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Airtel, Vodafone Idea move SC for waiving AGR penalties



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New Delhi, Nov 22 : The country’s two top telecom operators – Vodafone Idea and Airtel – on Friday filed review petitions in the Supreme Court against its AGR verdict, just ahead of the 30-day time period expiring Saturday since the court’s order dealt a financial body blow to the already battered industry neck deep in debts and losses

Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea have filed for review petitions on waiver of interest and penalties of the AGR amount, sources said. The telcos went to the court again after the government told them that there is no proposal at present to waive interest and penalties on such dues.

As per Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s replies in the Parliament, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom companies owe the government as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues. In replies to separate questions in the Lok Sabha, Prasad said telecom companies owe the government Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee, and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.

In the case of Bharti Airtel, the liabilities added up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, of which Rs 21,682 crore is licence fee and another Rs 13,904.01 crore is the SUC dues (not including the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices). In the case of Vodafone Idea, this number stands at a cumulative Rs 53,038 crore, including Rs 24,729 crore of SUC dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.

Both the petitions of Airtel and Vodafone India contest imposition of interest on outstanding dues and penalties as upheld by the Supreme Court, said sources. The deadline for payment of licence fee and spectrum charges dues on account of AGR definition as decided by the court over the last 14 years is January 24.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already issued demand notices to telcos asking them to do self-assessment, and submit the dues by around January 22, as directed by the Supreme Court in its late October judgement that favoured DoT in the 16-year-old dispute.

Under the impact of the dues, Vodafone Idea filed the highest-ever quarterly loss in the corporate history – Rs 50,992 crore in the second quarter of 2019/20. Airtel’s net losses were also phenomenal at Rs 22,830 crore in the same quarter. Both telcos have counted higher losses on the provisioning for AGR dues.

Bharti Airtel, for instance, has provisioned for Rs 28,450 crore in the September quarter which is over and above its earlier provisioning of about Rs 5,810 crore – taking the total provisioning (for AGR dues) to Rs 34,260 crore.


Bothered by big businesses killing another company: Ratan Tata




New Delhi, Dec 9 : Ratan Naval Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Chairman of Tata Trusts, has said that he has always been bothered by big businesses and corporations killing another organisation.

In an interview with YourStory, Tata said that it is important to work for the benefit of others and buying other companies just to bury them has bothered him. Tata added that one should be happy about another company or person’s prosperity which he called, “the closest definition of happiness.”

“Big businesses and corporations think nothing of killing another organisation because it’s competing with their business. Companies are known to buy out other companies just to bury them in a drawer. That has always bothered me. So, if you can live with feeling happy about another company or another person’s prosperity, then that would be the closest definition of happiness,” he said.

Elaborating on the point, Tata said that while some people are good at causing misery, he feels happy by seeing someone else’s happiness.

“Some people excel in seeing or causing misery. I get euphoric in seeing somebody’s happiness. Even if it’s a person selling vegetables on the side of the road, if there’s humour or happiness on their faces, that makes me happy,” he said.

Tata’s advice to the young is that they do the right thing against all odds. “Doing the right thing may be the more difficult option, but it’s still the better option,” he said.

Tata also added in the interview with YourStory that he is worried about the disappointment he might cause by shutting the door on people.

“I just have a problem shutting the door on people. I would like to see them happy. So, to say that I don’t have the time to see someone and think about the disappointment that that might cause, bothers me,” he said.

Tata also gave himself low scores on treating employees fairly because sometimes compromises were required for the organsiation.

On his legacy, Tata said, “It’s been more than a job. It’s been a lifetime because the job has many attributes. One is the job itself and the performance you have for your shareholders and others, and the other is how you treat your employees. How fair (you’ve been).

“I would have a lower score than I would like to have on how fair you’ve been with your employees consciously because there are so many times you have to compromise something in the broader interest of the organisation. It would have been harder, but it would have been the right thing,” he said.

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CGST falls short of budget estimate by 40pc in April-Nov




Stock Market Down

New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Central GST collection fell short of the budged estimate by nearly 40 per cent during the April-November period of 2019-20, according to the data presented in the Parliament.

The actual CGST collection during April-November stood at Rs 3,28,365 crore while the budgeted estimate is of Rs 5,26,000 crore for these months, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said in a written reply in Lok Sabha on Monday.

Thakur added that the data was, however, provisional.In 2018-19, the actual CGST collection stood at Rs 4,57,534 crore as against the provisional estimate of Rs 6,03,900 crore for the year.

For strengthening monitoring tools to prevent GST evasion, emphasis has been laid on system based analytical tools and system generated intelligence, he said.

“In this connection, the Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) has been set up by the CBIC. Further, E- way bill squads have been activated for the purposes of random verification of the goods in transit,” Thakur said.

The minister also informed the House that it has inserted a new CGST rule which puts restriction that the input tax credit (ITC) availed by a taxpayer shall not exceed 20 per cent of the eligible credit available in respect of invoices or debit notes.

The capping of ITC would lead to reduction in cases of fraudulent ITC availment as well as increase in payment of tax through cash thereby boosting GST collection, Thakur added.

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Equity flows slip 78 pc in November




Sensex equity Nifty

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Net inflows into equity mutual funds dipped sharply to multi-year lows in November as on one hand, outflows from credit risk funds continued, while inflows into equity funds fell as much as 85 per cent.

Net inflows into equities stood at Rs 933 crore last month, a three-year low and a drop of nearly 85 per cent month-on-month, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).

Equity ETFs registered inflows of Rs 2,954 crore in November as compared to Rs 5,906 crore in October.

“Equity net inflows have fallen sharply in November due to profit-booking by investors,” said NS Venktatesh, CEO, AMFI.

Credit risk funds continued to suffer due to huge outflows. Last month, the 44-player mutual fund industry witnessed outflows of Rs 1,899 crore from credit risk funds in November, an increase of 37.4 per cent from the month ago period. Meanwhile, SIP inflows soared to all-time highs in November, AMFI said on Monday.

It was at Rs 8,272 crore, up 27 crore from last month’s numbers. The SIP inflows in October were Rs 8,245 crore.Total number of SIP accounts climbed further to 2.94 crore, an addition of 5.33 lakh accounts during the month. The asset under management (AUM) via SIPs jumped to Rs 3.12 lakh crore, up from Rs 3.03 lakh crore in the last month.

Since the beginning of the credit crisis in July last year, credit risk funds have consecutively seen outflows every month. Continuous outflows from this category have led to fall in AUM. So far in FY20, assets under management (AUM) of credit risk funds have fallen to Rs 63,754 crore from Rs 79,643 in April, a drop of nearly 20 percent.

Vishal Kapoor, CEO, IDFC AMC said on the data, “It’s heartening to see the industry add over 5 lakh SIP accounts in November – the highest so far this year – which is a strong testament to the continued value retail investors see in building investments through SIPs. In the Fixed Income space, investors continue to favour high quality portfolios in the short term space, with strong growth being registered in the Banking & PSU and Corporate Bond categories. Additionally, the Arbitrage Fund category continues to find favour, especially with HNIs looking for steady net returns.”

The downgrade of debt instruments from IL&FS and Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) and Reliance Home Finance by rating agencies have hurt credit risk funds.

Another category under income and debt oriented schemes — liquid funds — saw a massive MoM fall in terms of inflows.Liquid funds, which are used by companies to park surplus cash, saw inflows of Rs 6,938 in November compared to inflows of The mutual fund industry was affected due to large exits by institutional investors from liquid funds, particularly in the first seven days.

From October 19, SEBI allowed fund houses to impose graded exit load on liquid fund investors who exit the scheme within seven days from the date of purchase.It allowed fund houses to impose an exit load of 0.007 percent on investors if they redeem their investment within a day.This means investors redeeming after a day will have to pay a higher exit load than those redeeming on the seventh day. Overall, the industry saw inflows of Rs 54,419 crore in November, with industry AUM at Rs 27.04 lakh crore.Rs 93,203 crore in the preceding month.

“Some liquid fund investors may have shifted to overnight funds due to the implementation of exit load in liquid funds,” Venkatesh said.

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