New Delhi: Union commerce secretary G.K. Pillai has said the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme will continue in the next financial year.
“As far as I understand, the DEPB will be extended for another year. The cabinet will take a final decision in its next meeting,” he said.
The DEPB scheme, which allows exporters to claim refunds of Central duties paid on import of inputs, was due to expire on 31 March.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) was widely expected to approve the extension on Thursday. But the decision was deferred as finance minister P. Chidambaram was not present at the meeting.
Welcoming the announcement, Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, said: “Our demand is for a two-year extension of DEPB since by 2010 the government will implement the Goods and Service Tax regime and exporters will no longer require collecting refunds.”
Deepen corporate bond market: FM
Mumbai: Union finance minister P. Chidambaram called for more measures to deepen the South Asian nation’s corporate bond market. Trading in corporate bonds has lagged behind the government securities market.
Local companies sold debt worth Rs1.2 trillion in the year that began on 1 April, while the traded volume in the secondary market was Rs89,800 crore, Chidambaram said. That contrasts with a monthly volume of Rs3.14 trillion in government debt, a record reached in January. The size of the government bond market is Rs13.3 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
India, which caps local corporate debt holdings by overseas investors at $1.5 billion (Rs6,015 crore), has “scope” to raise the limit, Chidambaram said. Corporate bond repurchase auctions may be introduced soon, he said in Mumbai on Friday. Chidambaram said some of the turbulence that the global markets have been going through is because of innovation.
AP to continue case against Margadarsi
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday held that the government of Andhra Pradesh can continue the prosecution of Margadarsi Financiers while disposing of a criminal petition filed by the state government against the company.
The petition was filed in December to seek the apex court’s permission to appeal against an order passed by the Andhra Pradesh high court that had set aside a search warrant issued against Margadarsi Financiers and Ramoji Rao, the owner of the company and publisher of Telugu newspaper ‘Eenadu’.
Margardarsi Financiers has been unable to repay some of its public deposits, following which the Andhra Pradesh government launched a process to take control of the company’s assets and prosecute it for violations of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939.
The Andhra Pradesh high court had set aside a plea by the state government seeking to issue a search warrant against the company in May 2007.
AICTE head to keep his job for now
New Delhi: The head of a controversial regulator of private colleges, the All India Council for Technical Education, or AICTE, who has been questioned by a vigilance officer for drawing a dual compensation, will keep his job as vice-chairman and acting chairman, for now. But Ram Avtar Yadav faces questions from his political boss, human resource development minister Arjun Singh, for drawing a salary from AICTE and a pension from Delhi University, a chunk of which he returned to AICTE last month.
“I have sought his comments on whatever you have written,” Arjun Singh, who is widely seen as backing Yadav to fill the post of chairman, told this reporter after addressing a press conference to announce the opening of new government-run colleges. On being asked if Yadav will continue as vice-chairman and acting chairman of AICTE, Singh said, “He is whatever he is”.
AICTE advertised in newspapers to fill the post of vice-chairman on Thursday. Yadav’s term comes to an end on 30 March. The regulatory body, which has 6,000 private colleges under its purview, has faced charges from private colleges that its rigid norms cannot be met without paying bribes to its inspectors. “Nothing has come to my notice,” Singh said during the press conference, answering a question on whether he has heard of charges of corruption against AICTE officials.
A recent report of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) asked for the abolition of AICTE’s inspection raj and autonomy for private colleges. A parliamentary panel has asked the public to give suggestions to improve its functioning, but is yet to meet to hear those suggestions.
Tata Motors rating downgraded
New Delhi: Rating agency Crisil has downgraded Tata Motor Ltd’s Rs4,000 crore cash credit limit to ‘AA-/Stable’, from ‘AA+, removed from rating watch with negative implications. However, it has retained retained the ratings on two other borrowings—Rs2,000 crore short-term facility and Rs3,000 crore short- term debt programme.
While AAA refers to highest safety, AA refers to high safety and the plus and minus symbols refer to distinctions within a rating category, as per Crisil rating policy.