Top headlines: Google Tax stumps foreign firms, Unlock 3 ends night curfew

Several foreign universities are wondering if sharing their research papers or findings online behind paywall will attract the Google tax, with the law largely unclear on many things.
RBI ahead of the curve; govt and bureaucracy behind: Viral Acharya

A year after he left the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), months before his three-year tenure finished, Viral Acharya, former deputy governor, in his latest book has described how fiscal dominance is the biggest bane of the banking system in India. In an interview with Tamal Bandyopadhyay, Acharya says why some weak public sector banks should be “re-privatised” and foreign banks should be allowed a larger play. Read More...

'Not clear at all': Google tax sends foreign firms looking for answers

Several foreign universities are wondering if sharing their research papers or findings online behind paywall will attract the Google tax, with the law largely unclear on many things. There are other unanswered questions such as are foreign banks with users in India liable to pay the tax, called equalisation levy, for charges levied on online transactions? These queries on the scope of the law, tax liability, and double taxation have puzzled non-resident entities and the government has ruled out issuing clarifications through ‘frequently asked questions’. Read More...

'They have too much power': US lawmakers grill Big Tech as Trump weighs in

A much-anticipated congressional hearing featuring the CEOs of four of America's largest tech firms kicked off on Wednesday afternoon in a confrontation that promises a healthy dose of political theatre, while also offering a window into the thinking of lawmakers trying to rein in Big Tech. Facebook Inc's Mark Zuckerberg, Inc's Jeff Bezos, Alphabet Inc-owned Google's Sundar Pichai and Apple Inc's Tim Cook--who together represent about $5 trillion of the U.S. economy--are appearing via videoconference before the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel. President Donald Trump, who has clashed with several of the biggest tech companies, on Wednesday threatened to take action against them. Read More...

Unlock 3: Night curfew ends, no schools till August 31, gyms can reopen

The Centre on Wedenesday issued fresh guidelines as part of ‘Unlock 3’ — the Covid-19-related lifting of restrictions — which scrapped night curfew and allowed gyms and yoga institutes to reopen from August 5. The goverment ignored demands by cinema hall owners for reopening. Theatres, bars, and places of congregation will also remain shut. As part of ‘Unlock 2’, night curfew was in place from 10 pm to 5 am. This has now been done away with. The move will allow shops, malls, and other establishments to remain open after 10 pm, but not many in the industry were enthused by the relaxation given the poor sales. Other restrictions continue, at least till August 31. Read More...

Fed pledges to keep rates near zero, says recovery will depend on Covid-19

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday repeated a pledge to use its "full range of tools" to support the US economy and keep interest rates near zero for as long as it takes to recover from the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, saying the path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. All members of the Fed's policy-setting committee voted to leave the target range for short-term interest rates at between 0 per cent and 0.25 per cent, where it has been since March 15 when the novel coronavirus was beginning to hit the nation. Read More...

Education policy 2020: Foreign colleges can now set up campuses in India

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, paving the way for foreign universities to set up operations in India, among other measures. While experts are unsure about the immediate impact, allowing the top 200 foreign universities to operate in India could raise the standards of their Indian counterparts, many believe. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programmes, low stakes board exams, and common entrance exams for universities are among the other highlights of the new National Education Policy (NEP) approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. Read More...

Govt extends deadline for filing income tax returns for FY19 till Sept 30

The government on Wednesday extended the deadline for filing income tax returns for 2018-19 fiscal by two months till September 30. "In view of the constraints due to the Covid pandemic & to further ease compliances for taxpayers, CBDT extends the due date for filing of Income Tax Returns for FY 2018-19 (AY 2019-20) from 31st July, 2020 to 30th September, 2020, the Income Tax Department said in a tweet. Read More...

Maruti Suzuki posts 1st quarterly consolidated loss in 17 yrs at Rs 268 cr

Auto major Maruti Suzuki on Wednesday reported a consolidated loss of Rs 268.3 crore for the June quarter of FY21 (Q1FY21) as compared to profit of Rs 1,376.8 crore reported in the corresponding quarter last year This was the company's first quarterly loss since becoming public 17 years ago. The numbers, according to the company, were 'adversely impacted' by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown announced to contain its spread. Although, the company's losses were partially off-set by lower operating expenses and higher fair-value gain on the invested surplus. Read More...

Amul widens the brand pitch amid lockdown as it looks to reinvent itself

Even as many food and beverage (F&B) brands have struggled to locate their voice and supply chain during the lockdown, dairy major Amul, managed by Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has been on an accelerated treadmill of new product launches and brand extensions along with an uninterrupted advertising calendar. From immunity boosting milk to Indian sweets, exotic chocolates and biscuits and most recently, a holy drink (panchamrit or the five-ingredient nectar) offered in temples and shrines during festivals, Amul has followed an aggressive media and launch schedule through the past months. Read More...

275 more Chinese apps on India's radar, list includes PubG, Resso

India has drawn up a list of 275 Chinese apps that it will examine for any violation of national security and user privacy, signalling heightened scrutiny and the possibility of more Chinese internet companies being banned in the country, according to people aware of the developments. This follows the high-profile ban of 59 Chinese apps last month, including short video app TikTok, amid simmering geopolitical tensions between the two Asian giants. The list, reviewed by ET, includes gaming app PubG backed by China’s most valuable internet major Tencent, Zili by phonemaker Xiaomi, AliExpress by ecommerce giant Alibaba as well as apps like Resso and ULike from TikTok-owner ByteDance. “The government may ban all, some or none from the list,” said one person cited above according to the Economic Times.

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