Business, Economy & Banking Current Affairs - 2019

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Partial de-notification of RIL SEZ approved by the Govt

Union Government gave nod to Reliance Industries’ plans of de-notifying more than 40 % of its multi-product Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Jamnagar subject to refund of all tax benefits it got for developing the area. However, the multi-product status of SEZ will remain intact as the total area would remain higher than the minimum required area of 1,000 hectares. The Govt has asked the company to get a no-objection-certificate from the Government of Gujarat.

The Board of Approval, which takes most decisions regarding the establishing and operation of SEZs, approved  RIL’s proposal to denotify 728.43 hectares, reducing the total area of its Jamnagar SEZ to 1035.72 hectares. However, the multi-product status of SEZ will remain intact as the total area would remain higher than the minimum required area of 1,000 hectares.

Why this de-notification?

RIL had applied for de-notifying about 40 % of its SEZ spanned over 1764.14 hectares as it intends to build new projects in the area with investments up to Rs 42,000 crore. Apart from Reliance, a number of SEZs have applied for de-notification and cancellation of approval following the Government’s decision to levy the minimum alternate tax and dividend distribution tax on SEZ investors.

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Cabinet approval to reduction of CDMA base price by half

The Union Cabinet has given nod to 50 % reduction in the 800 MHz band (reserve) price which was fixed earlier at Rs 18,200 crore for 5 MHz. Auction for the CDMA radio-waves is expected to begin in March 2013.

What does this mean?

With this cut in the price, existing CDMA operators will have to pay a one-time fee on the revised base price. The existing CDMA operators holding spectrum beyond 2.5 Mhz will be charged at the revised reserve price, effecting from January 1, 2013, till such time as auction determined price becomes available.
However, the move is being opposed by the GSM operators’ body COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) is of the view that the decision will lead to non-level playing field in the sector and it may approach court in the matter.

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