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Mukesh Ambani emerges richest Indian for 11th year in row: Forbes

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New Delhi: Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani has emerged as the richest Indian for the 11th consecutive year with a net worth of USD 47.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Ambani is also the year’s biggest gainer, adding USD 9.3 billion to his wealth amid the continuing success of his Reliance Jio broadband telco service. As per the ‘Forbes India Rich List 2018’, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji has retained the second spot, adding USD 2 billion to his wealth at USD 21 billion; while ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal moved a place ahead to the third slot with a net worth of USD 18.3 billion, increasing his wealth by USD 1.8 billion.
Mittal is followed by the Hinduja brothers at with a net worth of USD 18 billion and Pallonji Mistry with USD 15.7 billion. Other business magnates making the top 10 list are Shiv Nadar (USD 14.6 billion), Godrej family (USD 14 billion), Dilip Shanghvi (USD 12.6 billion), Kumar Birla (USD 12.5 billion) and Gautam Adani (USD 11.9 billion).
“In a challenging year, which saw the rupee taking a tumble, the country’s 100 richest collectively managed to hold their own. Moreover, new billionaires continue to be minted, which indicates that India’s entrepreneurial energy is upbeat as ever,” said Naazneen Karmali, India Editor of Forbes Asia. Biotechnology pioneer Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has emerged as the biggest percentage gainer of the year.
One of only four women on the list, her net worth rose 66.7 per cent to USD 3.6 billion. In terms of net worth, she stood at 39th spot.
“Despite a rout in the rupee that practically wiped out the Indian stock market’s 14 per cent rise from a year ago, tycoons on the 2018 Forbes India Rich List saw a modest gain in their combined wealth to USD 492 billion,” a Forbes India statement said, adding that among the nation’s 100 richest, 11 saw their wealth jump by USD 1 billion or more.
“The growth in the overall wealth of India’s richest in a challenging year is one indicator of the country’s economic advancement. New faces on the list – five of them – are also an encouraging sign of the rise of domestic mega-firms, many with a presence in global markets,” Forbes India Editor Brian Carvalho said.
According to the statement, this list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and India’s regulatory agencies.
“Public fortunes were calculated based on stock prices and exchange rates as of September 21. Private companies were valued based on similar companies that are publicly traded,” it said.


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Business

Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.

The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.

 

“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

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Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant

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Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.

Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.

 

The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.

They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.

On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.

Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.

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India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan

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Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.

“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.

 

“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.

The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.

At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.

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