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Black Friday: Sensex loses 1,448 pts ahead of GDP data

Besides, the futures markets pointed at no near-term relief for investors. FTSE 100 Index Futures pointed at a rough start. The index was down 3.44 per cent, NASDAQ 100 Future also traded lower by 1.29 per cent.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

Mumbai, Feb 28 : Fears of larger than anticipated disruption due to an imminent pandemic caused the stock market to crash on Friday. Dalal Street mirrored global stocks headed for their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

The benchmark Sensex lost 1,448 points in a broad based sell-off which saw none of its 30 constituent stocks withstanding the carnage.

The ‘Fear Index’ or India ‘VIX’ logged one of the steepest single day jump in recent past closing at a record of 22.87 as fresh cases of coronavirus infection surged outside China.

This added to the caution among investors ahead of the 3QFY2019-20 GDP data release due later in the day, that was also expected to remain subdued.

Nifty Metal index plummeted 7 per cent, the most among the 11 Nifty sectoral indices. It was followed by IT, media and PSU Bank index. The pivotal — banking and financial service sectors index — closed over 3 per cent lower.

“Increase in new virus cases is diluting investor wealth across the globe. On the domestic front, broad-based selling was witnessed with sectors having global exposure like Metals & IT being impacted the most,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services

The top laggards on the Sensex were: Tech Mahindra, down 8.14 per cent; followed by Tata Steel, Mahindra and Mahindra, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finance and Infosys.

Wall Street’s benchmark index, Dow Jones Industrial Average closed (down 4 per cent) with record losses on Thursday. China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index was trading 3.71 per cent lower while Japan’s Topix tumbled 3.6 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plummeted over 3 per cent.

Besides, the futures markets pointed at no near-term relief for investors. FTSE 100 Index Futures pointed at a rough start. The index was down 3.44 per cent, NASDAQ 100 Future also traded lower by 1.29 per cent.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is likely to be declared a pandemic and focus is now shifting from China to South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan — where cases are escalating fast, even Germany, Brazil and several others have joined the list, Moody’s said on Friday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the coronavirus outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential” as the toll in China, the deadly disease’s country of origin, increased to 2,788 on Friday.

The number of coronavirus cases in South Korea increased to 2,022 on Friday. Italy has confirmed 122 more coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 650.

(Ravi Dutta Mishra can be reached at [email protected])

Business

ABVP man clones currency with Godse image

In the same post, Shukla has addressed Nathuram Godse as Mahatma and Pujya Pandit Nathuram Godse Amar Rahein (Long Live Nathuram Godse).

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Nathuram Vinayak Godse

Bhopal, May 25 : A man from Sidhi district, claiming to be a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – student outfit of the BJP – has cloned a Rs 10 currency note replacing Mahatma Gandhi’s image with that of his assassin Nathuram Godse.

The activist who identified himself as Shivam Shukla while uploading the post on Facebook hailed his hero: “Long Live Nathuram Godse” to mark his 111th birth anniversary on May 19.

Police have sought to track him down with the help of cyber experts to take action into the matter.

The shocking incident was revealed two days after the saffron outfit Hindu Mahasabha celebrated the 111th birth anniversary of Godse by garlanding his portrait and lighting up diyas around the portrait at the Mahasabha’s office in Gwalior.

Congress’ student wing, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), has filed a complaint against Shukla on the incident.

ABVP also filed a complaint against the NSUI for “falsely dragging the name of ABVP” into the issue.

Shukla has even changed Mahatma Gandhi’s famous couplet to praise Gandhi’s assassin. Shukla wrote, “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, desh bacha gaye Nathuram (Nathuram saved the country).

In the same post, Shukla has addressed Nathuram Godse as Mahatma and Pujya Pandit Nathuram Godse Amar Rahein (Long Live Nathuram Godse).

Sidhi district police superintendent RS Belvanshi said, “A complaint was submitted to Sidhi Kotwali. The cyber cell of district police has been tasked with investigating the matter. Action will be taken in the matter once the inquiry is completed. “

“Our teams went to Shivam Shukla’s house on Friday, but he remains untraceable,” Belvanshi said.

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ITC to acquire spice manufacturer Sunrise Foods Pvt Ltd

It also noted that ITC’s Aashirvaad range of spices is already a market leader in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

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Sunrise Foods ITC Ltd

New Delhi, May 24 : ITC Ltd has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the equity share capital of Sunrise Foods Private Ltd (SFPL), a company primarily engaged in the business of spices.

In a regulatory filing, ITC said that the proposed acquisition will augment its product portfolio and is aligned to the company’s aspiration to significantly scale up its spices business and expand its footprint across the country.

“ITC Ltd has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) on May 23, 2020 to acquire 100 per cent of the equity share capital of Sunrise Foods Private Limited (SFPL), a company primarily engaged in the business of spices under the trademark ‘Sunrise’, subject to fulfilment of various terms and conditions as specified in the SPA,” it said.

It also noted that ITC’s Aashirvaad range of spices is already a market leader in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The deep consumer connect and distribution strength of SFPL in the focus markets, together with synergies arising out of the sourcing and supply chain capabilities of ITC’s agri business and its pan-India distribution network, will provide significant value creation opportunities for the company, it said.

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Business

No GST exemption to help businesses fight Covid-19 disruptions

The issue for GST exemption has surfaced particularly with respect to items needed in the fight against the pandemic: Ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE), Covid-19 test kits, sanitisers, etc.

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GST Collection Down

New Delhi, May 23 : The Finance Ministry has ruled out GST waiver or deference to businesses as part of the economic relief package to help them cope with the situation arising in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown.

In discussions within the ministry, it has been said that Goods and Sales Tax exemption or deferral is not required as it would not given any benefit to industry but seriously impact the revenues of both the states and the Centre.

With the Centre announcing a mega relief package of Rs 20 lakh crore as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, there have been oft-repeated demands for the GST wavier, this time for a period of six months. The argument given is that GST exemption would lead to revival of demand due to reduction in prices and hence benefit in the fight against Covid-19.

The government has provided exemption and moratorium on payment of various taxes and debt as part of the package.

Contrary to what is being suggested, government sources said on the condition of anonymity that GST exemption would seriously jeopardise the industry’s interests and not result in any significant gains to consumers.

Therefore, there is no point to exempt businesses from this tax that would lead to blocked input tax credit (ITC), resulting in increase in manufacturing cost and a higher price for consumers.

“Hopefully, the Centre is not considering the demand. Exemption of GST on the final product is never a good idea. It distorts the value chain. It does not necessary lead to reduction in prices. In fact, it adversely impacts domestic industry,” Najib Shah, former chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), told IANS.

The issue for GST exemption has surfaced particularly with respect to items needed in the fight against the pandemic: Ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE), Covid-19 test kits, sanitisers, etc.

At present, the liability of the inputs “be it 5% or 12% or 18%” is more than offset when discharging the 5% or 12% GST liability on PPE or ventilator, the entire liability being ‘paid’ by the credit of taxes accumulated at the earlier stages of manufacture.

If GST is exempted, this credit facility will be unavailable, leading to higher final price of the equipment.

In the past also, when the GST exemption on sanitary napkin was allowed, it led to similar hardship for domestic manufacturers of sanitary napkins. Later, domestic industry complained of adversity.

It is also equally important to keep in mind that GST waiver provides much larger incentive for imports because imports do not come with any baggage of input side taxes compared with the domestic supply.

GST provides a level playing field to domestic industry vis-a-vis the imports.

Illustratively, waiver of tax on a mobile would mean that domestically produced mobile phone has suffered the taxes on its inputs, while the imported mobile phone does not. Hence, imported mobile would be cheaper, making the domestic one non-competitive.

“Any decision to review the GST rates cannot be taken unilaterally by the central government. It is the recommendation of the GST Council that prevails in respect of GST rates. With the situation of dire economic crises and states requiring resources more than ever to deal with the post Covid-19 pandemic situation, the Council may not have comfort of this option. It is an option that causes hardship to the businesses and the state finances, while providing virtually no relief to customer in the first place.”

States GST revenue may see steep fall of 80-90 per cent in April, the first full month of lockdown that saw business and economic activity coming to a standstill.

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