Economy

Service sector of US speeds up

Service sector of US speeds up

According to a report of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the service sector of the United States economy has sped up in the previous month even there was harsh weather in the east and slowdown of West Coast port.

As per the Wednesday report of the institute, the ISM purchasing managers index increased to about 56.9. A month before, it was 56.7, as per the report. The increase is about three points better than a year ago, but slower than the level of November. That time, it was 58.8, the institute stated. Figure above 50 is considered as an expansion in the sector.

Fed Survey: US Economy growing at Moderate Pace

Fed Survey: US Economy growing at Moderate Pace

The Federal Reserve has revealed that despite interruptions caused by extreme winter storms, the US economy has shown a growth at moderate pace through mid-February. The Fed said that out of the 12 regions, six have reported moderate growth with modest gains seen in most other areas. The Boston district reported that the businesses in its area remained up despite several huge snowstorms.

According to the Fed survey, the consumer spending rose in most of the districts, travel and tourism increased, and manufacturing has shown solid gains with San Francisco region's aerospace companies forecasting a record year.

Corporate tax to be reduced, GST to be implemented, says Jaitley

Corporate tax to be reduced, GST to be implemented, says Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that to give a fillip to growth, investment and promotion of domestic manufacturing and 'Make in India', aiming at job creation, a series of measures are included in the budget.

He also said that a Tax 'pass through' is proposed to be allowed to both Category-I and Category-II Alternative Investment funds, so that tax is levied on investors in these funds and not on the funds per se.

"The measure will step-up the ability of these funds to mobilize higher resources and make higher investments in small and medium enterprises, infrastructure and social projects and provide the much required private equity to new ventures and start-ups," Jaitley said.

ICICI Bank CEO says Budget 2015 empowers entire India

ICICI Bank CEO says Budget 2015 empowers entire India

New Delhi, Feb 28 : ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar on Saturday said the Union Budget 2015, which was introduced in the Parliament earlier in the day, will empower the entire country and touches the requirements of everyone.

"This budget empowers entire India, because it actually increases the devolution to the states, it actually talks about the youth of India by taking care of skilling and training requirements. It talks about entrepreneurship, innovation. It touches the requirements of everyone," Kochhar said.

"There is a clear focus on infrastructure. There is a clear acceptance of the fact that the initial push needs to be given by public investment. There is directional clarity about how to push infrastructure through various sectors," she added.

Budget will provide social security, eliminate poverty: Amit Shah

Budget will provide social security, eliminate poverty: Amit Shah

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Saturday praised the budget for fiscal 2015-16, saying it would provide both social security and eliminate poverty.

"This budget will provide social security. I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister," he told ANI here.

"I welcome the announcement of strict law enforcement on black money. It will help in identifying black money stashed abroad," he added.

Presenting the NDA Government's first full-fledged budget in the Lok Sabha today, Jaitley said the Union Budget for 2015-16 proposed two new laws and major curbs on black money stashed at home and abroad. (ANI)

Railway Budget: All North-East states to be connected to Delhi, says Prabhu

Railway Budget: All North-East states to be connected to Delhi, says Prabhu

New Delhi, Feb 26 : Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that his ministry has a 'comprehensive' plan for the North-East, adding that all state capitals in the region will soon be connected to Delhi.

"We have a very comprehensive plan for the North-East, and we have already decided to connect all state capitals of the region with Delhi. We are making a huge investment; the Prime Minister has visited the region many times and even I have gone with him," Prabhu said at a press conference in the national capital.

"The North East is considered as a special project state so the money for that is also available from multiple sources," he added.

Budget Session: Farmers for more funds, adequate security to crops

Budget Session: Farmers for more funds, adequate security to crops

New Delhi, Feb 25 : Farmers of the country are hopeful of getting more funds and adequate insurance for their crops in the upcoming Budget to be presented to Parliament.

The farmers in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir said that the successive governments have taken some policy decisions to improve the farm output but the benefits have failed to trickle down at the lower level.

"I want to appeal to the federal government that this time they should focus on farmers while preparing the budget. It should cover the insurance of the farmers and their families. It should also include risk coverage for the farmers because farmers suffer badly due to weather," said Sidhu Lal, a farmer.

SBI arm for higher fiscal deficit target to boost investment

SBI arm for higher fiscal deficit target to boost investment

Mumbai: Analysts and economists at the nation's largest lender SBI today joined the call for stretching the fiscal deficit target by a few notches so that the government can boost capex without impacting the fiscal consolidation process.

"We believe, the government must step up capital expenditure meaningfully to stimulate investment. We firmly believe fiscal deficit for 2015-16 should be set higher at 3.8 per cent of GDP, up from 3.6 per cent envisaged in the current Budget. This is unlikely to impact fiscal consolidation," the economic research arm of SBI said in a note.

Rupee gains 15 paise to 62.05 against dollar

Rupee gains 15 paise to 62.05 against dollar

Mumbai: The rupee strengthened by 15 paise to 62.05 against the US dollar in early trade Wednesday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on increased foreign capital inflows.

Forex dealers said besides the dollar's weakness against other currencies overseas, a higher opening in domestic stock market, supported the rupee.

The rupee had ended 11 paise higher at 62.20 against the US currency in yesterday's trade on increased selling of the American unit.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 228.67 points, or 0.79 percent, at 29,233.33 in early trade.--PTI

Reform policies to determine India's credit profile: Moody's

Reform policies to determine India's credit profile: Moody's

New Delhi: Reform measures undertaken by the government to accelerate growth and address fiscal and supply side constraints will determine India's sovereign credit profile, rating agency Moody's said today.

The declining inflation also calls for a policy rate cut to boost investments, it added.

"... Fiscal and structural reform policies will determine the extent to which accelerating growth will buttress the sovereign credit profile," it said in a report titled 'GDP Revisions Underscore Economic Strength, But Are Credit Neutral'.

In 2015, benign global oil prices are likely to keep India's inflation and current account pressures in check, the report said, adding "this could allow for more accommodative monetary policy which, in turn, would revive investment growth".

States should use extra funds to develop productive assets: Jaitley

States should use extra funds to develop productive assets: Jaitley

New Delhi, Feb 24 : Stressing that states play an important role in the national economy, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the 14th Finance Commission has increased the share of states in the divisible pool from 32 percent to 42 percent.

"If the Chief Ministers of states are being empowered with additional resources, then we have every reason to believe that this money will be well spent. The money will be well spent on poverty, infrastructure and therefore every spending within the territory of India, whether by the central or the state government is going to add to the growth process," Jaitley told the media.

Inflation at record low due to decisive measures: President

Inflation at record low due to decisive measures: President

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today said inflation has fallen to a record low due to a number of decisive steps taken by the government and the economy is again on a high growth trajectory.

Delivering his address to the joint sitting of Parliament, whose budget session commenced today, he said, "Inflation and food inflation, in particular, are at a record low due to a number of decisive measures taken by the government."

Wholesale inflation turned negative for the second time in three months as fall in petroleum and food prices dragged it to a five-and-a-half year low of (-) 0.39 per cent in January.

The overall food inflation was at eight per cent.

Disinvestment in LIC, Air India, BSNL will unlock lakhs of crores of rupees: Deepak Parekh

Deepak Parekh

Mumbai - Pitching for disinvestment in public sector behemoths like LIC, Air India and BSNL, top industry leader Deepak Parekh has said it can unlock huge funds worth "lakhs of crores of rupees" and shares should be given to retail investors without depending on the overseas entities.

However, one of the major requirements for such large- scale disinvestments is a government thinking on those lines, as lack of political will and union pressure have been halting such proposals for a long time including during the tenure of the previous UPA government, he said.

Giving examples from during the UPA regime, Parekh said 'he has been part of many important government panels,' including those on BSNL and Indian Railways, but nothing moved on the suggestions made by those committees.

Rupee gains 14 paise against dollar in early trade

Rupee gains 14 paise against dollar in early trade

Mumbai: The rupee recovered by 14 paise at 62.20 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on fresh selling of the American currency by exporters.

Forex dealers said though selling of the US currency by exporters and banks supported the rupee but the dollar's strength against other currencies overseas and a lower opening in domestic equity markets, limited the rise.

The rupee had lost 18 paise against the American currency on Wednesday due to fresh dollar demand from banks and importers.

Forex markets remained closed yesterday on account of 'Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti'. Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex fell by 267.52 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 29,194.75 in early trade.--PTI

Mutual fund industry seeks tax sops in budget

Mutual fund industry seeks tax sops in budget

Kolkata: The country's mutual fund industry is seeking tax sops from the forthcoming Union Budget.

"The industry has asked for separate concession over and above the Rs 1.5 lakh deduction under section 80C for ELSS and National Pension Scheme," industry body AMFI Chairman Sundeep Sikka said Wednesday on the sidelines of the ICC organised mutual fund summit.

"The need for industry is long term money. This (additional concessions) will boost long term flows into the capital market," he said.

"The Finance Ministry should also consider tax concessions for unit linked pension plans under section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act," Dinesh K Khara, Managing Director and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund said.

CCEA may take up sugar export subsidy issue today

CCEA may take up sugar export subsidy issue today

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to take up Thursday a proposal to extend export subsidy to 1.4 million tonnes of raw sugar in the ongoing 2014-15 marketing year.

"The CCEA meeting is scheduled for Thursday. The sugar subsidy issue is on the agenda of the meeting," sources said.

As per the proposal, the Food Ministry has favoured extending export subsidy to 1.4 million tonnes of raw sugar with some conditions. It has proposed a subsidy of about Rs 4,000 a tonne, sources said.

The Ministry said that the country would be left with an exportable surplus of 1.4 million tonnes after meeting the domestic demand of 24.8 million tonnes.

Rupee down 10 paise at Rs 62.26 against dollar

Rupee down 10 paise at Rs 62.26 against dollar

Mumbai: The rupee depreciated by 10 paise to 62.26 against the dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange due to appreciation of the US currency overseas.

Increased demand for the dollar from importers also put pressure on the rupee.

Forex dealers attributed the rupee's fall to the dollar's gains against other currencies overseas but a higher opening of the domestic equity market, capped the losses.

The rupee had gained three paise to close at 62.16 against the dollar on Monday following continued selling of the US currency by banks and exporters.

Forex market remained closed yesterday on account of 'Mahashivratri'.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose by 105.68 points, or 0.36 percent, at 29,241.56 in early trade today.--PTI

Singapore more than triples earlier Q4 growth in 2014

Singapore more than triples earlier Q4 growth in 2014

Singapore: Singapore's economy grew more strongly than initially estimated in the final quarter of last year as manufacturing improved, but the country's outlook for this year remained modest at 2.0 to 4.0 per cent in the face of an uneven global recovery.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the country's economy grew by 2.9 per cent in 2014. The growth forecast for 2015 has been maintained at 2.0 to 4.0 per cent.

Annualised growth came in at 4.9 per cent in the September-October quarter from the previous three months when the economy expanded 2.6 per cent, it said. That was three times the government's initial estimate of 1.6 per cent growth.

This year's growth in the manufacturing sector improved to 2.6 per cent from 1.7 per cent in 2013.

Fertiliser industry approaches FM, seeks funds for subsidy payment

Fertiliser industry approaches FM, seeks funds for subsidy payment

New Delhi: Faced with liquidity crunch, fertiliser industry body FAI has written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking arrangement of funds to clear outstanding subsidy arrears, which are likely to cross Rs 40,000 crore by March- end.

In a letter to the Finance Minister, Fertilizer Association of India Director General Satish Chander has said that domestic urea manufacturers have not been paid since August, 2014. Therefore, a number of plants have resorted to shut down.

Chander also pointed that while domestic fertiliser manufacturers suffer "due to non-payment of dues for months together, upfront payments are made to foreign suppliers".

Customs duty on crude oil may be re-introduced

Customs duty on crude oil may be re-introduced

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may look at reimposing five percent customs duty on crude oil imports to shore up revenues by USD 3 billion and create a level-playing field for domestic producers.

Presently, the government does not levy any import or customs duty on crude oil imports.

On the other hand, domestically produced crude oil attracts two percent central sales tax, something which imported oil is exempted from.

Given that there is no customs duty on imported crude oil, the CST levy places domestic producers at a significant disadvantage vis-a-vis imported crude, government sources said.

Thus, 20 percent of India's crude oil consumption that comes from domestic oil fields is taxed, whereas 80 percent of imported oil goes untaxed.




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