Budget 2016: Not enough to start-up the Startup India mission

Abhishek Goenka, Partner, Tax & Regulatory

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There was much anticipation from Budget 2016 on what it would bring for the vibrant start-up community in India. After the huge fanfare surrounding the release of the Startup India Action Plan, it was expected that the budget would have all the details on how these early stage companies could get some relief.

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Budget 2016: Income Declaration Scheme – too good to be true?

Abhishek Goenka, Partner, Tax & Regulatory

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If there was one proposal that I was least expecting in the recent Union Budget, it was another amnesty scheme. We often lament that it is the anticipation of these schemes and the predictable frequency in which they are announced–whether for black money overseas, or for service tax–that actually encourage the parallel economy. This scheme provides that any taxpayer can declare undisclosed income and pay tax at the rate of 30% on the declared income, surcharge at the rate of 25% of taxable income and penalty at the rate of 25% of taxable income. This translates to an effective tax rate of 45% without any reference to the period of default.

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Budget 2016: Dispute resolution – the devil is in the details

Frank Dsouza, Partner, Direct Tax

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What does it take to prevent a dispute? And if it does arise, how it can be resolved in a timely and fair manner are one of the hallmarks of a robust and tax friendly legislation and administration. In the Indian context, dispute resolution has been challenging, primarily on account of the fact (i) that there is no effective ‘settlement’ process (the statutory Settlement Commission operates in limited circumstances); and (ii) the presumption of guilt to invoke levy of penal consequences heightens, if the tax payer doesn’t contest income adjustments carried out by the Revenue.

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Time to bank on anti-corruption compliance

Rahul Lalit, Partner, Forensic Services

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India continues to witness newer and interesting trends in regulatory developments.

In a recent landmark development, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed a new judgement that will expand the scope of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 bringing all private bank employees under the ambit of the anti-graft law, which, was so far been only applied against corrupt government officials.

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Make In India: Steering manufacturing growth

By Bimal Tanna, Partner and Leader, Industrial Products

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Over the last few years, the manufacturing sector in India has witnessed a slowdown in its growth trajectory. Investment interest in manufacturing has ebbed as the industry is facing issues such as, muted domestic demand, inadequate infrastructure, expensive cost of capital, lack of clarity on taxation matters, archaic labour laws along with delays in land acquisition and environmental clearances.

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Reverse innovation can drive Make in India Automotive

By Kavan Mukhtyar, Partner, Management Consulting

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The Indian Automotive industry started its globalisation journey with the setting up of Maruti Suzuki in the mid-1980s. For the next more than 30 years, innovation has mostly flown from Japan, Korea, Europe and US to the India based automotive OEM and component industry. This happened through various channels including subsidiaries, joint ventures, technology licensing, and alliances.

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Creating a safety net

Dhruv Chawla, Partner, Forensic Services, PwC India

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Over the past few years, financial crime has not only grown in its extent and scope, it has also become increasingly specialised with the use of technology. Today, ATM malware attacks, hacking of online accounts, trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing are just some of the many crime trends that financial institutions have to reckon with. Very recently in 2015, a bank based in India suffered huge losses in a cyber security attack. One of the employees colluded with external parties to use information of 100 customers and siphon off funds from their accounts using online banking application and duplicate SIM cards. Approximately Rs 25,00,000 was siphoned off from these accounts.

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Indian Real Estate – A growth story or a lost prospect?

By Bhairav Dalal, Partner, Financial Services

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The question was answered in the recent release of PwC - ULI annual survey on Emerging Trends in Real Estate – Asia Pacific 2016. The survey seeks to decode the behaviour and patterns of this most unique sector. It also reveals that continuing with the past records both Mumbai and Delhi have sustained ranking within the range of 11 to 17 amongst the top 20 cities of Asia Pacific; Tokyo topping the charts once again! The only change in 2016 prospects is that Bengaluru is emerging to be an investor’s eye candy for real estate in India over other cities.

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Top 5 trends for Telecom in 2016

Arpita Pal Agrawal, Leader, Telecom, PwC India

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As another year passes and we prepare to usher in 2016, the Telecom sector in India in 2015 has been a mixed bag in terms of outcome. Spectrum auctions and the much awaited spectrum trading and sharing mandates spurred forward movement in the sector. 4G/LTE remained the buzzword but the actual rollouts have moved to next year.

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Is your money safe?

Sivarama Krishnan, Leader, Cyber Security, PwC India

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The financial services sector is now completely digital – and protecting it from cyber threats is imperative.

What makes cyber security particularly challenging in the sector is the vast attack surface that needs to be protected. Consequently, the nature of attacks in the financial services is also very diverse – it ranges from hacking, social engineering, to more recently, ATM skimming. Further, attacks focus on both, employees and customers, and unfortunately the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A mistake by either one, could leave everyone compromised.

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The opinions expressed in the blogs are personal.