QBiz: Govt to Release Tax Refunds; GS Projects 1.6% India Growth

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The Centre has allocated funds to all the states to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Representational image. 
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1. Govt to Release Rs 18,000 Crore Tax Refunds to Businesses, People

The finance ministry will immediately release Rs 18,000 crore in tax refunds to individuals and businesses to provide relief against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said on Wednesday, 8 April.

The move will benefit around 1.4 million individual taxpayers, as well as 100,000 businesses. The move follows the recent government step to offer relief in interest, fee and penalty for late filings of various statutory forms amid a nationwide lockdown to tackle the pandemic.

“It has been decided to issue all the pending income-tax refunds up to ₹5 lakh immediately," the ministry said.

(Source: Livemint)

2. RBI Tells HDFC Bank to Pause Appointment of Two Directors Till New CEO is on Board

The Reserve Bank of India has directed HDFC Bank to keep in abeyance the appointment of two directors from among its executives saying that the choice of candidates should be left to the incoming chief executive.

The bank had proposed the appointment of Sashdhar Jagdishan as an additional director and Bhavesh Zaveri as Executive Director. The two will however continue as additional directors till the shareholders meet the date for which is yet to be fixed.

(Source: The Economic Times)

3. Coronavirus Impact: Goldman Sachs Projects Bleakest FY21 GDP Growth for India

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday, 8 April, put out the bleakest FY21 growth forecast for India at 1.6%, down from 3.3% previously, holding that the spread of the COVID-19, announcements of a nationwide shutdown, social distancing measures and fears among consumers and businesses may lead to a significant contraction in economic activity.

So far Fitch Ratings and ICRA Ltd had pegged India’s FY21 growth at 2% while S&P and Moody’s have projected India to grow at 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.

(Source: Livemint)

4. RBI Declines Additional Provisioning Relief to Banks on Unresolved Cases via ICA

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has refused to grant 20% additional provisioning relief to banks for the unresolved cases as per the 7 June 2019 circular of RBI, sources close to development told The Financial Express.

Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) had earlier approached RBI for the deferral of additional provisioning till June quarter. The regulator has made clear that all the measures announced by it were strictly to provide COVID-19 relief, the source added.

Banks are facing provisioning pressure of at least Rs 25,000-30,000 crore in the March quarter as most of the cases where inter-creditor agreements (ICA) were signed remain unresolved.

(Source: The Financial Express)

5. ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank Lead the Pack in Digitisation: Report

Private sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank along with Fino Payments Bank led the pack of Indian banks in enabling digitisation of country’s payment ecosystem in the month of February, a ranking chart issued by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to banks accessed by ET showed.

Performances of several high street lenders such as Bank of Baroda, Citi Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank were deemed ‘average’ whereas Deutsche Bank, Union Bank of India and Bandhan Bank were relegated to the ‘unsatisfactory’ category in MeitY’s scorecard.

(Source: The Economic Times)

6. Gold Prices Today Fall After Rising for 3 Days in a Row

Gold prices in India eased today after a three-day rally, tracking a decline in global rates. On MCX, June gold prices were down 0.6% to Rs 44,800 per 10 gram. Silver futures declined 1.6% to 42,789 per kg.

Gold futures on MCX had hit a record high of ₹45,724 per 10 gram in the previous session. In India, spot gold markets remained shut amid countrywide lockdown to prevent spreading of coronavirus.

In global markets, gold prices eased on Wednesday, 8 April, after hitting a new one-month high in the previous session. A stronger dollar and signs of a slowdown in the new coronavirus cases in major hot spots hurt the metal's safe-haven appeal though global equities were under pressure again.

(Source: Livemint)

7. COAI Asks PSUs to Pay Rs 20,000 Crore Dues to Telecom Vendors Quickly

Telecom industry body COAI has sought earliest release of around Rs 20,000 crore outstanding dues to vendors like Nokia, Sterlite, ZTE, Ericsson etc. as these companies are facing serious constraints in terms of cash flows due to slowing economic activities in the current situation.

The dues are owed by state-run companies, including BSNL and MTNL, and despite non-payment of their huge pending dues, the vendors have been supporting various public sector units (PSUs) in delivering uninterrupted services, the association said.

“The situation has become highly critical now with total outstanding dues from these PSUs amounting to approximately Rs 20,000 crore which is pending since long. This is adding to critical financial woes to our member companies who are facing serious constraints in terms of cash flows,” COAI director general Rajan Mathews said in a letter dated 8 April to telecom secretary Anshu Prakash.

(Source: The Financial Express)

8. L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Bags Project From Indian Oil Corporation

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro, has bagged a project from Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).

The deal has been classified in the Rs 2,500-5,000 crore range, the company said.

This engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract is aimed at setting up a new 9 MMTPA Atmospheric & Vacuum Distillation Unit (AVU) and allied facilities for Barauni Refinery Capacity Expansion Project at IOCL’s Barauni refinery in Bihar. The capacity of Barauni refinery is being augmented from current installed capacity of 6.0 MMTPA to 9.0 MMTPA.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

9. Amid Volatility Equity Indices End in Red; Realty, It Stocks Top Drag

Equity benchmark Sensex ended over 173 points lower on Wednesday, 8 April, after a highly volatile session as investors remained jittery on concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plunging over 1,300 points from the day’s high, the 30-share BSE barometer ended 173.25 points or 0.58 per cent lower at 29,893.96. It hit an intra-day high of 31,227.97.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty closed 43.45 points, or 0.49 per cent, down at 8,748.75. TCS was the top loser in the Sensex pack, falling over 3 per cent, followed by Titan, ICICI Bank, SBI, ITC and Bharti Airtel.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, NTPC, IndusInd Bank and Bajaj Finance were among the top gainers.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

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