Listen to the weekly round-up of news related to business, finance, and economy where we talk about India’s net direct tax collection and the country’s bond inclusion in the JP Morgan emerging market global index. Also, listen to fintech giant CRED being awarded as this year’s top startup and Reliance Retail announcing the opening of its fashion & lifestyle departmental store, Reliance Centro.

Here’s Weekly Business News at 10:00 am on 2nd October 2022.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin with some economy news. The net direct tax collection has increased 23 per cent to Rs 7.04 lakh crore so far this fiscal, the income tax department said on Tuesday. Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Nitin Gupta said the income and corporate tax collections were at a record high of Rs 14.09 lakh crore in 2021-22. Gupta said that the momentum of the last fiscal continues in this fiscal with net direct tax collection of Rs 7.04 lakh crore so far, which is a growth of 23 per cent over the same period last fiscal. At the Finance Minister’s Award ceremony for CBDT officers, Gupta said the I-T e-filing portal has stabilised and it has facilitated 5.83 crore tax return filing as of July 31. A record 72 lakh returns were filed on the portal on a single day. July 31 was the last date for filing ITRs for salaried individuals for income earned in the 2021-22 fiscal.

Meanwhile, India deferred the planned inclusion of the government bonds in the JP Morgan emerging market global index to next year, as was being speculated on the street. The bond inclusion in the global index may have been pushed back to early 2023, as the Government of India still needs to address various operational issues, Reuters reported citing unidentified sources. Earlier, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had predicted the bond index inclusion would happen only in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the next year. The Indian government began considering listing its securities for an inclusion in global bond indices in 2013. However, restrictions on foreign investments in Indian debt meant that the country had to roll out a number of steps before its securities could be eligible.

Moving on. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairing a performance review meeting on credit and other welfare schemes for scheduled castes in public sector banks this week observed the need for banks to increase the coverage of SCs in all schemes. The minister also “advised PSBs heads to look into their needs for capacity building, entrepreneurship development as SCs constitute about 18 per cent of the total workforce of the banks and financial institutions,” said a statement by the finance ministry. The finance minister said that the objective of the meeting was to bring all stakeholders on a common platform to work together in the fulfillment of the rights enshrined in the constitution for the upliftment and betterment of Scs.

Next up, Industry. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, the professional networking site, this week announced fintech giant CRED as this year’s top startup. Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech unicorn, upGrad was second on the list, followed by Satya Nadella-backed online stock trading platform Groww. Interestingly, while CRED has moved up two spots from last year, both, Unacademy and Udaan — the top two startups in 2021 as per LinkedIn — did not feature in the latest list. As reported earlier, Unacademy and Udaan had both laid off at least 750 and 180 employees, respectively, a few months ago. However, the companies had not officially confirmed the development and provided details on the layoff. LinkedIn says startups that have laid off 20% or more of their workforce within the methodology time frame are ineligible for its calculations.

In some more industrial news, Ahead of the festive season, Reliance Retail announced the opening of its fashion & lifestyle departmental store, Reliance Centro. This is the first such outlet by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries conglomerate, and is located in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. The departmental store by Reliance will compete against the likes of Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle International, and other fashion & lifestyle departmental stores. A statement by the firm said that Reliance Centro will strengthen its reach and connect with consumers in India – right from categories like apparels, footwear, cosmetics, lingerie, sportswear to luggage and accessories with over 300 Indian and International brands.

On to the last segment. The Road Transport & Highways Ministry has deferred the EV Battery safety norms which were to be implemented from October 1. The measures are seen as steps for OEMs to be better equipped to comply /implement the provisions prescribed under the standards. The Amendments to EV battery testing standards: AIS-156 and AIS-038 (Rev 2) will now be implemented in two phases. The first phase will take effect from December 1, 2022 and the second phase will be effective from March 31, 2023. The EV battery Safety norms were discussed in the light of the spate of EV fires during the summer months. Experts believe that more stringent norms would have a higher safety threshold that needs to be met. These regulations are seen as means to set minimum standards that have to be adhered to by everyone.

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Weekly Business News Roundup at 10:00 am on 2nd October 2022