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Tuesday,28-September-2021

Business

Hike in petrol prices, diesel unchanged

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In relief to transport sector, OMCs raised petrol prices as global cues pushed fuel prices up across the country on Friday adding to common man’s misery, even as he already grapples with high food prices amid shrinking income.

But this time round, the oil companies have only increased the pump price of petrol while keeping diesel rates unchanged to limit the cascading effect of high transport fuel on prices of various other commodities.

Accordingly, the retail price of petrol increased by 35 paise per litre in the national capital on Friday to Rs 99.16 while diesel prices maintained previous days price line of Rs 89.18 a litre.

With the rise, petrol prices have reached very close to hitting the century mark all across the country extending the scope of historic high prices that had already made the fuel rate cross the Rs 100 per litre mark in certain cities and towns of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh.

The latest price rise has also brought Chennai in the list of metro cities hitting the century mark with petrol. The fuel is now priced at Rs 100.13 a litre in the city. Mumbai is the other metro city where petrol prices have crossed the century mark and reached Rs 105.24 a litre.

The price of petrol is very close to hitting century even in Delhi and Kolkata.

Across the country as well petrol prices increased on Friday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.

Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan has highest level of fuel prices in the country. Petrol is priced there at Rs 110.40 a litre while diesel is at Rs 102.42 a litre on Friday.

With the day’s price hike, fuel prices have now increased on 33 days and remained unchanged on 30 days since May 1. The 33 increases has taken up petrol prices by Rs 8.77 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel have increased by Rs 8.45 per litre in the national capital.

With global crude prices also rising on a pick up demand and depleting inventories of worlds largest fuel guzzler — the US, retail prices of fuel in India is expected to firm up further in coming days.

The benchmark Brent crude reached multi-year high level of over $76 on the Intercontinental Exchange.

Business

IFIN to sell 62 NPA accounts worth Rs 4.3K cr

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 IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) has put its non performing asset (NPA) portfolio of approx Rs 4,300 crore up for sale as part of plan to bring down overall group level debt.

The sale of NPA would be done under Swiss Challenge with the new board already having received a binding bid.

Under this method of bidding, the seller who have already received a bid, publishes the bid and invite third parties to match or better it. The process also allows the entity which submitted the first bid then to match or better the best bid which comes out of the Swiss challenge process.

IFIN’s sale of NPA book includes 62 accounts aggregating to total outstanding principal of Rs 4,297 crore. Bids have been invited from eligible applicants for purchasing the entire sale asset book comprising all of the 62 accounts.

The public process of inviting bids was launched on Monday and the sale would be concluded on cash consideration basis. The last date for submission of bids is October 19, 2021.

IFIN has an asset under management of around Rs 18,000 crore involving external and internal loans and investments.

The sale of external corporate loans is part of the resolution process of the overall debt.

IFIN is a 100 per cent subsidiary of IL&FS and is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a systemically important non-deposit accepting non-banking finance company.

IL&FS group had total outstanding debt over Rs 90,000 crore. The new team is resolving some these through a strategy of asset sale and combing resources of other entities.

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Service given by corporate offices to their branches taxable

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In what may pose challenge to companies having wider spread of employees and branches all across the country, an authority for advance ruling (AAR) had said that managerial and leadership services by a corporate office to its group companies and other construction sites registered in different states is considered as supply of service and would be taxable under GST.

This would mean companies having separate GST registration for its head offices and branches would need to pay GST on the services that a head offices gives to its branches and receive payment for it.

The order on the issue came from Maharashtra AAR or MAAR on application filed by Pune-based B.G. Shirke Construction Technology Private Limited.

The company supplied managerial and leadership services to its branch office and group companies, and received fixed monthly charges from each of them. It asked MAAR whether it is liable to pay tax on such service which gave its order on affirmative going by a similar order given Karnataka AAR on a separate application. This application is now pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Though AAR orders are valid only for the applicants, tax officials use it for other matters as well. These timings also form the basis for amendment to rules of taxation

According to the tax experts, the present ruling with respect to head offices and their branch operations would create a lot of confusion over the issue of valuation of services rendered and valuation taxes.

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India needs 4-5 more SBI sized banks: FM

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 India needs a lot more banks and a lot more large sized ones to meet the growing needs of the country needs in the path of making a smart recovery post pandemic disruptions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.

Speaking at 74th Annual General Meeting of Indian Banks’ Association at Mumbai, Sitharaman said there was an urgent need to scale up banking to meet the growing needs of the industry and also to ensure that all economic centres of the country are covered with at least one physical or digital banking presence.

“We need to scale up banking. The need is for at least four-five more SBI sized banks,” she said, while reminding that the amalgamation exercise among public sector banks have helped in moving ahead with creation of large banks.

Having done two rounds of bank consolidation earlier, the Central government in 2019 decided to merge six disparate and weak PSBs into four in one stroke.

Accordingly, Punjab National Bank (PNB) took over Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India; Allahabad Bank became part of Indian Bank; Canara Bank subsumed Syndicate Bank; and Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank merged with Union Bank of India. Earlier, State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate banks while Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank were merged with Bank of Baroda.

Sitharaman lauded the efforts of the PSBs to see through that the amalgamation of banks during the pandemic period was completed without any inconvenience to customers.

She said that that in the post pandemic world, hanks would need to change their mindset and the way they conduct their businesses.

Digitisation, the Finance Minister said has changed a lot of how businesses are done and banks will now need to think futuristically and keep pace with evolving technology.

Sitharaman also asked the IBA to conduct a digitised mapping of each district of the country with regard to presence of bank branch operation and their location. This, she said, would help to plug areas of gaps with no banking presence effectively.

“Not necessary to have physical banking presence everywhere. The country’s optic fibre network has covered two-third of about 7.5 lakh panchayats. This could be used to deliver banking services in unconnected areas as well,” the Finance Minister said.

She also asked banks to develop models and better understanding of businesses focused on exports as country has set a $2 trillion export target by 2030.

With regard funding for the infra sector, she said that a government sector development financial institution (DFI) is coming up soon.

Sitharaman said that Indian economy is at a critical stage of a reset and banks would form the backbone for it by providing best of the financial services.

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