract a cess of 15 per cent. 
 
All goods, other than pan masala containing tobacco 'gutka' will have to bear a cess of 89 per cent while tobacco and tobacco products will call for a cess in the range of 12.5-290 per cent. Cess of 5 per cent has been levied on cigarettes and 60 per cent on pan masala. Aerated drinks will attract a cess of 12 per cent.
 
Mahure says that it is expected that a few classification disputes may continue like whether groundnut chikki should be classified as 'sweetmeat' attracting 5 per cent GST rate or sugar confectionery attracting 18 per cent GST rate. 
 
Now, the manufacturers/traders will have to quantify the impact of the GST rates on their product prices and update their tax masters/registers with these rates. This is a complex exercise for traders who are not very conversant with tariff codes and classification, he added.
 
The rate structure for the remaining goods -- bidi wrapper leaves, biscuits, bidis, textiles, footwear, natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, imitation jewellery, power driven agricultural, horticultural, forestry, poultry keeping or bee-keeping machinery and harvesting machinery is expected to be decided on Friday in the GST Council's meeting on the second day in Srinagar.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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ED registers money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday registered a money laundering case against Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, on the basis of a corruption case filed by the CBI earlier this week, officials said.
 
"We have registered a case against Karti Chidambaram under charges of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," an ED official told IANS.
 
The ED action comes in the wake of the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday under offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, taking gratification by corrupt or illegal means, influencing public servants and criminal misconduct. 
 
In the FIR Karti is alleged to have got Rs 3.5 crore from INX media, now 9X media, for helping it in the clearance of a Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) proposal when his father was Finance Minister. 
 
The FIPB clearance was given to Mumbai-based INX Media when it was run by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea, both accused in Sheena Bora murder case. 
 
The FIR does not mention the name of former Minister Chidambaram, though it states that he had cleared the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval for Rs 4.62 crore Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the FIPB meeting on May 18, 2007.
 
Karti left for London two days after the CBI registered a case against him. His father has said he will return soon. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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We're No. 1! No, We're No. 1!
Are networks being upfront about their upfront week ads?
 
TruthInAdvertising.org
Like it or not, we are living in a ratings-obsessed world. And nowhere was that more evident on Monday than in the business section of The New York Times, where two major networks competed in a marketing game of numbers soup. 
 
There, both NBC and CBS laid claim to having the No. 1 drama and No. 1 broadcast news program, among other top shows, in full-page print ads that were separated by only three turns of the paper. Here’s how the one-upmanship looked side by side.
 
Alex Weprin, a senior editor at Politico, made the initial discovery, congratulating both networks in a tweet that garnered some equally sarcastic responses.
 
 
All joking aside, who’s really No. 1? TINA.org asked both networks why they are the top dog and the other is the runt of the litter. A CBS spokesman said it depends who’s watching. Across viewers of all ages, CBS gets the most eyeballs, he said. But among adults 18-49, NBC has the advantage.
 
Take the No. 1 drama claim. Last year, 5 million more people tuned in to watch “NCIS” than “This Is Us.” But two million more adults in the 18-49 age bracket turned on “This Is Us” than “NCIS.” In other words, there are a lot of people in their 50s and older watching “NCIS,” unless the show has really caught fire among teens, which is doubtful.
 
An NBC spokeswoman confirmed that the network’s No. 1 ratings relate to the 18-49 demographic, which in the ad is disclosed in loads of the fine print as “(A18-49).”
 
In regard to the simultaneous running of the ads, both networks said it’s upfront week, when broadcasters present their lineups to advertisers. In fact, the ads are more for advertisers than consumers, the NBC spokeswoman said.
 
However you look at it, the real winner here may be The New York Times, which was able to generate revenue from two competing networks on the same day.
 
Find more of our coverage on TV here.
 

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