The Ministry of Finance ruled out the possibility of refusing a loan to an agricultural producer. In response to an inquiry on the matter in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Qarad said: “There are no proposals to abandon agricultural loans under consideration by the Union government.”
Using NABARD data, he said that as of March 31, 2021, the amount owed by more than Rs 13.85 was over Rs 16.80.
No official appraisal for black money
When asked about black money during a question and answer session in the House of Representatives, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written response that there was no official estimate of the amount of black money held in a Swiss bank over the past 10 years. He informed the House of Representatives that as of May 31, 2021, valuation orders under the 2015 Black Money Act had been issued in 166 cases, in which the requirement of Rs 8,216 was increased.
He also said that undisclosed income of Rs 8,465 crores (approximately) was levied against tax and a fine of Rs 1,294 was imposed in the HSBC cases. An undisclosed income of Rs 11,010 (approximately) was found in the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) cases. In the Panama Papers Leaks cases, undisclosed loans amounting to RR20,078 crore (approximately) were found. According to him, in the Paradise Papers Leaks cases, undisclosed loans amounting to Rs 246 crores (approximately) were found.
When asked about cyber risks, Karad said that according to information received and monitored by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), there were 454, 472, 280 and 138 phishing incidents recorded during 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. (until June), respectively. In addition, the number of financial fraud incidents affecting ATMs (ATMs), cards, point of sale systems (PoS) and unified payment interface (UPI) were reported as six, four, four and four during 2018, 2019. , 2020 and 2021 (through June) respectively, he said.
In a written response to the question marked with an asterisk, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Lok Sabha that, according to the HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) classification handbook for Covid-19 medical materials, prepared jointly by the World Customs Organization and the World Health Organization, hand sanitizers … have been classified under the HS subtitle “3808 94”, describing it as a liquid or gel commonly used to reduce the number of infectious agents on the hands. … Therefore, hand sanitizers worldwide are classified under this subheading as “disinfectants”. HSN, used all over the world, is the basis for the classification of goods in GST and customs (for international trade).
She acknowledged statements she received from industry bodies that hand sanitizer was viewed as a “cure” and that the GST rate had been cut from 18 percent. “The GST did not recommend any changes to the existing classification based on the worldwide HSN system,” she said. However, for a short period (June 14 – September 30), the goods and services tax rate for hand sanitizers was reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent.