Monthly Archives: August 2020

Mission Begin Again – Maharashtra

Maharashtra government has announced the next round of Mission Begin Again measures in the state from 1st September, 2020.

What has been allowed is

30% attendance is allowed in private offices, but metro is not allowed though MHA has contemplated starting metro operations from 7th september onwards, Maha govt. has not allowed that. If 30% of the staff are allowed to travel to work, how will they travel? I have seen that travelling by BEST buses is next to impossible because there is lot of queues in the bus stops, there is virtually no social distancing taking place in the bus stops. Plus BEST buses allow only one person to sit per seat. This logic i am not able to understand. When airlines are allowing all 6 seats in a row including the middle seat, why is BEST not allowing two people to sit on the seats. With the result, what is happening is that travelling by BEST buses has become extremely difficult and dangerous too, due to covid and non existence of social distancing taking place.

MHA had allowed sports events upto 100 persons participating with proper social distancing, masks etc. but Maha govt. has not allowed that.

Schools, colleges will be closed upto 30th September, and so will cinema halls, swimming pools, International air travel (this should have been allowed selectively), bars, auditoriums, assembly halls etc. Places of worship continues to remain closed.

Hotels and lodges will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity. No restriction on inter-district movement of goods & persons. Passenger movement by private bus/ mini bus allowed. All from 2nd September 2020 onwards.

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Brilliant documentary film Close-Up (1990) directed by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami about the real life incident of a man impersonating the famous Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. All the characters in this movie are played by the real people who were involved in the incident. There is one film buff Hossain Sabzian who is a big fan of Makhmalbaf and has seen his films and read about him. He is traveling in a bus reading a book written by Makhmalbaf when his co-passenger asks him about the book, he reveals that he has only written the book. That starts a train of incidents to happen, including inviting Sabzian to their home, allowing him to stay, to eat, and all this while he is making plans for a movie involving them and their location. Kiarostami has deftly handled the subjects since they were all non actors in real life, all of them have done a superb job in the movie. He is allowed to film the real trial and also ask questions to the accused, who is arrested after the family gets to be suspicious about him. Its a raw production, since he has not used any lighting or special effects. The ending is the real suspense. A masterpiece of a movie from an ace director.

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annual return

MCA has vide its notification dated 28th August, 2020 amended the relevant provisions of Companies (Management & Administration) Rules, 2014 by directing that where a company has posted its annual return in form MGT-9 on its website, then it need not attach the same annual return as part of its Board report on the financials of the company.

Hitherto, every company was required to attach a form MGT-9 which gives details of the company promoters, principal business activities, particulars of holding, subsidiary, associate companies, shareholding pattern of promoters, directors, key managerial personnel, indebtedness, remuneration of directors, key managerial personnel, penalties, compounding of offences if any by the company during the relevant financial year.

Every year, the company was required to make this annual return in form MGT-9 and attach it to the Board report. Now the MCA has given an option to companies to post this data on their website and give only a weblink, where the shareholders can access the same to view it.

If the company posts the annual return on its website and attaches the web link on its board report, then it will be considered as compliant with the provisions of the Act & the rules.

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launch of GSTR-2B

The GST Council, in its 39th meeting held on 14th March 2020, had recommended to adopt and implement the incremental approach of linking the present system of filing of GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 and other significant changes like enhancements in GSTR-2A and its linking to GSTR-3B. One such enhancement that the Council recommended was introduction of an auto-drafted input tax credit (ITC) statement which would aid in assisting / determining the input tax credit that is available for every taxpayer.

GSTR-2B is going to be such an auto-drafted ITC statement which will be generated for every registered person on the basis of the information furnished by his suppliers in their respective GSTR-1, 5 (non-resident taxable person) and 6 (input service distributor). It is a static statement and will be made available for each month, on the 12thday of the succeeding month.It is expected that GSTR-2B will help in reduction in time taken for preparing return, minimising errors, assist reconciliation & simplify compliance relating to filing of returns.

Key features in GSTR-2B which would assist taxpayers in return filing are as under:

    1. It contains information on import of goods from the ICEGATE system including inward supplies of goods received from Special Economic Zones Units / Developers. This is not available with the release of GSTR-2B for the month of July and will be made available shortly.
    2. A summary statement which shows all the ITC available and non-available under each section. The advisory given against each section clarifies the action to be taken by the taxpayers in their respective section of GSTR-3B;
    3. Document level details of all invoices, credit notes, debit notes etc. is also provided both for viewing and download;
  • GSTR-2B for the month of July 2020 has been made available on the common portal on trial basis.
  • Since, this is the first time that the statement is being introduced, taxpayers are advised to refer to GSTR-2B for the month of July, 2020 only for feedback purposes .
  • All taxpayers are requested to go through their GSTR-2B for July 2020 and after comparing the same with the credit availed by them in July 2020, provide feedback (if any) on any aspect of GSTR-2B by raising a ticket on the self-service portal (
  • All taxpayers are advised to view the detailed advisory relating to GSTR-2B on the common portal before using the statement.

Taxpayers can access their GSTR-2B through: Login to GST Portal > Returns Dashboard > Select Return period >GSTR-2B.

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import data in GSTR-2A

Two new tables have been inserted in GSTR-2A for displaying details of import of goods from overseas and inward supplies made from SEZ units / SEZ developers. Taxpayers can now view their bill of entries data which is received by the GST System (GSTN) from ICEGATE System (Customs). The present data upload has been done on a trial basis to give a feel of the functionality and to get feedback from the taxpayers on the same.

Currently, the system is displaying data up to 6th August, 2020. Further, taxpayers may note that system is currently does not contain import information for bill of entries filed at non-computerized ports (non-EDI ports) and imports made through courier services/post office. This will be made available shortly.

It may also be noted that amendment information made in the details of bill of entries will also be provided soon.

Taxpayers are requested that they share their feedback through raising a ticket on the self-service portal (

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The Pianist

Brilliant true story of a Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman recounting his horrors of the World War II. Szpilman played by Adrien Brody is a Polish Jew and an accomplished pianist in Poland. He and his family being Jews are targeted by the Germans and forced to move into a ghetto for all Polish Jews. They abandon their spacious home including a grand piano which Szpilman sells for 2000 zlotys. Then they are forced to move again and the family get separated and then united again and separated when all the Jews are put into a goods train and sent to Treblinka – this was the gas chamber, though it was not shown in the movie. None of the people in that goods train survived. Szpilman joins a labour gang and meanwhile comes to know of a Jewish resistance being planned. He flees the labour camp and moves from one safe house to another with the help of fellow musicians, till he gets into an abandoned building with no food and water. There he had almost given up hope when a German officer espies him but does not arrest him. Brody has done a super job as the victimised pianist for which he won the Oscars in 2002. Roman Polanski has done a super job and some of the brutality scenes of the Germans are really scary. Roman Polanski himself has been a war survivor having lost his mother and escaped from the Krakow ghetto to hide until the war was over.

Its that period of history which everybody would like to forget, yet it is there for all to see, the atrocities of war, the sufferings of human beings, the killings, brutality, mass extermination, starving, gas chamber, experimentation et al.

Wladislaw Szpilman lived through the horrors of the war and lived to tell his tale. He died in 2000 at the age of 88.

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14 hours – An Insider’s Account

Just finished reading this book by Ankur Chawla – I had expected a gripping saga of the greatest attack on Indian soil since independence but not totally disappointed. He has tried his best to give a nice narrative account of his experience inside the Taj Hotel and succeeded also to some extent. It is obviously his first attempt at writing a book and being a young hotelier I will give full credit to his composure during the worst travail of his life. There are some genuine attempts at humour and it works very well. The fact that it is an insider’s account of what happened on that deadly day makes this book all the worth to read it. Goodreads 3/5

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The Neighbours’ Window

Short film, which won the award at Oscars 2019 for best live action short film. The film starts with a pregnant lady (Maria Dizzia) who is sitting on her dining table with her husband, when she espies a young couple making love from across her window, which she could see clearly. The neighbours did not have any drapes nor do they bother to close it. The action continues after her child birth when she continues to be obsessed with the family across the window. Little tiff takes place between the husband (Greg Killer) and Alli but he sort of pushes it away from her memory, not Alli who continues to be fascinated by the goings on across the window. Nice short movie with a complete story in itself, little drama, some suspense and some fun.

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POA – stock brokers

SEBI has issued an important circular dated 27th August, 2020 giving clarifications regarding execution of a power of attorney by clients in favour of stock brokers and depository participants. Gist of the circular is given below:

  1. SEBI, vide circular no. CIR/MRD/DMS/13/2010 dated April 23, 2010, issued
    Guidelines for execution of Power of Attorney (PoA) by the client favouring Stock Broker / Stock Broker and Depository Participant (hereinafter referred to as “Guidelines”). Certain clarifications were issued later vide circular no. CIR/MRD/DMS/28/2010 dated August 31, 2010.
  2. Paragraph 5 of the circular dated April 23, 2010, specifies the following:
    “Standardizing the norms for PoA must not be construed as making the PoA a condition precedent or mandatory for availing broking or depository participant services. PoA is merely an option available to the client for instructing his broker or depository participant to facilitate the delivery of shares and pay-in/pay-out of funds etc. No stock broker or depository participant shall deny services to the client if the client refuses to execute a PoA in their favour.”
  3. Further, paragraph 12 – 20 of the Guidelines in SEBI circular dated April 23, 2010, also specifies that the PoA shall not facilitate the stock broker to do the following:
    3.1.Transfer of securities for off market trades.
    3.2.Transfer of funds from the bank account(s) of the Clients for trades executed by the clients through another stock broker.
    3.3.Open a broking / trading facility with any stock broker or for opening a Beneficial Owner account with any Depository Participant.
    3.4.Execute trades in the name of the client(s) without the client(s) consent.
    3.5.Prohibit issue of Delivery Instruction Slips (DIS) to beneficial owner (client).
    3.6.Prohibit client(s) from operating the account.
    3.7.Merging of balances (dues) under various accounts to nullify debit in any other account.
    3.8.Open an email ID / email account on behalf of the client(s) for receiving statement of transactions, bills, contract notes etc. from stock broker /depository participant.
    3.9.Renounce liability for any loss or claim that may arise due to any blocking of funds that may be erroneously instructed by the stock broker to the designated bank.
  4. However, it has been observed that PoA is invariably obtained from the investors as part of the KYC and account opening process. Such PoA executed by clients has further found to have been misused by the stock brokers by taking authorization even for activities as specified in paragraph 3 above. In this regard, it is reiterated that:
    4.1.PoA is optional and should not be insisted upon by the stock broker / stock broker depository participant for opening of the client account.
    4.2.PoA executed in favour of stock broker / stock broker depository participant by the client shall be utilized
    4.2.1.For transfer of securities held in the beneficial owner accounts of the client towards Stock Exchange related deliveries / settlement obligations arising out of trades executed by clients on the Stock Exchange through the same stock broker.
    4.2.2.For pledging / re-pledging of securities in favour of trading member (TM) / clearing member (CM) for the purpose of meeting margin requirements of the clients in connection with the trades executed by the clients on the Stock Exchange.
    4.2.3.For the limited purposes as specified in paragraph 1(iii) and 2 of the
    4.3.Paragraph 1(i) and 1(ii) of the Guidelines stands modified in accordance with paragraph 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 above. Stock Exchanges and Depositories shall ensure that PoA is not used by TM/CM/DPs for any purpose other than as specified above and in SEBI circulars dated April 23, 2010 read with SEBI circular dated August 31, 2010.
  5. It has also been decided that all off-market transfer of securities shall be permitted by the Depositories only by execution of Physical Delivery Instruction Slip (DIS) duly signed by the client himself or by way of electronic DIS. The Depositories shall also put in place a system of obtaining client’s consent through One Time Password (OTP) for such off market transfer of securities from client’s demat account.
  6. All other provisions specified in SEBI circular dated April 23, 2010 read with SEBI circular dated August 31, 2010 shall continue to remain applicable. The circular shall be applicable with effect from November 01, 2020.
  7. Stock Exchanges and Depositories are directed to
    7.1. make necessary amendments to the relevant Bye-laws, Rules and
    Regulations for the implementation of the above decision;
    7.2. bring the provisions of this circular to the notice of their members /
    participants and also disseminate the same on their websites; and
    7.3. communicate to SEBI, the status of implementation of the provisions of this circular in their monthly report.

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proxy advisors

SEBI has issued two circulars, both dated 27th August, 2020 wherein they have extended the time line for compliance of procedural guidelines for proxy advisors and the dispute resolution mechanism between listed entities and proxy advisors by 4 months. Now they will become applicable from 1st January, 2021 onwards.

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RBI returns

RBI circular dated 26th August, 2020 allowing Primary Urban Co-operative Banks extension of time to file the returns under section 31 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by 3 months upto 30th September, 2020

In terms of section 31 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (“the Act”) read with Section 56 the Act [as amended by the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020], accounts and balance-sheet referred to in section 29 of the Act together with the auditor’s report shall be published in the prescribed manner and three copies thereof shall be furnished as returns to the Reserve Bank within three months from the end of the period to which they refer. In terms of the first proviso to the above section, Reserve Bank may in any case extend the said period of three months for the furnishing of such returns by a further period not exceeding three months.

2. Since the aforesaid Ordinance amending, inter alia, Section 31 has been notified on June 29, 2020 for the primary (urban) co-operative banks (UCBs) and also as UCBs may be facing difficulties in submission of the returns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is considered necessary to allow more time for submission of the aforesaid return for the financial year ended on March 31, 2020.

3. In view of the above, Reserve Bank hereby extends the said period of three months for the furnishing of the returns under Section 31 of the Act for the financial year ended on March 31, 2020 by a further period of three months. Accordingly, all UCBs shall ensure submission of the aforesaid returns to Reserve Bank on or before September 30, 2020.

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Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has made the use of FASTag mandatory for availing return journey discount or any other exemptions on Toll Fee Plazas. Users who wish to claim a discount for making return journey within 24 hours or any other local exemptions, shall be required to have a valid functional FASTag on the vehicle. A Gazette notification no. 534 E dated 24th August, 2020 to amend the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008  has been notified in this respect.

This is another step towards promoting the use of digital payments on Fee Plazas of NHs. The fee payable towards such discounts shall be paid through pre-paid instruments, smart card or through FASTag or on board unit (transponder) or any other such device only.

The amendments to the Rules would enable-  

i.  For discount on return journey within 24 hours, it would be through FASTag or such other device and automatic and no requirement for a pass.

ii.  For discounts on all other cases, having a valid FASTag is made necessary.

The amendment would also enable that in cases where there is a discount available for a return journey within 24 hours, there is no need for a prior receipt or intimation and the citizen would get the discount automatically if return journey is made within 24 hours with a valid and a functional FASTag on the vehicle.

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faceless assessment

A National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) and a network of Regional e-Assessment Centres will be set up to implement the Faceless Assessment Scheme of the Income Tax Department, launched nation-wide by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 13th August, 2020. The regional assessment network would comprise assessment units, verification units, technical units and review units. The system allows for dynamic jurisdiction, team-based working, and functional specialization and does away with human interface altogether. This was informed by the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai, Shri Patanjali Jha, during a webinar on “Faceless Assessment Scheme and Virtual Court Hearings”, conducted by KPMG India.

Making a comparison between the faceless assessment system and the current system it replaces, the Principal Chief Commissioner explained how the new system is one designed for the 21st century. There is no discretion in selection of assessment cases, while earlier, case selection used to happen manually. In place of single territorial jurisdiction, we now have automated random allocation of cases. While notices used to be issued both manually and on the system, issue of notices will now be done through a central mechanism (by NeAC) in electronic mode. There shall be no physical meetings between taxpayers and officers. Wide discretion and subjective assessment are being replaced by team-based assessment and a system wherein draft order is issued in one city, review is done in another city and finalization is done in yet another city. This thereby leads to an objective, fair and just assessment order, said the Principal Chief Commissioner.

Faceless Assessment Scheme was rolled out in the Income Tax Department as a pilot project in September, 2019. Initially, a limited number of cases were picked up for faceless assessment which was being done at eight centres in the country.

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interest on delayed payment of GST

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) today clarified that the Notification No. 63/2020-Central Tax dated 25th August 2020 relating to interest on delayed payment of GST has been issued prospectively due to certain technical limitations. However, it has assured that no recoveries shall be made for the past period as well by the Central and State tax administration in accordance with the decision taken in the 39th Meeting of GST Council. This will ensure full relief to the taxpayers as decided by the GST Council.

CBIC explanation came in response to an assortment of comments in the social media with respect to Notification dated 25th August 2020 regarding charging of interest on delayed payment of GST on net liability (the tax liability discharged in cash) w.e.f. 1st September 2020.

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Taste of Cherry

Taste of Cherry, an Iranian movie made by Abbas Kiorastami in 1997. A deadly psycho movie. The film does not have too many characters. There is a middle aged tired looking man Badli (Humayoun Ershadi) who is going round the city in a range rover. He is looking for people who can bury him after he commits suicide. He offers money for doing the job. He scans several roadside people and after some time a Kurdish soldier hitches a ride in his vehicle to go to his barracks. When Badli narrates his story to him, the soldier chickens out. By this time the vehicle has entered a construction site and going round and round like a metronome. At the same the camera shows continuous shots of Badli’s anguished pleading face. The going round and round gets on the viewers’ nerves. The second guy is an Afghan seminary student who tries to talk him out of committing suicide. The third guy is a much senior weather beaten guy who says he will do the job because he needs the money for his kid’s medical expenses. The conversation between this third guy Bagheri (Abdolrahman Bagheri) and Badli is deadly as Bagheri tells him he also tried to commit suicide once many years ago, but mulberries saved him – he ate one or two mulberries before dying and liked it so much that he decided to live. He gives a lot of positive message to Badli. By this time, he is seen subtly directing the vehicle where he wants and the bleak dreary landscape also starts changing slowly. Fear starts creeping into Badli by this time. There is no female interest in the movie. Both Homayoun Ershadi and Abdolrahman Bagheri have done super acting.

Few words of Persian language are the same as that in Hindi or Urdu rather, for eg. khud khushi means suicide in Persian and duniya means life.

This film won the Palme d’ Or at Cannes in 1997.

image taken from the internet and used for representational purpose only, not for violating copyright.

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