The new year is just around the corner, so it's the perfect time to look back to some of the big events that reoriented the finance community in 2017.
Implementation of GST: It would not be justified if I start this year in review with anything other than GST.This new Indirect tax law has been acclaimed as the biggest tax reform and a mark of the new beginning of the Indian Economy. However, even after more than 6 months of its implementation, it still struggles to form the necessary infrastructure to work upon.
New Direct Tax Law: If you try to achieve everything at once, you end up in middle of everything. After GST Implementation, the government has now brought its attention towards improving India's 56-year old direct tax regime and suggested a new law to replace it. But, keeping in mind the muddle created by recent GST implementation, whether is it the right time for this overhaul is still a big question.
No more separate Railway Budget: On 1st February 2017, with presentation of the annual budget, the 92-year-old railway budget got discontinued and merged into the general budget.
Establishment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: With increasing NPAs in banks, IBC came out as a landmark law dealing with Insolvency and Bankruptcy of borrowers.
As on November 2017, over 4300 applications under CIRP (corporate insolvency resolution process) were filed in the various benches of NCLTs, as per RBI data. Looking at the tremendous progress so far, the IBC is likely to create a structural change in the behavior of the borrowers, lenders (banking as well as non-banking) and simultaneously provide a platform of redressal for the small stakeholders.
Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act: RERA, as it is commonly abbreviated, is a landmark realty law to protect interests of small home buyers from relentless developers and to provide an infrastructure for the Industry to work upon. The new law also aims to help the government to curb black money investments in the sector. Under this new law, GOI has established Regulatory Authority (RERA) in various states which is a special body empowered with necessary powers to monitor and regulate the real estate sector in India.
Cryptocurrency Hype: With Bitcoin touching 20,000 USD mark, this year has been great for cryptocurrencies. It created huge hype in the Indian Market with everyone trying to make some profits in this ultra-volatile stream. Warning issued by RBI to abstain from investing showed almost no effect on investors and Investments in the crypto market grew by leaps and bounds during the year.
Stock Market outstretched to all-time high: On its last trading day for 2017, the stock market reached an all-time high mark of 34k and made some big bucks for investors. Although, some market pundits still suggest that this will be followed by some major market corrections in 2018.
Increase in Direct Tax Collections by 14.4%: Direct Tax is a major source of fiscal revenues. According to official data released by the government, Net direct tax collections up to November, were 14.4% higher than they were in the same period of the previous financial year.
Ranking in Ease of doing business: For the first time ever, India has jumped 30 positions to become the top 100th country in terms of ease of doing business ranking this year. This was announced by the World Bank Group's latest Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report.
Formation of NFRA to keep a check on CAs: Despite the stiff resistance from ICAI, the CG is all set to introduce a new regulatory authority known as “National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)” with wide powers to recommended, enforce and monitor the compliance of accounting and auditing standards. The law provides for the regulatory body to look into matters of professional or other misconduct and also suspend CAs and firms from practicing for six months to 10 years.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!
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