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Indian Indices Extend Losses
Fri, 13 May 11:30 am

After opening the day on a negative note, the Indian stock markets registered further losses and continued to trade in the red. Sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks from the telecom, metal, banking and realty sector witnessing maximum selling pressure.

The BSE Sensex is trading down 260 points (down 1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down 73 points (down 0.9%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading flat while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 66.74 to the US$.

As per an article in Economic Times, India's stock market regulator- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is considering more stringent rules for participatory notes (P-Note) as a part of its efforts to check the flow of black money into stock markets.

The regulator is looking to make it mandatory to collect 'know your client' (KYC) details of participatory note holders. It is likely to take a decision on this matter at its board meeting scheduled for May 20. Further, the regulator has proposed that offshore derivative instruments (ODIs) be transferred only to subscriber entities eligible to invest in them as per Indian regulations.

One shall note that black money forms a major part of the Indian economy. To curb this flow, the government is looking at a slew of measures to promote cashless economy. The measures also include creating an ecosystem to incentivize cashless transactions.

The finance ministry recently stated that the government has taken sustained steps for curbing black money which includes enactment of a new Black Money Act with strict penalty provisions and new income disclosure scheme formulated for domestic black money.

Black money is money which has been earned, but on which tax has not been paid. Vivek Kaul, editor of Vivek Kaul's Diary, has offered some interesting data that shows India's love for black money. He in fact has gone a step ahead and done an interesting analysis that shows that many people who are buying cars are not paying any income tax.

In another news update, the government's Minimum Import Price (MIP) for steel has boosted sales for domestic firms. This in turn has relieved several public and private sector banks. The improved cash flows for steel companies have saved them from getting an NPA (non-performing asset) tag.

The steel industry has been depressed for a while. Weak global demand, cheap imports and falling prices have dented the financials of the domestic steel producers.

To address these alarming imports, the government has taken some steps in this regard. The flood of imports prompted the government to impose safeguard taxes in September 2015 and set a minimum import price (MIP) in February 2016.

On February 5, 2016, the directorate general of foreign trade imposed a MIP on 173 steel products. The prices range from US$352 per tonne to US$752 per tonne of steel. This move has been labeled as a 'game changer' for steel companies.

Do these initiatives by the government makes sense? They may for the steel companies, but not for the overall Indian economy as a whole. One of our editions from The 5 Minute WrapUp titled 'Govt Fixing Steel Prices: Is Make in India Just a Slogan?' suggests how MIP can hurt the Indian economy.

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Aug 22, 2017 02:55 PM

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