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QBiz: EOW Likely to Extend Probe in PMC Bank; RBI May Cut Rates

1. EOW Likely to Extend Probe in PMC Bank to HDIL’s Auditors

The Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) may expand its probe into the Rs 4,355.43 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank Ltd fraud to include auditors of the bankrupt Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), which has been at the centre of the scam, said two people aware of the matter.

“The findings of the auditors in their financial reports will be scrutinised as part of the investigations. However, at present, the priority of EOW is to interrogate those arrested and get as much information from them," an official at the investigating agency said on condition of anonymity.

Mumbai-based chartered accountant firm Rajeswari & Associates was the statutory auditor of HDIL. The auditor’s job is to ensure that the financial controls in a company are not violated and all accounting principles are adhered to. Based on the disclosures made by the company, the auditor validates the company’s financials and submits its report to shareholders and the board to make them aware of any risks or lapses.

(Source: Mint)

2. RCEP Talks: India for Safeguard Tools to Keep out Damaging Imports

Facing stiff resistance from key industries — including steel and dairy — against the RCEP trade deal, India is planning to employ an “auto-trigger” safeguard mechanism for imports from not just China but also Australia and New Zealand to better protect domestic players from irrational inflows of heavily-subsidised products, a top source told Financial Express.

This mechanism will typically come into play once imports of a particular sensitive product breach a stipulated limit. The concessional duty under RCEP will then be scrapped for that item and the normal (MFN) duty will apply. India is in negotiations to be able to invoke “auto-trigger” in case of 68 sensitive products for at least eight-ten years initially, the sources added.

New Delhi will also seek the flexibility of a snapback — or transitional safeguard — mechanism for all RCEP members to provide yet another layer of comfort to its industries, just as negotiations for the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have entered the last phase before a potential deal is sealed in November.

(Source; Financial Express)

Also Read: PMC Bank Scam: Former Chairman Waryam Singh Arrested

3. Jhunjhunwala, Ambani, Dhoni & Much of D-Street Awaiting These Big-Bang IPOs

After two long lethargic years, the domestic primary market is keenly awaiting some renowned firms to get listed.

These companies have the who’s who of India Inc and Dalal Street associated with them: from India’s top industrialist Mukesh Ambani to Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and cricketing biggie MS Dhoni.

(Source: The Economic Times)

4. Trucking Industry in Need of a Lifeline, Not Just GST Rate Cut, Say Players

Even as the auto industry clamours for fiscal relief in the form of a GST rate cut, truck operators say there is no real benefit from such a move. GST reduction, according them, is akin to giving vitamins to a sector that is desperately in need of a lifeline.

There has been a call to cut the GST rate from 28 per cent to 18 per cent for trucks to jump-start demand.

“There are already huge discounts offered for new trucks,” says SP Singh, Convenor of Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT). The discounts, it is learnt, are in excess of Rs 4 lakh in some regions, and still, there are no takers.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Also Read: TSRTC Strike: Over 50,000 Workers Risk Jobs as KCR Declines Talks

5. Govt to Invite Bids for Air India Privatisation

The government will soon invite bids to sell its entire stake in Air India, after potential buyers baulked at an initial attempt to divest a partial stake in the national carrier.

“The expression of interest document for Air India will be put out anytime now, at least before the end of this month. The plan is to sell 100 per cent stake in the airline. The proposal needs clearance from a ministerial panel before it is made public," a finance ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

A sale of Air India is key for the Union government to meet its ambitious disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 trillion for the year to 31 March. Meeting the target is crucial this year as the government estimates that its corporate tax rate cut will lead to a revenue loss of Rs 1.45 trillion.

(Source: Mint)

6. New IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva Says World Suffering ‘Synchronised Slowdown’

Grinding trade disputes are undermining the global economy, which is set to see its slowest growth in nearly a decade, the new IMF chief said on Tuesday, 8 October. Research shows the impact of the trade conflict is widespread and countries must be ready to respond in unison with cash infusions, Kristalina Georgieva said in her first speech as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

She also called for a ramp-up in carbon taxes to address the other challenge facing the global economy: climate change. “In 2019, we expect slower growth in nearly 90 percent of the world. The global economy is now in a synchronized slowdown,” Georgieva said in a speech ahead of IMF-World Bank autumn meetings next week.

“This widespread deceleration means that growth this year will fall to its lowest rate since the beginning of the decade.” She said the IMF is cutting its forecasts for growth this year and next. Previously, the world economy had been projected to expand by 3.2 per cent in 2019 and 3.5 percent in 2020.

(Source: Financial Express)

Also Read: Air India Planes Damaged After Turbulence, Cabin Crew Injured

7. RBI May Again Consider Cutting Rates at Next MPC Meet: Guv Das

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has said till the growth is revived, the RBI will continue to remain in an accommodative mode and therefore a conclusion on what is the minimum repo rate where the central bank will take a pause cannot be concluded at this stage and will again depend on the next deliberations of the MPC.

The Governor was responding to queries that if the RBI may reach near about 5 and 4.75 per cent, which is historically low, there is no space to go beyond that. So, by this statement, the MPC is giving this indication that for policy rate, there is no lower bound as such, as per the edited minutes of the MPC media meeting on 4 October.

(Source: The Economic Times)

8. India Inc Increasingly Looks Abroad for Funds

A sharp fall in bank credit flow to the commercial sector, and the consequent increase in interest rates, are driving India Inc overseas in a big way. External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs) by Indian companies to meet their working capital needs saw a 10-fold jump in the first five months of the current fiscal (2019-20).

According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, they raised $1.14 billion in April-August this year, against just $0.13 billion in the same period last year.

The central bank, in its latest Monetary Policy report, had said credit growth has slowed down and overall fund flows to the commercial sector have declined, partly due to risk aversion and partly due to a slowdown in demand.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Also Read: Fund Flows to Commercial Sector Dip 88% in April-Sept: RBI Data

9. Corporate Tax Cut to Benefit Organized Retail Sector With Pricing Power Most: Report

The corporate tax cut to 22 per cent from 30 per cent will only benefit companies in the organized sector, especially those with high pricing power, investment firm 2Point2 Capital Advisors said in a report. For most, however, it is likely to be a non-event for most, it said.

Instead, the tax cut would reduce the reach of the unorganised sector as they lose their edge of tax evasion, the investment firm said.

“The lower tax rates should lead to further formalisation of the economy as unorganised players lose a part of their edge stemming from tax evasion. For instance, retailers like D-Mart in the highly competitive grocery retail benefit as their competitiveness vis-à-vis unorganised players increase," 2Point2 Capital Advisors said.

(Source: Mint)

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