QBiz: Petrol, Diesel Prices Slashed, New ITR Forms Notified & More

The Quint’s compilation of business news from dailies across India.

5 min read
A statement from Indian Oil Corp said that with effect from 1 April, petrol price has been cut by Rs 3.77 a litre and diesel price by Rs 2.91 a litre. (Photo: AP)

1. Petrol Price Cut by Rs 3.77 per Litre, Diesel Price by Rs 2.91

Petrol prices have been cut by Rs 3.77 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 2.91 per litre from 31 March midnight.

State-owned oil retailers Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp cut fuel price sharply, passing on to consumers benefits of the softening global prices and of the strengthening rupee against the dollar.

A statement from Indian Oil Corp. said that with effect from 1 April, petrol price has been cut by Rs 3.77 a litre and diesel price by Rs 2.91 a litre, excluding state levies.

(Source: Livemint)

2. BS-III Impact: Rebates, Freebies Help 2-Wheeler Makers Clear Inventory

Diwali came early for two-wheeler buyers who rushed to cash in on hefty discounts offered by two-wheeler makers after the Supreme Court halted the sale and registration of vehicles that don't comply with Bharat Stage-IV emission norms to be implemented pan-India from Saturday.

With two-wheeler giants Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Hero MotoCorp lining up discounts of 20-40 percent, or Rs 10,000-22,500, on vehicles adhering to the older BS-III norms, the last two days of the financial year 2016-17 saw big crowds at dealerships. Many shops in metros such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru ran out of stocks while one Hero dealer in Mumbai had to call in cops to manage the crowds.

3. New Development Bank to Raise Funds Through Masala Bonds, Says KV Kamath

The Shanghai-headquartered BRICS lender, New Development Bank (NDB), will look to raise funds through a masala bond issue in the second half of the year, KV Kamath, president of the bank, told BloombergQuint in an interview.

"Last year, we raised money in the renminbi bond market through an onshore green bond. That was roughly $500 million. This year, in the second half of the year, we will look at doing a masala bond issue," said Kamath. The size of the issue could be between $300-500 million, he added.

The NDB prefers to raise local currency funds in the overseas market because of the tremendous volatility in currency markets, Kamath explained, while adding that offshore issues are preferred over onshore ones to avoid the risk of crowding out local borrowers.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

4. New ITR Forms Notified, Details of Cash Deposits Above Rs2 Lakh, Aadhaar Mandatory

The income-tax department has notified a simplified one-page tax-return form aimed at making it easier for taxpayers to file their annual returns.

At the same time, the new form also requires taxpayers to make additional disclosures – including mandatory linking of tax returns with an individual’s Aadhaar number – which will help curb tax evasion.

Not only will this make it easier for 50 percent of the country’s 40 million taxpayers and encourage more people to file their tax returns, the new disclosures will also encourage better compliance.

(Source: Livemint)

5. GST Council Clears Bulk of Rules for New Tax Regime

The GST Council cleared the bulk of the rules framework that constitutes the nuts and bolts of the goods and services tax regime, days after the Lok Sabha approved crucial laws related to it.

The quick decision by the GST Council on Friday brightens the chances of the new tax being rolled out from 1 July though industry has stepped up the demand for a 1 September start to give it more time for preparation.

The council will take up on 18-19 May the last big remaining task of fitting individual goods into the four tax slabs already decided.

6. Reliance Jio Extends Prime Membership Till 15 April As Free Era Ends

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd extended its deadline to opt for its Prime membership by 15 days to avoid service disruption for customers transitioning to its paid services.

The operator has signed up 7.2 crore subscribers through its customer privilege programme, it said in a press release. Existing Reliance Jio subscribers or new customers who become a Prime member by paying Rs 99 can avail the new offer by buying a Rs 303 recharge, before 15 April and get an additional three months of complimentary services.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, which disrupted the Indian telecom market with its six-month-long free data services, will start charging customers from Saturday. Jio triggered a tariff war and consolidation among rivals, which fear losing market share to the new entrant.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. March Tax Inflows May Help Government Meet Deficit Target

The Centre’s fiscal deficit was pegged well above the target for FY17 at the end of February, but government is expected to meet the fiscal year target.

Fiscal deficit at the end of February was 113.4 percent of the budget target for FY17, data released by the government showed. Fiscal deficit was 107.1 percent of the budget estimates at the same point last year.

The higher fiscal deficit is largely revenue driven, as at 87 percent of budget estimates at the end of February, the total spending is in line with trend.

In FY16, over 20 percent of the total receipts for the year came in the month of March. This is because all tax dues are cleared in the month leading to higher inflows.

(Source: Economic Times)

8. ASCI Tells Airtel to Modify or Withdraw 'Fastest Network' Ads on Jio Complaint

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has asked Bharti Airtel Ltd to “modify” or “withdraw” advertisements that are based on a claim by network testing agency Ookla LLC and suggested that Airtel is “officially India’s fastest network”.

The advertising industry watchdog said the complaint against Airtel was considered by the Fast Track Complaints Committee (FTCC) at a meeting held on 29 March. “We have advised the advertiser to modify appropriately or to withdraw the said TVC (television commercial) and the website advertisement by 11 April 2017,” ASCI secretary general Shweta Purandare said in a letter to the complainant. Airtel in a note said it does not agree ASCI’s decision and will file an appeal as per guidelines.

(Source: Livemint)

9. Sensex Rises 16% This Fiscal Leaving Investors Richer by Rs 26 Trillion

Benchmark Sensex slipped 27 points on Friday to end at 29,620.50 on the last trading day of 2016-17, but scored a gain of over 16 percent for the full fiscal during which investors’ wealth grew by over Rs 26 trillion.

The broader 50-share index Nifty, which on Friday ended flat at 9,173.75 points, scored even better for the full year with a surge of 18.55 percent. Measured in terms of total market capitalisation of all listed stocks on the BSE, the overall investor wealth grew to a record high of Rs 121 trillion – up from Rs 94.75 trillion at the end of fiscal 2015-16.

The Sensex has gained 4,278.64 points, or 16.88 percent, for the entire fiscal 2016-17. The gauge had touched the year’s high of 29,824.62 (intra-day) on March 17 this year.

(Source: Livemint)

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