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India may adopt item-based anti-profiteering rules to benefit users

India may adopt item-based anti-profiteering rules to benefit users India is likely to adopt a product-specific approach to impose anti-profiteering provisions to ensure that consumers get the full benefit of price cuts due to the goods and services tax (GST), including recent revisions.

This means that a company will not be able to reduce prices of slow-moving products in its portfolio while keeping those of fast-moving ones high. "Reduction in overall tax incidence will have to be passed on," said a Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) official. "The authority will examine input tax credit flowing into a product and reduction in total tax incidence when it gets a complaint." The GST Council had, at its last meeting, cut the tax rate on 178 household goods such as detergents, shampoo, shaving cream and cosmetics to 18 per cent from 28 per cent . The government has asked industry to pass on GST reductions to consumers. The CBEC chairman has also written to compan…

Draft national energy policy proposes aligning energy prices with international rates

Draft national energy policy proposes aligning energy prices with international rates A draft national energy policy proposing aligning energy prices with international rates will be put up for the approval of the Cabinet.If approved, energy prices across sectors would become market-driven and subsides would be limited to identified beneficiaries via direct benefit transfer, much on the lines of the LPG subsidy In June, government think tank Niti Aayog released a draft National Energy Policy (NEP), on which it had been working since 2015.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired interministerial consultations on the policy after the coal ministry expressed reservations over market-driven prices that would pose a threat to the monopoly and margins of Coal India. The policy will help India integrate with the global energy world without compromising on the energy needs of the poorest of the poor, who will continue to get subsidy on all forms of energy directly into their bank accounts thro…

Some promoters escape tight insolvency norms

Some promoters escape tight insolvency norms Promoters of at least four small companies managed to pass their resolution plans before New Delhi tweaked the bankruptcy code, limiting the ability of erstwhile defaulting owners from buying back their assets at the conclusion of time-bound recovery proceedings Synergies-Dooray, Chhaparia Industries, Sree Metaliks, and the West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation have all presented successful resolution plans approved by respective chapters of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). “The ordinance is not retrospective,” said Sandeep Parekh, founder of Finsec Law Advisors. “Those companies were fortunate enough to go through successful resolution plans under the code, but without the new amendments. The outcome could have been different under the latest ordinance subject to promoters’ eligibility.” In absence of adequate bidders, promoters have mostly regained control in all those companies where they were resolution applicants bi…

Government is keen to meet FY18 deficit target

Government is keen to meet FY18 deficit target The government is keen on sticking to the fiscal deficit target for the year and will look for ways to make up for any revenue shortfall that could hinder this plan. The thinking at the highest level of the government is that the fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP for FY18 should be met, though there can be some relaxation in the consolidation roadmap beyond that. "There seems to be some discomfort about letting go fiscal goals... The thinking as of now is that the target should be met," said a senior government official aware of the matter.There have been preliminary discussions on the issue but a final call will only be taken after the revenue position becomes clearer post December. The government has met budget targets in the last three years, which has helped establish budget credibility, something that it does not want to compromise. Following a slump in growth in the third quarter to a three-year low, there had been specula…

Over one third of registered companies out of business

Over one third of registered companies out of business More than one-third of the total 17 lakh registered companies in the country were shuttered as on end of October, latest official data showed. While authorities step up their clampdown on companies suspected of being used as a conduit for illegal activities, the number of active firms stood at little over 11.30 lakh as on October 31.The corporate affairs ministry, which is implementing the Companies Act, has so far struck off the names of around 2.24 lakh entities that have not been carrying out business activities for long. "The total number of companies registered in the country as on October 31, 2017, stood at 17,04,319... there were 11,30,784 active companies as on October 31, 2017," the ministry said in a report for the month of October. According to the report, out of the total, 5.35 lakh companies were closed down, 1,123 were assigned dormant status, 5,957 were under liquidation and 31,666 were inhe process of being s…

RBI order may bump up ARCs valuations

RBI order may bump up ARCs valuations The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) dispensation to allow asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) to hold more than 26 per cent stake in distressed assets might bump up the valuations of the ARCs for foreign investors The rule puts ARCs in a commanding position in deciding how an asset resolution should happen, something they could not do so far because of their limited shareholding. Technically, the latest rules give ARCs freedom to become owners of the stressed firm and drive the resolution process “We will now have better level of control and more say in how the company concerned should be operated,” said Vinayak Bahuguna, managing director and chief executive officer of Asset Reconstruction Co of India (ARCIL). “Moreover, it gives ARCs the ability to maximise returns by increasing shareholding and selling the stake off in case a company turns around.” The central bank, in a notification on its website on Thursday, did not specify an upper limit that…

Govt fixes sovereign gold bond rate at Rs 2,961/g

Govt fixes sovereign gold bond rate at Rs 2,961/g The price of new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) opening on Monday has been fixed at Rs 2,961 per gram, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday.The government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to offeradiscount of Rs 50 per gram to investors applying online and making payments digitally.“For the subscription period from November 27, 2017, to November 29, 2017,the nominal value of the bond based on the simple average closing price for gold of 999 purity of the last three business days of the week preceding the subscription period (November 22 to 24) works out to Rs 2,961,” the RBI said in a statement. The Business Standard, New Delhi, 25th November 2017