India’s forex reserves up at $296.25 on Jan11

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In a weekly statistical supplement, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said, India’s foreign exchange reserves were at USD296.25 billion as of Jan 11, compared with USD294.99 billion in the previous week. RBI added that the modifications in foreign currency assets, conveyed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of other cu

Moody’s keeps India’s Baa3 rating, warns of rising fiscal deficit

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Cautioning India, Moody’s has said that rising fiscal deficit still poses a threat to the country and could pull down growth in the coming years. The rating agency reaffirmed India sovereign credit rating at Baa3, indicating investment grade wih stable outlook. In its reports, Moody’s said, “Large government deficits and debt ratios

FinMin likely deny PSUs to issue tax-free bonds in FY14

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Bringing some changes in the practice of parking of funds by the state run companies, the finance ministry is likely to deny the companies to float tax-free bonds in the forthcoming Budget. The step is taken after understanding the current practise wherein the companies are mostly parking the funds in debt instruments to earn interest income, which is

FinMin confident of attaining 8% economic growth

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram has signalled an optimistic note while stating that the country is expected to attain 8 per cent of economic growth once again. "There are indications that investments are picking up. There are indications that foreign fund flows in India will continue to be abundant....I am confident that we will again discover 8 p

Centre should ‘rethink’ hike in diesel prices: BSP chief, Mayawati

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Sensing the cons of the recent hike in diesel prices, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati urged the government to ‘rethink’ on its decision, as it would encourage the inflation to take an upward movement. “The centre should rethink the diesel issue… This is not right… They should have thought how it would impact th

Food Security Bill likely soon

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UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s dream project Food Security Bill, introduced in December 2011, may soon get through parliament as standing committee has suggested such changes in its report which are in line with the government’s ideas on the scheme, said a media report. As per the report, the parliamentary panel report has suggested that t

RBI’s Anand Sinha may get 2-month extension

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The government is likely to extend the tenure of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Anand Sinha by two more months, as his term comes to an end on February 28, said a media report. The 62-year old Sinha was appointed as RBI’s deputy governor in January 2011. Even as a deputy governor is appointed for five years, Sinha gets to serve

M&A value involving Indian firms up 22.6% to $36.3bn in 2012

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The total value of mergers and acquisitions involving Indian companies was USD36.3 billion, up 22.6 per cent from 2011. The total number of deals in 2012 was up 7.6 per cent to 268 from 249 registered in 2011. Outbound M&As shot up to USD11.2 billion last year. In comparison, inbound M&As slowed in 2012 as the aggregate inbound deal value for

Chidambaram reiterates govt commitment to moderate tax rates

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram stated government’s commitment to moderate tax rates and is working towards modernising administration to minimise transaction cost and maximise taxpayer convenience. Addressing the two day meet of the heads of the Revenue Department of BRICS nations, Chidambaram said, “India has been modernising its tax admi

Small hikes in diesel prices will not reduce subsidy bill: P Chidambaram

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With the cabinet allowing oil marketing companies to tweak diesel price in small amounts, Finance Minister, P Chidambaram said the move will not help in reducing the subsidy bill in the current fiscal year. "When they will make this small correction and how much, I can't say… So I am not factoring it,” said P Chidambaram. The sta

Govt allows NIF to invest in PSUs

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has allowed National Investment Fund (NIF) to invest in the shares of Public Sector Enterprises (PSUs) including banks and insurance companies and also recapitalize them. “The NIF will be used for subscribing to the shares being issued by the Central Publ

India to grow at 6.1% in 2013: United Nations

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Latest in the line to downgrade India’s growth projections, the United Nations on Thursday said that Asia’s third largest economy would grow at a slower pace of 6.1 per cent in the current calendar year as compared to 7.2 per cent estimated previously. “GDP growth in India will accelerate to 6.1 per cent in 2013 and 6.5 per cent in 2

FM keen on making GST part of his budget speech

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The finance minister P Chidambaram, on Wednesday, said that he would outline Constitutional amendments for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in his Budget speech, only if states arrived at a consensus, raising hopes that government will continue its reform drive with this budget too. Though the FM has not been rushing to roll out the country's most

Don’t levy new taxes; make sure the investment cycle returns: India Inc tells FM

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India Inc, on Wednesday, urged the finance minister P Chidambaram to not to introduce any new tax in upcoming Union Budget as it would not only create negative sentiments among investors but also push back the economic growth. At a pre-budget meeting with Chidambaram, industry representatives urged the finance minister to drop ideas like inheritance t

Finance Ministry asks govt departments to cap spending in January-March quarter at 33%

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Finance Ministry has asked all the government departments to cap spending in January-March quarter at 33 per cent of the total funds allocated for the full financial year in order to check the fiscal deficit at 5.3 per cent. In an office memorandum, Finance Ministry said, “The restriction of 33 per cent and 15 per cent expenditure ceilings (in t

Govt to cap budgetary allocations for annuity payments for PPP projects

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The government is planning to put a proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) that would allow it to put a cap on budgetary allocations for annuity payments for the PPP projects. The move would allow it to lessen the burden on future budgets. Annuity charge is the periodic payment government makes to the concessionaire for fina

CII urges government to take positive policy actions

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In a bid to boost the morale of investors, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recommended Economic Advisory Council to take policy actions that stimulate positive impact on the investor sentiments. Urging for positive move from government side, Adi Godrej said, “the conditions of industry and economy are causing a lot of concern all

RBI governor sees no room for monetary, fiscal stimulus

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Duvvuri Subbarao has yet again signaled that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has a mind of its own and it will keep going towards its target (inflation), no matter what others want. Just when the day of rate cut was becoming almost visible, Subbarao said that inflation continues to be high and hence, there is no room for monetary and fiscal stimulus.<

FinMin mulls taxing dividend income in hands of super rich

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The finance ministry has been weighing various options to increase its revenues these days and curb spending. One such option, as per media reports, is that increasing the effective tax rate on dividends received by the ‘super-rich’ to 30 per cent, the existing maximum marginal income tax rate.

According to sources, finmin plans

World Bank sees India’s GDP growth at 5.4% this fiscal

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The World Bank, on Tuesday, projected India’s GDP growth at 5.4 per cent for the current fiscal, significantly lower than what finance ministry had pegged, at 5.7-5.9 per cent. “In India, the region’s largest economy, growth measured in factor cost terms is projected to decelerate to 5.4 per cent in the 2012 fiscal year (ending in Ma

FM may raise Gold import duty to 6% to rein in current account deficit

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The finance ministry is leaving no corner untouched for reining in its current account deficit. Media reports said that it is now considering raising the gold import duty by 2 per cent to 6 per cent, as rising demand for the yellow metal continues to hit import bill of India. However, the move, which may be announced as a part of the Union Budget, may

November services exports down 2.5% at $12.03bn: RBI

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that the country’s services export in November 2012 stood at USD12.03 billion, down 2.5 per cent from a month ago. As per the data, the total exports from services in October was at USD12.35 billion. Imports of services also fell down slightly to USD6.62 billion in November from USD6.70 billion in the previous mo

Indian companies invested $2.57bn overseas in december

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The data from the Reserve bank of India (RBI) showed that the Indian companies have directly invested USD2.57 billion overseas in December, higher than USD2.31 billion a month earlier. Bank guarantees for investments made by Indian companies shot up to USD1.38 billion, from USD1.37 billion in November, though equities fell to USD676.30 million from U

Bankers look for 50 bps cut in policy rates

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At a pre-policy consultation meeting held by RBI, the bankers asked the RBI to reduce the key policy rates by 50 basis points (0.5 per cent) and slash cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 25-50 basis points in the credit policy review scheduled for January 29. K Ramakrishnan , CEO of Indian banks Association said, “If both these things happen, transmissi