News digest: Paradise Papers leak, Cong steps up GST offensive, and more

From Paradise Papers probe to Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications skipping interest payment to its bond holders, Business Standard brings you up to speed with the latest news


Sebi plans further rise in public float

The Securities and Exchange Board of India is mulling another increase in minimum public shareholding (MPS) requirements from the current 25 per cent to 30 per cent, or even 35 per cent, said three people in the know. The discussions at the market regulator’s end are, however, at a nascent stage, clarified one of them.  India has traditionally been a promoter-driven market and increasing the threshold will ensure wider ownership through institutional investors, more market depth and better corporate governance standards. Read more 

CBDT chairman to head Paradise Papers probe

Hours after the Paradise Papers leak of financial documents, pointing at possible illegal offshore dealings, the government on Monday swung into action and re-constituted a multi-agency panel led by the chairman of the income tax (I-T) department to carry out a probe into it.  The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has alerted its teams across the country to carry out investigations based on the returns filed by individuals on the list. Read more 

Congress to seek overhaul of GST at next Council meet

The state finance ministers of Congress-run governments said on Monday they would demand an overhaul of the goods and services tax (GST) at the next Council meet in Guwahati on Friday. These ministers will make specific suggestions to the Narendra Modi government to provide succour to the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector, and give tax exemptions to those working in such industries, including jewellery, leather, textiles and bicycle. Read more 

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia designated Finance Secretary

Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has been designated as the new Finance Secretary, an official order said on Monday. Adhia is a 1981 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre. The vacancy was caused following the superannuation of Ashok Lavasa last month. As per the convention, the senior most Secretary in the Finance Ministry is designated as the Finance Secretary. Read more 
Reliance Communications skips bond interest payment

With the bulk of its wireless telephony business shutting down, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) on Monday skipped interest payment to its bond holders. The company didn’t pay the interest, of about $9.75 million due on Monday, on its $300-million bonds that will mature in 2020. RCom owes Rs 44,700 crore to Indian banks and had entered the strategic debt restructuring (SDR) scheme of Indian banks in June this year. Read more 

Formula-E to power Mahindra's electric car drive

Racing on the Formula-E tracks is helping speed up the Mahindras’ electric car strategy for India. The technology that will power the Mahindras’ upcoming electric cars and even buses is being developed in close coordination with the group’s Formula-E all-electric racing team. The ‘Race to Road’ vision that Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra had around four years ago has begun paying dividends. Read more