Transfin.

Retail Inflation in India Rises to the Highest Since May 2014 at 7.59%, Factory Output Shrinks

Retail inflation in India rose to 7.59% in January - highest since May 2014 - on the back of higher prices of food items such as vegetables, eggs, meat and fish, along with spike in fuel costs. Industrial output contracted 0.3% in December compared to a 1.8% rise in November due to decline in the manufacturing sector. Donald Trump’s trip to India could help seal a trade deal.

 

 

INDIA

Retail inflation in India rises to the highest since May 2014 at 7.59%.

Mounting Worries

Retail inflation in India rose to 7.59% in January vs 7.35% in the previous month on the back of higher prices of food items such as vegetables, eggs, meat and fish, along with spike in fuel costs. [BBG Quint]

 

 

In addition to this, data released by the National Statistical Organisation showed that industrial output contracted 0.3% in December compared to a 1.8% rise in November due to decline in the manufacturing sector. [New Indian Express]

 

Spoke Too Soon?

The news comes shortly after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently opined that there were several signs the economy is not in trouble and with the measures taken by the Government, the economy is moving forward.

 

POLICY

Government to expand scope of tax dispute resolution scheme.

Vivad Se Vishwas

In a bid to ensure more cases of dispute settlement and make the direct tax dispute resolution scheme "Vivad Se Vishwas" more attractive, the Government has expanded its scope to cover litigation pending in arbitration forums and debt recovery tribunals (DRTs). The scheme will also include cases related to revision and small-value search disputes. [Livemint]

 

The scheme will also cover cases where search and seizure have taken place where the ‘recovery’ is below ?5cr ($0.7m). The cabinet decision also allows assessees to opt for the scheme by paying 50% of the total tax demand in cases where the taxpayer has won the case. 

 

Lack of granularity in regulations leave portfolio management services providers wondering how to showcase returns.

Shooting in the Dark

As per this BS report, the move to provide standardised returns across portfolio managers which follows the revised portfolio management services (PMS) guidelines issued last month may be experiencing some teething troubles. [BS]

 

Lack of granularity in the regulations has left PMS providers confused about how they should showcase returns. 

 

The new regulation seeks to change how portfolio managers are governed, raising minimum investment size to ?50L and warranting minimum net worth of

?2-5cr (0.2m-0.7m).

 

ENERGY

Government mulling resurrecting oil dispute with oil majors that could see $600m in fines.

Old Demons Arise

The Government is considering referring to a panel of experts an old dispute with major oil companies that could see them liable to pay $600m in penalties.

 

The dispute revolves over how much penalty companies must pay for unfinished work programmes in blocks awarded in previous exploration rounds. The penalty claimed includes $380m from Reliance and about $100m from ONGC, besides fined from half a dozen more oil firms. [ET]

 

Global oil demand set to see first quarterly decline in over a decade, International Energy Agency (IEA) report says.

Beijing Blues

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global oil demand could see its first quarterly contraction in over a decade. As widespread shutdowns and quarantines in China enacted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak  hurt the country’s economy, demand for crude has taken a hit.

 

Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter of 2020, down from the same period a year ago, and marking the first quarterly contraction in more than a decade, the IEA said in its monthly oil market report. [CNBC]

 

 

GLOBAL

Donald Trump’s trip to India could help seal a trade deal.

 A Suitable Deal

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he would sign a trade agreement with India during his visit only if it was the “right deal”

 

Previously

Despite multiple attempts, the two countries’ trade teams have struggled to see eye to eye with countless meetings in Washington, Delhi and New York held over the last 18 months yielding no results.

 

Defense, energy, medical devices and agriculture are among the items said to be on the table, according to Eurasia analyst Akhil Bery. [CNBC]

 

Meanwhile

India has been classified as a developed economy, the United States Trade Representative has said. This is expected to stop all chances of India reclaiming its benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, the privileges under which were revoked in June. 

 

Extra Crunch

As per a WSJ report, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has purchased the Warner Estate from media mogul David Geffen for $165m - the largest amount paid for a single-family Los Angeles-area home. 

 

FYI

$165m is an eighth of a percent of Bezos’ $131.9bn net worth. [The Guardian]

FIN.

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