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GST caused temporary slowdown, India poised to recover: Assocham

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GST

New Delhi, Nov 12: Despite a temporary economic slowdown post implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July, India is poised on the threshold of sustainable growth, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday citing its latest report.

“There has been a temporary slowdown even though government has ideated and implemented a number of initiatives to improve business conduciveness,” an Assocham release said here citing its joint study with EY.

“But a consensus view is that India is poised towards a sustainable growth in the near future,” the report titled ‘Ideate, Innovate, Implement: Invest in India,’ said.

The report said that GST will have a significant impact on all aspects of business operating in the country, including supply chain, sourcing and distribution decisions, inventory costs and cash flows, pricing policy, accounting and transactions management.

It also said that GST will have an impact on prices agreed for contracts entered under the pre-GST regime and proposed to be executed either partly or completely under the GST regime.

“Also, introduction of GST should entail a reduction in overall process on account of reduced tax costs,” the report added.”

Highlighting that a complex legal framework makes investors wary of investing in an otherwise promising market, the study suggested that government urgently carry out effective judicial reforms.

Making the biggest revamp of the new indirect tax rate structure the GST Council on Friday decided to slash tax slabs of 178 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, leaving only 50 items, including sin and luxury goods, in the highest bracket.

West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra earlier told reporters on the sidelines of the Council meeting held in Guwahati that the loss on account of a “hasty and ill-designed” GST had resulted in the exchequer losing around Rs 60,000 crore for the Centre and Rs 30,000 crore for the states in just the first three months.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley revealed to reporters that the GST collections in the first three months had been in the range of Rs 93,000-Rs 95,000 crore per month.

IANS

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Wall Street collapses, S&P 500 ends at lowest since April

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Wall Street

New York, Dec 15: US stocks fell sharply on Friday as investors grew concerns over a possible slowdown of the global economy and a slew of corporate news.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 496.87 points, or 2.02 percent, to 24,100.51. The S&P 500 decreased 50.59 points, or 1.91 percent, to 2,599.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 159.67 points, or 2.26 percent, to 6,910.66, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Dow slumped more than 550 points at its low during the session and dived to its lowest close since May.

The S&P 500 dipped to its lowest closing level since April. All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed lower, with health and technology down 3.37 percent and 2.48 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.

After Friday’s steep sell-off, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now just up 0.11 percent for the year.

The Cboe Volatility index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, rose 4.75 percent to 21.63 on Friday.

Global markets were in risk-off mode with investors simply trying to limit performance damage rather than reach for outperformance, according to some analysts.

“Traders are again selling shares of profitable trades before the closing of the year. There isn’t a great deal of volume in stock trading today, so that means there is less resistance against the pressure from sellers today,” John Monaco, a trader at Wellington Shields & Co. LLC, told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a strong U.S. dollar also complicated the situation. The U.S. dollar rose in late trading on Friday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, rose 0.39 percent to 97.4441 at 3:00 p.m. (2000 GMT).

“Today’s lower market index seems to be derived from another day of strong U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar’s strength must be monitored closely as too much strength in the dollar hurts global corporate profits,” said John.

Wall Street also digested a slew of corporate news.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, a Dow member, plunged more than 10 percent on Friday after Reuters reported the company knew about asbestos in its baby powder for decades.

Apple stock slid 3.2 percent after top analysts from TF International Securities cut iPhone shipment estimates by 20 percent.

On the economic front, U.S. retail sales increased 0.2 percent last month, led by online stores, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The reading beat market expectations.

Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production rose 0.6 percent in November, topping market forecasts as gains in mining and utilities offset declines in manufacturing, according to the Federal Reserve.

IANS

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94 MLAs with criminal cases, 187 multi-millionaires in new MP Assembly

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Bhopal, Dec 14 : As many as 94 MLAs have declared criminal cases while a whopping 187 of the 230 MLAs are multi-millionaires in the newly-elected Madhya Pradesh Assembly, a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed on Friday.

The Congress, which won the Assembly polls, leads the list with 56 MLAs having criminal antecedents, followed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 34 while the Bahujan Samaj Party has two such lawmakers.

Of the 94 MLAs with criminal cases, 47 face serious charges with six of them facing charges of attempt to murder, three facing charges of crime against women and one for murder.

On the financial front, 187 of the lawmakers are multi-millionaires with the BJP leading the pack with 109 such MLAs followed by the Congress with 90.

BJP’s Sanjay Satyendra Pathak from Vijayragahvgarh constituency in Katni district is the richest MLA with assets in excess of Rs 226 crore. Fellow party lawmaker Chetanya Kasyap from Ratlam City is next with properties in excess of Rs 204 crore.

The average assets of the MLAs in the current Assembly is above Rs 10 crore which is just double that of the 2013 Assembly.

As many as 86 of the MLAs were re-elected and their average assets in the last five years have grown by nearly Rs 7 crore — a rise of 80 per cent.

There are only 21 female members in the new Assembly.

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Sensex ends flat on weak global cues, RBI board meet

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai, Dec 14: The key Indian equity indices closed flat after trading in a narrow range on Friday tracking weakness in Asian and European markets over concerns of slowdown in global growth.

Caution in the domestic markets also prevailed as the outcome of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board meeting was awaited till the closing bell.

Although with meagre gains, domestic indices logged their fourth session of advances led by Telecom, oil and gas and power stocks. However, finance counters remained subdued.

The Sensex settled 33.29 points higher at 35,962.93 points, touching an intra-day high of 36,019.02 and a low of 35,813.85.

The Nifty50 gained 11.85 points or 0.11 per cent to close at 10,803.40.

Bharti Airtel gained the most of the 30-stock Sensex. The shares of telecom major gained over 5 per cent after Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) scrapped rules on predatory pricing.

It was followed by Yes Bank which advanced by 3.23 per cent. Oil and energy stocks like ONGC, NTPC and Power Grid gained in the range of 1 to 2.5 per cent.

In contrast, HDFC and Wipro were the major losers followed by L&T, Sun Pharma and Adani Ports.

IANS

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