Top 10 business headlines: Tax dept, Jet Airways crisis, and more

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Tax dept may pitch for lower I-T target when next govt presents Budget

The income-tax (I-T) department will likely pitch for a reduction in the I-T target for the current fiscal year when the next government presents the Budget, because the previous fiscal year’s target was missed. If unchanged, the department may have to chase a personal I-T collection growth rate of 29 per cent, which is even higher than the 26 per cent growth in 2016-17 (FY17), the year of demonetisation and the income-declaration schemes, when collections shot up because people regularised their unaccounted income by paying higher levies. Read more here

Diesel car phase-out won't impact Maruti sales, says R C Bhargava

Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) will pull the plug on diesel cars from April 1, 2020, the day the new Bharat Stage (BS)-VI emission norms take effect and, though they account for almost a third of sales, the move is unlikely to dent the market leader’s volumes, according to R C Bhargava, chairman, MSIL. Bhargava expects the buyer preference to change swiftly in favour of petrol, compressed natural gas (CNG), and other alternative technologies, as diesel cars fall out of favour, owing to the steeper price premium they will command over the gasoline counterparts. Read more here

Jet Airways' fuel use drops 75%, may spell slow burn in ATF sales

The collapse of Jet Airways has not only hurt its employees and put legions of passengers in a fix — it has also dealt a huge blow to the sales of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which was on an unbroken upward trend for 51 months till February 2019. A senior oil-marketing company (OMC) official said that fuel consumption by Jet Airways declined by around 75 per cent in the space of just one month. The grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes has also added to the slump in the overall consumption of ATF. Read more here

Dozens of Indian start-ups in fray to become unicorns in FY19, say experts

India’s unicorn club, or the list of start-ups valued more than a $1 billion each, is not only getting bigger, the pace of achieving this feat has also picked up substantially over the past few months. This is expected to further pick up in the coming months, as the pipeline of such potential unicorns hungry for growth — and funds focusing on sectors that hold immense potential for their future — is said to be at an all-time high. Read more here

First multi-modal terminal faces land, capacity challenges in Varanasi

Last November, the Prime Minister inaugurated the new Multi-Modal Terminal on the Ganges in Varanasi and received the first container cargo via the inland waterway. Since then, only one other cargo container has docked here, and none has departed. The highway and rail connectivity which form the other ‘modes’ of the terminal are yet to be constructed and connected to the water terminal. The root of the delay is the difficulty in acquiring land. Read more here

Corporate credit to grow in next few quarters on working capital needs

Banks are expecting double-digit growth rates in commercial credit in the next few quarters because companies are raising funds. With average capacity utilisation now touching 76 per cent, Indian companies are going back to the drawing board to add capacity but the plans to build new factories and plants are still some months away, say chief executive officers (CEOs). Read more here

Fortis Healthcare remains a critical asset for IHH's global plans

Malaysian health care major IHH Healthcare’s open offer to pick an additional 26 per cent in India’s leading hospital chain Fortis Healthcare remains in limbo with the Supreme Court ordering a status quo on the deal. A look at IHH’s latest financials shows that Fortis is a critical asset not only in its India portfolio but also in its global plans. Read more here 

China takes different route to hide extent of trade surplus with India

Commerce ministry on Friday said that India’s trade deficit with China narrowed by $10 in 2018-19. However, an analysis of trade data shows that China may be pushing its exports through Hong Kong to hide the actual extent of its trade surplus with India. An analysis of data from the commerce ministry’s website shows India’s imports from Hong Kong have risen significantly for the same products that India imports from China. Read more here

Why many Indians are moving to South East Asia to launch their ventures 

Besides charging half the tax rate of that in India, Governments in South East Asia are offering a range of mentorship, seed funding, introduction to investors, faster regulatory clearances and a hands-on approach to solve any and all problems. From funding laptops to providing salary subsidies for experienced hires, the business-friendly atmosphere is omni-present – according to a news report in the Economic Times. Read more here

Robust textile exports help India reduce trade deficit with China

India’s trade deficit with China narrowed down to $53 billion, said Suresh Prabhu, Ministry of commerce on Friday. According to a news report in the Hindu Business Line, this was achieved due to robust export of cotton textiles to China. The recent move by the government to reimburse all State and Central levies on textile exports boosted shipments to major consuming countries. Read more here