Govt notifies rules for in-flight, maritime mobile phone services

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 17, 2018

New Delhi:People will soon be able to make calls and access internet through their phones during air travel and ship voyage within Indian territory as the government has notified rules for providing such services.

Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating in the country can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.

“These rules may be called the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette,” the notification dated December 14 said.

The in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) can be provided using telecom networks on ground as well as using satellites.

The services can be provided by a valid telecom licence holder in India through domestic and foreign satellites having permission of the Department of Space, it said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Eye on fiscal deficit, govt may carry over subsidy bills

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 17, 2018

New Delhi: The government is likely to account for a significant portion of its subsidy burden for the current fiscal, including ₹20,000 crore on subsidizing fuel, in 2019-20 to meet the fiscal deficit target for the year to 31 March. “We have to shift part of the overall subsidy bill to the next financial year. The petroleum subsidy bill is expected to exceed the budgeted target by ₹20,000 crore due to high crude oil prices and rupee depreciation, which cannot be footed this fiscal year,” a government official said on condition of anonymity.

The Modi government has allocated ₹2.9 trillion for various subsidies in the 2018-19 budget, including ₹24,933 crore for petroleum subsidy, which analysts say is an underestimation considering that fuel subsidies stood at ₹24,460 crore in 2017-18, when average crude oil prices were much lower. Read the rest of this entry »

67% of 5,151 smart city projects stuck on paper

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 16, 2018

Pune: Only 33 per cent of the total 5,151 Smart City Mission projects have been completed or are under implementation, utilising 25 per cent of the envisaged investment.

The creation of smart cities was a major promise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Projects worth 2,05,018 crore have been included by the selected 100 cities in their Smart City proposals.

According to data presented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to the Lok Sabha, 2,342 projects (45 per cent) worth 90,929 crore have been tendered, of which 1,675 projects (33 per cent) worth 51,866 crore are under implementation or have been completed.

This means that 3,476 projects (67 per cent) are either just tendered or have not even gone through the tendering process. Read the rest of this entry »

Projects worth Rs 44.6k crore underway for rail connectivity to ports

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 16, 2018

As many as 52 projects for rail connectivity to ports are underway entailing an investment of Rs 44,605 crore, an official said Sunday. 

These projects are being undertaken by the Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL) and the Ministry of Railways.

IPRCL has taken up 32 projects worth Rs 18,253 crore across nine major ports, of which eight projects worth Rs 175 crore have been completed, a Shipping Ministry official said.

The official said in addition, 23 rail connectivity projects worth Rs 24,877 crore identified under Sagarmala have being taken up by the Ministry of Railways, out of which seven projects entailing Rs 2,491 crore investment have been completed.  Read the rest of this entry »

Anti-dumping duty on Chinese chemical for 5 years

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 16, 2018

The revenue department has imposed anti-dumping duty for five years on a Chinese chemical used in making detergents to guard domestic players from cheap imports from the neighbouring country.

The levy on ‘Zeolite 4A’ [Detergent grade] has been imposed on recommendations of Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) after conducting a probe in this regard.

The duty in the range of USD 163.90-207.72 per tonne of the chemical will remain in force for five years (unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier), said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in a notification.  Read the rest of this entry »

India finds a new way to tax Google, Facebook

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 17, 2018

New Delhi: India may be pushing Internet firms such as Facebook and Google to store data locally not just to safeguard critical data of its citizens but also to ensure due taxes are paid by these digital firms for services including advertisements sold to local clients, a senior official told ET.

The government’s push for internet companies to host data of Indian users in local servers is also due to concerns that they deliver services mostly from overseas, outside India’s tax jurisdiction.

“Who can the government tax? Any entity with presence here.  Read the rest of this entry »

It’s destination Bhiwandi Hub for warehouse developers

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 14, 2018

Mumbai: Forty kilometres from Mumbai lies Bhiwandi in Thane district, a warehousing hub dispatching hundreds of thousands of retail and industrial goods to consumers in the financial capital every day. The town, once known for its power looms, has emerged as a warehousing hotspot for e-commerce majors such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Pepperfry, attracting blue-chip investors and developers keen for a slice of its booming economy.

According to property consultant JLL India, Bhiwandi has around 25.7 million sq. ft of warehousing space, of which only 3.2 million sq. ft are of Grade A quality. At this pace of growth, the town is closing in on Gurugram, which houses 25.98 million sq. ft of Grade A and B warehousing space.

Among firms actively looking to invest in the region are global commercial developers, including e-Shang Redwood (ESR), IndoSpace and Ascendas-Singbridge, and Bengaluru-based Embassy Group. Warburg Pincus-backed logistics developer ESR is all set to sign two large land deals in Bhiwandi, ESR India’s co-CEO Abhijit Malkani said. The company plans to build industrial parks focused on warehousing for retailers and e-commerce firms. If signed, ESR will become the first global institutional developer to enter the region. Read the rest of this entry »