QBiz: US’ Biggest Tax Overhaul in 30 Yrs; Ola to Acquire Foodpanda
1. Tax Cut Passes US House, Heads to Senate for Crunch Vote
The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives passed a landmark tax overhaul, bringing Donald Trump one step closer to a major legislative triumph as the first year of his presidency draws to a close.
Republicans received zero Democratic support as they passed the contentious USD 1.5-trillion package of tax cuts for businesses and individuals that critics say will particularly benefit the wealthy.
Twelve House Republicans joined all Democrats in opposition, as Speaker Paul Ryan emphatically declared the bill passed by 227 votes to 203, drawing loud cheers and applause from Republicans in the chamber.
The bill shifts to the Senate, where the margin of support appears to be tighter. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a final vote would likely occur during Tuesday night's session.
2. Non-Filing of Returns to Attract Strict Action
The amendments to the companies law provide for stringent penalties in case of non-filing of annual returns which would act as a deterrent against shell entities, according to an expert.
Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill to amend the Companies Act to strengthen corporate governance standards, initiate strict action against defaulting companies and help improve ease of doing business.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by a voice vote. It was cleared by the Lok Sabha in July this year.
"The bill while rationalising and simplifying certain provisions, also provides for stringent penalties in case of non-filing of balance sheet and annual return every year, which will act as deterrent to shell companies. The changes will facilitate ease of doing business, result in harmonisation with Sebi and RBI and rectify certain omissions and inconsistencies in the existing Act," Ankit Singhi, Partner at advisory firm Corporate Professionals said in a statement.
3. Govt Committed to Growth Revival, Fiscal Consolidation: Finance Ministry
The government is committed to growth revival by increasing public investment while maintaining fiscal deficit target of 3.2 percent for the current fiscal, says a finance ministry study.
The fiscal policy of the government and hence the budget 2017-18 has been guided by the twin macro-economic need of reviving growth momentum while being committed to fiscal consolidation, said the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) quarterly statement at the end of first quarter of 2017-18 prepared by the finance ministry.
During the first quarter (April-June) of 2017-18, the growth rate of GDP was subdued at 5.7 percent as against 7.9 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2016-17.
Despite fall in growth rate in first quarter, gross tax revenue receipts grew by 15.2 percent over corresponding period of previous fiscal, which is higher than budgeted growth rate of about 11 percent for a year, it said.
4. Ola to Acquire Foodpanda’s India Unit, Pump in $200 Million
Cab hailing app Ola on Tuesday, 19 December, said it will acquire Foodpanda's India business from Germany-based Delivery Hero Group in exchange of its stock.
Besides, the SoftBank-backed company has committed investments to the tune of US $200 million in the Foodpanda India business, which is the largest such infusion of funds in an Indian online food ordering and delivery company till now.
Under the deal, Foodpanda's India business will be transferred to Ola in exchange of the latter's stock, Ola said in a statement.
It, however, did not divulge details about the number of shares that will be part of the transaction.
(Read full story on The Quint)
5. Govt Restarts Hiring Process Of RBI Deputy Governor
The government has started afresh the selection process for the appointment of RBI Deputy Governor, a position that fell vacant after completion of three-year term of SS Mundra on 31 July.
Although an interview was conducted on 29 July for finding the suitable candidate, the government decided to conduct the process once again, sources told PTI.
The Financial Sector Regulatory Appointment Search Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary, had its meeting in this regard on Monday to select a suitable candidate to succeed Mundra.
However, reasons for delay and fresh selection process could not be known. Bankers from both public and private sector banks meeting the eligibility criteria would be called for interaction by the high-level panel, the sources added.
(Read full story on BloombergQuint)
6. Govt Identifying ‘Champion Sectors’ for India
The government is making efforts to identify the "champion sectors" for the country and work with concerned departments on the policy framework and incentives to promote the segments, a top official said on Tuesday.
"Now in order to focus attention, we are making an effort to identify strongly what are the champion sectors for India, and as we identify those champion sectors we will work with the line departments to look at the policy framework and the incentives that are necessary to promote those specific sectors," Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said while addressing a CII event.
She highlighted that as India liberalises its economy, one of the key focus areas is to open up the country's services sector for investments.
7. Complaints to Banking Ombudsman Rose 27% in FY17
The Banking Ombudsman, which is the nodal agency for consumer complaints related to banking services, saw grievances jump by more than a quarter in the financial year 2017.
The number of complaints received by the Banking Ombudsman jumped more than 27 percent compared to the previous year, showed the annual report of the Ombudsman released on Tuesday. 1,30,987 complaints were received by 20 Offices of the Banking Ombudsmen, the report said.
Complaints have been steadily rising due to increasing consumer awareness but also because banks are unable to resolve issues swiftly.
"The rising trend of complaints, while reflecting the increasing awareness about the Banking Ombudsman, also underlines the need for banks to strengthen their internal grievance redressal mechanism," said the report.
(Read full story on BloombergQuint)
8. Tata Tele Maharashtra Q2 Loss Widens to Rs 8,194 Cr
Telecom operator Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) on Tuesday reported widening of loss to Rs 8,194.67 crore in the second quarter ended 30 September, mainly on account of writing off its consumer mobile business.
The company had posted a loss of Rs 452.82 crore in the same period a year ago.
Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (TTML) impaired Rs 7,708.63 crore for its mobile business which it is transferring to Bharti Airtel.
"The company has recorded Rs 7,708.63 crore towards impairment loss during the quarter and half year ended 30 September 2017 on its consumer mobile business (CMB) assets based on assessment of its recoverable value," TTML said in its result report.
9. Vodafone to Offer Rs 2,100 Cashback on itel's A20 Smartphone
Telecom operator Vodafone India on Tuesday said it will offer up to Rs 2,100 cashback to customers buying itel's A20 smartphone retailing at Rs 3,690 a unit.
"Vodafone India and itel Mobile today announced a strategic partnership to provide an exciting cashback offer on the purchase itel A20 Smartphone. The offers provides a cashback of Rs 2,100 to a customer buying itel A20 bringing its effective price down from Rs 3,690 to just Rs 1,590," Vodafone and itel said in a joint statement.
To avail this offer, itel and Vodafone customers will have to buy the 4G VoLTE enabled itel A20 smartphone priced at Rs 3,690 and recharge with Rs 150 or more in a calendar month for 18 months.
The recharge can be done either cumulatively or as a one-time recharge. At the end of 18 months, customers will receive a cashback of Rs 900. Upon continuing to recharge Rs 150 per month, customers can enjoy an additional cashback of Rs 1,200 after another 18 months.
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