QBiz: India Highest FDI Recipient; GST to Slow Growth, Says Cipla

Your roundup of important business stories.

5 min read
The states will have to get the state GST Bills passed by their respective assemblies.(Photo: Abhilash Mallick/The Quint)

1. NRIs Under I-T Scanner for Exchanging Old Notes

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), exchanging old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, have now come under the income-tax (I-T) department’s scanner as the authorities suspect them of exchanging notes for citizens here.

According to sources, the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), a nodal agency for economic intelligence, shared data of old currency seizures with the I-T department of over Rs 500 crore, made in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat. These seizures were made after 31 March, which was the deadline for NRIs to exchange old notes with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), while for resident Indians it was till 30 December 2016.

The deadline for NRIs was extended to 30 June with a rider that each person can exchange a maximum of Rs 25,000.

2. GST Will Take One Quarter of Growth Out Of India: Cipla

Drugmaker Cipla Ltd. said there has been a fair amount of destocking in distribution channels and it could continue till the GST is rolled out.

The company refrained from giving any guidance for the ongoing financial year due to volatility in external environment, including challenges related to the implementation of GST, currency movement and uncertain regulatory environment. The company, however, is aiming at double-digit revenue growth on the back of new launches in the U.S. and India.

“GST will pretty much take one quarter of growth out of India. We need to give it up to a month or a month and a half more until normalcy returns,” Umang Vohra, managing director and global chief executive officer, Cipla, said in a conference call with analysts.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

3. India Retains World's Highest FDI Recipient Crown: Report

India retained its numero uno position as the world’s top most greenfield FDI investment destination for the second consecutive year, attracting $ 62.3 billion in 2016, says a report.

India has remained ahead of China and the US as far as FDI inflows were concerned in the last year, said the FDI Report 2017 compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times Ltd. FDI by capital investment saw an increase of 2 percent to $ 62.3 billion in 809 projects during 2016 in India.

“India managed to keep the crown as the world’s number one location for greenfield capital investment for the second year running – ahead of China and the US,” the report said.

The global investment landscape, the report said, has changed considerably in 2016 as FDI gravitated to locations experiencing the strongest economic growth, while locations in recession or facing high levels of uncertainty saw major declines.

(Source: PTI)

4. After Reliance Jio’s Complaint, Trai Bars Discriminatory Tariffs to Same Set of Subscribers

India’s telecom regulator has barred mobile-phone operators from offering different plans to subscribers in the same category, limiting the ability of incumbent telcos to sell customised plans to retain customers seeking to switch their loyalties to Reliance Jio.

“The authority directs all the Access Service Providers to ensure that all the tariffs offered to the consumers shall not be discriminatory between the subscribers of the same class, and to ensure that every tariff that is offered to a customer is invariably reported to the authority as per the reporting framework under the forbearance regime,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in a two-page order on Thursday.

5. 100% FDI in Domestic Airlines Poses Security Risks, Says FIA

Permitting foreign firms to fully own a domestic airline could have serious security implications, besides giving rise to other issues, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has told the government.

The decision to relax the foreign investment norm (in aviation) to 100 percent is unprecedented. No substantive country allows this,” the FIA wrote in a recent letter to the government.”

By India permitting 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in scheduled airlines, the Indian government will have no visibility on where control lies. Such a move could also have serious repercussions on India’s national security.”

According to the FIA, such “foreign owned and controlled domestic airlines” will also gain unhindered access to defence airfields.Last year, foreign investors, except overseas airlines, were allowed to own up to 100 percent stake in local air carriers by liberalising the country’s FDI regulations.

(Source: IANS)

6. BMS Slams NITI Aayog's 'Anti-Worker' Disinvestment Policy for Hotel Janpath

After Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), yet another Sangh Parivar affiliate, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), has lashed out at the NITI Aayog for "giving an anti-labour face" to the Narendra Modi government with its "misguided" and "directionless" reforms.

In a resolution that Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) passed at its two-day annual meeting in Kanpur that concluded on Wednesday, it demanded that the Aayog be "thoroughly reorganised" and that it should "remove the entire anti-worker proposals and 'action plan document on Labour and Employment" from its website.

But the voice of these Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) outfits has seldom been feebler, including during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance governments from 1998 to 2004.

7. Tapan Ray To Replace Shaktikanta Das As Economic Affairs Secretary

Tapan Ray, secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, will replace Shaktikanta Das, as the Economic Affairs Secretary from 1 June.

Ray has been assigned the additional charge on superannuation of Shaktikanta Das, a statement from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet said

Shaktikanta Das whose extended tenure ends on 31 May, had held the Economic Affairs secretary post since 29 August 2015. He was to retire at the end of February, but his term was extended for another three months to ensure that the advancement of the Union Budget 2017-18 passes smoothly.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

8. Indiana Rolls out Red Carpet for Indian IT Companies

States in the US are looking to roll out the red carpet for Indian IT services companies, with Indiana offering as much as $31 million in incentives to InfosysBSE 2.97 % as it looks to drum up jobs in the sector.

The state plans to woo more Indian IT companies, which need to boost local hires given the political sensitivity over H-1B visas and immigration under President Donald Trump. The incentives being dangled - mostly in the form of tax abatements and one-time grants - are financed by development funds created by most US states.

Indiana is offering Infosys one of the largest incentive packages it has ever handed out, more than covering the company’s cost of setting up its centre. Infosys said it will spend about $8.7 million to lease and equip its office space in the state. Indiana’s incentives are in the form of conditional tax grants and training grants.

9. OPEC, Allies to Extend Oil Cuts for Nine Months to End Glut

OPEC and its allies extended oil production cuts for nine more months after last year’s landmark agreement failed to eliminate the global oversupply or achieve a sustained price recovery.

The producer group together with Russia and other non-members agreed to prolong their accord through March, but no new non-OPEC countries will be joining the pact and there was no option set out to continue curbs further into 2018.

The market was unimpressed as prices tumbled more than 5 percent to under $49 a barrel in New York and more than a billion barrels were traded.

Six months after forming an unprecedented coalition of 24 nations and delivering output reductions that exceeded all expectations, resurgent production from U.S. shale fields has meant oil inventories remain well above the level targeted by OPEC. While stockpiles are shrinking, ministers acknowledged the surplus built up during three years of overproduction won’t clear until at least the end of 2017.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

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