India’s April-January fiscal deficit at 113.7% of full year’s target

Feb 28, 2018 0

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) India’s fiscal deficit for April-January period of 2017-18 stood at 113.7 per cent of the full year’s target, official data showed here on Wednesday.

The data furnished by the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGA) showed that during April-January, the fiscal deficit stood at Rs 6.77 lakh crore, which is 113.7 per cent of the full year’s target.

The capital expenditure during the period stood at Rs 2.64 lakh crore.

The revenue deficit during the period was at 4.8 lakh crore, revealed the data. (IANS)


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GST collections dip marginally to Rs 86,318 crore in January

Feb 27, 2018 0

New Delhi– Revenue collections under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) fell marginally in January by Rs 385 crore to Rs 86,318 crore.

The collections had picked up in December to touch Rs 86,703 crore, after falling for two straight months.

“The total revenue received under the GST for January 2017 (received up to February 25) has been Rs 86,318 crore,” said the Finance Ministry.

Of this, Rs 14,233 crore has been collected as Central GST, Rs 19,961 crore as State GST, Rs 43,794 crore as Integrated GST and Rs 8,331 crore as compensation cess, it added.

Deloitte India’s Senior Director M.S. Mani said the lower-than-expected GST collections would push the government to hasten the introduction of anti-evasion measures such as invoice matching, reverse charge on transactions with unregistered dealers and transition credit scrutiny in addition to the e-way bill, expected to roll out from April 1.

“While the GST revenues and number of return filers are gradually increasing or are same as compared with last month’s figure, the tax base and revenue numbers have certainly not reached expected levels. This could lead to more enquiries and scrutiny from the tax authorities,” Mani said.

According to the Ministry, around 1.03 crore taxpayers have been registered under GST so far and around 57.78 lakh returns were filed.

“This is 69 per cent of total taxpayers who are required to file monthly returns,” the Ministry said.

Of the total amount collected as GST, Rs 11,327 crore would be transferred from IGST to CGST account and Rs 13,479 crores to SGST account “by way of settlement of funds on account of cross utilisation of IGST credit for payment of CGST and SGST respectively or due to inter-state business-to-consumer transactions”.

“Thus, the total collection of CGST and SGST is Rs 25,560 crore and Rs 33,440 crore respectively, including transfers by way of settlement,” said the Ministry.

Before picking up in December, the revenue collection fell for two consecutive months from over Rs 92,000 crore in September to Rs 83,346 crore in October and Rs 80,808 crore in November.

The GST collection for July was over Rs 95,000 crore while for August it was more than Rs 91,000 crore. (IANS)

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1% rate cut in provident fund deposits announced

Feb 21, 2018 0

New Delhi– In a blow to government employees, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Wednesday decided to lower the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.55 per cent from the existing 8.65 per cent.

The rate cut decision for the fiscal 2017-18 was taken at the meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO, sources said.

In the last fiscal, the EPFO had cut the rate to 8.65 per cent from 8.8 per cent in 2015-16.

The latest rate cut comes amid reports that the EPFO sold a portion of its investments in the exchange-traded funds (ETF) worth Rs 2,886 crore earlier this month. That had given rise to hopes that the retirement body, which has some five crore members, will retain the interest rate. (IANS)

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FDI in India only up 0.27% in Apr-Dec 2017

Feb 21, 2018 0

New Delhi– Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India increased by a marginal 0.27 per cent to $35.94 billion during the April-December period of the current fiscal, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on Wednesday.

The FDI entering the country during the corresponding of the the last financial year stood at $35.84 billion.

Instead, FDI inflows during the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal fell by 4 per cent in rupee terms at Rs 2,31,457 crore.

The major sectors attracting FDI during April-December were telecommunications ($6.13 billion) computer software and hardware ($5.15 billion), services ($4.62 billion) and construction ($2.5 billion).

The three main countries of origin for FDIs into India during the period in review were Mauritius ($13.34 billion), followed by Singapore ($9.21 billion) and the Netherlands ($2.38 billion).

While a strong inflow of foreign investments help improve India’s balance of payments, the consequent strengthening of the rupee against major global currencies acts as a dampener on the country’s exports.(IANS)

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Idea Cellular to raise Rs 3,500 cr via QIP

Feb 21, 2018 0

Mumbai– Idea Cellular on Wednesday said its capital raising committee has approved an issue price of Rs 82.50 per equity share for sale of shares through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) to raise Rs 3,500 crore.

“The capital raising committee of the company at its meeting held on Wednesday approved the closure of the issue period for the QIP,” it said in a regulatory filing.

“(The committee) determined and approved the issue price of Rs 82.50 per equity shares (including a premium of Rs 72.50 per equity share) for issuance of 424.2 million equity shares, aggregating approximately to Rs 35,000 million (Rs 3,500 crore), to be allotted to the eligible qualified institutional buyers in the QIP,” it further said.

The committee also approved and adopted the placement document in connection with the QIP. (IANS)

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Equity indices trade higher; metals, IT stocks gain

Feb 20, 2018 0

Mumbai– Key Indian equity indices on Tuesday traded on a higher note during the mid-afternoon session — amid volatility — with healthy buying in metals, consumer durables, IT and banking stocks.

Around 12.35 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 30.45 points or 0.29 per cent to trade at 10,408.85 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,913.94 points, traded at 33,901.60 points — up 126.94 points or 0.38 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex has, so far, touched a high of 33,960.95 points and a low of 33,753.50 points during the intra-day trade.

However, the BSE market breadth was marginally bearish with 1,290 declines and 1,226 advances.

The top five gainers on the BSE were Coal India, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Hero MotoCorp, and Tata Steel.

On Monday, the equity indices closed in the negative territory as heavy selling pressure, along with continued outflow of foreign funds and a surge in crude oil prices, dampened market sentiment.

The Nifty50 shed 73.90 points or 0.71 per cent to close at 10,378.40 points, while the Sensex declined by 236.10 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 33,774.66 points. (IANS)

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PNB fraud: Allahabad Bank has $366.87 mn outstanding exposure

Feb 16, 2018 0

Kolkata– State-run Allahabad Bank on Friday said it has an outstanding exposure of about $366.87 million in the $1.8 billion fraud detected by another public sector bank PNB, but added it was confident of receiving the payment.

Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second largest public sector bank, had detected the $1.8 billion fraud in one of its branches in Mumbai.

Allahabad Bank was among other banks that were said to have offered credit based on Letters of Undertaking (LoU) issued by PNB.

“The outstanding exposure related to the incident is approximately $366.87 million and the bank is fully secured by LoU documents and fully confident to receive the payment,” it said in regulatory filing.

The lender said it, through its overseas branch in Hong Kong, has been taking exposure with PNB as counter party under various LoUs issued through authenticated SWIFT message.

An LoU is in effect a guarantee issued by one bank to the branches of other banks, based on which foreign branches offer credit to buyers.

The bank has also purchased some buyers’ credit assets from Axis Bank extended against PNB LoU through risk participation as a part of normal international business practice.

Another public sector bank Union Bank of India had also said it has an outstanding exposure of about $300 million. (IANS)

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Gitanjali Gems stocks plunge 20% on $1.8 bn scam, PNB slips 2%

Feb 16, 2018 0

Mumbai– Following the $1.8 billion fraud detected by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), stocks of jewellery company Gitanjali Gems on Friday plunged almost 20 per cent — hitting its lower circuit — while PNB’s shares closed over 2 per cent lower.

Stocks of Gitanjali Gems, the luxury jewellery brand promoted by the main accused Nirav Modi’s maternal uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, plunged 19.94 per cent to close at Rs 37.55 per share.

“Price-wise, the way the stock of Gitanjali Gems has slipped and the kind of circuit that we are seeing, probably the sequence may continue for some days. From a support perspective, Rs 29-30 is a support,” Sacchitanand Uttekar, Assistant Vice-President, Research for Tradebulls, told IANS.

“But with developments in the company going off-track, how much will it hold is something that time will decide,” he added.

According to market analysts, the stock prices fall to an effective level which gives the traders the chance to reinvest in the stock and arrest the fall.

“The stocks fall to a level where the current negatives seem fully discounted, prompting traders to re-enter. The exchanges keep changing the circuit limits, which typically cushions the rise or the fall in stock prices,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

The shares of PNB — the second largest public sector bank in India — started to decline after the bank detected a multi-crore fraud case in one of its branches in Mumbai on February 14, and authorities blamed billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi for the fraud.

On a closing basis, scrips of PNB slipped by 2.10 per cent to Rs 125.65 per share, lower by Rs 2.70 from the previous close at Rs 128.35.

PNB on Wednesday told the stock exchanges through a regulatory filing that it detected fraudulent transactions at $1,771.69 million (around Rs 11,515 crore) in one of its branches in Mumbai, which is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

On the same day, the bank’s shares had plunged drastically following the news of the fraud to close lower by 9.81 per cent at the BSE. On Thursday, too, the scrips dropped by almost 12 per cent.

The fraud, which included money-laundering among other things, concerned the Firestar Diamonds group of Modi, in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Choksi.

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Nirav Modi.

The CBI on Friday registered a FIR against the Gitanjali Group of companies based on a complaint registered by the PNB. (IANS)

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Amazon now world’s third-most valuable company

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– With a market cap of $702.5 billion, Amazon has become the third most valuable company in the world, racing past Microsoft, which has a market cap of $699.2 billion.

According to a report in The New York Post, Amazon stock surged 2.6 per cent on Wednesday, taking the company’s market cap ahead of Microsoft for the first time.

Apple tops the list with $849.2 billion market cap, followed by Google’s parent company Alphabet at $745.1 billion.

With $521.5 billion market cap, Facebook is at the fifth spot.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man, not just at present, but of all time.

Both Bloomberg and Forbes have put Bezos on top of their billionaire lists. Bloomberg said Bezos’ net worth reached $106 billion while Forbes put it at $105 billion, Xinhua news agency reported.

The previous record was held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $100 billion in 1999.

The majority of Bezos’ net worth comes from the 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock he owns. (IANS)

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NDB to lend $100 mn for water project in Rajasthan

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– India has signed a second loan agreement for $100 million with the New Development Bank (NDB) for efficient use of water in desert areas of Rajasthan, an official statement said on Thursday.

“This is the first tranche loan of $100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi Tranche Financing Facility of $345 million for this project,” the Union Finance Ministry release said.

The loan agreement to finance Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the Desert Areas was signed between Economic Affairs Department Joint Secretary Govind Mohan and NDB Project Financing Director General Shaohua Wu here on Tuesday.

The objective is to rehabilitate the 678-km-long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use.

“The project implementation period is six years. The Rajasthan government will implement the project primarily through the Rajasthan Water Resources Department,” said the release.

The representatives of NDB, Central and state governments also signed Facility Framework Agreement under which NDB has agreed to provide Multi-Tranche Financing Facility for $345 million to the country for this project.

The project is aimed at arresting the seepage by refurbishing the canal, rehabilitation of waterlogged areas, modernisation of the irrigation management practices by involving water users’ associations, and strengthening of drinking water supply and irrigation facilities. (IANS)

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