I-T dept searches Hiranandani group

Income tax department conducted searches simultaneously at about 20 locations of Hiranandani group in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad

The Income Tax (I-T) department on Tuesday conducted searches at about 20 locations of Hiranandani group in Mumbai as well as in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad in connection with alleged tax evasion by the realty company.


"We have conducted simultaneous searches at many locations of the group in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad," an Income Tax source said.


Searches were also conducted at the residential premises of top company officials.


The source said some documents of accounts and transactions have been seized in the operation that was underway several hours after it started.


When contacted, a spokesperson of the Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group refused to comment on the matter.


Sources said some alleged mismatch on Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) receipts related to payments made were also being verified during the operations.


Hiranandani group is a major real estate player in Mumbai with its flagship post project located in Powai.


Recently, the group's co-founder Niranjan Hiranandani had filed a suit against his daughter Priya seeking to restrain the usage of name 'Hiranandani' in her business.


Some years back, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also raided the offices and other premises of Hiranandani Builders for alleged provident fund evasion of Rs168 crore.


No signs of any ‘bottoming out’ of the current slowdown in demand for Hindustan Unilever

Urban growth has been weak for a while and there appear no signs of a turnaround yet

Broader demand trends seen in 3QFY14 have continued into the current quarter, and that there appears to be no signs of any ‘bottoming out’ of the current slowdown in demand for Hindustan Unilever. The company management does not expect any significant change in demand patterns in the near-term, and believes any recovery will come through only after a couple of quarters.


3QFY14 recorded 4% volume growth for the domestic business and trends seen so far this quarter are roughly similar. Rural growth which was strong up to 1QFY14 had started to see a slip post the quarter – which continues to be the case in the current quarter as well. Urban growth has been weak for a while and there appear no signs of a turnaround yet. While company management believes the current growth rate is lower than medium-term trend growth rates, it does not expect a pick-up over the near-term, according to a research note by Nomura on Hindustan Unilever.


According to Nomura, although market growth rate has slowed, competitive intensity remains strong across the sector. While there have been some withdrawals of promotions in the soaps and detergents segment, overall competitive intensity remains strong.


Overall, company management remains cautious as far as the near-term outlook is concerned, but the medium-term outlook for the sector appears more robust. As a market leader in several categories, the company sees itself being well positioned in terms of portfolio range as well as strong distribution network to take advantage of growth of the sector in the medium- to long-term, points out Nomura. Nomura believes that investors should reduce their exposure to HUL at the current levels.


Naxal attack: 20 security personnel feared killed in Chhattisgarh

CRPF sources said 15 of its personnel and five from state police may have been killed in the ambush

At least 20 security personnel were on Tuesday feared killed or seriously injured in a Naxal ambush in a dense forest in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.


Chhattisgarh’s Additional Director General (Intelligence) Mukesh Gupta said a joint team of CRPF and state police was attacked by a large group of Naxalites at the ‘Jeeram Nullah’ under the Tongapal Police Station area of the district.


“We suspect 15 casualties,” Gupta told reporters.


CRPF sources said 15 of its personnel and five from state police may have been killed in the ambush.


An assistant commandant rank officer of CRPF is believed to be among those feared killed.


The incident took place in the same area where Naxalites had killed 76 police personnel in April 2010.


In New Delhi, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde confirmed the ambush, saying details are still awaited.


Sources said a squad of 44 personnel, including 30 CRPF and 14 state police were out for an operation, when Naxals triggered landmine blasts and firing leading to the killings.


A senior CRPF official said they have recovered the bodies of three of their personnel and are awaiting details as the area is “heavily mined.”


Sources said two helicopters have been sent in from Jagdalpur and Raipur to the ambush area with reinforcements drawn from the CoBRA battalion and CRPF.


The area is notorious for Naxal activities as it is also close to ‘Jeeram Ghati’ where the top Congress leadership of the state was wiped out by Maoists in May last year.


According to preliminary information, the joint security squad was deployed for a ‘Road Opening’ duty in the area for the movement of security forces convoy.


The jawans of CRPF belong to its 8th battalion which is deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the state.


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