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Single GST slab is a ridiculous suggestion: Piyush Goyal

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Kolkata: Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said that the single goods and services tax (GST) rate slab as proposed by some political parties is a “ridiculous suggestion”.
“One rate of tax (GST) is a ridiculous suggestion. It would be a burden on the poor and the middle class if items of daily use like salt, sugar and clothes were taxed at 18 per cent,” Goyal said at the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Kolkata.
Some political parties have been demanding that the Centre must do away with the four-slab GST rate structure and make it more simplified. The Congress, on the other hand, promised to reduce it to one slab if voted to power in 2019.
According to him, the then United Progressive Alliance government had proposed an 18 per cent single GST slab looking at the tax collections and concessions given to the poor.
“The rate proposed earlier would have not been accepted. Also, the GST structure would have not worked. If Mercedes-Benz and aircraft become cheaper thanks to a single rate, this would have been the worst form of governance. What stops us from elimination of slabs or further reduction in rates on more items is, if all the taxpayers pay their taxes, India could really be a low-tax nation,” he said.
However, the Finance Minister said that rates of 328 items out of a total of 1,200 had been reduced after the implementation of GST in July last year.
Goyal, who also holds charges of Coal, Railways and Corporate Affairs Ministries, has been looking after the Finance Ministry due to Arun Jaitley’s indisposition.
Meanwhile, Goyal said he was keen to reignite long-term financing in the country and had floated the idea with a large bank. The minister also wondered why banks were not floating long-term infra bonds with fixed coupon rates to raise money. “I am worried about long-term financing in India after the transformation of financial institutions like ICICI and IDBI into universal banks. Why the banks cannot float long-term infra bonds for a period of 25 years with a fixed coupon rate? It is a thought which is open for discussion,” he said at the same event.
According to him, such bonds would also provide a stable income flow to retired persons as well.


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MPC to meet six times during 2019-20: RBI

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Mumbai: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which decides on key interest rates, will meet six times during the next financial year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

The first meeting of the six-member MPC to decide on the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20 will be held from April 2 to 4.

The policy will be announced on April 4. Headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, the committee also includes two representatives from the central bank and three external members.

 

The external members are Indian Statistical Institute professor Chetan Ghate, Delhi School of Economics Director Pami Dua and Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor Ravindra H Dholakia.

According to the schedule provided by the RBI, the second meeting of the MPC in the next fiscal will be held on June 3, 4 and 6; third meeting (August 5-7); fourth meeting (October 1, 3 and 4); fifth meeting (December 3-5) and sixth meeting (February 4-6, 2020).

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SBI raises Rs 1,251 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds

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New Delhi: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it has raised Rs 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds.

“The Committee of Directors for Capital Raising at its meeting held today on 22 March 2019 deliberated and accorded approval to allot 12,513 non-convertible, taxable, perpetual, subordinated, unsecured Basel lll-compliant additional tier-I bonds, for inclusion in additional tier-I capital of the bank…aggregating to Rs 1,251.30 crore,” SBI said in a regulatory filing.

The bonds with a face value of Rs 10 lakh each bears a coupon rate of 9.45 per cent per anum payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter, it said. The bonds were subscribed on Friday, it added.

 

State Bank of India (SBI) also said the central board of the bank at its meeting held has accorded its approval for extension of validity period for raising equity capital of up to Rs 20,000 crore from market by way of follow-on public offer, qualified institutional placement, preferential allotment, rights issue or any other mode or a combination of these till March 31, 2020.

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Sebi fines 4 entities Rs 27 lakh for fraudulent trading in BSE stock options

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New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi imposed a total penalty of Rs 27 lakh on four entities for indulging in fraudulent trade in illiquid stock options segment of BSE.

Umapati Oil Mill and Ginning Factory, Yudhbir Chhibbar, Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd and Vimladevi Shyamsunder Khetan are the four entities, according to Sebi’s separate orders.

fter observing a large-scale reversal of trades in the BSE’s illiquid stock options segment, Sebi conducted a probe from April 2014 to September 2015.

 

Following the probe, the regulator found that the trades executed by the entities were not genuine as they were reversed within few seconds with same counter parties with significant difference in price, resulting in profit to the entities.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said it was a deliberate attempt to deal in such a fashion and not a mere coincidence.

The trades executed by the entities were not genuine and created an appearance of artificial trading volumes, thereby violating PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations, Sebi noted.

Accordingly, a fine of Rs 8.7 lakh and Rs 8.4 lakh were imposed on Yudhbir Chhibbar and Vimladevi, respectively while a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each was levied on Umapati Oil Mill and Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd, totalling Rs 27.1 lakh.

In a separate order, Sebi imposed a total fine of Rs 6 lakh on four promoters of Artech Power Products for delayed disclosures to exchanges regarding their change in the shareholding in the company.

Ranjith Vijayan, I V Vijayan, Repsy Vijayan and Resmi Vijayan are the four promoters, according to Sebi’s order.

The promoters have deprived the vital information to the public by non-disclosure /delayed disclosure as mandated by the Takeover Regulations, Sebi noted.

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