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India In-Focus — Shares slip; India to drop windfall tax if oil prices fall $40 a barrel

MUMBAI: Indian shares began the week on a tepid note on Monday, dragged by metal stocks due to demand worries and weaker sentiment in global markets.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.3 percent at 15,704, while the S&P BSE Sensex was unchanged at 52,930.86. The indexes rose about 0.3 percent each last week.

India to drop windfall tax if oil prices fall $40 a barrel

India will only withdraw its windfall tax introduced last week for oil producers and refiners if global prices of crude fall as much as $40 a barrel from present levels, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj told Reuters on Monday.

The tax on firms that have increased product exports to gain from higher overseas margins took effect on July 1, as the government moves to boost domestic supply and revenue.

The taxes, and some accompanying export curbs, will hit the earnings of companies such as Reliance Industries, and Nayara Energy, which is partly owned by Russia’s Rosneft, the Oil and Natural Gas Corp., Oil India Ltd. and Vedanta Ltd.

“The taxation would be reviewed every 15 days,” Bajaj said, adding that it would depend on international crude prices. “If crude prices fall, then windfall gains will cease and windfall taxes would also be removed.”

The government believes such windfall gains will cease once prices fall to $40 from existing levels, Bajaj said.

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