A special refund drive has been launched by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) for refund of Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) or Input Tax Credit (ITC) to exporters from last May and will remain open till June 14. In line with the above, the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Bhubaneswar has also undertaken this Special Drive in respect of IGST refund claims pending at Paradeep, Dhamra & Jajpur Custom Divisions. The total pendency for these 3 Divisions as on April 30 was 72 claims, amounting to Rs 81.12 crore. Of this, 62 claims for refund of Rs 64.95 crore, has been sanctioned till date. The remaining refund claims are also being taken up on priority as part of the “Special Refund Fortnight”. The Chief Commissioner, GST, Central Excise and Customs, Bhubaneswar Zone, has requested all exporters to contact their jurisdictional customs officers to get pending IGST refund claims expedited and sanctioned during this special drive.
India’s fuel demand rises 3.8 pc in May
New Delhi: India’s fuel demand rose by 3.8 per cent in May as frequent price increases dented auto fuel consumption. Fuel consumption in May totalled 18.71 million tonnes as compared to 18.1 million tonnes in the same month last year, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed. The rise was lower than 4.4 per cent increase witnessed in April, 2018. During May, petrol sale was up by a meagre 2 per cent at 2.45 million tonnes while diesel consumption was flat at 7.54 million tonnes. The primary reason for this small growth was the increase in retail selling price after state-owned oil firms lifted pre-Karnataka poll hiatus to resume daily price revisions from May 14. In the following fortnight, petrol price was raised by Rs 3.8 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.38 a litre. Prices started to fall towards the month-end and are off-record highs now. Petrol price hit an all-time high of Rs 78.43 a litre and diesel peaked to Rs 69.31 on May 29 in Delhi. Today, petrol costs Rs 76.58 a litre and diesel Rs 67.95.
Traders’ protest against Walmart-Flipkart deal July 2
New Delhi: Traders’ body CAIT Monday said it will hold protests at 1,000 places across the country on July 2 against US retail giant Walmart’s proposed acquisition of 77 per cent stake in home-grown retailer Flipkart in a USD 16 billion deal. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) took the decision today at its two-day National Governing Council meeting at Ahmedabad. The traders’ body passed a resolution at the conference asking the government to reject the deal. It demanded formulation of an e-commerce policy and setting up of a Regulatory Authority for the country’s e-commerce sector. In a statement, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said: “This time we shall be pursuing the matter with both ED (Enforcement Directorate) and Reserve Bank of India so that e-commerce companies including Flipkart and its new owner Walmart should not escape from the liability of mal-practices, predatory pricing and deep discounting.” CAIT claimed that “e-commerce platforms are grossly and openly flouting Press Note 3 of FDI Policy issued on March 29, 2016”.
Vedanta acquires management control of Electrosteel Steels
New Delhi: Metal and mining giant Vedanta has acquired the management control of debt-laden Electrosteel Steels. In March, Vedanta was declared as successful resolution applicant by the committee of creditors (CoC) for Electrosteel Steels under the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. “…Vedanta Star Ltd has acquired management control of Electrosteel Steels Ltd,” a filing by Electrosteel Steels said. Vedanta Ltd had last week deposited an upfront amount of Rs 5,320 crore also in the escrow account of Electrosteel Steels Limited.
BSE’s India INX eases market access to FIs
New Delhi: India International Exchange Monday said it has launched ‘segregated nominee account structure’ to facilitate ease of market access for foreign investors in International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat’s Gift City. The ‘segregated nominee account structure’ will give immediate access for foreign investors to trade on India International Exchange (India INX), a subsidiary of BSE. Also, it would help in decreasing transaction costs for overseas investors due to lower costs towards overheads. “Through this mechanism, foreign investors can become end-clients of eligible segregated nominee account providers (the provider) for trading on the India INX products,” the exchange said in a statement. Entities that are eligible to become service providers include Sebi-registered brokers in IFSC, Foreign Portfolio Investors (Category I and II), trading or clearing members of international stock exchanges or clearing corporations that are regulated by a member of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Under the guidelines, the minimum net worth requirement for providers is $ 5 million.
Fitch assigns ‘BBB-’ rating to GAIL
New Delhi: Fitch Ratings Monday assigned ‘BBB-’ rating with stable outlook to state-owned gas utility GAIL India saying its dominant market position is complemented by its diversification into other business segments. “GAIL’s ratings are capped at ‘BBB-’, which is the rating of its parent, the state of India,” it said in a statement. Fitch said it rates GAIL as an integrated utility considering its presence in both gas transportation and marketing along with petrochemical and liquid-hydrocarbon businesses. “We continue to assess the company in its current form even though there have been reports about a potential separation of GAIL’s gas-transmission and marketing businesses as there is no official communication yet regarding this. Fitch treats this as an event risk and will review GAIL’s credit profile if there is any change,” the statement said. Assumptions that went into the rating include gas consumption growing by 5 per cent over the medium term, GAIL maintaining its current share in gas transmission as well as gas marketing. “GAIL’s dominant market position in the regulated utility gas-transmission business, complemented by its diversification into other business segments, and its healthy credit metrics support a ‘BBB’ standalone profile,” Fitch said.
Deadline for debt ETF bids now July 2
New Delhi: The Finance Ministry has extended the deadline for merchant bankers to bid for creation and launch of a debt Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) for PSUs and PSBs till July 2. In the revised request for proposal (RFP) issued Monday, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has tweaked the eligibility criteria for bidders, clarifying that they can also bid in consortium. Accordingly, market regulator Sebi or banking regulator RBI registered “reputed merchant bankers/investment bankers/ consulting firms/financial institutions/asset management companies, either singly or as a consortium,” can bid for creation of the ETF. “The bidders should have been involved in advisory or transaction capacity or have launched an ETF/debt ETF/ debt mutual fund/ index linked fund/corporate bond issuances during the period April 1, 2015, to March 31, 2018, aggregating to the total value of Rs 5,000 crore or more with minimum size of Rs 500 crore in any single issuance,” the DIPAM said while issuing the revised RFP. The DIPAM had earlier on April 18 issued the RFP for engagement of an adviser for creation and launch of debt ETF asking bidders to submit their bids by May 16.
Petrol prices dip by less than half of rise
New Delhi: Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming. The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge. Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days. In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed. In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29. On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively. In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase. In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight. Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively. On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively.