The benchmark Sensex and Nifty hit new all-time high on Monday after favourable exit polls numbers projected for NDA government. Both indices surpassed their previous record highs touched on April 16. This is the biggest one-day gain in 10 years in point terms and the most since September 2013 in percentage terms.
With the Lok Sabha elections coming to a close, the hike in petrol and diesel prices in the coming days could range between ₹1 and ₹2 a litre. But the hikes are not expected to be steep, as globally, product and crude oil prices are expected to remain range bound.
The Economic Times, The Hindu, Business Line , 20 May 2019
The GST Council is likely to consider next month a proposal for setting up a national bench of the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) to reconcile the contradictory orders on similar issues passed by AARs in different states, a move aimed at providing certainty to taxpayers.
It is said that a National Bench/ Regional Benches needs to be implanted in the quasi-judicial decision-making process of AAR so that decisions of the lower authority could be re-calibrated by a higher centralised authority freeing them from revenue bias and passing on relief of certainty by preserving a nation-wide single line of verdicts.
Business Standard, The Hindu, Business Line , 20 May 2019
India has registered trade deficit in 2018-19 with as many as 11 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries – including China, South Korea and Australia.
The RCEP bloc comprises 10 Asean group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
India’s trade deficit with Brunei, Japan and Malaysia increased in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18. While Trade deficit with Australia, China, Indonesia, Korea, New Zealand and Thailand narrowed in the same period.
India had trade surplus with Cambodia, Myanmar and Philippines in 2018-19. But trade surplus with Singapore in 2017-18 has turned into deficit in 2018-19.
India did not carry out any trade with Laos in 2018-19.
Moneycontrol.com, The Hindu, Business Line , 20 May 2019
Industry body Association of Power Producers (APP) has urged the Finance Ministry to provide relief from double taxation on imported coal for the dry fuel-starved electricity generating firms.
APP has written to Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey seeking removal of Good and Services Tax (GST) on import freight for coal.
Power producers’ troubles have mounted since the GST regime came into effect in mid-2017. They are compelled to pay GST on import freight for coal even after paying tax on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of the imported dry fuel.