To attract more investors into the stock market, leading bourse BSE has pitched for reduction in securities transaction tax and rationalise the taxation norms for different financial products -- a demand also made by Sebi and other market entities. BSE has written to the government seeking rationalisation and reduction in STT. "For us if you cannot reduce the STT overall, then you have to restructure STT to basically reduce it for delivery transactions," BSE's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ashishkumar Chauhan said here today. According to him, STT should be reduced for delivery transactions as it would also help in attracting investments. Chauhan said that at present, the tax is "lowest on options and highest on delivery transactions". So, effectively the tax policy itself seems to promote the derivatives transactions, he added. "Currently it is Rs 20,000 a crore... Rs 10,000 a crore on the buy (side) and Rs 10,000 a crore on sell (side) if you deliver the shares. "It is almosty 20 times higher than intra-day trading or future trading or probably 1,000 times higher than the options trading," he said. He was speaking at a conference organised by industry body Assocham. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has also put across similar demands with regard to STT. Meanwhile, many listed entities have made representations to the exchange with respect to the new companies law, including provisions related to independent directors. "Many of the (listed) companies have written to the BSE that some aspects of the new companies law should be relooked into. It is a sort of situation where (companies want to know) how to comply with the Companies Act," Chauhan said. Under the Companies Act, 2013 -- whose many provisions have come into force from April 1 -- there are strict disclosure norms and compliance requirements.


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GOLD FLAKE BURNS FINGERDiversified group ITC Ltd today said it has increased prices of its Gold Flake cigarette brand by over 7 per cent. The price of Gold Flake Filter pack consisting of 10 cigarettes will now cost Rs 59 from Rs 55 earlier. Likewise, Gold Flake Premium Filter cigarette will cost Rs 58, up from Rs 55 earlier. When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed the hike in prices. ITC, which is the market leader in cigarettes in India, sells various brands including India Kings, Classic Gold Flake, Navy Cut among others. The company's cigarettes business grew by 11.48 per cent to Rs 3,623.23 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared to Rs 3,249.88 crore in the same period of previous fiscal. ITC produces cigarettes at manufacturing plants located in Bengaluru, Munger, Saharanpur, Kolkata and Pune. Besides FMCG, ITC has interests hotels, paperboards and packaging, tobacco products and information technology. Net sales of the company rose to Rs 29,605.58 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013, compared to Rs 24,798.43 crore in the 2011-12 financial year. Shares of ITC today closed at Rs 338.50 on the BSE, up 3.74 per cent from its previous close.


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