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Post-2014, India ‘richer’ by 601 new billionaires, Mukesh Ambani on top

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mukesh ambani

Mumbai, Sep 25 : India added a whopping 601 new billionaires since 2014, with Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani topping the ‘Barclays Hurun India Rich List-2018’ for the seventh consecutive year with an estimated wealth of Rs 371,000 crore.

As per the report, in 2014, there were 230 billionaires or multi-billionaires, which shot up to 831 in the 2018 in the BHI Rich List.

Earlier, in 2012, the figure was a modest 59 billionaires, which climbed to 141 in 2013. But after notching 230 billionaires in 2014, the list has grown phenomenally with 296 (2015), 339 (2016), 617 (2017) and now 831 billionaires in 2018.

Similarly, the number of USD billionaires in India in the past seven years at the prevailing exchange rates has shot up from 59 (2012) to 141 (2018) as the USD’s value grew from INR 55.60 to INR 68.40 during the period.

Among women, there was only one self-made billionaire in 2013, which increased to 11 in 2018. Women multi-billionaires shot up from just five in 2013 to 136 this year.

The cumulative wealth of these 831 individuals featured in the latest list stands at USD 719 billion, or one-quarter of the Indian GDP of USD 2,848 billion as per the IMF’s April 2018 estimates.

After Ambani, next comes S.P. Hinduja and family of Hinduja Group with estimated wealth of Rs 159,000 crore, Arcelor-Mittal’s L.N. Mittal and family at Rs 114,500 crore in the top bracket.

Following them are: Wipro’s Azim Premji at Rs 96,100 crore, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s Dilip Shanghvi at Rs 89,700 crore, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak at Rs 78,600 crore, Serum Institute of India’s Cyrus Poonawalla at Rs 73,000 crore, Adani Group’s Gautam Adani and family at Rs 71,200 crore, Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry’s Cyrus P. Mistry at Rs 69,400 crore,

Five of the Top 10 belong to Maharashtra, one each from Gujarat and Karnataka, two are London-based and one is in Monaco, as per the rich list.

As expected, the country’s commercial capital Mumbai tops the billionaires’ list with 233 names, followed by New Delhi at 163 and IT capital Bengaluru at 70, said Barclays Private Clients CEO S.N. Bansal.

The annual list is a compilation of the super-richest Indians having a net worth of Rs 1,000 crore or more. This number has increased by a staggering one-third – from 617 in 2017 to 831 in 2018, said Hurun Report India’s Managing Director Rahman Junaid.

While 306 new entrants made it to the list this year, 75 of those featured in 2017 failed to find a place in the super exclusive club this year.

“The Indian edition of the list is the fastest growing rich list in the world, highlighting the optimism of a young, vibrant and ambitious country,” Junaid pointed out.

As far as top wealthy business clans are concerned, more than 50 percent of the businesses listed in the 2018 rich list belong to just 10 Indian families – Ambani, Godrej, Hinduja, Mistry, Shanghvi, Nadar, Adani, Damani, Lohia and Burman.

Four of these family-run businesses are in the first-generation and second generation, one is in third generation and one in fifth generation of operations.

“Wealth creation in India is growing at an unprecedented pace, and the time it takes to accumulate wealth is shorter than before,” said Bansal at the report launch.

IANS

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Centre suspends fresh IBC proceedings till Dec

In June, the Union Cabinet approved the suspension, which came into effect from March 25 and was brought in through the ordinance route.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, Sep 24 : In a major relief for stressed companies amid the pandemic woes, the Centre on Thursday announced the suspension of fresh insolvency proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) by three more months till December.

In a gazette notification, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) said that the suspension on operation of Section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC has been extended.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by section 10A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the Central Government has extended the suspension of sections 7,9, 10 of the IBC for a further period of three months,” the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet.A

She said that the decision reinforces the government’s commitment to protecting businesses.

“It also gives companies breathing time to recover from financial stress,” she said.

In June, the Union Cabinet approved the suspension, which came into effect from March 25 and was brought in through the ordinance route.

Section 7 of the IBC allows initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process by financial creditor, while Section 9 allows operational creditors to file application for initiation of insolvency process by operational creditor.

Further, a corporate debtor who has committed a default, can file for initiation of a corporate insolvency resolution process under Section 10 of IBC.

Although the decision to extend the suspension has brought much-needed relief for business stressed in the midst of the pandemic, sector experts, however, have raised concerns regarding the financial stress it may create once the suspension is revoked.

Sumit Batra, Partner at India Law Alliance, said: “Another extension of three months beyond 25.09.2020 for initiation of bankruptcy against defaulting corporate entities will further aggravate the situation and lead to an unprecedented rise in fresh filing once the suspension is revoked.”

Noting that while the logic of suspension for not being able to initiate proceedings under Section 7 and 9 of IBC, seems justified to an extent that lockdown triggered due to widespread outbreak of Covid-19 affected the paying capacity of the corporate debtors, but “why such a suspension is being imposed for applications under section 10 seems illogical”.

The intent and extent of section 10 petition is to enable the corporate debtor to initiate insolvency against themselves in order to resolve the financial stress in a time-bound manner, Batra said, adding that, therefore, Section 10 petitions should have been excluded from being covered under this suspension.

In a recent debate in the Parliament, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had defended the decision to suspend Section 10 saying that in view of the economic situation, the companies filing for bankruptcy would not have achieved high valuations and bidding amounts would have been low, thereby not achieving the desired goal.

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Oil Ministry yet to recover $510 mn from contractors under PSC: CAG

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Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has not recovered $510 million as cost of unfinished minimum work programme (CoUMWP) from contractors in respect of 45 blocks.

The CAG report on Union Government (Economic & Service Ministries-Civil) – Compliance Audit Observations, which includes important audit findings, was presented in the Parliament on Wednesday.

It noted that the government awarded 254 blocks during the New Exploration and Licensing Policy’s (NELP) I to IX rounds for exploration of oil and gas. As per the terms and conditions of Production Sharing Contracts (PSC), contractors are required to pay the cost of unfinished minimum work programme, if the block is relinquished or terminated by government.

However, contractors of 54 relinquished blocks failed to pay the CoUMWP as specified in the PSCs.

“An amount of $510.79 million (Rs 3,652.64 crore), which was 77 per cent of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’s (MoPNG) approved amount of $664.67 million (Rs 4,753.03 crore) on account of CoUMWP in respect of 45 blocks still remained unrecovered (September 2019),” the report said.

It added that the CoUMWP for nine blocks is yet to be worked out by Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) or yet to be approved by the ministry.

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IT Dept ignored land/flat sellers as ‘potential assessees’: CAG

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New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that during financial years 2014-15 to 2017-18, the IT Department did not initiate any action regarding land and flat sellers who could be potential assessees.

The Performance Audit on ‘Search and Seizure Assessments in Income Tax Department’, tabled in the Parliament on Wednesday, said: “The Department did not initiate any action in respect of sellers of land/flat/ commodities pointed out in the respective Appraisal Report, who could be potential assessees. The department also did not confirm whether these were in the tax net of the department and regularly filing returns.”

It also said that there were loopholes and deficiencies in the provisions of the Act in respect of search assessments, mainly relating to absence of specific provisions in the Act and Rules, the report said.

“In respect of certain Groups, 76.5 per cent of additions made in search assessments did not stand the test of judicial scrutiny in appeals at the level of CIT (A)/ITAT,” it said.

The report found that assessing officers (AOs), while finalising the assessments, did not take a uniform stand in making additions on account of bogus purchases, accommodation entries and in adoption of figures of assessed income or revised income.

“The additions were made arbitrarily either on lump sum amount basis or different percentage ranging from five per cent to 50 per cent under similar circumstances without proper justification,” the report said.

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