Weekly Economic News Digest as of 10:00 a.m. October 15, 2022

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Let’s start. The government will seek to decriminalize a wide range of economic offenses through a new bill to be introduced during the winter session of parliament, official sources told FE this week. As many as 110 archaic – and sometimes bizarre – provisions in 35 laws, relating to 16 ministries and departments, will be scrapped or amended in one of the biggest campaigns of all time, the sources added. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, spearheading this initiative, is planning these comprehensive changes with the aim of ensuring greater ease of doing business for companies and living for individuals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday his government had so far repealed around 2,000 archaic British-era laws that required businessmen to be sent to jail for minor troubles.

Next, Industry. The Union cabinet has approved a one-time grant of Rs 22,000 crore to three oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation – to ease cost pressures and cover losses of the two years on the sale of LPG on the domestic market. market. Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said LPG prices increased by 300% between June 2020 and June 2022. The subsidy will help fuel retailers tackle under-recoveries that have caused surface over that two-year period, he said during the briefing after the Cabinet meeting. The subsidy comes as LPG prices have not risen in line with the surge in costs and the increased costs have not been fully passed on to domestic LPG consumers. Domestic LPG prices increased by 72% over the two-year period. This led to the three Public Sector Enterprise (PSU) oil companies incurring significant losses relative to market prices. The one-time subsidy of Rs 22,000 is provided to protect domestic LPG consumers from rising costs, Thakur said during the briefing.

Let’s move on. According to the “Master Directorate” of the Reserve Bank of India, credit card issuers can report an account as “overdue” to credit reporting agencies or impose a penalty only if the credit card account remains “overdue”. overdue” for more than 3 days. “Card issuers must report a credit card account as ‘overdue’ to credit reporting companies or impose criminal prosecution, viz. late payment fees and other related charges, if any, only when a credit card account remains ‘overdue’ for more than three days,” says RBI Senior Management – ​​Credit Card and Debit Card – Issuing and Driving Instructions, 2022. “The number of “late days” and late penalties will, however, be calculated from the payment due date shown on the credit card statement, as specified in regulatory guidance on “Prudential Standards for Revenue Recognition, Classification of Assets and Provisioning of Advances” amended from time to time,” it adds. , late payment fees and other related charges can only be collected on the unpaid amount after the due date and not on the full amount.

In other news, Pan masala and gutkha businesses are likely to face increased scrutiny and audits as governments step up efforts to end tax evasion on their part. However, a plan to levy the goods and services tax on the basis of installed manufacturing capacity could be abandoned. In May 2021, the GST Board set up a group of ministers, led by Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari, to examine the feasibility of levying GST on products such as pan masala and gutkha, based on the installed capacity of the units, rather than their actual manufacture. The move comes amid a decline in revenue from these industries reported by many states after the introduction of the GST in July 2017. Tax authorities have seen large-scale tax evasion by units through a sub – declaration of production.

Finally, some updates on 5G services. Nearly a week after the launch of 5G services – in eight cities by Bharti Airtel and beta testing by Reliance Jio in all four metros – all is not well in terms of service quality and user experience. , which led the government to intervene in the matter. In a one-of-a-kind exercise, the secretaries of the Department of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology jointly convened a meeting of all handset manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and others as well as the telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea this week. The agenda for the meeting was three-fold: first, to ask telecom operators about the readiness of their networks so that handsets can be tuned to them; second, check with handset manufacturers on the status of required software upgrades in 5G-enabled phones; and finally, prioritizing software upgrades so that early adoption of 5G can happen in the country.

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