India finalises tax rates for goods and services

By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI   India on Thursday finalised tax rates that will apply to different goods and services under a new sales tax which New Delhi aims to roll out from July 1.

A panel comprising central and state finance ministers fixed the rates for over 1200 items under the Goods and Services tax, amid demand by some states to keep essential

Consumers to pay less for common items under GST: Paswan

Consumers stand to gain from the GST rates announced for daily consumption items which will also help keeping a check on prices, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said according to the PTI report. FMCG firms Dabur and Emami welcomed the rates on commonly used consumer items stating it would be beneficial but said more clarity is needed to understand overall impact.

"The

RBI mandates rating by two companies for corp bonds PCE

The Reserve Bank made changes to the partial credit enhancement (PCE) framework for corporate bonds, making it mandatory for companies to get the paper rated by two agencies throughout its lifetime, reported PTI.

"To be eligible for PCE from banks, corporate bonds shall be rated by a minimum of two external credit rating agencies at all times," the apex bank said in a notifi

RBI liberalises tier-I presence in new bank branch policy

RBI came out with final guidelines on branch authorisation, with a refined definition on what constitutes a bank branch and liberalised policies on presence in tier-I centres, reported PTI.

It also widened the role of bank boards, making them responsible for complying with the new guidelines. The RBI removed the restriction on tier-I branches, which was earlier linked to the number of

RBI sets rupee reference rate at 64.3441 against dollar

The Reserve Bank of India today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 64.3441 against the US dollar and 71.6214 for the euro. The corresponding rates were 64.0214 and 71.1598, yesterday.

According to an RBI statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 83.3063 and 57.80 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-cu

Indian microfinance loans grew 26% in Q4 of last fiscal

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) on Thursday said the organised industry in this segment has grown by 26 per cent through loan disbursements in the fourth quarter of last fiscal ended March, though this growth was much slower than the 89 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2015-16.

"The microfinance industry has witnessed a growth of 26 per cent over last ye

Government to bring law to confiscate assets of economic offenders

In a bid to deal with economic offenders like liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who flee the country to escape the legal process, the government on Thursday said it has prepared a draft legislation to enable confiscation of their assets.

The draft law -- Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017 -- has been prepared and put in public domain at the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry o

India has entered an economic era of integrity & inclusiveness

Union minister M J Akbar today hailed the economic and foreign policy initiatives of the Modi government and said the country has entered an economic era of integrity and inclusiveness, where no one will be left behind. "India has entered an economy of integrity and inclusiveness. An integrity where talent will rise, which will ensure development for all. You are in the first year of proce

Government modifying '2011 vintage' national manufacturing policy

The "2011 vintage" manufacturing policy is being modified to align it with initiatives like 'Make in India' as also Industrial Revolution 4.0, which refers to high end automation, Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said. The national manufacturing policy (NMP) "is of 2011 vintage", which envisaged that manufacturing should contribute 25 per cent in India's

I-T Department disloses names of 5 defaulters in Delhi

 As part of its strategy to "name and shame" big defaulters, the Income Tax Department on Thursday published names of five entities who owe over Rs 10 crore in taxes.

Through advertisements issued in leading dailies, the department published its latest list of income tax and corporate tax defaulters, all based in Delhi, along with details like PAN card number, last

Cabinet changes law to evict overstaying MLAs, MPs from government accomodations

The cabinet has approved changes in a law that empowers an estate officer to fast track eviction of ministers, members of Parliament and bureaucrats overstaying in government-allotted residences long after they cease to hold official positions. People who overstay in official accommodations take recourse to courts, Minister of State for Coal and Power Piyush Goyal told reporters in New Delhi.

India, Tajikistan sign info-sharing pact on Customs

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratifying of an agreement between India and Tajikistan on cooperation and sharing of intelligence in the area of Customs. The agreement will help in availability of information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences, an official statement said.

It is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goo

Government approves defence college faculty exchange with Bangladesh

The Union cabinet has approved an agreement on faculty exchange between the National Defence College here and the National Defence College in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an official said. A statement referred to the "common challenge" of terrorism faced by both India and Bangladesh, and said the exchange of faculty would help bring "symmetry" in the capacities of the two armed forces

India-Australia to ink pact on terror cooperation

India and Australia will soon sign a pact on cooperation in combating international terrorism and transnational organised crime as the government gave its nod to it. A meeting of the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave approval to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Australia on cooperation in combating international terrorism and transnational organ

Government halves no. of beneficiaries under MBP: Reports

The Indian Government has said that it has halved the number of beneficiaries under its Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP) by restricting the scheme to firstborns instead of 'first two live births' as applicable earlier.

As per reports, the Cabinet at its meeting decided eligible pregnant women and lactating mothers (PW&LM) will now receive Rs 6,000 in nearly all blocks and

Demonetisation not to have long term impact on demand: UN

The United Nations has said that the demonetisation policy is not expected to have a long term impact on domestic demand in India, which is projected to clock a 7.9 per cent growth in fiscal 2018.

Commenting on the issue, Dawn Holland, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Global Economic Monitoring Unit, Development Policy and Analysis Division in the UN Department of Economic and Social

Government making export benefit scheme GST-compliant: Official

The government is re-designing the export benefit scheme MEIS to make it GST-compliant, a senior official said according to the PTI report. Neeraj Prasad, Additional Commissioner, GST Cell, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) also said that the issue of working capital requirements under the new tax regime is being deliberated upon by the government.

He said this while addressi

Government mulls FDI norms easing in print media, construction & retail sectors

The government is moving ahead with further opening of print media, construction and retail sectors to foreign investments, and detailed deliberations in this regard were held in the finance ministry, reported PTI. The commerce and industry ministry may soon approach the Union Cabinet to get the final approval on the proposals, media reports said. According to them, the government is considerin

Rs 2.6 tn of bank credit may slip in next 12-18 months: IndRa

India Ratings and Research said the banking system has Rs 7.7 trillion of unrecognised stressed loans in corporate and SME sector and expects around 35 per cent of them to slip into the NPA category in the next 12-18 months, reported PTI. "Indian banks are sitting on unrecognised stressed loans worth of Rs 7.7 trillion.

We estimate that potentially Rs 2.6 trillion of corporate an

Crucial 14th GST council meeting in Srinagar from Thursday

The 14th meeting of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council to be chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley begins here on Thursday, an official statement said.

The meeting will be attended by Finance Ministers, Finance Secretaries and other taxation officials from all states and union territories.

The statement said that a meeting of the fitment committee an

Sweden urges India on ease of doing business, tax sops

 Sweden on Wednesday asked India to consider measures to further ease doing business in the country, especially in the areas of corporate tax and the repatriation of dividends by foreign companies.

These among other issues were discussed at the India-Sweden Joint Economic Commission meeting here between the respective delegations led by Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitha

GST is major financial reform: Naveen Patnaik

Ahead of the introduction of the State Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill in the Odisha Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said GST was a major financial reform which would transform the country into one single market.

"GST will bring about comprehensive reform of the indirect tax regime in the country and a major financial reform to make India a single marke

Cabinet approves setting up of IARI-Assam

The government today decided to set up Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam at a cost of over Rs 155 crore to promote agri-education and realise second green revolution in the north eastern region.

A decision to this effect was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first IARI was set up in the national capital way back in 196

GST to convert entire country into one market: Naveen Patnaik

A day before introduction of the State Goods and Service Tax Bill in the Odisha Assembly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said GST was a major financial reform which would transform the country into one single market.

"The GST will bring about comprehensive reform of the indirect tax regime in the country and a major financial reform to make India a single market," Patna

Domestic opportunities like Jan Dhan, Aadhaar can save IT jobs: Assocham

Amid concerns over job losses in $155 billion IT sector, industry lobby Assocham on Wedmnesday said this is the time for outsourcing companies "to look inward" and focus on the domestic opportunity to curtail layoffs.

"It is time our industry bellwethers looked a bit inward now. It is also time to redraw strategy that gives a good look at the home market, which can more