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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Mar 17, 2009

Govt says to meet direct tax collection goal

By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India expects to meet its downwardly revised direct tax collection target of 3.45 trillion rupees ($67 billion) for the 2008/09 fiscal year ending on March 31, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday.

"We are confident of meeting the target for 2008/09," the official, who declined to be named, told reporters.

In last month's interim budget for 2009/10, the finance ministry had revised down its forecast for direct tax receipts in 2008/09 to 3.45 trillion from 3.65 trillion, reflecting a slowdown in the economy.

The official said direct tax receipts between April 1, 2008, and March 16 rose 18 percent from a year ago to 2.96 trillion rupees, including advance taxes paid by the corporates for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The government has forecast the fiscal deficit at 6 percent of gross domestic product, much higher than an initial forecast of 2.5 percent, as growth slows to around 7 percent in 2008/09 from 9 percent a year earlier.

($1 = 51.4 rupees)

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Petronet may curb spot LNG deals

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Petronet LNG may restrict its spot LNG purchases when domestic supplies get a boost from Reliance's massive new gas field that is expected to start production this month, the firm's CEO said.

Natural gas from Reliance Industries' D-6 field in the Bay of Bengal will eventually double India's supply of cleaner-burning fuel but the new supply is expected to dent India's demand for liquefied natural gas.  (More ...)

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Mercedes-Benz optimistic of maintaining growth

Despite the slowdown, luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz is optimistic of maintaining growth in the Indian market during the 2009 fiscal.

'We are optimistic that growth will continue, though it will not be 46 per cent as during the previous year, Suhas Kadlaskar, Director Corporate Affairs Mercedes-Benz India Private Ltd, said in Kochi.

The car maker had sold 3625 units nationally in 2008 and sales had registered a 14 per cent growth during February 2008 to February 2009 and the company hopes to maintain the market leadership this year too, he said.

In Kerala, Mercedes-Benz has grown by 20-25 per cent.  (More ...)

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