Top 10 biz headlines: Direct tax code, GST evasion, RCom dues, and more

Finance Ministry asks direct tax code panel to revise existing I-T slabs

The finance ministry has asked the direct tax code (DTC) panel to revise the existing income-tax (I-T) slabs, especially in the 20 per cent bracket, said a senior government official privy to the development. The panel has sought three months to incorporate the suggestions.

This suggestion was given when the task force for re-writing direct tax legislation met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, a day ahead of the scheduled submission of the DTC draft report. Read more here

SBI has found fraud worth Rs 7,951.3cr in April-December: RTI reply

The State Bank Group has said as much as Rs 7,951.29 crore involving 1,885 cases of fraudulent activities have come to light during the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

In an RTI reply, the nation's largest lender said, the first quarter reported 669 cases of fraudulent activities amounting to Rs 723.06 crore, the second quarter saw 660 cases involving an Rs 4,832.42 crore and the third quarter reported 556 cases amounting to Rs 2,395.81-crore. Read more here 

Pakistan airspace a no-go, airlines in spot over cost of diverting flights

The escalation of military tension between India and Pakistan is set to have an adverse impact on the aviation industry, which is already under stress. Wednesday’s decision on closure of airspace in Pakistan and parts of northern India will force airlines to cancel or divert some flights, thereby pushing up cost. Read more here

Rs 20,000 cr GST evasion detected in April-Feb FY19, half recovered

The government has detected Rs 20,000 crore worth GST evasion so far this fiscal and will take more steps to check frauds and increase compliance, a senior tax officer said Wednesday.

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Member (Investigation) John Joseph further said the department would soon call a meeting of the representatives of the real estate sector to understand transition issues faced by the sector post reduction in GST rates. Read more here

Centre to conduct 5G auction this year, panel working on pricing

The Centre said it stands firm on its proposal of conducting spectrum auction in 2019, and will start planning for it from June.

This comes at a time when telecom majors — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea — have expressed their reservations over participation as the two incumbents are in a financial stress. Read more here

Banks oppose RCom's proposal to use tax refunds to pay Ericsson dues

The troubles for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) seem to be compounding as the company’s financial creditors, including the State Bank of India (SBI), have opposed its bid to withdraw tax refunds lying in a bank account.

Nearly 44 banks, including SBI are trustees of the bank account in which RCom’s tax refunds worth nearly Rs 260 crore lie. Read more here

Jet Airways grounds 7 more planes due to non-payment of lease rentals

Crisis-hit Jet Airways Wednesday said seven more aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of lease rentals.

So far this month, as many as 13 planes of the company have been grounded on account of non-payment of rentals to lessors. Read more here

Mukesh Ambani world's 10th richest with networth of $54 bn: Hurun Report

With a networth of $54 billion, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has broken into the global top 10 richest billionaire list complied by Hurun Research. 

"The only Asian in the Top 10, Ambani's wealth is based on telecom, retail and energy, and bucked the poor stock market trend in India last year," Hurun Research said in a statement. Read more here

Centre seeks temporary stay on eviction of 1.89 mn forest-dwelling families

The Union government on Wednesday filed a plea before the Supreme Court (SC) to modify its February 13 order and permit states to temporarily withhold forcible eviction of around 1.89 million tribal and other forest-dwelling families. The case will be heard on Thursday.

The Centre pleaded that the three-judge Bench give states a chance to file detailed affidavits on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Read more here

42 more cancer drugs under price control, profit margin cap at 30%

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has said the profit margin of some anti-cancer drugs has been capped at 30 per cent. The authority has invoked the “extraordinary powers” it had used to cap prices of coronary stents, the NPPA said in a notification.

Non-scheduled formulations of 42 drugs, which are used to treat cancer have been brought under the price cap. Read more

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