QBiz: GST Collection at New High; Maruti Sales Drop Worst in 7 Yrs

1. April GST Collections at New High Despite Rate Rationalisation in December

Goods and services tax (GST) collection touched a record high in April, exceeding Rs 1 trillion for the third time in four months. The mop-up was 10 percent higher over the previous year.

Gross collection for the month was Rs 1.13 trillion, said the finance ministry. Despite the recent rate rationalisation in December, a rise in collection was reported.

Of the total collected, the CGST (central GST) contributed Rs 21,163 crore, the SGST (state GST) Rs 28,801 crore, the IGST (integrated GST) Rs 54,733 crore (including Rs 23,289 crore on import) and cess Rs 9,168 crore (including Rs 1,053 crore on import).

(Source: Business Standard)

2. Maruti's April Sales Drop Worst in Seven Years, Hyundai's Skids 10%

Sales at India’s top two manufacturers of passenger vehicles (PVs) fell sharply in April over the same month a year ago as the companies curtailed dispatches to dealers amid weak buyer sentiment and slowing sales.

While Maruti Suzuki’s PV sales in the domestic market dropped 19.6 percent in April, for Hyundai the fall was 10 percent over last year, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday, 1 May.

During the month, Maruti delivered 131,385 units to its dealers against 163,434 units in the same month last year.

Hyundai Motor India sold 42,005 units during the month against 46,735 units a year ago.

(Source: Business Standard)

3. India Apprehensive Iran Sanctions Could Boost Oil Prices, Inflation

US sanctions on Iran could boost oil prices and inflation to a point that hurts the common person in India, the country's ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday, 30 April, after the Trump administration said it would end waivers for Iran's oil buyers.

President Donald Trump's efforts to sink Iran's oil exports to zero will have a direct impact on India, the largest buyer of the oil after China, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the ambassador, said at a Carnegie Endowment event.

"We are apprehensive that that impact can translate into inflation, (and) higher oil prices," that could affect the common person in India, Shringla said.

(Source: The Economic Times)

4. OYO to Buy Amsterdam-Based Vacation Rental Company @Leisure for Rs 2,880 Crore

OYO is set to acquire Amsterdam-based vacation rental company @Leisure Group from Axel Springer for about 370 million euros, or Rs 2,885 crore, in one of the biggest acquisitions of a foreign firm by an Indian unicorn. The transaction is expected to close by next month.

SoftBank-backed OYO, which is trying to establish bases in Europe, the UK and the US, has been in talks with @Leisure over the past six months. This acquisition would help OYO move a step closer to realising its vision of becoming a global real estate brand while maintaining leadership in the hospitality industry, the company said in a statement.

@Leisure, through its Belvilla, DanCenter, and Danland brands, offers more than 30,000 fully managed holiday homes across 13 countries in Europe.

(Source: Business Standard)

5. Reliance Digital to Add 100 Stores Over Next Year

Consumer electronics retail chain Reliance Digital will add 100 stores in more than 40 new cities in India over the next one year, even as it expands its omni-channel capabilities at its existing 360 stores, said a top executive at the Mumbai-based company.

Reliance Digital is part of Mukesh Ambani’s Rs 1,30,566 crore Reliance Retail with interests in grocery, apparel, and electronics.

The company plans to expand its consumer durables business as it seeks to reach more households in India. “It is an underserved market, we can still thrive irrespective if the market grows or not," said Brian Bade, chief executive officer, Reliance Digital.

(Source: Livemint)

6. Deloitte Faces Class Action Suits, Fine In IL&FS Probe

Deloitte Haskins and Sells Llp, the auditor of struggling IL&FS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN), may have to disgorge the audit fees it had received from the lender with penalty if a probe finds that the auditing firm had overlooked irregularities or colluded with the non-bank’s management, a person familiar with the investigation said.

Deloitte may also face class action suits from bondholders and shareholders of IFIN, the person said on condition of anonymity.

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which comes under the corporate affairs ministry, has also extended its probe to BSR and Associates Llp, which came in as the joint auditor of IFIN for the year ended 31 March 2018.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Apple May Tweak India Strategy in Bid to Increase Market Share

Apple Inc is likely to make some adjustments to its India strategy to improve its market share in the world’s second-largest market for mobile phones. As part of the strategy, the iPhone maker is expected to boost its manufacturing capacity and open branded retail stores.

After announcing its fiscal-second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, 30 April, Chief Executive Tim Cook told analysts that Apple, which only assembles the iPhone 7 in India, will increase local manufacturing, news agency PTI reported.

According to Cook, a temporary 22 percent drop in price for the iPhone XR in April taught Apple something, as it helped the company increase sales.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Prepaid Forex Cards Held by Jet Airways Staffers 'Frozen'

Prepaid forex cards held by staff members of the grounded Jet Airways were "frozen" on Wednesday, 1 May.

The cards were given to the Jet staff operating international flights for taking care of the expenses incurred overseas.

"Over 1,300 staffers, including 1,000 cabin crew and 300 pilots, have been affected. The money in the cards was saved over multiple trips and they have lost money in this difficult situation," one of the staffers told PTI, requesting not be identified.

Some of the employees had savings of up to $2,000 in the forex cards, the staffer claimed to illustrate the extent of the problem at hand.

Private sector Axis Bank, whose cards were used by the staff, said they have "no role to play" in the happenings.

(Source: NDTV)

9. ED to Court: Praful Patel Is ‘Dear Friend’ of Arrested Deepak Talwar

Probing an alleged money-laundering case involving arrested corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, the Enforcement Directorate has told a Delhi court that former civil aviation minister “Mr Praful Patel is a dear friend” of Talwar who allegedly facilitated dispersal of profit-making Air India routes to private airlines during 2008-09 using his “proximity to the minister and aviation personnel in India”.

The ED has told the court that in lieu of securing favourable traffic rights for three foreign airlines, Talwar received payments to the tune of Rs 272 crore during 2008-09.

These claims were made by the ED in its chargesheet — final report — before Special Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj who took cognizance of the report and issued non-bailable warrant against Talwar’s son and co-accused Aditya Talwar in the airlines seat allocation case.

(Source: Financial Express)

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