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QBiz: Mobile Tariffs Raised; GST Collections Exceed Rs 1 Lakh Cr

1. Low-Tariff Regime Over, Telcos Up Rates by 40-50%

The honeymoon for telecom subscribers seems to have come to an end as all the three private telecom players – Vodafone Idea, Bharti AirtelNSE 1.33 % and Jio – on Sunday, 1 December, announced pre-paid tariff plans with 40-50 percent higher rates.

The hike comes after three years and amid the acute financial stress the sector is going through after a Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue. The hikes, however, come with enhanced data and other benefits.

Reliance Jio, the last one to announce revised rates on Sunday, said it would raise tariffs by up to 40 percent. "Jio will be introducing new 'all-in-one' plans with unlimited voice and data. These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from 6 December," Jio said.

(Source: The Economic Times)

2. Govt Mulls Curbs on Foreign Firms in ‘Strategic Areas’

Government agencies have begun discussions on possible checks on foreign players participating in certain ‘strategic areas’, such as putting in place telecom infrastructure or construction projects in sensitive parts of the country.

So far, deliberations involving the security set-up and some ministries have been preliminary and no decision on the issue has been taken, including identification of areas which may face restrictions, a government official told TOI.

“Several countries, including the US and even parts of Europe, have such curbs where certain sectors or projects are out of bounds for overseas entities given the sensitivities involved,” a source, who did not wish to be identified, said.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. GST Collections Rebound in Nov, Exceed ₹1L Crore

Collections from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rebounded above the Rs 1 lakh crore benchmark in November, government officials said on Sunday, 1 December, attributing an increase in voluntary compliance and a government stimulus package for an increase in receipts that had contracted for two consecutive months.

According to experts, in order to have a comfortable fiscal position, the government needs an average monthly collection of at least Rs 1 lakh crore, and officials said November’s receipts – at Rs 1,03,492 crore – is a sign of a recovery in the country’s economy, which logged its worst quarter of growth in six years in the three-month period ending September.

“This is the eighth time since the inception of GST in July 2017 that monthly collection has crossed the mark of ₹1 lakh crore,” a finance ministry statement said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Hope Govt Reaches Out to India Inc to Work Out Solutions to Revive Growth: Shaw

Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Sunday, 1 December, said the government did not want to hear any criticism on the economy while expressing hope that it reaches out to the India Inc to work out solutions to revive growth.

Shaw’s remarks came a day after veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj said the people were afraid to criticise the government.

“Hope the government reaches out to India Inc for working out solutions to revive consumption n growth. So far we are all pariahs and the government does not want to hear any criticism of our economy,” Shaw said in a tweet.

(Source: Financial Express)

5. WTO: 163 Countries Agree to Make Changes in Rules Governing Trade Dispute Resolution

In an unusual development on Friday, 163 countries agreed to make comprehensive changes to the rules governing the resolution of trade disputes merely to placate one member — the US — for keeping the Appellate Body afloat, trade envoys said.

The Appellate Body, which is the highest adjudicating court for global trade disputes, will become dysfunctional on 11 December when it will be reduced to one member from the mandatory minimum of three members. The US has blocked the selection process for filling six vacancies at the AB for the past two years.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

6. Karvy Crisis Deepens as SEBI Pegs Misuse at ₹2,800 Crore

The mess at Karvy Stock Broking Ltd seems to be much bigger than first believed. The markets regulator now estimates the misuse of client securities by the broker at Rs 2,800 crore, 40% more than the Rs 2,000 crore it determined earlier, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The misutilisation is much larger according to the initial estimates of a forensic audit, Rafique Dada, the senior counsel appearing on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) at the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), said on Friday, 29 November.

(Source: LiveMint)

7. Falling Electricity Generation Dims GDP Growth Outlook

Is the pace of 4.5%, the slowest in six years, the lowest point of India’s gross domestic product growth?

While there is no easy answer to that question, the dimming lights in the power generation space portend a worsening economic outlook. After all, part of the economy is powered by how much electricity its factories, farms and households consume.

Electricity generation, tracked by many to gauge the momentum in the economy, saw its biggest fall in more than five years in October. To be sure, the government and many on the Street see the 12.9 percent drop in October power generation as an aberration, attributing it to a combination of high base, an extended monsoon and a economic slowdown.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Japan Indicates Efforts on To Address India’s Concerns Over RCEP

Japan on Sunday, 1 December, gave clear indications that efforts were on to make India join the ambitious Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying all member countries of the grouping were committed to addressing New Delhi’s concerns. After years of negotiations, India last month pulled out of the proposed RCEP over unresolved “core concerns” at a summit meeting of the participating countries, saying the proposed pact in its current form would have an adverse impact on lives and livelihoods of all Indians.

A spokesperson of the Japanese government said Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained India’s position on the RCEP during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Taro Kono on Saturday, 30 November.

(Source: The Financial Express)

9. Jaypee Infra Case: NBCC May Offer More Land to Lenders, Cut Deadline to Complete Flats

State-owned NBCC Ltd is likely to offer more land to lenders and reduce timeline for completion of about 20,000 flats in its final bid to acquire bankrupt realty firm Jaypee Infratech, sources said.

NBCC is considering to give additional land to lenders in lieu of its offer to provide profit share in unclaimed flats and some land parcel, which is pledged as well as under litigation, they added.

For homebuyers, NBCC is looking to reduce the deadline for completing pending flats from four years timeline proposed in the bid submitted on 17 November.

(Source: The Economic Times)

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