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India transforming tax regime for stability, inevitability, says Jaitley

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Singapore: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today stated that India is transforming taxation laws to push greater stability and inevitability in the tax regime and trying to settle previously pending disputes.

“It has been our effort in India to gradually transform and change most of our taxation laws, put to rest various disputes and issues which have been pending, and make sure that the scope of discretions is eliminated and there is a greater degree of stability and predictability as far as taxation laws are concerned,” Jaitley told an international meet here on “Doing Business Across Asia: Legal Convergence In An Asian Century”.

“One major step needed to increase the ease of doing business is to reduce inter-state variation and the barriers to inter-state trade,” he said referring to India’s states in a video message to this first such global conference on legal issues.

“The proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a major step in this direction,” the Indian finance minister said.

“There will be uniformity in taxation rates, there will be much greater compliance and obviously certainty. It’s going to help India’s GDP,” he added.

In relation to the GST Bill that is pending in the Rajya Sabha because the ruling NDA lacks the requisite majority to push it through, Jaitley extolled the virtues of Indian federalism.

“If India despite its massive population and unparalleled diversity has remained strong and united political and economic unit, it is partly because of the freedom given to states to be diverse in their laws and regulations.”

“Some degree of divergence in practice also allows for experimenting with multiple models,” Jaitley said.

“The fact is that businesses need a level of tolerance for diversity of laws if they are to exploit the opportunities that come from geographical diversification,” he added.

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Ex-Cognizant COO to pay $50,000 penalty in bribery case

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BENGALURU: Former Cognizant COO Sridhar Thiruvengadam has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 following a Securities and Trade Fee (SEC) order that discovered that 4 firm executives, together with the previous, authorised a bribe cost in a video-conference, which violated the Overseas Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The case pertains to Cognizant’s 2.7-million-sqft KITS campus on Outdated Mahabalipuram Street in Chennai that deliberate to make use of 17,500 folks. A senior authorities official of Tamil Nadu demanded a $2-million bribe from the development agency accountable for the campus. The bribery uncovered Cognizant to civil and prison legal responsibility with the corporate paying $25 million in penalties in addition to incurring $79 million extra in prices associated to its inner investigation.

The SEC order stated Thiruvengadam devised a scheme to cowl it up within the firm’s books. Thiruvengadam was Cognizant’s COO from late 2013 till he was positioned on administrative go away in late 2016. Cognizant accepted Schwartz. Coburn and Schwartz channelled funds to L&T, the development firm accountable for the KITS campus.

The lawsuit alleged that to disguise Cognizant’s reimbursement to L&T of the bribes the latter paid to authorities officers, Schwartz and Coburn agreed that L&T would submit many fraudulent change order requests on the finish of the undertaking totalling $2 million. TOI has seen a replica of the order that stated Cognizant engaged the contracting agency to construct the ability and procure all essential authorities permits. Thiruvengadam’s resignation final yr. The SEC order states that Thiruvengadam later helped to hide the cost by signing false sub-certifications. It discovered that Thiruvengadam violated the FCPA’s inner accounting controls and record-keeping provisions. “Without admitting or denying the findings, Thiruvengadam agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000,” the order stated.

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