Daily Archive: January 30, 2018

Pre-Budget Views of Mr. Kalyan Basu, MD & CEO, Invoicemart on the Union Budget 2018

“Like any other budget, the Union Budget of 2018 comes with many hopes and expectations for the country. This year’s budget is a bit special for a few reasons; one being, that it is the last full year budget for the current government (Govt.). Secondly, the country saw two major events the demonetisation and implementation of GST. Thirdly, implementation of IBC as it sinks in is a dramatic mind set change for Corporate India, this year we will witness depth of its effectiveness and the changes that it brings in.

I would like to congratulate the Govt. for bringing in the reforms and its efforts to put the economy on the growth trajectory. Some of the last year’s initiative such as Mudra loans has put a cheer back on the faces of MSMEs; the Govt. has claimed an achievement of 95% in loans disbursal under the scheme.

The monumental step of recapitalisation is a major move in strengthening the public sector banks (PSBs). With focus on themes such as customer responsiveness, responsible banking, credit off-take, PSBs (public sector banks) as Udyami Mitra, deepening financial inclusion and digitalisation and developing personnel for brand PSB, the Govt. is making an all-out effort in creating strong financial institutions.

Initiatives of the government such as Skill India, Make in India, among a host of other steps taken are all coming together like pieces of jig saw puzzle in supporting MSMEs and strengthening the economy.

One of the greatest challenge faced by the Govt today is new job creation. MSMEs actually can play a significant role in meeting this objective and hence we expect the Govt to come out with fresh incentives for the MSMEs going ahead.

Launch of TReDS

Last year, three entities received licence for starting TReDS platforms. The Govt. views it as one of the crucial ways to support MSME sector by providing a tech based access to the much needed working capital through an online and transparent bid mechanism.

The Govt. has supported the growth of the nascent sector by advising PSUs and PSBs to register themselves on the platform. I appreciate the efforts of the government in pursuing with all the stakeholders to increase traction on the TReDS platform.

Expectations

In the coming budget we expect the Finance Ministry to continue to provide easier access for MSMEs to institutional credit and strengthen them through a more relaxed regulatory framework.

Secondly I would like to focus on the important issue of credit insurance which could be provided to the MSMEs coming onto to the TReDS platform for bill discounting. Just as ECGC has been protecting the small exporters from default risk of the Foreign Buyer, we also need a similar product for small MSMEs to cover default by their buyers in the domestic market.

Conclusion

I look forward to a policy framework which enables a sustainable and inclusive development of the country with strong financial institutions lending to MSMEs.”

Govt reverses decision to issue orange-coloured passports, remove last page of document

Your passports will retain the last the page with your address and other personal details. Yes, they can be used as address proof. And, they won’t sport orange jackets.

Owing to protest and concerns from various quarters, the government has reversed its decision to revamp passports, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said in a release on Tuesday.

“After comprehensive discussions with the various stakeholders, the MEA has decided to continue with the current practice of printing of the last page of the passport and not to issue a separate passport with orange colour jacket to ECR (emigration check required ) passport holders,” the ministry said in the release.

Opinion | Issuing coloured passports is cruel and discriminatory

A decision was taken by the ministry on the recommendations of a three-member committee comprising officials of the MEA and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, not to print the last page of the passport booklet. The MEA had decided to issue a passport with an orange jacket to holders with emigration check required (ECR) status, with a view to help and assist them on a priority basis.

The ministry had received several individual and collective representations requesting it to reconsider these two decisions.

“The decision of the MEA on both these issues was reviewed in the light of these representations”, said the release.

Without the last page, the practice of using the passport as an address proof would have stopped . The decision to have an orange jacket, critics said, would discriminate against citizens on the basis of educational qualifications.

UP minister says corruption has increased in the state

Ballia (UP), Jan 30 The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh was left red-faced today as one of its cabinet ministers, Om Prakash Rajbhar, claimed that corruption had increased under the present dispensation.

A BJP spokesperson, however, rubbished the minister’s claim as an attempt to “garner cheap publicity” adding that if Rajbhar had any grievances, he should air them at an appropriate forum.

“There is more corruption prevailing under the BJP regime as compared to the previous SP and the BSP regimes. Though I am a part of this government, this is not my government…We have an alliance with the BJP,” Rajbhar told PTI over the phone.

Rajbhar, who leads BJP ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), also said that his party was not getting the due respect under the present government.

“I have talked to the chief minister on these issues,” he said.

Asked whether his party would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the BJP, Rajbhar said it depended on the saffron party.

“It depends on the BJP whether it wants an alliance with us or not. Like local body polls, if the BJP does not forge an alliance with us, we will contest the Lok Sabha polls alone,” he said.

On the violence in Kasganj, Rajbhar said the incident was unfortunate and claimed some officers were defaming the government.

Reacting to the charges about corruption levelled by Rajbhar, state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that it was not the tradition of his party to break pre-poll alliances.

“The statement by Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is a Cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, is simply to garner some cheap publicity,” Tripathi said.

Rajbhar is a responsible minister and if has some grievances with the government, then he should air them at an appropriate forum, and not publicly declare them, he said.

“It seems that he is behaving as an Opposition leader.

And, if he has some serious problems with the BJP, then he can leave the government,” Tripathi said.

The SBSP, which has four MLAs in the 403-member UP Assembly, had contested the Uttar Pradesh civic polls separately. It had even contested a few seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections on its own, asserting that its alliance with the BJP was not at the national level.

Source: PTI

For the first time, mobile with 10GB RAM soon to launch in India

Earlier this month, Vivo became the first company to launch a smartphone with under the display fingerprint sensor. Now, it seems that it is working on a smartphone with 10GB RAM.

A slide from a PPT has surfaced online suggesting that that Chinese manufacturer is working on Vivo Xplay 7. The slide also reveals some of the specifications of the device.

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The renders leaked online highlight that the handset is expected to sport a sleek design, dual rear camera setup and the same in-display fingerprint sensor like the Vivo X20 Plus UD.

The PPT which surfaced in China further reveals that the smartphone is said to spot a 4K OLED display with 92.9% screen-to-body ratio. The device is expected to come with Dual IMX Sony sensors that offer 4x optical zoom.

The device is claimed to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor paired with 10GB of RAM. If the smartphone will offer this much RAM, then it will be world’s first. It is also said to come with facial recognition and two storage variants – 256GB and 512GB.

Farmers have no expectations from Budget 2018

Mumbai: Budget 2018, economists say, will focus on the rural economy and give a boost to consumption in the countryside. The farmer has no such expectations.

“We have no hope from the government,” said Vijay Petkar, a cotton farmer from Vijaygopal, a village of 4,000 people in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.

Petkar says the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) “talks a lot but we don’t get anything”.

Last year, Petkar was unable to send his two children, aged 11 and 9 years, to the municipality school in Pulgaon, 18km away from his village.

He had to cut his expenses because his cotton crop failed and soya prices declined, leaving him in debt.

The story is similar across most of rural India, which has in recent years been roiled by drought, demonetization and falling prices of farm produce.

Up to 70% of India’s farmers depend on the June-September monsoon rainfall to water their crops and they are experiencing an agrarian crisis that has forced them to pull their children out of school and even skimp on their healthcare expenses, said Ashwini Kulkarni, secretary, Pragati Abhiyan, a non-government organisation that works with the poor. The implications will be felt for years to come, said Kulkarni.

To be sure, the government has increased rural spending over the past three years. Against an average increase of 9% in total spending, rural spending has grown at a higher clip of nearly 16%, analysts Gautam Duggad and Nikhil Gupta wrote in a 23 January report by Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.

Rural spending as a percentage of total spending has moved from sub-6% between financial years 2014 and 2016 to 7.6% in 2018. That, however, has not helped improve the rural perception, which is one of neglect.

“The farmer is being ignored by the government,” said Dilip Pohane, a farmer from Wardha, who says farmers have no money to spend.

Demonetisation worsened their situation because even farm workers weren’t able to get paid.

“In the last three years, the average increase in rural wages has been about 5%. Prior to that, for a couple of years it was 15%. Rural wages have a major role to play in rural growth,” said Sanjiv Mehta, chief executive officer, Hindustan Unilever Ltd-India’s largest packaged consumer goods (CPG) maker-at a 17 January press conference on the company’s December quarter earnings.

Moreover, the minimum support price (MSP) has also declined for some commodities. For instance, in October 2015, tur dal was Rs20,350 per quintal and is now Rs5,900 per quintal, according to Bloomberg data. Likewise, sugar in Mumbai is selling at its lowest price since February 2015 at Rs3,276 per quintal, according to Bloomberg.

“About 10 years ago soyabeans were at a higher price in nominal terms,” said Sudha Narayanan, associate professor with research interests in topics like agricultural economics and development economics, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), in a telephonic conversation with Mint.

According to Narayanan, the informal sector has taken a huge hit and people have been postponing spending even on essentials.

Given the grim backdrop and a string of assembly elections leading up to the general elections next year, analysts and industry experts are expecting a populist budget that will aim at a recovery in the farm sector and rural consumption.

Dhananjay Sinha, head of research at Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd, expects the focus to veer towards ensuring better prices for fruits and vegetables, higher fertilizer subsidies, investments in food procurement and aggressive targets for farm credit.

Narayanan of IGIDR expects the budget this year to include measures like direct payment to farmers.

The government may not be able to afford being too generous given the pressure on its finances after Goods and Services Tax collections fell short of expectations.

“We believe that the government has limited financial resources to propose any targeted scheme for the poor,” Motilal Oswal Securities analysts wrote in the report cited above.

The securities house expects the government to revise its deficit target to 3.4% of gross domestic product in fiscal year 2018, higher than the budgeted estimate of 3.2%.

Kia Motors to start India game in style with world premiere of SP Concept SUV at Auto Expo 2018

Kia Motors, the sister brand of South Korean carmaker Hyundai has confirmed that it will kick-start India game at the Auto Expo 2018, which is scheduled to start on February 7 at Great Noida. The South Korean carmaker wants to make sure its debut to India a memorable one.

8,000 private schools in Haryana remain shut

Chandigarh, Jan 30  Nearly 8,000 private schools across Haryana today remained shut in protest against the alleged lack of security to teachers and other staff members.

The school administrations were protesting against the lack of security to management members and teachers, following the killing of a school principal, Ritu Chhabra, by a Class-12 student in Yamunanagar recently for reprimanding him.

“Around 8,000 private schools today remained shut in Haryana,” National Independent Schools Alliance member Shrichand said.

“There is no policy or rule for the safety of school staff in Haryana,” Shrichand, also the president of Panchkula private school federation, said.

He lamented that there was no word from the government on the death of the principal of the Yamunanagar school. “Nobody from Haryana government said a single word on the death of the principal and commented that it was wrong,” said Shrichand.

Representatives of schools also presented district-wise memorandum to the respective administration in the state.

Source: PTI