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Govt may amend law to let Sebi act against unlisted units

Govt may amend law to let Sebi act against unlisted units Specific sections of the Companies Act may be tweaked to allow Sebi to enforce corporate governance norms on unlisted subsidiaries to protect investors’ interestThe government may soon vest the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with powers to act against insider trading and forward dealing activities in unlisted units of a publicly traded entity. Specific sections of the Companies Act may be amended to allow Sebi to enforce corporate governance norms on unlisted subsidiaries so that investors’ interest is protected, said Injeti Srinivas, secretary of ministry of corporate affairs (MCA). “We have a meeting with Sebi in the next few days and we will work on this issue. Even if it involves unlisted companies, MCA is open to vacate the required areas in the Act for Sebi as long as it serves the common goal of improving corporate governance standards,” Srinivas said on the sidelines of a corporate governance summit organize…

Govt to start Rs 34,000 crore Bharat Net phase2 from today

Govt to start Rs 34,000 crore Bharat Net phase2 from today The government will start its second and final phase of Bharat Net project on Monday —with an outlay of around Rs 34,000 crore— to provide high speed broad band in all panchayats by March 2019, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Sunday.Under the project, the government aims to connect 150,000 panchayats through 1 million km of additional optical fibre and give band width to telecom players at nearly 75 per cent cheaper price for broad band and WiFi services in rural areas. “We will tomorrow launch phase2 of BharatNet to connect 150,000 gram panchayats (GPs) with high speed broad band by March 2019. Phase1 of the project, under which 100,000 GPs were to be connected, will be completed by the end of this year.We expect telecom operators to provide at least 2 megabit per second speed to rural households,” Sundararajan said. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Human Resource Development…

Fear of revenue loss abates as GST collections gain momentum

Fear of revenue loss abates as GST collections gain momentum States are steadily improving GST collections aided by relaxations in deadline, waiver of late payment fee and steps to encourage compliance, shows GST Council data.The initial revenue shock following the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) seems to have abated, with states steadily improving collections aided by relaxations in deadline, waiver of late payment fee and steps to encourage compliance, showed data from the GST Council. Average shortfall in GST revenue collected by states narrowed to 24% in September and further to 17.6% in October from a high of 28.4% in August, supporting the optimism of state finance ministers that revenues will stabilize further in coming months. Monthly GST receipts of states relate to sales in the previous month GST, aimed at creating a common nationwide market by scrapping a web of local taxes, has seen a series of tweaks since it was implemented on 1 July, with the most comprehensive…

Next Step in GST Recast: Lower End of Tax Slabs

Next Step in GST Recast: Lower End of Tax Slabs The next rejig of goods and services tax will likely focus on the lower end of the rate slabs, as the country seeks to further streamline the structure by converging multiple rates into two or three. It will happen after the regime settles down and there is more clarity on revenue following the recast last week. Simplification of laws, rules and procedures in line with industry’s feedback is also likely to top the GST Council’s agenda in the next few meetings. The rates on some items such as cement and paint, still left at the highest rate of 28%, could be brought down if tax revenue remains robust. A top official with a state government said the focus would now be to recast the lower 12% and 5% rate slabs.Other issues to be considered by the council are inclusion of real estate and petroleum products under GST.The government has set up a group with industry representation to review the tax regime, which has since its July 1 launch been cri…

Post Tax Rate Cut FMCG Firms Set to Reduce Prices

Post Tax Rate Cut FMCG Firms Set to Reduce Prices Prices of shampoos, chocolates, nutrition drinks and condensed milk are set to drop 5-15% after the GST Council eased them out of higher tax slabs. Companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Dabur, Amul, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, Nestle and Perfetti Van Melle said they have either decided to reduce prices or are planning to do so after the GST Council cut tax on several consumer goods to 18% from 28%. They, in fact, are also bound by the anti-profiteering clause under the GST law to pass on any benefit from lower tax incidence to consumers. “We will drop prices at least by 5% on our shampoo range,” Dabur chief executive Sunil Duggal said. The country’s largest dairy firm, Amul, said it would slash prices of condensed milk and chocolates by 5-10% with immediate effect, while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer said it would cut the price of popular chocolate drink Horlicks in line with the new rate. Hindustan Unilever said it was calibrating …

ED probe on 3,700 laundering, FEMA cases after note ban

ED probe on 3,700 laundering, FEMA cases after note ban The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating over 3,700 cases of money laundering and hawala transactions, involving tainted assets worth Rs 9,935 crore, as part of its action against black money generated after demonetisation, said an official report. The central probe agency also carried outa “risk assessment” of these cases, registered after the currency purge on November 8 last year, and found that a majority of (43 per cent) the financial crimes were carried out by perpetrating bank frauds and cheating financial institutions through amaze of shell firms. The other category of post note ban financial crimes being probed by the ED include cases of corruption (31 per cent), drugs and narcotics trade (6.5 per cent), arms and explosives (4.5 per cent), and others (8.5 per cent).

The Business Standard, New Delhi, 10th November 2017

Non-committal on excise duty cut on petrol diesel Govt

Non-committal on excise duty cut on petrol diesel Govt Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan remained non-committal on cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the rise in retail fuel prices that followed the rally in international oil rates. Petrol and diesel prices have risen by almost Rs 1.5 per litre in the last one month, taking away gains accrued from a one off cut in excise duty cut on the two fuels. Brent futures this week touched Rs 64.65perbarrel. For much of this year, oil prices have been around Rs 55perbarrel.The Centre had, in October, cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre to moderate the relent less rise in fuel prices. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 10th November 2017