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Sebi sets up panel on ´ fair market conduct´

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has constituted a committee on ´fair market conduct´, which will be headed by former Lok Sabha secretary and law secretaryTK Viswanathan. The panel will have representations from Sebi, mutual funds, brokers, audit firms, stock exchanges, data analytics firms and legal firms. The committee has been tasked with suggesting improvements to the existing Sebi norms, including on insider trading and fraudulent and unfair trade practices (FUTP). It has been specifically asked to look at trading plans, handling of pricesensitive information during takeovers and aligning of insidertrading rules with provisions of the Companies Act. Legal experts said as new means of communications emerge, Sebi has to stay ahead to prevent fraudulent activity. Ensuring fair access and regulating the flow of price sensitive information to prevent insider trading is one of the core areas for the markets regulator. “Afair and efficient securities market stands on invest…

Apprehensions on insolvency resolution rules

Even as creditors are going ahead with the insolvency proceedings initiated against 12 companies under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the latter are raising concerns on the procedures for appointment of Interim Resolution Professionals (IRPs). It appears some of the companies have approached the Securities and Exchange Board of India and other authorities for clarity on whether the current securities law, especially on insider trading and the takeover code, would apply. “Some contentions have been raised over the insolvency proceedings. We are studying the feedback received,” said a regulatory official. Under the IBC, if a borrower is unable to pay the debt inagiven time,acreditor can initiate insolvency resolution proceedings. Either a creditor or debtor company has to file an application, with proof of default, to the National Company Law Tribunal for initiating the process of resolution. The IRP, within seven days of taking charge, will appoint a registered valuer to deter…

GST : Council to decide on anti-profiteering mechanism at Saturday meet

FM Jaitley said it would be mandatory for manufacturers to pass on benefits to consumers The much-awaited mechanism for anti-profiteering will be decided upon by the GST Council on Saturday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. He also expressed the hope that other sectors would follow suit of the auto sector to cut prices due to the effective lower rates under the goods and services tax (GST). Referring to concerns raised by members with regard to impact of GST on prices, Jaitley said it would be mandatory for manufacturers to pass on the benefits of reduction in taxes to consumers. He hoped that the decision of price cut by automobile sector on account of benefit of input tax credit would be followed by others manufacturers. "What if input tax benefit is not transferred to consumers?...we are meeting a few days from now...In a short while, we are going to finalise the entire mechanism as far as anti-profiteering is concerned. "All you need is to make a f…

Developers in a bind over Rera, GST

After demonetisation, which almost brought house sales to a halt, real estate developers are grappling with the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (Rera) and the goods and services tax (GST). “Real estate has gone through many down cycles since 1991. But I have never seen three tsunamis together,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of the Hiranandani group, one of the country’s oldest and largest property developers. “This is the worst time in the careers of many developers. If you have rental income, you can stay. Otherwise, it will be very difficult,” added Vijay Wadhwa, chairman of the Wadhwa group, a Mumbai-based developer. “The law is very strict and developers cannot be lackadaisical in their dealings anymore,” said Wadhwa. Life for developers, which are often criticised for opaque practices, has turned topsy turvy after Rera came into force from May 1. Most developers in Maharashtra are focusing on completing projects or registering them with the Rera authoritie…

Direct tax collection grows 21% till mid- July

The government has collected over Rs 1.80 lakh crore in direct tax till July 15 in the current fiscal, an increase of 21.4 pre cent year-on-year, "belying" fears of slowdown in economic activities.  "The current growth rate is higher than the target rate of 15.32 required to achieve the Budget Estimate," Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.  The government aims to collect Rs 9.8 lakh crore through direct taxes in 2017-18.  The minister further said the current growth rate in direct tax collections is "quite healthy, belying any apprehension of reduction" in the level of economic or commercial activities.  He said the government has taken several initiatives to boost economic activity in the country and several measures were announced in the Budget 2017-18.  Replying to another question, Gangwar said the number of cyber crimes pertaining to credit card, ATM, debit card and internet banking shows a margi…

Free Products Lose Input Credit - GST Eats into `Buy One Get One Free' Offers

Companies tweak strategies as every product sold needs to have notional value in new tax regime There's no such thing as free pizza -or `free' anything -under GST, it would appear. That staple of promotional schemes among consumerfacing packaged products and foods services companies -buy one get one free -is being axed by many of them a month after the goods and services tax was rolled out. The move is necessitated by the GST fine print, according to which compa nies will have to pay additional tax on anything they give away as `free' to consumers and stand to lose input cre dit when they classify a product sale as `free'. That's forcing companies to look for other ways to win over customers. “We are doing away with buy-oneget-one-free offers and are switching to upfront discounting,“ said Mayank Shah, marketing head at biscuit maker Parle Products. “This is causing disruption but it's what is required under the goods and services tax.“ In a slowing consumer goods …

IGST Mop-up from Imports Crosses Rs 20,000 Cr in July

Total customs revenues rise to Rs 26,500 cr as rollout of the new tax regime completes a month The collection of Integrated Goods and Services Tax from imports crossed Rs 20,000 crore in July — the first month of the roll out of the new indirect tax regime, pointing towards a major jump in revenues. Total customs revenues in July 2017 stood at Rs 26,500 crore as against Rs 16,625 crore collected in July 2016. Collections have been quite robust,” a government official said. However, the official said IGST collections have also received a boost from the fact that there is a component of state GST as well in the tax. Besides, the government has done away with a number of countervailing duty (CVD) exemptions and not extended them under the GST regime that were available in the previous tax regime, such as that on some electronic products. The rise in customs revenues on imports should take care of any decline in GST collections because of any production-related disruption after the rollout of …