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Large Corporates Pull Through from Cash Shortage, Demonetisation Impact Credit Neutral
Feb 10,2017

The impact of demonetisation on the credit profile of large corporates (revenue over INR2.5 billion) is neutral, with no major rating changes envisaged due to its after-effects, says India Ratings and Research (India Ratings). Based on a sensitivity analysis of all corporates in our portfolio India Ratings believes large corporates have sufficient liquidity buffers to meet debt servicing obligations.

The immediate impact of demonetisation on revenues of large corporates in 3QFY17 ranges from nil for the export-oriented sectors namely IT/ITeS, to a significant impact on the auto, real estate, gems and jewellery sectors, with a gradual recovery expected as cash availability improves in 4QFY17. Despite the cash shortage hurting some sectors significantly in 3QFY17, the impact on their credit profile is cushioned by the availability of sufficient liquidity (in the form of cash & equivalents or unutilised working capital limits) to meet the debt servicing obligations. India Ratings believes large corporates also have sufficient rating headroom to absorb the transitory impact on revenue, profitability and working capital.

The impact of demonetisation has been varied, depending on the extent and nature of cash usage within an industry. The revenue of sectors which are predominantly digital due to their focus on exports or business to business sales (for instance, IT/ITeS) is not impacted by the tight liquidity conditions. However sectors which are predominantly digital may also face temporary disruption due to of their employee payments, for instance, construction or supply chain payments historically which were done in cash.

Sectors which rely on consumer spending saw a fall in sales during the cash shortage period, with eventual recovery once normalisation of cash availability is achieved. The extent of impact would depend on the level of discretion involved in spending (impact on hospitals is lower compared to auto or luxury retail) and the proportion of transactions in cash.

A couple of sectors wherein the nature of cash usage is often considered dubious (such as real estate, gems and jewellery) faced a significant fall in sales during the cash shortage period, with a lasting impact on the sector and the sector adapting to a new normal, especially in the unorganised segment. Organised players and large corporates in such sectors will benefit in the long-run.

The sectors which are ancillary to the impacted sectors such as auto components, cement, steel or other metals will also see the ripple effects of demonetisation.

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Tax Collection Figures up to January 2017 show consistent trend of healthy growth
Feb 10,2017

The Tax Collection figures up to January 2017 show consistent trend of healthy growth. Following are the details of the Direct and Indirect Tax Collections for the month of January 2017 and upto the month of January 2017 and they show a positive growth.

Indirect Taxes

During January 2017, the Net Indirect Tax grew at the rate of 16.9% compared to corresponding month last year. The growth rate in net collection for Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax was 10.1%, 26.3% and 9.4% respectively during the month of January 2017, compared to the corresponding month last year.

The figures for indirect tax collections (Central Excise, Service Tax and Customs) up to January 2017 show that net revenue collections are at Rs 7.03 lakh crore, which is 23.9% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. Till January 2017, about 82.8% of the Revised Estimates (RE) of indirect taxes for Financial Year 2016-17 has been achieved.

As regards Central Excise, net tax collections stood at Rs. 3.13 lakh crore during April-January, 2016-17 as compared to Rs.2.23 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 40.5%.

Net Tax collections on account of Service Tax during April-January, 2016-17 stood at Rs. 2.03 lakh crore as compared to Rs.1.66 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 22.0%.

Net Tax collections on account of Customs during April-January 2016-17 stood at Rs. 1.86 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 1.77 lakh crore during the same period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 4.7%.

Direct Taxes

The figures for Direct Tax collections up to January, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 5.82 lakh crore which is 10.79% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. This collection is 68.7% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for F.Y. 2016-17.

As regards the growth rates for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), in terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate under CIT is 11.7% while that under PIT (including STT) is 21.0%. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in CIT collections is 2.9% while that in PIT collections is 23.1%. Refunds amounting to Rs.1.41 lakh crore have been issued during April 2016-January 2017, which is 41.0% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year.

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Industry Seeks WTO DG Support for Advancing Trade Facilitation in Services
Feb 10,2017

n++Indias proposal on Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS), currently tabled at the WTO, is a welcome initiative as services are an essential tool for trade. There is a growing appetite amongst members to advance the TFS agenda and efforts need to be made to engage other members on these issuesn++, said Mr. Roberto Azevedo, DG WTO. n++There are number of ideas being discussed for easing flow of trade such as: movement of persons, cross-border information flows and development and technical assistancen++, he further added.

n++We must embrace and adapt to new realities,n++ he said, pointing out the need to make trade better rather than limiting it. He emphasized the importance of involving MSMEs in global trading networks to bridge gaps and inequities currently persisting in the global trading environment.

The Ambassador noted with regret the slowdown experienced by global trade growth, 1.7% in 2016, which is at its lowest since the 2008 financial crisis. He also mentioned the negative reaction of the global community with more inward looking policies, which he views as a setback for global trade. However, he noted the positive outlook for Indian trade due to various tax and fiscal reforms that the current government has undertaken.

The panel also consisted of Mr. Anup Wadhawan, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, who reiterated the Indian governments position to maintain the principle of special and differentiated treatment. He reiterated the need to maintain the multilateral trading arrangement which the WTO is also committed to.

Representing Indian industry, the CII President, Dr. Naushad Forbes, echoed the importance of free trade and the central role WTO plays in it. Multilateral negotiations are necessary for this. There is a need to ensure that firms have equal access to all countries for trade. For this, it is imperative that countries understand clearly the concept of Most Favored Nations (MFN) which embodies this principle in the GATT/WTO.

Industry members raised serious concerns about de-globalization and growing clamor for protectionism, particularly in US. Reinvigorating global trade by clearing misconceptions about the impact of trade on employment and the need for multilateralism were key to addressing this very concern.

Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, the Director General CII, who moderated this session, mentioned the need for the WTO to take the lead in an uncertain global trading environment. There are high hopes from the 11th Ministerial of the WTO which is to take place in Buenos Aires, scheduled towards the end of 2017.

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No decision taken on bank transaction tax; govt. examining recommendations received from Chief Ministers panel: Shaktikanta Das
Feb 10,2017

The government has not taken any decision with regard to the tax on bank transactions, though it has received a set of recommendations from the Committee of Chief Ministers, Economic Affairs secretary, Mr Shaktikanta Das said.

n++The government is carefully examining the report, no decision has been taken so far, as and when a decision is taken, naturally government will give it out,n++ said Mr Das.

Highlighting Indias strong fiscal foundation, he said, n++Fiscal deficit has gradually been brought down, it is necessary to find the right balance between requirements of public expenditure and fiscal consolidation by targeting those sectors of economy where you need to spend more.n++

He said that the government has certain fiscal constraints and it will be difficult for the government to reduce corporate tax rates to 25 per cent overnight because fiscal cost will be very high and government will not be able to do justice to various other sectors of the economy - agriculture, rural infrastructure and other areas.

Talking about Indias growth prospective, Mr Das said though the world scenario overall remains uncertain, the outlook for Indias growth is very positive.

n++We would expect the growth to be upwards of seven per cent on the back of various policy measures taken by the government both before and during the budget and which the government will continue to take in the coming months,n++ said the Economic Affairs secretary.

n++Our growth is premised on creating more job opportunities through increased infrastructure spending by carrying out reforms and new policy initiatives in sectors like - textiles, leather, footwear and other similar sectors by taking tax reform measures, by continuing with the policy of reforms,n++ he added.

With regards to taxation, he said that the government is very much committed to ensure that tax administration is taxpayer friendly. n++Emphasis of the government is on honouring the honest. The Revenue Department, CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) and CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) are taking number of steps to ensure that there is no misuse of power, the annual performance reports of officers in the tax departments together with orders passed by officers of income tax are also being gone through by senior level officers.n++

He also said that private sector should also take stringent steps in this regard. n++While from the government side, we are taking steps, I think from the private sector and industry side we would encourage similar steps to be taken as the tax administration at the highest level, in the ministry is working towards bringing about greater accountability, transparency.n++

Highlighting the strong and robust reforms undertaken by the government on tax side, he said that the reform agenda of the government will continue as spelt out by the finance minister in this years budget.

On the issue of transfer of technology, Mr Das said that India has to use its markets and low-cost manufacturing capabilities to ensure that there is domestic manufacturing. n++We have to spend more on research and developing own technological capabilities.n++

In her address at the ASSOCHAM event, Union Textile Minister, Ms Smriti Irani said stressed upon the need for systematic reforms as the challenges faced by India over 70 years ago still stand.

n++Industry cannot grow at the cost of labour rights, as such the government has also ensured of safeguarding labours interest, besides state levies will be refunded to industry to fuel growth and create job opportunities,n++ said Ms Irani.

n++This government understands the need for entrepreneurship even of the not financially stable section of the society,n++ she said.

She added that another example set by this government is the declaration of rail and general budget together for the first time ever.

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Two key labour reform bills to come up in Parliament: Labour Minister
Feb 10,2017

As a part of Labour reforms, The Government would introduce two important bills relating to wages and industrial relations in Parliament in March for simplification and rationalisation of the Labour Laws, Labour Minister Mr.Bandaru Dattatreya said.

n++Next week at the inter-ministerial meeting under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitely, we will take the final decision and after that we will go to the Cabinet. In the March (leg of Budget Session) both the bills would be introduced and I am hopeful it would be passedn++, Mr.Dattatreya said. He said all 43 Labour Laws would be codified into four broad categories.

The Labour Minster said the Central Board of Trustees would consider the proposal to increase the EPFO portfolio in the share market from existing 10 % to 15% from the total corpus. At present as much as Rs. 17000 crore from the EPFO corpus of Rs. 8.70 Lakh crore has already been invested in the stock market.

The minister said the returns on EPFO investment into equities amounted to 8.7-9% annually.

Mr.Dattatreya said with the codification of Labour Laws the industry would see an end to the red tape and inspector Raj while the welfare of the workers would also be ensured.

In response to queries from the ASSOCHAM members, the minister said the minimum wages of skilled and unskilled workers have been fixed keeping in view the rising cost of living.

He also listed initiatives for women work force for whom the maternity leave is being extended from 12 to 23 weeks. The bonus limit for workers has also been increased along with the health benefits being extended by the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

In his remarks ASSOCHAM President Mr. Sunil Kanoria said that a fine balance was required between welfare of the workforce and industrial productivity. He complimented the government for taking a number of steps in this direction.

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Rs 133.90 Crore Spent By All Major Ports Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Feb 10,2017

Under the Green Port Initiative, the Ministry has identified 12 activities to make the Major Ports more clean and green from the environment perspective. These initiatives include preparation of Environment Management & Monitoring Plan (EMMP), provision of equipment to monitor environmental pollution, acquiring dust suppression system, setting up of sewage and waste water treatment plants and garbage disposal plants, setting up projects for energy generation from renewable energy sources, make up any shortfall of Tier-I Oil Spill Response facilities, control of sea garbage, improve quality of harbor waters etc. Major ports have taken up preparation of EMMP, acquisition of equipment required for monitoring of environmental pollution including monitoring of Air water and Noise quality, Tree Plantation drives, Rainwater harvesting, Beautification of Parks, Installation of Mechanical Dust Suppression System (MDSS), improved collection and disposal of sludge from the ships and Ballast Water Management, procurement of Fog Cannons, Mist Machines and mechanised road sweeping machines, promoted usage of Bio-Diesel, set up Bio-Gas plants and sewage/waste water treatment plants/garbage disposal plants; solar and wind power plants. A total amount of Rs.133.90 Crore has been incurred by all Major Ports for executing such projects during 2014 - 2016. Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 22 action points have been taken up by all the Major Ports to maintain cleanliness at the Major Ports.

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India-UK Deal to Allow More Flights to Boost Tourism and Trade for Global India & Britain
Feb 10,2017

India and the UK signed a MoU to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries, following successful talks in India this week. Limits on flights from key Indian cities including Chennai and Kolkata have been scrapped, allowing for a greater range of flights for passengers while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India. Building new links with important trading partners is a key part of the governments plans for a Global Britain, opening up new export markets and creating jobs and economic growth. The agreement also opened all destinations in the UK for Indian carriers for code share flights, and reciprocally the UK carriers can also operate code share flights to any International Airport in India, through domestic code share arrangements.

The agreement was formally signed by Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, on behalf of India and Lord Ahmad of U.K. during a visit to India where he led a delegation of British companies for the 2017 CAPA India Aviation Summit.

Indian Civil Aviation Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, said n++The increase in number of flights between the UK and India is encouraging news for our businesses and tourists. We already enjoy strong ties with the UK and we welcome such continued association which in the long run will not only encourage business activity, but also people-to-people contact. I am sure that this agreement will bring direct and indirect benefits to many sectors of the economies of our two countriesn++.

Tourism from India makes an important contribution to the UK economy. In 2015, there were 422,000 visits from India to the UK, bringing more than n++433 million to the economy.

Aviation Minister of U.K., Lord Ahmad said: n++India is one of our closest allies and key trading partners and this new agreement will only serve to strengthen this crucial relationship. We are unlocking new trade and tourism opportunities which will boost our economies, create new jobs and open up new business links. This is great news for both the UK and India and is yet another sign that we are open for business and ready to build and strengthen our trade links.n++

India is a rapidly expanding and important market for aviation and the agreement signed today will allow airlines to develop new services and air routes. The final decision on additional flights between the UK and India is a commercial one for airlines.

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E-Bidding Process To Select Operator Started for UDAN Scheme
Feb 09,2017

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN on 21st October, 2016. The e-bidding process has already been started to select airline operator for mounting RCS operations. A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) has been created to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) by the Government of India. The Central Government has imposed levy on some category of the scheduled domestic flights being operated in India to fund the RCF. No funds have been released to airline operator under the Scheme. Slot allocation is done as per Slot Allocation Policy.

The Airfare cap under RCS-UDAN for fixed wing aircraft ranges from Rs. 1420/- for 151 kilometers to Rs. 3500/- for >800 kilometers. MoCA has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on RCS-UDAN with 16 State Governments / UTs to provide concessions as mentioned in the Scheme. The bidding process has already been started to select airline operators for RCS operations. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) for Scheduled Commuter Operations.

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Beneficiaries under NFSA not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, require to make application for Aadhaar enrolment by 30 June 2017
Feb 09,2017

The use of Aadhaar as identity document for delivery of services or benefits or subsidies simplifies the Government delivery processes, brings in transparency and efficiency, and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner and Aadhaar obviates the need for producing multiple documents to prove ones identity. Aadhaar Act interalia provides that the Central/State Govt while making expenditure from Consolidated fund of India for any subsidy, may require such individual to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication.

Since, subsidized foodgrains under PDS and Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy under NFSA etc. involves recurring expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, the Ministry Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has issued a Notification under Aadhaar Act on 8-2-2017 which requires individual beneficiaries having Ration Cards under NFSA to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication to receive subsidies under NFSA [ i.e. subsidised food grains or Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy under NFSA]. This condition will also be applicable for all the new beneficiaries. This notification shall come into effect from 08-2-2017 in all States and Union Territories except the States of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.

Beneficiaries under NFSA who do not possess the Aadhaar Number or are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, but are desirous of availing subsidies under NFSA are required to make application for Aadhaar enrolment by 30 June, 2017 and may visit any Aadhaar enrolment centre (list available at www.uidai.gov.in) to get enrolled for Aadhaar.

Till the Aadhaar is assigned to the beneficiaries of subsidises under NFSA, the entitlements shall be given to such individuals on production of Ration Card and either Aadhaar Enrolment ID slip or copy of his/her request made to State Govt for Aadhaar Enrolment alongwith any of the 8 documents i.e. Voter ID Card, PAN, Passport, Driving License, Certificate of Identity with photo issued by Gazetted Officer/Tehsildar on official letter head, Address card having Name and Photo issued by Deptt of Posts, Kisan Photo Passbook and any other document as specified by State/UT Govts. Beneficiaries can make their request for Aadhaar enrolment by giving their name, address, mobile number with Ration Card number and other details with their fair price shop owners or through the web portal provided for the purpose by State /UT Governments.

The Food Department of State/UT Government, shall make wide publicity through media and individual notices through the district food supply office or fair price shops, etc., to make the beneficiaries aware of the requirement of Aadhaar under the scheme. The State /UT Govt shall also advise beneficiaries to get themselves enrolled at the nearest enrolment centres available in their areas by 30th June, 2017 and a list of locally available enrolment centres shall be made available to them. State Govt shall also offer enrolment facilities for the beneficiaries and in case there is no Aadhaar enrolment centre located in the respective Block or Taluka or Tehsil, the State/UT Govt is required to provide enrolment facilities at convenient locations in coordination with the UIDAI or the existing Registrars of UIDAI or by becoming UIDAI registrar themselves.

The State/UT Government shall link the Aadhaar number of beneficiary with the Ration Card or with Bank Account for Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy within thirty days after receiving the same.

Provision has also been made that any member of eligible household listed in the Ration Card shall be entitled to receive the entire quantity of entitled subsidised food grains or Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy under NFSA, if any one member of the household in the Ration Card fulfils the identification conditions in case Aadhaar number is not yet assigned to all such members of the household.

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23 Dreamliner Aircraft Already Acquired By Air India, 4 More to Come
Feb 09,2017

Air India has acquired 23 Dreamliners progressively from September, 2012 to 9th January, 2017. The Dreamliner aircraft have experienced technical reliability issues, since induction into Air India fleet. These issues, however, do not adversely affect the safety of the airplane due to the system design and in-built system redundancy. Further, regular improvements are incorporated as a part of reliability enhancement process.

One B787-8 aircraft will be delivered in July, 2017, two B787-8 aircraft in August, 2017 and the 27th B787-8 aircraft will be delivered in October, 2017.

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Agreement for Swapping of Coal
Feb 09,2017

The Inter-Ministerial Task Force has recommended shifting of coal linkage of Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) of about 1.2 Million Tonne from South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) to Western Coalfields (WCL), leading to annual savings in transportation cost of about Rs. 100 crore to GSECL.

Apart from this, swapping of 1.3 MT coal linkage between GSECL and Sipat TPP of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has also been implemented with annual potential savings of Rs. 458 crore to GSECL. Presently, coal is supplied to GSECL against swapped quantities at the notified price of WCL. The terms and conditions of rationalization of coal linkage like swapping at mine and port etc. are mutually agreed between NTPC and GSECL. The provision of Third party sampling and analysis at the loading end is available and the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) is the third party for sampling and analysis. The sampling process includes the number of samples, timelimit for analysis of samples and Referee sample analysis. Both the coal company and the coal consumer power utility equally share the cost of sampling and analysis at the loading end. The Referee sample analysis is done at a government laboratory.

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Gartner Says 8.4 Billion Connected Things Will Be in Use in 2017, Up 31 Percent From 2016
Feb 09,2017

Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017. 

Regionally, Greater China, North America and Western Europe are driving the use of connected things and the three regions together will represent 67 percent of the overall Internet of Things (IoT) installed base in 2017.

Consumer Applications to Represent 63 Percent of Total IoT Applications in 2017

The consumer segment is the largest user of connected things with 5.2 billion units in 2017, which represents 63 percent of the overall number of applications in use (see Table 1). Businesses are on pace to employ 3.1 billion connected things in 2017. Aside from automotive systems, the applications that will be most in use by consumers will be smart TVs and digital set-top boxes, while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be most in use by businesses, said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner.

Table 1: IoT Units Installed Base by Category (Millions of Units)

Category2016201720182020Consumer3,963.05,244.37,036.312,863.0Business: Cross-Industry1,102.11,501.02,132.64,381.4Business: Vertical-Specific1,316.61,635.42,027.73,171.0Grand Total6,381.88,380.611,196.620,415.4

Source: Gartner (January 2017)

In addition to smart meters, applications tailored to specific industry verticals (including manufacturing field devices, process sensors for electrical generating plants and real-time location devices for healthcare) will drive the use of connected things among businesses through 2017, with 1.6 billion units deployed. However, from 2018 onwards, cross-industry devices, such as those targeted at smart buildings (including LED lighting, HVAC and physical security systems) will take the lead as connectivity is driven into higher-volume, lower cost devices. In 2020, cross-industry devices will reach 4.4 billion units, while vertical-specific devices will amount to 3.2 billion units.

Business IoT Spending to Represent 57 Percent of Overall IoT Spending in 2017

While consumers purchase more devices, businesses spend more. In 2017, in terms of hardware spending, the use of connected things among businesses will drive $964 billion (see Table 2). Consumer applications will amount to $725 billion in 2017. By 2020, hardware spending from both segments will reach almost $3 trillion.

Table 2: IoT Endpoint Spending by Category (Billions of Dollars)

Category2016201720182020Consumer532,515725,696985,3481,494,466Business: Cross-Industry212,069280,059372,989567,659Business: Vertical-Specific634,921683,817736,543863,662Grand Total1,379,5051,689,5722,094,8812,925,787

Source: Gartner (January 2017)

 IoT services are central to the rise in IoT devices, said Denise Rueb, research director at Gartner. Total IoT services spending (professional, consumer and connectivity services) is on pace to reach $273 billion in 2017.

Services are dominated by the professional IoT-operational technology category in which providers assist businesses in designing, implementing and operating IoT systems, added Ms. Rueb. However, connectivity services and consumer services will grow at a faster pace. Consumer IoT services are newer and growing off a small base. Similarly, connectivity services are growing robustly as costs drop, and new applications emerge.

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Focus of the Budget is on tax compliance; Government is committed to honour the honest taxpayers
Feb 09,2017

n++The budget this year focuses on the clarity and certainty of the tax laws, while at the same time endeavoring to make the country more tax compliant and to honour the honest taxpayers. The focus areas for the budget this year are digitalization, demonetization, expansion of tax base, and saving the genuine tax payers from any harassment from the taxmann++, said Mr Sushil Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance.

Mr Sushil Chandra further emphasized on the policy and direction of the budget, and assured the industry that the Government would come up with any clarifications that might be called for on any of the newly introduced legislations, such as GAAR and POEM.

Mr Ram Tirath, Member - Budget and GST, Central Board of Excise & Customs, Ministry of Finance mentioned that n++since the Government is committed on bringing GST with effect from 1st July, there are not many changes in the area of indirect taxes. The changes that have been incorporated in the budget are largely in the areas of digitization, ease of doing business, export promotion and anti-avoidance. The move to GST will be a smart transformation, i.e. Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsible and Transparent, and will radically change the indirect taxation scenario of the countryn++. Mr Ram Tirath further added that the final GST law is expected to be in the public domain by the end of March.

Mr Sushil Kumar Sahai, Member - Income Tax, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance addressed the concerns of the industry on issues involving tax reduction for MSME companies, MAT, APA, IndAS, GAAR and POEM. Mr Sahai stressed on the focus of the Government to save the genuine tax payers from any harassment under the newly launched Operation Clean Money. He promised to take back to the Government the concerns of the industry on the levy of surcharge on personal incomes between Rs 50 lakhs and 1 crore.

Mr Rajiv Memani, Chairman, CII National Committee on Taxation congratulated the Government on coming up with an outstanding and prudent budget, with emphasis on fiscal prudence, widening of the tax base, ease of doing business and tax compliance. Mr Memani appreciated the reduction of corporate tax rate for MSMEs, saying that it would go a long way in supporting the growth of the sector.

Mr Memani requested the Government to consider and address the concerns of the industry on various issues like MAT, APA, GAAR, long term capital gains, possible harassment to tax payers and Operation Clean money. n++The Government should reconsider the surcharge proposed on incomes between Rs 50 lakhs and 1 crore, as the move goes against the Governments intention to reward the honest taxpayers The Government should consider reducing the rate of surcharge to 5%, if not remove it altogethern++, suggested Mr Memani.

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Gartner Says Public Cloud Services in India Forecast to Reach $1.8 Billion in 2017
Feb 09,2017

The highest growth will continue to be driven by infrastructure as a service (IaaS) which is projected to grow at 49.2 percent in 2017, followed by 33 percent in software as a service (SaaS) and 32.1 percent in platform as a service (PaaS). The increase of SaaS and PaaS are indicators that the migration of application and workloads from on premises data centers to the cloud, as well as the development of cloud ready and cloud native applications, are fueling the growth in the cloud space.

We see increased cloud growth in the infrastructure compute services space as adoption becomes increasingly mainstream, said Sid Nag research director at Gartner. This has been predicted for a while, and the momentum continues to sustain in 2017 eventually plateauing through 2020 as the market further matures.

Table 1. India Public Cloud Services Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

20162017201820192020Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS)88113145186236Cloud Application Services (SaaS)3965276758241006Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS)107141182230287Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS)486725105114732028Cloud Management and Security Services116152190234281Cloud Advertising123158189223266Total1,3161,8172,4323,1694,104

Source: Gartner (January 2017)

 Additional demand from the migration of infrastructure to the cloud, as well as increased demand from compute intensive workloads, both in enterprise and startup space, is driving this growth, said Mr. Nag.

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PHDCCI & BCCI Sign An MoU For Closer Commercial Links
Feb 09,2017

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as per which the two organizations have agreed to establish and develop commercial links between business communities of two in general and their respective members in particular.

The MoU was signed here between Senior Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Anil Khaitan and Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Khalid A Rahman Almoayed in the Presence of Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, Mr. Alok Sinha and among other senior functionaries of both the Chambers.

The MoU also stipulates that the two chambers would promote trade and investment relations between India and Bahrain and to constantly endeavour to improve co-operation between the two Organisations as well assist each of them in trade and market research, conferences, symposia and other methods of trade promotional activity in each others country.

Mr. Khaitan, who is currently leading a high powered business delegation of PHD Chambers members away to Bahrain emphasized that the MoU also provides to organise B2B meetings, exhibitions, trade fairs and other such activities for closer trade and economic relations between the two countries.

In addition, it also aims at create and maintain a continuing exchange of information about economic developments and other matters affecting the business interests of their members as also promote visits of officials of both Organisations from time to time with a view to fostering intense co-operation for improved business relations and rendering better services to their respective members.

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