1. India Finally Retaliates in Tariffs Tit-For-Tat with US
In what could potentially aggravate trade tensions between India and the US, New Delhi has decided to impose long-pending retaliatory tariffs on 29 US products. Washington had withdrawn duty-free benefits for Indian exports under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) effective 5 June.
“The duty hikes will come into effect in normal course as the notification to postpone the hikes will expire on Saturday night. We don’t see any reason for escalation as the duty hikes are against the tariff hikes by the US on steel and aluminium products, and not because the US withdrew duty-free benefits to Indian exporters," said a government official with direct knowledge of the matter, requesting anonymity.
2. NDTV Case: SEBI Bars Prannoy & Radhika Roy from Securities Market, Top Positions
Regulator SEBI on Friday barred NDTV Ltd’s three key promoters Prannoy Roy, Radhika Roy and their holding firm from the capital markets for two years and also restrained the two individuals from holding any board or top management role at the company in this period.
The Roy couple has also been barred from holding a board or key managerial position at any other listed company for one year, SEBI said while coming down heavily on them and RRPR Holdings Pvt Ltd for what it termed as violation of various regulations by keeping minority shareholders in the dark about three loan agreements.
One such loan agreement was with ICICI Bank while two loans were from a little-known entity Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd (VCPL).
(Source: Financial Express)
3. Electoral Bonds: SBI Refuses to Disclose Communication from RBI, Govt
The State Bank of India has refused to disclose any communication it received from the government or the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on electoral bonds, terming it “personal information” and held in “fiduciary capacity”.
Responding to an RTI filed by Pune-based activist Vihar Durve who had demanded copies of all letters, correspondence, directions, notifications or e-mails received from the RBI or any government department between 2017 and 2019, the SBI said it cannot be provided by it.
4. Pre-Budget Meet with FM: Economists Seek IBC-Type Law for NBFC Sector, Tax Reforms
Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC)-type framework for NBFC sector, further simplification of GST, implementation of direct tax code, initiating job-oriented growth measures and maintaining fiscal prudence were some of the key suggestions made by economists for the ensuing Budget to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday.
The finance minister is holding customary meetings with different stakeholders, including industry and farmers' bodies. This was the sixth such pre-Budget consultancy meeting.
(Source: The Economic Times)
5. RBI Asks Banks to Grout ATMs to Wall, Pill or Floor to Enhance Security
The Reserve Bank on Friday asked banks to ensure their ATMs are grouted to a wall, pillar, or floor by September-end, except those installed in high secured premises such as airports, to enhance security of the cash vending machines.
In 2016, the RBI had set up a Committee on Currency Movement (CCM) to review the entire gamut of security of treasure in transit.
Based on the recommendations of the panel, the central bank has now issued instructions aimed at mitigating risks in ATM operations and enhancing security.
6. Moody’s Revises Outlook on Adani Transmission to ‘Stable’
Global rating firm Moody’s has revised its outlook on Adani Transmission’s (ATL) rating to stable from negative mainly on the back of expected improvement in the company’s financial position over the next 12-18 months.
Moody’s has also affirmed ATL’s Baa3 senior secured bond ratings, it said in a statement here.
“The change in ATL’s outlook to stable reflects the expected improvement in its financial position over the next 12-18 months, underpinned by incremental earnings contributions from the Mumbai integrated utility business acquired last year and recently completed greenfield projects,” Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst Spencer Ng said.
7. Debt Mutual Funds’ Exposure to NBFCs down at Rs 2.24 Lakh Crore
Debt mutual funds’ exposure to non-banking financial companies (NBFC) has come down by `42,000 crore since the liquidity crises began in July last year, and currently stands at Rs 2.24 lakh crore.
The latest report by Care Ratings on mutual funds said the percentage share of funds deployed by mutual funds in commercial papers (CPs) of NBFCs in May 2019 was at 8.08% and amount held was `1.18 lakh crore.
“Overall exposure of MFs to NBFCs stood at `2.24 lakh crore in May, a drop of `42,000 crore since July 2018, when the liquidity crisis began. While the amount has reduced, the percentage share also dropped from 19.04% in July 2018 to 15.3% in May 2019,” said the report.
(Source: Financial Express)
8. Government Promises to Fix Issues Plaguing Indian Airline Industry
Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday promised to help airlines tide over the problems affecting the aviation industry’s growth.
“We have some turbulence in the sky. But I am confident we can meet that turbulence and turn it around," Puri said at a conference organized by industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The aviation industry’s growth in recent months has been crippled by a sudden reduction in capacity after Jet Airways (India) Ltd suspended operations in April.
9. CBDT Issues New Guidelines for Compounding
India's direct taxes body has tightened framework for compounding of offences almost shutting the window for money laundering, non-disclosure of foreign assets or possession of a benami asset.
The latest guidelines from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, which come into effect from June 17, clearly state offences in this category cannot normally be compounded. However, finance minister can relax restrictions on consideration of a report from CBDT.
(Source: The Economic Times)
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