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Indian Indices Open Weak
Wed, 9 Mar 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note. The stock markets in China and Japan are trading lower by 3% and 1.4% respectively. Major indices in Europe and US ended their previous session in red. The rupee is trading at 67.33 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a quite weak note. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 197 points (down 0.8%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 45 point (down 0.6%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading lower by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day in red. The stocks from information technology and metal sectors are witnessing maximum selling pressure.

As per an article in leading financial daily, government has decided to divest 5% stake in Container Corporation of India (CCI) through an offer for sale (OFS). The government owns 61.79% stake in the company as on 31 December 2015. The floor price is set at Rs 1,195 per share. The offer for sale will be open for institutional investors and high net-worth individuals on 9 March. While retail investors will be able to bid for the shares on 10 March.

Last month the government raised almost Rs 50 billion by selling 5% stake in power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). Reportedly, the government has managed to mobilize Rs 182.7 billion through disinvestment offers so far in the current fiscal. This is far short of the revised target of Rs 410 billion for the current fiscal.

In another news update, government has announced to that it will roll back proposal to tax withdrawals from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF). The said proposal was announced during the recent Budget, as per which, 40% of the total corpus withdrawn at the time of retirement would be tax-exempt. However, the remaining 60% of the total corpus will be taxable from fiscal year 2017 unless the amount was invested in an annuity product. This prompted the salaried class to oppose the government's move to tax its retirement's savings.

According to government estimates, of the total 37 million EPF subscribers, this tax would have impacted 4.4 million subscribers who earn more than Rs 15,000 per month.

Reportedly, in view of the representations received from various quarters the government withdrew the proposals made in para 138 and 139 of his budget speech. This is a big relief to salaried middle class, who make some part of their future savings through EPFs.

Vivek Kaul, Editor of Vivel Kaul's Diary, wrote an excellent piece stating how EPF tax is a bad idea. Read on to this interesting piece to know more.

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Nov 23, 2017 09:09 AM