Episode 381

Business News at 09:30 am on 8th February 2023

Listen to the latest news on business and finance where we talk about the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs’s decision to go after tax evader, Adani Group appointing independent firms to evaluate compliance issues, Vodafone Idea’s fundraising exercise, Boeing is slashing jobs. We also talk about the telecom sector.

Today’s Latest Business News at 09:30 am on 8th February 2023.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has decided to go after tax evaders, who had made declarations under the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme of 2019, but failed to pay the relevant tax subsequently. The drive aims to recover over Rs 50,000 crore lying with the taxpayers. Following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the board has directed its field formations to “vigorously” pursue these cases so as to “protect the interest of revenue”. It said in a recent letter, quote, “In view of the observations made by the Audit, it is again directed that appropriate action may be taken in all the cases where the declarant has filed declaration under ‘voluntary disclosure’ category but did not make the payment under the scheme,” unquote. The move comes at a time when the CBIC is hoping to improve compliance and widen the tax net to boost revenue collection. About 0.19 million declarations were made under the Sabka Vishwas scheme. The total tax dues revealed under these declarations were at Rs 90,000 crore. However, the scheme is understood to have resulted in recovery of only about Rs 39,500 crore.

Moving on to Industry news, the embattled Adani Group is considering appointing independent firms to evaluate compliance and regulatory issues after short-seller Hindenberg Research raised questions over its business disclosures. The report resulted in the flagship firm withdrawing its follow-on public offer and other listed firms losing nearly half of their market capitalisation. On Tuesday, the quarterly earnings disclosures of Adani Green Energy, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and Ambuja Cements said a short-seller had alleged “certain issues against some”group entities. This is the first time since the allegations that the group firms have said they may be looked into.Ambuja Cements said the managements of group entities are considering appointing independent firms or agencies to assess the issues and compliance of applicable laws and regulations, related party transactions and internal controls among others. The company said, quote, “While the management is confident that no material adverse impact on the financial results is likely to arise on completion of such evaluation, management will assess the necessary actions required, if any,” unquote.

Meanwhile, The department of telecommunications expects Vodafone Idea’s fundraising exercise to start in around two months time, telecom secretary K Rajaraman told Financial Express. Rajaraman said, quote, “We have done substantial discussions in the last few months and now I believe they will be able to do something, including raising funds and bringing in their own capital,” unquote. Declining to disclose whether the company has given a definite timeline and the quantum of funds that would be raised, the secretary said, quote, “The government has done its bit. Now, it is for the company to take further action. Over the next two months we expect some action” unquote. He added that The idea is that Vodafone Idea promoters would do all that is possible to ensure that the prospects of the company improves. On whether the government would also convert Vodafone Idea’s principal dues into equity after the four-year moratorium on adjusted gross revenue and spectrum dues ends, Rajaraman said quote, “We have to see how they perform now. At this point in time, it’s premature to talk about any of that,” unquote.

In some more news on Industry, Boeing is slashing around 2,000 jobs this year in its finance and human resources departments through a combination of attrition and layoffs. According to a Seattle Times report, the company is outsourcing about a third of these jobs to Tata Consulting Services in Bengaluru. Boeing employees trained TCS employees on that initial set of outsourced work, which TCS is scheduled to take over in the coming week, the report stated. Boeing now has nearly 3,500 direct employees in India and another 7,000 people in India employed at its suppliers, including the Tata Group, according to the report. The TCS non-engineering work for Boeing will be done at a new facility in Bengaluru, the report added. Last year, Boeing had said it planned to cut about 150 finance jobs in the United States to simplify its corporate structure and focus more resources into manufacturing and product development.

Lastly, The Digital Lenders’ Association of India, which represents over 90 digital lending apps, on Tuesday said it has not received any communication from the ministry of electronics and information technology with regard to restriction on any digital lending app or warning on any fraudulent practices. The statement from the association comes after the government on February 5 banned around 232 apps involved in betting, gambling, money laundering and unauthorised lending with alleged links to China.

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Business News at 09:30 am on 8th February 2023