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Calcutta HC orders execution of arbitration award against Hindustan Copper

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Calcutta HC orders execution of arbitration award against Hindustan Copper

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court has directed the execution of a foreign award against Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) in India that had arisen out of a two-tier arbitration in relation to an agreement between HCL and US-based Centrotrade Minerals and Metals Inc for the supply of copper concentrate.

As per the order, the bench of Justice Sugato Majumdar maintained that in view of the earlier orders passed by the Supreme Court in the same matter, the High Court does not have any scope for rehearing the enforceability issue of the arbitration award.

According to a press statement issued by law firm Karanjawala & Co, representing Centrotrade, the arbitration clause in the agreement between HCL and Centrotrade provided for a two-tier arbitration mechanism whereby any dispute was to be settled by a sole arbitrator under the aegis of the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA).

“In the event of any party disagreeing with the award rendered by the sole arbitrator, it would have a right to appeal to a second arbitration in London under the aegis of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC),” the statement read.

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Centrotrade’s law firm further claimed that in 2017, an apex court bench had held that a two-tier arbitration agreement is valid and legally permissible in India.

“Later, in 2021, another bench of the apex court also gave a go-ahead for the execution of the ICC Foreign Award passed in favour of Centrotrade,” the press statement read. However, during the execution proceedings before the Calcutta High Court, HCL vehemently contested the calculated sum payable and disputed the obligation to pay compound interest as awarded to Centrotrade.

–IANS

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Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

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Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

Budget: Leading tea body welcomes scheme for welfare of tea workers

Guwahati, July 23 (IANS) The Tea Association of India (TAI), the largest tea industry body in India, on Tuesday welcomed the scheme “Pradhan Mantri Cha Shramik Protsahan Yojana” (PMCSPY)”, announced in the Central budget 2024-25 devised for the welfare of tea workers especially women and their children in tea growing areas including Assam and West Bengal.

TAI Secretary General P.K. Bhattacharjee said that as proposed earlier in the Budget Speech of 2021-22, Rs 1,000 crores would be provided for the PMCSPY and is aimed at making need-based interventions in tea garden areas for interalia strengthening provisions of education and health services to the tea workers.

The scheme would be implemented in 2024-25 and 2025-26 fiscal.

Bhattacharjee said that under “Productivity and Resilience Agriculture” proposals for agriculture resilience, release of new climate resilience verities and digital public infrastructure are proposed, which will surely boost the rural economy of the country.

The government has particularly emphasised on the “Employment and Skilling”.

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Bhattacharjee said that different skilling programmes along with schemes for skilling loans with guarantees from government-promoted funds and educational loans would help create an efficient workforce in the future.

The tea industry will also benefit from the same, he pointed out.

The TAI Secretary General said that the development of digital and banking infrastructure in the tea-growing regions has been a constant demand of the Tea industry for several years and that the announcement of “bank branches in the northeastern region” is a positive step towards this direction.

Saying that the announcement of the continuation of PMAY and PMGSY would surely benefit the rural population including the tea garden population, he on behalf of the TAI welcomed the proactive step of the government in addressing the “Economic Policy Framework” by proposing to initiate and incentivize reforms for (1) improving productivity of factors of production, and (2) facilitating markets and sectors to become more efficient.

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These reforms would cover all factors of production, namely land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship, and technology as an enabler of improving total factor productivity and bridging inequality.

–IANS

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Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

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Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

Budget neglects women, poor & farmers: Punjab Finance Minister

Chandigarh, July 23 (IANS) Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Tuesday criticised the Union Budget for 2024-25, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, for neglecting the concerns of the women, poor, and farmers.

He said that Punjab’s interests have been completely disregarded in the Budget.

He highlighted the alarming consequences of slashing fertiliser subsidies in FY 2024-25. “This drastic reduction will not only burden farmers of the nation but also adversely affect the Punjab economy, where agriculture is a vital sector,” he said.

He said that this move is particularly concerning given the Union government’s proclaimed commitment to prioritising farmers’ welfare and doubling their income.

“Moreover, the Budget fails to provide a crucial Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee for farmers, further exacerbating their uncertainty,” he added.

Finance Minister Cheema expressed disappointment that the Budget fails to provide any additional, targeted support for Punjab’s farmers, who grapple with distinct challenges such as water management, crop diversification, and sustainability.

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He noted that despite Punjab’s susceptibility to flooding, the Budget neglects to allocate substantial, specific funds for flood management and irrigation projects that cater to the state’s unique requirements.

He held the Union government accountable for perpetuating financial disparities and regional imbalances. He said Punjab, already vulnerable to regional disparities due to the preferential treatment of neighbouring hill states, has once again been subjected to discriminatory treatment by the Union government.

“Unlike states like Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, which received additional financial packages, Punjab was denied any special financial assistance,” said Cheema and cautioned that this inequality could worsen regional imbalances and impede Punjab’s development trajectory.

Cheema condemned the Union government for deliberately ignoring Punjab’s development needs, particularly in the tourism sector, where no projects have been allocated.

He also noted the Budget favours the Eastern region, neglecting the Northwestern border states, including Punjab.

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“Moreover, the Union government has failed to provide Punjab with any targeted support or extra funding for its SMEs, which are essential drivers of local employment and economic growth,” he added.

Cheema also exposed the anti-poor character of the Budget, highlighting the lack of relief from direct taxes for the common man.

He criticised the meagre relief offered to middle-class taxpayers through a modest increase in Standard Deduction from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.

He said even the health of the common man is ignored in this Budget and there is only a minor increase in the national health budget.

The Finance Minister emphasised that the lack of dedicated funds would severely impede the state’s progress in critical areas, including agricultural development, industrial growth (particularly for MSMEs), and infrastructure expansion, while also compromising the rapid growth of health and education sectors in the state.

Drawing parallels with Delhi, Finance Minister Cheema said that Punjab’s urban local bodies are also vulnerable to challenges arising from inadequate central support for urban development initiatives.

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–IANS

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Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

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Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

Budget aims to translate vision of empowering J&K's society: L-G

Srinagar, July 23 (IANS) J&K Lt Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that the Union Budget has focused on productivity and resilience in agriculture which will greatly benefit the UT.

“Natural farming, mission for oilseeds, vegetable production, supply chains and national cooperation will ensure inclusive growth for farmers, villages and labourers,” he said in a series of posts on X.

He said that J&K has seized the opportunities of the 21st century and our youth are building a proud and prosperous J&K.

“#Budget2024 with focus on ‘Employment & Skilling’ & new schemes will give fresh impetus to youth empowerment and it’ll pave the way for higher participation of women in the workforce,” he wrote on X.

He said the budget provides unlimited opportunities to youth, women, farmers and entrepreneurs and lays down plans for a prosperous rural India which will also speed up the development of a robust agriculture infrastructure and urban development.

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“This budget with a focus on employment, skilling, MSMEs and the middle class, seeks to translate the vision of empowering all sections of the population,” he said.

He said that the nine priorities are for generating ample opportunities for all as envisaged in the Budget which will ensure faster progress and social equity.

The L-G also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for a “visionary” budget, saying it will intensify “economic growth, facilitate far-reaching reforms for ‘Viksit Bharat’ and increase ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and ‘Ease of Living’.”

He added that the Pradhan Mantri Janjatiya Unnat Gram Abhiyan for saturation coverage in tribal-majority villages and aspirational districts will be a “game-changer”.

He said that the budget is aimed at translating into reality the vision of empowering the common man in J&K by empowering all sections of society.

–IANS

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Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

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Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

Realty sector hails Union Budget, calls it vibrant & visionary

Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) The Indian realty sector has largely given a thumbs up to the Union Budget 2024-2025 presented in the Parliament on Tuesday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, terming it visionary and vibrant which will sustain India’s growth story over the next five years.

The President of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, Boman Irani, said that with the PM Awas Yojana-Urban, the housing needs of one crore poor and middle-class families will be addressed with an outlay of Rs 10 lakh crore, including central assistance of Rs 2.2 lakh crore in five years.

The Chairman of the National Association of Realtors-India (NAR), Sumanth Reddy, lauded the move to slash capital gains tax from 20 to 12.5 per cent which will attract greater investment into the realty sector, but said that reducing GST on real estate brokerage services to 5 per cent remains pending.

Giving a score of 8/10 to FM Sitharaman, Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), said that a monumental allocation of Rs 10 lakh crore for PMAY-Urban for three crore houses, 12 new industrial parks, and focus on rental housing through dormitories in industrial parks would boost affordable rental homes for industrial workers, and underscore a robust vision for urban development.

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Maharashtra NAREDCO President Prashant Sharma said the comprehensive approach to job creation and boosting consumption are positive signs for the realty sector, while the other initiatives will create a ripple effect enhancing the economic landscape and boosting demands for residential and commercial properties.

“Significant infrastructure investments continuing over the next five years, including a provision of Rs 11,11,111 crore for capex, will have a multiplier effect that will drive private investment in infrastructure. The introduction of a market-based financing framework and simplified rules for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) will further facilitate economic growth and stability,” Sharma said.

The President of CREDAI-Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, Domnic Romell, said the proposal to reduce stamp duty for women house buyers is a progressive step, especially in places like Mumbai where realty prices are among the highest, besides “promoting gender equity through lower duties for women purchasers is a socially responsible move, which we have been advocating for long”.

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CREDAI-MCHI Vice President Pritam Chivukula said that keeping in mind the Viksit Bharat initiative, the Budget will give a significant boost to housing both in rural and urban areas, and help the people get a roof over their heads, particularly the one crore poor and middle-class sections.

Similarly, the Rs 2.66 lakh crore for rural infra development will help the people in Mofussil India become self-reliant and uplift their living standards while discouraging the rural migration to urban centres, thus ensuring overall development, Chivukula said.

Other top realtors and industry experts like Tribhuwan Adhikari, MD & CEO, LIC Housing Finance; Amit Sinha, MD & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd; Sandeep Runwal, MD, Runwal Group; Kamal Singal, MD & CEO, Arvind SmartSpaces Ltd; Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India Ltd; Atul Bohra, Group CEO, Kolte-Patil Developers Limited; Shashank Paranjape, MD, Paranjape Schemes Construction Ltd; Ramesh Nair, CEO, Mindspace Business Parks REIT; and Nagaraju Routhu, CEO, Experion Developers, also hailed various other facets of the Budget.

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These include the proposed industrial corridor that will spur employment, industrial growth and economic progress, the digitalisation of urban land records with GIS mapping and an IT-based system that will enhance transparency and efficiency while reducing risks linked with unclear titles or property disputes, the capital gains tax adjustments proposals, the tax incentives under Section 80EEA, GST reliefs, etc., which herald a progressive future for the industry and the country.

–IANS

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Govt needs to consider GST exemption for all cancer drugs, says Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

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Govt needs to consider GST exemption for all cancer drugs, says Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Govt needs to consider GST exemption for all cancer drugs, says Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Bengaluru, July 23 (IANS) Biocon and Biocon Biologics Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, welcoming the removal of Customs duty on three cancer drugs in the Union Budget 2024-25, on Tuesday said the government needs to consider GST exemption for all cancer drugs.

“The removal of Customs duty on three cancer drugs will provide relief to cancer patients. However, the government needs to consider GST exemption for all cancer drugs to make cancer care more affordable for patients,” she said in a statement.

Applauding the Budget, she said that it builds further on the government’s pre-election, Interim Budget and has positive indicators of how the government is looking at India’s economic growth and development,” she stated.

“The FM’s emphasis on job creation through skilling is a key underlying theme. Internships at large companies with Government and CSR-backed stipends is the right approach to employability and jobs for the future,” she said.

The budget has also focused on the start-up ecosystem and provided a fillip through the abolition of the ‘angel tax’ which is aimed at spurring investments in start-ups, and the emphasis on ‘ease of doing business’ will benefit MSMEs, she said.

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The government’s focus on research and innovation, especially agritech and industrial research, is a welcome move, she opined. The allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore financial pool will spur private sector-driven research and innovation at commercial scale, Shaw maintained.

–IANS

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