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Published: November 5, 2017 9:23:12 AM

Most changes to the goods and services tax (GST) regime suggested by a panel of state finance ministers to help small businesses and traders could be endorsed by the GST Council at its next meeting on November 9 and 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted on Saturday.

Most changes to the goods and services tax (GST) regime suggested by a panel of state finance ministers to help small businesses and traders could be endorsed by the GST Council at its next meeting on November 9 and 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted on Saturday.

Expect more relief in GST, PM Narendra Modi hints ahead of council meet

Most changes to the goods and services tax (GST) regime suggested by a panel of state finance ministers to help small businesses and traders could be endorsed by the GST Council at its next meeting on November 9 and 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted on Saturday. He also expressed confidence that India’s rank in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking will improve even further once the GST is taken into account from next year.

After two years of successive decline non-financial companies’ capex rise 11 per cent

After two years of successive decline, capital expenditure (capex) by private sector non-financial listed companies grew 11.7% to Rs 2.72 lakh crore in FY17, data sourced from Capitaline shows. Aggressive bidding for spectrum licences by Bharti Airtel, along with new telecom entrant Reliance Jio, has helped the capex grow at a CAGR of 4.3% between FY13 and FY17. However, in the last three years, capex spend has declined by 2%. RIL and Bharti Airtel’s capex, which accounted for over a third of the total capex by a clutch of 239 private companies in FY17, rose by 64.6% and 15.5%, respectively. In fact, excluding these two companies, the actual capital investment by Indian listed companies declined by 2.6% in fiscal 2017. Companies with a minimum capital outlay of Rs 100 crore have been included in the sample. The country’s largest private refiner, RIL, said in its annual report that during FY17, it invested Rs 1.15 lakh crore— the highest ever in the corporate history of India. Aggressive investment in the telecom sector has deteriorated its leverage ratio, as the company reported its highest net debt-to-EBITDA ratio since 2002. The ratio has quadrupled in the five years to 3.05 in March 2017, Bloomberg data showed. The net debt-to-EBITDA of Bharti Airtel increased to 2.95 in FY17 from 1.81 in FY15.
BJP government violated the principals of a true GST, says P Chidambaram

The idea of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) was, and is, a good idea. It is a tax that is in force in about 160 countries with some variations in each country, but the basic principle is that it is a one-rate tax applicable to all goods and services unless these are exempted. The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), in his report on the revenue neutral rate (RNR), recommended a rate of 15 or 15.5% . Taking note of the difficult transition path from VAT to GST and from service tax to GST, he also acknowledged the need to have a merit rate (RNR minus) and a demerit rate (RNR plus). That would have preserved the essential principle of a GST while enabling a smooth transition.
World Food India 2017: Golden opportunity for investors, says Nitin Gadkari

India offers “golden opportunities” for global investors in sectors such as infrastructure, transport, agriculture and food processing, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today. Addressing the World Food India 2017 conference on the ‘Opportunities in Infrastructure Technology & Equipment’, Gadkari said, “There are golden opportunities for investors in food processing, agriculture, water transport, highways, shipping and other sectors.” “We are bound to create a world-class infrastructure in coming two years. Of the 32 logistic parks, 24 have already been identified on national corridors to be built at a cost of R2 lakh crore. These parks will cater to key production and consumption centres accounting for 45% of India’s road freight,” the minister said. He said the work has already been started at Chennai, Bangalore, Vijaywada, Hyderabad, Surat and Guwahati for logistic parks that are designed to house cold storages and warehouses. Besides, government’s another major initiative Sagarmala for port-led economic development of the country will see reduction of about R 40,000 crore logistic cost in the country, he said. Sagarmala will see development of 14 coastal economic zones besides development of two mega food processing parks, he said.

World Food India 2017: Besides Khichdi, there are other items that deserve to be celebrated as much

The humble khichdi might have achieved celebrity status in the past couple of days, thanks to record-breaking efforts at the World Food India event, where 918 kg of the dish was cooked and served on Saturday after spicy virtual tadka on Twitter and some actual one from Baba Ramdev, but there is much more to celebrate at the Food Street, a showcase of diverse Indian food at the expo. A huge focus is on ancient grains. As Sanjeev Kapoor, who has curated the entire concept of the Food Street, tells us, that while the whole world talks of superfoods and things like quinoa, we in India don’t have to look elsewhere, but revive the use of amaranth, jowar, bajra, nachini and their ilk, which are high on the nutrition scale. And they need not be boring. A hummus-like chickpea paste with south-Indian millet salad on top with some black rice papad and a dash of flavoured sesame oil was a dish at the event that could rival any exotic quinoa-olive oil concoction.

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