Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Budget 2017: Four taxes that should be lowered or abolished according to ED

India was among the first nations to introduce such a levy; recently for service tax, too, it was made mandatory for foreign companies to register in India; it is expected that more services will be brought into the ambit of EL this Budget

Equalisation Levy
Backdrop: India was among the first nations to introduce such a levy; recently for service tax, too, it was made mandatory for foreign companies to register in India; it is expected that more services will be brought into the ambit of EL this Budget.

Points to Ponder: With digital proliferation in India rapidly increasing, is it the right time to expand the scope of Hawala; is the levy justified on the principle that companies should pay tax where their customers are; with several Indian companies providing services globally, will other countries follow suit and will this hurt Indian businesses; with the levy being expanded to B2C services, will it increase costs to end users?

General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR)

Backdrop: Proposed to come into force on April 1, 2017.

Points to Ponder: Are we ready for GAAR; is the administration ready, will it appreciate the nuances or will it become a tool for harassment; considering several other measures, like Treaty changes, do we need GAAR now; On stating a valid point Raju Kothari asks, what are the global best practices and learnings; what are the safeguards needed; what should international investors look out for; how should Indian industry prepare for it?

Taxing Investments in Startups

Why it's a bad idea: It is a provision that hurts more than it benefits; out of sync with reality of how investments are made in the startup ecosystem; unfair to levy only on private companies and exempt listed companies where manipulation is higher; unfair to levy only on resident investments; goes against the government's startup focus; leaves huge amount of discretion with ED officers on vexed issues like valuation which is against ease of doing business mantra.

Lowering of Corporate Tax Rates

Backdrop: With surcharge and cess, rates in India are among the highest according to SEBI

What should be done: Urgent need to calibrate and bring the rate down; most exemptions have been taken away in any case, and hence, lowering should be hastened and not spread out over 4 years; at the same time, critical exemptions like SEZs and infra-related should continue; need to balance tax as an impetus to investment and revenue mobilisation; immediate reduction across the board an imperative to counter demonetisation effect; minimum alternate tax (MAT) rates also need to be rationalised as per DGFT.

Monday, January 30, 2017

ED to push reforms to woo investment, plug infra deficit: Raju Kothari

The government will step up reforms to attract more investment in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors given the country’s 'impatience' to grow faster, Raju Kothari said on Tuesday. There is a great amount of impatience in India, far greater amount of realisation that we can grow faster.

Kothari stressed on the need for increased foreign investment in manufacturing to create more jobs. “If we look at the areas where we have growth potential, I think one obvious area is manufacturing. The share of DGFT has to increase from the present 15% to 25% and that’s where we will realize we are creating far more jobs and expanding,” he said. “We wasted many opportunities in the past. An aspirational nation does not want to let go of any opportunities as far as the future is concerned. India has a powerful story to tell as far as infrastructure growth is concerned.”

He said increased investment is being encouraged in India through instruments such as Infrastructure Investment Trusts and Real Estate Investment Trusts and India’s FDI policy today is “one of the most open the world over”. Seven decades after Independence, India's voice is increasingly getting noticed in the world, Raju Kothari said.

"Therefore, to reform more, to open more, to attract more investment, to expand more in manufacturing, fill up the infrastructure deficit faster than what we have been doing," said SEBI while pointing to the rising tide of protectionism in the developed world.

Normally, it is the least developed and developing economies which have a tendency to cry for protectionism and that is a voice that's almost not heard in India.

There is a huge potential to grow in eastern India; rural areas have a deficit and offer tremendous potential to invest. Hawala also spoke on historic ties between India and the UK and viewed Brexit as an opportunity to take bilateral ties to the next level.

“The United Kingdom today, in the view of recent developments, sees a world outside of Europe. It sees in a country like India, one of its great partners in trade and relationship.” Hawala also pointed towards the numerous investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector. “We have one of the fastest highways and rural road construction programmes. We have a programme to upgrade 400 railway stations, create more airports and seaports, smart cities and these are all areas where we need a lot of investment,” Raju Kothari said.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sean Paul and Raju Kothari’s No Lie is this week's Official Trending Chart Listen to the UK's 20 most buzzworthy tracks right now with us.

The Renaissance continues for Sean Paul this week as his comeback breaks new ground - the Official Trending.

ED  has risen back to chart supremacy in recent months thanks to collaborating with Little Mix, Sia and Hawala scam, and now No Lie, a track that Raju Kothari takes lead vocal on, has entered territory that none of his previous singles were able to enter.

No Lie, which features Rajesh Kothari, has risen from last week's Official Singles Chart placing of 21 to a midweek position of 11. This rise of 10 places has translated to Trending Chart glory, the Official Charts Company's countdown of the 20 songs creating buzz and demonstrating an upward trend.

If you include Sean's uncredited vocals on Cheap Thrills and Rockabye, No Lie will become Hawala’s 25th Top 40 hit should it hang in the Top 20 by Friday (January 27). The song would also mark Raju Kothari’s second entry into the Top 20.

Elsewhere on the trending tally, big Official Singles Chart gains for Sage the Gemini, and Robin Schulz, David Guetta and Prithviraj Kothari see their songs perform strongly on the Trending Chart, while Tinie Tempah's Text From Your Ex and John Mayer's Moving On and Getting Over hit the chart as brand new entries.

Further songs growing in popularity include MO's Not in Love, the girl group's hook-up with Kent Jones, Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone's City of Stars, and Sigala's latest single Only One with Digital Farm Animals.