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Anil Ambani's RCom stocks jump after Mukesh Ambani bails him out on Ericsson dues

Shares of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) were locked in the upper circuit on Tuesday after his elder brother Mukesh Ambani helped pay off the debt owed to Sweden's Ericsson.

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson received Rs 4.62 billion ($67.42 million) from RCom as unpaid dues from a deal it had signed in 2014, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, who controls oil-to-telecoms powerhouse Reliance Industries, appears to have offered support to ensure Anil Ambani paid off total dues of Rs 5.5 billion ($80 million) to Ericsson.

The nature of the backing or how it was delivered was unclear, but in a statement, Anil Ambani thanked his billionaire brother "for standing by me during these trying times, and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support".

RCom called off the sale of its telecom assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm, the mobile telecoms firm controlled by Mukesh Ambani, citing failure to get approvals from lenders and the government.

The Supreme Court had last month ordered Anil Ambani and two RCom directors to pay Rs Ericsson 4.5 billion within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.

GST Council may consider implementation of lower tax rates for real estate

The all-powerful GST Council in its 34th meeting to be held Tuesday is expected to take up several issues on priority including the implementation of lower Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for the real estate sector.

The meeting is likely to deliberate only the transition provision and related issues for the implementation of lower GST rates for the real estate sector, sources said, adding, no issues related to rate is in the agenda as the model code of conduct is in force.

The previous meeting held on February 24 saw the Council slash tax rates for under-construction flats to five percent and affordable homes to one percent from April 1, 2019.

GST Council is also expected to give its nod on new rules for determining how much credit builders can use against taxes paid on raw materials and services in settling their final tax liability as the sector shifts to a new tax regime from April 1, sources told news agency PTI.

Currently, the goods and services tax (GST) is levied at 12 percent with an input tax credit (ITC) on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats where completion certificate is not issued at the time of sale. For affordable housing units, the existing tax rate is 8 percent.

The new rules are expected to specify under what circumstances sale transactions initiated in the current tax regime but concluded after April 1, will be eligible for Input Tax Credit on taxes paid on raw materials and services.

GST collections in February failed to touch the Rs 1 lakh crore, forcing the government to lower its GST collection target for the current fiscal to Rs 11.47 lakh crore in the Revised Estimates from 13.71 lakh crore budgeted earlier.

IndiGo to start daily flights on three new routes from April

Budget carrier IndiGo Friday said it will start daily flights on three new routes -- Chennai-Raipur, Hyderabad-Gorakhpur, and Kolkata-Gorakhpur -- from April.

The carrier also said that April onwards, it will add more flights on the Chennai-Trivandrum, Bengaluru-Mangalore, Bengaluru-Udaipur and Bengaluru-Chennai routes.

"We are very excited to add 14 new flights to our network along with three new routes connecting Chennai, Raipur, and Gorakhpur," William Boulter, the chief commercial officer of IndiGo, said.

The flights on the Chennai-Raipur route will begin from April 7. It will depart from Chennai at 10.20 am and land in Raipur at 12.20 pm. On its return journey, it will depart at 12.50 pm and reach Chennai at 2.25 pm.

Similarly, the flights on the Hyderabad-Gorakhpur route will begin from April 30. It will depart from Hyderabad at 9.55 am and land in Gorakhpur at 12.05 am. The flight will then depart from Gorakhpur at 12.35 pm and land at Hyderabad airport at 2.10 pm.

The flights on the Kolkata-Gorakhpur route will also begin from April 30. The flight will leave from Kolkata at 2.20 pm and land in Gorakhpur at 4 pm. It will then leave Gorakhpur at 4.30 pm and land in Kolkata at 6.50 pm.

IndiGo is currently the largest airline in India with around 40 percent of the domestic passenger market share.

Mayawati's ex-secretary raided by I-T department over tax evasions worth Rs 100 crores

In a development which can have far-reaching political implications, the Income Tax department on Tuesday (March 12) conducted raids at 12 locations in Kolkata, Lucknow, and Delhi in connection with misappropriation of funds by former IAS officer and Uttar Pradesh principal secretary Netram during Mayawati's tenure.

Netram is considered to be one of the close associates of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati.

According to sources, Netram was planning to contest the Lok Sabha election this time on BSP ticket.

The raid locations include his residence in Lucknow, few official premises in Kolkata and Delhi.

Netaram misappropriated funds of over Rs 100 crore belonging to Uttar Pradesh government and invested in a Kolkata firm. Sources say incriminating documents and material have been seized by the I-T department during the raids.

NGT fines Volkswagen Rs 500 crore for using cheat devices in diesel cars

The National Green Tribunal has slapped a penalty of Rs 500 crore on Volkswagen for using "cheat device" in its diesel cars in India. Earlier, a panel formed by the NGT had recommended a fine of Rs 171.34 crore over the damage emissions from Volkswagen cars had done. Declaring the judgment on Thursday, a bench headed by NGT Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel instructed the German auto manufacturer to deposit the amount within two months. Volkswagen will reportedly challenge the NGT order before the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen refuted the allegations of violating BS-IV norms leveled against it. The company argued that the emission test results in question were based on "on-road testing" of its cars and there were no prescribed standards for this.

The NGT bench, however, turned down Volkswagen's objection, stating that sustainable development is the main guiding factor, and thus, the manufacturer's objections to the report can be admitted. The green tribunal said that it may consider utilizing the money towards improving air quality in the Delhi NCR region and other highly polluted areas of the country.

The tribunal is hearing pleas filed against Volkswagen vehicles in 2015 for alleged violation of emission norms in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal in the US. Volkswagen had admitted to installing a "defeat device" in 11 million diesel engine cars sold in the US, Europe, and other global markets. A "cheat" or "defeat device" is software in diesel engines to manipulate emission tests by changing the performance of the cars.

In its tests conducted on some Volkswagen models, Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) found that their on-road emissions were 1.1 times to 2.6 times higher than the permissible levels under BS-IV norms. Following this, Volkswagen India had recalled around 3.23 lakh vehicles fitted with EA 189 diesel engines which were in alleged violation of emission norms to rejig the software. The company, however, had said that the recall in India was purely voluntary in nature as it did not face any charges regarding violating emission norms in India unlike in the US.


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