Citizens' Issues
Bid to kidnap Aurobindo Pharma director Reddy at gun point foiled

According to an eyewitness, the unidentified attacker sat in Aurobindo Pharma’s Director K Nityananda Reddy’s car and then threatened him with an AK-47 rifle


An AK-47 rifle wielding man allegedly tried to abduct Aurobindo Pharma’s Director K Nityananda Reddy from his car near a park and opened fire when Reddy and his brother resisted in the posh Banjara Hills Wednesday morning.


No one was injured in the incident that spread panic in the upscale area. Police said the attacker fled leaving behind his weapon.


“One person tried to kidnap him (Reddy). However, Reddy resisted his attempt. Following this, the person fired in air and also at his car. Three rounds were fired in the process before he fled the scene,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, Banjara Hills, Uday Kumar Reddy said.


According to an eyewitness, the unidentified attacker sat in Reddy’s car and then threatened him with an AK-47 rifle.


However, Reddy’s brother, who was sitting in the car’s rear seat, tried to resist the attacker’s attempt. In the scuffle, the attacker fired some rounds at the car’s windshield.


Later, the weapon was seized from the car, police said.


Reddy, who is Vice-Chairman of Aurobindo Pharma, said after finishing his morning walk at KBR Park here, he sat in his car and was about to start it when the attack took place.


“Suddenly this man came and threatened me with the gun. I tried to catch hold of the weapon and also shouted for help and my brother tried to catch him. The person fired some rounds at my car before fleeing,” Reddy told presspersons after the incident.


Police recovered a few empty shells from the site.


Sniffer and tracking dogs were pressed into action to nab the attacker.


HC rules against I-T dept again, this time in Shell transfer pricing case

Another blow to the I-T Dept in its endeavour to recover taxes on transfer of shares between Indian subsidiaries of foreign multi-nationals


In another blow to the Indian government and Income Tax (I-T) Department's hopes of recovering additional taxes from multi-national companies, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Shell India Markets Plc, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The I-T Department had levied a tax amounting to Rs3,000 crore to the company's tax liabilities. Vodafone fought and won a similar case earlier.

Transfer pricing practices have been in focus all over the world, with multi-nationals transferring shares of international subsidiaries to parent companies and even sometimes into entities registered in tax havens. In India, the I-T Department's adversarial stance against multinationals like Vodafone and Shell has been blamed for flagging foreign investor confidence in the country.

Transfer pricing involves the transfer of shares of a company registered in India, in this case Shell India, to a foreign holding company or parent company, in this case, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The general principle is that the pricing of these shares should be in line with market prices of the shares. However, Shell had paid only Rs10 per share to the Indian subsidiary. This transfer of shares had taken place in 2009. Shell has argued, as had Vodafone, that such transfers of shares for channelling investments into subsidiary companies was a common practice and taxing the transfer would amount to taxing foreign investments into India.

The Bombay HC had read the law such that, the arm's length principle in transfer of shares should apply only when income, expense or interest is involved and not for other cases.

How the government and the I-T Department respond to the judgment will be crucial. If the I-T Department agrees to go by the Bombay HC order, some believe that it may help the case for higher inflows from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and even foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Modi government has long pitched itself as business friendly and that it would not indulge in 'tax terrorism'. It remains to be seen how far this case goes, both, the Vodafone and Shell cases will have a bearing on the perception of the Tax regime in India.


Nifty, Sensex finding it tough to head higher– Tuesday closing report

A close below 8,400 in Nifty may trigger a short-term decline


After rising sharply on Monday to all-time highs, the Indian indices failed to gain momentum on Tuesday. The benchmark opened high, but was immediately pulled lower and struggled throughout the day to remain positive.

S&P BSE Sensex opened at 28,209 and hit a life time high of 28,283 from where it moved lower to hit a low of 28,120 and closed at 28,163 (down 15 points or 0.05%). The NSE’s CNX Nifty opened at 8,441 and moved lower to the level of 8,407 after hitting a high of 8,455. Nifty closed at 8,426 (down 5 points or 0.06%). NSE recorded a volume of 99.65 crore shares. India VIX fell 2.39% to close at 14.0650.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said most of the contentious issues on the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) have already been resolved. He said he would apprise the empowered committee of state finance ministers' about the draft Constitution Amendment Bill on GST before introducing it in the parliament.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed Monday between Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Department of Commerce, US on establishing an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform under which the two governments would coordinate with the goal of facilitating US industry participation in Indian infrastructure projects.

In a joint statement issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to Australia, stated that Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Modi agreed to expedite progress towards early conclusion of the administrative arrangements to implement the civil nuclear agreement signed between the two countries during Abbott's visit to India in September. Australian supply of uranium in coming years will enhance India's energy security, the joint statement stated.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have reportedly agreed to work to resolve spectrum related issues. Based on various recommendations and agreements, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) expects Defence ministry to clear about 165 Mhz of spectrum across frequency bands. Out of all bands, there is immediate demand for 3G spectrum in frequency band 2100 Mhz.


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that spectrum in 2100 Mhz band, a part of which is with the Defence Ministry, should be put up for auction along with two sets of spectrum bands– 900Mhz and 1800Mhz in February next year, reports added.

Coming back to Indian stock markets, Reliance Communications (9.46%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE in spite of posting weak results on Friday.

Rasoya Proteins (19.89%) continued to be the top loser, after posting weak result last Friday, in ‘A’ group on the BSE and also hit its new 52-week low today.

Sesa Sterlite (4.09%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. There was news that it is planning to expand its copper smelter plant in Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) with an investment of Rs2,500 crore. Under this expansion plan, the company reportedly plans to double the copper manufacturing capacity to 400,000 tonne per annum and set up a two power projects with 80 megawatts capacity.

Sun Pharma (1.94%) was the top loser in Sensex 30 stock. The company today clarified to BSE in regards to the news article appearing titled "Sun Pharma, Merck call off 3 year old JV" that "There is no termination of JV of Sun Pharma with Merck (MSD). So there is no information to be announced / furnished to the Exchanges under clause 36 of the Listing Agreement."

On Monday, US indices closed flat. Except for Shanghai Composite (0.71%), Hang Seng (1.13%) and Taiwan Weighted (0.28%) all the other Asian indices had closed in the green. Nikkei 225 (2.18%) was the top gainer.    

Deputy policy chief of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party reportedly said that the Japanese government will order the creation of an economic stimulus package.
European indices were trading strongly higher. US Futures were flat.


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