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Showing posts from February 23, 2016

Sebi to regulate gold exchange

The finance ministry has decided that the proposed gold exchange will be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). In a meeting of all stakeholders in New Delhi on Monday, tardy progress of gold monetisation scheme was also discussed. While a proposal to set up National Bullion Board — an umbrella body for gold policies —has been delayed, a separate meeting would be held soon on better implementation of gold monetisation scheme. Sources said the finance ministry has already asked Sebi to take the gold exchange issue forward. With this, markets are expecting all regulations, including ownership related, to be as per Sebi norms. The meeting attended by government officials, banks and bullion industry representatives. Tardy progress of gold monetisation scheme after almost four months of launch was also discussed. Banks, collecting centres and hallmarking centres are largely staying away despite several clarifications from the Reserve Bank of India and the government. E…

Proposed small finance banks scurry to raise funds

As the entities given licences to establish small finance banks (SFBs) scurry to beat the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deadline of April 2017, equity fund raising has picked up. In September 2015, RBI had granted in-principle licences to set up 10 SFBs. Jalandhar-based Capital Local Area Bank could be the first to start operation. It has sent the required documents for final regulatory approval to RBI and set April 13 as the deadline for starting operations. The bank has already raised Rs 17.3 crore through a rights issue, and is looking for further capitalisation before May, said Sarvjit Singh Samra, managing director. ESAF Microfinance, which also has an in-principle licence to start an SFB, plans to raise Rs 100 crore through a rights issue. It is also looking to raise close to Rs 200 crore through private placement of equity with foreign investors, "subsequently, for expansion", said K Paul Thomas, chairman. Disha Microfinance has readied plans to raise about Rs 300 crore of…

India Inc bets big on tax reforms in Budget

Corporate India is looking to next week’s budget for wideranging tax reforms like abolition of the Minimum Alternate Tax ( MAT) and clarification on the tax status for Special Economic Zones ( SEZs) apart from the government burying the ghost of retrospective tax once and for all. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had promised tax and banking reforms during their interaction with corporate leaders during Make- In- India week, to take the manufacturing sector’s share in the gross domestic product from the current 18 per cent to 25 per cent. One of India Inc’s top demands is the abolishing of the minimum alternate tax or MAT, which will put a significant cash flow in the hands of taxpayers to make much needed investments. If the corporate tax rate is to be reduced to 25 per cent over the next three years, and investment and profit- linked exemptions and deductions are to be phased out, then there is a very good case to phase out MAT and ultimately scrap it, acc…

India Eases Customs Rules for Local arms of Multinationals

Simplified mechanism has been prescribed to clear up past pendency at the Special Valuation Branch  India has simplified rules governing pricing of imports by related parties including Indian arms of import-dependent multinationals such as Swarovski, Apple, BMW, Audi, and Bausch & Lomb, a move that is expected to significantly improve ease of doing business for such entities. The government has revamped decadeand-half-old customs rules and done away with a requirement that made deposit of extra duty on imported goods by such entities mandatory. The new simplified mechanism has been prescribed to clear up past pendency at special valuation branches (SVBs) of customs. “In order to facilitate quick disposal of cases currently pending with SVBs for renewal, a system of one-time declaration is being provided,“ said a di rective to field formations issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. Typically, transactions between related parties such as subsidiaries of foreign firms do not …

Govt to withdraw land Bill in Budget session

The government will withdraw the contentious Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, during the Budget session that begins on Tuesday. The ministry of parliamentary affairs has listed the Bill for withdrawal in its list of business for the session. The government had attracted much criticism for its attempts to amend the 2013 land law, with Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders painting it to be ‘anti-farmer’. As a compromise, the Bill was sent to a committee of Parliament. Most respondents, including allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had criticised some provisions. Anticipating little likelihood of the Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, passing the Bill, the government had asked state governments to push through amendments to their own. But, the Prime Minister and BJP have  increasingly tried to showcase the ‘farmer friendly’ policies of the government i…

E policies made compulsory for most categories

In some cases, like motor insurance, the government needs to first recognise these Soon, you could be assigned an electronic insurance number when you buy an insurance policy. And, based on this number, you will receive an electronic or e- policy. With the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India ( Irdai) mandating that e- policies will have to be issued for certain kinds of insurance plans — term- and non- term life plans with sum assured of Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 lakh or annual premium of Rs.10,000; all individual motor and overseas travel plans; and retail health policies having sum assured of Rs.5 lakh or more or premium of ? 10,000 or more — bulk of both life and nonlife industry’s products will soon go the electronic way. The biggest advantage of the e- insurance account will be that once a policyholder opens an e- Insurance Account ( eIA), the same knowyourcustomer norms can be used to purchase the other policies. Any change in personal details such as telephone number…