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GST rate cuts now benefitting consumers more than before: Survey
Posted on 23rd April 2019
New Delhi: Consumers are of the view that they are benefitting from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate cuts now more than before as businesses and traders increasingly lower prices to the extent of the reduced tax rates, an online survey of 16,000 people has found.

The survey held by online community of consumers Local Circles has shown a steady improvement in customer experience between June 2018 and April 2019 on getting the benefit of tax cuts intended for them. It is often the customer perception that leads them to complain against alleged profiteering by companies by way of not reducing the prices in line with the tax cuts. The trend shown by the survey indicates that prices of household items may soften further.

The survey said 30% people believed in April that they are getting the benefit of tax cuts on items like shampoo, cosmetics and groceries, up from 15% in June 2018 and 27% in January 2019. Federal indirect tax body, the GST Council, had made large-scale tax cuts in the on items such as shampoo, cosmetics, hair oil and groceries from 28% to 18% in November 2017. It had also reduced tax rates applicable to restaurants from 18% to 5% in November 2017. The survey showed that one in three people believe in April that they are benefitting from the tax cuts on restaurants, up from about one in four in June 2018.

The survey also said that 29% of people now believe that companies are passing on the benefit of the July 2018 tax cuts on home appliances to consumers compared to 20% in October 2018. In July 2018, the Council had reduced tax rate from 28% to 18% on refrigerators, washing machines, small televisions and vacuum cleaners. While there is improvement in customer experience, there is still a long way to go in ensuring full benefits reach consumers, the survey indicated. About 40% people still believe they are not getting the benefit of tax cut on home appliances, compared to 47% in October 2018.

The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) set up to ensure that businesses pass on the tax cut relief to consumers has already asked many companies in the FMCG, restaurant and trading business to pay back the alleged profiteered amounts to consumers or to deposit in a consumer welfare fund.

The GST Council chaired by union finance minister and having state ministers as members announced the tax cuts as part of a rationalization of rates after India moved to the more transparent new indirect tax regime in July 2017. In January 2019, the Council slashed tax rates on 22 items, of which seven—including digital cameras, TVs with screen size upto 32 inches and power banks--were from the highest slab of 28%.

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Cipla shareholders approve proposal to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore
Posted on 17th August 2019
Drug major Cipla on Saturday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore through issuance of equity shares or other securities convertible into equity shares.

Drug major Cipla on Saturday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 3,000 crore through issuance of equity shares or other securities convertible into equity shares.

Two RCom promoters pledge 11.5% more stake in Axis Trustee services
Posted on 17th August 2019
Two promoter entities of Reliance Communications (RCom) have pledged 11.5 per cent more stake in favour of Axis Trustee Services, according to regulatory filings.

Reliance Communications Enterprises and Reliance Telecom Infrainvest on August 16 pledged about 11.51 per cent of their holding in Reliance Communications amounting to 31.82 crore shares in favour of Axis Trustee Services acting as security/debenture trustee.

M&M sets up first car assembly plant in Sri Lanka with Ideal Motors
Posted on 17th August 2019
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), along with its local partner in Sri Lanka Ideal Motors, has set up the island nation's first passenger car assembly plant.

The Indian carmaker has set up a joint venture with Ideal Motors, its dealer partner in Sri Lanka for 10 years. The 65:35 JV between Ideal Motors and M&M is christened Mahindra Ideal Lanka Private Limited, which will operate the assembly plant at Welipenna, about 60 km from Colombo.

Sebi imposes restrictions on mutual fund investments in short-term bank deposits
Posted on 17th August 2019
NEW DELHI: Mutual fund houses should ensure that banks -- where a scheme has parked funds in the lender's short-term deposits -- do not invest in that particular scheme, according to Sebi.

The markets watchdog has issued a clarification regarding 'parking of funds in short-term deposits of scheduled commercial banks by mutual funds -- pending deployment'.

Restrictions lifted, landline services partially back in Valley
Posted on 17th August 2019
Srinagar: Restrictions on the movement of people in the Kashmir Valley were eased on Saturday, with landline services restored in some areas of the city, even as stringent security arrangements continued to be in place, officials said.

Seventeen out of a little over 100 telephone exchanges were made operational. These exchanges are mainly in Civil Lines, Cantonment and the airport area of Srinagar district.

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