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Religare Voyages is tying up with various hospitals to launch ambulance services in India, South and Southeast Asian countries
Religare Voyages Ltd, which is in the air-charter business, will soon launch an air ambulance service, its chief executive and managing director Sanjay Godhwani said on Thursday, reports PTI.
"We are tying up with various hospitals to launch ambulance services in India, South and Southeast Asian countries," Mr Godhwani told reporters.
Replying to a question, Mr Godhwani said that the company would not rule out the possibility of launching a scheduled airline service.
"We have long-term plans to establish air services and I don't rule out the possibility of launching scheduled airlines," Mr Godhwani said, adding that his company would look at acquisitions to support growth plans.
The company displayed its newly-acquired Falcon 7X at the Aviation India-2010, organised jointly by the civil aviation ministry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Begumpet Airport at Hyderabad.
At present, the company has a fleet of 11 aircraft and one helicopter.
Religare Aviation Academy will soon launch a pilot-training course. Currently, the institute offers cabin crew training approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the company said.
The combined GST, recommended by the Finance Commission, includes 5% at the Central level and 7% at the state level
The finance ministry on Thursday said that the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate is likely to be higher than 12%, which was suggested by the task force set up by the 13th Finance Commission, reports PTI.
The Finance Commission (task force) had recommended an overall GST rate of 12% "but it is likely to be higher than that", revenue secretary Sunil Mitra said at a CII seminar in New Delhi.
However, he clarified that he was not talking about the Central GST but the combined tax at the Union and state governments' level.
The task force had recommended 5% GST rate at the Central level and 7% at the state level.
GST was earlier scheduled to be implemented from 1 April 2010, but now the Central GST will replace most of the indirect taxes at Central and state levels like service tax, excise duty, value added tax (VAT), and local levies.
Bankers are worried that the new model will affect their business of giving short-term loans to corporate clients at cheaper rates (below PLR), as lending rates on such loans will go up at least by 2% in the base rate system
With the 1st April deadline to migrate to the base rate model fast approaching, bank chiefs are likely to raise concerns about the new system and seek an extension of the deadline during their scheduled meeting with top Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officials on Friday, reports PTI.
Bankers are worried that the new model will affect their business of giving short-term loans to corporate clients at cheaper rates—below the Prime Lending Rate (PLR)—as lending rates on such loans will go up at least by 2% in the base rate system.
According to bankers, the base rate, a function of the cost of deposits, may be in the range of 8.5%-9.5% for most banks, which were lending to top-rated corporates at much lower rates, sometimes as low as 6%.
"When the lending rates rise in the new system on account of (the) base rate model, we may lose corporate customers who may seek other avenues to raise funds," said Allen C Pereira, chairman and managing director, Bank of Maharashtra.
According to him, creating a separate benchmark for short-term loans would help lenders retain their long-time corporate clients whose demand for working capital forms a good part of banks' loan-books.
Bankers are likely to seek time till July to prepare for the migration to the new model as they feel the April deadline gives them very little time to complete the huge task of gathering segment-wise data required to arrive at their respective base rates.
"Each bank has to calculate its own base rate. Banks which don't have their full operations under core banking may find this difficult. They may need some more time," said M Narendra, executive director, Bank of India.
Similar views were expressed by a majority of the bankers in a meeting with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) last month. In a letter to the RBI recently, the IBA had sought an extension till July to implement the base rate model.
In a move to bring in more transparency into bank lending, the regulator had issued draft guidelines last month to replace the existing benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) model with the base rate.
The actual lending rates charged to borrowers would be the base rate plus borrower-specific charges, which will include product-specific operating costs, credit risk premium and tenor premium.
The central bank was apparently unhappy with the practice of banks lending at much lower rates than the BPLR to top-rated corporates, while the common borrower had to borrow at higher rates.
Standard Chartered Bank's India chief executive, Neeraj Swaroop, said that the new model has both 'plus and minus' aspects, which should be discussed by all stakeholders.
Citibank's chief financial officer Abhijit Sen said that lenders might be forced to administer two types of interest rates, particularly in infrastructure and mortgage loans, for a significant time if the customer was unwilling to switch to the new model.