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FIIs restricted from buying shares in Capital First

Foreign investors cannot buy further shares in non-banking finance company Capital First as foreign institutional investors/foreign portfolio investors (FIIs/FPIs) have crossed the maximum permissible investment limit, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said. Foreign shareholding through FIIs/FPIs in Capital First has crossed the limit of 24 per cent of its paid-up capital, the RBI said in a notification. “Therefore, no further purchase of shares of this company would be allowed through stock exchanges in India on behalf of FIIs/FPIs,” the RBI said. As on June 30, 2017, foreign portfolio investors held a total of 25.69 per cent in the company, according to data on the BSE. FIIs, NRIs (non-resident Indians) and PIOs (persons of Indian origins) can invest in primary and secondary capital markets in India through portfolio investment scheme (PIS). The RBI monitors ceilings on FII/NRI/PIO investments in Indian companies on a daily basis.  It has fixed the cut-off points two percentage points l…

GST The Road Ahead - Trucks Get Stuck on GST Highway

Over 25% of trucks idle amid drop in interstate movement of untaxed and under-reported cargo, leading to a fall in retail freight charges; transporters postponing truck purchases as there's no tax clarity on sale of second-hand vehicles More than a fourth of India's 6 million-strong truck pool is said to be idle after the goods and services tax (GST) came into force on July 1 amid a drop in interstate movement of untaxed and underreported cargo, leading to a fall in retail freight charges. That's having a knock-on effect on the transport and truck-making businesses, at least in the short term, experts said. Interstate retail freight rates are down 40-50%, the sharpest decline in over three decades, said SP Singh, senior fellow at the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT). Such steep declines in freight rates were seen in 1984, 1988, 2008 and just after the 2016 demonetisation, say transporters. To be sure, transport operators are reporting logistic eff…

Beware of fake income tax e-mails

Log into your e-filing account to check if you have any outstanding demand or refund If you receive an email claiming to be from the income tax (I-T) department that there’s an outstanding tax demand that you need to pay immediately, don’t get alarmed.  Get cautious. In all probability, that email is from cyber criminals, trying to trick you into revealing your bank account details. Experts say there has been an exponential rise in such emails in the past month. “Cyber criminals are sending these emails in July as it’s the time when most people file returns and tax is on their minds,” says Amarpal Chadha, tax partner and India mobility leader, EY. He says his clients have also received emails stating there is a refund pending with the I-T department and the recipient can claim it instantly. These emails provide a link the receiver needs to click to pay the outstanding tax demand or get the refund. Once an individual clicks on it, he is redirected to a web page that looks similar to the I-…

Now, gold importers misusing FTA route for money laundering

If industry experts are to be believed, the recently implemented goods and services tax (GST) regime might have inadvertently openedachannel for gold importers to launder money out of the country. Many bullion importers, it is learnt, have been exploiting the zeroduty facility under India´s free trade agreements (FTAs) with several countries for this purpose. According to an industry veteran who did not wish to be named, "under two treaties that India has signed with other countries -FTA and Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP) -gold can now be imported without paying the 10 per cent customs duty, as the 12.5 per cent countervailing duty has been subsumed in the goods and services tax (GST), which is 3 per cent for gold". These importers prefer gold coins as they offeragreater scope for overinvoicing than gold bars. And, through overinvoicing, they are able to illegally send extra dollars out of the country. Since the rollout of GST on July 1, it is estimated that at least 2,…

Regulators team up for financial inclusion

Banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds will now chip in to createacommon strategy to further the government´s financial inclusion agenda inatargeted manner and based onacustomer´s need. A national strategy for financial inclusion is almost ready and soon all financial entities would be directed to coordinate with each other to introduce products step by step. They might even have to customise offerings based on the financial inclusion journey of a customer, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor SS Mundra told Business Standard in an interview. But before that, the financial institutions would put their heads together to educate customers about the importance of various products. A national strategy for financial education is also getting formulated asacorollary to the inclusion strategy. An interregulatory coordination group, plus an outside group of experts (the financial inclusion advisory committee) is busy creating the plan. The first draft is ready and was discussed…

New accounting standards likely to create turbulence for airlines

India’s aviation industry might be flying into a debt cloud when new accounting standards come into force in 2019. Carriers may see their loans liability soar by more than Rs 50,000 crore, with the latest set of rules calling time on the established practice of aircraft leasing.  The biggest impact of the switch would be on low-fare, asset-light airlines, especially IndiGo, which rely on lease-rentals for their operations. The new global accounting norms – IFRS 16 – would also affect legacy carriers such as Jet AirwaysBSE 0.13 % and Air India, which have adopted the industry best practice to lower their upfront costs. Net cash outgo for carriers, however, may not increase after the change over.  A spokesperson at IndiGo declined to comment, saying the airline is in a silent period as its April-June earnings are to be announced shortly. A senior executive at Jet said there would “definitely be an impact” but didn’t elaborate.  "It weighs down the balance sheet with representative deb…

Accounting relief for IndAS companies

Companies going for Indian accounting standards (IndAS) need not do second round of adjustment for mark-to-market losses on financial instruments in its book profits for the purpose of tax computation, the income tax department has clarified.  This is so because these are already adjusted to book profits under minimum alternate tax (MAT), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.  However, if there is a reduction in value of assets other than financial instruments through mark-to-market values, the companies will have to adjust those to the book profit. The CBDT has issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the issue after receiving the recommendations of an expert committee. The Finance Act, 2017, had amended the MAT provisions (Section 115JB) for IndAS compliant companies with effect from April 1, 2017. Barring banks, insurance and non-banking financial companies, most companies are required to adopt IndAS from April 1, 2017. Small unlisted firms of less than Rs 250 crore of net …