ECONOMY - 2015 MAY

May 1

The Finance Bill, 2015.
The Lok Sabha passed the Finance Bill, 2015 through voice vote.
The bill deals with the income side (basically tax proposals) of the Union Government for the financial year 2015-16 as proposed in the budget which was introduced in the Parliament on 28 February 2015.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the sole authority in taxation matters, after the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved as many as 41 official amendments which among others include:
Important amendments
Promoters of foreign real estate investment trusts were exempted from paying Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on the notional gains arising from shares of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to a business trust in exchange of units allotted by that trust.
Foreign companies including Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are exempted from paying MAT on (earnings from capital gains on securities, royalty, fee on technical services and interest) any interest, royalty or fees for technical services including incomes earned on investments in Government and other fixed income securities.
However, MAT would not be applicable on sale of units of real estate investment trusts (REITs). Further, the exemption would apply only in those cases where the normal tax rate is below 18.5 percent.
Diluted tax proposals applicable to sovereign wealth funds which plan to relocate to India, in case they are floated by foreign government.
About Minimum Alternate Tax
MAT is a way of making companies pay minimum amount of tax. It is applicable to all companies except those engaged in infrastructure and power sectors.
Income arising from free trade zones, charitable activities, investments by venture capital companies are also excluded from the purview of MAT.
About Finance Bill
Union Budget is presented in Lokh Sabha of parliament as per Article 110.
Union Budget consists of following Documents:
The main Budget documents are presented to the parliament accordingly various articles of our constitution as follows:

Sl

Document

Article

1

Annual Financial Statement (AFS)

Article 112

2

Demand for Grants (DG)

Article 113

3

Appropriation Bill

114 (3)

4

Finance Bill

110 (a)

5

Memorandum Explaining the Provisions


6

Macro-economic framework for the relevant financial year


7

Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement


8

Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement


Note: Money Bills can be introduced in Lok Sabha only, but Finance Bills can be referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses.

May 2

DoT extended deadline of full implementation of MNP by two months.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) extended the date of implementation of the full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by two months, that is, till 3 July 2015.
Earlier, on 3 November 2014, the DoT on the basis of recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ordered Indian telecom companies to implement full MNP by 3 May 2015.
About DoT
The Department of Telecommunications, abbreviated to DoT, is part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the executive branch of the Government of India. Ministry of Communication and Information Technology contains three departments
(1) Department of Telecommunications.
(2) Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
(3) Department of Posts.
Minister: Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Tata Power, L&T to supply mobile artillery system to the Army.
The army is set to get an artillery boost with a proposal being moved to raise six new regiments of the indigenous Pinaka Multi-Launcher Rocket System(MLRS), a formidable system designed to annihilate enemy targets with a blanket of precisely guided rockets.
Tata Power and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will get a major share of the Rs. 1,950 crore contract that is to be approved by the defense ministry as they are the primary manufacturers of the mobile artillery system, along with state-run Bharat Earth Movers (BEML).
From the existing capacity of 1,000 rockets a year, the government has sanctioned an increase to 5,000 rockets annually.
Goldman Sachs invests in Foodpanda.
Mobile food delivery app Foodpanda announced raising of fresh funds to the tune of $100 million (about Rs. 635 crore) in a financing round led by Goldman Sachs.
Its investors include Rocket Internet (52 per cent stake), Phenomen Ventures, Investment AB Kinnevik and iMENA Holdings.
About Food Panda
Active in over 580 cities globally, Foodpanda has partnered with over 60,000 restaurants.
In India, the company has partnerships with more than 3,000 restaurants, including brands such as Pizza Hut, Subway, Nirula’s, Faasos, Baskin Robbins and Ammi’s Biryani.
PAN mandatory for central excise registration.
Permanent Account Number (PAN) has been made mandatory for private firms seeking central excise registration.
The registration will now be given within two days of filing online applications, as per the new simplified rules formed by the Finance Ministry.
Government departments are exempted from the requirement of quoting PAN in their online application. Applicants other than government departments shall not be granted registration in the absence of PAN.
Direct tax collection of govt falls 14 per cent short of target.
The direct tax collection of the government, which comprises mainly corporate tax and income tax, has fallen short of the target by 14 per cent for the financial year ended March 31, 2015.
A senior official confirmed that the Income Tax Department managed to collect around Rs 6,96,200 crore during 2014-15 which is around Rs 9,000 crore short of the Rs 7,05,000 crore target that had been projected in finance minister Arun Jaitley's budget for the last financial year.

May 3

BHEL commissions 195 MW thermal unit in Bihar.
Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), said it has commissioned a 195-MW thermal unit in Muzzafarpur district in Bihar.
The first of the two 195-MW units to be commissioned by BHEL at the thermal power plant of Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam (KBUNL), a joint venture of NTPC and Bihar State Power Generation Company(BSPGCL).
Glenmark gets tentative USFDA nod for generic psoriasis cream.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has received tentative approval from the US health regulator FDA for generic Calcipotriene cream, used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis.
Headquarters: Mumbai.

May 4

Cipla extends medical support to Nepal earthquake victims.
Indian pharma firm Cipla has come to the aid of victims of the Nepal earthquake tragedy. It has begun supplying medicines and blankets through its Sikkim-based plant to the state government, which in turn has extended the support to Nepal.
About Cipla
Founder: Khwaja Abdul Hamied.
CEO: Subhanu Saxena.
Headquarters: Mumbai.
Future Group's Retail Business to Merge With Bharti Retail.
Future Retail will merge its retail operations with Bharti Retail to create one of India's largest retail networks with 570 stores across the country.
Bharti Retail operates its stores under easyday brand, while Future Retail has stores under various brand names such as Big Bazaar, Home Town, eZone, etc.
The infrastructure, investments and assets of both the companies will be combined to create a new entity to be called Future Enterprises Ltd.
The first entity will be called Future Retail post the completion of the demerger and it will host the retail operations of both the entities. The second entity will be known as Future Enterprises and it will host the infrastructure, investments and assets of both the companies.
The combined retail entity will have a total turnover of Rs. 15,000 crore.
Shares holders in new company
As part of the deal, Bharti Retail will get 15 per cent stake in both the merged entities. Bharti Retail will get Rs 500 crore stocks at present and Rs. 250 crore stocks will be converted at a later date.
Future Group promoters will hold 46-47 per cent stake each in the two new entities.
Vedanta Limited launched new logo.
Minerals and mining giant Vedanta Limited launched its new logo. The logo was co-created by internal stakeholders across geographies and group companies.
The new logo has some significant changes. The brand name has been changed with the use of two colours leaf green and a shade of Yale blue.
Note: Earlier in April 2015, Sesa Sterlite announced the changing of name to Vedanta Ltd in a bid to better resemble with its London-listed company Vedanta Resources Plc.

May 5

Flipkart acquired mobile marketing firm Appiterate.
E-commerce giant Flipkart acquired the Delhi-based mobile engagement and marketing automation company Appiterate. However, the financial transaction details of the deal were not disclosed by both companies.
This acquisition is part of Flipkart's new strategy of focusing more on the mobile segment. Post the acquisition, Appiterate's mobile marketing automation platform will be integrated into Flipkart’s mobile app.
Appiterate helps ecommerce companies target consumers better and increase sales by using push notifications and in-app messages.
PropTiger acquired Makaan.com.
PropTiger.com on has acquired rival Makaan.com to expand its presence in the secondary property market.
The amount of the deal was not disclosed. PropTiger is the online realty services firm backed by media magnate Rupert Murdoch.
PropTiger had acquired Bengaluru-based Out of Box Interaction (OoBI), a digital interaction design company in March 2015.
Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs launched Form-INC-29 for easier establishment of companies.
The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 1 May 2015 launched Form-INC -29 to make the process of establishing new companies smoother for entrepreneurs.
The Form-INC-29 is an integrated electronic application form and can be used alternatively in the place of filling five separate e-Forms to set up a new company.
Features of Form-INC-29
Through the form, organisations can apply for company name, Director Identification Number (DIN) and registration of company.
In the form, along with the company’s name, applicants are required to furnish the details about significance of abbreviated or coined word in the proposed name.
The applicants has to declare that the proposed name is not offensive to any section of people and also not in violation of the provisions of Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
Telecom operators slashed roaming call rate by upto 40%, SMS by upto 75%.
Four major telecom operators of India, namely Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance Communication slashed their roaming call rates by upto 40 percent and SMS rates by upto 75 percent.
This reduction in national roaming tariff will be effective from 1 May 2015.
This rate revision was made after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 9 April 2015 reduced maximum or ceiling rate for national roaming calls and SMSes.
Change in fairs
Accordingly, telecom companies were allowed to only charge maximum 1.15 rupees per minute for STD calls on roaming and 80 paise per minute for local calls. Earlier, the STD roaming charge was 1.50 rupees per minute and local call charge were 1 rupee.
On the other hand, National SMS ceiling rate was reduced to 38 paise from 1.50 rupees and 25 paise for local SMS instead of 1 rupee.
Maharashtra FDA ordered to file a FIR against Snapdeal and its CEO Kunal Behl.
Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered to file a FIR against the Snapdeal, its CEO Kunal Bahl and Directors for allegedly selling prescription drugs online.
Note: Selling of drugs without prescription is a crime under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
The FIR was filed after FDA officer on an investigation found that Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd. entered into agreements with dealers across India to supply medicines offered or exhibited for sale on its website, snapdeal.com, and to collect the sale proceeds on their behalf.
The FDA found that 45 of the displayed drugs were with objectionable claims which contravened the provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.

May 6

Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014.
Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2014. The bill also called Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill seeks to introduce GST regime in India.
The bill will transform India into a common market, harmonising myriads of state and central levies into a national goods and services tax which is expected to boost manufacturing and reduce corruption.
The salient features of the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill:
Insertion of new Article 246A conferring simultaneous power to the Union and the State legislatures to legislate on GST.
Insertion of new Article 279A for the creation of a Goods & Services Tax Council, which will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States. This Council would function under the Chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister.
To do away with the concept of 'declared goods of special importance' under the Constitutional.
The basic principal for subsuming of taxes in GST is provided as follows:
(a) Those taxes which commences with import/ manufacture/ production of goods or provision of services at one end and the consumption of goods and services at other end.
(b) The taxes, levies and fees which are not related to supply of goods & services should not be subsumed under GST.
(c) Exports are fully exempted with Zero rates.
Now in the new Proposal of GST; we will be having only two taxes on all goods and Services as follows:
(a) State Level GST (SGST).
(b) Central Level GST (CGST).
In case of Central GST, following Taxes will be subsumed with CGST which are at presently levied separately on goods and services by Central government:
(a) Central Excise Duty.
(b) Additional Excise Duty.
(c) The Excise Duty levied under Medicinal and toiletries preparation Act.
(d) Service Tax.
(e) Additional Custom Duty (CVD).
(f) Special Additional Duty.
(g) Surcharge.
(h) Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Secondary education Cess.
In case of State GST, following taxes will be subsumed with SGST; which are priestly levied on goods and services by State Governments:
(a) VAT/ Sales Tax.
(b) Entertainment Tax (unless it is levied by local bodies).
(c) Luxury Tax.
(d) Tax on lottery.
(e) State Cess and Surcharge to the extend related to supply of goods and services.
(f) Octroi and Entry Tax.
Both Centre and States will simultaneously levy GST across the value chain. The Centre would levy and collect Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), and States would levy and collect the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) on all transactions within a State.
All Goods and services, except alcoholic liquor for human consumption, will be brought under the purview of GST. However, it has also been provided that petroleum and petroleum products shall not be subject to the levy of GST till notified at a future date on the recommendation of the GST Council. The present taxes levied by the States and the Centre on petroleum and petroleum products, i.e., Sales Tax/VAT, CST and Excise duty only, will continue to be levied in the interim period.
GST Rate Structure:
(a) Two Rate Structure.
(b) A lower rate for necessary items and goods of basic importance.
(c) Standard rate for goods in General.
(d) Special Rate.
The Centre would levy and collect the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on all inter-State supply of Goods and Services. There will be seamless flow of input tax credit from one State to another. Proceeds of IGST will be apportioned among the States.
GST is a destination-based tax. All SGST on the final product will ordinarily accrue to the consuming State.
GST rates will be uniform across the Country. However, to give some fiscal autonomy to the Centre and States, there will a provision of a narrow tax band over and above the floor rates of CGST and SGST.
It is proposed to levy a non-vatable Additional Tax of not more than 1% on supply of goods in the course of inter-State trade (or) commerce for a period not exceeding 2 years, or further such period as recommended by the GST Council. This Additional Tax on supply of goods shall be assigned to the States from where such supplies originate.
The term “Services” is proposed to be exhaustively defined as “anything other than goods”.
Compensation to States
The Centre will compensate States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the GST for a period up to five years (The compensation will be on a tapering basis, i.e., 100% for first three years, 75% in the fourth year and 50% in the fifth year).
Reaming Procedure for Passing GST Bill
Now, after being passed in the Lok Sabha, the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill requires to be passed with 2/3rd majority in the Rajya Sabha as well followed by its ratification by at least 50% of the States before it becomes law of the land.

May 7

Paytm tied-up with CCD, Domino’s for offline payment.
Alibaba-backed company Paytm on 3 May 2015 tied-up with Quick service restaurants (QSRs) Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day for offline payment. With this acquisition, Paytm's mobile wallet will soon be accepted at Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day.
This tie-up came when Paytm is foraying into the offline retail space. At present, Paytm offers and recharge services for DTH and mobile phone services as well as mobile wallet services for online transactions on Uber, Bookmyshow, eBay and IRCTC.
Union Cabinet gave nod for revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with South Korea.
The bilateral DTAA was signed in 1985 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income for the citizens of both the countries.
About DTAA
Its primary purpose is to provide for tax stability to the residents of India and South Korea and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between the two countries.
It provides for source based taxation of capital gains, making adjustments to profits of associated enterprises on the basis of arm's length principle and residence based taxation of shipping income.
It rationalizes tax rates in the Articles on Dividends, Interest and Royalties and Fees for Technical Services.
It enables effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities.
It incorporates limitation of benefits provisions under the agreement to ensure that the benefits are availed of only by genuine residents of both countries.
CCEA approved hike in investment limit for cases requiring prior approval of FIPB.
The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 6 May 2015 gave its nod for increase in the investment limit for cases requiring prior approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to 3000 crore rupees from the present 2000 crore rupees.
About FIPB
The FIPB is an inter-ministerial body under the Union Ministry of Finance which is responsible for processing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals and making necessary recommendations to the Finance Ministry, which gives the final approval.
Under the present practice, FDI is allowed into the country under two routes: Automatic and Approval Route.

Under the Automatic Route

Under the Approval Route

The investors need not take any approvals from the government but only required to give prior intimation to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

If the investment is up to 3000 crore rupees it is vetted by the FIPB and will be forwarded to the Finance Ministry for final approval.

If the investment is above 3000 crore rupees the investment proposal must be cleared by the CCEA which functions under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.

Majority of the sectors of the economy come under the Automatic Route.

At present, strategic sectors like telecommunication services, defense, civil aviation are kept under this route.

May 8

companies Forbes’ List.
In the overall list, HDFC is ranked 485th, while Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries leads the pack of the Indian companies at 142nd overall position.
Among other sector-specific lists, there is no Indian entity on the list of biggest major banks topped by China’s ICBC.
For the regional banks, China Construction Bank tops the chart, while India’s SBI is ranked 22nd, ICICI Bank is at 29th place and HDFC Bank is at 40th position.

May 9

India Posts's e-commerce centre set to start operations.
To cash in on growing online shopping trend, India Post Delhi circle will start its e-commerce centre from 11th May 2015.
Considering the rapid growth of e-commerce business in the country in the recent past, the Department of Posts, through Delhi Postal Circle has taken up a project to establish the e-commerce centre at Safdarjang, New Delhi.
The centre is to be dedicated to the nation by Ravi Shankar Prasad, hon'ble minister of communications and information technology.
The centre is capable of handling 30,000 parcels or articles per day and parcels collected from the e-commerce customers, processed and dispatched within 24 hours to respective destination through quickest available flight or train, as the case may be.

May 10

Union Government, ADB signed loan agreement worth 31 Million US dollars.
The Union Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a 31 million USD loan agreement to boost water availability in selected river basins in Karnataka and ensure improved water efficiency in irrigation.
ADB’s loan of 31 million US dollars will cover about 65 percent of the total project cost of 48 million US dollars with the state government of Karnataka providing the balance of 17 million US dollars.
The loan is the first tranche of the Karnataka Integrated and Sustainable Water Resources Management Investment Program of 150 million US dollars, approved by ADB in 2014. The program will improve irrigation efficiency in three river basins in the state saving 1700 million cubic meters of water.
Headquarters: Manila, Philippines
Type: Regional Development
President: Takehiko Nakao
Satyam's Raju, 9 others get bail, sentences suspended by court.
Raju shall also pay one tenth of fine amount within four weeks from the date of release on bail before the primary court (trial court), failing which they must undergo default sentence.
Background
Raju the main accused in the over Rs. 7,000 crore scandal which came to light in 2009.
On April 9, the ACMM court, which tried the Satyam case probed by CBI, had sentenced Raju and others to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and cheating among other offences.
It also imposed Rs. 5.35 crore fine on Raju and Rama Raju, while others were fined Rs. 25 lakh each.

May 11

IVRCL bags Rs. 3,624 crore Saudi project to construct residential complexes.
Infrastructure firm IVRCL said it has bagged a project worth 2.196 billion Saudi Arabian riyal (approximately Rs. 3,624 crore) to construct residential complexes in Saudi Arabia.
IVRCL has bagged a turnkey EPC project worth SAR 2.196 billion from the Ministry of Interior-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
IVRCL: Iragavarapu Venkata Reddy Construction Limited.
CAG flags financial gap of Rs. 31,000 crore in telecom sector.
Raising concerns over various policy issues in telecom sector, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) flagged financial gaps to the tune of over Rs. 31,000 crore including towards non-imposition of fines and the undue gains to private operators including Reliance Jio, Airtel, RCOM and Tata Tele.
Benefit under voice calling facility
The government auditor said Reliance Jio Infocomm got undue benefit of Rs. 3,367.29 crore after the Department of Telecom (DoT) allowed it to provide voice calling facility under the new licensing regime.
Bharti Airtel.
Whereas Bharti Airtel made an undue gain of Rs 499 crore because of DoT's decision to merge Chennai telecom circle with Tamil Nadu in a hasty manner in 2005, it added.
Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices got undue benefit to the extent of Rs. 882.06 crore (2009-10 to 2013-14) after the DoT granted telecom licences for dual technology in October 2007/ January 2008, the CAG said.

May 12

MoU between Telangana govt & Google to build biggest campus outside US in Hyderabad.
Google will build its largest campus outside the US in Hyderabad at an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore, according to Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao.
First campus in Asia. 2 million sq ft space would be built. Investment of Rs 1,000 crore and in four years employee size to double from 6,500 to 13,000.
Vice-President-Real Estate and Workplace at Google, David Radcliffe, and Telangana IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan signed the MoU at Google headquarters, California.
About Google
Headquarters: California.
CEO: Larry Page.
Retail inflation at 4.87 percent in April.
Consumer price inflation eased to a four-month low of 4.87 per cent in April, on slower annual increases in food costs, government data.
Consumer food price inflation dropped to 5.11 per cent last month from 6.14 per cent in March.
Govt releases CPI on every Tuesday of second week of the month.
About Retail inflation (or) Consumer Price Index
A measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care.
The CPI is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them; the goods are weighted according to their importance.
Sometimes referred to as "headline inflation''.
Note: The Base Year of this series of CPI is 2010-2011.
March IIP at 2.1% versus 5% in February.
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for the month of March was reported at 2.1%. IIP had grown at 5% in February. The cumulative growth for the period April-March 2014-15 over the corresponding period of the previous year stands at 2.8 .
About IIP:
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mining, electricity and manufacturing.
The base year is 2004-2005.
Govt collected Rs 2,140 cr as tax from BCCI since 2004-05.
The government said it has collected Rs. 2,140 crore from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) out of a total demand of Rs. 2,510.48 crore from assessment year 2004-05 onwards.
Out of a total demand of Rs. 2,510.48 crore raised from assessment year 2004-05 onwards, an amount of Rs. 2,140.58 crore has already been collected. The remaining demand of Rs. 369.89 crore has been stayed by income tax authorities till disposal of appeal filed by BCCI.
Cabinet Minister of Finance: Arun jaitley.
MoS Finance: Jayant Sinha.

PSUs are biggest contributors to govt coffers, says CAG.
The top 41 public sector units (PSUs), including oil sector biggies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Oil India and Indian Oil Corporation, power sector giant NTPC and mining behemoth Coal India, contributed as much as 65 per cent to the combined annual profit of Rs. 1,53,907 crore earned by 202 government-owned firms in 2013-14.
According to the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, out of the 202 Central PSUs which earned profit during FY14, as many as 111 declared a dividend amounting to Rs. 66,051 crore of which the government received Rs. 41,842 crore.
This works out to a 17.06 per cent return on the government's investment. The report states that ten PSU under the administrative control of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas contributed Rs. 14,977 crore of the total dividends, which works out to 22.7 per cent.
The CAG report also reveals that there are as many as 124 central public sector enterprises that piled up a mammoth loss of Rs. 49,612 crore in 2013-14.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has gained the dubious distinction of being listed among the three worst performers with a staggering loss of Rs. 7,020 crore.

May 13

Reliance Jio to raise $750 million from Korean company.
Reliance Industries has signed up for a $750 million loan, backed by Korea Trade Insurance Corp, to primarily finance the procurements for its infrastructure rollout from Samsung Electronics and Ace Technologies Corp.
It has a door-to-door tenor of 12 years, including a two-year availability period and a 10-year repayment period thereafter.
Reliance Jio Infocomm is setting up a pan-India telecom network for 4th generation Net services, communication services and other digital services in areas like education, healthcare, security, financial services, government-citizen interfaces and entertainment.

WPI inflation dips to record (-)2.65 per cent in April.
Deflationary pressure continued for the sixth month in a row with inflation dropping to a new low of (-)2.65 per cent in April, mainly on account of decline in prices of fuel and manufactured items even as food prices increased.
Inflation, as measured on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), has been in the negative zone since November, 2014.

Month

Inflation

April

(-)2.65

March

(-)2.33

February

(-)2.17

January

(-)0.95

Note: WPI inflation base year 2004-05.

May 14

Reliance Industries dials China to reprise cheap phone revolution in India.
Reliance Industries is in talks with Chinese manufacturers to secure cut-price phones that could be sold in packages from $30, as it seeks to repeat the low-cost revolution it unleashed with its first dip into India's mobile market more than a decade ago.
CEO: Mukesh Ambani.
Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani.
Headquarters: Navi Mumbai, India.

Cabinet nod for IOC, NTPC stake sale may fetch Rs 13,600 crore.
The government will sell its 10 per cent stake in blue-chip Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and 5 per cent in power producer NTPC to mop up about Rs. 13,600 crore in this fiscal’s first disinvestment approval.
The approvals are part of Rs. 41,000 crore disinvestment target for the current financial year.
Buoyed by diesel price deregulation, the government is looking at selling stake in Indian’s largest fuel retailer IOC for the second time in 13 months.
Sale of 24.27 crore shares, or 10 per cent stake, in IOC would mop up close to Rs 8,000 crore at current market price.
Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Currently, Union government holds 74.96 per cent in NTPC and 68.57 per cent in IOC.

May 15

Rajya Sabha passed The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
As many as 16 amendments were made to the law, correcting issues with provisions relating to winding up of companies, board resolutions, bail provisions and utilisation of unclaimed dividends to bring the law in tune with the global standards.
Major amendments:
It also does away with the need to secure certificate of commencement before starting operations.
There are amendments in 22 Sections of the Act such as doing away with requirement of minimum capital and making common seal optional.
Under the earlier law, every company was required to have a common seal with its name engraved on it. However, this requirement was made optional in the new Companies Act.
An amendment in Section 143 (12) of the Act prescribes that the auditor is required to report to the central government only frauds that are above a certain threshold.
Among others, except fraud, all other offences would be bailable under the Act while winding up cases would be heard by a 2-member bench.
Note: The body for maintain accounting standards in india is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
Moody’s released the report Global Macro Outlook: 2015-16.
Moody’s released the quarterly Global Macro Outlook: 2015-16 report.
Moody's forecasts US GDP growth of 2.8% in both 2015 and 2016.
Moody's also expects that GDP growth in G20 economies will be 2.8 percent in 2015, which remains broadly unchanged compared to 2014, however, the G20 GDP growth will increase to around 3 percent in 2016.
The weaker euro and lower oil prices is forecast to give a boost to the euro area economy, with GDP growth of around 1.5 percent in both 2015 and 2016.
Moody’s on India’s growth prospects:
India’s GDP will grow at a strong pace of 7.5 percent 2015-16, which is the highest among G20 economies, helped by the reforms drive and lower oil prices.
The report also forecasts a broadly balanced current account for the first time in 10 years. This has been due to lower energy import bill and restriction in gold imports.
According to the road map, RBI intends to lower retail inflation to 6 percent by January 2016 and 4 percent (+/- 2%) thereafter.
Downside risks to Global economy:
The report has identified several risks that could lead to lower growth in some individual countries. These risks are.
(a) A Greek exit from the euro area,
(b) A disorderly reaction to tighter US monetary policy,
(c) The impact of any future correction of Chinese equity or property prices, and
(d) A possible disorderly liberalisation of China's capital account.

Ranbaxy sued in US for manipulating FDA rules.
Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd has been sued in a district court in the United States for allegedly manipulating US Food and Drug Administration rules for years to keep rival generic drugs out of the market.
Ranbaxy filed "grossly inadequate" applications seeking approval for its drugs and deceived the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into granting approvals and giving the company market exclusivity, the class action lawsuit asserts.
CEO: Arun Sawhney.
Headquarters: Sikanderpur.

May 16

India and China signs 26 pacts worth $22 billion.
The Adani Group, signed pacts in the areas of power, ports, special economic zones, industrial parks and gas power generation. Specific pacts were for sister relationship with a Chinese port, and possible financing of Mundra Power Project, and for a special zone in the same port city.
Bharti Group's pacts were for received financing commitment of up to $2.5 billion from two Chinese banks to primarily diversify its global portfolio and invest in the growth of data networks across its operations that now span 20 countries.
The Welspon Group inked two pacts in the area of solar power and an integrated steel project in Gujarat, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services also signed a similar number of agreements in the area of financing, one of them specifically for a thermal project.

Chinese bank ICBC to provide $1 bn credit to IL&FS group.
Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) Group has signed pact with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), to facilitate infrastructure financing in India.
ICBC group will consider providing financial support of up to $1 billion equivalent to the IL&FS group.
In another pact, IL&FS Energy Development Company Ltd and the China Huaneng Group aim to jointly develop, implement and operate a 3,960 Mw coal-based coastal power project in Kutch district of Gujarat.

Infosys to open first overseas campus in China.
Infosys announced establishing its first overseas centre outside India in China with an investment of about $120 million to tap in the burgeoning Chinese market.
An MOU in this regard was signed between Infosys and the local Chinese provincial government at the India-China Business Forum, which was addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Shanghai.
The development centre, to be established in China's Guizhou province, with a staff capacity of about 4,500 will help to focus on Chinese and global markets.
Background
The new Infosys centre is taking shape as India is pressing China to open its markets for Indian IT firms to address the $48 billion trade deficit in the bilateral trade, which stood at $70.6 billion last year.

May 17

Government contains fiscal deficit at four per cent, beats its own target.
The Government has managed to restrict the fiscal deficit to 4 per cent during 2014-15, which is even below the revised estimate announced in the budget. Fiscal deficit is difference between the income and expenditure of the Government.
The fiscal deficit at the end of 2014-15, stands at Rs. 5,01,880 crore which is 98 per cent of the projected figure in RE (Revised Estimate) 2014-15. Fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is 4 per cent as against the RE of 4.1 per cent (4.4 per cent for the previous year i.e. 2013-14).
Revenue Deficit
The revenue deficit also came down to 2.8 per cent as against the revised estimate of 2.9 per cent.
Formula: REVENUE DEFICIT = Revenues less Expenditures.

Income
Tax authorities managed to collect over Rs. 12.45 lakh crore during the 2014-15, which is 9 per cent more than 2013-14. This collection is 9.8 per cent of GDP. Such earnings which also comprise of disinvestment stands at Rs. 43,439 crore with an increase of 4 per cent.
Expenditure
In terms of plan expenditure, the RE was Rs. 4.68 lakh crore, but actual was Rs. 4.36 lakh crore. Similarly, non plan expenditure came down to Rs. 11.91 lakh crore from the RE of of Rs. 12.13 lakh crore.

May 18

Forex reserves hit fresh life-time high of USD 352.13 billion.
India's foreign exchange reserves increased by $262.4 million to touch a new life-time high of $352.131 billion in the week to on account of rise in foreign currency assets.

foreign currency assets

$327.415 billion

Gold reserves

$19.335 billion

The special drawing rights with IMF

$4.062 billion

reserve TRANCHE @IMF

$1.316 billion

Total

$352.13 billion

About RESERVE TRANCHE
The proportion of the required quota of currency that each International Monetary Fund (IMF) member country must provide to the IMF, but can designate for its own use. The reserve tranche portion of the quota can be accessed by the member nation at any time, whereas the rest of the member's quota is typically unaccessible.
Member nation reserve tranches are typically 25% of the member's quota.

Airtel clinches $2.5 billion Chinese financing deals.
Bharti Airtel has received financing commitments of up to USD 2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with an average maturity of about nine years.
The company signed the term sheets for the financing options in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
CEO: Gopal Vittal.
Headquarters: New Delhi.
Founder: Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Shah Committee to go into all 'legacy' tax issues, says FM Jaitley.
The Justice Shah Committee, constituted to go into levy of MAT on FIIs, will look into all important legacy cases, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said blaming conflicting judicial rulings for the controversy on the issue that has riled foreign investors.
A.P. Shah Committee will work on the minimum alternate tax (MAT) dispute with foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).
The committee is requested to give its recommendations on the specific issue of MAT on FPIs expeditiously.
Note: Justice A.P. Shah is the current chairman of the Law Commission.

May 19

India Meteorological Department signed MoU with POSOCO Ltd.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Power System Operation Corporation Ltd (POSOCO) for optimum use of weather information/forecast in the power sector.
All weather information provided by ESSO-IMD will be used by the Power System Operators across the India for better management of Indian Power System.
Reliance Jio inks pact with Huawei for sourcing 4G devices.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of Reliance Industries (RIL) has signed a pact with Chinese firm Huawei for sourcing various 4G devices.
RJio plans to launch 4G service this year in around 5,000 towns and cities, accounting for over 90 per cent of urban India and over 215,000 villages.
Reliance Jio and Huawei have signed an agreement for 4G devices which includes smartphones, tablets and mifi dongles. It has signed agreement with couple of other Chinese device maker as well.

May 20

SEBI notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 2015.
The notified regulations dropped the 20-25 rule requiring a minimum of 20 investors and a cap of 25 percent investment by an individual investor in a particular scheme, for certain foreign entities.
The rule will not be applicable to funds managed by local fund managers in regard to Category I and/or Category II FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors).
Category I FPIs includes government and government related entities and Category II FPIs includes both broad based entities such as mutual funds, investments trusts and persons such as portfolio managers, investment managers, asset management companies, banks among others.
The relaxation of the rule aimed at making easier for domestic mutual funds to manage offshore pooled assets.
Earlier, the funds not adhering to the 20-25 rule were bound to appoint a separate fund manager to manage the funds.

NHPC gets environmental clearance for Rs 25K cr Dibang project.
NHPC has received environmental clearance for its Dibang multipurpose hydropower cum flood moderation project, worth over Rs. 25,000 crore, in Arunachal Pradesh.
Dibang Multipurpose Project is a hydropower cum flood moderation scheme proposed on Dibang River in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh.
All North Eastern and Eastern states would be beneficiaries of this project. It is expected to generate 11,330 MUs.

India to grow at 7.7 per cent, surpass China in 2015-16, says UN report.
India's economic growth is projected to surpass that of China's, with the GDP expected to zoom by 7.7 per cent in 2016, according to a UN report which said India will help accelerate economic growth in South Asia.
The mid-year update of the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP), released, said India's economy is projected to grow at 7.6 per cent this year and 7.7 per cent in 2016, overtaking China.
Note: China is projected to grow at 7 per cent in 2015 and 6.8 per cent next year.

India ranks highest in global consumer confidence survey.
India, with a score of 130, ranked the highest in consumer confidence among 60 markets. The online survey released was measured by American agency Nielsen.
India's score of 130 was one point higher than the fourth-quarter of 2014, followed by Indonesia (123), the Philippines (115) and the United Arab Emirates (115), Nielsen said of its survey conducted over February and March this year.
About Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries.
Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

RIL taps Taiwan to raise 1st Formosa bond of $200 million.
RIL has raised $200 million through a fresh bond issuance in the hottest bond market in Asia, Taiwan. RIL raised the debt, which has a tenure of 20 years, the first Indian company to do so. It is also be the first energy company in the world to tap the Formosa market.
About Formosa Bonds
A Formosa bond is issued in Taiwan but denominated in a currency other than the New Taiwanese dollar.
They are issued by the Taiwan branches of publicly traded overseas financial institutions and must have a credit rating of BBB or higher if they are to be traded.

May 21

IRCTC Partners With MyDala To Offer Deals To Ticket Buyers.
Ticketing arm of Indian Railway IRCTC doesn’t seem to leave any opportunity to capitalise its reach and traction. After partnering with Amazon and Paytm, the government-owned ticketing portal has partnered with mydala to provide deals and offers to customers.
The partnership will give travelers access to the best deals and offers while booking their tickets.
This partnership is an IRCTC’s move to deliver significant improvement in customer experience. This is the third partnership in a row this year by IRCTC.

IBM to set up second data centre in India.
IBM plans to set up its second data centre in India to cater to the demand from various sectors including financial services and government.
The US-based firm already has a data centre in Mumbai.
IBM: International Business Machines.
CEO: Ginni Rometty.
Headquarters: USA.

Delhi set to be the fastest growing city in Asia: Oxford Economics.
Delhi is set to be the fastest growing city in Asia in the coming five years, followed by Chennai and Mumbai according to a new report published by Oxford Economics.
The report says Delhi is estimated to see real GDP growth of 8.5 per cent a year in the period between 2015 and 2019, putting it well ahead of even the fastest growing Chinese city, Tianjin, at 6.4 per cent growth a year.
As per the estimates, six Indian cities feature in the top ten fastest growing cities in Asia.

May 22

BSE drops Tata Power from Sensex, Lupin to join.
Tata Power will move out of the stock market benchmark index Sensex and will be replaced by drugmaker Lupin.
About S7P BSE -100:
The S&P BSE 100 index, a rules-based, broad index, is designed to measure the performance of the top 100 large-cap companies in India that are listed at BSE Ltd. based on size and liquidity. The index is calculated in Indian Rupees.

Govt allows REITs to raise funds from overseas investors.
Real Estate Investment Trusts, the government approved changes to FEMA regulations that will allow such instruments to tap foreign funds.
Currently, REITs - which are mainly aimed at bringing in funds into the realty sector in a transparent manner - are prohibited from getting overseas investments under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
Also Note: The Cabinet approval came days after the government clarified that minimum alternate tax (MAT) would be applicable on REITs only when there was actual transfer of their units.

Salary cap of Mukesh Ambani keept at Rs 15 crore for seventh year.
RIL CMD Mukesh Ambani kept his annual salary capped at Rs. 15 crore for the seventh year in a row even as the remuneration of most directors declined marginally.
Ambani, the richest Indian, has kept salary, perquisites and allowances and commission at Rs. 15 crore since 2008-09, foregoing almost Rs. 24 crore per annum, reflecting his desire to continue to set a personal example for moderation in managerial compensation levels.
His remuneration for 2013-14 included Rs. 4.16 crore as salary, perquisites and allowances of Rs. 60 lakh, retirement benefits of Rs. 83 lakh and Rs. 9.41 crore as commission on profit.

May 23

SEBI charges Murugappa Group executive chairman on insider trading.
Murugappa Group executive chairman A. Vellayan stepped down from his position, this came after the capital markets regulator slapped insider trading charges against him and three other individuals in a four-year-old case.
Vellayan has stepped aside from the chairmanship of the Murugappa Group corporate board, of Coromandel International Ltd and of EID Parry India Ltd (all group companies) until the matter is resolved.

SAIL, ArcelorMittal ink MoU to set up steel plant in India.
World's largest steel maker ArcelorMittal and SAIL inked a pact to jointly set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility with an estimated Rs. 5,000 crore investment under a joint venture (JV) arrangement in India.
The proposed JV will construct a state-of-the-art cold rolling mill and other downstream finishing facilities in India that will offer technologically advanced steel products to India's rapidly growing automotive sector, said a joint statement by the two companies.

May 24

SEBI proposes system-driven disclosure regime for listed firms.
To aid better price discovery and reduce the likelihood of manipulation and insider trading, SEBI proposes to review the existing regulatory framework on continuous disclosures for listed entities.
This includes closer monitoring of listed companies and implementation of SEBI’s requirements on Corporate Governance.
The regulator also plans to create the compliance culture amongst listed companies.
The proposals are to provide a level playing field to investors by way of timely, adequate and accurate disclosures as SEBI observed that listed entities were following a different set of standards.
The regulator also plans to implement the concept of system-driven disclosures — which seeks to disclose the changes in shareholding in a listed company by automatically gathering and integrating information from available sources in a timely and accurate manner.
Monitoring compliance:
SEBI wants disclosures made under different regulations to be integrated so as to reduce repeating the same disclosure.
SEBI has set up a committee to review the adequacy and quality of disclosures made along with the application form (including prospectus and abridged prospectus).
This panel will also revisit the structure, design, format, content and order of information so as to ensure that the materially important information is provided in a structured and user-friendly manner.
Top Indian metal firms bag Platts Global Metals Awards.
Hindustan Zinc, JSW Steel, NMDC Ltd and International Coal Venture Pvt Ltd were among the four Indian companies that bagged titles at this year’s Platts Global Metals Awards.
Platts is a global energy, metals and commodities information provider. The ceremony of the third annual Platts Global Metals Awards was held in London.
The award recognises exemplary performance in a dozen categories across the steel, metals and mining complex.
JSW Steel, India’s largest exporter of coated products with a presence in over 100 countries, bagged the Industry Leadership Award for Steel.
While Hindustan Zinc, which belongs to the Vedanta Group of companies, won the Industry Leadership Award for Base Metals award, NMDC – India’s largest iron ore miner and one of the lowest cost producers in the world – bagged the Industry Leadership Award for Raw Materials and Mining.

May 25

GMR Airports hikes stake in DIAL to 64 per cent.
GMR Airports Limited (GAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited, has acquired 24,50,00,000 shares of face value of Rs. 10 each, representing 10 per cent equity stake in Delhi International Airport Pvt. Limited (DIAL) from Malaysia Airports (Mauritius) Private Limited (MAMPL), thereby increasing the stake to 64 per cent.
The acquisition is for a revised consideration of $ 80 million and in line with the terms of the agreements. DIAL is a special purpose vehicle formed to carry out development, operation and management of Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.
With the acquisition of stake from MAMPL, GAL equity stake in DIAL has increased to 64 per cent.
Grasim sells consumer products business to Future Group.
Aditya Birla Group Company Grasim Industries has decided to sell its consumer products business to Kishore biyani-run Future Consumer Enterprise Limited on a slump sale basis.
The acquisition comes a mere three weeks after the future group took control of bharti retail by merging its retail business with the latter and forms part of the ongoing consolidation that is taking place in the retail sector.
It was a stock deal worth Rs. 750 crore that created an Rs. 15,000 crore behemoth with a pan-India network.
Nasscom sets up cyber security task force.
IT industry body Nasscom and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) has launched a task force that aims to build India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions.
Nasscom Cyber Security Task Force, over a 12-week period, will study the Indian cyber security ecosystem to identify issues and challenges and develop an action plan to address the priority issues.
It aims to grow the share of cyber security industry from 1 per cent to 10 per cent by 2025 as well as having a trained base of one million certified and skilled professionals and building over 100 successful security product companies from India.
The task force members, led by NIIT Chairman Rajendra Pawar, will include industry leaders across IT-BPM, internet, banking, telecom as well as representatives from government and academia.

May 26

Union Government approves 21 FDI proposals worth Rs. 281 crore.
The government has cleared 21 foreign direct investment (FDI) deals worth Rs. 281 crore but deferred Kotak Mahindra Bank’s proposal to hike foreign investment limit in the bank to 55 per cent.
FDI proposals under approval route are cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). However, those proposals involving investment of more than Rs. 3,000 crore are given final clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
Blue Dart Express’s proposal to acquire shares in Blue Dart Aviation Ltd and hike shareholding from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. It will infuse investment between 52.8 crore to Rs. 69 crore rupees.
Quickjet Cargo Airlines proposal to increase foreign shareholding in the company to 74 per cent from 62.34 per cent.
The deal will entail FDI worth 14.40 crore rupees. Forever Living Imports (India) Pvt Ltd’s 18.30 crore rupees proposal to undertake single brand retailing of ‘Forever’ brand products in India.
FDI proposals approved at present:
FDI proposals up to 3,000 crore rupees are cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) under the normal approval route.
However, those proposals involving FDI of more than 3,000 crore rupees are given final clearance by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

May 27

Expert committee on Health Insurance recommended changes in disclaimer wordings.
Expert committee on Health Insurance of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) chaired by M Ramaprasad in its report has suggested ''changing the wordings of disclaimer in advertisements of insurance companies''.
New: The Committee recommended the following wordings for the disclaimer ''Before buying, know the conditions and exclusions, to make a well-informed decision''.
Earlier norm: as per the IRDA mandate all insurance companies issued a disclaimer, ''Insurance is a subject matter of solicitation'', in all their advertisements.
Other recommendations of the committee:
It recommended bringing in a great transparency and clarity to enable policy holders to understand the boundaries of coverage in their policies.
It recommends that insurers and third party administrators (TPAs) should have systems in place to identify, monitor, control and deal with fraud, including hospital abuse, by various agencies including health care providers.
It suggested an industry-level collaborative effort to minimise subjective and varied interpretation of policy terms and conditions, which is the root cause of disputes between insurers and policy holders.
These recommendations will help to reduce the asymmetry of information that exists among all the parties concerned that is customer, provider, payer and others.

MCA notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2014.
The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2014 in the Official Gazette.
Sixteen amendments pertaining to winding up of companies, board resolutions, bail provisions and utilisation of unclaimed dividends have been incorporated into the Act by amending the Companies Act, 2013.
Some of the important Amendments:
It seeks to simplifying bail provisions. For instance, except in various issues of serious frauds, normal Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) provisions would apply.
To maintain the confidentiality of the board resolutions, the relevant amendment now prohibits public inspection of board resolutions filed in the registry.
The paid-up capital criteria have been scrapped while threshold limits for various transactions for getting shareholders’ nod has now been stipulated.
Corporate are exempted from the need to get shareholders’ nod in the case of related party transactions valued lower than 100 crore rupees or 10 percent of net worth. Earlier corporate were required to get shareholders’ permission for party transactions valued more than 10 crore rupees.
Specific punishment for deposits accepted, a condition that was left out in the Companies Act, 2013 inadvertently.
Transactions between holding companies and wholly owned subsidiaries are exempted from the requirement of approval of non-related shareholders.

May 28

TaxiForSure Ties up With Paytm , Launches Faster App.
Taxi aggregator TaxiForSure announced a tie-up with mobile commerce platform Paytm to enable Paytm users to pay for the cab service through their prepaid wallet. According to the company, the new app will enable booking of cabs in a single touch.
With the new partnership, the balance amount in company's existing wallet will be converted to TFS credit.
IRDA slaps Rs. 65 lakh fine on India First Life Insurance.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has imposed Rs. 65 lakh penalty on India First Life insurance Company for a number of violations.
According to an order issued by IRDAI Chairman T S Vijayan, the life insurer had violated norms related to payment of commissions and reporting of expenses pertaining to corporate agents.
The Authority had listed 48 charges on the insurer for a wide range of irregularities and identified some of them as serious in nature. They included wrongful involvement of business development managers on behalf of corporate agents, running sales campaigns for the employees of corporate agents, offering incentives such as foreign trips, gift cards and online redemption points and faulty reporting of expenses and file and use procedures, among others.
About IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company:
It is a life insurance company in India. It is a joint venture between two of India's public sector banks – Bank of Baroda (44%) and Andhra Bank (30%), and UK's financial and investment company Legal & General (26%).
CEO: Ms. R.M. Vishakha.
Headquarters: Mumbai.

May 29

TCS rated as India's top company in terms of mkt capitalization.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the IT giant, has been rated as the top company in India in terms of market capitalisation, as per a list compiled by Dun & Bradstreet.
The list of top 500 firms places Reliance Industries and ITC at the second and the third spots respectively.
Others in the top 10 list are ONGC at the 4th place, followed by Coal India (5th), Infosys (6th), HDFC Bank (7th), HDFC (8th), Hindustan Unilever (9th) and State Bank of India (10th).
Adani's Australian coal mine project faces new legal hurdle.
Landowners in Australia's Queensland state announced a fresh federal court challenge to Indian mining firm Adani Group's $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine project.
Issuing a statement, the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people, indigenous landowners, said they have vowed to stop the Carmichael mine project and that if it goes ahead their vast traditional lands and ancient connection to the country would "disappear" forever.
This court action challenges the decision of Australia's National Native Title Tribunal that the Queensland government may issue mining leases for Carmichael.
Microsoft to open India's first digital experience centre in Vadodara.
Microsoft will open the country's first Digital Experience Centre in Vadodara in collaboration with the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Managed by Microsoft's distributor Ingram Micro, the centre will help businesses, institutions, partners and individuals gain a first-hand experience of modern technologies on devices running Microsoft software, including Windows apps and Office 365.
GDP growth to slow to 7.2 per cent in January-March quarter, says Moody's.
Economic growth rate in the January-March quarter is likely to slip to 7.2 per cent from 7.5 per cent in the previous three months, mainly on account of lower production and weak global demand, credit rating agency Moody's said.
It also raised questions on the new GDP data series by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), which takes 2011-12 as the base year, saying that new data "are dubious" as they do not align well with other indicators of economy.

Gadkari announces Rs 50,000 crore for development of roads in Bihar.
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari announced the provision of Rs 50,000 crore for development of roads in Bihar.
Soon, waterways in the Ganga river from Kolkata to Delhi would be developed and work on the waterways project between Varanasi and Haldia at a cost of Rs 4,200 crore has already begun.

May 30

CSO released Provisional Estimates of National Income for FY 2014-15.
As per CSO, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant prices in the FY 2014-15 will grow at 7.3 percent while at current prices it is expected to grow at 10.5 percent.
Besides, CSO also released the quarterly estimates (QE) for the fourth quarter (January – March) of 2014-15. At constant prices, in Q4 GDP is estimated to grow at 7.5 percent while at current prices it is estimated to grow at 7.7 percent.
Main Highlights
The gross national income is estimated to have risen by 7.3 percent during 2014-15, in comparison to the growth rate of 6.8 percent in 2013-14.
The per capita net national income in real terms (constant prices) during 2014-15 is estimated to have attained a level of 74104 rupees as against 69959 rupees in FY 2013-14 (RE).
The growth rate in per capita income in real terms is estimated at 5.9 percent during 2014-15 as against 5.4 percent during 2013-14.
India's annual per capita or average income (in current prices) in 2014-15 stood at 87748 rupees from 80388 rupees in 2013-14.
The wholesale price index (WPI), in respect of the groups, food articles, manufactured products, electricity and all commodities, has risen by 6.1 per cent, 2.4 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 2.0 per cent, respectively during 2014-15.
The consumer price index has shown a rise of 6.4 per cent during 2014-15.
Imp-Sector-wise Growth
The growth in the ‘agriculture, forestry & fishing’, ‘mining and quarrying’ and ‘construction’ is estimated to be 0.2 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

Punjab tops wheat procurement chart, but Madhya Pradesh closes in
Punjab continues to lead the country in wheat procurement. In a recently released data, Department of Food & Public Distribution says Punjab procured over 98.66 lakh tonnes of wheat in this Rabi season, followed by Madhya Pradesh with 72.61 lakh tonnes.
Haryana follows in third place with 67.55 lakh tonnes.
Note: The Reserve Bank of India on April 1 had sanctioned a cash credit limit of Rs. 14,640 crore for wheat procurement in Punjab.

State /UT

Procurement (tones)

Punjab

98,66,503

M.P

72,61,342

Haryana

67,55,941

India

2,67,06,313

Economy grows at 7.5% in March quarter.
Economic growth accelerated to 7.5 percent in the three months through March from a revised 6.6 per cent in the previous quarter, government data showed.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast annual growth of 7.3 per cent in the quarter.
For the 2014-15 fiscal year ending in March, growth came in at 7.3 per cent compared with an earlier official estimate of 7.4 per cent. Growth was 6.9 per cent in 2013-14.
Government approved a new urea policy.
The Cabinet approved a comprehensive New Urea Policy 2015 for the next four fiscals with multiple objectives of maximizing indigenous urea production and promoting energy efficiency in urea units to reduce the government's subsidy burden.
The new urea policy aiming to increase domestic production by 2 million tonnes and reduce its subsidy bill by over Rs. 4,800 crore annually, but decided not to raise retail prices.
The maximum retail price (MRP) of urea for farmers has been left untouched at Rs. 268 per bag of 50 kgs, excluding local taxes. Farmers would have to pay an additional Rs. 14 per bag for neem-coated urea.
Service Tax Rate @ 14% applicable from 1st June.
Finance Minister while presenting the Budget 2015 has increased the Service Tax Rate from 12.36% to flat 14%.
However, the date from which the new Service tax rate is applicable was not announced in the Budget.
The rate of Service Tax for services provided before 1st June is 12.36% and for services provided after 1st June is 14%.

May 31

NCDEX launched Gold Now platform for forward contracts in gold.
The National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) launched Gold Now platform to undertake forward trading in gold.
About Gold Now:
It is an India-centric gold forward contracts platform and involves selling and buying of locally-refined gold.
The maximum duration of the contract is for 60 calendar days and delivery is compulsory.
Delivery unit of the contract is 100 grams and 1 kilogram.
The contract will have six delivery centres viz., Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Cochin and Chennai.
The NCDEX have tied up with four gold refiners’ viz., MMTC-PAMP, Kundan Group, Shirpur Gold Refinery and Edelweiss for the delivery of the contracts.
The NCDEX is also planning to set up purity verification centers in partnership with the NCDEX approved refineries.
Background
Approximately 20000 metric tonnes of gold is estimated to be lying with Indian households, temples and trusts. If mobilized effectively, this could create a domestic supply of gold, while reducing dependence on imports.
The Gold Now platform is intended to complement the Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS) as proposed by the Union Finance Ministry in the draft outline released on 19 May 2015.
Under the scheme banks were allowed to mobilize unutilized gold from customers and buy and sell them on domestic exchanges.


 

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