1. Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Tata Teleservices to Pay Telecom Department on Monday: Report
Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices are likely to make payments towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-related dues on Monday to avoid stringent punitive action from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), according to an official source. The three companies are jointly liable to pay dues of over Rs 1 lakh crore, but they have informed the telecom department of making only partial payment, according to their representatives.
"Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices have said that they will make payments on Monday. DoT will take action after evaluating the amount paid by them," an official source told news agency Press Trust of India.
2. Crude Boost for India Inc as Global Oil Demand Dips Over Coronavirus Epidemic
The sluggish Indian economy and industries that are heavily dependent on crude oil such as aviation, shipping, road and rail transportation are likely to gain from a sudden drop in crude oil prices due to the coronavirus epidemic in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, said economists, chief executives and experts.
With various industries realigning their strategy amid energy demand forecasts being slashed due to the coronavirus outbreak, major oil importers such as India are seeking to drive a better bargain. India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and the fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The oil market is currently facing a situation called contango, wherein spot prices are lower than futures contracts.
3. Indian Firms’ Q3 Net Sales Fall to Over Five-Year Low
Net sales of Indian companies in the December quarter saw the biggest decline in more than five years as stagnant incomes and farm distress led to a slump in demand for goods, even as political unrest against the new citizenship law disrupted business.
Companies, however, arrested a decline in earnings before tax in the three months ended 31 December as cheaper raw material costs benefited them, according to a Mint analysis.
The analysis of 1,765 companies showed that the December quarter sales growth was the lowest in at least 21 quarters, declining 1.58% from a year earlier, according to data provider Capitaline. It grew 19% in the quarter ended 31 December 2018.
4. Creditors to Videocon Group Likely to Appeal Against Insolvency Tribunal’s Order
Lenders to Videocon Group may appeal the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) order passed on 12 February which said that the company’s foreign assets should be included as part of ongoing insolvency proceedings in India, said two people familiar with the matter.
The lenders’ consortium led by the State Bank of India (SBI) believes that these assets should not be linked with others and should be sold or sustained till their value is realised. Lenders have already received expressions of interest from eight investors including Vedanta and ONGC Videsh Ltd for the overseas assets, said the first person cited earlier.
5. Budget 2020 Hasn’t Violated Fiscal Discipline: FM Sitharaman
A day after Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das sought to allay fears of the Budget proposal on fiscal slippage causing a spike in inflationary pressure, finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman reiterated on Sunday that the Budget FY21 hasn’t violated the fiscal discipline.
Addressing a gathering of industry representatives in Hyderabad, she said, “We have not really breached the FRBM. We have not gone outlandish on it. We have kept fiscal discipline, which is a USP for both the Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi governments.”
(Source: Financial Express)
6. Deloitte to Discontinue Non-Audit Services to Public Interest Entities
Auditing major Deloitte Haskins & Sells on Sunday announced a decision to discontinue non-audit services to public interest entities that it is already auditing.
Deloitte is the third firm to do so. Earlier, Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse India network of firms (part of PwC India), announced similar decisions.
“We believe this would increase the public’s confidence in auditor independence and quality and will remove ambiguity in a public and business environment that demands greater clarity about our services,” Deloitte said in a statement.
(Source: Financial Express)
7. Gold Imports Dip 9% to $24.64 Billion During April-January
Gold imports, which have a bearing on the country’s current account deficit (CAD), fell about 9 per cent to USD 24.64 billion (about Rs 1.74 lakh crore) during April-January period of the current financial year, according to Commerce Ministry data. Imports of the yellow metal stood at USD 27 billion in the corresponding period of 2018-19.
The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country’s trade deficit to USD 133.27 billion during April-January period of the current fiscal as against USD 163.27 billion a year ago. Gold imports have been recording a negative growth since July last year.
8. CPSESs Tap Loans More as Budget Outlay Falls
The Centre’s budgetary constraints have started reflecting on public sector enterprises and departmental undertakings (CPSEs) since FY19 as reduced outlays, and the decline has been sharper in FY20. Budget support to these entities, conventionally little over a quarter of their investible resources, declined 5% on year in FY19 and a sharper 15% in FY20 (see chart).
However, the CPSEs have shown capex growth outpacing the Centre’s Budget capital spending in both FY19 and FY20, as they relied more on internal resources (post-tax profits) and borrowings. Prodding by the growth-hungry government is also behind the continued stress on capex by CPSEs. While budgetary capex for FY20, as per the latest Budget, is slated to be Rs 3.49 lakh crore, up 3% from the Budget estimate made in July last year, CPSEs among themselves will expend Rs 5.1 lakh crore as capex in the year, up 14% from the initial estimate.
(Source: Financial Express)
9. No Timeline to Remove Income Tax Exemptions, Says Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the idea behind introducing second alternative tax slabs sans exemptions was to take the country towards “a simplified, exemption-free, and reduced rate of tax regime”.
There was, however, no time frame set by the government to remove all exemptions, she told reporters after an interactive session with trade representatives and intellectuals on the Union Budget.
“At the moment we only started a second alternative with some exemptions removed or some exemptions included, although the original intention was to remove all exemptions and give a clear simplified reduced rate of income tax,” the finance minister said.
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