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India’s wholesale inflation hits six-month high in Oct at 3.59%



wholesale inflation

New Delhi, Nov 14: India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices scaled up in October to 3.59 per cent a six-month high, because of higher food prices, official data showed here on Tuesday.

As per the Ministry of Commerce and Industry data, the wholesale price index (WPI), with the revised base year of 2011-12, increased in October to 3.59 per cent from 2.60 per cent in September.

“The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 3.59 per cent (provisional) for October 2017 (over October 2016) as compared to 2.60 per cent (provisional) for the previous month and 1.27 per cent during the corresponding month the previous year,” the ministry asserted in its review of October WPI.

“Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.03 per cent compared to a build up rate of 3.53 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year”. it added.

On a segment-wise basis, the expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, edged higher by 3.33 per cent from an increase of 0.15 per cent in September 2017.

The prices of food items  hiked by 4.30 per cent from an acceleration of 2.04 per cent during September 2017 and a rise of 2.98 per cent in October 2016.

While in terms of food prices, the YoY (Year-over-year) wholesale inflation rate for onion was higher by 127.04 per cent, whereas for potatoes it tumbled  by (-)44.29 per cent.

On other hand, the overall vegetable prices in October increased by 36.61 per cent, against a fall of (-)11.84 per cent in the same month a year ago.

According to the data, wheat became cheaper by (-)1.99 per cent on YoY basis and the prices of pulses fallen by (-)31.05 per cent, but that of paddy became dearer by 3.10 per cent.

Protein-based food articles like eggs, meat and fish became expensive by 5.76 per cent during the month under review.

Prices of other major group under the WPI, manufactured products, which comprise nearly 64.23 per cent of the index, recorded a 2.62 per cent rise.

Whereas, Fuel and power prices’ inflation hiked by 10.52 per cent.

Product-wise, the price of high-speed diesel rose by 15.43 per cent during October while that for petrol climbed by 12.87 per cent and for LPG by 26.53 per cent.

Wholesale prices had went up in August to 3.24 per cent from July’s rise of 1.88 per cent.

Wefornews Bureau 


Global cues, fears of political instability dent equity indices




Mumbai, March 19: Negative Asian cues — on the prospect of higher interest rates in the US and global trade wars — pulled the key indices of the Indian equity market lower during the early morning session on Monday.

Apart from global cues, fears of domestic political instability dented investors’ risk-taking appetite. However, value buying had initially pushed the equity indices higher.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in oil and gas, metals and auto stocks.

At 9.30 a.m., the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE traded at 33,142.37 points — down 33.63 points, or 0.10 per cent, from its previous close of 33,176 points.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged-lower. It was down by 17.90 points, or 0.18 per cent, to close at 10,177.25 points.


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Key challenges, political will top agenda as Crans Montana Forum begins



Crans Montana Forum 2018

Dakhla (Morocco), March 16 : With focus on key international challenges like urban global management, ocean economy, food and public health issues and the growing potential of Africa-Asia cooperation, the Crans Montana Forum began on Friday in this western town of Morocco.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Reverend Jesse Jackson, President and Founder of Rainbow Push Coalition, and leaders from several countries joined Jean-Paul Carteron, Honorary Chairman and Founder of the Crans Montana Forum, at the opening ceremony here.

The major focus of the Forum this year is on the Africa and South-South Cooperation.

In his address, Jesse Jackson, one of America’s foremost civil rights figures, stressed on the need to develop and mobilize political will to “end poverty, hunger, illiteracy and killer diseases in the world”.

“Humans have limited but genuine freedom through our individual decisions and our collective politics to make a positive difference in the world. If we can develop and mobilize political will, we will find constructive ways for South-South Cooperation and end the divisions of North and South, rich and poor, powerful and disenfranchised,” Jackson said.

Organized under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, a royal message from the King was read at the Forum’s opening ceremony by Yanja El Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region, of which Dakhla is a part.

Various speakers at the opening ceremony highlighted the crucial role being played by Morocco to be a platform of gateway to Africa and to highlight the kep challenges being faced by African and other countries.

The conference is being attended by over 3,500 delegates and leaders from various countries and 43 international organizations.

The Forum will discuss the crucial issue of urban global management in view of the increasing rural exodus and the urban planning challenges.

The Forum will also discuss extending the Silk Road to Africa and fostering Asia-Africa partnerships. It will also have sessions on women empowerment and youth empowerment and integration.

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Indian GST system among most complex globally: World Bank

India currently has four non-zero rates: 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Apart from that, several items are taxed at zero per cent while gold is taxed at 3 per cent. To make things worse, petroleum products, power and real estate have been kept outside the GST ambit.




New Delhi, March 16 : The Indian Goods and Services Tax (GST) system is among the most complex in the world with not only one of the highest tax rates but also one of the largest number of tax slabs, the World Bank has said.

It added that India has the highest standard GST rate in Asia, and second highest in the world after Chile.

“The tax rates in the Indian GST system are among the highest in the world. The highest GST rate in India, while only applying to a subset of goods and services traded, is 28 per cent, which is the second highest among a sample of 115 countries which have a GST (VAT) system and for which data is available,” the World Bank said in a report.

What makes the Indian GST system even more complex is the number of different GST rates applicable on different categories of goods and services.

India currently has four non-zero rates: 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Apart from that, several items are taxed at zero per cent while gold is taxed at 3 per cent. To make things worse, petroleum products, power and real estate have been kept outside the GST ambit.

According to the World Bank’s biannual India Development Update report, most countries in the world have a single rate of GST: “49 countries use a single rate, 28 use two rates and only five countries including India use four rates,” it said.

Apart from India, the countries that use four or more GST rates are Italy, Luxembourg, Pakistan and Ghana.

While the government has said it would bring down the number of rates once the new taxation system stabilises, it has repeatedly ruled out a single GST rate.

“Luxury goods, sin products, and products hazardous to the environment and health can’t be taxed at the same rate as ‘common-man products’. Wheat, rice, sugar can’t be taxed at the same rate as a Mercedes car or a yacht or tobacco,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said while ruling out the possibility of a single GST rate.

When reached for comment, a World Bank spokesperson said that India is unique in terms of its size and scale of implementation when compared to other counties that have introduced GST.

“The difference with other countries in design is therefore to be expected,” he said.

But it is not just the tax rates that distinguish India’s GST system from the rest of the world. According to the World Bank report, the fiscal threshold for businesses to fall under the full GST impact is also the highest among all comparable countries.

In India, businesses having annual sales above a threshold of Rs 1.5 crore fall under the full GST, and are thus liable to remit GST and eligible to deduct input tax credit.

India started with a threshold of Rs 75 lakh, but in a span of a few months doubled it to Rs 1.5 crore mainly to ease the cost of compliance of small and medium enterprises, it said. “India’s new threshold is the highest among all the 31 comparator countries.”

The report also took note of the disruptions in the initial days of the introduction of tax reform, but added the introduction of GST should be considered as the start of a process — not the end.

“There have been reports of increased administrative tax compliance burden on firms and a locking-up of working capital due to slow tax refund processing. High compliance costs are also arising because the prevalence of multiple tax rates implies a need to classify inputs and outputs based on the applicable tax rate.

“Along with the need to apply the correct rate, firms are required to match invoices between their outputs and inputs to be eligible for full input tax credit, which increases compliance costs further,” it said.

The World Bank spokesperson said the introduction of the GST is only the start of the process that government has undertaken to implement “this bold reform”.

“Drawing actively from user-feedback, the government has been very alert to implementation challenges and continues to take steps to make GST compliance more simple and efficient,” he added.

The World Bank said while international experience suggests that the adjustment process can affect economic activity for multiple months, “the benefits of the GST are likely to outweigh its costs in the long run”.

“Despite the initial hiccups, the introduction of GST is having a far-reaching impact on reducing tax-related barriers to trade barriers, which was one of the primary goals of the introduction,” it said.

(Vishav can be contacted at [email protected])

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