Top 10 biz headlines: GST rates for 5-star hotels, oil crisis, and more

GST Council may rationalise rates for five-star hotels in Friday meeting

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is likely rationalise rates for five-star hotels in its meeting on Friday, holding out hopes for a boost to the tourism industry. The fitment panel, comprising Central and state officials, recommended a rate cut for outdoor catering and rate rationalisation for match sticks in its final agenda circulated to the council members. Read More

Rail coach making gets a hand from robots; MCF beats expectations

In 2018-19, when Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli manufactured about 1,500 rail coaches against a capacity of a mere 1,000, it surprised many. Apart from its human workforce, 44 robots are also being credited for this stupendous success.
Robots are now being used increasingly in the integrated-shell assembly line and robotic bogie-fabrication line. Read More

Bain, TPG in talks to buy minority stake in Tata Capital Financial Services

Private equity (PE) firms Bain Capital and TPG Capital are believed to be in preliminary talks on acquiring a minority stake in the Tata group’s Tata Capital Financial Services (TCFSL). According to sources in the know, the Tatas are in discussions with a clutch of PE funds to gauge their interest and may offer anything between 10 and 15 per cent, based on the valuation that it could get for such a transaction. Read More

FDI in coal mining requires better pricing, logistics and regulation

The Union Cabinet’s approval on August 28 for opening commercial coal mining to the 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) gave the impression of major reform in a sector dominated by state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL). Closer inspection suggests that the announcement was part of a continuum of creeping reform in the sector, which began with the auction of captive mines in 2014. Read More

Reserve Bank wants stricter rules for e-commerce payments gateways

E-commerce marketplaces acting as payment gateways and payment aggregators to other merchants will stop the activities in three months unless they separate this business and comply with all regulations, according to a discussion paper released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday. Read More

Three companies show interest to acquire Emami Group's cement arm

Months after the Rs 20,000-crore Emami Group started scouting for a buyer for its group entity, Emami Cement, at least three major cement producers have elicited interest to buy its assets. Read More

India takes guard against rogue drones after Saudi Aramco attack

Following a major drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil installations last week, Indian defence forces and the private sector are taking stock of counter-drone preparedness. On September 14, Yemen’s rebel Houthis targeted two oil plants operated by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in the Gulf nation. Read More

Unique ID Number for Landholdings Soon

India will soon start issuing unique numbers for landholdings as part of an exercise expected to bring transparency and end dubious land ownership, reports Economic Times. The rural development ministry has started work on assigning a standardised unique number for each surveyed plot, a senior government official said. The unique number will have details of the state, district or zilla, tehsil or taluka, block level and street information, wherever applicable, and information about the plot including size and ownership details.

New AI Sale Offer may keep Working Capital Debt Out

The government is likely to consider selling Air India in such a way that the acquirer does not have to take on its working capital debt, thus halving the burden and making it a more attractive prospect, said people with knowledge of the matter, according to Economic Times report. The carrier, which the government is again trying to sell after having failed in 2018, will then be left with just Rs 15,000 crore of debt, for loans taken to buy planes.

Voice Mins Leader Jio to Lose IUC from ’20

Reliance Jio Infocomm has become the new leader in the voice minutes market, with a 36% share, pulling ahead of Bharti Airtel (33.5%) and Vodafone Idea (30.7%), reported Economic Times. The change in rank means the Mukesh Ambani-led company will lose a potential revenue opportunity due to scrapping of interconnect usage charges (IUC) from January 2020, a regulatory decision that Jio had backed and its two rivals opposed, but now stand to benefit from.

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