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Govt open to further review of GST rates: Rajnath

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi:Home minister Rajnath Singh said the central government is open to further review of the GST rates of different items as it has just reduced taxes of 88 consumer-centric products such as refrigerators, washing machines and sanitary napkins.
Inaugurating the National Traders’ Conclave organised by the Confederation of All-India Traders in New Delhi, he said the economic reforms undertaken by the Narendra Modi government during the last four years will push India among the world’s top economies.
“GST rates of several items have recently been slashed and many items have been brought under zero per cent and five per cent slabs. The government is open to further review of the slabs,” he said.
The Goods and Services Tax Council, in its 28th meeting on Saturday, approved rate reductions for 88 consumer-centric items such as cosmetics, refrigerators, washing machines, and small screen televisions, and cleared the widely demanded exemption on sanitary napkins.
The home minister said out of 6.5 crore traders and shopkeepers, around 1.25 crore have registered under the new indirect tax regime. According to the Economic Survey, during November, 2016-2017, more than 1.15 crore returns have been filed.
The GST is a major tax reform in the country where only 6.10 crore people are under the taxation regime out of a population of more than 130 crore, he said.
Singh said in 2014, according to a survey by a reputed consultancy firm, India was ranked ninth among the world’s top 10 economies, and today the country has raced ahead of France to the sixth position.
“I am confident, as economists predict that in the next two-three years, India’s economy will be among the top five. With this pace of GDP growth, by 2030 we will break into the world’s top three economies,” he said.
The home minister said India is the most attractive destination for foreign investors and the country received more than $ 150 billion FDI in the last four years, while in “Ease of Doing Business”, the country’s ranking has improved from 142 to 100.
“Besides, the manufacturing sector has got a fillip with the ‘Make in India’ programme. In 2014, there were only two mobile phone factories in India, today we have 120 handset manufacturing units,” he said.


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Business

Take my money, save cash-strapped Jet Airways: Mallya urges banks

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New Delhi: Businessman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday urged Indian banks to “take his money” and save cash-strapped Jet Airways.

“I repeat once again that I have placed liquid assets before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court to pay off the PSU Banks and all other creditors. Why do the Banks not take my money. It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else,” the liquor baron tweeted.

“I invested over 4000 crores into Kingfisher Airlines to save the Company and its employees. Not recognised and instead slammed in every possible way. The same PSU Banks let India’s finest airline with the best employees and connectivity fail ruthlessly. Double standards under NDA,” read another tweet.

 

Mallya also claimed that the media “decimated” him for writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi while a BJP spokesman “eloquently read out” letters he wrote to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and alleged that PSU banks under the UPA government “wrongly supported” Kingfisher Airlines.

Jet Airways has been suffering bruising competition from low-cost airlines, fluctuating crude prices and a weak rupee. The airline has over one billion dollars in debt and has to repay money to banks, lessors of planes and suppliers besides clearing pending salaries to its pilots.

Last week, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said that the resolution plan is almost ready and it will not involve a bailout for any individual.

At the same time, talks with Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad to secure a rescue deal are still on, he said adding there is also a possibility of bringing in another investor.

“We believe Jet Airways is a good aviation property and it is in every body’s interest that it continues to fly,” Kumar had said on March 20.

The chairman of the airline, Naresh Goyal, stepped down on Monday (March 25), following which lenders agreed to pump in Rs 1500 crore to bail out the financially troubled airline.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court had, last week, ordered attachment of Mallya’s properties in Bengaluru under section 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in connection with a FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) violation case, and fixed the next date of hearing as July 10.

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Goyal has option to raise stake; expect buyer for Jet by May 31: SBI chief

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New Delhi: Embattled Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal, who was forced to cut his stake in the cash-strapped airline, will be eligible to bid for takeover of one of the oldest private carrier when the lenders auction it next month, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said.

State Bank of India, which is the leader of the group of lenders, will next month invite Expression of Interest from buyers willing to takeover the airline and will finalise the investor by May end, he said.

Consortium of lenders led by the SBI Monday agreed to put in Rs 1,500 crore immediate funding by acquiring 51 percent stake in the company through issue of Rs 11.4 crore fresh shares.

 

As a result, the stake of promoter Naresh Goyal will come down to 25 percent from 51 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which had a 24 percent stake in the carrier, came down to 12 percent.

Bidding process to be initiated by lenders for sale to new investor(s) is expected to be completed in June quarter as per the resolution plan.

“June is too late. My expectation is May 31…Market is open for everyone whosoever wants to come in. There will be expression of interest which will be given by April 9 and binding bids by April 30.

“It could be financial investor, it could be airline…Including Naresh Goyal himself or Etihad. No body is barred from bidding or taking over the airline as per the rule,” Kumar said.

Asked about board nominee from lenders’ side, Kumar without revealing names said, it would be top quality professional who would see through the process of sale for which strict timelines are there.

Jet Airways has a debt of over Rs 8,200 crore and needs to make repayments of up to Rs 1,700 crore by the end of March. It has already defaulted on an ECB payment earlier this week but is servicing its domestic debt.

Jet Airways Founder and Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal will step down from the board of the ailing airline following reduction in their stake to 25 percent as per the resolution plan formulated by SBI-led domestic lenders.

After weeks of speculations and uncertainties over the future course of Jet Airways, which has grounded over 80 planes due to financial woes, approved constitution of an Interim Management Committee to manage and monitor the daily operations and cash flow of the company.

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DLF launches QIP to raise over Rs 3,000 crore

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New Delhi: Realty major DLF launched its QIP offer to raise over Rs 3,000 crore by selling 17.3 crore equity shares to qualified institutional investors.

With an aim to become a debt-free company, DLF had last year announced plans to issue up to 17.3 crore shares through qualified institutional placement (QIP) to raise funds and pre-pay loans.

According to a regulatory filing, DLF has launched its QIP and the floor price has been fixed at Rs 193.01 per equity share.

 

The company said that at its discretion it may offer a discount of up to 5 percent on the floor price in the QIP.

DLF’s shares closed at Rs 189.40 on the BSE, down 3.49 percent.

This is the third major fund raising from DLF. In 2007, DLF raised close to Rs 9,200 crore through initial public offer (IPO). In 2013, the company had raised nearly Rs 1,900 crore through institutional placement programme.

The DLF’s QIP comes close in the heels of successful launch of India’s first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), launched by Blackstone and Embassy to raise Rs 4,750 crore.

DLF’s group CFO Ashok Tyagi had recently said that the QIP proceeds and further infusion of Rs 2,500 crore from promoters against the issue of warrants would help the company in significantly reducing the debt that stood at around Rs 7,200 crore as on December 31, 2018.

DLF promoters K P Singh and family have already infused Rs 9,000 crore in the company and would pump in Rs 2,250 crore more.

The company made a preferential allotment of compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs) and warrants to the promoters against the infusion of funds.

As infusion of the fund by promoters will lead to an increase in their shareholdings beyond permissible limit of 75 percent, the company plans to launch QIP and maintain minimum public shareholding of 25 percent in a listed entity.

In August 2017, the promoters had sold entire 40 percent stake in rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL) for Rs 11,900 crore and committed to infusing bulk of this amount in the company to cut net debt.

This deal included the sale of 33.34 percent stake in DCCDL to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC for Rs 8,900 crore and buyback of remaining shares worth Rs 3,000 crore by DCCDL.

The deal concluded in December 2017. As a result, DLF stake in DCCDL increased to 66.66 percent stake from 60 percent, while GIC has a balance of 33.34 percent stake in the joint venture firm.

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