Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry

38/2015-16

Thu, 17 March 2016

Trade & Industry

Government introduces bill to ease rules for India Inc

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has proposed fresh amendments to the Companies Act to do away with the restriction of routing funds through only two layers of investment companies as well as seeking government approval for managerial remuneration. The amendments moved in the Lok Sabha have also sought to increase penalty for auditors by linking certain fines to the size of the offence and eased rules for private placement of shares.

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LokSabha passes Real Estate Bill, paves way for protection of rights of homebuyers

The Lok Sabha passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, clearing the way for a regulatory mechanism for the real estate sector to protect the rights of homebuyers and ensure timely delivery by builders. Rajya Sabha had passed the long-awaited bill, which has been pending since 2013, last week. It will now be sent for approval to the President of India and then it will become a law.

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Government looks to tighten laws on loan defaulters

The Centre is looking to revamp laws on loan defaulters, including making wilful default a criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code and defining timelines to ensure that those with unpaid bank loans dont take recourse to repeated adjournments in debt recovery tribunals to delay payment. In addition, several other provisions, which will enable lenders to acquire shares in excess of 30% in companies where banks take charge to dispose of the company, were discussed with bankers and asset reconstruction companies.

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M&A to become easier after Cabinet approves MMDR amendment

After over a year of uncertainty, the Cabinets decision to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and allow transfer for captive mining leases issued prior to last January will help in cementing several M&A deals in mining and resources sector, but the industry isnt rejoicing yet and would rather go through the policy fine print thats yet to be finalised. Some even feel the government will eventually end up charging a fee for allowing such transfer of natural resources.

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Gold jewellery imports from ASEAN to face 12.5% countervailing duty

After steel and metals, the government has moved to protect the local gold jewellery-making industry from imports that threaten the jobs in the sector. Gold jewellery imports from the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) under the free-trade agreement, will face a 12.5% countervailing duty in lieu of 12.5% excise duty imposed in the budget. The duty will make imports more expensive and protect the local industry.

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Central Board of Excise and Customs removes stock declaration rule for jewellers

In a significant step aimed at addressing the concerns of jewelers, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman Najeeb Shah told field officials not to visit the premises of any manufacturer and removed the stock declaration requirement for the industry. The CBEC will also accept documents given to state tax authorities, sending out a signal that there will be no harassment, one of the major concerns raised by the jewelers.

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FDI up 29% post Make in India initiative: Nirmala Sitharaman

Foreign Direct Investment in the country increased by 29 per cent for the 15-month period -- ended December last year -- after the launch of Make in India initiative, Parliament was informed. Launched on September 25, 2014, the initiative aims at promoting India as an important investment destination and a global hub for manufacturing, design and innovation.

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Trade Data: Exports in February dip 5.66% to $20.73 billion; imports down 5.03% at $27.28 billion

Indias exports in February fell 5.6% from a year earlier to $20.73 billion - declining for the 15th consecutive month - while a contraction in imports narrowed the trade gap to a years low. In February, imports fell 5.03% to $27.28 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $7.63 billion, provisional data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry showed. The last time the gap was lower was in February 2015 at $6.54 billion.

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IIP remains negative in January at 1.5%, industry demands rate cut

Industrial output for the third month in a row remained in the negative territory contracting 1.5 per cent in January due to poor showing of manufacturing sector raising industry clamour for rate cut by Reserve Bank. Factory output measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production ( IIP) also declined by 3.4 per cent in November and 1.2 per cent in December according to data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO). The index had registered a growth of 2.8 per cent in January 2015, it said.

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Commissioned capacity of solar energy: Gujarat on 2nd place after Rajasthan

The Government has revised the National Solar Mission target of Grid Connected Solar Power projects from 20,000 MW by 2022 to 1,00,000 MW by 2022. A total investment of around Rs. 6,00,000 crore has been estimated to achieve the target of 100 GW. Meanwhile as per the figures of commissioned solar projects shared by the ministry, Gujarat is on second rank after Rajasthan while other states are far behind.

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New industrial incentive scheme to cover all sectors

The soon-to-be-announced scheme will replace the current industrial incentive policy under which only five sectors - auto, shipbuilding, semiconductors, fabrication and aircraft maintenance - get sops like 100% VAT exemption. The new scheme will be similar to the popular 1990-2000 industrial incentive scheme, which offered sales tax exemptions.It will cover all sectors, with a thrust on engineering, pharmaceuticals and chemicals where Gujarat has an edge over other states.

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Economic & Finance

CRISIL sees GDP growing at 7.9% in 2016-17

The countrys GDP can grow by 7.9 per cent next fiscal if the monsoon is normal and government implements the reform measures announced so far, domestic rating agency Crisil said. The growth forecast, highest by any house and even above the governments own estimate of 7-7.75 per cent, has been arrived assuming a faster growth in agriculture.

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Current account deficit may narrow to 0.7% of GDP in FY16, says Nomura

Indias current account deficit is likely to narrow to 0.7 per cent of the GDP in fiscal 2016 from 1.3 per cent in FY15 largely owing to low commodity prices. According to a Nomura report, the current account deficit is likely to narrow despite sluggish export volumes and rising import volumes.

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Retail inflation for February down at 5.18%, from 5.69% in January

After rising for five months in a row, retail inflation in February fell to 3-month low of 5.18 per cent as food prices including vegetables, pulses and fruits became less costly. Retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was at 5.69 per cent in January this year. In February last year, it stood at 5.37 per cent.

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WPI inflation stays negative for 16th month, falls (-)0.91% in February

Indias wholesale prices fell for the 16th straight month in February, with the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation declining 0.91% compared with a 2.61% fall in the corresponding period of the previous year, government data released showed. In January, the index had fallen 0.90%. The December data has been revised to -1.06% from -0.73%. Food articles in February showed an inflation of 3.35%, while pulses became dearer by 38.84%.

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New Projects

India to set up SAARC centre against drugs abuse menace: Hasmukh Adhia

India is set to take a definitive "lead role" in combating money laundering and illegal funds generation from drug trafficking by establishing a regional cooperation platform for SAARC nations soon, a top official said here.

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Arvind sports to bring Cole Haan and Heatwave Shoes to India

Arvind Sports Lifestyle plans to launch two international shoe brands, Cole Haan and Heatwave, in India as part of a plan to cash in on the countrys growing premium footwear market.

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Environment

Green nod for 900 projects in 20 months: Prakash Javadekar

Environmental clearance has been given to 900 projects worth Rs 6 lakh crore in the last 20 months, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said. Asserting that environmental clearance should not be a "roadblock" for development, Javadekar said that every effort should be made to safeguard the environment and also ensure that development projects do not suffer any delay.

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