UK court dismisses ArcelorMittal’s arbitral award plea against Essar Steel




A UK court has refused to issue a worldwide freezing order against the parent company of Ltd and members of promoter family – Ravi and Prashant Ruia.


The order came as steelmaker ArcelorMittal looked to enforce a $1.5 billion arbitral award stemming from a soured supply agreement.


In an 81-page judgment, High Court Judge Andrew Henshaw on Monday found no merit in the case being brought by ArcelorMittal to enforce a worldwide freeze on Essar’s assets to protect them from “dissipation” while the former pursues parallel legal remedies.


Reached for comments, ArcelorMittal hinted it may appeal against the judgment while an Essar spokesperson welcomed the decision saying the firm has “consistently argued that the underlying claims of wrongdoing and therefore the applications for the freezing orders were (and continue to be) ill-conceived and without any factual support.”


“We feel vindicated that the English Court has determined in this regard that ArcelorMittal USA LLC (AMUSA) has no good arguable case to bring before the Court. This Judgement has also vindicated Essar and its founders from any wrongdoing with regard to

HMRC appeal against student accommodation VAT policy ruling rejected


HMRC’s appeal against a ruling that overturned its student accommodation VAT policy has been rejected in a case bringing benefits for companies involved in the construction of student housing, landlords and universities.

The decision not only provides reassurance to the student housing sector that subcontractors do not have to be paid VAT on new build student accommodation, but has additional implications beyond cash flow for all parties involved.

The Issues

The main contractor at Primus Place had received a certificate from the developer-landlord claiming relief from VAT because the new building would be used for a relevant residential purpose (RRP) i.e. a communal building for students. Ordinarily sub-contractors working on RRP buildings are not entitled to zero-rate their services; VAT must be charged at 20 per cent which the main contractor must then reclaim on a VAT return.

However, the units were designed as self-contained living accommodation including kitchenettes and en-suite bathrooms. While planning consent restricted use to students, there was no clause preventing each unit from being separately used or sold. Summit argued the zero-rate could be applied as they were working on ‘dwellings’. The relief for dwellings is broader than for RRP buildings and allows both main and

Government urged to widen wage subsidy criteria


Concerns have been raised that eligibility criteria for the federal government’s $130 billion bailout plan for business is too restrictive and many businesses with spiralling revenue projections could miss out; and with parliament in recess, first payments are unlikely to be available until May at the earliest.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced an unprecedented stimulus package for businesses and not-for-profit operators affected by COVID-19, with wage subsidies of up to $1,500 a fortnight a centrepiece of the plan.

However, criteria that requires businesses to demonstrate that they have already experienced a 30 per cent drop in revenue to be eligible has been criticised for being too restrictive.

RSM director Tracey Dunn described the stimulus as fantastic and unprecedented, but told Business News the Treasury had not yet defined the test parameters around determining reductions in revenue, and how revenue would be defined.

Ms Dunn said information available from Treasury indicated the reduction in revenue will be measured after March 1, and must be relative to a comparative period from a year ago.

“The information available also indicates the employer must have already experienced a reduction in revenue of 30 per cent or more,” she said. 

“This may be problematic

Covid-19 lockdown: No coercion on taxpayers to pay up, clarifies FinMin


The on Tuesday defended the guidelines issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to field officers working from home, after tax officer and staff associations described the directives laid out therein as tactics to pressurise assessees to cough up dues.

The Income-Tax department had asked field formations to contact over phone or email to follow up on pending collections.

sources said describing the directives as coercive tactics “is nothing but just an imagination.”

“The directives of are given to the officers to be and to act as facilitators to and to help them arrange their I-T related solutions through phone calls and/or other online methods. However, some quarters have mistakenly portrayed the directives of the as if directing its field officers to use coercion for collection of taxes in this time of adversity,” one of the sources said.

The sources clarified that during the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all I-T officers including field officers, staff have been given guidelines to work from home by and are advised to make daily reports to

Dhanuka Lab implements resolution plan for debt-ridden Orchid Pharma


The resolution plan of Gurgaon-based Dhanuka Laboratories for the revival of Chennai-based debt-ridden Ltd has been implemented, potentially fetching secured lenders around 32.3 per cent recovery. In addition, the secured lenders will also receive around 4,08,164 equity shares at an issue price of Rs 10 each for part of their debt.

Orchid Pharma’s regulatory filing on Tuesday said the paid-up equity share capital of the company has been reduced from Rs 88.96 crore to Rs Rs 40.81 crore, with cancellation of 88.56 million equity shares of Rs 10 each. A meeting of the Monitoring Committee held this week also approved issue of zero per cent non-convertible, non-marketable, cumulative redeemable debentures of value of Rs 3,650 crore to Dhanuka Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd – a Special Purpose Vehicle formed by Dhanuka Laboratories Ltd – for subsuming equivalent outstanding debt of by the SPV for consideration other than cash.

The lenders were able to recover around Rs 1,106.50 crore out of the total admitted debt of around Rs 3,526.74 crore, apart from the one per cent shares. Dhanuka will hold around 98 per cent shares following the deal and may

Five ways your accountant can save your business money


Many small business owners manage their own finances but if you choose to employ an accountant, you may find you save your business money in the long-run.

More than bookkeepers, accountants are trained professionals who frequently see companies growing from new enterprises to established businesses. With their insight and skills you could be well on your way to tightening your finances and running your business in a way best suited to you.

Tax Planning

Tax regulations can be a maze and it can be very difficult to stay abreast of all changes to the law. Thanks to their expert knowledge on a range of tax planning options, your accountant can help you make the most of each tax year and advise on the most tax-efficient plan your business.

Your accountant can also save your business money simply by keeping on top of tax deadlines. While some penalties for late submission are smaller than others, they all add up and ultimately this is money that would be better invested in your business.

Cash Flow Advice

Having control over your costs and a good bookkeeping function can help with cash flow in your business. With a wealth of knowledge, your accountant can

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