Economy round-up: Consensus eludes GST Council; SEBI asks ratings firms for disclosures

The central government is finding it tough to build a consensus over the turnover threshold above which the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will apply, according to a report.

Business Standard reported that the first meeting of the GST council on Thursday failed to reach any agreement on the threshold, even as it resolved that the new indirect tax law should be implemented from 1 April next year.

On Friday, the council is likely to take up another contentious issue—that of dual control of the Centre and states over businesses. Apart from this, the council will also take up the issue of compensation to states for a period of five years to make up for a loss in revenue after the switch-over to the GST.

The Economic Times reported that the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is asking credit rating firms to come up with several disclosures and fix accountability in the wake of a sudden Rs 800 crore default by auto parts maker Amtek Auto last year, because of which JPMorgan Mutual Fund, which had held its bonds, restricted withdrawals from two funds.

The report said that, earlier this month, SEBI circulated draft rules that it will soon finalise in consultation with rating firms. Apart from clarifying on their process of conducting the ratings, the agencies will also have to disclose other details including the three-year rating history of the borrower and any instances of downgrades, among other details, the report said.

Meanwhile, India is set to shell out more than Rs 58,000 crore to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets to augment the Indian Air Force’s ageing fleet. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar will, on Friday, sign the deal with his French counterpart to procure the planes, which will arrive in the country in a ready-to-fly condition.

The government-to-government deal will bring to an end a process of selection that went on for a better part of the last decade and a half, under which India had floated a global tender to buy 126 fighters, but finally settled for 36 Rafale jets manufactured by French defence company Dassault.

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