Pay penalty if I-T returns not filed already, no more extensions now

Agencies
January 12, 2021

Mumbai, Jan 12: The Central Board of Direct Taxes dashed hopes of all taxpayers waiting for further extension of due dates for filing tax returns rejecting all representation in this regard, citing that the process cannot be delayed 'indefinitely' and hamper the functioning of the tax department and welfare programmes of the government.

The decision means that individual taxpayers who have missed the January 10 deadline for filing returns may now have to pay a penalty to complete the process. Similarly, taxpayers who need to file audit report before filing returns will have to do so by January 15 and file their returns by February 15.

The income tax department had received several representations to further extend dates for filing returns as disruptions caused pandemic had continued to create problems for various taxpayers. The suggestion was to extend dates for all categories of taxpayers to March 31.

In its office order directing all tax formation across the country to see the due dates for tax payment is followed as no further extensions were due, the CBDT cited that the contentions of lesser number of audit reports filed this year and thereby extension was required, as completely baseless. It said that even in previous years audit reports were filed in the last few days before the deadline and similar trends were seen even in 2020-21.

The board also cited that India has been more generous compared to other global economies, particularly, Covid hit the US and UK, in providing relief to its taxpayers on compliance issues.

Moreover, the statistics of returns filed this year clearly shows that the numbers are higher than last year already. In 2019-20, about 5.62 crore income tax returns were filed till due date and this year (2020-21) already 5.95 ITRs have been filed (up to January 10).

Any further extension would adversely affect the return filing discipline and shall cause injustice to those who have taken pains to file the return before the due date, CBDT said in its order.

It will also hamper the government's efforts to provide relief to the poor during Covid times, the office order said.

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Agencies
January 18,2021

COVID-19 Vaccination in India Today LIVE Updates: 'A Day of Tremendous  Relief': Harsh Vardhan on COVID Vaccine Drive

New Delhi, Jan 18: India’s Covid-19 vaccination hasn't got off to a smooth start, with the numbers after two days remaining low due to a combination of factors ranging from technical glitches in the Co-WIN software to a certain degree of vaccine hesitancy among recipients.

On Sunday, more than 17,000 people received the vaccine at 553 sites in six states — four of them in south India. The maximum number of sessions were held in Andhra Pradesh (308) followed by Tamil Nadu (165), Karnataka (64) and Kerala (1). The other two states are Arunachal Pradesh (14) and Manipur (1).

Going by the government’s plan of doing 100 vaccinations at each session site, nearly 55,300 persons should have been vaccinated on Sunday. Instead, only 17,072 individuals got the shots – a shortfall of 69%. Similarly the deficiency on day one was 38% as 2,07,229 persons received the jab instead of 3,35,200.

“Vaccination is not mandatory. While a state may schedule 100 vaccinations on a site it may end up vaccinating either 100 or only 10 at that site,” a spokesperson from the Union Health Ministry told DH on Sunday.

A senior health ministry official said states had been advised to do the Covid-19 vaccinations four days in a week to ensure that the routine immunisation services are not disturbed.

Andhra Pradesh is the only state that decided to carry out the vaccination drive six days in a week because of a dedicated cadre, whereas most of the states stuck to the four-day schedule. Some smaller states and, surprisingly, Uttar Pradesh will undertake the drive only twice a week.

"These are early days. The technical glitches of Co-WIN and coordination mechanism need to be fine-tuned to enhance the capacity,” Giridhar Babu, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, observed.

Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Health Ministry, said that in the first two days 447 adverse events (AEFI or adverse event following immunisation) were reported but only three required hospital stay.

Two persons, who were admitted at Northern Railway hospital in Delhi and All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, have been discharged while a third person is under observation at AIIMS, Rishikesh, and is doing fine.

On Saturday, Agnani admitted reports of technical glitches in Co-WIN software, but claimed that the issues had been resolved. However, the vaccination programme has been put on hold due to Co-WIN glitches in Mumbai while several sites across the country, including the National Capital Region, and places in Maharashtra also experienced technical issues with the software.

People's cautious approach are also contributing towards vaccine hesitancy. “There are apprehensions among the healthcare professionals and many are following a wait and watch approach,” said Oommen John, a senior public health researcher from the George Institute for Global Health, Delhi.

This view was echoed by B L Sherwal, medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi.

"There is a little bit of apprehension (about the vaccine). Also, people in India adopt a 'wait and watch' approach in important matters, be it purchasing a new car or an appliance. There is a need for creating more awareness and building confidence among people," said Sherwal.

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News Network
January 19,2021

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The resentment over the expansion of the B S Yediyurappa Ministry in Karnataka refused to die down with a couple of ruling BJP MLAs on Tuesday demanding that the cabinet be reconstituted to make way for new faces. 

Six-time MLA from Chitradurga G H Thippareddy and Shivanagouda Naik, representing Devadurga constituency, pitched for a new look to the cabinet. They made the demand even as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is yet to allocate portfolios to seven Ministers who were inducted on January 13.

 The much-awaited expansion had led to resentment with several BJP MLAs expressing reservations over MLCs not elected by people being made Ministers, lack of representation to many regions and seniority not being considered. 

Yediyurappa had earlier asked sulking BJP leaders to take up the matter with the national leadership and urged them to refrain from making any remarks affecting the party. 

"Three times when our party came to power, the same people have become Ministers. Looking at the performance of some people (Ministers) and the way they have handled the portfolios, let cabinet be reconstituted and new people are given a chance," Thippareddy told reporters here on Tuesday. 

Giving a chance to new people, who through their work will bring a good name to the party and the government, the BJP leadership's target of winning 150 seats in the next assembly elections could be achieved, he said. 

Naik claimed several MLAs from across the state were of the view that all current ministers should be dropped and they be used for party work so that it comes back to power in 2023 elections. Representation should be given to all the districts and considering the MLAs’ loyalty to the party and seniority, he added. 

Meanwhile Chief Minister's political secretary M P Renukacharya, MLA, who is upset about missing a ministerial berth, is in Delhi for the second time to meet the party central leadership. He had last week met BJP General Secretary in-charge of the state Arun Singh in the national capital. Speaking to reporters, Renukacharya said he had come to Delhi on a call from a central leader, but did not reveal whom he met and what was discussed. 

"I don't want to reveal any thing, it's my duty to maintain secrecy. I have held discussions, but have not come here to complain about someone...." he added. Ending a long wait, Yediyurappa had expanded his 17- month old cabinet on January 13, inducting seven ministers and dropped Excise Minister H Nagesh from the ministry. 

Amid talks of reallocation of departments, how Yediyurappa manages the exercise would be keenly watched as several Ministers, including the new inductees, are looking for plum portfolios. While a few Ministers have two portfolios, as many as 11 departments, including Bengaluru Development and Energy, are with the chief minister in addition to Finance.

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News Network
January 20,2021

After four tumultuous years in the office, Donald Trump's tenure as the President of the United States is finally coming to an end. It won't be a travesty to describe his four years in the White House as extremely eventful, as Trump never failed to dish out controversial quotes.

He constantly made headlines with his quotes and remarks on various issues. Many supported him, several others criticised him, and some were just bemused and accepted them as jokes. But none could ignore him.

Now that he has been banned from Twitter and Facebook and for the time being cannot use the prominent social media platforms to express his unique opinions, will we see more of the controversial Trump? The answer to that lies in the future, but one thing can be safely said: It is impossible to keep away Trump from delivering bombastic statements.

Here are a few quotes of Donald Trump during his presidency:

June 2015:
During the election campaign, Trump famously described the Mexican immigrants as, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

February 2016:
In his victory speech following the Nevada caucuses, he said: "I love the poorly educated."

November 12, 2017
"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me old, when I would never call him short and fat? Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend and maybe someday that will happen," he had tweeted.

January 11, 2018
"So the wall. The wall’s never meant to be 2,100 miles long. We have mountains that are far better than a wall. We have violent rivers that nobody goes near. ...You don’t need a wall where you have a natural barrier that’s far greater than any wall you could build, O.K.?" Trump said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

June 24, 2019
On E Jean Carroll's rape allegation, Trump said: “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?”

August 26, 2019
“I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that. I think I know more about the environment than most people.”

October 28, 2019
Trump on the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: "Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office. But at my direction, as commander-in-chief of the United States, we obliterated his caliphate, 100%, in March of this year."

January 22, 2020
On coronavirus: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

March 16, 2020
Donald Trump, when asked how he would rate his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic on a scale of 1 to 10, replied, "I would rate it a 10."  

October 16, 2020
Trump tweets quotes from a satire website against Biden: “Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News. Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this? Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T."

November 4, 2020
"We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!"

November 5, 2020
As a defeat in the US Presidential elections looked imminent, Donald Trump famously tweeted "STOP THE COUNT!" It became a trending topic on social media.

November 16, 2020
Defeat should be accepted with grace and humility. But to Donald Trump, the concept of defeat was largely non-existent during the US presidential elections. Even when Joe Biden's victory was an established fact, Trump was adamant. And in defiance, he tweeted, "I WON THE ELECTION!" that evoked a mixed reaction of anger and laughter.

After four years of Donald Trump and a hotly-contested election, President-elect Joe Biden, who was formerly vice-president under Barack Obama, is set to take charge as the 46th President of the United States, with his running mate Kamala Harris will take charge as the Vice President in a ceremony marked by Covid-19, an insurrection at the Capitol and a President who only reluctantly acquiesced to a transition of power.
 

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