Ref: BN-0613-004: June 3, 2013; News Report; Commodity; Gold Business Standard reports…
Govt mulls ban on gold coin sales by banks
With the surge in gold imports again posing a threat to the country’s widening current account deficit (CAD), the government on Monday said it might review its import policy. It added it might ban the sale of gold coins by banks.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the country was not in a position to afford high levels of imports; policies could be reviewed to reduce imports of the yellow metal, he added. In May, gold imports stood at 162 metric tonnes, he told reporters.
…India is the world’s largest consumer of gold and the commodity holds the second-highest weightage in the country’s import basket, after crude oil. According to commerce ministry data, gold and silver imports jumped 138 per cent to $7.5 billion in April, against $3.1 billion in the year-ago period.
In January, the government had raised duty on gold imports to six per cent. It had also allowed gold exchange-traded funds to deposit part of the physical gold held by them with banks; relaxation in gold deposit schemes of banks was also proposed.
FM Chidambaram is adopting negative approach to contain the trade deficits. We have two deficits – Trade Deficit and Budget Deficit. The latter is more cause of concern for the global investors, IMF, World Bank and GDP watchers.
Containing imports will not address the issue of budget deficit. The Government is already earning 6% of imports as Custom Duty (Income source under Budget deficit) plus 1 to 2% sales tax being earned by various states.
In all, containing imports will cause revenue loss of 7% on imported value. Presuming, gold import is contained up to 60% of current volume, the revenue loss will be 7% of 40% of total imports ($60 billions on average) = $1.98 billions or Rs 11,400 crores at current exchange rate (Rs 57/$)
Due to restrained imports, there could be job losses in the Gold Industry. Most of gold workers are not literate, and earn their living from the personal art of making jewellery. Assuming loss of 40% imports of gold or $24 billions = Rs 136,800 crores in turnover, the job losses could be in several lakhs of workers – across the country. The loss of excise, sales tax and income tax on lost revenue and wages could be devastating. The budget deficit will rise further by another Rs 15000 crores (or total Rs 26,000 crores inclusive of custom duty on imports)
Looks like no one thinks in India while making policy statement. No one believes in preventive cures but only in post mortem analysis.
If the Government wants to restrain the import cost, the best thing is to let Rupee rise, so that cost of oil and gold import could significantly come down. But right and positive approach rarely comes to the passive mind of the bureaucrat running Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank of India.
Mr. Chidambaram, be a leader, not follower. You can do much more than your predecessor Pranab Mukherji, who is consigned to Presidency, away from policy making exercise. Make it worthwhile.
Ref: BN-0613-003 June 2, 2013: Business Std.; Finance; IT Raid
FM asks I-T to avoid raids
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has asked officials to tread cautiously while chasing tax evaders and avoid raids as long as possible.
“The finance minister said our approach should be non-intrusive. We will get as much information as possible on our own and then give the tax evaders a chance to pay up their dues. There need not be a surprise element.”
Finally, realism has downed upon the Finance Minister. No doubt, Mr. Chidambaram is talking sense after all. The Government of India’s policy has so far been “Trust me You, Trust I don’t”. The people of India vote the party to govern the nation by trusting them. However, those very people begin to “distrust” by following weird process, one of them is “RAID” by the IT Department.
I lived in Hong Kong for over 27 years, and never saw a single raid in my entire history. The government trusted the people, and even if there were some violations, they overlooked unless the crime is severe. They followed normal procedure to call the assesses for information. Raid, never ever.
Right step, Chidu, keep it up. What you need to do is to cut the wings and legs of the bureaucrats who have been ruling the nation for over 65 years, regardless of who is in power at any time. They should be made aware that power of “electees” is more than the power of “appointees”.
Ref: BN-0613-002: June 2, 2013 ; News report; Stocks; Infosys
News Headlines ….“Infosys…Kamath out, Narayan Moorthy IN”
Finally, it happened, it had to. K C Kamath, appointed as Chairman of Infosys at the recommendation of outgoing Founder -Chairman N. Narayanmoorthy, had finally called it a day, resigned after a few years at the helm, and replaced by his fan and once a patron, same Narayanmoorthy
In the language of computer, it was an over extended “undo” operation. DO “Narayanmoorthy out, Kamath in and then “Kamath out and Narayanmoorthy in.” UNDO
When Narayanmoorthy was mesmerized by the hyped up reputation of Kamath of ICICI Bank, which persuaded him to invite him to join his founded company, KALIDAS commented at that time “that Infosys is entering bad phase after years of growth, and that hand picked “Kamath” will destroy the company.” And he (Kamath) did, compelling NN to fire him ultimately and replace him with own self again at this old age. It reminds me of Arnold Schwarznegger in his prime movie “ Total Recall”
A few years have passed by, and finally, Kalidas was proved right again, right on spot. I deserved to pat myself, and I did!
Ref: BN_0613-001: June 2, 2013: News report; Stocks; Essar Oil
Business Standard reports on its June 3 edition that..
Essar Oil to double refining capacity of Vadinar plant…
This will involve an investment of around Rs 35,000 crore going forward
Essar Oil plans to increase the capacity of its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat from the present 20 million tonnes to 40 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in the next five years. This would involve an investment of about Rs 35,000 crore. Another investment of about Rs 40,000 crore would be made to set up an integrated petrochemical project.
“We have the land and environment clearance is available with us. But we would put the expansion plans in place sometime down the line, only after we have achieved a reasonable certainty on our leverages and have certain cash flows. We have to show to the world for the next year that we are on a comfortable footing,” Lalit Kumar Gupta, managing director and chief executive, told Business Standard.
…..As on March 31, Essar Oil’s debt stood at Rs 22,380 crore, with a market capitalization of Rs 1,758 crore. During the January-March quarter of FY13, Essar Oil posted a net profit of Rs 200 crore, against a loss of Rs 515 crore in the same quarter last year. However, it paid Rs 920 crore towards finance costs during the quarter. For 2012-13, finance costs were Rs 3,424 crore, from Rs 1,387 crore in 2011-12.
Sure way to bankruptcy……Bankers beware. EOL came out of near bankruptcy a few years ago, but as they say…”Old Habits Die Hard”. Ruia are up again. They want to just “refine, refine and refine” (Oil) when the finances are getting “dirty, dirtier and dirtiest” day by day.
The Finance Minister Mr. Chidambaram should now put “cap” on expansion by any firm unless the expansion cost is funded by equity by at least 50%. If he does not act now and show restraint, many nationalized banks will also bankrupt. What happened to Kingfisher Airlines? Boom, Boom, Boom and Bust… Learn the lesson easy way or hard way..the Choices are yours, Mr. Chidambaram
Refineries are mostly automated plants, involving thousands of crores in CAPEX and generating very low level of jobs. They are not in the interest of the economy.
Look at Baroda, for instance, even after years of existence of IPCL presence there, the town remained “sleepy” all the time. The property prices were almost frozen at low level for over 15 years (not now since the mortgage financing started). When I visited last, it was more like Sholay’s “Gabbar Village” – not many people on the street. Now look at Surat – there is one car for every 7 persons in the city. Reason …..thriving Textile and Diamond industry which has created thousands of new jobs (not by new refineries in Hazira et al)
Ruia is a traditional “marwari” who believe in debt and OPM (Other People’s Money). He does not and would not want to understand even when the interest rates are hefty 10% t0 15%, the rupee sinking day by day, and most of his profits are eaten away by interest cost alone.