Business, Economy & Banking Current Affairs - 2020

Business, Economy and Banking in Current Affairs 2019 with latest news and current affairs in Agriculture, Industry, Banking, Capital Markets, Import and Export and Government schemes in commercial sector.

Govt Allows LIC’s investment cap in firms to 30%

imageThe Finance Ministry has relaxed the investment norm for Life Insurance Corporation of India. LIC can now invest up to 30% of a company’s paid-up capital. Earlier it could invest up to 10%.

Objective:

  • This can be seen as an effort to meet the disinvestment target of Rs 30,000 crore this fiscal.
  • LIC on March, 1, 2012 had bailed out the government’s disinvestment process by picking up ONGC shares. Thus, the fresh norms will enable the cash-rich LIC, which invests around Rs 50,000-60,000 crore in equity yearly, to pick up higher equity in state-owned companies during the disinvestment process.
  • The government aims to sell equity in various state-owned companies like Nalco, Hindustan Copper, SAIL, BHEL, MMTC and Oil India Limited (OIL).
  • Govt also aims to sell its remainder equity in companies which were privatized earlier. 

Before the ONGC disinvestment, the government had collected a merely Rs 1,145 crore (mostly from the sale of shares in Power Finance Corp) against a target of Rs 40,000 crore. That has been increased by about Rs 12,600 crore via the sale of 5% of ONGC in an auction that scraped through thanks to a last-minute intervention by the LIC.

  • The insurance regulator IRDA was against LIC picking up more than 10% equity in a company. It wanted LIC to stick to the norms applicable to private insurers.
  • However, the investment norms for LIC are mandated by the Finance Ministry and NOT IRDA.
  • There is however, no change in the investment norms of other government-owned companies.

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GAAR amendments finalized: Chidambaram

Finance Minister P.Chidambaram held that the amendments to General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), have been finalized.

GAAR, was proposed in the 2012-13 Budget in order to preventing tax evasion. But it aroused sharp reactions from foreign as well as domestic investors who feared that unchecked powers to taxmen would result in harassment of the investors. Thus, the government subsequently appointed a committee headed by tax expert ‘Parthasarthi Shome’ to look into their matter.

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