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FM Nirmala Sitharaman holds pre-Budget meeting with finance ministers of states

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman holds pre-Budget meeting with finance ministers of states

New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman chaired pre-Budget consultations with the Finance Ministers of states and Union Territories to take their views on board for the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25 here on Saturday.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary, Chief Ministers of Goa, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim; Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana; State Finance Ministers and other Ministers; and Senior Officers from the States and Union Territories (with Legislature) and the Union Government.

This will be followed by the 53rd meeting of the GST (Goods & Services Tax) Council on Saturday of which the finance ministers of states and UTs are also members.

The GST Council is likely to deliberate on key issues such as the taxes on fertilisers and the inputs of chemicals used for making fertilisers and taxation on online gaming. The need for an amendment to overrule retrospective tax demands and a possible exemption for reinsurance is also likely to be taken up.

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The council may discuss the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers to reduce GST on raw materials used to manufacture fertiliser in order to correct the inverted duty structure.

At present GST at a rate of five per cent is charged on fertilisers, while raw materials like Sulphuric Acid and Ammonia face a higher GST of 18 per cent.

A reduction in tax on the import of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services for foreign airlines in India which are currently taxed at 18 per cent may also be taken up for consideration.

–IANS

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Elon Musk, Vinod Khosla trade barbs as Biden quits presidential race

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Elon Musk, Vinod Khosla trade barbs as Biden quits presidential race

Elon Musk, Vinod Khosla trade barbs as Biden quits presidential race

San Francisco, July 22 (IANS) Elon Musk and ace venture capitalist Vinod Khosla on Monday got engaged in a public spat on X social media platform after US President Joe Biden dropped out of the US Presidential race.

Khosla, an Indian-American investor, came out against former US President Donald Trump, saying it is hard for him to support someone with “no values, lies, cheats, rapes, demeans women, hates immigrants like me”.

“He (Trump) may cut my taxes or reduce some regulation but that is no reason to accept depravity in his personal values. Do you want a President who will set back climate by a decade in his first year? Do you want his example for your kids as values?” asked Khosla.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO replied, saying Trump doesn’t hate him.

“In fact, I think he likes you. Meet him and find out for yourself. I’m not suggesting that Trump is without flaws, however we need an administration that is more likely to be meritocratic and promote individual freedoms over the heavy hand of government,” the tech billionaire argued.

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Musk further said that many years ago, that was the Democratic Party, but now, “the pendulum has swung to the Republican Party”.

Khosla replied, saying he agrees with meritocracy and promotes individual freedoms.

“But abandon climate and “drill baby drill? Be MAGA (Make America Great Again) and abandon NATO and American leadership and moral authority? I was a socially liberal registered fiscal Republican till climate made me switch to Independent,” posted the top investor in Silicon Valley.

Musk continued to support Trump, saying civilisation does need oil and gas for quite some time.

“I don’t think we should demonise an industry that is essential for humanity to function. However, as you know, sustainable energy production and consumption is growing very rapidly and is tracking to exceed use of hydrocarbon fuels. That will happen no matter what Trump does,” Musk emphasised.

He further said that for NATO, the amount contributed by the United States is “absurdly higher than other allies”.

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“Why are American taxpayers paying for the defense of Europe when Europe is fully capable of doing so itself?” said Musk.

–IANS

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Stock markets see volatility as Biden drops out of US presidential race

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Stock markets see volatility as Biden drops out of US presidential race

Stock markets see volatility as Biden drops out of US presidential race

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) With US President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race for the White House, stock markets worldwide, including in Asia, may see a volatile period ahead, experts said on Monday.

The news has injected uncertainty into the outlook for markets at an increasingly critical juncture.

Asia-Pacific stock markets fell this morning, with Japan’s Nikkei 225, South Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s S&P 200 slipping up to 0.5 per cent.

“Asian stocks fell after Joe Biden ended his reelection campaign and endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris. The question for investors is whether to stick with Trump trade now that Biden has dropped his bid for reelection,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

Online betting site PredictIT showed pricing for a victory by Trump had fallen 3 cents to 61 cents, while Harris climbed 11 cents to 38 cents.

China’s central bank unexpectedly cut a key policy rate to support the country’s ailing economy, just days after a flurry of data showed that a lopsided recovery might have lost some steam.

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“China released a policy document on Sunday, outlining known ambitions, from developing advanced industries to improving the business environment, with analysts spotting no sign of imminent structural shifts in the world’s second biggest economy,” said Jasani.

The US stock market finished down on Friday, with the tech sector under pressure last week.

The S&P 500’s tech sector fell a sharp 1.3 per cent, deepening its weekly slump to 5.1 per cent.

“The market is expected to remain volatile. Hold your positions with a trailing stop-loss. Any dip will be a buying opportunity as the overall trend remains bullish,” said analysts.

–IANS

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman to present Economic Survey 2023-24 in Parliament today

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman to present Economic Survey 2023-24 in Parliament today

FM Nirmala Sitharaman to present Economic Survey 2023-24 in Parliament today

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will release the Economic Survey 2023-24 on Monday, the first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The document has been prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and formulated under the supervision of the Chief Economic Adviser.

It is a report card on the economy and presents the growth outlook. The survey gives a detailed account of the state of the economy, prospects and policy challenges.

The Economic Survey provides statistical information and analysis on various sectors of the economy as well as data on employment, GDP growth, inflation, and the budget deficit.

The Ministry of Finance said in a post on X on Sunday that Chief Economic Adviser Dr V. Anantha Nageswaran will address the media in the afternoon after the Economic Survey 2023-24 is presented in the Lok Sabha.

The survey usually comes out on January 31, a day before the Finance Minister presents the Union Budget. As per the norm laid out in the Constitution, in election years, the government presents a shorter report titled ‘The Indian Economy – A Review’ and tables an interim budget in February.

ALSO READ:  Morgan Stanley raises India's GDP growth estimate to 6.8 pc for 2025

This year’s Budget will be keenly watched as several major economies in the world have been struggling. India, on the other hand, has retained its tag as the fastest-growing economy/.

The Economic Survey will be presented at a time when the IMF has just raised its economic growth forecast for the country for FY25 to 7 per cent from 6.8 per cent projected in April. In June, the Reserve Bank of India revised the growth forecast to 7.2 from 7 per cent. According to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, if the average growth India recorded over the three years is seen, the average comes to 8.3 per cent. In the current year, they have given a projection of 7.2 per cent growth.

The Union Budget will focus on supporting consumption via higher allocation for the rural economy, welfare schemes, and agriculture with higher allocations for schemes like PMAY and MNREGA, according to rating agencies. It expects a focus on manufacturing and capex to continue as the government is likely to retain its interim budget’s target of capex and an increase in PLI allocation to more labour-intensive sectors like textiles, leather footwear and toys to aid job creation.

ALSO READ:  Govt issues guidelines for using Green Hydrogen as fuel in trucks, buses

–IANS

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Union Budget: Economic Survey 2023-2024 to be presented on Monday

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Union Budget: Economic Survey 2023-2024 to be presented on Monday

Union Budget: Economic Survey 2023-2024 to be presented on Monday

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The government will present the Economic Survey 2023-2024 on Monday, ahead of the much-anticipated Union Budget 2024-25 a day later.

The Ministry of Finance said in a post on X on Sunday that Chief Economic Adviser Dr V. Anantha Nageswaran will address the media in the afternoon after the Economic Survey 2023-24 is presented in the Lok Sabha.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will table the pre-budget document in the Parliament. The document has been prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and formulated under the supervision of the Chief Economic Adviser.

A report card on the economy and also the growth outlook ahead, the survey gives a detailed account of the state of the economy, prospects and policy challenges.

The Economic Survey provides statistical information and analysis on various sectors of the economy as well as data on employment, GDP growth, inflation, and the budget deficit.

ALSO READ:  Morgan Stanley raises India's GDP growth estimate to 6.8 pc for 2025

India has retained its tag as the fastest-growing economy, and the economic survey will be presented at a time when the IMF has just raised its economic growth forecast for the country for FY25 to 7 per cent from 6.8 per cent projected in April. In June, the Reserve Bank of India revised the growth forecast to 7.2 from 7 per cent.

According to RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, if the average growth India recorded over the three years is seen, the average comes to 8.3 per cent and in the current year, they have given a projection of 7.2 per cent growth.

The Union Budget will focus on supporting consumption via higher allocation for the rural economy, welfare schemes, and agriculture with higher allocations for schemes like PMAY and MNREGA, according to rating agencies. It expects a focus on manufacturing and capex to continue as the government is likely to retain its interim budget’s target of capex and an increase in PLI allocation to more labour-intensive sectors like textiles, leather footwear and toys to aid job creation.

ALSO READ:  Raymond's board okays demerger of real estate business

–IANS

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EY likely to probe alleged assault charge against Vulcan Green Steel CEO

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EY likely to probe alleged assault charge against Vulcan Green Steel CEO

EY likely to probe alleged assault charge against Vulcan Green Steel CEO

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) After Vulcan Green Steel (VGS), a Jindal Group company, sent a senior executive, facing charges of alleged assault by a female flight passenger, on administrative leave, sources said on Sunday that leading consulting firm EY has likely been hired by the company for the probe into the matter.

According to sources, if found guilty, Dinesh Kumar Saraogi, who is the CEO of Vulcan Green Steel, is likely to be sacked.

The Oman-based company is the steel arm of Vulcan Green, which is part of the Naveen Jindal-led Group of companies.

Meanwhile, based on a complaint by the woman’s parents, the Bidhannagar City Police in Kolkata on Sunday registered a case against Saraogi under various sections of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS).

In a statement on Saturday, Vulcan Green Steel had said they are concerned about the recent allegations involving a senior executive in our company.

“We recognise the gravity of the situation and are committed to addressing it with utmost seriousness, care, integrity, and urgency,” said the company.

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It further said that in line with its zero-tolerance policy and to ensure a fair and independent review, “the executive has been placed on administrative leave”.

“To maintain impartiality, we are appointing an independent credible third party to lead the investigation,” said Vulcan Green Steel.

On Friday, industrialist Naveen Jindal said that the strictest and necessary action will be taken if the allegation is proven.

The woman had alleged that Saraogi sexually assaulted her on an Etihad flight from Kolkata to Abu Dhabi on Thursday. In a social media post on X, the woman shared the incident that happened with her on the Etihad flight from Kolkata to Abu Dhabi (transit to Boston).

According to the woman, she was seated next to Saraogi. “He must be roughly 65 in age and told me he now lives in Oman but travels frequently. He started chatting me up — very normal conversation about our roots, family, etc. He is from Churu in Rajasthan and both sons are married and settled in the US, etc,” she posted. “The conversation moved to what my hobbies are. He asked if I enjoy watching movies and I was like of course. He then proceeds to tell me he has some movie clips on his phone. He whips out his phone and earphones to show me PORN!” she alleged in a post on X. She was left frozen in “shock and scare.”

ALSO READ:  Morgan Stanley raises India's GDP growth estimate to 6.8 pc for 2025

“He started groping me. I was frozen in shock and scare. I eventually ran off to the washroom and complained to the air staff. Thankfully, the Etihad team was very proactive and took action immediately. They made me sit at their seating area and served me tea and fruits,” she further wrote.

The woman said that she could not proceed with a complaint because she would have missed her connecting flight to Boston. Naveen Jindal responded to her on X, saying: “I have asked the team to immediately investigate the matter and thereafter, strictest and necessary action will be taken”.

–IANS

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