Maharashtra Government notifies public holidays for 2024 under the Negotiable Instruments Act
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The penetration of mutual funds in India and its growth has been remarkable. We have come a long way, but we still have huge potential, said Shri Amarjeet Singh, whole time member SEBI at the recent Mutual Fund Conclave organised by Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, India’s oldest chamber of commerce and industry. At the same time he cautioned, that governance of AMCs is very important.
“Once Indian investors come in, they repose certain amount of interest or faith in the market and if that faith is disturbed, then they withdraw from that particular segment of the market and it’s very difficult to get them back. It is responsibility of all the stakeholders, including regulators, industry and investors to make sure that this trust and faith which is required is not disturbed and that is why we need good governance,” he said.
He further added that digitisation and the spread of information on social media has ensured that it does not take much time for negative news to spiral and reputations to be adversely affected. “Past experience has shown that once trust in the markets is lost, it takes a long time to rebuilt it. Since mutual funds have a very small ticket size, could be as low as INR 100 to 500, it is even more critical to maintain the trust and faith of investors. So, ensuring strong corporate governance practices and transparency within the mutual fund industry is crucial for future growth,” he stated.
Nilesh Shah, past President, Bombay Chamber and Group President and MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC set the theme for the event. The Conclave saw two insightful panel discussions. The first was on the topic Mutual Fund Maturity in India: Future Trends and Investor Preferences. The panelists were Nilesh Shah; Navneet Munot, MD & CEO, HDFC AMC; Nimesh Shah, MD & CEO, ICICI Prudential AMC Ltd and D. P. Singh, DMD & Jt CEO, SBI Mutual Fund. The session was moderated by Latha Venkatesh, Executive Editor, CNBC TV18.
The second panel discussion was on The Shifting Regulatory and Business Terrain. The panelists were Varun Sridhar, CEO, Paytm Money Ltd; Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC Securities Limited; Varun Gupta, CEO, Groww Mutual Fund; Kalpen Parekh, MD & CEO, DSP Mutual Fund. The moderator was Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Business Today.
The Vote of Thanks was presented by Rajiv Anand, board member, Bombay Chamber and Deputy Managing Director, Axis Bank.
More than 100 senior executives from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, the world’s largest CEO-led community committed to net zero emissions, signed an open letter recently ahead of the COP28 climate conference, calling on leaders from the public and private sectors to accelerate net-zero actions to reduce carbon emissions for the benefit of society, public health and the global economy.
The latest IPCC report has confirmed that the world is on course to breach the critical barrier of 1.5°C warming within the next two decades, setting a path to cascading climate tipping points and irreversible damage to the Earth’s planetary systems. Limiting the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C would require 50% emissions reductions by 2030 – amounting to annual emission reductions greater than what was achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest report from S&P Global Market Intelligence, India is poised to become the world’s third-largest economy, surpassing Japan by 2030. The report anticipates that India’s GDP will double, reaching $7.3 trillion, up from $3.5 trillion in 2022. This rapid economic growth will lead to India overtaking Japan as the second-largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, Japan holds the third position globally, following the United States and China.
The substantial increase in foreign direct investment into India over the past decade reflects the promising long-term growth prospects of the Indian economy. This growth is driven by a youthful demographic profile and rapidly rising urban household incomes. By 2022, India’s GDP had already exceeded that of the United Kingdom and France. The report also predicts that by 2030, India’s GDP will surpass Germany’s.
Notably, Japan is expected to slip to the fourth position in the world economy rankings based on US dollar valuation, as Germany takes over the third spot. The International Monetary Fund’s projections support this change.
India stands out as an outperformer in the emerging market landscape, with the private sector experiencing the second-fastest sales growth in over 13 years, contributing to overall economic expansion. While Russia reported robust growth, mainland China’s expansion slowed, and Brazil faced economic contraction during the survey period, as highlighted by S&P.
The report also underscores the global economic slowdown, which reached its lowest point in eight months by the end of the third quarter. Furthermore, the first contraction in global new orders and a significant decrease in work backlogs suggest potential weaknesses in the coming months.
The RBI has instructed banks to ensure the presence of at least two Whole Time Directors (WTDs), including the MD & CEO, on the boards of banks. As per the RBI, the number of WTDs shall be decided by the Board of the bank by taking into account factors such as the size of operations, business complexity, and other relevant aspects.
Further, RBI has said that banks lacking two executives in directorial roles must present proposals for the appointment within a four-month timeframe. “Given the growing complexity of the banking sector, it becomes imperative to establish an effective senior management team in the banks to navigate ongoing and emerging challenges. Establishment of such a team may also facilitate succession planning, especially in the background of the regulatory stipulations in respect of tenure and upper age limit for Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) positions,” the RBI has said in a statement.
Startups registered with DPIIT will not be subject to assessment proceedings relating to Angel Tax amendments made in Budget 2023.
The Income Tax Department had last month notified new angel tax rules for evaluating the shares issued by unlisted startups to investors.
While previously the angel tax – a tax levied on capital received on the sale of shares of a startup above the fair market value – was applicable only to local investors, the Budget for the 2023-24 fiscal (April 2023 to March 2024) widened its ambit to include foreign investments.
As per the Budget, the excess premium will be considered as ‘income from sources’ and taxed at the rate of up to over 30 per cent. However, startups registered by the DPIIT were exempt from the new norms.
India’s Wholesale Price Index (WPI) reported a provisional annual deflation of 0.26% in September 2023, marking a decline from the previous month’s rate of -0.52% in August 2023. The decline in prices was attributed to decreases in chemical and chemical products, mineral oils, textiles, basic metals, and food products compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
The WPI and inflation rates for all commodities and major groups for the past three months are:
All Commodities (Weight: 100.0%): The WPI decreased from 152.4 in August 2023 to 151.5 in September 2023, with a corresponding drop in the annual inflation rate from -0.52% to -0.26%.
Primary Articles (Weight: 22.62%): The WPI decreased to 182.4 in September 2023, showing an annual inflation rate of 3.70%, compared to 189.6 and 6.34% in August 2023.
Fuel & Power (Weight: 13.15%): The WPI increased to 153.1 in September 2023, resulting in an annual inflation rate of -3.35%, compared to 149.6 and -6.03% in August 2023.
Manufactured Products (Weight: 64.23%): The WPI increased to 140.3 in September 2023, with an annual inflation rate of -1.34%, compared to 139.8 and -2.37% in August 2023.
Food Index (Weight: 24.38%): The WPI declined to 177.8 in September 2023, showing an annual inflation rate of 1.54%, compared to 186.1 and 5.62% in August 2023.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) report for October 2023, released on October 10th, has revised India’s economic growth projection for the current fiscal year. It now stands at 6.3 percent, an increase from the previous estimate of 6.1 percent. The IMF anticipates that retail inflation in India will climb to 5.5 percent in fiscal year 2023-24 before gradually declining to 4.6 percent in 2024-25.
“Growth in India is projected to remain strong, at 6.3 per cent in both 2023 and 2024, with an upward revision of 0.2 percentage points for 2023, reflecting stronger-than-expected consumption during April-June,” said the IMF. This is the second time that the IMF has made an upward revision to India’s growth forecast.
The Reserve Bank of India has opted to maintain its key interest rate unchanged, citing persistent inflation as a significant concern. The Monetary Policy Committee, consisting of three members from the central bank and an equivalent number of external members, unanimously decided to keep the benchmark repurchase rate (repo) at 6.50 percent.
The central bank also indicated its intention to uphold tight liquidity through bond sales in order to steer prices closer to the desired target. This marks the fourth consecutive meeting where the rate has remained unchanged, reaffirming their commitment to the “withdrawal of accommodation” stance.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das emphasised that the central bank has identified high inflation as a primary threat to macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth. He reaffirmed the bank’s unwavering dedication to aligning inflation with the 4 percent target on a sustainable basis.
As per the RBI, the main considerations underlying the decision are:
October 4, Mumbai: The concept of CSR has witnessed a transformation frommere philanthropy to strategic business decision making in the corporate sector,said Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation; Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Planning and Union Minister of State, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). He was the Keynote Speaker at the annual CSR Conclave of Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry held in Mumbai today. Shri Singh added, “CSR is a Board driven process and the Board has the responsibility of ideation, planning and execution of CSR activities based on the recommendation of its CSR committee. And thus companies are able to form a deeper and meaningful connection with the stakeholders and the community that they operate in. CSR is no longer perceived as an act of charity or voluntary support to the needy. Today it forms an integral part of a company’s business philosophy. Since legislation mandated CSR since April 2014, companies have spent more than 1.5 lakh crore in different activities. Both the number of companies contributing to CSR as well as the annual CSR expenditure have increased from 2014-15 to 2021-22.”
He also shared that since 2021 a class of companies have been mandated to carry out impact assessment of their CSR practices. “This will encourage companies to take an informed decision before deploying their CSR funds. This will not only serve as feedback for companies to plan and allocate resources better but also deepen the impact of CSR. MCA has released an e-compendium of CSR which compiles the legal framework of CSR in one destination so as to enable stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding the CSR eco system in the country,” he informed.
In his opening remarks, Ritesh Tiwari, President, Bombay Chamber & CFO, Hindustan Unilever and Unilever South Asia stated that CSR is much more than short term philanthropic gestures; it’s about making systemic and sustained investments that create material positive impact on communities and society at large. He said, “CSR requires businesses to build a framework around responsibility to society and being accountable to all stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, the public, and the environment. In order to reap the full benefits of CSR, organisations should consider three key aspects when designing their strategy. Firstly, organisations must adopt a strategy that is not limited to short term philanthropy but is instead a multi-year commitment to holistic community development, institution building and sustainability-related initiatives. Secondly, organisations should focus on their CSR areas of expertise where their contribution can be maximised creating sustained long term impact. While some of these areas may evolve over time, the CSR strategy will need to remain true to the company;s values and stakeholder’s interests. And thirdly, there is merit in pooling resources to amplify impact. CSR is not a zero-sum game. Companies with common CSR interests can create larger impacts by collaborating and amalgamating resources.”
Hemant Gupta, Head – BSE Social Stock Exchange who delivered the thematic address said, “ An impactful CSR strategy is important to create both a greater social and corporate impact; to build greater engagement with partners and focus on core business competencies. CSR is not about only your company; it is also about both downstream and upstream partners.”
The CSR Conclave was organised under the aegis of the Chamber’s CSR Committee chaired by Aloka Majumdar, Managing Director, Global Head of Philanthropy & Head of Sustainability, India, HSBC.
The conclave saw a panel discussion on SSE which was moderated by Anantha Narayan, Advisor, Sattva Consulting and the panelists included Dr R Balasubramaniam, Chairman, Social Stock Exchange Advisory Committee; Dhruvi Shah, ET & CEO, Axis Bank Foundation; Noshir Dadrawala, CEO, Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy and Namita Dandekar, COO, Raintree Foundation.
Dr. Subramanya Kusnur, Founder Chairman & CEO, AquaKraft Group Ventures,Treasurer – Governing Council of UN Global Compact Network India and Consultant – Ministry of Water Supply, Sri Lanka gave a presentation on Ten yearsof CSR in India: The learnings and way ahead.
A second panel discussion on Social Impact and Financial Reporting was moderated by Abhay Gupte, Partner, Deloitte India. The panel included Heena Khushalani, Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young Associates LLP; Vaneeta Gangwani, Director, PWC and Sandeep Kothawade, Associate Director, KPMG.
The last panel discussion on Inclusive & Sustainable CSR: Way Forward saw Aziz Fidai, Head – CSR, Metro Brands as moderator and the panel included Aloka Majumdar, Chairperson, CSR Committee, Bombay Chamber & Managing Director, Global Head of Philanthropy & Head of Sustainability, India, HSBC; Prasad Pradhan, Director Sustainable Business & Communications, South Asia, Unilever; Matilda Lobo, Senior Vice President – Head Corporate Social Responsibility,IndusInd Bank and Prerana Langa, CEO, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat India.
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