Finance Ministry Current Affairs

Bharat-22 ETF follow-on offer may be worth Rs. 10,000 crore

The Union Finance Ministry may come out with Rs. 10,000 crore follow-on fund offer of Bharat-22 exchange traded fund (ETF) as it looks to dilute stake in Coal India Limited (CIL) to meet the minimum public holding norm. Besides, it is also keen to takeETF route to sell off government shares held through  Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India in private companies (SUUTI)—ITC, Axis Bank and L&T.

Background

The Union Government is planning to raise Rs. 80,000 crore in current fiscal from disinvestment, lower than over Rs. 1 trillion raised in 2017. The Bharat-22 ETF was launched in November 2017 to meet some part of this disinterment target. It comprises shares of 22 companies, including public sector undertakings (PSUs), public sector banks (PSBs), ITC, Axis Bank and L&T. The fund so far has garnered bids to tune of Rs.32,000 crore, although government retained only Rs. 14,500 crore.

Prior to the launch of Bharat-22 ETF, which has diversified portfolio, Union Government had floated CPSE ETF comprising stocks of 10 bluechip PSUs—ONGC, Coal India, IOC, GAIL (India), Oil India, PFC, Bharat Electronics, REC, Engineers India and Container Corporation of India. Through the CPSE ETF, the government had raised Rs. 11,500 crore in three tranches

Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

ETF is index funds that offer security of fund and liquidity of stock listed and traded on exchanges. Much like index funds they mirror index, commodity, bonds or basket of assets. They are similar to mutual funds in certain manner but are more liquid as they can be sold quickly on stock exchanges like shares.

The ETFs trading value is based on the net asset value of the underlying stocks that it represents. Their price changes daily as they are traded throughout the day. ETF route is considered as safer mode of disinvestment as it shields investors against stock market volatility.

Tags:

Government levies 10% import duty on key smartphone components

The Central Bureau of Excise and Customs (CBEC) under Finance Ministry has imposed a 10% duty on imports of key smartphone components such as populated printed circuit boards (PCBs), camera modules and connectors. At present there is zero import duty imposed on the three components.

Significance

This move will make imports of components expensive while giving stimulus to local manufacturing under Make in India program. Such input parts for making these components locally, will not attract any import duties. But it will lead to increase in prices of mobile phones for those companies that do not make or source these components locally. PCBs make up about 50% of cost of making smart phone. This decision will push local assembly or manufacturing of these components as companies who make here will get a price advantage over those who don’t.

Background

This decision follows the government’s announcement to impose 20% basic customs duty (BCD) on fully built mobile phones, which came into effect from February 1, 2018 as part of its phased manufacturing program (PMP). Since 2014, import duties have acted as catalyst to grow investment into mobile phone manufacturing in India, with number of factories increasing to 120 from handful. International contract manufacturing companies like Foxconn, Flex, Wistron and handset makers from China, India besides South Korea’s Samsung have taken local production of mobile phones to 225 million in 2017, which his more than 80% of the phones sold in country.

Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP)

Government had PMP in May 2017 for promoting the growth of domestic manufacturing of Cellular mobile handsets. This programme is under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MieTY). Its overall aim is to impose duties (differential duty regime) and give tax reliefs and incentives on select products involved in domestic manufacturing of cellular handsets. It is called phased manufacturing programme because it will give fiscal benefits to domestic manufacturing of various components of cellular handsets in different fiscals.

Tags:

12345...10...17