1. GST: Handicrafts May Not Remain Exempt
Handicrafts may no longer remain exempt from tax as a committee suggesting rates to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has proposed to bring such items under the tax net, a senior finance ministry official told BloombergQuint. Currently, the Centre does not levy any excise duty on handicrafts and some states exempt such goods.
The committee has also proposed to tax handmade furniture at the highest 28 percent tax rate, bringing it on a par with furniture. It is difficult to differentiate if an item like furniture is handmade or not, the official said requesting anonymity. The tax rate on furniture, handmade or machine-made, should be kept the same, agreed Amit Sarkar, partner and head of indirect tax at BDO India LLP, a tax advisory.
2. RBI Calls for Account Number Portability, Banks Wary
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor SS Mundra on Tuesday pushed banks to allow customers to move seamlessly between banks without having to change their account numbers. He also said the central bank would soon come out with final guidelines on customer protection to limit their liability in case of fraud in electronic banking transactions.
Technological innovation and linking accounts to Aadhaar, the ID number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, have made it easier to move towards account number portability, the deputy governor said at an event organised by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India. Mundra also cautioned banks against charging higher rates on services.
3. New Pink-Green Re 1 Notes To Be in Circulation Soon
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday announced that it will soon put new one rupee denomination notes into circulation. The press release said that the notes have been printed by the Government of India.
The dimension of the note will be 9.7 x 6.3 cm and will be predominantly pink green on the obverse and reverse and it will have multi tonal watermarks.
“These currency notes are legal tender as provided in The Coinage Act 2011. The existing currency notes in this denomination in circulation will also continue to be legal tender,” the RBI press release said.
Read the full story on The Quint.
4. Small Finance Banks See Asset Quality Deteriorate
Small finance banks (SFBs) are showing elevated signs of risk as asset quality deteriorated post demonetisation in November. As a grouping, small finance banks (SFBs) have the worst numbers. According to data compiled by Crif High Mark Credit Information Services, a credit bureau, the portfolio at risk (PAR) for 30 days has increased 10.56 percent at the end of March compared to 2.99 percent three months earlier.
PAR is the proportion of loans overdue (for a specific number of days) to the overall loans outstanding. Similarly, PAR above 90 days for microlenders stood at 4.45 percent at the end of March compared to 0.24 percent at December-end. Total microloans outstanding at the end of March stood at Rs1.05 trillion, up 31 percent from a year ago, and a slowdown from the 42 percent pace recorded the previous year, according to Crif data.
5. Jet Airways Q4 Profit Falls 91% to Rs 36.80 Crore on Fuel, Fares, Gulf Woes
Jet Airways (India) Ltd Tuesday recorded a 91 percent decline in March quarter net profit as higher income was more than offset by costlier fuel, lower airfares, higher capacity and weak demand from the key Gulf region. India’s second-largest airline by passengers carried said net profit during the quarter fell to Rs 36.80 crore from Rs 397.16 crore a year ago.
Total income during the quarter was Rs 5,759.58 crore, against Rs 5451.28 crore a year ago. Net profit during the fiscal year fell as well, down 64 percent to Rs 438.45 crore from Rs 1,211.65 crore a year ago. Total income during the year rose to Rs 23,669.91 crore from Rs 22,906.06 crore the year before, but expenses also rose to Rs 23,279.71 crore from Rs 21,852.13 crore during the period.
6. Swiggy Gets $80 Million From Naspers and Others, Gains Financial Heft Against Zomato
Online food delivery start-up Swiggy (Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd) Tuesday said it has raised $80 million in a Series E funding round led by South African media company Naspers Ltd. The fresh funds could help the company gain financial edge over rival Zomato Media Pvt Ltd.
Existing investors Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Harmony Partners and Norwest Venture Partners also participated in the funding round. Mint reported on 27 March that Swiggy is in talks to raise at least $50 million from Naspers and existing investors. The company plans to make significant investments in technology, including automation, data sciences, machine learning and personalisation.
7. PVR Expects Strong Revenue Growth In April-September On Big Bang Movie Releases
India’s largest multiplex chain PVR Ltd is banking on a string of big-bang movie releases and screen additions to continue its growth trajectory in the ongoing financial year. The company expects its revenue to grow 17-20 percent in the financial year 2017-18, driven by strong performance in the first half of the year.
The theatre chain plans to add 65-70 screens and expects big releases like Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Cars 3, Raabta, and the Salman Khan-starrer Tubelight to increase footfalls in the first half. PVR has 579 screens across India. Footfalls rose in the first quarter on the back of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
The first quarter started slow, but I think Baahubali just changed the entire picture, so the first quarter is suddenly looking very good.Nitin Sood, chief financial officer of PVR
8. Who Are the Biggest Buyers of Gold in India?
The latest report from the World Gold Council says that gold demand from India was what supported global gold demand in the first quarter of 2017. Indian purchases of gold jewellery in the first quarter of 2017 accounted for a little over a fifth of world jewellery demand. That is completely out of proportion to India’s share of world gross domestic product (GDP), which is around 3 percent or so, in current US dollars.
India’s hunger for gold is not surprising—people have been complaining about the “drain of gold” into India for ages, starting with Pliny the Elder, the Roman writer of the 1st century AD. But where in India does the gold go to? And who are the people who buy all this gold jewellery?
9. Snapdeal Receives 113 Crore From Nexus, Founders in Surprise Funding
Struggling online marketplace Snapdeal has received Rs 113 crore in an emergency financing round from existing investor Nexus Venture Partners and the company’s founders. The funding will not affect Snapdeal’s proposed sale to Flipkart, three people familiar with the matter said, on condition of anonymity. Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Ltd) has been in talks to sell itself to bigger rival Flipkart amid a boardroom battle involving its three most powerful investors and its co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal.
Japanese technology and telecoms conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp, Snapdeal’s largest investor, is trying to engineer the sale after giving up on the online marketplace, which has lost out to Flipkart and Amazon India in the e-commerce battle.