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Cashless treatment is most sought after insurance benefit

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The demand for health insurance is increasing on account of the rise in lifestyle diseases and the growing health care cost, said a study by GOQii, a tech-enabled healthcare platform.
According to the GOQii IndiFit Report 2019, titled “Insurance: An Investment in Health’, 85% of people believe they should get health insurance before the age of 30. Of those surveyed, 90% of people believe healthier people should get a lower insurance premium and 70% are willing to share health data with insurance companies to get a discount on premiums.
“Overall trust in the healthcare system has deteriorated further with 96.5% of people not trusting the system, with 67.8% of Indians not trusting hospitals. To add to this, the rising cost of healthcare has prompted Indians to focus more on health insurance. 62.8% of Indians believe having a health insurance policy is an absolute necessity and approximately,’’ the report said.
The report is a year-long study of more than 7 lakh GQii users. According to the report, despite increasing awareness about the importance and need for an insurance policy, 20% of the respondents don’t own an insurance policy. “The common notion that continues to prevail is that insurance is confusing to understand, a prime reason that discourages people from buying one. The high cost of insurance also deters them,’’ the report said.
Respondents strongly believed cashless hospitalisation (87.9%) is the most sought-after health insurance benefit followed by medical bills reimbursement facility (67.7%) and better treatment in best hospitals (59.0%), the report said.
Among the reasons people look at while buying a particular health insurance policy were good quality hospital network – 42.3% and easy claim procedures – 41.9%. Low cost, good coverage and benefits, simple terms and conditions are some of the other convincing factors for people to buy health insurance.
The report also said that 38.3% people between the age group of 20-45 years suffer from at least one lifestyle disease ranging from diabetes, blood pressure, cardiac issues to thyroid, and acidity.
There has been an increase of lifestyle diseases in the last two years. Cases of cholesterol among people have increased from 10.1% to 14.1%, high blood pressure has increased from 9% to 12%, the GOQii report said.

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Nisha Shiwani hails from the pink city of Jaipur and is a prolific writer. She loves to write on Real Estate/Property, Automobiles, Education, Finance and about the latest developments in the Technology space.



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Business

Delhi High court restrains Hotelier Association from calling for ban on Oyo Rooms

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The Delhi High court has restrained the Hotelier Welfare Association from issuing any notices to hoteliers and service providers calling for a ban on or seeking to boycott the hotel services provided by Oyo Rooms.

The ex-parte interim injunction order was passed by a vacation Bench of Justice Jayant Nath in a suit by the owner of Oyo Rooms, Oravel Stays Private Limited (plaintiff)  against the Hotelier Welfare Association (defendant).

The Court was informed that the plaintiff is in the business of standardizing unbranded budget hotels, bed and breakfast and guesthouses through online and offline channels.

It was further explained that the plaintiff enters into business arrangements with the service providers or hotelier, in which the service provider or hotelier permits the plaintiff to have full control over pricing, booking brought in by the hotel, publishing room tariffs on its website and/or mobile application at any point in time etc.

It was the plaintiff’s grievance that the defendant had been illegally conspiring and colluding with other similar hotelier associations such as Budget Hotel Association of Mumbai to coerce the plaintiff into submitting to their unwarranted, illegal demands.

Pursuant to the various statements, notices/letters issued by the defendant, several hoteliers had expressed their apprehension in continuing their business-relation with the plaintiff, the Court was further informed.

The Court also perused one such notice allegedly by defendant association, calling upon all hotels to support a nationwide protest against OYO by boycotting and blocking OYO rooms from June 20.

The conduct, the plaintiff argued, had halted its business and could also potentially impact more than 1,35,000 bookings across India.

It was also pointed out that the defendant was earlier the business partners of the plaintiff but have now formed an association and have been acting against the plaintiff.

After hearing the plaintiff, the Court concluded that a prima facie case had been made out against the defendant for an ex parte injunction order.

The Court thus restrained the defendant from issuing notices or calling other hoteliers/service providers to boycott the plaintiff in any manner whatsoever till further orders.

Oyo Rooms was represented by Senior Advocate Neeraj Malhotra, briefed by a team of Advocates from IndusLaw Sandeep Grover, Mohit Chadha, Pankhuri Bhardwaj, Tarang Aggarwal, and Kshitij Parashar.

  1. The matter will be heard next on August 8
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Mindtree gives three board seats to L&T, Subroto Bagchi resigns

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Mindtree’s board has appointed three L&T senior leaders including chief executive officer and managing director executives S N Subrahmanyan. Engineering major L&T, whose target is to up its stake in the mid-tier IT services companies to more than 66%, has got three seats on Mindtree’s board.

The Board of Directors and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee on Thursday approved the appointments of S N Subrahmanyan, J D Patil, Senior Executive Vice President for L&T’s defence business and Ramamurthi Shankar Raman, chief financial officer, L&T as non-executive directors, the company said in a filing.

These appointments will be effective July 16 subject to shareholders’ approval.

Co-founder Subroto Bagchi has resigned from Mindtree’s board. The company said Bagchi, who is retiring on July 16, did not offer himself a reappointment.

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT firm has also approved the appointments of Prasanna Rangacharya and Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa as independent directors on the board.

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Paytm to dole out incentives for merchants at kirana stores

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In a move to make deeper inroads in the country, digital payments company Paytm on Thursday announced to push cashback from peer-to-peer UPI transactions to offline merchant payments at retail kirana stores.

The company is aiming to partner with almost 20 million retail kirana stores, enabling them to accept all digital payment modes including UPI, wallet and cards.

“Paytm will invest money in offline merchant expansion instead of driving incentive led P2P transactions. Our offline merchants create high-frequency usage and an important use-case for Paytm consumers,” said Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President, Paytm.

UPI P2P payments are mostly done by users to receive‍ some extra money. On Paytm, the UPI users are already the ones who have been using a large host of Paytm services for a long time and don’t nerd cashbacks to make payments.

“To further help merchants get better access to capital and provide more financial security Paytm will invest on lending and insurance, rather than on P2P payments,” the company said in a statement.

Through its payment ecosystem, Paytm has already created a network effect with over 5 billion transactions in 2018-19.

It also claims to have 12 million merchant partners accepting payments through Paytm QR, which accepts all digital payment instruments like UPI, wallets, cards and netbanking.

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Piramal Enterprises Sells Entire Stake In Shriram Transport Finance

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Piramal Enterprises Ltd. has exited Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd. by selling its entire stake in the asset financier.

The billionaire Ajay Piramal-backed company sold 9.96 percent stake in Shriram Transport to third-party investors, according to an exchange filing. A total of 2.26 crore shares of Shriram Transport changed hands via two block deals in the National Stock Exchange—1.3 crore shares were sold at Rs 1,023.55 apiece and another 0.9 crore shares at Rs 1,027.25.

The total value of the deal stood at Rs 2,316 crore—a gain of 42 percent since 2013 when Piramal Enterprises had bought 10 percent in Shriram Transport for Rs 1,636 crore.

Piramal Enterprises is looking to consolidate the financial services businesses, Chairman Ajay Piramal had Reportedly said after the fourth quarter earnings announcement.

“We are seeing how to create value for Shriram and Piramal shareholders. One of the steps is to bring all Shriram companies into one. That will create value for Shriram shareholders,” Piramal had said in April. “We are also looking to exit. If we get the right value and the right buyer, we may do it.”

Piramal Enterprises also owns 10 percent in Shriram City and 20 percent stake in Shriram Capital—an unlisted holding company of the Shriram Group. It has invested Rs 801 crore and Rs 2,146 crore in Shriram City and Shriram Capital, respectively. Piramal Enterprises’ total investments in Shriram Group stood at Rs 7,259 crore as of March 2019. That, however, was prior to Monday’s block deals.

Shriram Transport shares fell as much as 7.8 percent after the block deal, while Piramal Enterprises’ stock rose nearly 2 percent. That compares with a 0.62 percent decline in the NSE Nifty 50 Index.

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Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat requests for Rs. 5000 crores one time grant for Mahakumbh 2021

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Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Rawat requesting FM Dr. Nirmala Sitaraman for Rs 5000 crores one time grant
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The chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat today met the union minister for finance Dr. Nirmala Sitaraman, congratulated her on her new assignment as the FM India and also requested her to sanction/ allocate one time financial assistance/ grant of Rs. Five Thousand crores to the state of Uttarakhand in order to complete the necessary infrastrucural projects by 2020 for the convenience, welfare and well being of the pilgrims/ devotees reaching Haridwar Mahakumbh in the year 2021.

According to the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat he acquainted the union finance minister about approximately 15 crore devotees likely to attend the Mahakumbh in Haridwar in 2021 for which extensive arrangements for health services, lodging, boarding, transport, roads, cleanliness, drinking water and security services etc are required on wide scale and the expenditure to be incurred in these arrangements would be no less than Rs 5000 crores.

The expenditure estimates prepared by various government departments and stake holders of the state regarding making overall arrangements of infrastuructural development and other facilities for such a vast and uncontrollable numbers of devotees has come to Rs. 5000 crores which may further exceed said the CM.

In case the central grant is sanctioned forthwith the necessary infrastructural developmental works would be completed by 2020 added chief mibister Trivendra Rawat.

It may be recalled that the state of Uttarakhand is already under heavy fiscal deficit and do not have its own budget to contribute in the Kumbh arrangements.

It’s sagging economy is already a huge problem for the state which is solely dependent on the central government for financial aids especially in making arrangements for festivals of international significance like Mahakumbh.

The union minister for finance Dr. Nirmala Sitaraman who gave a patient hearing to Rawat’s request has assured him of the union finance ministry’s all possible help in the successful conduction of the Kumbh Mela 2021 in which crores of devotees from various parts of India and globe participate with full zeal, enthusiasm and spiritual endeavour.

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Auto

Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Upcoming Honda Activa 6G

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The Honda Activa is the best selling scooter in India that tops the sales chart every month. We have reported earlier that Honda has started testing the upcoming Activa 6G scooter already and it will be launched before April 2020 in India. The test mule of the upcoming scooter was wrapped in heavy camouflage and was caught recently during the homologation process in Pune.

Here are the 5 things that you need to know about the upcoming Honda Activa 6G

1. New Connectivity Feature

According to the reports, the upcoming Activa 6G will feature an advanced digital instrument cluster that will get a smartphone connectivity feature. The instrument cluster will get turn by turn navigation and call alert feature that can also be found in the TVS Ntorq 125.

2. Updated Suspension setup

The Honda Activa scooter uses an old school trailing link suspension setup towards the front since the very beginning. However, the upcoming Activa 6G will sport a pair of telescopic forks that will replace the old suspension setup. The updated suspension setup will help improve the ride and handling quality of the scooter.

3. Redesigned styling

The Activa 6G will feature a redesigned LED headlamp cluster and a different set of LED DRL lamp. The front apron will get integrated side turn indicators while the side body panels will also get some sharp creases and new graphics. Expect the scooter to also feature an updated taillamp as well.

4. Updated BS-VI compliant engine

Expect the upcoming Honda Activa 6G to feature an updated 110cc, air-cooled engine. This new motor will also get fuel injection technology and most probably Honda’s new idling stop system. The idle stop system will automatically turn off the engine when the scooter stops at a traffic light or any other brief halts. The motor is again turned on with the twist of a throttle. This feature will definitely help improve the overall fuel efficiency of the scooter.

5. Better stopping power

Honda will offer a disc brake on the top spec model of the Activa 6G which will help improve the overall braking performance of the upcoming scooter. Moreover, it will also get Honda’s combi-braking system as well for the safety of the rider.

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Auto

Book a Bajaj Qute taxi through Uber now

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Uber has announced the addition of a new category on its smartphone app that allows customers to book Bajaj’s Qute quadricycle. The category, called UberXS, is exclusive to users in Bengaluru.

While the company has not yet revealed if UberXS fares will be higher than its auto rickshaw hailing category (UberAuto), the option will almost certainly undercut other categories.

Launched officially in Maharashtra back in April 2019 (at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute.(at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute(at Rs 2.48 lakh, ex-showroom), the Bajaj Qute gets a 216cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that can be fuelled by either petrol or CNG – it produces 13.2hp and 18.9Nm on the former fuel and 11hp and 16.1Nm on the latter. Both options are available on Uber.

The smallest production four-wheeler on Indian roads, the Qute weighs 452kg (504kg with the CNG kit) and has an ARAI-rated mileage figure of 35kpl on petrol (43km/kg on CNG). It’s dinky dimensions and 7m turning diameter makes it a viable alternative to Bajaj’s three-wheelers that are used as auto rickshaws.

For now, Uber will only offer the UberXS category (and the Bajaj Qute) for users in Bengaluru, though it would make a lot of sense to roll out this category in other major metros such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata, among others.

It was only in November last year that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) added quadricycles to the ‘non-transport’ category of vehicles, making it available for personal use and commercial use.

 

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EDITOR'S PICK

The Impact of rise in fuel price on Indian Economy

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A sudden surge of fuel price has raised the eyebrows of many of us. Ordinary citizens of India begin to chide and criticize the govt policies and oil companies deregulation strategy as they have to shoulder the maximum brunt in many ways. But the bottom line is we simply unaware of the facts and figures that are controlling the price of fossil fuels. So it is high time we must aware of the intricacies and delicacies of a hike of fuel price and its subsequent effect on the economy

Fuel means coal, gas or oil which burns to gives us energy or heat. But in the broader economic terms we are more concerned about crude oil; i.e. petrol or diesel. The recent rise in the prices of crude oil has drawn everyone’s attention towards the crucial role that oil plays in the economy of any nation. Crude oil is one of the most necessitated commodities in the world and India imports around 100 million tons of crude oil and other petroleum products. This, in turn, results in spending huge amounts of foreign exchange.

In the Indian Context

The increasing quantum of imports of petroleum products has a significant impact on the Indian economy, especially when crude oil prices are shooting up globally. Crude oil not only serves as a source of energy but also as a major raw material to various industries. With no major discoveries in recent years, the increasing costs of production have pushed up crude oil prices globally. Also, the high volatility in the prices of oil breaching the $100/barrel mark and rising to a high of $147/barrel could be attributed to the fact that in the recent years, many index funds have taken positions in commodities considering oil to be an asset stock in their portfolios. It has been usually observed that in India, the pricing scheme is designed in such a way that it offers a system to moderate the soaring international oil prices and thereby study the impact on growth, inflation, etc.

Reasons for the surge

There has been a sharp hike in the prices of petrol and diesel since the “dynamic” daily pricing model for these fuels was introduced in India. Before accepting the causes of the surge, we must know how the crude oil price is designed.

How is the Indian crude basket calculated?

  • The Indian basket of crude oil basically represents a derived basket comprising Sour Grade and Sweet Grade of crude oil processed in Indian.
  • Prices of petrol and diesel have both been made market-determined. Since then, the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are supposed to take appropriate decisions on the pricing of petrol and diesel. This is in line with international product prices and other market conditions such as the exchange rate and the demand-supply situation.
  • In 2017, the new dynamic daily pricing was introduced.

What does dynamic daily pricing system mean?

  • Dynamic daily pricing means the state retailers will reset the price of petrol and diesel each day, rather than wait for a fortnightly revision.
  • On a broad view, this move will align the retail pricing of crude products in line with price changes in the international markets. This will bring transparency in the pricing of crude products.
  • The companies will change the price of transport fuels every day based on crude price movements. Dynamic pricing is followed in many developed countries.
  • We can say therefore say that the retail fuel prices are expected to be more aligned to market dynamics.

What is the positive impact of dynamic daily pricing system?

  • This move is believed to crystallize the outlook for oil marketing companies marketing margin, or the difference between the cost of procurement and the price charged by retailer and therefore boost confidence over the overall sustainability of this broad deregulation initiative.
  • The shorter time lag between crude purchase and products sales will collapse, thus allowing prices to reflect cost and avoid artificial distortions.
  • It will enhance OMCs’ ability to pass the prices into the economy more effectively.
  • Global experience shows that the current dynamic pricing of fuel has the potential to attract the participation of private players in fuel retailing and several downstream opportunities, thus exposing the downstream and marketing to best practices and modern technology in refining.
  • A liberalized retailing regime may also expose the PSUs into an intensive competitive scenario.

What is the negative impact of dynamic daily pricing system?

  • Consumers may be affected sometimes, especially if there is a major international event, like a war or riot. Then, the prices may fluctuate a lot. It can become expensive or cheap, depending on the nature of the incident.
  • Prices of FMCG goods may also fluctuate dynamically. FMCG prices are directly related to fuel prices. Now, if the fuel prices suddenly increase, then there are chances that FMCG products pricing may also fluctuate, and sometimes daily.

What explains the divergence in the movements of the crude basket and of retail prices?

  • With global crude oil prices plummeting to record lows when it took charge, the government resorted to a series of excise duty hikes in the second half of 2015 and the initial months of 2016 on both petrol and diesel to help shore up finances.
  • This has helped the Centre realize higher central excise duties primarily through the increased tax on petrol and diesel, which are still outside the ambit of GST.
  • In India, the share of taxes in the retail selling prices of petrol and diesel (as on July 16) was 55.5% and 47.3% respectively, with central taxes (essentially excise duty) accounting for the bulk of it.

What other variables are involved?

  • The price is determined not only by the movement of crude oil price (the main raw material), but also by the rupee/dollar exchange rate and the demand-supply situation in the market.
  • While a deficit of the product leads to a rise in its price, an increase in supply will lead to a decrease.
  • Over the first nine months of the calendar year 2017, the global crude oil price for the Indian basket fell by 0.44% while the price of petrol (in Delhi) came down by 0.3%.
  • This is despite the fact that the rupee strengthened against the dollar by nearly 7%, something that would have translated into sharply cheaper imported oil.

How has the government justified the excise hikes?

  • The government has defended the higher duty and said that increased revenue was going into welfare activities of building more roads and providing irrigation and drinking water facilities.
  • Government has said that oil companies would continue to have pricing freedom.
  • The government says that one part of the fall in oil prices as a part of proper economic and fiscal planning goes to the consumer.
  • The second part is going to developmental activities, particularly national highways and rural roads, because those who consume petrol and diesel drive vehicles on these roads, and they must pay for it.
  • The third part is consumed by the states by way of VAT.
  • Of what the central government gets, 42% is being passed on to the states.
  • And for the fourth and final part, it goes to the oil companies for the reason that when oil companies make international purchases against future purchases, they suffer a huge loss.

Why the prices have increased/Causes

  • Variation in supply
  • Stronger dollar
  • Import-dependent
  • Sanctions on Iran

Oil and Iran

  • India purchases 10% of its requirement from Iran
  • It is also 3rd largest supplier to India
  • It provides a credit of 60 days
  • Iran supplies 2.4 MN barrels per day of crude to the international market
  • The value of import bill for oil increased by 76% in July from a year earlier to $10.2 bn, which pushed up the trade deficit to more than $18 bn (the highest in five years). The increasing crude oil prices will ensure that the CAD will reach 2.6% of GDP in this financial year from 1.5% a year ago

According to the recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) by the IMF, roughly 80% of the recent oil price increase was caused by deterioration in supply conditions. This, however, is not the only study on the factors leading to higher crude prices.3. The “Oil Price Dynamics” report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that less than two-fifths of the rise in oil prices since the beginning of 2018 was on account of supply-side factors.4These contrasting studies lead to uncertainty regarding the sustainability of higher crude prices

Impacts on Indian economy: The unbearable effects –

Impact on national income

According to RBI sources, for every unit dollar increase in crude oil price, WPI inflation rises by 30 basis points. India, the world’s seventh-largest economy, was a key beneficiary of falling crude oil prices between 2013 and 2015. An analysis by this newspaper, more than a year ago, had indicated that almost the entire reduction of about 0.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in India’s fiscal deficit between FY14 and FY16 could be attributed to the sharp fall in crude prices. Lower crude prices also contributed to the narrower current account deficit. The biggest benefit of the fall in oil prices was evident in narrower twin deficits. Since the pass-through of the fall in crude prices to retail consumers was limited (the government retained a large part of the benefits by hiking excise duty on retail fuel products), the direct impact on inflation—measured by consumer price index (CPI)—was muted.

Things, however, started reversing about two years ago and have gathered pace in the past few months. As against an average price of $46.2/barrel for the Indian basket of crude oil in FY16, it rose to $56.4/barrel in FY18 and averaged $65/barrel in the fourth quarter of FY18. With the US’ decision to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal and to re-impose sanctions on Iran, upside risks to crude prices cannot be ruled out. It is then worth understanding the impact of higher crude prices on the Indian economy.

In short, one could safely conclude that higher crude prices will adversely affect the twin deficits—fiscal and current account deficit—of the economy, which will have spillover impact on the monetary policy, and consumption and investment behavior in the economy. However, before we talk about the impact in numbers, it is important to address one tricky question: “what is driving higher crude prices?”

The question is relevant because the factors leading to change in prices will decide the sustainability of the higher prices.

If the rise can be attributed to demand-side factors, it is not necessarily adverse for economic activity or financial markets. The higher crude oil imports bill could be offset by higher oil and non-oil exports (and of course, remittances). Similarly, better domestic economic activity could help meet fiscal deficit targets. However, if oil prices are pushed up by supply factors, it would be concerning.

According to the recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), roughly 80% of the recent oil price increase was caused by deterioration in supply conditions (particularly faster-than-expected deterioration in Venezuelan output). This, however, is not the only study on the factors leading to higher crude prices. The “Oil Price Dynamics” report published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds that less than two-fifths of the rise in oil prices since the beginning of 2018 was on account of supply-side factors. These contrasting studies lead to uncertainty regarding the sustainability of higher crude prices.

Not surprisingly then, the majority of the forecasts for oil price remain at $65-70/barrel. An increase of 15-25% in oil prices in one year will impact the Indian economy in various ways.

Impact on fiscal math

As a rule of the thumb, an increase of $10 per barrel in crude prices will lead to an increase of about Rs17,000 crore (or $2.5 billion at an exchange rate of 67/$) in fuel subsidies, equivalent to 0.09% of GDP. In the Union Budget 2018-19, the government had budgeted for petroleum subsidy of Rs25,000 crore, similar to that in FY18.

Our calculations, however, suggest that fuel subsidy could be as high as Rs54,000 crore if crude price averages $65/barrel in FY19. Additionally, a cut of Re1 in excise duty for both petrol and diesel will lead to an annual revenue loss of Rs12,000-13,000 crore (or 0.065% of GDP). It remains to be seen if the excise duty cut can be resisted by the government, considering that the general election is less than a year away now.

Impact on current account deficit

As a rule of thumb, an increase of $10 per barrel in crude oil prices will lead to an adverse impact of $10-11 billion (or 0.4% of GDP) on current account deficit. There are two opposite forces at work in the current account deficit. Higher oil prices will push the import bill higher; however, it will be partly offset by higher oil exports and better remittances. The latter will materialize since more than half of India’s remittances are reported to be channeled through the Gulf countries, which are likely to witness better economic conditions with higher oil prices. If we talk in numbers, an increase of $10 per barrel in crude prices will push the merchandise imports to bill up by about $20 billion, which will be partly offset by an increase of about $6 billion in oil exports and $3-4 billion in workers’ remittances.

Impact on inflation

With a weightage of only 2.4% in headline CPI, the adverse impact will entirely depend on the extent to which higher crude oil prices are passed on to the consumers. Considering the general election next year, it is difficult to envisage a significant hike in retail fuel prices, and thus, the direct impact on CPI inflation is likely to remain muted.

Overall, the windfall gains—in terms of lower subsidy and higher revenue for the government, and lower imports—from lower crude prices are behind us.

Looking ahead

The soaring price of oil is having a major influence on India’s economy. India spends a lot of money financially supporting its citizens with fuel every year. Petrol in India is a lot cheaper than it should be. However, Oil firms in India are still buying oil at international market value. Therefore, Indian oil firms are hemorrhaging money at $100 million a day. There will be more difficulties faced if the price increases any further. It is understandable that the government is receiving complaints to raise the price of fuel by the oil companies but politically it is an unfavorable thing to do as members have to win election votes.

The political disturbances in the Middle East recently due to Iran and other countries have increased anxieties of the Finance Minister who has to smooth over conflicts for the home consumers. The question about oil production and availability has led to rising apprehensions. The minister spoke out about the situation saying they were in touch with the Petroleum Ministry and would take steps to settle the undesirable effect of high energy costs on the public. His reasoning was that when prices reached $147 a barrel that they managed the situation. Political turmoil in Egypt has resulted in crude oil prices going past 100 dollars a barrel which has led to the outcome of prince increases in all major oil importing countries like India. High global oil prices increase the government funding bill and broaden the trade decrease as India starts importing much more than it exports. India already imports three-quarters of its fuel needs. State-run firms like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum will bear the brunt of severe revenue shortages. In 2010-11, the under-recovery of oil firms is estimated to exceed Rs. 700 billion leaving the government to pay the rest of it as a subsidy. Modi led government put in fuel reforms by deregulating petrol prices and raising prices of diesel, kerosene, and LPG to cut its subsidies and fiscal losses.

Since the past couple of years, India has maintained steady and rapid development and has infused vigor into global economic growth. The world will be a big factor in its coming improvement as India will not be able to progress without it. In approximately twenty years India will make historic inputs into the development of the global economy by the expansion of foreign trade and expansion and development in the west. It will improve its overseas investor relationships and have better business outlooks. Overseas investments will have to be guided and supported by competitive businesses and have to complete complex types of economic and technological collaboration with improved quality and benefits for both organizations. India will also have to diversity and increase its bilateral, multilateral and regional economic assistance so they can have mutual development and a global strategy in all countries and regions around the world.

India’s economy has enjoyed sustained progress in recent times. In comparison to the global economies, India’s has had a nice steady momentum with fewer fluctuations. India’s information industry has been the cause of rapid improvement with developments in language and human talent. The service industry has taken leaps and attracted many investors, therefore leading to the manufacturing industry getting less focus. India’s government has also had encouragement endeavors that have promoted growth.

There are still many hurdles to face before India’s economy can reach greater heights. Economists say that there will be great progress as well as many challenges in the future. The government especially has to start successful policies to cope with any downfalls. The most crucial problem faced by the government at the moment is current inflation due to an exponentially expanding economy. Only the passing of time can say how India’s economy will adapt to the increasingly bleak global economic climate.

Global oil prices are becoming increasingly market-oriented. Thus, dynamic fuel pricing will improve the competitiveness of the economy overall. It would also bring in transparency in fuel pricing and incentivize investments in the oil sector.

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Uttarakhand’s finance minister Prakash Pant breathes his last in a US hospital.

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The finance minister in the government of Uttarakhand Prakash Pant has breathed his last on Wednesday in a private hospital in United States.

He was suffering from a severe lungs related ailment, cancer. Late Prakash Pant was under thetreatment and monitoring of docters in the US hospital for the last three days.

He had been abroad earlier as well in connection with his treatment. Prior to going to United States for treatment Prakash Pant was under regular treatment at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Rohini.

Just a few days ago Mr. Pant has informed about his US visit in connection with his treatment in the social media.

His condition was instantly deteriorating and while delivering his budget speech few months ago he had fallen twice going unconscious in the Uttarakhand assembly during the budget session.

A popular politician with knowledge and depth Prakash Pant had been minister in previous BJP governments in Uttarakhand during the tenure of Major General retired Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri and Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and was rated as one of the best legislators and an skillful orator.

He had tremendous knowledge in legislative affairs n functioning of the house.

The prime minister Narendra Modi and chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat has expressed immense shock on the untimely sad demise of Prakash Pant.

Expressing his shock over the passing away of late Prakash Pant Prime minister Modi tweeted: Anguished by the passing away of Uttarakhand’s finance minister Shri Prakash Pant.

His organisational skills helped strenghtened the BJP and administrative skills contributed to Uttarakhand’s progress.

My thoughts are with his supporters and family.

The Uttarakhand chief minister while expressing his grief over the passing away of Uttarakhand’s finance minister tweeted : I am shocked to hear about the demise of my senior colleague and FM Uttarakhand Prakash Pant. The passing away of Prakashji is a personal unbearable loss to me.

His untimely demise has taken me back to the three decades old memories of my association with him. My condolences are with the bereaved family of Prakashji.

I pray to Almighty to render enough strength to his grief stricken family to bear this unbearable loss.

The Uttarakhand government has declared three day mourning in honour of late Prakash Pant.

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Shortfall in personal levy hits direct tax collection

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A shortfall in the personal income tax collection resulted in the union government closing the financial year with the direct tax mop-up at Rs 11.38 lakh crore as compared to the target of Rs 12 lakh crore for 2018-19. The direct tax includes personal income tax and corporation tax.
While the corporate tax collection stood at Rs 6.71 lakh crore, personal income tax took a beating last year. The I-T department collected Rs 4.67 lakh crore against the target of Rs 5.29 lakh crore in personal income tax. This included Rs 11,000 crore on account of securities transaction tax.
“The entire shortfall of Rs 62,000 crore is on account of personal income tax. It is harder to get people to pay taxes than to make them file returns,” said a senior official in the finance ministry.

The direct tax collection showed a growth of 13.6% over last year as against the target of 20.1% for 2018-19. In the Interim Budget, the direct tax collection target for the past year was revised at Rs 12 lakh crore, up from the budget estimate of Rs 11.5 lakh crore which represented a growth target of 15%. The higher revised target was seen as unrealistic by many in the government.
As many as 6.78 crore tax returns were filed during the last year. However, the number of people who filed returns were only 5.43 crore. This is mainly due to many taxpayers filing their returns twice, mostly to make corrections.
According to the government, the taxpayers’ base has gone up exponentially in the past four years with the number of return filers almost doubling in a short time. “This has, however, not resulted in higher tax collections in similar proportion,” pointed out the official.

A taxpayer is a person who has either filed I-T return or in whose favour tax has been deducted at source.
The number of people under the taxable category is expected to further decrease as anyone earning up to Rs 5 lakh will not have to pay income tax during the current financial year 2019-20. The income-tax threshold limit was increased to Rs 5 lakh per annum in the Interim Budget. In fact, individuals with annual gross income up to Rs 7-8 lakh are likely to avail the benefit if they make investments under the instruments such as Public Provident Fund (PPF) as well as pay home loan.
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This would lead to over 3 crore people getting tax exemption. The impact on the exchequer is likely to be around Rs 22,000 crore or more. The Interim Budget 2019-20 has estimated to collect Rs 13.80 lakh crore from direct taxes, representing a growth of 15%.
With lower direct tax revenue growth seen in 2018-19, the growth target of 15% for the current year will also have to be revised upwards to maintain the tax collection target.

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