GST bill inches towards 2/3rd backing in Rajya Sabha
The long-pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill is inching closer to get passed as it now has more than two-thirds support needed for its passage in Rajya Sabha, The Times of India reportedciting government sources privy to the matter.
The report said that around 163 MPs could support the bill, excluding 12 from AIADMK who had concerns but could reach a middle ground or would abstain. The opposition UPA has 65 MPs. The report added that 10 Left MPs have not officially declared their support, but considerable progress has been achieved in narrowing differences with them.
Govt considers liberalising visa regime
In a move aimed at increasing services exports, the Indian government is in the process of liberalising its visa regime, which includes allowing multiple-entry tourist and business visas, the Mint reported.
Once implemented, the move is expected to further liberlise the e-tourist visa regime rolled out for 150 countries in November 2014 by the central government. Rules for short-term business visas, medical travel visas and visas for least developed countries are also expected to be eased, the report said.
Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that visa restrictions are impacting business and trade. “These are the irritants we want to remove. However, there are also security constraints and there are countries with whom we want to be cautious,” she added.
India has a share of 3.4% of the global services trade, while China has a share of 4.6%.
Sequoia Capital to invest $15 mn in Wildcraft
Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital is planning to invest approximately Rs 100 crore ($15 million) in Bengaluru-based outdoor gear manufacturer Wildcraft, which is looking to hit the primary market with an initial public offering in 2017.
The funding deal, which is the venture capital firm's second in the company, is expected to be concluded in the next quarter, The Economic Times reported.
Sequoia had pumped in close to Rs 70 crore in Wildcraft — which mainly makes rucksacks, bag packs, jackets and raincoats — in 2013, valuing it at about Rs 350 crore. It had picked about 20% stake in Wildcraft in the first round of funding. The VC firm is likely to exit Wildcraft in the IPO, the report said.
Bluestone.com set to raise $30 mn from Iron Pillar, Accel, others
Jewellery e-tailer Bluestone.com is in advanced talks to raise about Rs 200 crore ($30 million) in a fourth funding round led by venture capital firm Iron Pillar, the Mint reportedciting two people aware of the development.
Existing investors Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital and IvyCap Ventures will also participate in this round, the report said. Bluestone is one of the early startup bets of Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.
Hike in talks to raise funds from Tencent
Messaging app Hike Ltd is in talks to raise a new round of funds from China’s Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, the Mint reported citing two people familiar with the matter.
Hike, which competes with market leader WhatsApp, plans to raise at least $100 million in the funding round, the report said.
Hike’s existing investors Tiger Global Management and Bharti SoftBank may participate in the round, the report said.
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