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Bank strike today: Here are the issues raised by the officers



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Workers at India’s state-owned banks called a nationwide strike on Friday in protest at proposed mergers that could cause job losses and demanded immediate wage rises.

The strike, by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), impacted trading volumes in foreign exchange and debt markets, said traders.Private sector banks were not affected by the strike.AIBOC has a membership of over two million officers and affiliates in all major state-run banks and 10 private banks. The striking officers are responsible for daily operations, causing a complete shutdown of services to customers. The 21 state lenders hold two-thirds of India’s banking assets and account for the bulk of the record $150 billion of soured loans in the banking sector last year.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions in the country, also decided to hold a strike on December 26 against the proposed merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank.Government earlier this year announced plans to merge the three state-run banks to create India’s third-largest bank as part of efforts to clean up the banking system, which has been overburdened by bad debts.The bank unions say they fear the mergers will lead to job cuts and allow private sector banks to dominate the industry.

AIBOC Joint General Secretary Ravinder Gupta said the unions are demanding wage revisions based on minimum mandated wages by the government and not asking for it to be linked to profitability of the banks or their paying capacity, which could be higher.

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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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It’s a pro people budget says PM Modi



PM Modi praising the budget
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Prime minister Narendra Modi has praised the first budget presented by the fimnance minister Dr. Nirmala Sitaraman after the formation of the NDA 2 government, terming it as prosperous which makes every person of the country self reliant.

Prime minister Narendra Modi in a vedio posted in his twitter handle said that the budget would strengthen the poor of the country and accord the youth an enlightened and prosperous future.
He also ensured that the budget will provide the people of the middle class progress and prosperity.
Terming it as a development oriented budget prime minister Narendra Modi added that not only will the budget simplify the tax structure but will also lead to modernisation of the infrastructure.
Praising his new governments first tenure  prime minister Narendra Modi said  that the people of the country and their lives have tremendous expectations from his government and this budget is very much in tune with their assumptions and expectations assuring them fully that their every demand would and expectations would be fulfilled.
It’s give the assurance that its in a right direction and speed and is therefore all set to achieve  the true objectives.
He said that this budget would strengthen the industries and the industrialists/ entrepreneur and enterpreneurships, both and also enhance the process of women’s participation in the development process of thr country.
Extremely satisfied and jubilant over the new budget, prime minister Narendra Modi called it a green budget in which the environmental, electric mobility and solar sectors were promptly and especially encouraged.
He  said that the previous government under his five year tenure has left behind environment of  pessimism behind  and is all set to move forward  with immense optimism and confidence.
The budget however has increased excise of one rupee each on the petro diesel products, enhanced  2.5 percent tax on silver and gold with additiinal cess on tobacco products.
However on the purchase of a house worth Rs 45 lakhs it has given tax relief on the amount of 3.5 lakh rupees but the middle class got no relief on annual tax exemption.
The income tax limit of five lakh exemption granted in the vote on account budget before the elections however stands applicable with no tax on the yearly income of Rs. five lakhs.
The tax has also been enhanced on the annual income above three and five crores to 3% and 5% respectively.
The Bahujan Samaj Party  and Congress party have severely criticized the budget.
The BSP president Mayawati termed the budget of Modi government as the one implemented for encouraging crony capitalism and crony capitalists including the private sector of the country leading to further  enhancing the problems relating to unemployment, inflation, poverty, farmers n ruler distress of the poor, marginalised classes, the dalits and the toiling masses of the country.
This budget is anti poor which restricts the economic development of the country added Mayawati in her tweet.
The  chief spokesperson of Congress party Randeep Singh Surjewala also criticized the Budget 2019 severely, saying that during the last five years during the Modi government tenure, the excise duty of diesel  has been increased by 443% and on petrol by 211%.
By this way his government has earned Rs 13, 00, 000 crores by cutting the pockets of the common men. Now Modi 2.0 has sprinkled petrol like pouring  ” salt on the burned injury”.
The budget has by increasing Rs. 2 as excise on petrol and diesal literally broken the backbone of the middle class, farmers and the common men of the country.
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DPIIT summons food aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy over predatory pricing



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The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has summoned food aggregators including Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and Uber Eats over restaurants complaint of them engaging in deep discounting. The dispute between restaurants and food aggregators has been going one for almost a year.

DPIIT has called meeting to resolve offline restaurant concerns, which is quite similar to what offline retailers had with e-tailers, said an official aware of the development.

The meeting will be attended by food aggregators and restaurant associations, including the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India and National Restaurant Association of India. It will be chaired by DPIIT secretary, Ramesh Abhishek.

Govt will try to address the restaurants issues through mutual discussion and find equal growth opportunity for the industry, reportedly said officials.

Commerce and industry minister, Piyush Goyal, had earlier warned e-comm firms, in almost similar cases, to avoid hurting small businesses through their predatory pricing practices. Goyal had categorically said that the government will not allow small retailers and kirana shops to be wiped out.

The restaurant associations have time and again complained against food aggregators harming their business through making consumers discount addicts.

Two months ago, restaurants had complained, about the impact of deep discounting offered by food aggregators, on their business. Through predatory pricing food aggregators are forcing restaurants to drop prices, restaurants said.

Food aggregators have also indulged in running their own private labels, who are eating away their businesses and using consumer behaviour data to consolidate their business, they added.

In January, over five hundreds of restaurants had complained to the CCI.


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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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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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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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What corporates can learn about branding from Gandhi



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What is a brand? The term ‘brand’ originates from branding or identifying mark used for livestock. Today, it has become a very important, integral part of the corporate world and is associated strongly with it. Millions of dollars are spent every year to reinforce the brand and increase its recall value. Cut-throat competition has only increased this phenomenon.

Whether it is global brands such as Google, Apple, Nike or well-known Indian ones such as Tata or Amul, each has its own unique story to tell and sell. Brands are known through their logo, identity, colours, spaces and a whole range of experiences. But they are much more than a set of tangible experiences. Ultimately, brands are about a philosophy or a value system.

Corporates often pay much more attention to tangible manifestations of brands without introspecting enough about their philosophy, which is detrimental in the long term. They diversify into different verticals and there is no common brand identity which holds them together. Only brands with strong philosophies and value systems are able to unite multiple products, services coherently and create a deep impact.

Much has been already written about brand Gandhi. What made brand Gandhi was not the tangible manifestations but a unique philosophy which touched millions of lives, which outlived the freedom struggle and which continues to organically influence people to be a part of it.

A prominent Gandhian Padmashri Haku Shah, or Hakubhai as he was popularly known, passed away recently. He was an internationally acclaimed artist deeply influenced by the rich folk tradition of India, a cultural anthropologist and researcher who went for meticulous field studies and did in-depth analysis and documentation of crafts, an academic who greatly influenced a generation of students at National Institute of Design with his work, a curator who set up a unique tribal museum in Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, a designer who came up with the pioneering idea of a craft village in Udaipur and an activist who sought to improve the lives of artisans. He was also an author-illustrator of many books including children’s literature. Incidentally, his last book was called Manush, or human being. How was he able to wear so many hats? How could he bring forth a unique, unconventional approach in all that he did? The guiding force for all that he did was his Gandhian philosophy and a child-like optimistic belief in humanity.

The story of a brand is about being true to the philosophy and value system at the core and the ability to constantly create meaning and impact for others. This works at multiple levels, whether it is the brand identity of individuals, institutions, organisations or the corporate world.

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Jet Airways lenders to invite preliminary bids on April 6



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A day after Jet Airways deferred the March salaries of its employees, the airline’s management, lenders and government officials took stock of the situation on Thursday, holding series of meetings in the national capital.
Earlier during the day, the consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) met the civil aviation secretary, updating him on the plans of action. During the afternoon, the lenders met Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube to discuss the mode and period of funds infusion, which is likely to be made in trenches, the sources said.
Jet Airways’s lenders, in a cautiously worded statement issued late in the evening, said, “The lenders intend to pursue the Bank-Led Resolution Plan for sale of stake in the company in a time-bound manner under the present legal and regulatory framework and intend to invite Expressions of Interest (EoI).”

The lenders added that EoIs will be invited on April 6 and will need to be submitted by April 9. They also said that they are cognizant that the outcome of the efforts will depend on the interest shown by the parties in the sale of stake in the company.
“Whilst all efforts will be made for the stake sale by the lenders, other options may be considered by the lenders should these efforts not result in an acceptable outcome” the statement continued.
On March 25, Jet Airways’s Board had approved a resolution plan formulated by SBI-led domestic lenders, under which they had agreed to infuse an emergency funding of Rs 1,500 crore into the airline, and convert the same into equity worth 50.1% for a notional value of just Rs 1 each share.

However, the funds are yet to be disbursed as legal formalities are being worked out.
Civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said in a media interaction in Delhi on Thursday the ministry will see what is to be done of international flying if the number of Jet Airways aircraft in operations fall below 20. An airline is allowed to fly internationally only if it has at least 20 aircraft under its fleet. Jet is currently flying 26 aircraft.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways faced more headwinds on Thursday. There were reports that oil companies had stopped supplying jet fuel to the airline at Delhi airport and it was resumed only after the airline’s management assured them of the payments.

Further, Avolon, one of the world’s biggest aircraft lessors, has applied with aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation for de-registration of two of its aircraft currently under the possession of Jet Airways. Sources said the earlier groundings of planes by Jet Airways have been on consensual terms.

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