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Tempo traveller falls in a gorge on national highway at Gangotri in Garhwal, 9 die while 6 injured

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Fatal accidents claiming several lives have become a common feature in Uttarakhand. The number of fatalities in these accidents is enhancing day by day and majority of the tragedies are occuring due to the buses, tempo travellers or cars carrying overloaded passengers and felling in deep gorge several meters below after becoming either imbalanced or the drivers losing their controls. The main reasons of these accidents are also the narrow and unrepaired pathways n roads full of pot holes and uncleared landslide prone roads not at all suitable for plying of vehicles like passenger buses. In certain cases the drivers are careless and in inebriated position being the liquor addicts. There had been several accidents n head on collisions due to the drivers either busy on mobile phones while driving or talking to the fellow passengers. Majority of the accidents occur on the narrow turns due to the negligent driving and the speeding vehicles. There is another shocking news today about a tempo traveller carrying over 15 passengers having met with a brutal accident having killed 9 passengers, 8 on the spot n one succumbed to injuries later on. About 6 passengers have been seriously injured. The fatal accident occured on Gangotri national highway about ten kilometres before Bhatwari in Sungar this morning when the tempo traveller arriving towards Uttarkashi fell into the deep gorge after the driver lost the control killing 8 passengers on the spot and one passenger dying later on succumbing to injuries. The dead and injureds were retrived with the help of the local villagers and the police which arrived on the accident spot after some time while the injured have been addmitted in the nearby hospital.

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Col Kothiyal’s entry in the Pauri Garhwal election fray poses direct challenge to both BJP n Congress?

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Colonel Ajay Kothiyal during his Padyatras and social programmes in various villages of Pauri Garhwal

The election of No: 2, Pauri Garhwal parliamentary constituency in Uttarakhand Himalayas, considered to be a hot seat is going to be quite interesting, unique and collossal this time.

The reason being that one of the most popular hero of Kedarnath reconstruction n rehabilitation, the founding chairman of NIM Col Ajay Kothiyal has finally made up his mind on the unanimous pressure of the youths, students, ex servicemen n the general public to contest from here as an independent candidate after being deprived opportunity from both the political parties viz BJP and Congress.

The social media is full of unstinting suport for Colonel Ajay Kothiyal from almost all sections of the society be it women, ex servicemen, youths, students or intellectuals.

The Pauri Garhwal constituency was once popular internationally when in 1983/ 84 it literally became the Indira versus Bahuguna political battle ground with Bahugna finally winning as an independent, establishing a record of sorts.

It was then, that the entire central govt led by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi n chief ministers of more than five Congress ruled states camped here and did their best to ensure that the epitome of Democracy H. N Bahuguna is defated at all costs, but all in vain.

This election wss rigged by the hired goondas of other states and was postponed after Bahuguna filed a strong complaint against the massive malpractices to the then election commissioner Shyam Lal Shakdhar.

It was due to this controvertial election that Garhwal was internationally popularised which was till then an unknown district in the country’s map. Today, after the speculation of Colonel Ajay Kothiyal’s possible entry into the fray it looks that the same history of 1983 is going to be repeated. If Colonel Ajay Kothiyal really wins as being given to understand by the rumours taking the round then ofcourse it will be the historic repetition of the Garhwal byelection of 1984.

But it’s still unclear as it’s only stored in the destiny to follow. As per the present political scenerio of this constituency, the Bhartiya Janata Party has announced the candidature of Its national secretary Tirath Singh Rawat, who’s the former MLA n minister in Uttarakhand govt hailing from Pauri, Garhwal district.

On the other hand the Congress party has fielded ,( though still not officially confirmed ) Mr. Manish Khanduri, a journalist turned politician ( novice) who just a few days ago joined the Congress party in Rahul Gandhi’s presence n son of the sitting BJP MP n former Uttarakhand CM Major general retired B. C. Khanduri. Mr. Khanduri has expressed his inability to contest but was also unceremoniously ousted from the Parliament Defence Committee by Modi government against which Khanduri’s son has joined the Congress.

Now the third entrant is Colonel Ajay Kothiyal as being given to understand. If it really hapoens, which s almost 100% sure as being given to understand then the contest in Pauri Garhwal constituency ranging from Badrinath Kedarnath China border to Kotdwar is going to be of tremendous interest, posing direct challenge to the Congress as well as the BJP candidates.

It’s being said that highly popular amongst all sections of the society Kothiyal is above caste and ideological affiliations. He is rated as the true Himalaya Putr of Uttarakhand as was late H. N. Bahuguna decorated by the people of Garhwal n Uttarakhand for his outstanding abilities n courage to take on the then PM Indira Gandhi opposing her draconion emergency of 1975 to the dynastic rule and thereafter joining the total revolution of Jai Prakash Narayan in 1977 fighting against all odds. Colonel Kothiyal is famous for organising good number of army recruitment camps un various districts of Uttarakhand in Garhwal as well as in Kumaon divisions and imparting specual training to recruits ensuring addmission to 8000 young recruits in Indian Army n giving free treatment to thousands of wounded nill soldiers n ex servicemen apart from engaging hundreds of youths of YOUTH FOUNDATION to carry out the rehabilitation of the Kedarnath victims and reconstruction of Kedarnath against the minus degree temperatures for months together.

It was him n his NIM team of courageous youths whose great efforts led to the successful landing of MI-26 in Kedarnath after the massive ecological disaster. It was the very first time when any cargo helicopter from Air-Force landed on the divine land.

And it was because of the successful landing of the MI-26 plane that heavy machines could be carried like (trucks, dumpers, JCBs) to the high altitude Kedarnath to help in restoration work. Even the prime minister Narendra Modi and the national security advisor publicly lauded the outstanding and exemolary contribution of Colonel Ajay Kothiyal and his dedicated team of hundreds of youth volunteers of Youth Foundation for having carried out the entire restoration n reconstruction work in devastated Kedarnath under extreme unforeseable condition under minus degree temperstures for months together.

It may be recalled that Colonel Kothiyal who is still a bachelor a fully dedicated to public service with a clear n constructive vision foranew n modern Uttarakhand had already made up his mind to contest from Pauri Garhwal parliamentary constituency.

He had already toured almost all the blocks and maximum villages n district headquarters of Pauri n Chamoli Garhwal holding umpteen corner and public meetings attended by hundreds and thousands of people.

He is considered to be a true messiah of the unemployed youth who carries behind him a clear cut vision on the problems of the hills pertaining to easing employment, providing health facilities, stopping increasing exodus to cities n improving the agricultural health of Uttarakhand.

He has send feelers to both the BJP and Congress parties through different sourcs but it’s really distressing to note that intelligent, committed and dedicated aspirants are never welcomed in political parties as the leaders find themselves insecure in the company n leadership of politicians with constructive vision and impeccable integrity.
Moreover,Pauri Garhwal being the exservicemen dominated constituency with 2.5 lakh seving n retired army voters gives extra edge to Colonel Ajay Kothiyal for himself being a dedicated Army officer n the everest climber as well.

Hence Colonel Ajay Kothiyal has to be constrained to take the risk of contesting on his own, solely depending on the peoples’ power. It remains to be seen whether honesty n dedication triumphs or money bags, liquor, muscle power in democracy ? What’s your take friends?

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Congress forges alliance with National Conference in J n K, Mayawati not to contest lok Sabha poll

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As the final notification for the polls have been issued by the election commission, the Congress party which was lacking behind in forming alliances in various states especially after being sidelined in the largest state of the country Uttar Pradesh by the BSP, SP n RLD trio, a conglomeration of the parties carrying behind them the concrete vote bank of minorities, backward classes and the dalits, has also expedited its efforts for state wise alliance in order to solidify the grand alliance experiment at the national level.

Without wasting further time the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has issued directives to all its central and state leaders to forge a pre electoral alliance with the like minded anti BJP parties in order to gain the peoples’ confidence and trust n strongly n decisively defeat the saffron party led by the charismatic PM Narendra Modi whose juggernaut is speedily moving ahead cashing on the post Pulwama sentiments n Hindu polarisation strategy in the country.

Just today the Congress party’s senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad reached Srinagar and forged a pre electoral alliance with the National Conference led by Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah.

As per the arrangement, while the National conference would contest on the three seats in the Kashmir valley including on the Srinagar seat, the BJP will contest on Jammu n Udhampur seat. There are total 6 Lok Sabha parliamentary constituencies in Jammu n Kashmir.

While addressing the media after the formation of the Congress NC alliance Farooq Abdullah said that while he welcomes the Congress Party’s gesture to forge an alliance with his party to strongly protect the secular n democratic credentials in the state and the country, he would request the Congress party to form a similar credible secular n democratic alliance at the national level in order to defeat the communal forces formidably, who are creating divisivenes n hatred in the society to meet their vested political interests.

The veteran Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the nation is today confronting a twin challenge from the enemy country Pakistan as well as from the terrorists and divisive forces in Kashmir n other parts of the country.

Forging of credible secular n democratic alliances would save the nation and Kashmir form these impending dangers.

Currently, there are four main parties in Jammu n Kashmir viz Congress, National Conference, PDP, BJP with smaller political outfits like the Pathers Party led by Bhim Singh n other smallers groups , having their limited say.

Now, after the formation of the NC Congress alliance there would be a three corned contest in Jammu n Kashmir between the NC, Congress alliance, PDP n the BJP.

The BJP n PDP formed the government in the state earlier but were separated after a year or so as both were diametrically opposite parties ideologically.

The Congress party has also formed an alliance with the RJD n left parties in Bihar. The RJD president Tejasvi Yadav, Lalu’s son, was quite confident n jubilant after the alliance with Congress and said that all is well. He said that the actual party wise seat sharing/ allocation would be revealed after holi.

Tejasvi Yadav said the grand allaince would be taking a concrete shape nationally as well n would give a strong fight to the BJP led NDA in Buhar as well as at the national level.

The pact related talks are also in progress in Delhi with AAP after the intervention of the NCP leader Sharad Pawar. Though newspaper reports are giving negative view of the pact between AAP n Congress saying that both the parties could not arrive at any understanding but the talks are still on as the Delhi Congress incharge PC Chacko is still hopeful of the pact with AAP.

Political analysts say that the pact between AAP n Congress is inevitable if both of them really want to dislodge BJP in Delhi as the saffron party’s vote bank is intact n has rather enhanced after the Pulwama developments.

In Maharashtra too the Congress and NCP have already established the pre poll alliance and are trying to rope in other Ambedkarite parties as well to entice the votes of Dalits and the backwards.

The SP BSP alliance in Maharashtra will lead to a three cornered contest between the ruling Shiva Sena combine, Congress NCP duo and the BSP SP combine.

It however remains to be seen as to which side will the party of the Ambedkarite voters go.

In Bengal however, the Congress has failed to form an alliance between TMC n Left parties, especially the CPM as both the parties want a major share leaving Congress party to a negligible position to which Congress has not agreed .

As a result the Congress party has decided to field candidates on 41 seats in West Bengal.

This unambiguously states that in Bengal too the contest would be four cornered between the TMC ( ruling party) BJP, Communists( Left Front) and the Congress.

In Karnataka, the Congress JDU alliance against the BJP is already existing where both the parties are running the government.

In Tamilnadu the Congress has formed electoral understanding with the DMK of late Karunanidhi wherebas the BJP has alligned with the AIADMK of late J. Jaylalitha.

In Jharkhand too the Congress party has alligned with a regional party and talks with pre poll arrangements with Andhra CM Chandra Babu Naidu are in progress.

However in Oddissa the Congress party will go alone giving way for a three cornered contest between Biju Janata Dal, BJP n the Congress.

Meanwhile the BSP supremo Mayawati has announced that she would not contest from any seat in UP as winning maximum seats and defeating BJP is her main objective.

Analysts say that Mayawati do not want to confine herself to one seat as she would be the star campaingner of the BSP SP RLD combine and may go elsewhere also to campaign for her parties candidates contesting in various states.

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Centre likely to miss direct tax collection target by Rs 50,000 cr

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The central government is unlikely to meet its direct tax collection targetThe central government is unlikely to meet its direct tax collection target for the financial year 2018-19, given the subdued revenue mop-up so far. As on March 15, the Income-Tax Department had collected Rs 9.23 lakh crore out of the revised direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for the current fiscal.

“The direct tax revenue growth is at 13.4% so far against the revised target of 19.8% for the full year,” a finance ministry official said.

“The net direct tax collection for the current fiscal year until March 15 was at Rs 9.23 lakh crore against Rs 8.14 lakh crore collected during the same period last year. Corporate tax collection during this period stood at Rs 5.24 lakh crore while income tax collection was at Rs 3.87 lakh crore,” a source said.

The finance ministry officials said that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the I-T Department, is expecting around Rs 2 lakh crore more collection, mainly from advance tax payments. The last date for payment of the fourth quarter advance tax installment was March 15.

“It takes a couple of days for the payments to show. Apart from advance tax collections, the tax department is focusing on the tax deducted at source (TDS), self-assessment and regular assessment collections. The collections normally increase as March ends,” the official said.

“It appears that the CBDT won’t be able to meet the revised target of 19.8% growth for direct taxes. The focus is now on achieving at least the original budgeted target of Rs 11.50 lakh crore or get closer to it,” another official said, adding that 14.6% growth in direct taxes may be achieved for the full year.

The finance ministry had revised its direct tax collection target to Rs 12 lakh crore in the revised estimate in the interim Budget from the earlier budgeted target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore.

“The revised direct tax revenue target of 19.8% was overambitious. The growth rate in the direct tax revenues is likely to be around 14%. This looks reasonable given that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current year may be around 11% plus, implying tax buoyancy of 1.2%,” said D K Srivasatava, chief policy advisor, EY.

In 2017-18, direct tax collection was Rs 10.02 lakh crore, which exceeded the then revised budgeted target of Rs 9.8 lakh crore. for the financial year 2018-19, given the subdued revenue mop-up so far. As on March 15, the Income-Tax Department had collected Rs 9.23 lakh crore out of the revised direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for the current fiscal.

“The direct tax revenue growth is at 13.4% so far against the revised target of 19.8% for the full year,” a finance ministry official said.

“The net direct tax collection for the current fiscal year until March 15 was at Rs 9.23 lakh crore against Rs 8.14 lakh crore collected during the same period last year. Corporate tax collection during this period stood at Rs 5.24 lakh crore while income tax collection was at Rs 3.87 lakh crore,” a source said.

The finance ministry officials said that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the I-T Department, is expecting around Rs 2 lakh crore more collection, mainly from advance tax payments. The last date for payment of the fourth quarter advance tax installment was March 15.

“It takes a couple of days for the payments to show. Apart from advance tax collections, the tax department is focusing on the tax deducted at source (TDS), self-assessment and regular assessment collections. The collections normally increase as March ends,” the official said.

“It appears that the CBDT won’t be able to meet the revised target of 19.8% growth for direct taxes. The focus is now on achieving at least the original budgeted target of Rs 11.50 lakh crore or get closer to it,” another official said, adding that 14.6% growth in direct taxes may be achieved for the full year.

The central government is unlikely to meet its direct tax collection target for the financial year 2018-19, given the subdued revenue mop-up so far. As on March 15, the Income-Tax Department had collected Rs 9.23 lakh crore out of the revised direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for the current fiscal.

“The direct tax revenue growth is at 13.4% so far against the revised target of 19.8% for the full year,” a finance ministry official said.

“The net direct tax collection for the current fiscal year until March 15 was at Rs 9.23 lakh crore against Rs 8.14 lakh crore collected during the same period last year. Corporate tax collection during this period stood at Rs 5.24 lakh crore while income tax collection was at Rs 3.87 lakh crore,” a source said.

The finance ministry officials said that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the I-T Department, is expecting around Rs 2 lakh crore more collection, mainly from advance tax payments. The last date for payment of the fourth quarter advance tax installment was March 15.

“It takes a couple of days for the payments to show. Apart from advance tax collections, the tax department is focusing on the tax deducted at source (TDS), self-assessment and regular assessment collections. The collections normally increase as March ends,” the official said.

“It appears that the CBDT won’t be able to meet the revised target of 19.8% growth for direct taxes. The focus is now on achieving at least the original budgeted target of Rs 11.50 lakh crore or get closer to it,” another official said, adding that 14.6% growth in direct taxes may be achieved for the full year.

The finance ministry had revised its direct tax collection target to Rs 12 lakh crore in the revised estimate in the interim Budget from the earlier budgeted target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore.

“The revised direct tax revenue target of 19.8% was overambitious. The growth rate in the direct tax revenues is likely to be around 14%. This looks reasonable given that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current year may be around 11% plus, implying tax buoyancy of 1.2%,” said D K Srivasatava, chief policy advisor, EY.

In 2017-18, direct tax collection was Rs 10.02 lakh crore, which exceeded theThe central government is unlikely to meet its direct tax collection target for the financial year 2018-19, given the subdued revenue mop-up so far. As on March 15, the Income-Tax Department had collected Rs 9.23 lakh crore out of the revised direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for the current fiscal.

“The direct tax revenue growth is at 13.4% so far against the revised target of 19.8% for the full year,” a finance ministry official said.

“The net direct tax collection for the current fiscal year until March 15 was at Rs 9.23 lakh crore against Rs 8.14 lakh crore collected during the same period last year. Corporate tax collection during this period stood at Rs 5.24 lakh crore while income tax collection was at Rs 3.87 lakh crore,” a source said.

The finance ministry officials said that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the I-T Department, is expecting around Rs 2 lakh crore more collection, mainly from advance tax payments. The last date for payment of the fourth quarter advance tax installment was March 15.

“It takes a couple of days for the payments to show. Apart from advance tax collections, the tax department is focusing on the tax deducted at source (TDS), self-assessment and regular assessment collections. The collections normally increase as March ends,” the official said.

“It appears that the CBDT won’t be able to meet the revised target of 19.8% growth for direct taxes. The focus is now on achieving at least the original budgeted target of Rs 11.50 lakh crore or get closer to it,” another official said, adding that 14.6% growth in direct taxes may be achieved for the full year.
The central government is unlikely to meet its direct tax collection target for the financial year 2018-19, given the subdued revenue mop-up so far. As on March 15, the Income-Tax Department had collected Rs 9.23 lakh crore out of the revised direct tax collection target of Rs 12 lakh crore for the current fiscal.

“The direct tax revenue growth is at 13.4% so far against the revised target of 19.8% for the full year,” a finance ministry official said.

“The net direct tax collection for the current fiscal year until March 15 was at Rs 9.23 lakh crore against Rs 8.14 lakh crore collected during the same period last year. Corporate tax collection during this period stood at Rs 5.24 lakh crore while income tax collection was at Rs 3.87 lakh crore,” a source said.

The finance ministry officials said that Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex body of the I-T Department, is expecting around Rs 2 lakh crore more collection, mainly from advance tax payments. The last date for payment of the fourth quarter advance tax installment was March 15.

“It takes a couple of days for the payments to show. Apart from advance tax collections, the tax department is focusing on the tax deducted at source (TDS), self-assessment and regular assessment collections. The collections normally increase as March ends,” the official said.

“It appears that the CBDT won’t be able to meet the revised target of 19.8% growth for direct taxes. The focus is now on achieving at least the original budgeted target of Rs 11.50 lakh crore or get closer to it,” another official said, adding that 14.6% growth in direct taxes may be achieved for the full year.

The finance ministry had revised its direct tax collection target to Rs 12 lakh crore in the revised estimate in the interim Budget from the earlier budgeted target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore.

“The revised direct tax revenue target of 19.8% was overambitious. The growth rate in the direct tax revenues is likely to be around 14%. This looks reasonable given that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current year may be around 11% plus, implying tax buoyancy of 1.2%,” said D K Srivasatava, chief policy advisor, EY.

In 2017-18, direct tax collection was Rs 10.02 lakh crore, which exceeded the then revised budgeted target of Rs 9.8 lakh crore.

The finance ministry had revised its direct tax collection target to Rs 12 lakh crore in the revised estimate in the interim Budget from the earlier budgeted target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore.

“The revised direct tax revenue target of 19.8% was overambitious. The growth rate in the direct tax revenues is likely to be around 14%. This looks reasonable given that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current year may be around 11% plus, implying tax buoyancy of 1.2%,” said D K Srivasatava, chief policy advisor, EY.

In 2017-18, direct tax collection was Rs 10.02 lakh crore, which exceeded the then revised budgeted target of Rs 9.8 lakh crore. then revised budgeted target of Rs 9.8 lakh crore.
The finance ministry had revised its direct tax collection target to Rs 12 lakh crore in the revised estimate in the interim Budget from the earlier budgeted target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore.

“The revised direct tax revenue target of 19.8% was overambitious. The growth rate in the direct tax revenues is likely to be around 14%. This looks reasonable given that the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for the current year may be around 11% plus, implying tax buoyancy of 1.2%,” said D K Srivasatava, chief policy advisor, EY.

In 2017-18, direct tax collection was Rs 10.02 lakh crore, which exceeded the then revised budgeted target of Rs 9.8 lakh crore.

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DLF Sell 33% Stake In Commercial Project To Hines For Worth Rs. 650 Crore

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The DLF group announced selling of 33 percent stake to Hines, a US-based firm for worth Rs. 650 crore in its upcoming commercial project in Gurugram.

In October 2018, the DLF group signed a pact Hines firm to construct a prime commercial project in Gurugram on a land parcel of 11.76 acre. The group bought the land for approximately Rs. 1,500 crore via e-auction that was carried out by the Haryana State Government in February 2018. This land parcel is situated across the highway to the present business district of DLF Cybercity.

The subsidiary of DLF Home Developers Ltd (DHDL) went into a joint venture with the Hines group firm Green Horizon Trustee for the development of a high-end commercial project in Gurugram, the statement released by the company said.

In the statement, it is also said that DHDL will hold 67 percent stake in the joint venture and the remaining 33 percent will be held by Hines.

The Hines group made an investment of nearly Rs. 500 crore in the first tranche.

As per the sources, the DLF group cracked the deal at a premium of approximately 25 percent from the land that values Rs. 1,500 crore and is what paid to the Haryana government.

Sriram Khattar, managing director (rental business), DLF, said that the company is excited about the joint venture with Hines as this is the second time we came together. We should work collectively to develop world-class structures and establishments that will set new standards for commercial buildings in this part of the world.

Initially, the Hines group have 33 percent equity share in the joint venture but is likely to increase it upto 49 percent.

As per the released statement, the total investment by the joint-venture partners in this project is nearly Rs. 1,900 crore.

Amit Diwan, Hines MD and Country Head said that this is an excellent location that benefits from great connectivity by road and by metro. It is also in close proximity to social infrastructure like Cyber Hub, The Oberoi and Trident hotels.

Both the DLF group and its JV firm DCCDL have together over 30 million sq. ft. of commercial assets, largely in Gurugram, with an annual rental income of over Rs 3,000 crore.

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INVESTMENT: Robo-advisor better for younger investors

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I believe, as most of you would agree, that each one of us needs an advisor to help us take the right financial decisions. Now with technological advancements, the shape, size and form of a financial advisor has undergone a change and what we call the robo-advisor is gaining lot of momentum.

This will make you think whether to use your old known trusted financial advisor or go for a robo-advisor? But to answer this question you need to first assess your situation and financial goals, because each has its own pros and cons and it works both positively and negatively under different circumstances. It is also driven by an individual’s behaviour plus investment pattern.

The job of a robo-advisor is to use algos in doing your investment planning and to come out with the best asset allocation suiting an individual’s risk profile. It works on the foundation which is passive in nature but the same will change with constant machine learning. Whereas your financial advisor’s job is to look at your investments in depth and arrive at timely calls for generating greater returns and always aim to outperform.

The main factor we need to consider in this entire debate is the level of wisdom as against the algos. The robo-advisor will work on algorithms and does complicated calculations to dish out various analytical solutions and patterns, but it only works on the basis of the inputs that are fed into the system. What this input needs to be requires wisdom, and that can come from experience. This is not to say that robo-advisor will not learn or evolve. In fact, that is called machine learning and with time these algos will learn and become more robust.

What the robo-advisor lacks is tackling emotions that drive an investor. This is one of the critical roles for an advisor, because investing has to do more with behavior than science. For instance, what would a person do if they win a lottery or get a salary bonus? More often than not many of us would go on splurging this sudden cash than making additional investments.

Robo-advisory will work well when your financial goals and the priorities are clearly laid out as against the customised planning when you should seek the help of a financial advisor.

Ideally, robo-advisors will suit young investors because they are new to the investing world. The lower cost of this model too will suite them better. They will also be more at ease using this model. So, while starting your journey towards investing, robo-advisor will work best and the moment your investment needs more customised handling, a financial advisor will work better. An advisor who brings the required expertise and experience in helping you achieve your desired goals. The best part is you can make them accountable for their work and secure your financial future.

With time, robo-advisors will also establish the required credibility and will also carry the inherent knowledge as required to give you customised advice. But until then just be aware about the pros and cons of both the options. After all, it’s your hard earned money, so stay smart, stay careful when it comes to deciding which one to choose.

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Don’t ignore fixed income while building retirement portfolio

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Retirement planning is still a developing field in India. In the older days, retirement planning was not a big concern on two accounts – first many organised jobs offered pensions post retirement, which de-risked individuals from planning themselves and secondly the presence of the family safety net. However, both these are gradually fading in importance and, hence, for individuals who are currently working, there is a pressing need to start thinking about planning for funding their post-retirement expenses.

A retirement portfolio is a function of two life stages – wealth accumulation and spending phase. During the wealth accumulation phase, active earnings (earnings from employment or business) take care of expenses and a portion of this income should be saved to build a retirement pool. The earning years are the accumulating years and proactive planning is key to harnessing the power of compounding. Given the longevity of this stage and the risk-taking ability of the individual, equities make for an ideal investment tool. However, the need for debt cannot be understated given the inherent market volatility of equities.

How debt funds help in retirement portfolio

Apart from being a relatively new field, retirement planning in India also suffers from not having a single, clearly earmarked retirement planning product that can take care of individual needs. Hence, investors need to get their hands dirty to set up their own investment policies that can take them through this stage. Given that backdrop, it is important for investors to look at all the tools available for them. Now, the role of equity as a long term investment is well understood. So its role in retirement planning becomes obvious. However, what is less obvious is the role of debt funds in a retirement portfolio.

Aggressive hybrid funds offer a one stop allocation tool for investors looking for a simplified approach to allocating between equities and debt. Since these funds are treated as equity funds for the purpose of taxation, they offer stability of debt all while maintaining tax efficiency.

Life-stage approach to asset allocation

A life-stage approach to asset allocation is a universally accepted model for retirement corpus as it caters to changing needs of investors as they progress. Retirement funds offered by Mutual Funds today offer solutions catered specifically to retirement planning. The exit load structure also aims to dissuade investors from redeeming such funds till retirement, furthering their appeal for temperamental investors. A retirement fund typically has multiple plans which vary the equity and debt component thus allowing seamless transitioning between plans as investor risk profile changes.

Suitable for pensioners with limited risk appetite

The spending phase is retirement. Passive earnings (income from your investments – that is, capital appreciation, interest and dividends) take a front seat. Some would say this is the phase where one would now enjoy the utility of the wealth they have created. Risk tolerance tends to be significantly lower as asset fluctuations are less desirable. With longer life expectancy, income generation or passive earnings have become imperative to sustain the retirement pool, to meet monthly expenses and other ancillary expenses. Passive earnings also help manage the effects of inflation to some extent. Given high real rates in India, debt funds today offer a material hedge to inflation in the current environment and hence offer an attractive investment opportunity for pensioners with limited risk appetite.

Diverse debt strategies

MF offer a diverse set of debt strategies for investors on the basis of the type of instruments they invest in and the maturity profile of funds. For investors looking for an equity kicker, conservative hybrid funds (80% debt and 20% equity) offer potential investment opportunities for capital appreciation while maintaining a predominantly stable debt portfolio. Another tool especially during the drawdown phase could be the use of an SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan). Just like an SIP, an SWP offers the ease of convenience for withdrawals.

Though every investor has different needs, goals and responsibilities, one should look at a long-term perspective towards their investments, as you need this money at the time of retirement. Time in the market is more important than timing the market, to get maximum benefit of compounding.

Markets do not generate wealth, responsible investing does. Be a responsible investor.

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61 people died of swine flu across Maharashtra this year

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As per the state’s public health department, 61 patients have died in Maharashtra of swine flu this year till Monday. Due to a change in climate, more citizens are suffering from H1N1 since January, officials said.

According to a Right to Information (RTI) reply received from civic-run Kasturba Hospital, the number of cases from outside Mumbai are rising this year.

This year, two cases each from around Mumbai, Vasai, Virar and Bhayandar were admitted in Kasturba Hospital, followed by one case each from cities like Nashik, Dhule, Badlapur and Navi Mumbai to name a few, the RTI data reveals.

Of the 30 cases at the facility, 18 were from outside Mumbai. No cases were admitted from outside the state.

The state public health department stated after a meeting that the number of deaths reported till March 18 in the state is 61. The highest number has been reported in Nashik district (15) followed by Nagpur (14) and Pune (six).

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IMC Ladies’ Wing honours ‘women impacting women’

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The Ladies’ Wing of the IMC Chamber of Commerce gave away its IMPACT 2019 awards to ‘Women Impacting Women’, that is women who have made a difference to many lives.
Dr Anagha Amte, medical officer, Lok Biradari Prakalp, which works with adivasi women in remote areas, said she was surprised at first. “Most awards rightfully go the way of my in-laws, Prakash and Mandakini Amte. My work is comparatively smaller. I work largely in the area of maternal and child healthcare and try to bring these services to the marginalised communities.”
Well-known athlete Anju Bobby George thanked the IMC for recognising her work with youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds. “Recognition like this is a pat on the back for me. Many of these children are already competing and doing well. In a few years, many of them will go on to bring honour to the country at the world stage.”

Thanking the gathering for the award, artiste Brinda Miller, director, Studio Millernium Pvt Ltd said: “I have been lucky to have supportive men in my life who have always looked out for me. We need to sensitise more and more men so that they also similarly support the women in their lives.”
Author and co-founder of Kali for Women Ritu Menon also felt that the IMC had done what many other awards don’t: “As publishers my work is largely in the background and hence remains unnoticed. I am glad that IMC is changing that.”
Mohana Nair, president, IMC Ladies Wing, said it was a privilege and honour for the IMC to award the women achievers. “Each of them is an inspiration.”

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Disappointed with BEST, staffers turn to citizens with grievances

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What if you do not get salary even after working for an entire month? This is the question that the employees of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) will put forward to Mumbaikars. Starting Friday, the BEST employees will stage a protest meet outside every important railway station near bus depots every day. This Friday, they will organise a protest at CSMT.

The decision was taken on Tuesday in a joint meeting between the employees and the Shashank Rao led BEST unions at Wadala depot.

“We will be holding a dharna outside railway stations and tell people about our plight, without inconveniencing the public. The BEST Undertaking is part of the civic body, yet its 42,000 employees are not getting salaries on time for past several months,” said Shashank Rao, general secretary of BEST Workers Union.

According to sources, every month around Rs 184 crore needs to be allocated to pay salaries and remunerations to BEST employees. For this, the undertaking takes a loan of Rs 225-250 crore each month, which also includes maintenance of its bus fleet among other works.

At present, the number of commuters ferrying daily has dropped from 42 lakh to 27 lakh. In January, the BEST Sanyukta Kamgar Kruti Samiti (BSKKS), went on a 9-day long strike to keep forward their demands in front of the government. The assurance to end the strike came after BEST and the BMC agreed to appoint a retired High Court judge who will look into the nitty-gritty of their demands.

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Donald Trump intends to designate Brazil as ‘major non-NATO ally’

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US President Donald Trump has said that he intends to designate Brazil as a “major non-NATO ally”, a move aimed to cement America’s ties with the Latin American country where China has made deep strides in recent years.

The move by Trump gains significance as Brazil is a key member of the powerful five-nation BRICS grouping and has joined hands with India, Japan, and Germany to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

 

Notably, Trump’s America considers two of its members, Russia and China, as major threats to its national security, while it is taking all steps to strengthen and deepen ties with India and Brazil.

Trump made the announcement during a joint Rose Garden press conference at the White House with visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday.

“We had a great meeting today. As I told President Bolsonaro, I intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO Ally, or even possible, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally. We have to talk to a lot of people, but maybe a NATO ally,” Trump said.

The two countries, he said, are already working together to protect people from terrorism, transnational crime, drugs, and weapons trafficking.

“We look forward to an even deeper partnership and working together,” he said. “In our meetings, we also discussed the strong economic ties between our nations, grounded in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. My favourite word: reciprocity,” the US president said.

Bolsonaro, who was often referred to as “Tropical Trump” before his election, said his meeting with the US president has started a new chapter of cooperation between Brazil and the United States.

“Inasmuch as today, we have revisited and have again decided to promote matters that were on our order of business for decades,” he said.

“It is fair to say that, today, Brazil does have a President who is not anti-American, which was really unprecedented in the past few decades,” Bolsonaro said.

The two countries have decided to restore the CEOs’ Forum. “We also intend to attach priority to relaunching an energy forum with an emphasis on oil, gas, and other sources of energy,” the Brazilian president said.

In a joint statement, the two leaders later reiterated that the United States and Brazil stood with Interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido, along with the democratically elected National Assembly and the Venezuelan people as they worked to peacefully restore constitutional order in Venezuela.

The US and Brazil signed a Technology Safeguards Agreement, which will enable US companies to conduct commercial space launches from Brazil, as well as an agreement between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Brazilian Space Agency to launch a jointly developed satellite in the near future.

Trump welcomed Brazil’s ongoing efforts regarding economic reforms, best practices and a regulatory framework in line with the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He noted his support for Brazil initiating the accession procedure to becoming a full member of the OECD.

“Commensurate with its status as a global leader, President Bolsonaro agreed that Brazil will begin to forgo special and differential treatment in World Trade Organization negotiations in line with the United States proposal,” the joint statement said.

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