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Key issues addressed in the Parliament

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Oil on the boil

The government has collected over Rs 3.40 lakh crore as central excise duty between January 2020 and January 2021, minister of state for finance Anurag Singh Thakur said Monday in Lok Sabha. “The total amount of central excise duty collected on petrol and diesel during January 2020 and January 2021 is about Rs 3,40,750 crore,” he said in a written response. He added that there was no proposal of doing away with the said duty.

Central excise duty on unbranded petrol is Rs 32.9 per litre while that on branded petrol is Rs 34.10. The central excise duty on unbranded diesel stands at Rs 31.8 per litre and that on branded diesel is at Rs 34.2 per litre.

Health of banks

The finance ministry on Monday said that financial health of state run lenders has improved significantly on account of timely recapitalisation coupled with reform measures.

“Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of PSBs have reduced from Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 to Rs 5.77 lakh crore in December 2020,” said MoS for finance Anurag Thakur noting that 11 out of 12 PSBs were in profit in December 2020. “Record recovery of Rs 2.74 lakh crore has been effected since March 2018 till December 2020,” he said adding that occurrence of frauds has declined sharply, from an average of 0.72% of advances during FY10 to FY14 to 0.23% in FY20. Thakur stated that PSBs under RBI’s prompt corrective action (PCA) came down to three in December’20 as against 11 lenders under RBI’s restrictions in March’18. “Asset quality has improved significantly, with the net NPA (NNPA) ratio reducing from 7.97% in March 2018 to 2.32% in December 2020,” he said.

Settlement window

The government has received Rs 53,346 crore from the Vivaad Se Vishwas direct tax dispute resolution scheme while declarations amounting to Rs 98,328 crore had been filed till March 1, minister of state for finance Anurag Singh Thakur said Monday in Lok Sabha.

“Declarations have been filed by taxpayers for resolution of tax disputes amounting to Rs 98,328 crore till March 1, 2021. Payment of Rs 53,346 crore have been made by taxpayers under the scheme till March 1, 2021,” he said. A total of 128,733 declarations have been filed in Form 1 till March 1, 2021 by taxpayers. These include 1,393 declarations by central public sector enterprises and 833 declarations by state public sector enterprises.

The total number of pending tax disputes as on the eligibility date was 510,491. The 128,733 declarations relate to 143,126 pending disputes including cross appeals. “The declarations received under the scheme cover more than 28% of pending tax disputes,” he said.

MSME dues at Rs 7,000 crore

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country are owed around Rs 7,000 crore in dues from various government departments, union minister for MSMEs Nitin Gadkari informed Parliament on Monday. As per data available on Samadhaan Portal of the MSME ministry, the payments due to MSMEs on behalf of the government, including central ministries, Central and State CPSEs, railways and other government departments as of January 25, 2021 is Rs 6,965.37 crore, Gadkari said in response to a question in Rajya Sabha. Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative, the Ministry has created a special sub-portal within Samadhaan to track the delayed payments to the MSMEs from the CPSEs.

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