Companies & Sectors
Government detects cases of tax evasion by Cadbury India

The Directorate General of Central Excise Investigation has detected two cases of tax evasion of Rs213 crore by Cadbury India 

 
New Delhi: The Union government on Thursday said that Directorate General of Central Excise Investigation (DGCEI) has detected two cases of tax evasion amounting to Rs213 crore by the different units of the confectionery major Cadbury India Ltd, reports PTI.
 
"Two cases of tax evasion by Cadbury India has been detected by DGCEI during the years 2009-10 to 2012-13 (up to 31 October 2012)", Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
 
The Minister said central excise duty evasion by Cadbury India, Baadi (Himachal Pradesh) involved an amount of about Rs200 crore and was under investigation.
 
On service tax evasion case against Cadbury India, the Minister said it involved an amount of Rs13.43 crore and that the case had been adjudicated and a demand of Rs11.75 crore was confirmed along with a penalty of equal amount.
 
The Minister said a sum of Rs12.08 crore tax with Rs0.53 crore interest was realised.
 
When contacted Cadbury India spokesperson said, "We are fully cooperating with the authorities on this enquiry. Since the investigation currently is under way, it will be inappropriate on our part to discuss the details at this time".
 

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'No new mobile towers without fulfilling mandatory provisions'

Considering gravity of allegations levelled and health hazard likely to be caused, the National Green Tribunal has said that no construction of cell phone communication towers shall be made without following mandatory provisions of law and necessary permission from competent authority

New Delhi: Concerned over the health hazards likely to be caused by cell phone towers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has restrained several telecom companies from setting towers without following mandatory provisions of law and taking permission from the competent authority, reports PTI.

 

"Considering gravity of allegations levelled and health hazard likely to be caused, we direct that no construction of cell phone communication towers shall be made without following mandatory provisions of law and necessary permission from competent authority," a NGT bench of Acting Chairperson Justice AS Naidu and expert member PC Mishra has said.

 

Issuing notice to the Ministry of Communications and IT, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Health, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and telecom companies -- Bharti Infratel Ltd, Airtel, Idea, Vodaphone, Tata, Reliance and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the NGT has sought their response by the next date of hearing on 20th December.

 

The tribunal's order came on the plea of Delhi resident Arvind Gupta, who has sought directions to the Centre and the telecom firms for implementing guidelines and regulations issued by MoEF regarding installation of cell phone towers nationwide.

 

In his application, filed through advocate BP Tripathy, Gupta has alleged that MoEF guidelines have not been followed and implemented by Department of Telecommunications while allowing installation of towers throughout the country.

 

He has also alleged that "norms are flouted brazenly by all companies involved with installation of mobile towers, having complete disregard and concern for environmental protection".

 

He has alleged that radiations emitted by towers not only adversely affect flora and fauna, but can also cause cancer in human beings.

 

Gupta has alleged that the Centre and telecom firms have not devised rules and guidelines for implementing existing regulations pertaining to installation of telecom towers so that environmental exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted by them will be minimised.

 

In his application, he has sought constituting of a high powered committee of experts to lay guidelines for limiting cell phone tower radiation before installing any new towers.

 

He has further sought directions to market regulator SEBI to restrain it from granting permission to any company to invite investments from general public for installing cell phone towers for private profits, saying it will lead to "irreparable environmental damage and health hazards to human lives...".

 

The applicant has also sought transfer of all the cases related to mobile tower radiation from the high courts to NGT.

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LIC, EPFO to pick up AI’s Rs7,400-crore bond issue at 9.08%

The NCD issue is part of the revival plan of the debt-laden national carrier, which was given a Rs30,000-crore bailout by the government in April

 
Mumbai: Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) have agreed to fully subscribe to the Rs7,400 crore bond sale of national carrier Air India, reports PTI quoting a top SBI Caps official.
 
“Life Insurance Corporation and the EPFO have agreed to purchase the entire Rs7,400-crore non-convertible debentures (NCDs) being sold by Air India. However, the bond sale programme will continue to remain open till 18th December,” a senior official of SBI Caps, which is the sole arranger to the issue, told PTI, on condition of anonymity.
 
The 19-year-old issue has a coupon of 9.08% and will fetch 9.27% for LIC and the EPFO on maturity, he added.
 
According to an Air India official, LIC has subscribed to bonds worth Rs3,000 crore and the remaining by EPFO.
 
When contacted, Air India finance director S Venkat refused to talk, saying only the spokesperson could comment.
 
Calls to the Air India spokesperson did not elicit any response.
 
The NCD issue is part of the revival plan of the debt-laden national carrier, which was given a Rs30,000-crore bailout by the government in April.
 
Accordingly, Air India will have to use the NCD proceeds to retire a good part of short-term working capital loans taken from 19 different banks.
 
The bailout package also included an upfront equity infusion of Rs6,750 crore and an assured equity support of Rs23,481 crore until 2020-21.
 
As of last December, Air India had a debt of Rs43,777 crore on its books and an accumulated loss of Rs27,000 crore from the past five years.
 
The debt includes those taken for purchasing 27 Boeing Dreamliners, of which only three have been delivered so far, and nearly 60 other planes from Airbus.
 
The issue has an AAA rating from India Ratings, the domestic services of Fitch, reflecting the unconditional guarantee extended by the government to make timely repayment of principal and interest on the bonds.
 
India Ratings had said in a statement, “The proceeds of this NCD issue will be used to repay outstanding Rs73,91.67 crore short-term bank loans, interest thereon, as well as expenses in relation to the issue of the debentures and the government guarantee fee as may be applicable.”
 
The NCDs were issued early this month and have a tenor of 19 years, with principal redemption in five equal instalments starting from the 15th year and interest payments being made biannually, the rating agency said.
 
The NCD issue is a part of the government's restructuring plan for reviving the airline. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had on 12th April approved a financial restructuring plan for the airline, which included the issuance of the NCDs.
 
The bonds will be issued in three tranches—Series I of Rs3,000 crore, Series II of Rs1,000 crore, and Series III of Rs5 crore, according to India Rating.
 
In all three tranches the issuer has the option to retain additional subscription such that the total amount mobilised does not exceed Rs7,400 crore, the agency added.
 
The airline has to turn cash-positive by next fiscal and net profit by 2020, and SBI Caps is working on the revival plan for the airline.
 
Last week, the airline failed to sell four Boeing 777s as it did not find any takers. 
 

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