GST monthly revenue touches Rs 1 lakh crore for first time; govt credits better compliance

The government announced today that the GST revenue for the month of April has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore – a first since GST was rolled out in July last year. As mentioned by the Ministry of Finance, the total gross GST revenue collected in April is Rs 1,03,458 crore.

Out of that CGST (Central GST) amounted to Rs 18,652 crore, while SGST (State GST) amounted to Rs 25,704 crore. IGST (Integrated GST) stood at Rs 50,548 crore, including Rs 21,246 crore that was collected on imports, and cess at Rs 8,554 crore, including Rs 702 crore collected on imports.

As mentioned in ANI, the finance ministry also noted that the central and state governments earned a total revenue of Rs 32,493 crore in CGST and Rs 40,257 in SGST, after settlement in April.

Moreover, the ministry noted that out of 87.12 lakh, 60.47 lakh GSTR 3B returns were filed for March till April 30. That makes 69.5% of the eligible proportion. The ministry also said that 11.47 lakh out of 19.31 lakh composition dealers filed their quarterly return (GSTR 4), amounting to 59.40%. In total Rs 579 crore in taxes were paid, which is included in the aforementioned GST revenue figure.

The ministry said, “The buoyancy in the tax revenue of GST reflects the upswing in the economy and better compliance. However, it is usually noticed that in the last month of the financial year, people also try to pay arrears of some of the previous months. Therefore, this month’s revenue cannot be taken as a trend for the future.”

The recently introduced e-way bill might be the reason behind the sudden spike in GST revenues. E-way bill, which is generated for consignments moving inter-state or intra-state was rolled out in April. The inter-state e-way bill was introduced in April 1, while the intra-state one was pushed to April 15.

The GST Council is scheduled to meet on May 4 next.

Source: Business Today

Private equity investors bring in deals worth $983 mn in January: Thornton

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52% of total investment volumes

Private equity (PE) investors announced deals worth $983 million in January, a 23 per cent rise in value terms over last year, driven by big ticket transactions, says a Grant Thornton report.

According to the assurance, tax and advisory firm, in January, there were 84 PE deals worth $983 million, against 81 such transactions worth $796 million in January 2017.

“Private equity deals recorded 4 per cent increase in deal volumes and 23 per cent increase in deal value in January 2018 as compared to January 2017,” said Pankaj Chopda Director at Grant Thornton India LLP.

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52 per cent of total investment volumes. On the other hand, energy & natural resources and real estate sectors witnessed big-ticket PE investment over $100 million together capturing 39 per cent of total PE deal values.

Altico Capital’s investment of $195 million across five realty projects in Hyderabad and Pune was the top PE deal in January.

Other major transactions include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s 6 per cent stake acquisition in ReNew Power Ventures for $144 million and Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners’ $50 million investment in Rivigo Services.

Going forward, the PE deal outlook looks bullish especially for the start-up sector.

“Increasing customer penetration in online transactions and increasing solutions to simplify online transactions offered by start-ups will attract interest in start-ups engaged in retail, fintech, foodtech, on demand services and travel and logistics,” Chopda said.

“Government reforms such as RERA, focus on cleantech and on increasing digital financial transactions will drive the momentum in banking and financial, real estate and energy and natural resources.

India-specific strategies by global and already present PE firms and funds raised by new players will act as catalyst for PE transactions,” he added.

Source: Business Standard

 

Foreign investors pump $3 billion into capital markets, forex at record high in January

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have invested a phenomenal $3 billion (close to Rs 18,000 crore) in India’s capital markets this month on expectations of high yields as corporate earnings are expected to pick up with the economy gathering momentum after the slowdown due to the chaotic implementation of GST.

The sharp increase in inflows comes after an outflow of over Rs 3,500 crore by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from the capital markets in December, data compiled by depositories shows. According to market analysts money pumped in by FPIs has played a key role in fuelling the bull run in the stock markets that saw both the Sensex and Nifty on a record breaking spree in recent weeks.

FPIs infused a net amount to the tune of Rs 11,759 crore in stocks and Rs 6,127 crore in debt during January 1-25 — translating into net inflows of Rs 17,866 crore. For the entire 2017, FPIs invested a collective amount of Rs 2 lakh crore in the country’s equity and debt markets.

The inflow in the current month can be attributed to anticipation of earnings recovery and attractive yields which is expected to further strengthen inflow from foreign investors in the current financial year, said Dinesh Rohira, CEO of 5nance, an online platform providing financial planning services.

However, Quantum MF Fund Manager-Fixed Income Pankaj Pathak believes that FPIs may not be able to repeat this showing in 2018 as withdrawal of liquidity and rate hikes in developed economies pick up. This would provide them with alternative avenues of investment.

The FPI investments have also helped to bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves which touched an all-time high of USD 414.784 billion in the week to January 19, Reserve Bank data showed. The RBI data showed that the forex reserves rose by USD 959.1 million to touch a record high during the reporting week. In the previous week, the reserves had touched USD 413.825 billion after it rose by USD 2.7 billion.

The reserves had crossed the USD 400-billion mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017 but have since been fluctuating. But for the past four weeks the figure has shown a continuous rise. Higher foreign exchange reserves lead to a stronger rupee which in turn reduces the cost of imports as fewer rupees have to be paid to buy the same amount of dollars to pay for items such as crude oil.

A higher foreign exchange kitty also provides a comfortable cushion to finance imports especially at a time when crude prices are shooting up in the international market and the country’s trade deficit has been growing. However, while FPI inflows add to the forex reserves they are considered “hot money” as they can leave Indian shores at short notice and this could send the rupee into a tailspin.

A senior finance ministry official said that foreign direct investment (FDI) is a more stable source of funding for the economy and since it also creates jobs and incomes the government is keen to see an increase in such investments. The Prime Minister’s trip to Davos was aimed at achieving this goal, he pointed out. He said that the government has been working on the ease of doing business which has seen a sharp increase in FDI inflows and this policy will continue in the forthcoming budget. At the same time the government is keen FPI inflows are not disrupted due to tax levies on stocks that create uncertainties, he added.

 

Source: Business Today

Foreign investors pump $3 billion into capital markets, forex at record high in January

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have invested a phenomenal $3 billion (close to Rs 18,000 crore) in India’s capital markets this month on expectations of high yields as corporate earnings are expected to pick up with the economy gathering momentum after the slowdown due to the chaotic implementation of GST.

 

The sharp increase in inflows comes after an outflow of over Rs 3,500 crore by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from the capital markets in December, data compiled by depositories shows. According to market analysts money pumped in by FPIs has played a key role in fuelling the bull run in the stock markets that saw both the Sensex and Nifty on a record breaking spree in recent weeks.

 

FPIs infused a net amount to the tune of Rs 11,759 crore in stocks and Rs 6,127 crore in debt during January 1-25 — translating into net inflows of Rs 17,866 crore. For the entire 2017, FPIs invested a collective amount of Rs 2 lakh crore in the country’s equity and debt markets.

 

The inflow in the current month can be attributed to anticipation of earnings recovery and attractive yields which is expected to further strengthen inflow from foreign investors in the current financial year, said Dinesh Rohira, CEO of 5nance, an online platform providing financial planning services.

 

However, Quantum MF Fund Manager-Fixed Income Pankaj Pathak believes that FPIs may not be able to repeat this showing in 2018 as withdrawal of liquidity and rate hikes in developed economies pick up. This would provide them with alternative avenues of investment.

 

The FPI investments have also helped to bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves which touched an all-time high of USD 414.784 billion in the week to January 19, Reserve Bank data showed. The RBI data showed that the forex reserves rose by USD 959.1 million to touch a record high during the reporting week. In the previous week, the reserves had touched USD 413.825 billion after it rose by USD 2.7 billion.

 

The reserves had crossed the USD 400-billion mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017 but have since been fluctuating. But for the past four weeks the figure has shown a continuous rise. Higher foreign exchange reserves lead to a stronger rupee which in turn reduces the cost of imports as fewer rupees have to be paid to buy the same amount of dollars to pay for items such as crude oil.

 

A higher foreign exchange kitty also provides a comfortable cushion to finance imports especially at a time when crude prices are shooting up in the international market and the country’s trade deficit has been growing. However, while FPI inflows add to the forex reserves they are considered “hot money” as they can leave Indian shores at short notice and this could send the rupee into a tailspin.

 

A senior finance ministry official said that foreign direct investment (FDI) is a more stable source of funding for the economy and since it also creates jobs and incomes the government is keen to see an increase in such investments. The Prime Minister’s trip to Davos was aimed at achieving this goal, he pointed out. He said that the government has been working on the ease of doing business which has seen a sharp increase in FDI inflows and this policy will continue in the forthcoming budget. At the same time the government is keen FPI inflows are not disrupted due to tax levies on stocks that create uncertainties, he added.

 

Source: Business Today

Demonetisation, GST will bring long-term benefits for Indian economy: IMF on Narendra Modi’s one-off policy moves

The disruptive impact of demonetisation announced last year is a temporary phenomenon and the scrapping of the high-value currency would bring “permanent and substantial benefits”, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In an interview to CNBC TV18, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Maurice Obstfeld said that although demonetisation, as well as implementation of the Goods and Services tax (GST) caused short-term disruptions, both measures would bring long-term benefits.

“The costs of demonetisation are largely temporary and we see permanent and substantial benefits accruing from the move,” Obstfeld said.

Demonetisation caused long queues outside banks.

Demonetisation caused long queues outside banks.

“Both demonetisation and the GST introduction will bring long-term benefits, though these caused short-term disruption,” he said.

The IMF Chief Economist described GST as a “work in progress” to which the Indian economy is “gradually adjusting”.

With businesses going into a “destocking” mode on inventories in anticipation of the GST rollout from July 1, sluggish manufacturing growth, among other factors, pulled down growth in the Indian economy during the first quarter of this fiscal to 5.7 percent, clocking the lowest GDP growth rate under the Narendra Modi dispensation.

Breaking a five-quarter slump, however, a rise in manufacturing sector output pushed the growth rate higher to 6.3 percent during the second quarter (July-September) of 2017-18.

Obstfeld also listed some of the reforms being undertaken by the Indian government that have impressed the multilateral agencies.

“The government has taken important first steps like bringing in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which helped India improve its position substantially in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings,” he said.

He also mentioned the recent recapitalisation plan for state-run banks announced by the government and the Asset Quality Review of commercial banks earlier ordered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Both measures are designed to address the issue of massive non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, accumulated in the Indian banking system that have crossed a staggering Rs 8.5 lakh crore.

In a report released in Washington on Thursday, the IMF cautioned that the high volume of NPAs and the slow pace of mending corporate balance sheets are holding back investment and growth in India even though structural reforms have helped the nation record stronger growth.

The IMF’s Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) for India said that overall “India’s key banks appear resilient, but the system is subject to considerable vulnerabilities”.

“The financial sector is facing considerable challenges, and economic growth has recently slowed down,” the report said.

“High non-performing assets and slow deleveraging and repair of corporate balance sheets are testing the resilience of the banking system, and holding back investment and growth.”

“Stress tests show that… a group of public sector banks are highly vulnerable to further declines in asset quality and higher provisioning needs,” it added.

Source: FirstPost

GST Council makes inter-state e-way bill compulsory from February 1, 2018

The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from February 1, 2018. This will bring uniformity across states for seamless inter-state movement of goods,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

Ferrying goods across states may get quicker as the GST Council today decided to make rollout of all India electronic-way bill compulsory from February 1, two months ahead of the earlier plan.

 

“The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from February 1, 2018. This will bring uniformity across states for seamless inter-state movement of goods,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

 

The decision comes after the Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, met earlier during the day via video conference, to decide upon the advancement of the implementation of e-way bill under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

 

Under GST rules, ferrying goods worth more than Rs 50,000 within or outside a state will require securing an electronic-way or e-way bill by prior online registration of the consignment.

To generate an e-way bill, the supplier and transporter will have to upload details on the GST Network portal, after which a unique e-way bill number (EBN) will be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.

 

The Council had decided that till such time as the national e-way Bill is ready, the states were authorised to continue their own separate e-way bill systems. The finance minister had said that system will be introduced in a staggered manner, with effect from January 1, 2018, adding that the document will be made applicable on an all-India basis from April 1.

 

“It was represented by the trade and transporters that this (lack of national e-way bill) is causing undue hardship in the inter-state movement of goods and therefore, bringing in an early all India system of e-way Bill has become a necessity,” the ministry said.

 

As a nationwide e-way bill system will be ready for implementation on a trial basis by January 16, transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from the same date, it said.

 

While the system for both inter and intra-State e-way bill generation will be ready next month, the Council decided that states may choose their own timings for implementation of the document for intra-state movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018.

 

“There are certain States which are already having system of e-way bill for intra-state as well as inter-state movement and some of those states can be early adopters of national e-way Bill system for intra-state movement also. But in any case, the uniform system of e-way bill for inter-state as well as intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018,” the statement said.

 

According to Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co, the government should check the system thoroughly so that there is no disruption in movement of goods.

 

“The fair balance for mandatory inter-state e-way bill compliance from February 1 will have to be maintained. This compliance will reduce tax evasions but may pose some problems for businesses in movement of goods…while compulsory intra-state e-way bill compliance will happen from June 1, the government should be clear whether these provisions will be applicable for supplies which are out of the GST net,” Rastogi said.

 

Another expert said that the immediate call to advance the implementation of e-way bill reflects that some serious gaps in the system have been noticed by the government.

“The downfall in the revenue on account of GST, goods crossing the state borders unaccountable by few taxpayers, etc. could be the reasons for the early implementation of e-waybill as this form will forcefully make the taxpayer accountable in the absence of matching of invoices which is currently postponed,” Ansh Bhargava, Head Growth & Strategy, Taxmann said.

 

Source: MoneyControl.com

FPIs pump over Rs 19,700 crore in November, highest in eight months

After taking a break from buying into Indian equities in August and September, FPIs bought equities in abundance in November.

Foreign investors pumped over Rs 19,700 crore into the country’s stock markets in November, the highest in eight months, mainly due to government’s plan to recapitalise PSU banks and surge in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business.

In addition, such investors put in Rs 530 crore in the debt markets during the period under review.

According to depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) invested a net amount of Rs 19,728 crore in equities last month.

This is the highest net investment by FPIs since March, when they had poured in Rs 30,906 crore in the equity market.It has been a tremendous journey for the Indian equity markets in 2017. After taking a break from buying into Indian equities in August and September, FPIs bought equities in abundance in November.

The strong inflow could be largely attributed to the government’s decision to recapitalise public-sector banks, which is expected to enhance lending and propel economic growth, said Morningstar India’s senior analyst manager (research) Himanshu Srivastava.

“This is particularly seen as a positive step after the questions have been raised from various quarters on the government’s ability to effectively implement economic reforms. Further, the slow pace of economic growth was also believed to be due to rising non performing assets (NPAs) problem in public sector banks, hence this decision provided a much-needed impetus to FPIs to again look back at Indian equity space,” he added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the PSU bank recapitalisation plan of Rs 2.11 trillion, out of which Rs 1.35 trillion will come from recapitalisation bonds, and the rest from markets and budgetary support.

Additionally, the news about India faring well in the World Bank’s Ease of Business index and a jump in core sector growth also turned the tide in India’s favour, Srivastava said.

India gained 30 places in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index for 2018 to 100th among 190 nations.

“These (bank’s recapitalisation plan and world bank’s ranking) and positive developments in the recent times provided a much-needed breather to FPIs who were concerned about the short-term impact of demonetisation and goods and services tax (GST) on the domestic economy and sluggish pace of economic recovery,” he added.

Yet another positive piece of news has come from Moody’s Investor Services, which upgraded its India rating by a notch to ‘Baa2’ from ‘Baa3’ with a stable outlook, citing improved economic growth prospects driven by the government reforms.
Overall, FPIs have invested Rs 53,800 crore in equities so far in 2017 and another Rs 1.46 lakh crore in debt markets.