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Deadline for depositing your old Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes ends today

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The deadline to deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in banks ends on Friday. From next week onward, those still holding the scrapped currency can deposit it only with the Reserve Bank of India till March 31, 2017.

After March 31, holding demonetised notes would be illegal and could invite hefty fines, according to an ordinance passed by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the nation on Saturday after his self-imposed deadline of 50-days for the situation to return to normal ends.

While some people are hoping for an extension in the deadline, the government maintained it had no plans to do so.

Modi had on November 8 announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal tender.

On Thursday, in his first interview since demonetisation, Modi told the India Today weekly that the country was at a “watershed moment” and the move to scrap 86 per cent of the currency in circulation was to cleanse the nation of “all forms of filth”.

He said the money that was with terrorists, Maoists, and human traffickers “has been neutralised” and that black money has all been forced out into the open.

“The revenue collected will be used for the welfare of the poor, downtrodden and the marginalised,” the prime minister added.

PM Modi’s New Year’s Eve speech: Relief for farmers, SME sector in focus

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Direct benefit transfer-based relief measures for farmers and the SME sector in the wake of the hardships caused by demonetisation could be the big announcement to look out for in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s New Year’s Eve speech.

According to a report in the Economic Times, the government is keen to boost purchasing power and consumption, especially in the wake of the economic disruption and currency shortages caused by the sudden demonetisation drive, and also announce further measures to continue the prime minister’s “crusade” against black money and corruption. Citing government officials, the financial daily reported that direct benefit transfer could be used to shore up sectors hit by demonetisation. Among the proposals that the government has been deliberating upon is an income transfer scheme, the report added.

As reported by Business Standard earlier, according to government sources, the prime minister’s address is likely on the evening of December 31. However, the sources said that the possibility of advancing it to the evening of December 30 remained open.

Why farmers and SMEs?

The demonetisation drive has exposed the dependency of poor farmers and small businesses on informal credit systems in a country where half the population has no access to formal banking. Small-time financiers, despite their high interest rates, have long been a vital source of credit for the rural economy, and the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has made it increasingly impossible for them to lend as well as to get paid (Read more).

Various relief measures, such as allowing farmers to use the old Rs 500 notes to buy seeds from central and state-owned companies, have already been announced for farmers. On December 20, the government announced that farmers, whose crop loan due dates fall between November 1 and December 31, would get 60 days more for availing the prompt repayment incentive of 3 per cent. Further, to help farmers meet their cash needs for the current Rabi season, the government has directed the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to disburse Rs 21,000 crore to District Central Cooperative Banks for onward lending to farmers through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies. Over 40 per cent small farmers get crop loans from cooperative institutions.

Price wars: Reliance Jio versus the rest in telecom battle

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For a sector seeing double-digit revenue growth over recent years, FY16 marked a reversal. At Rs 2 lakh crore, the sector grew by six% ; it was nearly double this in FY11-15. Revenue growth for the September was only 4.3% over the year-ago period.

What is hurting the sector, riding high on strong voice growth and robust subscriber addition, is intense competition over the past 18 months. What has aggravated this is the entry of Reliance Jio (RJio), offering free voice and data services, from September. Despite reduction in the number of operators in the recent mergers of Reliance Communications-Aircel and Airtel acquiring spectrum from Videocon, competitive intensity remains high.

Amid all this, the top three have consolidated their market shares and now account for 75% of the overall revenue pie. The September quarter number is up 200 basis points (bps) over the year-before period.

In fact, Bharti’s market share at 33% is at a seven-year high. Among the others, Vodafone has held on to its share of about 23.4%; Idea Cellular has slid. Revenue market share for Idea was down 50 bps year-on-year in the September quarter to 18.7%, partly attributable to its decision to raise prices in the March quarter.

Upping the game

These numbers will change, as RJio has adopted aggressive pricing (including an extended free trial period) to grab share. Since its September launch, the company has added 50 million subscribers — that’s 500,000 a day. The number, say analysts at Motilal Oswal Securities, is a third of the wireless broadband subscriber base and about 30% of Idea and RCom-Aircel’s overall subscriber base combined.

#2016@shock&awe: Headline Grabbers of 2016

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Breaking News

By almost any yardstick the year has been unique: Public policy, business rivalries and implosions, court verdicts and corporate malfeasance set new standards of shock and awe that will reverberate well into 2017.

 

Business Standard recaps the most prominent of economic corporate developments

  •  Demonetisation
  • The Reliance-Jio launch
  • The Tata-DoCoMo controversy
  • Goods and Services Tax
  • The RIL-ONGC spat
  • Nikesh Arora’s exit from SoftBank
  • The Singur verdict
  • Cyrus Mistry’s ouster from the Tata group
  • Vijay Mallya’s Great Escape
  • The Odd-Even scheme
  • The Ranbaxy-Daiichi Sankyo controversy
  • Call drops

 

Related Story:  

 

Read More……

 

Penalty for failure to return old notes

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If after March 31 next year, you still have a lot of the old series Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, you might have to pay a hefty fine.

According to an Ordinance, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, people possessing more than 10 old notes — irrespective of their value — would be committing an offence. But there was no clarity on when this would come into effect.

If those depositing old notes between January 1 and March 31 with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) give wrong information, they would have to cough up a fine of Rs 5,000, or five times the amount with them. Those not submitting the banned currency even after March 31 would have to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the amount, whichever is higher.

According to the Ordinance, citizens would be allowed to deposit their stash of old notes with RBI — but only at specific offices. Certain conditions, listed in the Ordinance, would also apply. Besides this, all notes not returned to the banking system by December 30 this year would be extinguished, said a senior official. The Ordinance needs the approval of President Pranab Mukherjee, expected in a day or two.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of the old series Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8. At first, people were allowed to exchange their old notes for new ones, but now they can only deposit it in their bank accounts.

“The Ordinance was floated to manage the transition period between December 31 and March 31. Under conditions, promissory status of the demonetised currency will continue till end-March,” said a second official aware of the matter.

Such conditions on holding the notes or depositing them after December 30 could be applicable to those who were abroad, soldiers or paramilitary personnel posted in remote regions or those who can prove that they were holding onto these notes for research. However, officials declined to give out other details on the Ordinance pending the President’s assent.

The Ordinance, however, does provide for amending the RBI Act to give legislative support for extinguishing the demonetised banknotes that are not returned. It is likely that such an amendment will be introduced through the Finance Bill. Till now, only a notification was thought to be enough to end the central bank’s liability and future litigations.

Cabinet passes ordinance; fine, jail for holding old notes

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The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an ordinance to impose penalties on anyone possessing the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

The penalty for holding old currency in excess of 10 notes may include financial fines and a jail term of up to 4 years in certain cases.

The ordinance, named as ‘The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance’, is to extinguish liability of government and RBI on the demonetised high-denomination notes.

In a surprise announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were declared as illegal currency.

The government had, while announcing the demonetisation of the old currency on November 8, allowed holders to either exchange them or deposit in bank and post office accounts. While the facility to exchange the old notes has since been withdrawn, depositors have time till Friday to deposit the holding in their accounts.

In 1978, a similar ordinance was issued to end the government’s liability after Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 notes were demonetised by the Janata Party government under Morarji Desai.

Boardroom war: Tata Sons sue Cyrus Mistry for breach of confidentiality

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Companies News

Tata Sons on Tuesday slapped a legal notice on its ousted chairman, Cyrus P Mistry, for alleged breach of confidentiality by making public sensitive company documents including minutes of board meetings, financial information and data.

It termed attaching dozens of confidential and sensitive company documents with the petition filed by his family investment firms before the National Company Law Tribunal against his removal, as “reckless failure” in discharging of “fiduciary, legal and contractual duties” by Mistry.

Tata Sons in the notice served through law firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, said “without there being any requirement to do so” the Mistry family firms “deliberately included in petition, as exhibits, confidential data, business strategies, financial information pertaining to the business affairs of Tata Sons Ltd, Tata Group Companies and Joint ventures (all such material being ‘Confidential & Sensitive Information’).”

Related Story: Burden of proof on Mistry as battle lines form for Tata legal showdown

“By passing on Confidential & Sensitive Information accessed by you in your capacity as a Director of Tata Sons to companies owned and controlled by your family… You have acted in complete violation of your confidentiality undertaking to Tata Sons, your fiduciary duties towards Tata Sons and your obligations under the Tata Code of Conduct,” it said.

Stating that it intends to exercise all legal rights and pursue all remedies available under law, the petition asked Mistry to “cease and desist” from sharing confidential and sensitive information.

Also, it wanted any document or parts which are unrelated to his petition before NCLT be suitably redacted.

Mistry’s actions have exposed Tata Sons to potential claims from third parties for breach of confidentiality, the petition said adding Tata Sons will make him liable for all such claims.

It alleged that Mistry, who was unceremoniously ousted as Chairman of Tata Sons on October 24 and subsequently forced to resign as director from key operating companies, had not only breached his legal duties as a director but also acted recklessly with the sole intent to cause harm and loss to Tata Sons.

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