QBiz: Corporte Tax May Be Slashed For FY17, Forex Scam and More

QBiz: Read the top business stories of the day.

4 min read
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: PTI)

1. Corporate Tax Rate May Fall 1 Per Cent in FY17 While Bigger Sops Remain

Finance minister Arun Jaitley may start with just token measures to phase out corporate tax exemptions in the Budget for FY17 but may nevertheless drop the corporate tax rate by one percentage point.

While speaking to businesspersons in Pune on Saturday, the finance minister reiterated the government’s resolve to usher in a “reasonable and globally-competitive tax regime”.

I will try to bring down corporate tax to 25 per cent in the next 3-4 years, and the process of reduction will start next year,” Jaitley said.

According to the finance ministry officials, the big tax breaks may be scrapped only towards the end of the four-year road map announced last February.

Read more here.


2. Stock Markets May Start Higher, Struggle Later Over Profit-booking

Stocks may start trading higher on Monday, led by Reliance Industries on its better-than-expected results, but may struggle to sustain the momentum as some traders could look to book profits following the Nifty’s 3.6 per cent gain so far in October.

Investors will closely monitor HDFC Bank, Wipro, UltraTech and Hero Moto-Corp, which are scheduled to announce their quarterly earnings this week.

The S&P BSE Sensex gained 135 points, or 0.49 per cent, in the week-ended October 16 to settle at 27,214.60.

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3. Reliance Industries to Enrol 1.5 Lakh Vendors for Its E-commerce Venture

Reliance Industries has said it will enrol 1,50,000 small and medium vendors for its e-commerce marketplace by the end of this fiscal that will take on the likes of Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.

The country’s largest private company will roll out its e-commerce initiative with 30,000 vendors who are expected to come on board by the end of this month, Reliance Industries officials said at an analysts meet after declaring its second quarter results on Friday.

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4. States Share Best Ideas to Lift India’s Global Ease-of-doing Business Ranking

After competing for top slots in reforming the business environment, states are now sharing their best practices and ideas in order to lift India’s ranking on the global ease-of-doing business index. The states voiced their opinions and suggestions on taking forward reforms at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha on Friday.

Based on discussions with the states, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has drawn up a list of best practices for all states to emulate.

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5. Government Ends Coal Block Lease Issues; 10 Mines to Start Operations by March 2016

The government has ironed out issues related to transfer of mining leases and grant of forest clearances to coal block winners and expects commencement of operations in about 10 more mines by March next year, easing coal availability to the projects attached to these mines.

Chhattisgarh has altered rules to exempt companies that have won coal mines in the state from paying levies as high as 10-15 per cent of the blocks’ value for granting mining leases and registration.

Read more here.


6. Amtek Set to Solve Debt Issue With JPMorgan

New Delhi-based auto component maker Amtek Auto is close to reaching a solution with JPMorgan, which holds its non-convertible debentures worth Rs 200 crore.

The non-convertible debentures (NCDs) matured on September 20 but as Amtek Auto was facing a “cash flow mismatch”, it was unable to make repayments to its investors.

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7. Forex Scam: BoB, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Others Face Sebi Scrutiny For Disclosure Lapses

As a multi-agency probe continues in the alleged forex-based black money case involving thousands of crores of rupees, the capital market regulator Sebi and stock exchanges have now begun a scrutiny of several banks for any violation of the disclosure norms for listed firms.

State-run Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce are among those facing the scrutiny, while stock exchanges have also sought clarifications from top private sector lenders – HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

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8. Sugar Prices Jump 25 Per Cent Over Two months, to Remain a Sweet Deal for Investors

After falling over 20 per cent during January to July period in 2015, sugar prices have climbed around 25 per cent over the past two months.

According to market experts, erratic monsoon rains in the major sugarcane producing states in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra and pick up in festival demand contributed to the surge in sugar prices in the recent past.

Sugar price at the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange jumped to Rs 2,699 per quintal on October 7 from Rs 2,164.15 per quintal on July 31.

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9. Home Buyers Will Have Less to Choose From This Diwali

The festive season is likely to be a dull affair for builders with few new property launches expected and the number of new units on offer tipped to fall by about a third across four major residential markets. Traditionally, September, October and November see better sales compared to the rest of the year as they are considered to be auspicious for property transactions.

But 2015 will be the third year in a row when the number of homes on sale will fall and probably bookings too. While developers are going all out to attract buyers, the sentiment remains weak on concerns over affordability and despite banks having pruned loan rates and the loan-to-value ratio or LTV having been upped, sales are tipped to be sluggish.

Read more here.

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