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Top 10 biz headlines: Realty, exports boost this week, DDT may go & more

From govt readying a package to help boost exports and real estate to the Direct Taxes Code panel recommending abolishing of dividend distribution tax, here are the top business headlines on Wednesday

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

To drive the housing finance sector to financial best practices, the NHB has issued a draft paper suggesting a progressive increase in the CAR of the companies to 14 per cent

1) Booster dose: Govt's package for realty sector, exports likely this week

The Centre is readying a package to help boost exports and perk up the sector. According to senior government officials, the steps in could include a task force to identify and revive stalled projects, easing of interest subvention norms, a new rental housing policy, an increase in the affordable housing category limit and reducing time taken to process applications under the partial guarantee scheme for housing. In addition, there could be specific measures to make export credit easily accessible to small exporters. Expediting work on the long-awaited goods and services tax (GST) e-wallet for exporters is yet another announcement expected soon.

While announcing the first set of measures last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had promised two more rounds to boost some of the stressed sectors, including Officials said a package aimed at home buyers and real estate developers could come by the end of this week. (Read more here)

2) Direct Taxes Code panel for status quo on tax, STT; wants to go

The task force to overhaul the nearly 60-year-old Income Tax Act has recommended retaining the long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax and the securities transaction tax (STT), while abolishing the dividend distribution tax (DDT). The panel has instead suggested imposing tax on the person receiving dividends, sources in the know said.

The proposed move to withdraw the would help encourage investments by addressing multiple taxation of income and bringing down the effective tax rate on companies, which is among the highest in the world, the sources said. (Read more here)

3) Easier foreign fundraising for unlisted firms

Unlisted Indian firms might soon find it easier to raise capital overseas through depository receipts as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is planning a liberalised regime for issuing global depository receipts (GDRs) and American depositary receipts (ADRs), which will help start-ups and others raise funds, the Economic Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

At present, only listed firms can issue the instruments. According to the financial daily, Sebi is also expected to ease norms related to two-way fungibility -- the conversion of shares to depository receipts and vice versa.

4) Airtel, and unlikely to bid for 5G spectrum

The country’s three leading telecom operators — Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and — are unlikely to bid for 5G spectrum, citing high cost and limited availability of the airwaves, even as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) floated on Monday a request for proposal (RFP) for the appointment of an auctioneer by October 15 to conduct the auction.

Apart from the high base price fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), telcos complain that enough spectrum is not available in the two bands identified in the RFP — 700 MHz and 3300-3600 MHz — because of competing claims from the defence, railways, and space departments. It is for the same reason that the DoT has been unable to offer the crucial 24.25-29.5 GHz band (also known as the millimetre band) — the airwaves that are key to providing capacity to handle growing data, as well as ensuring speeds multiple times higher than 4G. (Read more here)

5) Rakesh Gangwal skips AGM, Rahul Bhatia says 'main hoon na'

Usually, annual general meetings (AGMs) of are as low key as the promoters of the largest airline in the country. So, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal often gave it a miss, letting then president Aditya Ghosh face angry shareholders complaining about lack of chai-biscuit or get the glory all by himself.

Tuesday’s AGM, where all resolutions put to vote were passed with heavy majority, was quite different. As a show of strength, Bhatia was present with his wife Rohini (a director on the board) and son Madhav. He chaired the meeting flanked by M Damodaran, who was accused of not fulfilling responsibility of an independent director by co-promoter Rakesh Gangwal recently. At the AGM organised in New Delhi on Tuesday, neither Gangwal nor independent director Anupam Khanna were present. Both had raised questions about the company’s corporate governance standards. Voting result, which came late night, however showed that Gangwal had backed the resolutions, in a sign of truce for now. (Read more here)

6) Jio becomes the market leader with 31.7% AGR, telcos record 9% growth

The telecom sector’s year-on-year (YoY) revenue growth returned to positive in the June quarter — the first time since the third quarter of 2016-17 (FY17) — to Rs 34,300 crore, driven primarily by average revenue per user (ARPU) growth, shows data by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Reliance Jio’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) grew 9 per cent sequentially to an industry-leading revenue market share (RMS) of 31.5 per cent. State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) sprung in a surprise by clocking a 33 per cent sequential jump in revenues. AGR is gross revenue minus access and pass-through charges.

Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, has grown at the cost of — its AGR grew 17.9 per cent YoY in the 1,800 Mhz circles (which were traditionally dominated by Vodafone and Idea), while in the 900 Mhz circles dominated by Airtel, the company grew 8.1 per cent. This shows that has gained market share at the cost of (Read more here)

7) Get coal mine project in Queensland moving, Australian Minister tells Adani

Australia's Resources Minister Matt Canavan on Tuesday asked chairman Gautam Adani to focus on the coal mine project in central Queensland and get it "moving" forward, refuting reports of any "widespread" opposition against the controversial venture.

Canavan is on a four-day visit to India from Monday during which he is scheduled to hold several ministerial-level discussions. (Read more here)

8) China's new drug law may open door for Indian generic medicines: Report

China's revised drug law, which removes drugs that are legal in foreign countries but not approved in China from the category of fake medicines, may allow entry of Indian generic medicines in the country, media reports said on Tuesday.

China's top legislature, the Standing Committee of People's Congress, passed the revised law on Monday to enhance management and supervision of the pharmaceutical market following numerous fake drugs and vaccine cases that had triggered a call for stronger measures to ensure drug safety.

India has been demanding that China open its pharmaceutical market to Indian drugs as part of the efforts to lower the $57 billion trade deficit in about $95.5 billion total trade last year. (Read more here)

9) may raise funds through equity route, sell non-core assets

A week after it first reported an employee-led fraud, is now looking to put its house in order.

The revival plan includes an equity-based fund raising, seeking lender support and sale of non-core assets.

The new plan has been put in place after the company’s disclosure last week which said its liabilities, advances and net worth are under-stated. “Key initiatives will include considering other fund-raising avenues, including a potential equity raising for bridging the cash flow gaps as well as working capital requirement to avoid any business disruption,” said in an analysts’ presentation. (Read more here)

10) At 9%, Bengaluru beats Delhi, Mumbai in prime office rental growth: Report

With a 9 per cent spike in rentals in second quarter (Q2) 2019, Bengaluru’s Central Business District (CBD) became the fastest growing prime office space in the country, and the fifth across the Asia-Pacific region.

Bengaluru CBD saw the highest annual growth in rental values in India, with current rentals at Rs 125 per sq. ft per month, according to a survey conducted by Knight Frank. (Read more here)

First Published: Wed, August 28 2019. 07:59 IST