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Sebi rejects CSE tax plea

Calcutta, Nov. 13: Officials of the Calcutta Stock Exchange (CSE) who went to Mumbai yesterday to meet the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), returned empty-handed.

“Sebi will not grant any concession on turnover tax dues. The exchange will now have to calculate the dues of its members with whatever data it has,” said P. K. Sarkar, executive director of the bourse. The exchange had offered a formula for settlement of its members’ turnover tax dues.

The Calcutta Stock Exchange has also had to abandon its plans of seeking membership of one of the larger bourses for introducing trading in equity-derivatives. “After the Kania Committee report we cannot seek membership of a larger exchange,” Sarkar said.

Observers say the Kania Committee’s recommendations on the future of regional stock exchanges sealed the fate of the Calcutta Stock Exchange, which in its bid for survival, had also thought of introducing trading in commodities.

“The committee says the regional stock exchanges should merge amongst themselves, and form another trading platform. Similar efforts have failed in the past,” said an observer citing the example of Interconnected Stock Exchange of India.

Defaulters offer Rs 10 crore

Dinesh Singhania, Harish Biyani and Ashok Poddar — the three key defaulters of the Calcutta Stock Exchange — have offered to pay Rs 10 crore for settlement of their Rs 90-odd crore dues.

The offer, however, has failed to impress the exchange authorities. Officials of the bourse described the proposal sent through a lawyer, as “ridiculous”. “It’s a good sign nevertheless. It shows they want to buy peace,” an official added.

This is the first time the Poddars and the Singhanias have offered to pay anything at all. Biyani had made a similar proposal in the past, but the exchange rejected it. Biyani, who is in judicial custody, has offered to pay Rs 5 crore, Singhania, Rs 3 crore and Poddar, the balance Rs 2 crore. Singhania and Poddar are on the run since the police started investigating the payment crisis.

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