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Energy giant Cairn wins high-profile $ 1.2 b tax dispute case against India

LONDON, Dec 23: Energy major Cairn announced on Wednesday that the tribunal established to rule on its claim against the Indian government over a high-profile tax dispute has unanimously ruled in its favour and has awarded it $1.2 billion plus interest and costs.

Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy said its claim was brought under the terms of the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty, the legal seat of the tribunal was the Netherlands, and the proceedings were under the registry of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The case had gone into arbitration in 2015 when Cairn Energy contested a demand from Indian tax authorities for $1.4 billion owed on capital gains related to the 2007 listing of its Indian unit.

Bloodbath in markets today as Sensex, Nifty plunge

MUMBAI, Dec 21: The markets in India suffered a massive loss as the Sensex crashed more than 1,400 points on Monday, and the Nifty ended 3.14% lower at 13,328.40, wiping out six straight sessions of gains. The losses come as a new strain of the coronavirus in the UK clobbered global markets and cast a cloud over the economic recovery expected next year.

All Sensex components ended in the red, with ONGC leading the pack by tumbling 9.15 per cent. IndusInd Bank, M&M, SBI, NTPC, ITC, Axis Bank and PowerGrid shed up to 6.98 per cent. The market capitalisation of all BSE-listed companies dropped by Rs 6.59 lakh crore to stand at Rs 178.79 lakh crore.

All BSE sectoral indices also closed lower, with metal, oil and gas, utilities, realty, basic materials, industrials, power and bankex falling as much as 6.05 per cent. At the BSE, 2,433 companies declined, while 592 advanced and 167 remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, the rupee also plunged by 23 paise to end at a two-week low of 73.79 against the US dollar on Monday following a massive selloff in domestic equities.

Here are the developments which led to sentiments driving the market crash today:

1) Fresh lockdown has been imposed in the United Kingdom to curb the spread of new strain of coronavirus which the authorities have admitted is spreading rapidly.

2) Following the lockdown, the European shares opened lower on fears of economy taking a U-turn again if businesses are shut to control the new variant.

3) Many countries including India, Russia, Germany, Italy, Ireland have suspended all flight operations from and to the UK.

4) Also, the overhang on Brexit talks also contributed to the negative sentiments of the investors. Further lack of depth in the market owing to holiday season aided to the big fall

5) Experts fear that if the new variant spreads further the markets could fall further over fears of economic stability.

Unitech Founder Ramesh Chandra, Sons Face CBI Case For Bank Fraud

NEW DELHI, Dec 6: The CBI has registered a case against Ramesh Chandra, the founder of real estate company Unitech Limited, and his sons - Sanjay and Ajay Chandra - for allegedly defrauding Canara Bank of ₹ 198 crore.

In a complaint filed last month the bank had said Unitech - which had been a customer since 1971 and availed various credit facilities - had defaulted on multiple payments.

The complaint stated that a Supreme Court-ordered forensic audit of Unitech's accounts revealed ₹ 14,270 crore had been collected from 29,800 home buyers. However, ₹ 5,036.05 crore of this amount had not been utilised for the construction of 74 identified residential projects.

Similarly, the audit revealed that Unitech secured ₹ 1,805.86 crore from six financial institutions (including Canara Bank) and, of this, ₹ 763.0 crore had not been correctly utilised.

The bank also cited the forensic report to allege that between 2007 and 2010 three Unitech subsidiary companies had made investments of ₹ 1,745.81 crore in 10 companies in Cyprus.

"Unitech has committed breach of trust and, without any authority to deal with mortgaged properties, has illegally and with malicious manner created third-party rights, thereby clearly diverting receivables for their personal gain," Canara Bank said in its complaint.

Unitech's account with Canara Bank was classified as a NPA (non-performing asset) in March 2017.

That same month Sanjay and Ajay Chandra were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly cheating home buyers by not handing over flats even though the company had been paid.

Last month the Delhi High Court refused to extend interim bail of one month granted to Ajay Chandra due to the illness of his wife who was suffering from COVID-19. The court noted that the Supreme Court had been seized of the matter and there was no ground to extend interim bail.

In July the top court gave Sanjay Chandra bail after it was told his parents were severely ill and had been hospitalised. The court was told Ramesh Chandra, 79, had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Sensex Breaches 45k Mark; Nifty crosses 13,280

MUMBAI, Dec 4: The Indian market benchmarks are trading at record highs and as many as eight stocks - Asian Paints, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Titan and UltraTech Cement - hit their fresh 52-week highs on December 4.

Sensex hit an all-time high of 45148.28 and Nifty made a fresh high at 13,280.05 in intraday trade. Finally, Sensex settled with a gain of 447 points, or 1 percent, at 45,079.55 and Nifty ended at 13,258.55, 125 points or 0.95 percent higher.

The market is riding the optimism with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine while the RBI MPC today signalled that the growth is coming back gradually.

The RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the rural economy looks resilient.

"Government borrowings have been smooth so far and corporate bond spreads have narrowed to pre-pandemic levels. RBI's role as debt manager and banker to the government was tested to the hilt. Nascent signs of recovery are visible in H2FY21," he said.

He underscored that the signs of recovery are far from being broad-based and dependent on sustained policy support. A small window is available for proactive supply management strategies, Das said.

"It was hence decided to maintain the status quo in policy rates. The year 2020 has been extremely challenging and our determination to fight and overcome stood out in this difficult year," Das said.

"Projection for H2FY21 is positive +0.1 percent for Q3 against -5.6 percent earlier and +0.7 percent for Q4 against +0.5 percent earlier. Real GDP growth for FY21 projected at -7.5 percent," said Das.

GST collection crosses Rs 1 lakh crore again in November

NEW DELHI, Dec 1: Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exceeded Rs 1 lakh crore for the second consecutive month at Rs104,963 crore in November, posting a 1.4% annualised growth. The revenue, however, fell marginally by 0.18% compared to Rs 105,155 crore collected in the previous month.

GST collections have, however, shown positive growth for the third month in a row after remaining in contraction mode for six months, indicating signs of economic recovery since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped India and forced a national lockdown in March this year, according to official data released on Tuesday.

“In line with the recent trend of recovery in the GST revenues, the revenues for the month of November 2020 are 1.4% higher than the GST revenues in the same month last year,” Union finance ministry said in a statement.

The gross GST revenue collected in the month of November, 2020, is Rs 104,963 crore of which Central GST (CGST) is Rs19,189 crore, state GST (SGST) is Rs25,540 crore, Integrated GST (IGST) is Rs51,992 crore (including Rs 22,078 crore collected on import of goods), it said.

The collection of compensation cess this month is Rs 8,242 crore, including Rs 809 crore collected on import of goods, it said. The cess collection has shown a marginal increase of about 3% compared to Rs 8,011 crore in October 2020. At the time of introducing the new indirect tax regime in July 2017, the GST law assured states a 14% increase in their annual revenue for five years (up to 2022) and their revenue shortfall should be made good through the compensation cess levied on luxury goods and in products such as liquor, cigarettes, aerated water, automobiles, coal and other tobacco products.

Based on a sharp decline in the GST revenue collections due to implementation issues and sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the GST Council in August estimated a total revenue shortfall for 2020-21 at Rs 2.35 lakh crore. Out of the total amount, Rs 1.10 lakh crore is estimated shortfall in the current financial year because of the implementation issues.

The government has settled Rs 22,293 crore to CGST and Rs 16,286 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. “The total revenue earned by Central Government and the state governments after regular settlement in the month of November 2020 is Rs41,482 crore for CGST and Rs41,826 crore for the SGST,” it said.

Sensex surges 506 points to new closing high; Nifty tops 13,100

NEW DELHI, Dec 1: Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 506 points to close at a fresh lifetime high on Tuesday, backed by gains in IT and finance stocks amid persistent foreign capital inflows.

A strengthening rupee and positive leads from other Asian markets too influenced market sentiment, traders said.

The 30-share BSE index ended 505.72 points or 1.15 per cent higher at 44,655.44.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 140.10 points or 1.08 per cent to close at 13,109.05.

Sun Pharma was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising over 5 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, ICICI Bank and Bajaj Auto.

On the other hand, Kotak Bank, Nestle India, Titan, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and NTPC were among the laggards.

Sector-wise, BSE realty, telecom and teck indices rose up to 3.49 per cent.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets as they purchased shares worth Rs 7,712.98 crore on Friday, according to provisional exchange data.

The rupee strengthened 37 paise to close at 73.68 against the US dollar.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul ended with significant gains.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading mixed in early deals.

India’s economy recovered faster than expected in the September quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 per cent, official data showed on Friday.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, was trading 0.10 per cent lower at USD 47.83 per barrel.

 

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