New Delhi

Nitish gives mixed signals, BJP plays down rift

BJP leaders on Monday played down the JD(U)’s reported differences with their party over a host of issues, including allocation of seats for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and expressed confidence that their alliance will fight the elections together.

A likely meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on July 12 in Patna will help iron out the differences between the two parties, they said. Shah will be in the state as part of his nation-wide tour to review the BJP’s preparations for the general elections.

Nirbhaya case: SC dismisses review pleas of 3 on death row

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by three out of the four convicts seeking review of its verdict upholding the death penalty awarded to them in the sensational December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan rejected the review pleas filed by Mukesh (29), Pawan Gupta (22) and Vinay Sharma (23), saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the verdict.

DoT okays Idea-Vodafone merger with conditions

The Department of Telecom on Monday granted a conditional approval to the pending merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone but asked the British company’s Indian arm to pay Rs 3,900 crore upfront and sought a bank guarantee of Rs 3,300 crore from Idea as pending spectrum charges.   

Overhaul of GST likely; 46 changes in law on the anvil

The government has invited stakeholders’ comments on draft proposals for amending GST law. Of the 46 changes suggested, one can permit input tax credit on services to employees by employers.

As per draft amendments, employers will be allowed to claim input tax credit (ITC) for supply of food, beverages, health services, life insurance, travel benefits, renting or hiring of motor vehicles, provided it is obligatory for them under any law.

Fund-raising via IPOs nearly doubles in H1

As many as 18 companies have raised Rs 23,670 crore through initial public offerings (IPO) in the first half of this year, nearly double the amount of Rs 12,000 crore raised in the year-ago period.

The outlook appears to be bullish for the remaining months of 2018 as nearly 50 companies, including HDFC Mutual Fund, Lodha Developers and Rail Vikas Nigam, are expected to launch initial share-sale offers this year.

Higher MSP may spike inflation, fiscal cost

According to the global financial ser-vices major DBS, the government’s decision to hike MSP for kharif crops carries inflation as well as fiscal costs. Higher MSPs are expected to impact GDP by 0.1-0.2 per cent besides add-ing to inflationary pressures, says a DBS report.

“For the fiscal math, impact is likely to be in the tune of 0.1-0.2 per cent of GDP, which might necessitate higher revenue support or lower capex spending to limit any risk to the 2018-19 deficit targets,” DBS said in a research report.

Hero Cycles plans acquisitions in Brazil, eastern Europe

Hero Cycles, a unit of Rs 2,600-crore Hero Motors Company (HMC), plans to make two global acquisitions this year to expand its footprint in the overseas markets with its range of hi-end bicycles and value for money products.

Curb high-pitched, unreasonable assessments: CBDT to I-T dept

In a bid to be taxpayer-friendly, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a stern directive to all income-tax department offices across India to curb “high-pitched” and “unreasonable” assessments of taxpayers and ensure that assessing officers who issue such “irrational” orders are transferred and face disciplinary action.