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In a major move towards taxpayer facilitation, the government on Monday allowed filing of NIL GST monthly return in FORM GSTR-3B through SMS.

This would substantially improve ease of GST compliance for over 22 lakh registered taxpayers who had to otherwise log into their account on the common portal and then file their returns every month.

With the facility of SMS getting activated, now taxpayers with NIL liability need not log on to the GST portal and may file their NIL returns through an SMS.

For this purpose, the functionality of filing Nil FORM GSTR-3B through SMS has been made available on the GSTIN portal with immediate effect.

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The status of the returns so filed can be tracked on the GST portal by logging in to GSTIN account. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came up with a draft framework for the sale of loan exposures, whereby it has proposed to deregulate the price discovery process for the sale of loan exposures.

According to the draft framework, sale of standard assets may be by assignment, novation or a loan participation contract, either funded participation or risk participation, whereas the sale of stressed assets may be by assignment or novation. Novation refers to the substitution of an old contract with a new one.

It further said that direct assignment transactions shall be subsumed as a special case of these guidelines.

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In another major development, the central bank has proposed to do away with the Minimum Retention Requirement (MRR) for sale of loans.

“The price discovery process has been deregulated to be as per the lenders’ policy,” said an RBI statement.

Further, as per the draft rules stressed assets may be sold to any entity that is permitted to take on loan exposures by its statutory or regulatory framework.

Also, some of the existing conditions for the sale of non-performing assets have been rationalised.

The guidelines are applicable to all Scheduled Commercial Banks, excluding Regional Rural Banks, all Indian financial institutions including NABARD, NHB, EXIM Bank, and SIDBI and, all non-banking financial companies including Housing Finance Companies.

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