Government to decriminalise the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Amazon to roll out new electric-powered delivery rickshaws in India. Reliance Jio launches UPI Payments - becomes first telco to do so. India's richest 1% have four times more wealth than bottom 70%, says Oxfam report. Spotify reportedly in talks to buy podcast outlet The Ringer.
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Easing Out: In a bid improve ease of doing business and to transform the nation into a $5trn economy, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the Government will decriminalise the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Sitharaman noted that decriminalising corporate laws, settling tax disputes and rapid privatisation of state-run firms were among the steps that the government was taking to achieve the goal.
Meanwhile: The government has already identified the statutory changes to be made in the Companies Act to decriminalise several procedural lapses and those that do not affect public interest. Livemint
Inside Out: The government is looking to get gig workers such as plumbers, electricians and beauticians listed on online platforms onto the Goods and Services Tax Network.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade ( DPIIT) is considering making it mandatory for online marketplaces such as UrbanClap, HouseJoy and Bro4u to only engage service professionals who have a GST Number. ET Tech
The Many Have Less: Ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), rights group Oxfam has released its study "Time to Care", which found that the world's 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than the 4.6bn people - or 60% of the planet's population.
Regarding India, the report said the richest 1% of Indians hold more than four times the wealth held by the bottom 70% of the country's population (953m people). And the combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19. Livemint
No Faith: Meanwhile, the "Edelman Trust Barometer", which for two decades has polled tens of thousands of people on their trust in core institutions, has sought to understand how the world viewed capitalism for the first time. The result? 56% of the 34,000 people from 28 countries that were polled agreed that "capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world".
Among countries, lack of trust in capitalism was reportedly highest in Thailand and India at 75% and 74% respectively. Majorities prevailed in other Asian, European, Gulf, African and Latin American states. Only in Australia, Canada, the United States, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan did majorities disagree with the assertion. BS
HDFC Bank share price today declined nearly 3.5% after the private lender reported sharp rise in provisions in Q3.
The bank's provisions, including those for bad loans and contingencies, grew a whopping 37.6% to ?3,043.6cr ($429m) in Q3FY20, from ?2,211.5cr ($312m) reported last year.
The asset quality, too, came under pressure during the quarter under review. Gross Non-performing assets (NPAs) ratio rose 1.42% in December 2019 vs 1.38% last year. The gross NPAs stood at 1.38% in September 2019.
On the Other Hand: HDFC reported a 32.8% YoY rise in net profit to ?7,416.5cr ($1,046m). Net interest income (NII) also rose by 12.7% to ?14,172.9cr ($1,999m) during the quarter. Net interest margin (NIM) for the quarter remained stable at 4.2%. BS
Kotak Mahindra Bank has posted a 6.26% rise in consolidated profit before tax (PBT) at ?2,889.47cr ($407m) in Q3.
Total consolidated income was up 19.34% YoY to ?13,542.43cr ($1,910m). Moneycontrol
Amazon Green: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in a Twitter video today, announced that the company will soon be rolling out electric delivery rickshaws in India.
In the tweet, Bezos wrote that these rickshaws will be fully electric, have zero carbon emissions and will be used to make order deliveries. NDTV
We'll Do It All...Everything: Telecom operator Reliance Jio has rolled out a UPI payments facility for its select users, the first telecom player to do so. This feature is available within the MyJio app, and can be obtained through an update. The facility is expected to launch widely by the end of 2020.
Does Jio's entry into the payments space smell trouble for the likes of Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe? Yourstory
The Spotify Effect: Spotify might be in "early" talks to acquire sports and pop culture outlet The Ringer. If a deal is reached, it would give Spotify control of 30 podcasts that rake in over 100m downloads per month. This would accelerate Spotify's efforts to conquer the podcasting world - The Ringer is believed to have made $15mn through its podcasts in 2018 alone. Endgadget
Screen in India: Samsung Display, a flat-screen supplier to Samsung Electronics, will reportedly invest nearly $500mn to build a new factory in India. It will be built in Noida, which is also home to a Samsung Electronics phone factory. More details here.