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Indian shipbuilding industry to touch 9,200 cr. value in 3 years

THE country’s shipbuilding and repairs industry, currently valued at just over Rs 7,310 crore, is likely to jump to Rs 9,200 crore by 2015, said Assocham in a recent report. It stated that the sector would grow on account of the robust demand in the domestic market, complemented by adequate availability of a skilled workforce.

"Lower costs of labour, availability of skilled workforce together with robust demand in the domestic market and a growing steel industry are certain factors that build up a strong case for the sector in India," it said.

Further, it informed that at about Rs 7.3 lakh crore, the country accounted for a meagre 1 per cent of the global shipbuilding industry.

Source : Exim News Service - New Delhi, April 17


Govt awards 3 PPP projects worth ` 8,000 cr. in port sector

With the aim of fast-tracking capacity addition in the port sector, the government has reportedly awarded three major projects in the public-private partnership (PPP) model, valued at around Rs 8,000 crore.

An official statement apprised that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) gave the nod after a recent review meeting. The investments, which are to be made in JNP, Kandla and Visakhapatnam, are expected to boost capacity by an additional 79 million tonnes a year.

The statement pointed out that securing clearances from various Ministries such as Home, Defence and Environment was one of the major hurdles in moving ahead in the past. However, all projects got clearances in the last three months, thanks to the close monitoring and follow-up by the PMO, it said, adding that the government was also putting new processes in place to help expedite security clearances in future.

While apprising that the government was moving ahead with many other PPP projects at full speed, the statement expressed confidence of awarding most of them within the first half of the current fiscal, including some within the next two months.

While bringing to light that a Planning Commission committee was exploring the requirement of funds for dredging, the statement added that the same panel was in the process of drawing up a plan to improve the draught at ports, to help accommodate larger vessels.

Source : Exim News Service - NEW DELHI, April 17

Service tax net set to widen as negative list kicks in

Date: 13-Feb-2012

Subject: Service tax net set to widen as negative list kicks in

India is about to witness a transformation in its approximately two decade-old service tax regime hailed as a step towards the GST rollout and with the in-principle approval of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, the Negative List of services is set to make a debut this year.

The current service tax regime covers within its scope specified categories of services on which service tax is levied. This move epitomises alignment to the global practices of taxing services. The scope of the negative list for taxation of services encompasses a wide variety of transactions, hitherto untaxed either being not classified under a specific category or being exempt by virtue of a notification.

In this era of technological developments and innovative ways of conducting several businesses, there always seem to be a challenge to cover new services in the scope of notified taxable services. Until and unless the business idea gets large and the tax potential from the same reaches significance that warrants an inclusion, the services remain outside the tax purview.While the concept paper issued in this regard provides a flavor of the proposed legislation, the wider implications seem to be still open to interpretation and speculation. This is in view of the fact that the successful implementation of the negative list of services does not depend merely on notifying the negative list but needs a complete changeover in the legislative and administrative provisions. The notification of the negative list needs to be accompanied by the changes in exemptions, CENVAT credit, abatement scheme, point of taxation, return forms amongst others. The role of the Government in successful implementation of negative list does not end with obtaining the assent of state finance ministers, which is only a step towards transforming the face of the taxation of services in this country.

The current service tax regime is characterised by soaring litigations arising from interpretation issues in levy of service tax and procedural hassles.The concept of negative list is expected to bring down complexities and lay down a more lucid and hassle-free legislation. However, it would be too early at this stage to comment on the forthcoming legislation based on revised concept paper which may have its own set of challenges including the interpretation of what constitutes a "supply of service" and common activities constituting sale and services etc.

Also the objective of seamless credit mechanism can be achieved only if the CENVAT mechanism under the negative list of taxation of services undergoes suitable changes with limited restrictions on availability.In order to achieve the desired objective and benefits of negative list, it will be critically important for the legislation to lend the necessary clarity by way of incorporation of corresponding amendments to the existing provisions.

Source: hindustantimes.com

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