QBiz: Fresh Measures to Boost Economy; August Exports Decline 6%
1. Fresh Measures to Boost Economy Likely Today
The Centre is likely to announce more measures on Saturday, 14 September, to arrest the economic slowdown that has plagued PM Narendra Modi administration’s second term.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is tentatively scheduled to address a news conference to outline fresh measures for growth, said a government official privy to the plans, requesting anonymity. Sitharaman will also share the feedback she has received on the measures taken in recent weeks to lift business confidence and liquidity, the official added.
2. ED Slaps Show Cause Penalty Notice of Over Rs 229 Cr FEMA Violation Against PwC
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has slapped an over Rs 230 crore FEMA violation show cause penalty notice against multi-national accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and others, officials said on Friday.
They said the notice was issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) after completion of probe by the adjudicating authority which is the Special Director (Eastern Region) of the Enforcement Directorate.
The penalty, to the firm and six others, totals to Rs 2,30,40,70,000, the order accessed by PTI said.
3. CARE Ratings Downgrades Altico Capital Following Default on Interest Payment
Rating agency CARE Ratings on Friday, 13 September, downgraded real estate-focused lender Altico Capital India Ltd, following the lenders default on an interest payment on Thursday.
“Care has revised credit rating for proposed long-term bank facilities from CARE AA-; Outlook: stable to CARE B; Outlook: negative," Altico said in a filing with stock exchanges.
On Thursday, Altico Capital said it has defaulted on interest payments worth Rs 19.9 crore due to Mashreq Bank of Dubai, highlighting the rising stress in India’s cash-starved property market. The company added that this may lead to further defaults down the line. Altico has a total outstanding debt of Rs 4,361.55 crore.
4. August Exports Decline 6% to $26 Bn; Trade Deficit Narrows to $13.4 Bn
India’s merchandise exports in August declined for the second time in the current financial year, which began in April, while imports dropped for the third consecutive month, signalling that rising protectionism and trade tensions between the US and China are impacting India’s trade prospects as well.
Data released by the Commerce Ministry showed India’s merchandise exports declined 6.05 percent in August while merchandise imports dropped 13.45 percent leading to the narrowing of trade deficit to 13.45 billion dollars during the same month.
5. Traders' Body Seeks Ban On Amazon, Flipkart's Festive Season Sale
A leading trader body asked the government on Friday, 1 September, to ban upcoming festive sales on Amazon's local unit and its rival Flipkart, saying their deep discounts violate the country's foreign investment rules for online retail.
The two e-commerce firms typically hold annual festive season sales ahead of key festivals Dussehra and Diwali, which are due this year in October, when people make big ticket purchases such as cars and gold jewellery.
Walmart-owned Flipkart's six-day sale begins 29 September, while Amazon is yet to announce dates. Both e-tailers promise big discounts on everything from fashion to smartphones to home appliances and have previously said discounts and deals are offered by sellers on their platforms.
6. GST Council Meets Next Week; Tax Rate Cut to Hinge On Revenue Position: Report
The all-powerful GST Council will at its Goa meeting next week consider demands for reducing taxes on products ranging from cars to biscuits keeping in mind the revenue position as any cut will have a direct impact on earnings of states, a senior government official has said.
The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states and Union Territories (UTs), is scheduled to meet on 20 September in Goa amidst a clamour for a cut in tax rates from various industries to beat the slowdown in the economy.
7. Police Probing Budweiser Beer Maker in Tax Evasion Case: Report
Delhi Police is probing a case of alleged tax evasion involving Anheuser-Busch InBev, according to a police officer and a document seen by Reuters, a setback for the brewer already battling a three-year city ban.
Local authorities barred AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, in July from selling its beer in the high profile New Delhi market for evading taxes. The company has denied the allegations and appealed the order.
8. RCEP: India Prepares Final List of Products to Counter Chinese Imports
Aware of its massive trade deficit, India is preparing a final list of products on which it may retain import tariffs for China in the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, said official sources.
The government has been preparing such a list for a while now, based on its plan of a “differential tariff reduction”. China, which has benefited the least, has opposed this move, along with richer economies such as Australia and New Zealand.
(Source: Business Standard)
9. Finance Panel Won't Accept Centre's GDP Forecasts, Says NK Singh
The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FC) is not obliged to accept nominal gross domestic product (GDP) forecasts given by the central government and will make its own judgement, FC Chairman N K Singh said on Friday. Singh said he would meet state finance ministers at the next Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting on 20 September in Goa.
The topics for discussion will include whether the GST compensation period should be extended by three years to be co-terminus with the 15th FC award period, and whether the 14 percent revenue growth, on the basis of which states are compensated, needs to be given a fresh look.
(Source: Business Standard)
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