News in Numbers | Income tax evaders, if raided, said to pay 137% penalty

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93

What is it? The number of tests India has conducted for Agni-V missile, the latest on Monday.

Why is it important? All the four test-fires of the indigenously built surface-to-surface nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM, which has a range of 5,000-5,500 km) have been successful. The previous tests were done in April 2012, September 2013 and January 2015. It can carry nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tonnes up to a distance of over 5,000 km – this means it is capable of striking targets largely anywhere in Asia (can cover a large part of China). With this success, India now joins a handful of countries with ICBMs such as the US, Russia, France, China and the UK.

Tell me more: The range of the other four missiles (which the Indian Army has already deployed) Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III and Agni-IV are 700 km, 2,000 km, 3,000 km and 4,000 km respectively.

Rs 10,000

What is it? The reported maximum amount one can possess, transfer or receive in banned currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000.

Why is it important? The possession, transfer and receipt of amount above this limit can be a punishable offence, according to an ordinance the government reportedly plans to bring an ordinance to this effect. The maximum number of old notes of either of the two denominations one can hold is 10. The ordinance has to be introduced before December 30, the last day for depositing banned currency notes with the banks. The likely punishment includes a fine of Rs 50,000 or five times the amount in question (whichever is higher) in addition to a criminal liability where a municipal magistrate will decide on the penalty.

Tell me more: The ordinance may end the liability of the government and the Reserve Bank of India of paying the bearer the value of the withdrawn currency notes due to the statutory requirement. The Janata Party government had issued a similar ordinance in 1978 after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised.

$14-14.5 billion

What is it? The estimated size of the online retail market in 2016, according to e-commerce executives, investors and research firms.

Why is it important? This represents an almost flat growth from the $14 billion Indians spent shopping online last year, indicating that largely, e-commerce firms were more likely focusing on reducing losses than growth. At this rate, the estimates that online retail would grow to be a $60-100 billion market by 2020 seem difficult. The announcement of withdrawal of high-value currency notes in November has affected the cash-on-delivery transactions. This raises questions if Amazon India’s growth, which has almost caught up with dominant Flipkart has come at the cost of the latter and Snapdeal.

Tell me more: According to eMarketer, a US-based market research company, e-commerce firms including Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal are likely to miss their targets in the current financial year, thanks to the ongoing cash crunch. Over two-thirds (about 70%) of online orders are paid for in cash, according to RedSeer Management.

29

What is it? The number of proposals received by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change for forest clearances that were rejected, returned or withdrawn between January 1, 2013 and November 29, 2016.

Why is it important? This is less than a percent of the total number of proposals (4,103) received by the ministry for forest clearances, raising concerns if development is coming at the cost of the environment. Recently, the environment minister Anil Madhav Dhave, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, said no timeframe has been fixed to update India’s forest policy and that the draft version of the policy is not ready yet. The government had set a goal of having a minimum of one-third of India’s land area under tree or forest cover in addition to updating the laws to counter climate change effects.

Tell me more: As many as 3,235 proposals (78.84%) have received forest clearances during the four-year period. The maximum number of proposals came from Haryana (26.63% of the total proposals), Punjab (17.98%) and Uttarakhand (about 12.84%).

137%

What is it? The percentage of tax and penalty black money hoarders would attract if they do not admit or fail to explain the sources of their income after a raid, according to the Income Tax Department.

Why is it important? The authorities have been conducting search operations and raids across the country as it ups its game against black money, leading to seizure of undisclosed income and jewellery by individuals and firms. Between November 9 and December 19, the department has conducted 677 searches, survey and enquiry operations and detected unaccounted income of Rs 3,185 crore, cash and jewellery worth over Rs 428 crore, new notes amounting to Rs 86 crore and sent 3,100 notices to different entities for tax evasion and hawala dealings.

Tell me more: The government recently announced its second income disclosure scheme (the first one ended on September 30) where the tax evaders need to pay a total tax of around 50%. This came into effect on December 17 and will run until March 31, 2017.