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Indian Indices Trade in the Green; Metal Stocks Witness Buying
Wed, 18 Jan 11:30 am

After opening the day marginally higher, the Indian share markets registered further gains and are presently trading on a positive note. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks in the metal sector and capital goods sector witnessing maximum buying interest.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 145 points (up 0.5%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 49 points (up 0.6%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.6%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by around 0.8%. The rupee is trading at 67.95 to the US$.

As per an article in the Economic Times, the government has put on hold a controversial circular on the taxation of indirect transfers of Indian assets. This comes as the government is said to amend the income tax law to provide stability and clarity to foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).

The above decisions have been made to attract foreign funds in India and make it a preferred investment destination. Please note that FPIs became concerned about being landed with tax bills from transactions in previous years following a clarification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in December.

Apart from FPIs, the upcoming budget is said to bring cheer to both individuals and corporate taxpayers. This comes as the government looks to lift sentiment in the wake of demonetisation.

On the cards is a revamp of the income-tax framework for individuals and a reduction in the corporate tax rate to encourage companies to invest.

For individual tax-payers, there is a proposal to widen the Rs 2.5-5 lakh slab and tax it at a lower rate. If this happens, there will be a revival in demand which had been hit by demonetisation. An increase in take-home pay will spur overall consumption and, in turn, benefit the economy.

On the corporate tax side, the government aims to bring down the tax rate to 25% over four years beginning this year. A reduction in rates here will mean rise in private investments.

As of now, our corporate tax rate stands at almost 35%, which is the second highest in the world. This can be seen in the chart below:

Indian Corporate Tax Rate Amongst Highest in the World

Indian Corporate Tax Rate Amongst Highest in the World

That said, one must also note companies get a whole raft of exemptions. As per the government claims, these exemptions bring the effective tax rate of India Inc. down to just 23%.

This being the case, as we look towards the upcoming Union Budget for 2017-18, what we want is to see the government getting rid of the complicated layers of exemptions, and to have a simple and uniform tax rate which is lower than the current one.

This will not only make for better tax compliance by taxpayers, but also make it easier for the tax department to administer appropriate tax collections as well as reduce tax litigation.

On the news from the global markets, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday said Britain will quit the EU single market when it leaves the European Union (EU).

In her speech delivered yesterday, May also promised to seek the greatest possible access to the European markets. However, she said Britain would aim to establish its own free trade deals with countries far beyond Europe, and impose limits on immigration from the continent.

We believe the eurozone is still a mess. And it's going to have major consequences for the global financial markets, including the Indian stock markets.

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Mar 19, 2018 (Close)