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18% GST disappoints Telecom sector

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New Delhi, May 19: GST slab rates announced today, it disappoints Telecom sector with 18 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates.

“Telecom industry hails GST as an iconic reform but we are disappointed with announced rate of 18 per cent. We had submitted to the government that consideration must be given to the present financial condition of the sector and any rate beyond the existing rate of 15 per cent makes the telecom services more expensive for the consumer.

“It will augment the existing burden of the industry further. This is also likely to slowdown the planned rollout of infrastructure across the country and will have an impact on flagship government initiatives like Digital India, cashless India and others,” said Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI).

“As an essential service, the telecom industry needs some benefits and tax relaxation in order to provide a seamless and hassle-free service. The industry has worked tirelessly and has fulfilled its motto of connecting everyone till the last mile connectivity,” Mathews added.

The operators have already initiated the registration process after the announcement of GST.

However, the telecom industry body is still on the hope for the clarity on certain rules which requires sufficient time.

The GST Council concluded its latest round of meetings on Friday with the four tax rate slabs for services as well as for goods, exempting, healthcare and educational services.

The next meeting will be held on June 3.

Wefornews Bureau

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Karnataka politics, oil prices depress equity market

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Mumbai, May 21: Formation of a non-BJP government in Karnataka, along with weakness in global indices and rising crude oil prices, pulled the key Indian equity indices to close in the negative territory for the fifth consecutive session on Monday.

According to market observers, automobile, consumer durables and healthcare stocks slumped during the day’s trade.

After opening on a flat note, the indices traded higher during the early hours in the day but were unable to hold on to the gains for long.

At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provincially closed at 10,516.70 points, down 79.70 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous close of 10,596.40 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled in the red. It had opened at 34,873.16 points, closed at 34,616.13 points (3.30 p.m.) — down 232.17 points or 0.67 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 34,848.30 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 34,973.95 and a low of 34,593.82 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,969 declines against 680 advances.

The major gainers on the BSE were State Bank of India (SBI), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Coal India, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank, while Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Yes Bank, Tata Motors and Tata Motors (DVR) were the major losers.

On the NSE, the top gainers were SBI, BPCL and Coal India. The major losers were Dr Reddy’s Lab, Sun Pharma and UPL.

IANS

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In five years, private banks see 450 percent hike in NPAs

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New Delhi, May 21: Data of last five years revealed that the Non-Performing Assets of private banks on a surge, with a 450 percent hike in gross NPAs of these lenders from Rs 19,800 crore at the end of financial year 2013-2014 to Rs 109,076 crore at the end of March 2018.

According to the Indian Express report, Among the banks that have accumulated a huge rise in bad loans are ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Federal Bank and Yes Bank.

ICICI Bank is on top of the NPA list with Rs 54,063 crore in bad loans. It has recorded a 514 percent increase in NPAs in five years – from Rs 10,506 crore in FY 2013-14 to Rs 54,063 crore in March 2018, the IE report stated.

Axis Bank saw a 988 percent jump in its bad debts in last five financial years. The Bank’s bad loans have climbed up from Rs 3,146 crore in FY 2013-14 to Rs 34,249 crore in FY 2017-18, the report said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had recently imposed a fine of Rs 3 crore on Axis Bank for violations of NPA classification.

While HDFC Bank’s NPAs rose from Rs 2,989 crore to Rs 8,607 crore in the last five financial years.

Yes Bank’s NPAs jumped from Rs 175 crore in FY 2013-14 to Rs 2627 crore in 2018.

Last year, the RBI in a risk assessment discovered that Yes Bank had under-reported its NPAs by Rs 6350 crore.

However, Yes Bank is not alone in under-reporting NPAs. From ICICI to HDFC to Axis Bank, all have invited flak from the RBI for asset divergence. In March 2017, the RBI in its assessment had found that HDFC had under-reported its NPAs by Rs 2052 crore.

WeForNews 

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Petrol, diesel prices hit all time high; rates hiked for 8th day in row

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New Delhi, May 21: Petrol and diesel prices on Monday were increased in the range of 33-34 paise per litre and 25-27 paise per litre across Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. That marked fresh all-time highs of petrol and diesel prices in Delhi.

On Sunday, petrol was priced at Rs 76.24 per litre in Delhi, more than the previous all-time high price of Rs 76.06 reached in September 2013. Diesel prices had been registering new all-time highs for past few sessions. With effect from 6 am, Monday, petrol was sold at Rs. 76.57 per litre in Delhi while diesel retailed at Rs. 67.82 per litre, according to Indian Oil Corporation.

Monday’s revision marked an eighth consecutive hike in petrol and diesel prices in the four metros.

Prior to these hikes, petrol and diesel prices were not raised for about three weeks before Karnataka elections. Because of that, oil marketing companies (OMCs) needed to raise petrol prices by Rs. 4.6 per litre, or 6.2 per cent, and diesel rates by Rs. 3.8 per litre, or 5.8 per cent, according to brokerage Kotak Institutional Equities.

While the crude oil prices are near their 2014 highs the rupee has weakened by more than 6 per cent so far this year. That is why domestic petrol and diesel prices may continue to rise in the very short term, say experts.

According to a report of The Economic Times Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday had said the hike in the fuel prices is due to the less production of oil in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and hike in crude oil price in the international market. The Union Minister also assured the citizens that the Indian government will soon take out a solution to tackle the situation.

WeForNews

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