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National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority regulates prices of 42 anti-cancer drugs

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National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, on Wednesday, announced price regulation on 42 anti-cancer non-schedule. The Authority also announced that soon medicines for 38 rare disease will be brought under pricing control too soon. NPPA has also controlled 36 types of medicines, including cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, infection, pain and asthma, under the Drugs Control Act, 2013 (DPCO). It has given time till March 8, 2018, to pharmaceutical companies for the implementation of new prices.

A senior NPPA official shared that the idea to regulate expensive cancer drugs was going on for some time. In a meeting on February 26, the major decision was taken and the manufacturers have now been given time to calculate their profits and costs. The capping trade margins for manufacturers will be 30 percent and the new prices will be effective by March 8.

In an earlier post, a senior doctor from the Geriatric Department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences had shared, “Senior citizens often face osteoporosis problems. Such patients are given an injection of Exolix 4 mg. On the existing drug stores outside AIIMS, the price of this drug has been quoted at 2750 rupees while the shopkeeper is giving it for only Rs 500. He said that such a business, where there is no capping on drugs, should be closed immediately

“It is being reported that bringing 42 types of cancer drugs into the price control will include 72 mixes and 355 brands. According to NPPA, after this decision, manufacturers of 105 cancer drugs will reduce profits up to 85 percent in the country. This will give cancer patients a benefit of about Rs 105 crore directly.

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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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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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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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IL&FS arm may lose 90% of Rs 19K cr gross bad loans

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IL&FS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN) has a gross non-performing assets (GNPA) of around 90%, possibly a record for companies in its financial bracket.

“One of the things that would have struck many of you is that a company which reported GNPA of about 5% in March 2018 (has such a high GNPA later). I have heard double digit GNPA, but 90% GNPA, I am sure all of you would say is unusual by any standards that is the challenge which we have to face,” said Uday Kotak, non-executive chairman, IL&FS, on Wednesday.

Six months ago, on October 3, Uday Kotak-led management took charge of IL&FS group.

While updating on the last six months’ performance on the resolution and recovery processes undertaken by the management, N Sivaraman, chief operating officer, said, “Group entity’s recovery will be subject to the resolution process and what kind of valuation are we able to realise and get the money back.”

IFIN has an external exposure of Rs 10,656 crore, while the exposure to IL&FS Group and its various entities is Rs 6,849 crore. IFIN’s other current assets is Rs 1,300 crore, making the total exposure Rs 18,805 crore.

As of March 2018, the gross bad loans were around 5.3%, which jumped to around 61.8% in September 2018. This further increased to about 90% in December 2018.

“As far as enforcement with the third parties is concerned, the recovery process is on. But I still fear that we are staring at around 90% gross NPA, which means that these are difficult credits. We have lent money, but they have defaulted on their normal servicing. There’s a portion of the credit, which we have been able to collect Rs 697 crore from those assets. We have also been able to get Rs 235 crore from the recovery process,” said Sivaraman.

Showing confidence in improving the numbers, the senior executive said they are not saying that this 90% is to be forgotten.

“The recovery efforts are on. There are enough opportunities to make sure that we are able to recover. We will use the legal process to recover in the form of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), one-time settlement, even criminal process, etc; multiple ways of making the client or borrower to come to the table. We can’t predict the timeline over here. It’s going to be time consuming and long drawn process,” Sivaraman said.

At the group level, the total outstanding debt (fund based as well as non-fund based) currently stands at Rs 99,354 crore. Of this, Rs 48,470 crore is fund-based debt in four holding companies, namely, IL&FS, IFIN, IL&FS Energy Development Co Ltd (IEDCL) and IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd (ITNL).

Kotak also expressed concern about the net worth of the entities and businesses of the group. “It would be reasonable to assume that there is significant erosion in net worth, and in many cases there could be significantly negative net worth,” he said.

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India’s manufacturing growth at 6-month low in March: PMI

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Reflecting a loss of “growth momentum”, manufacturing activities in the country slowed down to a six-month low in March amid softer increases in new orders, production and employment, according to a survey.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to 52.6 in March from 54.3 in February, a report said Tuesday.A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a print below that level points to contraction. “Falling from 54.3 in February to a six-month low, the latest figure highlighted a loss of growth momentum,” the report said, adding that although operating conditions in the Indian manufacturing industry continued to improve, there was a widespread slowdown in growth.

As per the report, factory orders and production expanded at the slowest pace since last September while job creation eased to an eight-month low in March.”Softer increases were registered for new orders, production, input buying and employment. The deceleration was accompanied by subdued inflationary pressures, with rates of increase in input costs and output charges below their respective long-run averages,” it noted.However, business sentiment strengthened to a seven-month high.

Pollyanna De Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit and the author of the report on the PMI, said manufacturing sector expansion in India took a step back in March, with metrics for factory orders, production, exports, input buying and employment all moving lower. “Still, growth was sustained on all fronts. Although global headwinds and a general slowdown in trade present some concerns for the future health of Indian manufacturers’ order books, so far companies have been able to weather the storm and secure healthy inflows of new work from abroad,” De Lima noted.

The index is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 industrial companies. The latest data also comes ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s first monetary policy for the current financial year which is to be announced on April 4 and there are expectations of a rate cut.

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