QBiz: No GST on Fuel Likely; Ultratech To Acquire Century Cement

Here are the top business news from around the country.

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1. No GST on Petrol, Diesel in Near Future as Centre, States Not in Favour

Petrol and diesel will not come under the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the immediate future as neither the central government nor any of the states is in favour on fears of heavy revenue loss, a top source said on Tuesday, 22 August.

When the one-nation-one-tax regime of GST was implemented in July last year, five petro-products – petrol, diesel, crude oil, natural gas, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) were kept out of its purview for the time being.

(Source: The Economic Times)


2. FPIs Get More Time to Submit List of Beneficial Owners to SEBI

Giving relief to foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), SEBI on Tuesday extended the deadline by two months till December for providing a list of beneficial owners (BO), and assured them that issues raised will be looked into by an expert panel.

SEBI said a working group headed by HR Khan, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, will now look into the various issues raised by FPIs. Also, SEBI said that appropriate view in the matter will be taken after receiving the recommendations of the working group.

The regulator, in April, had asked Category II and III FPIs to provide a list of their BOs in a prescribed format within six months. The SEBI move to seek details of BOs, the ultimate beneficiaries who may control the fund, had worried FPIs.


3. I-T  Dilutes Move to Cap Appeals Based on Monetary Value

More than a month after saying it will appeal adverse tax verdicts only in cases involving sums of money above certain thresholds, the taxman has diluted the decision.

A central board of direct taxes (CBDT) circular issued to all income tax principal commissioners on 20 August said adverse judgements on specified issues should be “contested on merits, notwithstanding that the tax effect entailed is less than the monetary limits specified.”

(Source: Livemint)


4. Government Plans to Transfer Air India’s Non-Core Assets to Special Purpose Vehicle

The government is looking at transferring Air India’s non-core assets and “unsustainable debt” to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) as part of measures to revive the national carrier, a top official said on Tuesday, 21 August. After the proposed strategic disinvestment of Air India failed to take off in May, the government has been looking at ways to bolster the carrier. Against this backdrop, the official at the Finance Ministry said that efforts are on to sell non-core assets of Air India.

As part of the disinvestment process, which has been shelved for now, the government had proposed creating a special purpose vehicle wherein the non-core assets and “unsustainable debt” would be transferred there. The official said that proposal and encashing the non-core assets is being pursued as it would also help the airline stand on its feet. “This was also proposed for Air India when we had gone for hunting of proposed bidder for Air India,” the official added.


5. Selling Amrapali Directors' Properties Only Way to Secure Rs 5,112 Crore for Construction: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the only way to secure over Rs 5,112 crore from real estate major Amrapali Group for construction of pending projects by the NBCC (India) Ltd is to sell the individual properties of the directors of the company.

A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice UU Lalit said that residential projects of Amrapali in the National Capital Region seem prima facie illegal and its real estate business is like "a well-operated cobweb".

Amrapali Group has to "come out with clean hands", the bench observed while directing it to provide detailed data of its unencumbered properties.


6. Forex Reserves Seen Adequate to Tide over Pressure on CAD

India may report a higher current account deficit this year on account of a falling rupee but this is not a cause of worry, said a senior government official who did not want to be identified. The government will also not place a restriction on imports to benefit a few industrialists, the official said.

“There will be short-term pressure on the current account deficit but India has adequate foreign exchange reserves to tide over this,” the official said, adding that the government is confident of adhering to the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19.

“The current account deficit won’t be as good as last year but with oil prices stabilising, the situation will not be very bad,” he said.

(Source: Livemint)


7. Ultratech Gets CCI Nod to Acquire Century Cement Business

Aditya Birla Group firm UltraTech on 21 August said it has received an approval from the fair trade regulator Competition Commission for the acquisition of the cement business of Century Textiles and Industries.

The company said the CCI has given its approval for the share swap deal between the companies, Ultratech said in a regulatory filing.

On 20 May, UltraTech said it would acquire the cement business of BK Birla Group company Century Textiles and Industries through a share swap deal, a move which would further consolidate its position as market leader in the segment.

(Source: The Economic Times)


8. After 6 Years, India May Resume Rapeseed Meal Export to China

Thanks to China’s trade war with the US, India is expected to restart rapeseed meal export to its neighbour.

China had been importing 4-5 lakh tonnes of the material till 2012, when it banned Indian shipments over issues of contamination. Rapeseed meal is used as feed for poultry and livestock.

BV Mehta, Executive Director of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, said the Commerce Ministry had organised a video-link with Chinese officials last week to explain to them that their fear of contamination in rapeseed meal is unfounded as all pests are destroyed when rapeseed meal is processed at extreme heat.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)


9. Nokia Maker  HMD Aims to Double India Revenues in Four-Six Months

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia mobile phones, aims to double its revenue in India over the next four to six months by scaling up production capacity while it also shifts towards manufacturing handset parts to beat high import taxes.

“(India is) already one of our biggest markets and it is the cornerstone of our future growth,” HMD’s chief executive Florian Seiche said in an interview on Tuesday.

“Globally, there are 25 markets where we are among the top five smartphone players, which is great, but India, for sure because of the size and the potential for further growth, it is definitely a key market for us.”

(Source: Livemint)

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