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ED attaches ‘benami’ entities in Unitech group PMLA case

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NEW DELHI: Assets worth Rs 18.14 crore belonging to alleged benami entities of the Unitech group have been attached under the anti-money laundering law, the Enforcement Directorate said.
The attached properties include a Gurgaon (Haryana) located multiplex, six commercial properties in Gurgaon and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and two dozen bank accounts and fixed deposits.
The book value of these assets is Rs 18.14 crore, it said.
“These assets are in the name of Enova Facility Management Services Private Limited and FNM Property Services Private Limited which are benami entities of the Chandras (Unitech promoters Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra),” the agency said in a statement.
It alleged that these two benami entities were “managed by Chandras through their close confidants and the assets attached were acquired/created from the proceeds of crime diverted from the Unitech group”.
A benami transaction is an arrangement in which a property (movable or immovable) is transferred to or held in the name of one person (benamidar), but is actually owned and enjoyed by another person (beneficial owner).
This money laundering case is based on a number of Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and CBI FIRs filed by homebuyers against the Unitech Group and its promoters.
The ED filed a criminal case under various sections of the PMLA early this year against the Unitech group and its promoters over allegations that the owners- Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra- illegally diverted over Rs 2,000 crore to Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
The total attachment of properties in this case now has reached Rs 690.66 crore.
Last month, the ED had arrested Unitech founder Ramesh Chandra, his daughter-in-law Preeti Chandra and another executive of a company in this case.





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Services sector activity in November registers second-fastest pace of growth since July 2011: Survey

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NEW DELHI: Services sector activity expanded at the second-fastest pace in more than a decade during November, driven by sustained rise in new work and improvement in market conditions, a monthly survey said on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index was at 58.1 in November, fractionally down from 58.4 in October. The November figure points to the second-fastest rise in output since July 2011.
For the fourth straight month, the services sector witnessed an expansion in output. In Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.
“The recovery of the Indian service sector was extended to November, with a robust improvement in sales enabling the second-fastest rise in business activity in nearly ten-and-a-half years,” Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.
Although companies forecast higher business activity volumes over the course of the coming year, the expansion is expected to be restricted by price pressures.
Amid reports of higher fuel, labour, material, retail and transportation costs, average input prices among Indian services companies rose further in November.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions reportedly caused a further drop in international demand for Indian services. The latest fall in external sales was the twenty-first in successive months although among the slowest over this period, the survey said.
As per the survey, private sector activity in India continued to expand, taking the current sequence of growth to four months.
The composite PMI output index — which measures combined services and manufacturing output — rose from 58.7 in October to 59.2 in November, signalling the strongest upturn since January 2012.
“Looking at the manufacturing and service sectors combined, the results are even more encouraging and bode well for economic performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021-22 so far. With production growth quickening considerably in November, private sector output expanded at the fastest pace since January 2012,” Lima said.
India’s GDP growth stood at 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22 and surpassed the pre-Covid level, official data showed on Tuesday.





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ramachandran: Sandeep Ghosh to head Visa India; Ramachandran relocates to Singapore

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MUMBAI: International digital payments major Visa has announced new leadership for India and South Asia, with the incumbent TR Ramachandran being relocated to Singapore from next year to lead its newly created new payment flows business.
Ramachandran will be succeeded by Sandeep Ghosh, most recently a partner and leader of the financial services consulting practice at EY India, said Chris Clark, Visa Inc regional president.
Ramachandran joined Visa in 2015 to lead its business across India and South Asia.
Deutsche Bank India expands wealth management team
Deutsche Bank India has announced expansion of its wealth management team with a team of new hires, taking the total strength to over 15 in the past one year alone.
The additional hires are being made across the areas of relationship management and investment advisory, Amrit Singh, head of wealth management for South Asia said.
Among the new hires include Rajasekar Ayyalu who has joined as a director in Chennai where he will be responsible for expanding and deepening the bank’s presence. He joins from Julius Baer where he was an executive director prior to which he worked at Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In addition to Rajasekar, four vice-presidents — Jai Bhatia, Sanyam Sharma , Anjali Vashisth and Manish Lalwani–have joined the Delhi and Mumbai offices as relationship managers, Atinkumar Saha, head of wealth management at Deutsche Bank India said.





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Net direct tax revenue rises 68% to Rs 6.92 lakh crore till November 23

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NEW DELHI: The net direct tax collection grew nearly 68 per cent during April 1 to November 23 to more than Rs 6.92 lakh crore, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Monday.
“The Net Direct Tax Collection figures for the FY- 2021-22 as on 23.11.2021 are at Rs 6,92,833.6 crores showing a growth of 67.93 per cent and 27.29 per cent over the net collection figures for the corresponding period FY2020-21 and FY 2019-20,” he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The net collection between April 1 – November 23 in 2020-21 and 2019-20 fiscals was over Rs 4.12 lakh crore and over Rs 5.44 lakh crore respectively.
The gross direct tax collection (before adjusting refunds) as of November 23 stood at over Rs 8.15 lakh crore, a 48.11 growth over the collections in the corresponding period in last fiscal.
Chaudhary further said that the gross GST collection in the current fiscal (April 2021-March’22) post Covid-19 outbreak is showing an increasing trend.
The gross GST collection for full 2020-21 ended March 2021 was over Rs 11.36 lakh crore, while the same in the current fiscal till October stood at Rs 8.10 lakh crore.
In reply to a separate question on whether incidents of tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country, Chaudhary said there is no evidence to suggest that incidents of income tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country.
“In terms of cases detected under Goods & Service Tax (GST) and Customs, there is no increasing trend in such evasion noticed in Delhi, although, there is overall increase in detection of GST and Customs evasion cases in the country,” he added.





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