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GST could raise solar tariffs by 10%: Report

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New Delhi, February 15: Solar tariffs in India may rise by nearly 10 percent if current tax exemptions are curtailed under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, a local think-tank dealing with energy and environment issues has said.

India’s emerging solar sector could see tariffs rise by nearly 10 per cent if current tax exemptions were curtailed in the roll out of the GST,” the Delhi-based Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) said in a statement on Tuesday, citing its study.

 

This comes in the backdrop of solar tariffs falling to record lows last week when major players, including foreign firms, won separate contracts for building a 750 MW solar plant in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, with bids to supply power at less than Rs 3 per unit.

 

The GST could possibly increase capital cost of a solar project by Rs4.5 million per megawatt if current tax exemptions were curtailed, setting back the sector in terms of cost competitiveness by about 18 months, the CEEW study said.

Multiple GST rates and their uncertain applicability to different equipments and services for solar projects is a growing concern from solar project developers and investors,” it said.

“GST could also impact the pace of the second phase of solar park development for additional 20,000 MW capacity announced in the recent budget,” it said.

“The increase in solar tariffs would also vary across states; higher for states such as Rajasthan where VAT and Entry Tax exemptions are currently provided for solar equipment, as opposed to Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat where VAT and Entry Tax exemptions are not provided,” it added.

CEEW said that solar project developers have already approached the government with requests to ensure that the current tax exemptions applicable to the sector continue.

The study found that GST will give a boost to the government’s Make in India initiative, helping to improve the competitiveness of Indian manufacturers of solar cells, panels and modules, eliminate the cascading effect of the existing tax structure, and introduce an input tax credit.

“Increased competitiveness of domestic solar manufacturers could create an additional 37,000 new jobs in the solar manufacturing sector by 2022,” it said.

“GST offers many long term benefits, but the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited and other related agencies must provide clear guidelines regarding the applicable GST slab for upcoming solar power projects and introduce government mechanisms to offset the short term negative impacts of GST,” CEEW Chief Executive Arunabha Ghosh said in the statement.

Ghosh also said that if current tax exemptions are curtailed, the impact of the increase in solar tariffs could be partially offset by policy instruments, such as accelerated depreciation benefits or viability gap funding for projects incurring increased capital investments.

IANS

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Equities trade flat-to-positive; Yes Bank, RIL top gainers

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SENSEX-

Mumbai, April 24: Key Indian equity indices on Tuesday traded on a flat note with marginal gains as broadly positive global cues, along with healthy buying in oil and gas and healthcare stocks kept investors’ sentiments buoyed.

Yes Bank, Reliance Industries (RIL), Adani Ports, ICICI Bank and HDFC were the top gainers on the BSE during mid-afternoon trade session.

However, heavy selling pressure in metals, IT and consumer durables stocks trimmed gains of the benchmark indices, market observers said.

Around 1 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded flat at 10,585.20 points — up 0.50 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,491.38 points, traded at 34,520.38 points — up 69.61 points or 0.20 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 34,612.43 points and a low of 34,465.49 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,291 declines and 1,168 advances.

“Indian markets opened mixed, Sensex rose 147 points and Nifty reclaimed 10,600 mark in early trade on Tuesday on sustained buying by domestic institutional investors amid firm Asian cues,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

On Monday, the equity indices closed a volatile trade session on a flat-to-positive note as healthy quarterly results drove investors’ sentiments.

The Nifty50 closed higher by 20.65 points or 0.20 per cent at 10,584.70 points, while the Sensex closed at 34,450.77 points — up 35.19 points or 0.10 per cent.

IANS

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Xiaomi, Jio top India market

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New Delhi, April 24: Xiaomi continued to lead the Indian smartphone market with 31.1 percent market share while Reliance Jio topped the feature phone market with a massive 35.8 percent share in the first quarter of 2018, a new report has said.

Xiaomi was the leader with 25 per cent market share in Q4 of 2017.

According to Counterpoint’s “Market Monitor” service, Samsung with 26.2 per cent share was second, followed by Vivo at 5.8 per cent share in the smartphone segment.

Driven by the feature phone segment which doubled owing to strong shipments of Reliance JioPhone, India’s overall mobile phone shipments grew 48 per cent (YoY) in Q1 2018.

Honor (Huawei) entered top five smartphone brands for the first time. Honor (146 per cent), Xiaomi (134 per cent) and OnePlus (112 per cent) were the fastest growing smartphone brands.

“Q1 2018 started off with some brands sitting on inventory post the festive season in Q4 2017, which continued throughout the quarter as industry moves to a Full View display portfolio,” Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst, said in a statement.

Furthermore, the quarter was also marked with less than normal smartphone launches as very few brands refreshed their portfolio, except for Xiaomi and Samsung which benefitted from the new launches.

“However, we expect the demand to start picking up from early Q2 2018 onwards, driven by faster replacement rate of existing 2G and 3G smartphone users upgrading to 4G mobile phones,” Chauhan added.

This is the first time that the top five smartphone brands accounted for more than 70 per cent market share in a single quarter.

“Xiaomi and Samsung alone captured 58 per cent of the total smartphone market. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 and 5 Pro were the most popular models for the Chinese brand, whereas Samsung Galaxy J7 NXT and J2 (2017) drove volumes for the Korean vendor,” said Anshika Jain, Research Analyst.

The performance of Chinese brands remained strong, accounting for 57 per cent of the total smartphone market in Q1 2018, up from 53 per cent during Q1 2017.

“The demand for JioPhone continued through Q1 2018 as Reliance Jio’s feature phone market share raced from 0 per cent last year to 36 per cent in Q1 2018. This demand was catalysed by the introduction of a cheaper data plan,” said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director.

China based Transsion Group (the holding group of Tecno, Itel and Infinix) has become the fifth largest player with four per cent market share in Q1 2018 (combined for all three brands).

The race for the fifth position is quite close between Lava, Micromax, Honor, Nokia (HMD) and Lenovo (+Moto) brands.

Itel is the third largest player in the feature phone segment with 17 per cent growth (YoY).

IANS

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Key equity indices provisionally end in green

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Mumbai, April 23: The key Indian equity indices provisionally closed in the green on Monday on the back of healthy buying in consumer durables, healthcare and IT stocks.

However, selling pressure on metal and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks trimmed gains in the market.

At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed higher by 20.65 points or 0.20 per cent at 10,584.70 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,493.69 points, closed at 34,450.77 points (3.30 p.m.) — up 35.19 points or 0.10 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex touched a high of 34,663.95 points and a low of 34,259.27 during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,399 advances and 1,284 declines.

On Monday, the major gainers on the BSE were IndusInd Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, Sun Pharma, Asian Paints and Yes Bank while HDFC Bank, Tata Motors (DVR), Coal India, Hero MotoCorp and ICICI Bank were among the major losers.

On NSE, the top gainers were IndusInd Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra and BPCL. The major losers were Hindalco Industries, Indiabulls Housing Finance and UPL.

On Friday, negative global cues such as high crude oil prices, along with a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure in banking stocks subdued the key Indian equity markets.

The Nifty50 closed at 10,564.05 points on Friday, down 1.25 points or 0.01 per cent from its previous close and the Sensex closed at 34,415.58 points, down 11.71 points or 0.03 per cent.

IANS

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