Indian Finance Ministry forum to hear industry views on tax disputes

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The finance ministry has constituted a forum for exchange of views between the government and industry groups on tax-related issues or disputes.

The forum would be chaired by Parthasarathi Shome, adviser to Finance Minister P Chidambaram. It would meet every Wednesday.

Chambers of commerce, industry associations and industry groups have been asked to first submit a memorandum to Shome and then seek an appointment.

An appointment will be fixed for them on a suitable Wednesday.

They will be given a hearing by Shome and officers of the Tax Policy and Legislation (TPL) wing of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Tax Research Unit (TRU) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

The forum will give the government the platform to explain its stand on tax related matters as the industry has been demanding that there must be a forum where their views can be heard.

Rajat Gupta fined 14 million USD for insider trading

Former Goldman Sachs Indian-American board member Rajat Gupta, who was found guilty of tipping corporate secrets to jailed billionaire hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, has been fined $13.9 million in a related case.

Gupta, 64, has also been permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company and from associating with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser, the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced, citing an order of a federal judge in New York.

The top US regulator said it had previously obtained a record $92.8 million penalty against Galleon Group co-founder Rajaratnam, 56, for prior insider trading charges.

Gupta was found guilty on June 15, 2012, of divulging confidential information to Rajaratnam about Berkshire Hathaway's $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs as well as nonpublic details about the bank's financial results for the second and fourth quarters of 2008.

In October, Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $5 million criminal fine.

He is free pending his appeal of the decision.

"The sanctions imposed today send a clear message to board members who are entrusted with protecting the confidences of the companies they serve," George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, told the media.

"If you abuse your position by sharing confidential company information with friends and business associates in exchange for private gain, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent by the SEC, George Kittle Jersey

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