RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday held the policy repo rate at 6% as the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) raised the estimate for fourth-quarter inflation and flagged concerns about the future outlook for price gains. Five of the six members of the RBI’s MPC voted in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the third consecutive meeting, while one member, M.D. Patra, recommended a 25 basis points (bps) rate increase. While holding interest rates — as widely anticipated — the central bank also retained its ‘neutral’ policy stance.
Govt amends IBC for better realization of stressed assets
The government has amended regulations under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to introduce the concept of fair value and ensure better realizations for assets undergoing resolution. The amendments define fair value as the estimated realizable value of the assets on the starting date of insolvency proceedings. The regulations require the insolvency resolution professional—who takes charge of the assets—to hire two professional registered valuers to determine the fair value and liquidation value of the asset.
Stamp Duty Act revamp on the cards
India is looking to revamp the Stamp Duty Act to bring about uniformity in rates for taxation of financial securities on a destination-based principle. The department of economic affairs in the finance ministry has already held one round of discussion with states where it made a presentation on the proposed regime. Also on the table is the idea that stock exchanges deduct the tax so decided and distribute it among states. “The idea is to have a uniform rate, work out the modality for collection of duty and thirdly division will be based on destination,” said finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, adding that the department of economic affairs has piloted the initiative.
Mid-sized startups warm up to the idea of M&As
In a trend which means quicker and easier exits for both startups and early stage investors, M&As between startups which have raised angel to Series B funding are gradually and steadily opening up. The scenario is a big change from a few years ago when M&As in the startup ecosystem were generally equated with either big deals such as Flipkart’s $300-million acquisition of Myntra or acqui-hires which were merely team acquisitions. “Earlier it was acqui-hires or big acqui-hires or big acquisitions. But the mid-market ranging between $10 million and $50 million is opening up which is a very encouraging sign.
Supreme Court quashes all Goa iron ore mining leases, says can’t operate after March 15
The Supreme Court on Wednesday cancelled all iron ore mining leases in the state and said operations have to stop on March 15. The top court said fresh leases will be issued only after obtaining an environment clearance. The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Goa Foundation. It further asked the central government to start a fresh process of auction for mining companies in Goa. In January this year, the Goa Police filed a charge sheet against former chief minister and Congress leader Digambar Kamat for condonation of delay in renewing a mining lease that caused a loss to the state exchequer.
MSME definition may be revised
The definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector might be revised by raising the ceiling for investment in each segment. It would mean investing a larger sum, than prescribed under the current definition, would keep the enterprises in the MSME fold. Other factors likely to get a play in the new definition of MSME include the number of employees in the enterprises and the turnover. The current classification marks enterprises in manufacturing sector with an investment in plant and machinery of up to Rs 25 lakh as micro, up to Rs 5 crore as small and up to Rs 10 crore as medium enterprises.