Double taxation avoidance protocol with Portugal gets the green signal

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 19, 2017

 

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the signing of the Protocol amending the Convention between India and Portugal for avoidance of Double Taxation.

According to an official statement, the Protocol will also ensure prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The statement said, “Once the Protocol enters into force, both India and Portugal would be able to exchange tax related information, which will help tax authorities of both countries to curb tax evasion.”

The Cabinet also approved leave encashment up to 180 days in respect of those Defence personnel who died or were invalidated out of service from December 30, 1991 to November 29, 1999, with less than 15 years of service. Read the rest of this entry »

India signs $175-million loan pact with World Bank to improve water management

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 18, 2017

NEW DELHI: India today signed a $175 million loan pact with the World Bank for National Hydrology Project that aims to improve management of water resources.

The project will strengthen the capacity of institutions to assess the water situation in their regions and reduce their vulnerability to recurring flood and droughts, saving hundreds of lives and livelihoods, the multilateral agency said in a statement.

Noting that rainfall in India is highly seasonal with half the precipitation falling in just 15 days and over 90 per cent of river flowing for just four months, the World Bank said India continues to be water-stressed and is faced with the challenge of managing its water needs amidst recurring floods and droughts. Read the rest of this entry »

India eases rules to allow merger of Indian companies with foreign firms

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: India will allow local companies to merge with overseas firms, easing rules to help home-grown businesses restructure their expanding global operations, and pave the deck for more listings of securities on capital markets abroad.

“Until now, only inbound mergers were permitted. With outbound mergers now permissible, there would be a lot of opportunities for Indian companies to acquire, restructure, or list on offshore exchanges as well,” said Mehul Shah, a partner at Khaitan and Co. Read the rest of this entry »

India, Georgia begin free trade agreement talks

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 11, 2017

NEW DELHI: India has begun the process of negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with Georgia and the two countries on Tuesday decided to launch a joint feasibility study for the same.

“In this regard, the Joint Feasibility Study Group consisting of the officials of the two countries has been established,” commerce ministry said in a statement after Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia met India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The high level group will give its report in six months after discussing the possible scope of a potential FTA and analysing the sensitiveness of specific sectors, while recommending possible ways to address them.

India has a positive trade balance with Georgia. In 2015-2016 the total export from India to Georgia was $82.57 million and import from Georgia was $24.47 million.

During the period April -February 2016-2017 India’s export to Georgia stood at $83 million as compared with $73 million in April-February 2015-2016. Imports from Georgia were $28 million viz-a-viz $24 million in April- February, 2015-2016.

 

Macquarie to acquire solar power assets of Hindustan Powerprojects in $600 mn deal

download (11).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Apr 11, 2017

Mumbai: An infrastructure fund of Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd has agreed to buy about 330 megawatts (MW) of operational solar assets from power producer Hindustan Powerprojects Pvt. Ltd for an enterprise value of $600 million, said two people familiar with the discussions.

The deal, which will give Macquarie an entry into India’s renewable energy sector, is in an advanced stage of completion and an agreement has been signed, these people said, asking not to be named as the discussions are private.

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India, Australia ink 6 pacts at bilateral talks

download (10)Source: Business Standard, Apr 10, 2017

New Delhi: India and Australia on Monday inked six pacts including one aimed at boosting counter-terrorism cooperation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in New Delhi.

The two leaders held comprehensive discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.

At a joint press event with Turnbull, Modi said they reviewed the entire gamut of ties and took many “forward-looking” decisions including one on an early holding of the next round of talks on a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA).

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India, UK to consider free trade pact after Brexit

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 05, 2017

NEW DELHI: India and the United Kingdom may look at a free trade agreement (FTA) after Britain formally leaves the European Union.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley and UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond discussed the possibility of FTA among other things on Tuesday at the 9th UKIndia economic and financial dialogue wherein Britain pitched for increased trade engagement with India.

The two leaders also agreed to set up a 240-million-pound fund, called Green Growth Equity Fund, — to finance clean energy projects. It would be a sub-fund of the Centre’s National Infrastructure and Investment Fund to boost infrastructure financing. On its part, India said a formal dialogue on a possible bilateral trade agreement can start only after the completion of Brexit, which is expected to take about two years.

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