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Indian tech industry confident of touching $350 bn revenue by 2025

Despite new challenges in the digital space, the Indian technology and services industry is on-track to reaching its goal of $225 billion in revenue by 2020 and further $350 billion by 2025, Nasscom chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy said. "The industry is well on track. We will achieve the target of $225 billion revenue by 2020 and $350 billion by 2025," Reddy told reporters at a press meet. He also said that the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) was thinking of rebranding itself. Source: IANS

Now Moody's says gas price cut will impact investment

Another global ratings agency Moody's has said the sharp hike in natural gas prices notified by the Indian government will not only impact the state-run Oil and Natural as Corp (ONGC) the most, but also discourage new exploration investments and fuel imports. "The gas price reduction is credit negative for upstream producers ONGC and Oil India Ltd. because it will lower their revenues and cash flows, which are already declining from low oil prices," an article by Moody's Credit Outlook said. Source: IANS

India-Israel to Sign MoUs on Energy, Water, and Education during President Pranab Mukherjee's Visit

President of India Pranab Mukherjee is all set to visit Israel later this month and reports say he is going to ink 3 MoUs on Energy, Water, and Education. The visit will be “landmark” as neither any President nor Prime Minister of India has ever visited the Jewish nation before. Though India recognized Israel back in 1950, the full diplomatic relations were established only in 1992. This will be the first time ever the two countries will sign 3 significant MoUs during Indian President’s state visit as all other business deals including buying of Israeli weaponry, unmanned aerial vehicles, missiles, and agriculture took place behind the curtains.

Finance Minister talks tough on High Profile Tax Evaders

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley upped his ante against the willful high profile tax defaulters, who failed to declare their unaccounted wealth, stashed abroad. Jaitley said that the defaulters, who failed to come clean even after the central government offered a special black money compliance scheme for asset declaration (which ended on September 30), would face action. However, he also assured that the 638 high net individuals or companies that disclosed black money, to the tune of Rs. 3,770 crore in aggregate, need not worry. Finance Minister went on to say that the persons/companies that didn’t disclose unaccounted money stashed abroad wrongly underestimated information exchange power and “will regret”.               

Advance Corporate Tax Payment record suggests Robust Economy

Available data shows that advance tax collection for September 2015 in relation to September 2014 increased by 7 per cent, from Rs. 1.32 lakh crore to Rs. 1.41 lakh crore. Advance tax collection has been better in September quarter when compared with that of June quarter (Rs. 43,400 crore). Advance tax collection gives a pretty good picture on corporate performance as it is believed that 45 per cent of payment is done by September and 75 per cent by December. Experts believe that government expenditure is likely to go up with increased advance tax collection, thereby signaling robust economic growth.

India-Germany may announce Joint Defence Production Plan during Merkel's October 4-6 Visit

India is hoping to expand strategic partnership with Europe’s economic powerhouse Germany by entering into a joint defence production to boost Make in India initiative. The announcement will be done during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to India from October 4 to 6. Reports say Merkel is all set to raise the issue of resuming Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and Germany with PM Modi during the visit. MEA statement said many issues including deepening bilateral engagement on high technology manufacturing, renewable energy, defence, skill development, education, security, urban development, railways, water-waste management, and agriculture will be discussed.

Deadline for e-filing tax returns extended till October 31

The government has extended the deadline for e-filing of all Income Tax returns and audit reports till October 31, 2015. "The government has decided that across the country, all the returns of income and audit reports u/s 44AB which were due for e-filing by 30 September, 2015, may now be filed by 31 October, 2015," a finance ministry statement said.This has been done, the ministry said, "in order to avoid discrimination between taxpayers residing in different jurisdictions and to be fair to all", as date extension has been a matter of litigation in various high courts. Source: IANS

ASUS partners Foxconn to make smartphones in India

Taiwanese tech major ASUS has said it has partnered with Foxconn to manufacture ASUS smartphones in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. "In a strategic move to expand presence in India, ASUS will kick-start its manufacturing operations with Zenfone 2 Laser which will soon be followed by ZenFone Go," a company statement said. The company aims to manufacture 150,000 smartphones per month by the end of the current financial year, which will account for almost 80 percent of sales in India. Source: IANS

Maruti Suzuki's September sales up 3.7 percent

Leading passenger automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki reported a 3.7 percent rise in its sales for last month. The company sold 113,759 units during the month under review from an off-take of 109,742 units in the corresponding month of 2014. The automobile manufacturer's sales during August had risen by 6.4 percent y-o-y to 117,864 units. Domestic sales during the month under review rose by 6.8 percent at 106,083 units from 99,290 units sold in September, 2014. Source: IANS

India gets 638 declarants for $580-mn black money

India's drive against black money to get back ill-gotten wealth stashed away by its citizens abroad has drawn responses from 638 declarants for total assets worth Rs.3,770 crore ($580 million), an official statement said. The amnesty scheme ended September 30. It called for a tax of 30 percent and an equal amount in penalty, that is to be paid before December 31. The compliance window opened on July 1. Source: IANS

Global reports reflect India's success in opening sectors: Official

Commenting on two global reports on the rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) in India and improvement in its global competitiveness index, a senior official said it reflected the success of opening of Indian sectors to foreign capital. "This success has been achieved at a time when FDI globally has fallen by about 16 percent. India has seen a huge surge in FDI inflows and this is largely because this government has opened up vast sectors," department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) secretary Amitabh Kant said. Source: IANS

RBI lowers GDP growth rate estimate for fiscal to 7.4 percent

The Reserve Bank of India has scaled down its earlier estimate of the country's GDP growth for the current fiscal to 7.4 percent citing lack of new private investment, banks' stressed assets and waning business confidence in context of slow global growth. "With global growth and trade slower than initial expectations, a continuing lack of appetite for new investment in the private sector, the constraint imposed by stressed assets on bank lending and waning business confidence, output growth projected for 2015-16 is marked down slightly to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent earlier," the RBI said in its bi-monthly monetary policy statement. Source: IANS

India to get $123.51 mn ADB loan for tourism development

The Indian government on Monday signed an agreement for a $123.51 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for tranche three of the Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism to upgrade tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The loan will be used for development and conservation of places of tourist attractions. It will also be used to improve basic tourism facilities, and to build the capacity of sector agencies and local communities in the three states. Source: IANS

Indian equity indices tank ahead of monetary policy update

Ahead of the monetary policy update for this fiscal, wherein expectations are high over an interest rate cut, key Indian equity indices opened sharply lower as sentiments continued to be ruled by the weak global cues, notably in other Asian markets. The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 25,496.38 points against the previous day's close at 25,616.84 points. Minutes thereafter, it was quoting at 25,357.09 points, with a loss of 259.75 points, or 1.01 percent. Source: IANS

SEBI attaches Saradha's property to recover over Rs.774.3 crore

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has attached 134 properties of Kolkata-based Saradha Realty India Ltd. and its managing director Sudipta Sen to recover Rs.774.3 crore along with returns due to investors. The market regulator, on its website, said notice to recover the amount was sent to the company and Sen but it went unanswered and the dues were not paid. Source: IANS

Performance of 16,962 cell towers improved: Government

Aiming to address the issue of call drops, the government has conducted a special audit of cell towers and said that of 34,600 cell towers operating poorly, about 16,962 have improved their performance and the rest are in progress. Saying that the telecom department is monitoring the telecom service quality on a weekly to 10-day basis with all operators, an official statement from the Department of Telecom said: "In the entire country, a special audit was done to adjudge their performance." Source: IANS

Sensex trades flat in early session

A benchmark index of Indian equities markets, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), on Monday was trading flat at 14.81 points or 0.06 up percent during the morning session. The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading flat at 2.55 points or 0.03 percent up at 7,871.05 points. Source: IANS

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to visit Iran with over Rs. 1 Lakh Crore Investment Proposal

Union Nitin Gadkari is all set to lead a delegation to Iran with investment proposals to the tune of over Rs. 1 lakh crore. Currently, negotiation is going on between India and Iran on price of gas, to be delivered to a gas-based urea manufacturing plant in Iran’s Chabahar port SEZ. India is pressing on for lowering the natural gas rate from Iran’s proposed $2.95 to $1.5. Gadkari said that total investment in Iran projects (including development of ONGC’s gas discovery and partnerships in projects related to railways, highways, steel, and iron ore) can be more than Rs 1,00,000 crore but that depends upon oil price negotiations.

Government to Provide Rs 1.22 lakh crore Loan to Micro Businesses

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while handing over loan sanction letters to MSME entrepreneurs during a Punjab National Bank organised Mega Credit Campaign in New Delhi, said that loans to the tune of Rs 1.22 lakh crore has been allocated in this financial year under Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) scheme. He also said that 3.7 million small entrepreneurs have been allocated around Rs. 24,000 crore under MUDRA and the central government is trying to provide loans to anything from 12.5 to 17.5 million small entrepreneurs (including cobblers, barbers, mechanics, vegetable vendors, fruit sellers, etc.) during 2015-16 fiscal.

Food Security Act launched in Jharkhand

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Friday launched the Food Security Act, which aims to provide subsidised food grains to around 80 percent of the state's population. The act, which was in limbo since 2013, will ensure around 51 lakh families get food grains at Re 1 per kg. Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sarya Rai said: "Earlier 35 lakh families were covered under Public Distribution System (PDS), but with this, 51 lakh families will benefit." "The act will be fully implemented in next two months in the state," he added. He said a process to end duplicity in ration cards was underway. (Source: IANS)