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ED, CBI point to four more 'illegal' FIPB approvals under Chidambaram. Investigation by probe agencies has revealed irregularities in foreign investment clearances given by former finance minister P Chidambaram to four other companies, besides INX Media group and Aircel-Maxis, according to officials in the know.

ED, CBI point to four more 'illegal' FIPB approvals under Chidambaram

Evidence collected by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) indicates kickbacks received by shell companies allegedly floated by the former FM’s son Karti P Chidambaram when approvals were granted by the erstwhile Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Other four firms which are under the scanner are Diageo Scotland, Essar Steel, Katara Holdings and Elforge Ltd. These firms were granted FIPB approval when Chidambaram was the FM. Number of NBFCs drops to lowest in 10 yrs in India as crackdown accelerates.

India is stamping out shadow financiers at the fastest pace in recent years, in the latest blow to a beleaguered sector battling a prolonged funding crunch due to rising wariness toward it in the nation’s credit markets.

Number of NBFCs drops to lowest in 10 yrs in India as crackdown accelerates

The central bank canceled registrations of 1,851 non-bank finance companies in the year ended March 31, more than 8 times those in the previous year, according to data received from the Reserve Bank of India in response to a Right to Information request. The number of lenders dropped to about 9,700, the lowest in at least a decade, as a result. RBI MPC minutes reveal why Shaktikanta Das opted for rate cut of 35 bps. Weakening of domestic growth impulses prompted RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to opt for an unconventional rate cut of 35 basis points to push economic activities early this month, said the central bank on Wednesday.

RBI MPC minutes reveal why Shaktikanta Das opted for rate cut of 35 bps

Two of his RBI colleagues and an independent member in the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had also favoured a 35-basis point reduction, against the normal practice of 25 or 50 basis points change, in the third bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20. The other two members, both independent, in the six-member MPC had voted for a 25-basis point cut in the policy announced on August 7. In an unusual move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on August 7 had reduced the benchmark lending rate by 35 basis points to 5.40 per cent amid concerns over slowdown in economy. Before this, the RBI had reduced the rate thrice, each time by 25 basis points. "The economy needs a larger push. INX media: SC to hear on Friday Chidambaram's plea seeking stay on HC order. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is facing threat of arrest, failed on Wednesday to get protection from the Supreme Court which decided to hear on Friday his petition seeking stay on the Delhi High Court order that had dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

INX media: SC to hear on Friday Chidambaram's plea seeking stay on HC order

Registrar (Judicial) informed Chidambaram's lawyer that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has listed the matter for hearing on Friday. Soon after getting the message from Registrar (Judicial), a team of lawyers led by senior advocate Kapil Sibal had short deliberation in the consultation room after which they left the apex court. Chidambaram, who was home minister and finance minister in the UPA government from 2004-2014, had sought a stay on the Delhi High Court's Tuesday judgement dismissing his anticipatory bail plea and paving the way for his arrest lodged by CBI and ED in cases related to the INX Media scam.

"Without listing of the petition, we cannot hear the matter," said the bench. ITC is considering a bid to buy a stake in Coffee Day Enterprises: Report. ITC Ltd. is considering a bid to buy a stake in Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. as the nation’s biggest cigarette maker seeks to diversify its businesses, according to people familiar with the matter.

ITC is considering a bid to buy a stake in Coffee Day Enterprises: Report

The maker of Classic and Gold Flake cigarettes has been given access to Coffee Day’s assets and financial for due diligence, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. ITC could be vying with Coca-Cola Co., which has evaluated India’s biggest cafe chain but hasn’t made a formal offer, said one of the people. Shares of ITC fell as much as 2.2 per cent in afternoon trading in Mumbai, while Coffee Day rose 5 per cent, extending its three-day winning streak to almost 16 per cent. A successful bid will help ITC further diversify its business to reduce dependence on cigarettes as India raises taxes on tobacco and restricts smoking in public places. From simplified KYC process to re-categorisation, Sebi eases norms for FPIs. Easing the regulatory framework for foreign portfolio investors, Sebi on Wednesday simplified KYC requirements for them and permitted them to carry out off-market transfer of securities.

From simplified KYC process to re-categorisation, Sebi eases norms for FPIs

The proposals were cleared by the Sebi's board during its meeting here as part of efforts to simplify and expedite the registration process for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). Apart from doing away with the broad-based eligibility criteria for institutional FPIs, under the new framework, FPIs would be classified into two categories instead of three. Trump looking at possible tax cuts, asset sale amid economic recession fear.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his administration was considering potential tax cuts on wages as well as profits from asset sales, and sought to play down market anxieties that the world's top economy could be heading for a recession.

Trump looking at possible tax cuts, asset sale amid economic recession fear

Speaking to reporters during a White House visit by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Trump said "we're looking at various tax reductions," adding that a "payroll tax is something that we think about. " Recession fears were stoked last week when bond investors briefly demanded a higher interest rate on 2-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, a potential signal of lost faith in near-term economic growth. Trump dismissed fears of a slowdown, extolling low unemployment and a rising stock market over his tenure. Reliance Industries' $4-bn investment threatened by global natural gas glut. A global glut in natural gas is threatening to undermine a $4 billion investment by Reliance Industries Ltd aimed at boosting profits at the world’s largest oil refining complex.

Reliance Industries' $4-bn investment threatened by global natural gas glut

The project made all the sense in the world when energy magnate Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate announced it in 2012: convert petroleum coke, or petcoke, one of the cheapest and dirtiest refinery by-products, into gas needed to power the massive Jamnagar complex on India’s west coast. Then it hit about three years of delays, and global gas markets crashed amid a growing supplies of liquefied cargoes from the US, Australia and Russia. The 10 synthetic gasifiers that make up the project are now finally commissioned. But the imported LNG they’re meant to displace has fallen from about $15 per million British thermal units in 2012 to less than $5. Chidambaram's legal team asks CBI not to take action till SC hearing. The CBI on Wednesday continued its efforts to locate P Chidambaram even as the former Union finance minister's legal team asked the agency not to take any coercive action against him as his petition is to be mentioned in the Supreme Court.

Chidambaram's legal team asks CBI not to take action till SC hearing

A team of officials went to the Chidambaram's Jor Bagh residence Wednesday morning looking for him but had to return as he was not present there, officials said. The CBI efforts to locate Chidambaram once again comes a couple of hours before his Special Leave Petition is to be mentioned in the Supreme Court. After the Delhi High Court refused to grant any protection from arrest to the former finance minister in the INX media case, the CBI issued a notice to him on Tuesday, asking him to appear before the investigation officer within two hours, after failing to find him at his residence.

MCA orders probe against CG Power, inspection report to be ready soon. CG Power and Industrial Solutions is under the lens of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), which has ordered an inspection into the affairs of the company, said a senior government official.

MCA orders probe against CG Power, inspection report to be ready soon

The probe was triggered after auditors of the power equipment maker resigned a few months ago. “The inspection report will be ready soon and appropriate action will be taken,” the senior government official added. After convening a board meeting that ran into the wee hours of the morning, the company announced that it will restate earnings after discovering “suspect, unauthorised and undisclosed” transactions. The office of the MCA’s regional director, western region, is in charge of the probe. According to reports, auditors of the company resigned on April 27, 2018, on its request, following the advice of its overseas loan arrangers to recruit top auditors.

Use artificial intelligence for tax compliance: Direct tax panel. The direct tax panel, headed by Akhilesh Ranjan, has recommended, among a slew of changes in tax rate structure, use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the tax-compliance and administration process. This, sources in the know said, would compel an income bearer and a potential taxpayer to be a part of the tax net, thereby improving the tax base and compliance. The panel has also proposed to introduce collaborative compliance in direct tax administration, which would integrate data from banks, financial institutions and the goods and services tax (GST) network to ensure that the scope of taxable income increases.

This will be complemented with a reduced rate of tax, especially the corporation tax rate, to incentivise businesses. Cash-strapped DHFL makes fresh default on Rs 1,571-crore bond repayments. DHFL on Monday said it has defaulted on its financial repayment obligations worth Rs 1,571 crore with regard to issuance of bonds and commercial papers. The defaults pertain to three cases with regard to interest payment on non-convertible debentures and commercial papers (CPs), Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) said in a regulatory filing.

In a break-up, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) said it has defaulted on Rs 46.92 crore towards interest amount on secured NCDs (9.92 per cent and 9.40 per cent/10 year tenor); on NCDs issued through a public issue for multiple tenors of amount involving interest of Rs 363.77 crore and principal amount of Rs 1,059.91 crore. Besides, defaults of Rs 100 crore occurred on CPs. PM Modi raises Imran Khan's 'extreme' anti-India rhetoric with Donald Trump. Alluding to recent statements by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told US President Donald Trump that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region were not conducive to peace. According to a government statement, Modi and Trump had a 30-minute telephonic conversation.

“In the context of the regional situation, the prime minister stated that extreme rhetoric and incitement to anti-India violence by certain leaders in the region was not conducive to peace,” it stated. Modi, the statement said, highlighted the importance of creating an environment free from terror and violence, and eschewing cross-border terrorism without exception.

The prime minister recalled his meeting with Trump in Osaka on the margins of G-20 summit in end-June. However, the Osaka meeting had led to some confusion between the US and India. “The world must also seriously consider the safety and security of India's nuclear arsenal... Direct Tax Code 2.0: Task force for big relief to individual taxpayers. The Direct Tax Code (DTC) task force, set up to overhaul the 58-year-old Income Tax Act, has recommended a significant increase in the highest income tax slabs, besides slashing the corporate tax rate to an even rate of 25 per cent for both domestic and foreign companies, sources in the know said. Income tax payers earning up to Rs 55 lakh per annum may end up with a major tax relief if recommendations to change the tax bracket and rebates are accepted, according to sources. The eight-member task force, led by Central Board of Direct Taxes member Akhilesh Ranjan, submitted the report to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.

ALSO READ: Direct tax committee calls for major changes to reassessment rules Addressing disruption caused by the US tax reforms last year, the panel has pressed for a corporate tax cut for domestic and foreign firms to 25 per cent from 30 per cent for large companies and 40 per cent for overseas firms. Chandrayaan-2 reaches Moon's orbit, just about two weeks away from landing. India's second Moon Mission, Chandrayaan-2, successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday morning in a significant milestone that brings India closer to joining select nations that have explored the moon. Isro Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan had earlier described this event as a major challenge. Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre was completed successfully today (August 20, 2019) at 0902 hrs IST, as planned, using the on-board propulsion system. The duration of the manoeuvre was 1,738 seconds. With this, Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit.

The orbit achieved was 114 km x 18,072 km. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) fired the spacecraft's liquid engine for a short while and placed it on a lunar bound orbit. Subsequently, the lander will separate from the Orbiter and enter into a 100 km X 30 km orbit around the Moon. Corporate tax for firms with over Rs 400 crore turnover to be cut gradually. Spandana Sphoorty sees tepid debut, lists at 4% discount to issue price. Shares of microfinance lender Spandana Sphoorty Financial made a weak debut at the bourses on Monday. The stock got listed at Rs 825 apiece on the NSE, a discount of 3.62 per cent to the issue price of Rs 856. On BSE, the scrip got listed at Rs 824 apiece.

Explained in 7 charts: Cause and magnitude of automobile slowdown. Talks with Pakistan now will only be about PoK, says Rajnath Singh. The local administration, which is currently under Centre’s control, tightened restrictions in some parts of Srinagar and across Kashmir on Sunday, following incidents of violence in the last 24 hours. In the Jammu region, the administration cut off low-speed (2G) mobile internet services in five districts on Sunday to check rumour mongering. Tax evasion may derail India's fiscal deficit goal as demand wanes. MARKET LIVE: Sensex extends gains, surges 300 pts; India VIX falls over 3% UBI mulls special loan offers for start-ups, brainstorms on $5-trn GDP goal. How one billionaire kept three nations hooked on coal for decades. The vast, untapped coal reserve in northeastern Australia had for years been the object of desire for the Indian industrial giant Adani.

Coffee Day seeks more time from creditors to repay Rs 4,970-crore debt. Jaitley on life support; Nitish, Piyush Goyal, Jyotiraditya visit AIIMS. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley has been put on life support system at AIIMS here, sources said, as several leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union minister Piyush Goyal visited the hospital. FM says talks on helping economy continue, won't comment on timeline. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, under pressure to announce measures to revive the slowing economy, said on Friday that officials of her ministry were in discussions with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and the government would reveal the remedial steps once finalised. “We met the Prime Minister on Thursday and we shall meet again. Now, start-ups can issue shares with differential voting rights. Amtek Auto heads for liquidation; NCLAT clears the way for the process.

Rajnath Singh says India could use nukes first if circumstances demand. Pakistan has to end terror for talks, says India after UNSC meet on Kashmir. State-run oil firms to deliver petrol at doorstep, expand diesel service. India-China ties will hinge on respect for core concerns, says Jaishankar. Saudi Aramco remains world's most profitable company even as oil falls.

Economic downturn raises default risks, puts stimulus package in focus. 'Great setting, great men': Twitterati praises PM Modi in 'Man vs Wild' Finance, commerce ministries lock horns over fiscal support for exporters. Anil Agarwal pulls out of race for acquiring grounded Jet Airways. Why India's $10 billion foreign bond sale plan may never take off. Brokerages bullish on RIL post Aramco deal buzz, Jio's commercial launch. 169 dead in flood, rain-related incidents in south and west India. Cash-strapped DHFL seeks Rs 15,000-crore immediate funding from banks. Some Zomato delivery partners to go on strike in Kolkata, refuse to deliver pork & beef: Company. FM Sitharaman assures steps to boost liquidity, demand in realty sector. Anil Agarwal submits an expression of interest to revive Jet Airways. SoftBank in talks to buy stake in Bharti Airtel's telecom biz, other assets. Trust deficit prevails in the board, says IndiGo's independent director.

About 350,000 laid off since April as automobile crisis deepens: Report. Repo rate at nine-year low after RBI announces first-ever cut of 35 bps. Jammu and Kashmir turmoil: Pakistan expels Indian envoy, suspends trade. Maruti cuts production by 25% for the sixth consecutive month in July. Govt asks NCLT to freeze assets of IL&FS arm's audit partners Deloitte, BSR. BJP leader and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj passes away. China 'blackmailing' India into using Huawei for its 5G infra: US lawmaker. Prez declares abrogation of Article 370 provisions on J&K special status. How the Daiichi CEO capped a $37 billion recovery with a cancer drug deal. Highlights: RS passes Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, ex-CMs held. Judgment day: Next fight over Article 370 could move to Supreme Court. House battle won over J&K's special status, but legal opinion split. Special status for Jammu and Kashmir ends: Govt celebrates, Oppn protests.

Govt tenders worth Rs 25k-cr cancelled, modified for Make in India products. AIIMS, Safdarjung doctors call off strike after Health minister's assurance. Economic slowdown is cyclical; growth will pick up in 1-2 yrs: Bimal Jalan. Kashmir issue LIVE updates: Omar, Mufti under house arrest; Valley on edge. Private sector going through challenging times, says L&T chairman A M Naik. Trump hits China with more tariffs, says Xi moving too slow on trade. MARKET LIVE: Sensex down 300 pts, Nifty below 10,900; Bharti Airtel up 3% 'Inquisition': Siddhartha's death fuels India Inc's anger against crackdown. Business failures shouldn't be a taboo: Sitharaman on CCD founder's death. GST collections in July cross Rs 1-trillion-mark after dropping in June. Govt softens stance on time frame for transition to electric vehicles. India only Asian economy that's growing its export share amid trade war.

Surcharge hike may stop overseas fund managers from shifting to India. RBI allows domestic banks to sell NPAs abroad as one-time settlement. Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's body found from river: Report. Affle (India) IPO opens today: Five things to know before you invest. Retirement decision not linked to transfer, says ex-finance secy S C Garg. Uncertain times ahead, EMs lack safety net: RBI governor Shaktikanta Das. IBBI sets one-year timeline for liquidation process of insolvent companies.

PNB reports profit of Rs 1,019 crore for June quarter, net NPAs rise QoQ. Maruti Suzuki Q1 profit declines 27.3% to Rs 1,435 crore, revenue slips 14% Vodafone Idea reports Q1 consolidated net loss of Rs 4,873.9 crore. Big wins for govt: LS passes Triple Talaq Bill, RTI Bill clears RS hurdle. Bond yields surge on buzz that PMO is opposed to sovereign bonds. Subhash Chandra Garg's exit: Jalan panel seeks RBI's views on ECF report. What Wall Street could learn from India's new tax on share buybacks. Business Standard. Business Standard. SC cancels Amrapali group RERA registration for cheating homebuyers.

IMF cuts India's GDP growth rate to 7% due to subdued domestic demand. India Inc to witness double-digit salary hike this year, says report. Kumaraswamy loses trust vote in Karnataka Assembly; BJP to stake claim. ICIJ-Mauritius leaks: Jindal Steel, GMR Holdings among firms named. Modi govt proposes major labour law changes for ease of compliance. How JP Morgan colluded with Amrapali Group to divert funds, dupe homebuyers. Hong Kong tempts China's ire as pro-independence protests take violent turn. HUL Q1 result preview: Rural stress may dent volume growth, say analysts. India rejects Donald Trump's claim of PM Modi seeking help on Kashmir. MARKET LIVE: Sensex, Nifty pare losses, turn flat; HDFC twins top losers. Viral Acharya ends his RBI stint with a sense of unfinished business.