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India business & economy news in brief for Jan 31: Infosys admits appeal against UK tax assessment, says report

Narayana Murthy (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Here are news in brief related to Indian economy and business for Tuesday, January 31, 2023:

Software services major Infosys on Tuesday admitted that it has appealed against a corporation tax assessment by the UK authorities as British media reports referenced the company’s annual report to reveal the dispute, PTI reported. Reports in London are flagging that the firm co-founded by British prime minister Rishi Sunak’s father-in-law, Narayana Murthy, was contesting a £20 million tax bill with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department. The dispute, first revealed by ‘The Times’, comes at a sensitive time for Sunak who sacked his Conservative Party chief Nadhim Zahawi following an investigation that found he had breached the ministerial code of ethics over his tax affairs.

A two-day meeting of the G20 International Financial Architecture Working Group concluded in Chandigarh on Tuesday with participants discussing issues pertaining to strengthening multilateral development banks and how to address challenges associated with debt, PTI reported. Around 100 delegates from the G20 countries, invitee countries and international organisations participated in the meeting, Anu P Mathai, adviser, the Ministry of Finance, said while addressing the media here. The discussions during the two-day meeting were jointly steered by the ministry of finance and the Reserve Bank of India along with France and Korea who are the co-chairs of the International Financial Architecture Working Group.

Outlays have become outcomes and the components are covered in detail in the social sector, chief economic advisor (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran said on Tuesday. Speaking about the components of the social sector during a press conference on Tuesday, the CEA said, “Not only the full document (of the Economic Survey) but the highlights have captured the element with outcome as well, ranging from electricity, healthcare, food security, affordable housing, drinking water and sanitation, all the way to cooking fuels, all development and skill development.” The CEA also said, “General government spending with both the Union and the state governments put together, education has gone up from Rs 5.3 lakh crore (£52.6 million) to Rs 7.6 lakh crore (£75.4 million) and healthcare almost more than doubled in the last three years.”

SaladO, the biggest salad brand in India, after expanding its franchise network to 180+ cloud kitchens, is now coming up with its kiosk model plan, ANI/PNN reported. The plan will be introduced in the 1st week of February onwards in the form of FOCO & COCO Model. With its Kiosk model plan, the company aims to launch small kiosks at prime locations in India and revolutionize the salad industry in India. Since the onset of the pandemic, the dynamics of retail food industrialists and food aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy have transformed the knits and grits of the retail food business. Even the biggest food brands consider better alternatives to open huge restaurants or big QSRs.

India’s output of eight core industries registered a 7.4 per cent growth in December 2022, against 4.1 per cent growth during December 2021, according to the ministry of commerce and industry, ANI reported. The production of coal, electricity, steel, cement, fertilisers, refinery products and natural gas increased in December 2022 over the corresponding month of last year. Index of eight core industries (ICI) measures the combined and individual performance of production of eight core industries, namely coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity. According to the statement released by the ministry of commerce and industry on Tuesday, the eight core industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production.

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s $2.5 billion share sale was fully subscribed on Tuesday as investors pumped funds into his flagship firm, despite a massive rout worth $65 billion in his stocks sparked by a short-seller’s report, Reuters reported. The fundraising is critical for the businessman, not just because it will help reduce his group’s debt, but also because it is being seen by many as a gauge of confidence when the tycoon is facing one of his biggest challenges — both in terms of business and reputation. Last week, Hindenburg Research’s report alleged improper use of offshore tax havens and concerns about high debt, which Adani’s firm denied, but the subsequent market meltdown saw a dramatic and sudden fall in the businessman’s fortunes as he slipped from third to eighth in Forbes rich list rankings.

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