Top headlines: CBDT, CBIC merger on cards, China dominates power sector

Topics Top 10 biz headlines | CBDT | CBIC

CBDT and CBIC have independent financial powers to decide how much they would spend on tax generation
The government aims to cost cuts, scientists warns Covid-19 could be airborne and India's IT sector is forced to lay off employees.Here is more on headlines on Monday. 

Govt's cost-cutting drive: Proposal to merge CBDT, CBIC back on the table

As part of the government’s efforts to contain the costs of operations amid increasing revenue loss, the proposal to merge the direct and indirect tax boards is back on the table, with a massive downsizing of the cadre at all levels. These could include a freeze on hiring for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), changes in retirement rules, merging job categories, shifting revenue officers to other departments, and curtailing allowances of employees, said official sources. Read More...

From Tatas to Adani, private players train sights on railway privatisation

The Indian Railways’ move to rope in private players to operate 151 trains has drawn interest from top companies, including Tatas, Adani Group, Alstom, and Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line, the world’s third-largest cruise line in terms of the number of passengers. Industry sources and manufacturers in the sector indicated they got inquiries from the country’s largest airliner, IndiGo, and online travel major MakeMyTrip regarding the possibilities of running a private train in the country. Read More...

Chinese firms dominate power infra in states; industry warns of data breach

Even as the Centre is banning power equipment imports from China citing potential cyberattacks, 25 cities across 12 states have awarded contracts of real-time power supply and data management, communication infrastructure to Chinese companies. Most of these projects are funded under the central scheme for urban power reforms — Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), the erstwhile R-APDRP. Read More...

Brakes on spending: Consumers begin value hunting in FMCG, automobiles

A revival in rural consumption, visible in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and automobiles, is bringing with it a focus on cheaper models and packs, while income uncertainty in urban areas — created by extended lockdowns — is pushing consumers to be frugal. The emphasis, as most FMCG chief executive officers (CEOs) admit, is on essentials and away from discretionary categories. Automobile majors are pointing to a clear shift in buyers opting for entry-level models over premium variants. Read More...

Scientists say Covid-19 is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations

Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with Covid-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. In an open letter to the agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said. Read More...

Self-reliance in full flight: Govt's drone incubation fund set to take off

India is planning to form an incubation fund for the drone industry to make the country self-reliant in drone manufacturing. The move comes in the wake of India’s push to decrease Chinese imports after a military offensive in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. Currently, drones or components manufactured by China form the backbone of India’s drone industry. DJI Drones, a Chinese company, has near monopoly in the domestic drone industry. Read More...

DHFL defaults on NCD repayments of Rs 50 cr over moratorium restrictions

DHFL has defaulted on payment of Rs 50 crore on bonds, saying the company is not in a position to make payments to the lenders as it is under moratorium since last November. The payment has not been made by the company to the respective investors of the secured NCDs (non-convertible debentures) for a principal amount of Rs 50 crore due on July 3, 2020, DHFL said in a regulatory filing. The company is currently under moratorium under the Code (IBC) since November 29, 2019 and hence, it is not in a position to make payment of interest or principal to any of the lenders of the company, including the NCDs holders, DHFL said. Read More...

Covid-19 impact: 10,000 IT professionals may have lost jobs in Q1

Indian IT services firms are learnt to have implemented rigorous employee performance evaluation metrics as most of them are resorting to staff retrenchment to withstand the difficult business environment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to industry insiders, at least 10,000 software professionals in the country might have already lost their jobs in the April-June quarter, while more are expected to lose their jobs in the coming quarters. The April-June quarter is traditionally the appraisal period at IT firms when they conduct performance-based evaluations. Read More...

Covid-19 impact: Six of the top 10 family-owned businesses in the red

Top family-owned business houses were badly hit in the January-March 2020 quarter, especially those with large exposures to telecom and commodity businesses such as oil, gas, metal, and mining. The fourth quarter saw six of India’s 10 largest family-owned groups (in terms of revenues) reporting pre-tax losses at group level. The combined revenues, too, were down 9.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY), one of their worst performances in many years. Read More...

Tech Mahindra to bid for BSNL 4G tender, says Indian companies have capabilities

Tech MahindraNSE 1.13 % will bid for the revised tender to supply the fourth generation (4G) equipment to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) partnering with state-owned ITI and other local companies, which have built expertise in building telecom software and devices, CEO C P Gurnani told ET. Last week, BSNL cancelled the tender to upgrade the existing 4G network across 47,000 sites and building new capability in Delhi and Mumbai for Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) after the government barred state-run telcos from sourcing equipment from Chinese players Huawei and ZTE. ZTE had joined Nokia to bid for the tender, estimated to be around Rs 9,000 crore, reported The Economic Times.

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