P for P-Notes...
P for panic.... P for pain!
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for
Finance Jayant Sinha and Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta
Das made a concerted bid July 27 to calm the frayed
nerves of foreign institutional investors roiled by a report
to put curbs on participatory notes used by many of them
to invest in India equities.
The Special Investigation Team on black money asked
the stock market regulator Sebi (Securities and Exchange
Board of India) July 24, after market hours, to draft rules
to determine the ‘final beneficial owners’ of P-notes, a
derivative instrument issued by FIIs against underlying
Indian stocks to their clients in foreign countries, who
don’t want to reveal their identity, leading to suspicion
that this route is used by Indians to launder unaccounted
money by round tripping their investments via P-notes
from tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Mauritius.
Strict regulation of P-notes has always met with a market thumbs down and despite assurances from those in
the finance ministry who matter, Indian equities tanked 2
per cent by close on trade July 27, abetted by a sharp sell-off in Chinese equities. The Indian rupee too crossed the
64 to the dollar mark that day as market participants
feared FIIs selling Indian stocks and moving to safety.
Secretary Das told reporters that the finance ministry
will take any steps based on the SIT’s recommendations
only after consulting stakeholders like the RBI, Sebi and
other financial institutions.
‘The government would not take any step that could
adversely impact investment sentiment,’ Das added.
‘ There will be due stakeholder consultation and after that
the government will take a decision. So there is no reason
at this point in time to pre-judge which way the govern-
ment is going to decide. There is no reason for the market
to react adversely.’
Data obtained from Sebi’s Web site shows that outstand-
ing offshore derivatives like P-notes added up to Rs 2.715
lakh crore at the end of February 2015, with the Cayman
Islands, the US, the UK, Mauritius and Bermuda contributing 31.31%, 14.2%, 13.49%, 9.91% and 9.1%, respec-tively.
Hotel Scotland Yard
A non-resident Indian from Abu Dhabi, Kerala-born
Yusuffali M A, has sealed the deal to develop a luxury
hotel on the site of the original Scotland Yard police sta-
tion in London.
Yusuffali, who runs the Lulu Group International in Abu
Dhabi, will pay 110 million pounds ($171 million) to convert the former home of the Metropolitan Police Force in
London’s Whitehall into a luxury hotel.
The Lulu Group owns assets worth $272 million across
the UK, Middle East and India.
Tech to trap tax evaders
Project Insight, the finance ministry’s flagship pro-
gramme to widen the tax base and catch serial offenders,
is on its way to become a reality soon, reports
the Economic Times.
The finance ministry has already floated a tender to procure software and corresponding infrastructure that will
be used to get insights into evasion by taxpayers using
their permanent account number (PAN) and mapping it
to their income tax returns.
A report tabled by Parliament’s standing committee on
finance in April said, ‘The challenges faced in widening
tax base proposed to be handled by Project Insight, which
will leverage data analytics, alert management and case
analytics capabilities to prepare case profiles and select
Ram Sewak Sharma is the new
India’s Cabinet has approved Ram Sewak Sharma, the
incumbent information technology secretary, as the next
chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
The post has been lying vacant since Rahul Khullar
retired in May even as the controversial net neutrality and
call drop issues wracked the sector.
A 1978 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of
the Jharkhand cadre, Sharma known as a ‘software coding
expert’, will retire from the IAS this September following
which he is like to take charge of the telecom watchdog.
Indian crude at 4-month low;
subsidy bill sinks by Rs 400 billion
The government of India’s good luck with crude contin-
Sustained supply from OPEC nations coupled with cooling demand, a strong US dollar and expectations of a further glut following Iran’s entry into the open market after
the nuclear deal are considered factors favorable for crude
prices to remain subdued going ahead.
Fortuitously for India, which imports more than 75 per
cent of its crude, this benign price scenario will not only
help put a lid on rising prices, but also help contain the
The Indian basket of crude crashed from a peak of
$66.54 per barrel May 6 to $54.41 per barrel July 21, a
drop of almost 18 per cent. This has led to India’s subsidy
burden coming down by Rs 400 billion ($6.26 billion).
According to some estimates, every one dollar fall in
a cleaner walks past an apple iPhone 6 advertisement in an electronics store in Mumbai. With only a tiny share of the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market, apple Inc is stepping up its push into India, with a first targeted television advertising campaign, expanded retail network and promotional financing schemes ShaILeSh anDraDe/reU TerS
General Motors Ceo Mary Barra with the company’s Trailblazer SUv in new Delhi, July 29. General Motors will invest $1 billion in the next few years to turn operations in India into a new global export hub aimed at boosting sales in fast-growing emerging markets, top executives said. The Trailblazer will be launched in India in october. anInDITo MUKherJee/reU TerS
the week that was