Tax-free infrastructure bonds may show robust activity in Q4

While IDFC, ICICI Bank and IL&FS are expected to launch tax-free infrastructure bonds, robust activity on this front is expected only in the last quarter

IDFC, ICICI Bank and IL&FS at present are the three frontrunners likely to launch tax-free infrastructure bonds. While this tool of investment has been in discussion since the Budget announcement, an investor can expect launches of such bonds only in the last financial quarter.

"As these bonds come with a tax advantage, most people will show interest and subscribe to them only in the last quarter of the financial year.

This is when most tax-saving tools are in demand," said an official from a leading infrastructure company, preferring anonymity.

According to sources, while IDFC and ICICI Bank are most likely to launch such infrastructure bonds, IL&FS may also join the list.

An executive official from IDFC was also quoted in a news report expressing willingness to raise funds through such bonds. "Since we have a lot of leeway in raising resources with this new status (as an infrastructure finance company), we will not be looking at applying for a banking licence. But, at the same time, we are open to the idea of raising funds by issuing retail bonds or tax-free infrastructure bonds," the official was quoted as saying in a news report.

Chanda Kochhar, CEO, ICICI Bank, has also spoken in favour of such tax-free bonds. "Tax-free bonds would prove to be a cost-effective source of funding for banks and enable them to ramp up their infrastructure financing activities," Ms Kochhar has been quoted in various news reports.

An email query sent to ICICI Bank, IDFC and IL&FS remained unanswered at the time of writing this story.

Last month, the Central government had allowed non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to issue tax-free infrastructure bonds.

The Union Budget has proposed to offer tax relief on investments up to Rs20,000 in long-term infrastructure bonds.

Issuance of tax-free infrastructure bonds is among the multiple options that the Central government is considering in order to cater to the huge investment outlay planned for infrastructure. The 12th Five Year Plan (2012- 2017) has an investment outlay of $1 trillion for infrastructure.

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COMMENTS

Sarada

6 years ago

The expected date of issuance yet in hide. As the maximum investment amount is only 20000/- so it can be issued at any time, rather than waiting up to the end when people have much obligations like regular insurance premiums what they had taken previously.

jigar

6 years ago

pls more detail about this infrastucture bond

Lok Sabha passes Bill to replace ULIP Ordinance

New Delhi : The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a Bill to replace the unit linked insurance plan (ULIP) Ordinance that seeks to set up a joint mechanism to address the issues of jurisdiction between the financial sector watchdogs after the government assured that autonomy of existing sectoral regulators will not be diluted, reports PTI.

The Securities and Insurance Laws (Amendment) and Validation Bill, 2010, provides for setting up a joint body under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister, and with representations from the four financial sector regulators and the Finance Ministry.
 
The Bill states that the Reserve Bank Governor will be the vice-chairman of the joint committee. However, there were apprehensions expressed by RBI over its autonomy.
 
Allaying these fears, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha, "it was true there were lots of apprehensions whether we are going to dilute the regulators' independence or autonomy. It will only be in the case of jurisdiction disputes between the regulators that the joint mechanism will be used."
 
Mr Mukherjee further assured that the joint mechanism will not deal with other areas and only the regulators can refer the matter of jurisdiction to the committee.
 
Pointing out that the Reserve Bank has two functions-- monetary and regulatory--the minister said, "In no way, we are not interfering with the monetary authority. The RBI is the supreme (as far as monetary matters are concerned)."
 
Mr Mukherjee said in case of regulatory functions too, only disputes will be handled by the committee. But first efforts would be made to solve these issues bilaterally, he added.
 
Explaining the rationale for making the RBI Governor the vice-chairman of the proposed committee, he said if the dispute arises between the central bank and other regulators, the arbitrary function cannot be given to the interested party. "That is why, it has been decided that the Finance Minister will be the chairman," he said, adding the RBI Governor's status has in fact been elevated as the earlier suggestion was to make the Governor only a member of the committee.
 
The minister further said the government has to interfere, if there is contradiction between the regulators and the overall interests of the economy suffers. "No regulator comes to Parliament and explains. It is the finance minister who is accountable to Parliament. Therefore, there must be a place where the buck stops and it is the finance minister where the buck stops, Mr Mukherjee said.
 
The governmnet issued the Ulip Ordinance on 18th June, after the capital markets regulator SEBI and insurance watchdog IRDA locked horns over regulation of Unit-linked insurance products (ULIPs) and could not seek a joint legal mandate to sort out the issue, as suggested by the Finance Ministry.
 
The turf war began when SEBI had on April 9 banned 14 life insurers from raising money from ULIPs,and IRDA countered the ban by asking insurance companies to ignore the market regulator's order.
 
As the matter could not be resolved, the Finance ministry asked the regulators to get a legal remedy, following which SEBI moved the Supreme Court, which is yet to decide on the matter. In the meanwhile, the government came out with an Ordinance late June, which gave the jurisdiction of regulating ULIPs to IRDA.
 
The Ordinance also sought to constitute a joint mechanism between the regulators and finance ministry to sort out any future tussle between financial sector regulators over jurisdiction of hybrid products.
 
However, Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao had raised certain objections to the proposed joint committee, saying the autonomy of regulators will be affected. Subbarao had met Mukherjee also on this issue and requested him to let the Ordinance lapse.
 
To members' query as to why pension regulator PFRDA has been included in the committee, when the Bill to this effect has still not been passed by Parliament, the minister said the pension watchdog exists through an executive order. He also said while earlier finance secretary was suggested to be a member of the joint committee, the Bill provides for the economic affairs secretary to be a member.
 
Earlier, the statutory resolution to disapprove the Securities and Insurance Laws (Amendment & Validation) Ordinance 2010 was withdrawn by CPI member Prabodh Panda, but he insisted that the question about the need for bringing in the Ordinance before Supreme Court decides on the Ulip issue remains unanswered.
 
Other members who spoke on the Ordinance included Raguvansh Prasad Yadav (RJD), S Semmali (AIADMK), Vijay Bahadur Singh (BSP) and Bhartruhari Mahtab of BJD.

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COMMENTS

Krishna Gopal Gupta

6 years ago

It is really shocking that these regulators are fighting among themselves. What type of example they are putting forward to their constituents is unknown? What justice they would deliver if the constituents are in dispute is known to GOD only? These regulators are not discharging the basic function for which they have been created. How & what service they would provide a common man is also unknown?

Indage UK accused of wrongdoing; company denies allegations

The beleaguered winemaker’s top UK executives were accused of utilising the company’s British arm’s funds before it entered into a credit-restructuring deal abroad 

Winemaker Indage Vintners Ltd, which has staved off the threat of liquidation after agreeing to a restructuring of its huge debts, has said that there has been no misuse of funds in its UK unit and it is conducting an enquiry into all affairs of Santosh Verma, its global director of sales, marketing and business development.

There were allegations that Indage Vintners' chief financial officer Rajesh Chalke and Mr Verma had used company funds through credit card transactions just before its UK-based unit Indage UK Ltd filed for Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in that country. In the UK, CVA is a deal between an insolvent company and its creditors that places a ring fence around the company to keep creditors at bay. It allows a viable but struggling company to repay some, or all, of its historic debts out of future profits, over an agreed period of time.

In an email reply to Moneylife, Ranjit Chougule, managing director, Indage Vintners said, "Specifically, the alleged transactions made by Rajesh Chalke are false and inaccurate. Mr Chalke has already informed the liquidators and the sole banker to the company that, with the exception of one genuine expense on behalf of the company, he is not aware of, neither has he authorised or taken part in any transactions relating to any company expenses allegedly debited to his name and/or account. Anyone who purports to the contrary may do so at their own risk."

In an email sent to Moneylife, a person claiming to be a former employee of Indage UK, alleged that Mr Chalke's credit card was in fact in the possession of Mr Verma. "The demise of Indage in the UK was partly to do with the huge personal expenditure by the directors and siphoning of funds through the credit cards which were used just before the company entered into a CVA, to buy cars and accessories worth about £14,000; gold jewellery (£9,000); flight tickets for people who never worked for Indage UK and personal expenses to the tune of £1,20,000 in total," the person had alleged in the email.

Replying to these allegations, Mr Chougule said, "With regard to Santosh Verma, we have similarly advised as above and are conducting an inquiry into all of his affairs including India as global director of sales, marketing and business development."

There were also allegations that Indage had sold some stock for £2.95 million in Singapore and it was recorded in the account books of its UK unit as an 'international transaction'. However, after nine months, the company instructed the accounts department to reverse the transaction since the other party refused to pay, the email said.

"Unless we receive audited statements of the last financial year of the company which went into liquidation before the company accounts were finalised and audited, we are unable to comment on transactions, if any, that are outlined in brief in your mail," said Indage's MD.

Mr Chougule said that Indage UK went into administration and, subsequently, liquidation due to constraints in working capital from the inception of the acquisition of the business by Indage Vintners Ltd in and around June 2008 and the global financial crisis only worsened the effects of this liquidity shortfall leading to an attempted CVA by the company in December 2009 and the eventual liquidation in March 2010.

Last week, Indage said it had filed a debt-repayment plan in the Bombay High Court. The company had a total debt of Rs400 crore as of March 2010.

In May, Indage told the High Court that its managing director Ranjit Chougule and other members of his family would invest about Rs75 crore in a deal supported by banks led by ICICI Bank Ltd, IndusInd Bank, Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, IDBI Bank and Bank of Rajasthan.

Related Stories:
UK supplier warns others against Indage Vintners
Court’s decision to wind up Indage leaves producers disappointed
Indage lives to fight another day

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COMMENTS

Indage

6 years ago

We are from the accounts department and we know the dealings in and out, Santosh also withdrew money from the corporate account of Indage UK, we always wondered how money went out of the account without authorisation, then we realised money was withdrawn by online banking to which only Santosh Verma had access to.We guess Management in India trusted him with their Company and all of us have been thrown on the roads.

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