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Showing posts from January 8, 2018

Budget 2018 needn’t be populist

Budget 2018 needn’t be populist The finance minister will have more opportunities later in the year to woo voters by doling out freebies A view, currently shared by a large number of people, is that the Union government’s Budget for 2018-19 will be populist. The argument is that this will be the last full Budget of the Modi government in its current tenure. Hence, it will make sense for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to dole out free bies and concessions in his final Budget in an attempt to woo voters Such assumptions are flawed, based as they are on an incomplete and outdated understanding of the factors that influence the making of the Budget. In fact, the dates of general elections in 2019 and the presentation of the final Budget of the Modi government are so far removed from each other that Jaitley should not be under any pressure to present a populist Budget next month. Instead, he could well unveil an array of schemes and proposals that he believes are necessary for the economy, eve…

SEBI should not discriminate between rating agencies

SEBI should not discriminate between rating agencies New CRAs say certain practices in the industry need to be addressed Domestic and newer creditrating agencies (CRAs) have said certain practices in the industry need to be addressed even as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has sought to streamline the processes and create a level playing field.On December 28 last year, after its final board meeting for 2017, Sebi amended the regulations related to CRAs in the country.

The regulator has said that apart from a Rs 250 million minimum networth requirement, up from Rs 50 million, the promoters of CRAs need to maintain at least 26 per cent for a minimum of three years from the date of being given registration by Sebi.Rajesh Mokashi, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), CARE ratings, says that “because there are research asset investments to be made byaCRA, in order to offer a certain quality of service in the market, you need a certain element of capital”.


Rupee may fall against euro, yen

Rupee may fall against euro, yen But it will continue to rise against the dollar, providing opportunities for trades The global currency market has been braced for volatility, as the Brexit negotiations drag on. December saw a string of central bank policy reviews but none of the big decisions surprised. However, the new year has brought surprises, in terms of unexpected trends. The consensus opinion was that the pound would be under pressure. The Bank of England held its policy rates but the UK is suffering the twinned curse of higher inflation and recession. However, it’s the US dollar which has taken a hammering in the last 10 days, dropping to six-month lows versus most currencies. The Dollar Index, which measures the dollar versus a basket of six other currencies, is down below 92. The rupee is at a 30-month high versus the dollar, edging to the Rs 63.5-mark On the face of it, this is odd. The Federal Reserve hiked the policy rate in December. Bond yields have risen. The Fed has also…

Tax Breaks for Health Cover Premiums on Cards

Tax Breaks for  Health  Cover Premiums on Cards Health insurance premiums could get larger tax breaks, as the finance ministry has asked the apex body of general insurance firms to examine the proposal for the Budget 2018-19 The government is willing to consider the demand, since health insurance costs have moved centre stage in the policy circles. The Narendra Modiled government is pushing for insurance-based healthcare. While the governments at the states and the Centre subsidised a large percentage of premium for people below the poverty line, costs spike for those above it. Under the National Health Policy 2017, the government is planning to bring a national-level health protection scheme, a key component of which will be cheap health insurance products. There are two areas where the government could intervene through the Budget — it could cut the GST rate payable every time someone buys a health insurance product; or it could also provide a larger income tax set off for those who bu…

Agri growth likely to be higher than 2.1%: Ministry

Agri growth likely to be higher than 2.1%: Ministry The country's agriculture sector is expected to grow higher than projected 2.1 per cent growth by the CSO for the current fiscal, following better rabi crop prospects, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.Last week, Central Statistics Office (CSO) had pegged farm and allied sector growth at 2.1 per cent for 2017-18, much lower than 4.9 per cent achieved in the 201617.

The farm sector growth comprises GVA (gross value added) of crops at 60 per cent, livestock 20 per cent and forestry 8.5 per cent and fishing and aquaculture at 5.5 per cent.The agriculture sector can, therefore, be expected to register a much higher GVA for the year 2017-18, when final estimate figures are released, it added.

Justifying the reasons for possible higher growth, the ministry said it is of the opinion that the lower coverage of area by August 2017 on account of delayed onset of monsoons has caused a poor reflection compared to the actual positive field…