Economy round-up: GST council meets again; all set for spectrum auction
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which is chaired by the union finance minister and comprises his counterparts from the states, is set to meet for the second time on Friday.

On the council’s agenda will be several important items including giving a final approval to the draft rules for the new indirect tax regime the government had released earlier this week.

The council is also likely to deliberate on items that should be exempt from the GST, The Financial Express says in a report.

In what should help spruce up government coffers, India’s largest ever auction of telecom spectrum is set to begin Saturday, with 2,354 MHz of spectrum on offer.

The spectrum sale comes even as Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has launched its 4G network Jio, and rival Vodafone has spruced up its war chest with an equity infusion of Rs 47,000 crore from its UK-based parent Vodafone Group Plc. At its reserve price, the spectrum is reportedly worth more than Rs 5.63 trillion, which some analysts feel may be too high a price and may therefore lead to a lukewarm response.

But the government has been looking at more than just auctioning airwaves to fill its coffers. On 30 September, the window for the voluntary declaration of black money closes, with the response thus far, having been lukewarm.

The Economic Times reports that as the amnesty window closes, the income tax department has been swamped with queries, with some officials expecting a spurt in voluntary disclosures before the deadline ends. The report says that apart from cities like Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, from where a large number of queries were expected, people in areas like western Uttar Pradesh too seem to be curious about the disclosure scheme.

Meanwhile, following the Indian army’s operation across the Line of Control during the wee hours of Thursday, the Indian civil aviation ministry has sounded all airlines to remain cautious while flying over Pakistani airspace. Also, oil refining and marketing companies are taking a close look at their stocks, Business Standard says in a report.

Although the stock markets reacted negatively to the news of Indian strikes on Thursday, if past experience is anything to go by, this might just be a knee-jerk reaction. In fact, even during the 1999 limited war in the Kargil sector, the stock markets did not react negatively, the report notes.

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