1. IRDA Allows LIC to Increase Stake in IDBI Bank to 51%
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) on Friday approved Life Insurance Corporation of India’s (LIC’s) proposal to acquire a majority stake in IDBI Bank Ltd, which will take its stake to 51 percent, said three officials with direct knowledge of the matter who did not want to be named.
LIC currently holds 8 percent in the state-run bank. Mint reported first on 11 June that the government may sell a majority stake in IDBI Bank to LIC to reduce its stake.
“The insurance regulator has approved LIC’s proposal to acquire a majority stake in IDBI Bank. Insurance rules do not allow an insurance company to invest more than 15 percent in a company, so the regulator provided LIC an exemption from the norms.
2. Ex-Bureaucrat Girish Chandra Chaturvedi Named ICICI Bank Chairman
His former colleagues in the powerful Indian Administrative Service fraternity remember Girish Chandra Chaturvedi's unassuming ways that endeared him to everybody around him. ICICI Bank, which named him non-executive chairman on Friday, would hope that the 1977 batch IAS officer, who retired as petroleum secretary five years ago, still retains that trait of his personality to guide the bank in its deepest hour of crisis.
The board is looking up to him to provide “maturity and sagacity” to its deliberations, the bank said in a statement. The decision to have a new chairman comes at a time when the largest private sector bank in the country is facing an image crisis and an ongoing inquiry into the conflict of interest charges against its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar.
(Source: Business Standard)
3. Fiscal Deficit Hits 55% of Full-Year Target on the Back of Higher Capex
The Centre’s fiscal deficit for the first two months of fiscal year 2018-19 stood at Rs 3.45 trillion, or 55 percent of the full year target, on the back of higher capital expenditure.
However, the pace of spending in relative terms was slower than the same period last fiscal. Fiscal deficit for April-May 2017 touched 68.3 percent of the full year target.
The fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 is Rs 6.24 trillion, or 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
“Fiscal deficit for April-May 2018 recorded a welcome year-on-year decline on the back of robust growth in indirect tax and non tax revenues as well as near stagnant revenue spending, allowing for a healthy rise in capital expenditure in the early part of the year,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.
(Source: Business Standard)
4. Cabinet Nod For Big Hike In MSP Of Kharif Crops Next Week, Says Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the minimum support price for kharif crops, including paddy, will be fixed at least 1.5 times of the production cost in the cabinet meeting next week.
He also said the support price for sugarcane, called fair and remunerative price, would be announced in the next two weeks and that the rate would be higher than 2017-18.
This assurance was given by Modi during an interaction with 140 sugarcane growers from major producing states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
5. India’s External Debt Rises by 12.4% on Higher Overseas Borrowing and NRI Deposits
India’s external debt crossed the half a trillion dollars mark to touch $529 billion in March 2018 as more Indians borrowed from the overseas markets and NRIs parked higher amounts in bank deposits back home.
At $529 billion, India’s foreign currency debt rose 2.4 per cent over its level at end-March 2017, primarily on account of an increase in commercial borrowings, short-term debt and non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits, according to a release by the Reserve Bank of India. It also said that part of the increase in debt was also due to a valuation loss resulting from the depreciation of the US dollar NSE 0.21 percent against major currencies.
(Source: The Economic Times)
6. GST: States May Get To Levy Additional Taxes On Top Of 28% GST On Petrol, Diesel
Petrol and diesel when brought under the Goods and Services Tax will involve a peak tax rate of 28 percent in addition to taxes levied by states, keeping the retail rates at almost the same level as they are currently, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said today.
Modi, however, said it will take some time for states to get around to including petrol and diesel in GST, and the Council will take a final call on the timing.
“If petrol, diesel are to be brought into GST, then states will be allowed the levy taxes on top of 28 per cent to prop up revenue. It will take some time to include petrol, diesel in GST as the states have divergent views,” Modi, who also heads the GST Network panel, said at a PHD Chamber event in New Delhi.
7. TCS Promoters to Participate in Rs 16,000 Crore Buyback Offer
India’s largest IT services company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Friday said its promoters intend to participate in its recently announced up to Rs 16,000 crore buyback offer.
Earlier this month, the TCS board had approved a proposal to buy back up to 7.61 crore shares or 1.99 percent of the total paid-up equity share capital at Rs 2,100 a share. Last year too, TCS had undertaken a buyback offer of a similar size.
“In terms of the Sebi Buyback Regulations, under tender offer route, the promoters have the option to participate in the buyback. We would like to inform you that the promoter and promoter group of the company have communicated their intention to participate in the proposed buyback,” TCS said in a BSE filing.
8. Business as Usual for Nirav Modi Despite Crackdown by Indian Agencies
The fugitive diamond merchant accused of swindling Punjab National Bank of Rs 14,000 crore may be on the run hounded by several Indian government agencies but all that has not brought his business to a standstill as was expected.
It's business as usual for Modi despite the fact that all his bank accounts have been frozen in India and one of his companies in Belgium has been declared bankrupt.
Indian authorities have informed all banks and financial institutions in Brussels about the investigation against Modi, and requested that his financial transactions be blocked. However, a TOI report citing sources says that these preventive measures hardly impacted Modi’s business as he was carrying out operations through the companies run by his father and associates.
(Source: The Economic Times)
9. No RERA Impact? India Moves up a Spot to 35th on Real Estate Transparency Index
India has moved up just one spot in the global real estate transparency index from 36 in 2016 to 35 in 2018, despite the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act or RERA, according to a report by real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL).
RERA was implemented in May 2016 to bring accountability and transparency into the sector. However, unlike a few states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, several states have been slow in its implementation.
India is thus yet to figure among the transparent markets, despite the regulatory changes and the possibility of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listing.
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