Mukesh Ambani meets Montek for nearly an hour

Many more top industrialists are expected to visit Yojna Bhawan as Mr Ahluwalia is expected play a greater role in policy making after the PM took over the finance portfolio

 

New Delhi: Amid his company grappling with a string of regulatory issues, Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani today met Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia for nearly an hour, reports PTI.

 

Reliance Industries is facing a penalty for falling gas output from its KG-D6 fields. It has also demanded tripling of its KG-D6 gas price from 1 April 2014 after the current below-market rate of $4.205 per mmBtu expires.

 

Besides, RIL is seen as a bidder in the forthcoming auction of telecom spectrum.

Mr Ambani, the richest Indian, did not interact with the media after the meeting saying that he would not take any questions, and rushed out of the Yojana Bhawan, Mr Ahluwalia’s office.

 

Mr Ahluwalia too did not respond to the media queries about his discussions with Mr Ambani, saying that it was just a courtesy call.

 

Yojana Bhawan is being thronged by industry top brass ever since prime minister Manmohan Singh took direct charge of the finance portfolio after Pranab Mukherjee stepped down to contest the presidential election.

 

Last week, Vodafone India chairman Analjit Singh and chairman of the UB Group Vijay Mallya had called upon Mr Ahluwlia.

 

Officials in the Planning Commission said many more top industrialists are expected to visit Yojna Bhawan in the coming days as Mr Ahluwalia is expected play a greater role in policy making after the prime minister took over the finance portfolio.

 

“Being an important functionary in the government, it is obvious that industrialists will meet him,” a Planning Commission official said.

 

When Mr Singh, as the finance minister, ushered in economic reforms in India in the early 1990s, Mr Ahluwalia was the finance secretary.

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Hyundai Motor India’s total sales up 3% in June

In the domestic market, Hyundai Motor India’s sales increased marginally to 30,450 units from 30,402 units in the year-ago period

 

New Delhi: The country’s second-largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) reported a 3.49% rise in its total sales at 54,354 units in June, up from 52,521 units in the same period last year, reports PTI.

In the domestic market, the company's sales increased marginally to 30,450 units from 30,402 units in the year-ago period, it added.

Exports of the company went up by 8.07% to 23,904 units during the month under review from 22,119 units in the same period last year.

“The general inflationary trends, high fuel prices and interest rates that are still high are keeping sentiment low. Unless any triggers get activated, the sentiment is not expected to improve very much,” HMIL director (marketing and sales) Arvind Saxena said.

The company is witnessing good volumes in South America and Africa. The Eon is well received in Africa and the i10 is strong in South America, he added.

In the A2 segment (Eon, Santro, i10 and i20), the company sold 44,046 units, while sales in the A3 segment (Accent and Verna) stood at 10,182 units.

The company sold 87 units of the new sports utility vehicle Santa Fe, besides 39 units of the premium sedan Sonata during the month.

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Mutual funds want consumers to bear service tax burden

The mutual fund industry has also demanded an increase in the expense ratio, which is mainly administrative expenditure, to 2.25% from 2.20%

 

New Delhi: The mutual fund industry wants the consumers to bear the burden of 12% service tax on purchase of schemes and has also pitched for higher administrative expenses during their meeting with the Finance Ministry officials, reports PTI.

"Service tax should be borne by consumers and should be kept out of the total expense ratio," HN Sinor , chief executive of Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI) told reporters after the meeting of the representatives of the mutual fund industry with the government officials.

The mutual fund industry has demanded an increase in the expense ratio, which is mainly administrative expenditure, to 2.25% from 2.20% -- of which 2% is administrative expense and 0.20% exit load.

"The meeting was called to discuss how to increase retail participation. We have asked them to increase the total expense ratio to 225 basis points and also allow them to credit the exit load directly to the schemes of the asset management companies so that the MFs do not have to pay it," Sinor said.

On the issue of re-introduction of commission for brokers, also known as entry load, he said, "we have not raised entry load issue. Only distributors mentioned it. It is a 3-year old matter and the MF industry did not believe in reviving the issue."

The entry load of 2.25% which was paid as commission to distributors of mutual funds, was banned in 2009 by the then SEBI chief CB Bhave, who felt that investors were being taken for a ride by distributors who encouraged investors to churn their portfolios. The ban, however, led to drying up of inflows into mutual funds.

The finance ministry, the officials said, is taking note of the short and medium term issues being faced by the industry in addition to their concerns on tax related matters.

"There are issues of short term and taxation nature. Those are to be fast tracked. We need to work out a balance so that the industry grows," DEA Secretary R Gopalan said.

The meeting comes close on the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh?s statement last week that mutual fund industry was in problems and something was needed to be done to resolve their issues.

The issues like allowing mutual funds to float pension schemes, provision of tax relief on such products at par with other life insurance schemes and more benefits for those players who wish to provide services in smaller towns were also discussed during the meeting.

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