Insider trading, tax issues for 5,000 companies, Air India stake sale and more

About 5,000 companies come under the gaze of tax authorities for alleged income discrepancies. The government said it will sell its entire stake in Air India Ltd, making a renewed push to sell the national carrier after almost two years ago. Here is more on what made news this week.

Business Standard
1st February

  • About 5,000 mid- and small-sized companies have come under the gaze of tax authorities for alleged income discrepancies and mismatches between their goods and services tax (GST) returns and income-tax (I-T) declarations for 2018-19. Tax officials will take action against these firms, including owners of business houses, for supposedly overstating GST claims and understating income in tax filings.
  • Shareholders of InterGlobe Aviation rejected co-promoter Rakesh Gangwal’s proposal to amend the company’s Articles of Association, the company said in a filing with exchanges. The amendment would have done away with the other co-promoter Rahul Bhatia-led group’s veto powers if Gangwal decided to sell his shares.
  • Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is being probed by Sebi for alleged insider trading in the shares of an education firm owned he and his family own, said media reports this week. The market regulator questioned Jhunjhunwala, his wife, brother and mother-in-law on January 24, according to the reports.
  • The KK Modi group deniedthat promoter stakes in its companies are up for sale, responding to tweets by Lalit Modi, the son of the late industrialist after whom the business is named. K K Modi died in November 2019, leading to a tussle between his wife, Bina Modi, and Lalit Modi. Group companies include cigarette maker Godfrey Phillips, Indofill Industries, and Modicare.
  • The World Health Organization warned all governments to "take action" over the virus spreading from China that has killed more than 160 people and infected around 7,000 others. Many global companies with operations in China have asked workers to stay home. Airlines are curtailing flights to the nation. Several countries have begun evacuating citizens from the most stricken zone around the city of Wuhan.
  • The government announced its plan to sell its entire interest in Air India Ltd, making a renewed push to sell the national carrier after it drew no bids in an effort to auction a majority stake almost two years ago. The minimum net worth criterion to bid is ₹3,500 crore. Substantial ownership and effective control of the airline must remain with an Indian entity.

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