Listen to the latest business and finance news by the Financial Express where today we talk about the likelihood of PM Modi meeting state chief secretaries for Budget 2023-24 and also, market players meeting Nirmala Sitharaman seeking single tax on sale of employee stock options. We also talk about India-UK trade pact, the legal drama involving Future and Amazon, and companies reporting disappointing numbers for September quarter.

Today’s Latest Business News at 09:30 am on 23rd November 2022.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will likely meet the chief secretaries of states in the first week of January, the second such session in about six months, to fine-tune Budget proposals for 2023–24 with a focus on inclusive growth and jobs, sources told Financial Express. Modi will attend the conference for two days to get suggestions on measures needed for the MSME sector, education, agriculture and urban governance, among others, sources said. Various sectoral groups are developing broad themes for the conference, which is tentatively scheduled for January 5-7 here. Sources indicated that the meeting, which was to be held in late 2023, has been advanced in view of the spate of assembly elections next year ahead of the general elections in early 2024. On to some market news. With most companies reporting disappointing numbers for the September quarter, earnings estimates for the current year are seeing downgrades. Brokerage Jefferies has cut the Financial Year 23 earnings estimates for 49% of the 147 companies that it tracks. The brokerage said the Financial Year 23 earnings per share for the Nifty set of companies has been cut by 3.7 percentage points though they have been left largely unchanged for Financial Year 24. Strategists at Kotak Institutional Equities expect net profits of the Nifty-50 to grow 11% in Financial Year 23 and 16% in FY24. They wrote that the moderate growth in Financial Year 23 reflects the sharp decline in profits of the commodity sectors and large loss of BPCL, which will partly offset strong growth in profits of the automobiles and banking sectors. Meanwhile, Market players reached out to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with a litany of demands at a closed door, pre-Budget meeting on Tuesday. Among the main demands was the tax incidence on employee stock options only on selling. Currently, tax is levied at two points. One, at the time of vesting and then, there is a capital gains tax when the shares are sold. Industry players said that since the investor doesn’t have the money (since the shares haven’t been sold at the time of vesting), the taxation should be when the shares are sold. The other demands include increased STT rates on options trading in the equity derivatives segment since it was being used as a vehicle for speculation, which needed to be curbed, they said. Incentivising investment over speculation is the need of the hour, said sources. In some legal drama, The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed Future Group’s plea seeking termination of the arbitration proceedings initiated by Amazon before the Singapore International Arbitration Court. Justice C Hari Shankar said that he has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the arguments raised by the parties and that the arbitration before the SIAC will continue. Amazon, on November 17, had moved the Supreme Court for allowing arbitration proceedings to restart at the SIAC. At that hearing, representing Amazon NV Investment Holding LLC, senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam had pointed out how Future Group was trying to stall the proceedings. On to the economy sector. The proposed free trade agreement between India and the UK is a high priority for both the countries, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday, even as he declined to give any strict timelines to conclude the talks. The next round of negotiations for the pact will be held in December, the minister said, adding that the deal would likely be a comprehensive one. “Things are progressing well and will yield good results,” he said, at a steel industry event. The minister’s comments came after the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s statement before he headed for the G20 summit in Bali that he won’t “sacrifice quality for speed” while securing the final details of an FTA with India. Britain’s trade minister Greg Hands had said earlier that the country had completed most of the sections of the FTA. Lastly, let’s talk about quick commerce companies. The promise of ten-minute deliveries at low charges to consumers is fast fading as quick commerce companies find they are not really making a quick buck. Instead, they are upping the charges for speedy deliveries hoping the services will become more remunerative even if it means the number of orders falls. Reliance Retail-backed Dunzo and Zepto have begun charging customers Rs 3-7 per order, depending on the location, as handling charges in addition to delivery fees. They have also increased the threshold for free orders from Rs 149 earlier to around Rs 249 now. A recent report from Entracker, a news website, noted that Dunzo Daily was losing Rs 230 per order. The management at another quick commerce business said given customers are now accustomed to ordering on quick commerce platforms, companies will try and ensure the transactions are profitable.

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Business News at 09:30 am on 23rd November 2022