Citizens' Issues
Jain named new Central Board of Direct Taxes chief
Senior revenue service official A.K. Jain was on Tuesday appointed chairman of the apex tax body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), an official statement said.
 
The Appointments Committee of the cabinet has approved the appointment of Jain as the CBDT chairman, said a department of personnel and training order. 
 
Earlier appointed acting chairman following the retirement of chairperson Anita Kapur on November 30, Jain, a 1978 batch Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer, will have a tenure of only two months till January 2016, official sources said.
 
Kapur has been appointed adviser on tax reforms in the finance ministry for six months.
 
She will be contributing inputs towards creating better taxpayer services, bringing in an improved direct taxes regime and also help in preparing the union budget for next year, the officials added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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SC notice on Nestle's plea against retest order
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the central government's response on Nestle India's plea challenging the "legality and correctness" of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) order directing testing of 16 samples of Maggi noodles to ascertain their safety for consumption.
 
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant, while issuing notice to the government, which is also on caveat in the matter, said that it would hear the matter on Wednesday as senior counsel L.Nageshwara Rao sought the interim stay of the NCDRC's December 9 order directing the testing of 16 samples.
 
Nestle, in its plea, said that "the commission had directed that out of withdrawn stocks of Maggi noodles in the custody of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (of which 100 batch numbers were randomly noted by the local commissioner), 16 samples be sent for testing for presence of lead in any form and monosodium glutamate (MSG), including their quantity in the samples at the Export Inspection Council of India, Chennai".
 
The NCDRC had ordered the testing of the Maggi noodles in the course of the hearing of the central government's class action suit against Nestle India, the manufacturer of the noodles, seeking about Rs.640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements.
 
Nestle India has assailed the NCDRC order holding that if a laboratory in terms of section 2(1)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is recognised by the central or the state government or has been established under the law and maintained, financed or aided by either of the governments, then it need not necessarily be accredited by the NABL or notified by the Food Safety Standard Authority of India.
 
However, the Bombay High Court by its August 13, 2015, order had held that since the labs which tested Nestle's Maggi noodles were not accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), their findings could not be relied upon.
 
Initially, Nageshwara Rao said that Nestle India plea challenging the NCDRC order could be taken up on January 13 when the court will hear the central government's challenge to the Bombay High Court order.
 
However, when he sought the interim stay of the NCDRC order, the court said that the matter would to be taken up on Wednesday as it sought the central government's response on Nestle's plea. 
 
Contending that the NCDRC had gravely erred while ordering further testing of the samples, Nestle India has said that the samples from the withdrawn Maggi noodles have already been tested in FSSAI notified and accredited laboratories.
 
It further said that in the past few months it had voluntary, in the consumer interest, "undertaken testing of 3,566 samples of its instant noodles at nine different labs in India and abroad including samples tested at FSSAI notified and NABL accredited labs in India and all test results have shown Maggi noodles compliant".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex headed higher – Tuesday closing report

Nifty is at the start of several days of rally

 

We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might try to rally higher. The investors were optimistic despite the overall ‘wait and watch trend’ and value buying was possible in the Indian equity markets. The major indices closed a little higher on Tuesday, closing at the high of the day. The trends of the major indices in the course of Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:

 
 
Value-buying propelled the indices of the Indian equity markets into closing with gains of less than 1% on Tuesday. Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a slightly positive note in sync with their Asian peers and a rebound in oil prices that supported energy stocks. Nevertheless, latest figures showing a firming up trend in annual wholesale and retail inflation weighed on the markets which ceded their marginal gains. In addition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's comments which indicated a washout of winter session due to parliamentary logjam subdued sentiments. The logjam will delay the passage of key economic legislations like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.  Should the bill not secure clearance in this session, it will miss its intended roll-out date of April 1 next year. Besides the GST, investors were cautious ahead of the US Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet slated for Tuesday-Wednesday. The FOMC will decide whether or not to raise interest rates in the US. A hike in interest rates which have been at near-zero levels since the last decade will lead to a massive pull-back of foreign funds from emerging economies like India. It is also expected to dent business margins as access to capital from the US will become expensive. Notwithstanding the downward trajectory, markets rose on the back of value buying.
 
The current free fall in global oil prices where the Indian basket of crude oils has plunged below $35 a barrel will not continue, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Tuesday. "The current price situation will not continue... there will be less supply coming to the market. Over the past year, there has been a reduction of $130 billion in investments for fresh production," OPEC secretary general Abdalla Salem el-Badri told reporters. "Supplies are declining at the rate of 400,000 barrels a day," Badri said, following the first ever India-OPEC institutional dialogue decided in June at the OPEC's Vienna meeting in which India participated. "India has conveyed to OPEC its need for reasonable and responsible pricing of oil and this is an ongoing dialogue," Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. International oil prices, when they are cyclically low, could be the deciding factor in controlling inflationary trends in the Indian economy – a clearly favourable signal for a bull market.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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