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Showing posts from July 24, 2015

RBI could lose veto on interest rates under new financial code

Governor can’t supersede RBI-govt joint panel’s decisions, can only cast vote in the event of a tie The government has proposed to effectively take away the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor’s overriding powers on interest rate decisions, a move that could dilute the central bank’s status as an independent and autonomous monetary authority. The government instead has proposed to give an additional vote to the RBI governor in case of a tie in any meetings of a yet-to-be set up monetary policy committee, which will decide on interest rate hikes and cuts. These proposals are part of the revised draft Indian Financial Code (IFC) that the finance ministry put out on Thursday. The ministry has sought further comments from public by August 8. The government is likely to follow this up by moving to enact a an Indian Financial Code (IFC) Bill which will subsume more than 60 archaic legislations to make them contemporary. The IFC is based on the recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative…

E filing of foreign assets scores over physical route

For compliance to be valid, pay the entire penalty plus tax within the allowed deadline One of the concerns regarding the one- time settlement window under the Undisclosed Foreign Income and Foreign Assets Bill, 2015 ( Black Money Act) is that the information could be misused. Tax payers are worried they could be subject to stringent scrutiny by assessing officers ( AOs) on their income, assets, and bank accounts. According to experts, this problem can be addressed to some extent by filing directly, online or physically, with a separate cell and not through the regular procedure. Suresh Surana, founder of RSM Astute Consulting, says, “By allowing e- filing for the one- time settlement and not going through AOs but to a separate government cell directly, the sanctity of the information will be maintained. The information will not be leaked and AOs will not be able to use this information to ask questions about other assets or bank accounts of tax- payers,’’ he says. Under the one- time se…

Sebi suggests institutional trading platform

The Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) has suggested the newly introduced institutional trading platform ( ITP) be used by the central government for its disinvestment programme in unlisted public sector undertakings ( PSUs), sources have said. “Currently, there is no real way for actual price discovery of unlisted companies. Therefore, the ITP platform can be used for divesting stake in these,” said asource. Introduced in 2013, the ITP is a mechanism for listing of companies without an initial public offering (IPO) or fund raising. The Budget this year had set an ambitious target for divestment at Rs.41,000 crore and strategic sales at Rs.28,500 crore. Sebi says the ITP platform could be used by strategic investors such as private equity or venture capital funds to take stake in unlisted companies. The Centre has been seeking help from Sebi in removing irritants in the share sale process. The department of disinvestment had asked Sebi to allow suspension in trading in a compan…

FTAs taxes unfavourable forMake in India

The Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers’ Association ( CEAMA) has said free trade agreements with major electronics goods manufacturing countries like Japan, South Korea and Thailand, costly credit, and lack of raw material and components are hindrances for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign. The consumer durables industry is grappling with low rural demand and fierce competition. Since 2013, unseasonal rain and low spending on employment have pulled down rural demand. Experts said slow increases in minimum support prices for crops had reduced the real income of rural households. Last month, the CEAMA urged the commerce and industry ministry to revise the tax structure that favoured imports. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reduced the excise duty on electronic components from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent in this year’s budget. Business Standard, New Delhi, 24th July 2015

Sebi mulls new algo norms in two months

The Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) plans to introduce within two months new norms to regulate algorithmic trading. “Algorithm- based trade or high frequency trades are prone to high risks. We are examining a number of options to bring down these risks,” said Sebi Chairman U KSinha on Thursday. These are trading systems that utilise advanced mathematical models for transaction decisions in financial markets. As of May, 15.1 per cent of the BSE turnover came through the algo route. These trades account for 19.8 per cent of the total on the National Stock Exchange, with an additional 24.3 per cent of volumes coming through co- located servers. The Reserve Bank of India had recently cautioned against these trades. “ The increased complexities of algo coding and reduction in latency due to faster communication platforms need focused monitoring, as they may pose risks in the form of increased possibilities of error trades and market manipulation,” it had said in June. Separate…