QBiz: NiMo’s Firm Files for Bankruptcy; Google Tez-SBI Sign a Deal

A wrap of the top business stories of the day.

Published
Business
5 min read
Nirav Modi is the main accused in an alleged fraud of over Rs 12,600 crore at Punjab National Bank.
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1. Pressure Mounts on Nirav Modi Even as His Firm Files for Bankruptcy

Diamond trader Nirav Modi, a key accused in the alleged Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud which is now pegged at close to $2 billion, on Tuesday, 27 February, faced more heat with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moving a court for a non-bailable warrant and another court issuing summons to him in a tax evasion case.

As Nirav Modi’s international jewellery business Firestar Diamond filed a bankruptcy plea in the US, officials said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned the chief executive officer (CEO) and the managing director (MD) of Allahabad Bank, Usha Ananthasubramanian, in the PNB fraud case that allegedly involved him and his uncle, Mehul Choksi.

Ananthasubramanian was the MD and the CEO of PNB since 14 August 2015 before being appointed in Allahabad Bank on 6 May 2017.

(Source: PTI)

2. Check NPAs Above Rs 500 Mn for Possible Fraud, Alert CBI: Govt Tells Banks

Jolted by the Punjab National Bank fraud, the Finance Ministry on Tuesday, 27 February, directed managing directors of public sector banks to examine non-performing asset (NPA) accounts of more than Rs 500 million for possible fraud and report any cases of wilful default to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The ministry also set a 15-day deadline for PSBs to put in place an effective system to address rising operational and technological risks.

These directions are part of the reforms that the government had packaged with the recapitalisation plan for banks. In a couple of tweets, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar asked banks to involve the Enforcement Directorate and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for any violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Foreign Exchange and Management Act, and export-import norms.

3. India Has Potential to Achieve 7-8% GDP Growth: Arun Jaitley

The Indian economy has the potential to achieve a GDP growth rate of more than 7-8 percent in view of policy changes, accompanied by a supportive global environment, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, 27 February.

Addressing the India-Korea Business Summit, he observed that over the next 10-20 years, India will continue to remain one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“India has demonstrated in the last few years that it has, even in a global environment of adversity, a potential to self correct, to continue to take difficult decisions if necessary and maintain a high growth trajectory,” Jaitley said.

(Source: PTI)

4. Govt Issues Guidelines for Auction of Coal Mines to Private Firms

A week after the Government of India announced, in a historic decision, that private and foreign firms will be permitted to bid for coal mines in India, the guidelines for such bidding have been issued.

The guidelines, that provide for opening up of India’s coal sector, indicate that the highest price bid will be successful, there will be no restriction on the sale or utilisation of coal from the mine, there will be production flexibility and measures to capture windfall gains.

Here are the key features as per the circular issued by the Ministry of Coal on 27 February:

  • It will be an ascending forward auction.
  • Floor price shall be determined as per a December 2014 circular.
  • The highest price offer will win the auction.
  • There shall be no restriction on sale/utilisation of the coal.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

5. Google Tez Now Integrated With SBI

Google (Alphabet Inc) on Tuesday, 27 February, said it has integrated Google Tez with the State Bank of India (SBI), allowing customers of India’s largest lender to transact directly from their bank accounts through the mobile payments app.

SBI is the first public sector bank to have partnered with Google Tez. SBI customers can now create a unique UPI ID (for example, name@oksbi or mobilenumber@oksbi etc) to carry out the transactions.

To be sure, other state-run banks are also listed on the app and money can be sent to these bank accounts but the bank’s UPI ID cannot be generated on the app.

(Source: Livemint)

6. HDFC’s QIP Opens, to Decide Issue Price on 5 March

India’s largest mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd’s qualified institutional placement, part of its Rs 13,000-crore plan to mop up funds to invest in its banking and other subsidiaries, opened on Tuesday, 27 February.

The floor price for the qualified institutional placement has been set at Rs 1,824.63 apiece, HDFC said in an exchange filing post market hours. The committee of directors will “consider and determine” the issue price on 5 March, the company added.

BloombergQuint had reported on 26 February that HDFC is looking to raise nearly Rs 1,900 crore by selling shares near the current market price. Shares of the mortgage lender fell 0.8 percent to close at Rs 1,828.6 apiece on Tuesday session.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. GST Collections Stable at Rs 86,318 Crore In January

The government’s revenue from the Goods and Services Tax remained stable in January.

Total collections for the month stood at Rs 86,318 crore as on 25 February, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. That compares with Rs 86,703 crore collected in December and the lowest mop-up of Rs 80,808 crore in November.

The collections have settled around Rs 86,000 crore, Abhishek Jain, partner at EY India, told BloombergQuint. They may get a boost with the e-way bill rollout from 1 April.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

8. EPFO Makes Online Claims Must for PF Withdrawals Above Rs 10 Lakh

Retirement fund body EPFO has made it mandatory to file online claims for provident fund withdrawals above Rs 10 lakh, taking another step towards becoming a paperless organisation.

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has also made it mandatory to file online claims for withdrawals of above Rs 5 lakh under the Employees Pension Scheme 1995.

Under the pension scheme, there is a provision of part withdrawal of pension, commonly known as commutation of pension money. At present, EPFO subscribers have the option of filing online as well as manual claims for provident fund withdrawal as also for pension.

9. Rotomac Case: I-T Dept Files Dozen Fresh Chargesheets

The Income Tax Department on Tuesday, 27 February, said it has filed a dozen fresh charge sheets against Rotomac pens company owner Vikram Kothari and his group for alleged tax evasion.

The Income Tax Department also attached three more bank accounts of the company as part of its latest action against it for alleged tax evasion.

With this, the total charge sheets filed against the group are 18 while a total of 17 accounts have been attached, officials said.

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