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Top Stories

  • Twitter is part of net neutrality problem, says FCC's Ajit Pai

    29.11.2017 | Following a letter in which Twitter along with others had asked US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its plan to end net neutrality, the agency's Indian-origin Chairman Ajit Pai has dubbed the micro-blogging site as a "part of the problem".During an event hosted by the "free market think tank" R Street Institute and the "liberty"-focused Lincoln Network, Pai threw Twitter and other online services under the bus to show that it is not just broadband providers that can exert control over Internet content, Tech Crunch reported late on Tuesday."When it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate," "Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn from advertising her Senate campaign launch video because it featured a pro-life message. Before that, during the so-called Day of Action, Twitter warned users that a link to a statement by one company on the topic of Internet regulation 'may be unsafe'," he added."And to say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users' accounts as opposed to those of liberal users. This conduct is many things, but it isn't fighting for an open Internet," he noted.On Monday, over 200 businesses asked FCC to reconsider its plan to end net neutrality after the agency announced voting to rollback rules adopted in 2015 that require internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally.As per current net neutrality rules, all businesses are allowed to compete equally. But without those rules, online businesses may be stymied by internet providers that prioritise their own interests, the companies said.The FCC will vote on the proposal, known as Restoring Internet Freedom Order, at its December 14 open meeting.Pai highlighted two downsides to the present rules -- decrease in investment and stifle innovation.Pai last week had said that the so-called net neutrality rules "imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" upon the internet that have "depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks".On content, he said that recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are deciding what content consumers see. These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they do not like."In this way, edge providers are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint So let'ss be clear," he said."They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these Internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the Internet economy," he added.

  • Mytrah Energy to add 500-1,000 MW annually

    29.11.2017 | Renewable energy company Mytrah plans to add 500 MW to 1,000 MW every year of wind and solar power, a top company official said.Mytrah's current portfolio of 2,000 MW should be fully operational within the next few quarters, Vikram Kailas, Chief Executive Officer of Mytrah Energy ."The exact amount of capacity we sign up for will depend on the kind of opportunities that present themselves. We have always believed that each project that we take up should be independently viable. We will continue to use the same yardstick going forward even if this results in lower capacity addition in a given year," he said.The firm, listed on the AIM of London Stock Exchange, has 1,500 MW of projects in wind and 500 MW in solar. The company had forayed into solar about two years.The company will remain equally focussed on wind and solar energy."We may end up doing more wind projects in one year and more solar projects in another depending on where the opportunities present themselves," he said.He believes the Indian renewable power sector is going through an interesting phase."The sector has seen a dramatic fall in prices over the last few years culminating in the sub-Rs 3 tariffs in auctions held a few months ago. This meant that the industry had reached a stage where tariff for renewable power was clearly lower than for power produced from coal, gas and other conventional sources," said Vikram.He is of the view that recent SECI bid for 5MW project indicates that the sector is maturing.The current year has seen a dramatic slowdown in the commissioning of new wind capacity."However, these are minor blips on a path with a clear, upward trajectory. We are very confident about the long-term prospects of the Indian renewable power sector," he said.Kailas will be speaking at Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at a session titled 'Getting on the Grid' which will focus on providing energy solutions to communities living off the grid. 

  • Shopmatic, Godaddy announce strategic alliance for seamless connect

    28.11.2017 |   Singapore-based e-commerce company Shopmatic on Tuesday announced its strategic partnership with GoDaddy to enable customers to seamlessly connect their domain name to Shopmatic's webstore offering to build a global online presenceDedicated to small, independent ventures, Shopmatic customers now be able to view and purchase .net and .org domain names from GoDaddy.GoDaddy's mission is to give customers the online tools, insights, and support to transform their ideas and personal initiatives into success.It helps small businesses and entrepreneurs reach customers around the world by giving them an easy, affordable way to get their ventures online.This partnership will allow Shopmatic merchants to secure a desired domain name from GoDaddy, as well as the ability to easily direct customers to an existing website, blog, marketplace or any social media profile with a single click."As a global e-commerce company, our primary focus is to offer an online platform for merchants and individual business owners which helps them in reaching out to a bigger audience and accelerates their business. This partnership with GoDaddy will empower our growing user base further with the right tools in building a distinctive presence online," said CEO Shopmatic, Anurag Avula.Adding to this Avula said, "Shopmatic customers will continue enjoying the benefits of being enlisted on our platform on the back of an ecosystem that fosters their business growth. GoDaddy domain customers can seamlessly connect to Shopmatic to leverage the penetration and popularity of our platform for access to millions of customers across the country.""Our strategic partnership with Shopmatic will provide merchants with a unique online address befitting their brand, thereby increasing their visibility with their customers," said vice president and managing director GoDaddy India, Nikhil Arora.Earlier, Shopmatic also signed deals with global online payments giant PayPal and domestic payments solution provider Citrus Pay (PayU) to enable its merchants to expand their sales across the globe.On the logistics front, Shopmatic has made strategic partnerships with local and global logistics players like Delhivery and Aramex. These tie-ups have been instrumental in helping individual entrepreneurs manage everything that is required to let their business grow. 

  • Lenovo tops Indian tablet market with 94% growth

    28.11.2017 | While the Indian tablet PC market recorded a 4 per cent decline (Year-on-Year) in the third quarter this year, Lenovo captured 20.3 per cent share to lead the segment, witnessing 94 per cent growth over the previous quarter, market research firm CMR said on Monday.Acer grabbed the second spot with 16 per cent market share in terms of unit shipments. "Over a period of time, tablet PCs are finding improved adoption in corporate as well as government segment. Education was the key segment for B2B sales and the key driving force behind the growth in 3Q 2017," Narinder Kumar, Lead Analyst, CMR, said in a statement. Lenovo's growth was attributed to its plan of distribution of its tablets towards "NAMO E-Tab Tablet Sahay Yojana" in August. The company's tablet model "Tab3" 7-inch was the highest contributor with 13 per cent market share in overall tablet market in terms of unit shipments. According to CMR's India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, 0.94 million tablets were shipped in India, recording 38 per cent growth over the previous quarter.  

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  • Twitter is part of net neutrality problem, says FCC's Ajit Pai
    Twitter is part of net neutrality problem, says FCC's Ajit Pai

    29.11.2017 |Following a letter in which Twitter along with others had asked US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider its plan to end net neutrality, the agency's Indian-origin Chairman Ajit Pai has dubbed the micro-blogging site as a "part of the problem".During an event hosted by the "free market think tank" R Street Institute and the "liberty"-focused Lincoln Network, Pai threw Twitter and other online services under the bus to show that it is not just broadband providers that can exert control over Internet content, Tech Crunch reported late on Tuesday."When it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem. The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate," "Twitter blocked Representative Marsha Blackburn from advertising her Senate campaign launch video because it featured a pro-life message. Before that, during the so-called Day of Action, Twitter warned users that a link to a statement by one company on the topic of Internet regulation 'may be unsafe'," he added."And to say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users' accounts as opposed to those of liberal users. This conduct is many things, but it isn't fighting for an open Internet," he noted.On Monday, over 200 businesses asked FCC to reconsider its plan to end net neutrality after the agency announced voting to rollback rules adopted in 2015 that require internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally.As per current net neutrality rules, all businesses are allowed to compete equally. But without those rules, online businesses may be stymied by internet providers that prioritise their own interests, the companies said.The FCC will vote on the proposal, known as Restoring Internet Freedom Order, at its December 14 open meeting.Pai highlighted two downsides to the present rules -- decrease in investment and stifle innovation.Pai last week had said that the so-called net neutrality rules "imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations" upon the internet that have "depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks".On content, he said that recent experience shows that so-called edge providers are deciding what content consumers see. These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they do not like."In this way, edge providers are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint So let'ss be clear," he said."They might cloak their advocacy in the public interest, but the real interest of these Internet giants is in using the regulatory process to cement their dominance in the Internet economy," he added.

  • Mytrah Energy to add 500-1,000 MW annually
    Mytrah Energy to add 500-1,000 MW annually

    29.11.2017 |Renewable energy company Mytrah plans to add 500 MW to 1,000 MW every year of wind and solar power, a top company official said.Mytrah's current portfolio of 2,000 MW should be fully operational within the next few quarters, Vikram Kailas, Chief Executive Officer of Mytrah Energy ."The exact amount of capacity we sign up for will depend on the kind of opportunities that present themselves. We have always believed that each project that we take up should be independently viable. We will continue to use the same yardstick going forward even if this results in lower capacity addition in a given year," he said.The firm, listed on the AIM of London Stock Exchange, has 1,500 MW of projects in wind and 500 MW in solar. The company had forayed into solar about two years.The company will remain equally focussed on wind and solar energy."We may end up doing more wind projects in one year and more solar projects in another depending on where the opportunities present themselves," he said.He believes the Indian renewable power sector is going through an interesting phase."The sector has seen a dramatic fall in prices over the last few years culminating in the sub-Rs 3 tariffs in auctions held a few months ago. This meant that the industry had reached a stage where tariff for renewable power was clearly lower than for power produced from coal, gas and other conventional sources," said Vikram.He is of the view that recent SECI bid for 5MW project indicates that the sector is maturing.The current year has seen a dramatic slowdown in the commissioning of new wind capacity."However, these are minor blips on a path with a clear, upward trajectory. We are very confident about the long-term prospects of the Indian renewable power sector," he said.Kailas will be speaking at Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at a session titled 'Getting on the Grid' which will focus on providing energy solutions to communities living off the grid. 

  • Shopmatic, Godaddy announce strategic alliance for seamless connect
    Shopmatic, Godaddy announce strategic alliance for seamless connect

    28.11.2017 |  Singapore-based e-commerce company Shopmatic on Tuesday announced its strategic partnership with GoDaddy to enable customers to seamlessly connect their domain name to Shopmatic's webstore offering to build a global online presenceDedicated to small, independent ventures, Shopmatic customers now be able to view and purchase .net and .org domain names from GoDaddy.GoDaddy's mission is to give customers the online tools, insights, and support to transform their ideas and personal initiatives into success.It helps small businesses and entrepreneurs reach customers around the world by giving them an easy, affordable way to get their ventures online.This partnership will allow Shopmatic merchants to secure a desired domain name from GoDaddy, as well as the ability to easily direct customers to an existing website, blog, marketplace or any social media profile with a single click."As a global e-commerce company, our primary focus is to offer an online platform for merchants and individual business owners which helps them in reaching out to a bigger audience and accelerates their business. This partnership with GoDaddy will empower our growing user base further with the right tools in building a distinctive presence online," said CEO Shopmatic, Anurag Avula.Adding to this Avula said, "Shopmatic customers will continue enjoying the benefits of being enlisted on our platform on the back of an ecosystem that fosters their business growth. GoDaddy domain customers can seamlessly connect to Shopmatic to leverage the penetration and popularity of our platform for access to millions of customers across the country.""Our strategic partnership with Shopmatic will provide merchants with a unique online address befitting their brand, thereby increasing their visibility with their customers," said vice president and managing director GoDaddy India, Nikhil Arora.Earlier, Shopmatic also signed deals with global online payments giant PayPal and domestic payments solution provider Citrus Pay (PayU) to enable its merchants to expand their sales across the globe.On the logistics front, Shopmatic has made strategic partnerships with local and global logistics players like Delhivery and Aramex. These tie-ups have been instrumental in helping individual entrepreneurs manage everything that is required to let their business grow. 

  • Lenovo tops Indian tablet market with 94% growth
    Lenovo tops Indian tablet market with 94% growth

    28.11.2017 |While the Indian tablet PC market recorded a 4 per cent decline (Year-on-Year) in the third quarter this year, Lenovo captured 20.3 per cent share to lead the segment, witnessing 94 per cent growth over the previous quarter, market research firm CMR said on Monday.Acer grabbed the second spot with 16 per cent market share in terms of unit shipments. "Over a period of time, tablet PCs are finding improved adoption in corporate as well as government segment. Education was the key segment for B2B sales and the key driving force behind the growth in 3Q 2017," Narinder Kumar, Lead Analyst, CMR, said in a statement. Lenovo's growth was attributed to its plan of distribution of its tablets towards "NAMO E-Tab Tablet Sahay Yojana" in August. The company's tablet model "Tab3" 7-inch was the highest contributor with 13 per cent market share in overall tablet market in terms of unit shipments. According to CMR's India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, 0.94 million tablets were shipped in India, recording 38 per cent growth over the previous quarter.  

  • Indices maintain upward trajectory, gain for 8th consecutive session
    Indices maintain upward trajectory, gain for 8th consecutive session

    27.11.2017 |.Continuing with their upward trajectory, the key indices of the Indian equity markets -- the S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 -- gained for the eighth straight session on Monday.According to market observers, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, consumer durables and capital goods stocks.The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed (at 3.30 p.m.) gained 9.85 points or 0.09 per cent at 10,399.55 points.The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,640.51 points, provisionally closed at 33,724.44 points -- up 45.20 points or 0.13 per cent -- from its previous close.The Sensex touched a high of 33,745.17 points and a low of 33,540.46 during the intra-day trade.The BSE market breadth was tilted towards bulls -- 1,559 advances and 1,132 declines.

  • RIL sells stake in US Marcellus shale assets to BKV Chelsea for $126 mn
    RIL sells stake in US Marcellus shale assets to BKV Chelsea for $126 mn

    24.11.2017 |Reliance Industries (RIL) on Friday announced that a subsidiary of its Reliance Holding USA has closed the sale of its upstream Marcellus shale assets in America to BKV Chelsea for $126 million.The Mukesh Ambani-led RIL said that Reliance Marcellus II has sold its interest in the shale gas assets in northeastern and central Pennsylvania state in the US to BKV Chelsea, an oil and gas affiliate of American investment firm Kalnin Ventures. The sale transaction of the assets, currently operated by Carrizo Oil and Gas, closed on November 21, an RIL statement said here.In a transaction announced last month, "Reliance agreed to sell its entire working interest in these upstream assets to BKV Chelsea for purchase consideration of $126 million with an effective date of April 1, 2017," it said."Additionally, under the definitive documents, a contingent amount of up to $11.25 million may be paid to Reliance between years 2018 to 2020 based on certain gas price thresholds being achieved," it added.RIL had bought a 60 per cent stake in the assets for $392 million in 2010. Its operator, the Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas has also exited from the investment, Reliance had said.In 2010, RIL invested in the US shale gas business, which began incurring losses owing to the extended global crude oil price slump. Prior to making a recovery this year, oil prices had earlier fallen by more than 50 per cent in less than two years due to a supply glut, from levels of over $120 a barrel.In fact, the 13-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel is due to meet on November 30 to consider extending production cuts introduced since the start of this year in a bid to lower global inventories and support prices.  

  • JAM trinity helped government save $10 bn leak: Modi
    JAM trinity helped government save $10 bn leak: Modi

    23.11.2017 |Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it must be ensured that digital space doesn't become a playground for forces of terror and radicalization and that the Jan Dhan Yojna, Aadhaar and Mobile trinity (JAM) had helped the government save $10 billion in leakages."The quest for an open and accessible Internet often leads to vulnerability. Stories of hacking and defacement of web sites are the tip of an iceberg. They suggest that cyber attacks are a significant threat, especially in the democratic world," Modi told the inaugural session of the fifth edition of the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS)."Three factors -- financial inclusion through our Jan-Dhan bank accounts; the Aadhaar platform; and the Mobile phone -- have greatly helped reduce corruption. We need to ensure that vulnerable sections of our society do not fall prey to the evil designs of cyber criminals. Alertness towards cyber-security concerns should become a way of life," he said.Modi said the JAM trinity had also helped bring in transparency. "We call this the J.A.M. or JAM trinity. Through better targeting of subsidies, the JAM trinity has prevented leakages to the tune of nearly $10 billion so far." Modi said that one of the major focus areas should be the training of well-equipped and capable professionals to counter cyber threats."The term 'hacking' may have acquired an exciting, even if dubious, overtone. We need to ensure that cyber protection becomes an attractive and viable career option for the youth."On a related note, nations must also take responsibility to ensure that the digital space does not become a playground for the dark forces of terrorism and radicalization. Information sharing and coordination among security agencies is essential to counter the ever-changing threat landscape."He said countries can strike a fine balance between privacy and openness on the one hand and national security on the other.The theme of the two-day GCCS conference is "Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development".Modi said digital technology had emerged as a great enabler. It had paved the way for efficient service delivery and governance. It was improving access in domains from education to health. It was also helping to shape the future of business and economy. "Through each of these ways, it provides the less privileged sections a more level playing field. On a macro-scale it has contributed to the emergence of a flat world where a developing nation like India can compete on a level footing with developed nations."Saying Internet had provided 'ease of living' to Indians, Modi added: "Empowerment through digital access is an objective the government is especially committed to. We believe in mobile power or M-power to empower our citizens."Modi on Thursday launched the Unified Mobile Application For New-age Governance (UMANG) Mobile App, which will provide over a hundred citizen-centric services.Incepted in 2011 in London, the second GCCS was held in 2012 in Budapest. The third and fourth GCCS were held in 2013 in Seoul and in 2015 in The Hague respectively.The current meet has drawn over 10,000 delegates. There will also be virtual participation from over 2,800 locations globally.

  • Samsung second largest smartphone brand in UK market
    Samsung second largest smartphone brand in UK market

    23.11.2017 |While Apple led the UK smartphone market with just over 34 per cent market share despite sales declining sequentially, Samsung has become the second largest brand, slightly behind Apple. According to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse service, the UK smartphones sales remained flat annually in the third quarter this year, while the overall handset market (including feature phones) declined by 8 per cent (year on year).“The Chinese giant Huawei was the third largest brand, with consistent double-digit market share, leveraging a diverse portfolio across all price-tiers, but still some distance behind Samsung and Apple that represent something approaching a virtual duopoly,” said Parv Sharma, Research Associate at Counterpoint Research.Top five brands account for almost 80 per cent of the smartphone sales in the UK in the third quarter. “Like we see in the US market, Apple and Samsung together control more than two thirds of the UK smartphone market in sales volumes and more than 80 per cent in sales value,” Sharma added.The Apple iPhone 7 was the bestselling smartphone and contributed to 15 per cent of the total smartphones sold in Q3. “Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were second and third. Samsung also has a strong range across all price bands and it, together with Huawei, provided a strong volume platform that was resilient to attack from most other brands,” said Research Director Peter Richardson.

  • Suspects detained in German Christmas market terror plot
    Suspects detained in German Christmas market terror plot

    22.11.2017 |A possible terror plot on a Christmas market in Germany was uncovered Tuesday after six Syrian nationals were detained in raids by police,The men were detained following large-scale raids in four cities involving approximately 500 officers on Tuesday morning led by the Hessian State Criminal Police and the Attorney General of Frankfurt, a joint statement by the two agencies said. The men were targets of an investigation "into suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization and for preparation of terror attack," the statement said.According to police, the six Syrian nationals had applied for asylum and are suspected of being ISIS members. An attack "had not been fully planned yet" according to the statement, but the suspects are believed to have been planning to carry out attacks with "weapons or bombs on a public target in Germany."A German intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN the suspects had been doing target reconnaissance of the areas in which Christmas markets in Essen, Germany, would be held. They'd also surveilled buildings in Berlin, the official said.Last year, a dozen people died and about 50 more were injured when a tractor trailer barreled into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin. The suspect had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a video posted hours before the attack. He later died after a shootout with police in Italy.

  • Will phase out diesel locomotive in five years: Goyal
    Will phase out diesel locomotive in five years: Goyal

    21.11.2017 |Coal and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the Indian Railways will completely phase out diesel locomotives in the next five years and will switch to electric locomotives with the focus on increasing speed."We have planned to switch all trains to be electric-driven in the next five years," Goyal said, addressing the National Executive Council members of FICCI here. By phasing out diesel locomotives, the Railways will save about Rs 11,500 crore annually, he said. "The diesel locomotives will be used for back up purposes in the yards." Stressing on the safety of passengers, the Railways Minister also said that he has directed the railway officials to speed up the production of the Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) coaches instead of relying on the Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) coaches. "We are promoting LHB type coaches as they are more safer as compared to the ICF coaches," he said, adding that June 2018 will be the last month for the ICF coaches to be manufactured. "I have also asked the rail coach factories to develop the LHB coaches and also asked the Rae Bareli coach factory to double up its production, as it currently has the capacity to build 1,000 coaches annually." Goyal said that he had also spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to allot 200 acres more land for the expansion of the Rae Bareli coach factory. He also defined his tenure in the last 77 days as the Railways Minister as a "good learning experience". "I got a chance to take a number of policy decisions here." He said he has taken upward 600 policy decisions on policy matters of the Railways "For safety of passengers also we have approved 372 escalators in Mumbai suburban alone and we will have close to 3,000 escalators being set up in the Railways across the country," Goyal said. He assured the industry that there is no fund shortage for safety-related items in the Railways.

  • We'll set up more manufacturing units in India: Xiaomi
    We'll set up more manufacturing units in India: Xiaomi

    21.11.2017 | After sharing the top slot for the first time with South Korean tech giant Samsung in the Indian smartphone market, Xiaomi on Tuesday said it is geared up to take "Make in India" to the next level by setting up more manufacturing units across the country from next year. "We as a company are 100 per cent committed to 'Make in India'. This is something we started thinking in the begining of this year, that can we extend the same programme to other categories (of products) also," Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India told The company announced its third manufacturing plant in the country based out of Noida and the first facility for power banks in partnership with Hipad Technology. "This is the first non-phone category where we are extending 'Make in India' but we will be happy to extend it to other categories also as and when we reach a certain volume threshold," Jain added. The Chinese smartphone maker also announced two power banks -- a 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i and a 20,000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i -- that will be manufactured at the Noida facility. Spread across 2.3 lakh square feet, the Noida unit is a dedicated facility for Xiaomi power banks where Mi Power Bank 2i will be assembled. 

  • GST effect: Apparel exporters losing competitiveness by 9%
    GST effect: Apparel exporters losing competitiveness by 9%

    21.11.2017 |Apparel exporters are losing competitiveness by around 9 per cent in export markets after the implementation of GST and want a higher reimbursement of central and state levies to stall the continuing decline in exports."Post GST, there is an erosion of competitiveness by around 9 per cent for garment exports. Although we have a GST refund now, there was no vat (value added tax) on our materials earlier," Apparel Export Promotion Council's export promotion committee Chairman Anil Buchasia told "The export promotion benefits that we used to get were to the tune of 11.93 per cent in pre-GST regime while the same now stands at 3 per cent."The demand for a higher reimbursement of central and state levies has come after a 39 per cent decline of apparel exports for October. For July-October, there has been a drastic fall of 5.94 per cent in overall exports of apparels from India, he said. The decline was mainly on account of sharp reductions in the effective drawbacks and rebate on state levies, he added.Under drawback, exporters get the reimbursement of duties they have paid on the imported items used in the finished goods.Buchasia said the drawback mechanism, prior to Goods and Services Tax, reimbursed both the customs duties and domestic taxes like central excise and service tax. But after GST, the drawback rates are now only reimbursing the customs duties. For other duties, the argument is that those would be available as part of the credit chain."We have suggested an alternative mechanism for reimbursements of central and state levies. We have also urged the government that in addition to the GST credit, the various blocked and embedded taxes should be refunded at the earliest," Buchasia said.According to him, the industry was "not in a position to bear further losses" and in the absence of policy incentives the sector would be "forced to shed jobs".

  • NSE's IISL launches SME Emerge index as 100th firm lists on Emerge platform
    NSE's IISL launches SME Emerge index as 100th firm lists on Emerge platform

    20.11.2017 |The India Index Services & Products Limited (IISL), an NSE group company, on Monday launched the Nifty SME EMERGE Index that represents 62 per cent of full market capitalisation of all SMEs listed on NSE's SME platform.The announcement has been made on the day of ANI Integrated ServicesBSE -1.19 % Limited becoming the 100th firm to list on the EMERGE platform. This was the same SME, which received a massive 200 times subscription to its IPO earlier this month. The base date for the new index is set at December 1, 2016 and base value is 1,000. The index constituents are weighted based on free float market capitalisation and the composition will be reconstituted on a quarterly basis, NSE said. Mukesh Agarwal, CEO of IISL, said that the index is a well-diversified basket of SMEs spread across 14 sectors. It has "services, IT and consumer goods as top 3 sectors by weight. Since its inception, the index has given 39 per cent return as on November 15. As the number of SMEs listed on the EMERGE platform increases, we will launch more variants of SME indices to meet the needs of various investors,” said Agarwal. A total of 100 SME companies from various sectors like consumer goods, textiles, pharma, fertilisers, among others, have raised more than Rs 1400 crore of capital on the EMERGE platform, using the equity fund raising mechanism.

  • HP Introduces New Lineup of OMEN Gaming Notebooks in India
    HP Introduces New Lineup of OMEN Gaming Notebooks in India

    20.11.2017 |At a time when online gaming is gaining a foothold in the country, HP on Monday introduced a new line-up of its fastest-growing OMEN gaming notebooks. HP OMEN 15 and OMEN 17 laptops feature the latest "NVIDIA 10 Series GTX" graphics, high-resolution display with optional G-Sync technology and a single-access service panel to upgrade RAM and storage. The OMEN 15 laptop is available for Rs 80,990 while OMEN 17 will cost Rs 159,990. The new OMEN line-up comes with 7th-gen Intel Core Quad Core CPUs to handle intense multi-player games and multi-tasking. The dual-fan cooling system in OMEN laptops brings a multi-heat pipe and multi-exhaust thermal solution to keep the device cool and reduce the risk of throttling during heavy gaming sessions.The devices have Dragon-red backlit keyboard with three backlight options and white backlight. There is also a 26-key rollover anti-ghosting function and separated, full-size arrow keys to help reduce accidental key presses. HP "Audio Boost" technology with a discrete amp brings improved volume.

  • Moody's rating goes against people's mood: Kapil Sibal
    Moody's rating goes against people's mood: Kapil Sibal

    18.11.2017 | Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the upgradation of India's rating by US credit rating agency Moody's was not in sync with the "mood of the people". "Contrast the mood at Moody's with the mood of the people. While you bask under their upgrade worry about livelihood millions have lost," Sibal said in a tweet. "Moody talks about sunshine tomorrow. We are worried about the dark clouds today," he said. US credit rating agency Moody's on Friday upgraded India's sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade of Baa3 after 13 years. Maintaining that the upgrading was based on New Delhi's "wide-ranging programme of economic and institutional reforms", Moody's simultaneously changed the outlook for the country's rating to stable from positive and upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa3.  

  • India's October domestic air passenger traffic up 20%
    India's October domestic air passenger traffic up 20%

    17.11.2017 |Domestic air passenger traffic rose to 104.51 lakh in October -- up 20.52 per cent -- from 86.72 lakh reported for the corresponding month of 2016, official data showed on Friday. The total domestic air passenger traffic had risen by 16.43 per cent to 95.83 lakh in September. Data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) revealed that passenger traffic during the January-October period grew by over 17 per cent. "Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-October 2017 were 954.45 lakh as against 813.70 lakh during the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering a growth of 17.30 per cent," the DGCA said in its monthly domestic traffic report. According to the data, low-cost carrier SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor (PLF) -- a measure of capacity utilisation of the airline -- at 93.7 per cent during October. "This is the 31st month-in-a-row that SpiceJet has flown with load factors in excess of 90 per cent --- a feat unparalleled in global aviation history," said a SpiceJet Spokesperson. SpiceJet was followed by budget passenger carriers GoAir with PLF at 87.6 per cent and IndiGo at 87.3 per cent. "The passenger load factor in the month of October 2017 has shown slightly increasing trend compared to previous month primarily due to the onset of tourist season," the monthly statistical analysis said. The data noted that IndiGo led the industry with 83.9 per cent punctuality rate (on-time performance) at four major airports of Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It was followed by SpiceJet (83.3) and Air India's domestic operations (77.2). The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for October 2017 stood at 0.50 per cent. In addition, the data disclosed that a total of 656 passenger-related complaints were received last month. The data revealed that IndiGo led the industry with the highest market share of 39.5 per cent, followed by Jet Airways (15.2), SpiceJet (13.1), Air India (13.1), and GoAir (8.8). AirAsia India had a market share of 4.3 per cent, followed by Vistara (3.5), JetLite (2) and Trujet (0.4). "The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of Oct 2017 has been around 0.63," the aviation regulator said. "Domestic air passengers for the year have been growing by around 17 per cent year on year. October 2017 has outpaced the annual growth has been about 21 per cent," said Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Co-Founder of ixigo.com. "This is on the back of a higher festive season demand and airlines offering much lower airfares even till the Diwali day. The fares were -- 30 per cent -- lower on most of the routes. Hence with last-minute fares being affordable, more travel plans were fructified." Yatra.com's COO (B2C) Sharat Dhall said: "Continuous capacity expansion by the airlines on popular routes, addition of new sectors and slightly lower fares added to the growth momentum." "We anticipate that Christmas and New Year's bonanza will further accelerate the passenger traffic in the coming month." 

  • Government's good work led to Moody's upgradation: India Inc
    Government's good work led to Moody's upgradation: India Inc

    17.11.2017 |Echoing the government's views, Indian industry said on Friday Moody's sovereign rating upgrade was in sync with the various government reform measures over the last three to four years."Moody's upgrade of India's rating is a reaffirmation of the various reform measures undertaken by the government over the last three to four years and we welcome this move", said FICCI President Pankaj R. Patel. "The ratings upgrade along with the recently reported improvement in India's ease of doing business ranking underline the fact that we are moving in the right direction. India's growth story is more promising than ever and we see a further improvement in confidence level of global investment community. This move will not only give a further push to foreign investment inflows into the country but will also enhance our prospects of borrowing money abroad at better rates," he added. US credit rating agency Moody's on Friday upgraded India's sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade of Baa, while changing the outlook for the country's rating to stable from positive, and said its was based on the Indian government's "wide-ranging programme of economic and institutional reforms". The rating agency simultaneously upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa3. "The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term," a Moody's Investor Service release said. "Government's approach towards reforms has been holistic. The commitment towards assuring a conducive environment for businesses and various measures undertaken for financial and social inclusion are noteworthy," Patel said.  

  • About 70% seats booked under BPO Promotion scheme: Official
    About 70% seats booked under BPO Promotion scheme: Official

    17.11.2017 |Around 70 per cent seats have been booked throughout the country after the fifth round of bidding under the BPO Promotion Scheme, an official said here on Friday. The scheme, launched about one-and-a-half-years ago under the 'Digital India' programme of the government, aims to create employment opportunities and promotion of BPO operations to secure balanced regional growth of Information Technology/IT-Enabled Services industry in the country.With an outlay of Rs 493 crore the scheme has two parts -- India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) and North East BPO Promotion Scheme. "After the fifth round of bidding, around 35,000 seats have been booked out of about 48,000 under the IBPS. Of the 5,000 seats allocated under the North East BPO Promotion Scheme, as many as 2,100 seats have been booked. "Overall, about 70 per cent seats have been booked," Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Additional Director Manjit Nayak said. According to him, STPI relaunched the scheme after tweaking the scheme guideline and it has got a "good response". However, responses have not been satisfactory in some states,he said, adding that in West Bengal, for example, only 200 seats of 3,400 targetted for the state have been booked. Asked about the reasons for muted responses, he said: "The scheme is designed for promoting IT and IT services for smaller towns, say Tier II and Tier III cities. Maybe, people are not willing to migrate to these cities in the state. However, the STPI has been putting in efforts to meet the target." He was speakign on the sidelines of a start-up event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Exports of software and software services from STPI is expected to grow 8-10 per cent this year, he said. 

  • Japanese firms want more foreign workers
    Japanese firms want more foreign workers

    17.11.2017 |A top Japanese industry leader on Friday urged the government to allow more entry of foreign workers to alleviate the growing shortage of labour.The Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Akio Mimura, said the shortage was increasingly serious and causing difficulties in the private sector, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which employ approximately 70 per cent of workers in the country, He highlighted the potential of foreign workers and called on the government to facilitate their access.Japan has a low unemployment rate (2.8 per cent) and is affected by a low workforce supply (100 jobseekers for every 152 job offers), according to official data as of September.Experts warn that the shortage of manpower was threatening Japan's economic growth and the sustainability of its social security system, circumstances aggravated by the country's demographic decline.Sixty per cent of Japanese SMEs were affected by a lack of workers, forcing them to delay or cancel orders or to resort to solutions such as automating their production processes and services, according to a survey by the Chamber of Commerce.Mimura proposed to the government the creation of a panel to study the flexibility of the national immigration regulations and other measures that facilitate the access of foreign workers to the Japanese labour market.In 2016, the number of foreign employees surpassed one million for the first time in Japan, a figure which accounted for 0.65 per cent of the total workforce in the country, according to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Welfare. 

  • Moody's upgrades India's sovereign rating, boosts sentiments
    Moody's upgrades India's sovereign rating, boosts sentiments

    17.11.2017 |In a major boost to economy and investor sentiments, US credit rating agency Moody's on Friday upgraded India's sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade of Baa after 14 long years, a development Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said was "an extremely encouraging" global recognition of the structural reforms in the last three years. Maintaining that the upgrading was based on New Delhi's "wide-ranging programme of economic and institutional reforms", Moody's simultaneously changed the outlook for the country's rating to stable from positive and upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa3. "The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term," a Moody's Investor Service release said. "Moody's believes that the reforms put in place have reduced the risk of a sharp increase in debt, even in potential downside scenarios." The revision of the sovereign rating of India a notch above investment grade also lifted key Indian equity indices to their new intra-day record highs. The two indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- gained over 300 points each. "Those (reforms) implemented to date will advance the government's objective of improving the business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating foreign and domestic investment and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth," the agency said. Moody's lowered India's growth projection for the current fiscal because of the impact of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). "Reforms such as the GST and demonetisation have undermined growth over the near term," the agency said, adding that it expects real GDP growth to moderate to 6.7 per cent in the fiscal year ending in March 2018. However, as disruption fades, assisted by recent government measures to support small industries and exporters on GST, real GDP growth will rise to 7.5 per cent next year, with similarly robust levels of growth from fiscal 2019. According to Moody's, though the high Indian debt burden remains a constraint on the country's credit profile, its longer term growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns. Reacting to the upgrade, Jaitley told reporters: "It is a belated recognition of all the positive steps taken in the last few years. It is a recognition and an endorsement of the process that India has undergone in the last three-four years where a number of structural reforms have placed India on a higher growth trajectory." He said the government had shown fiscal prudence through a series of steps in the last few years like demonetisation, introduction of Aadhaar, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, recapitalization of public sector banks and smooth transition to the GST that have led to better economic situation. Jaitely said: "Smooth transition of GST is universally recognised as a landmark reform in Indian tax structure. All these steps which constituted major reforms are directional in nature. All steps taken in the last few years had a roadmap. "It is extremely encouraging that there is an international recognition... This is not something that is happening in isolation. "For three years we were doing a lot of structural reforms. Even we have moved up 30 places in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business. Now after a long spell of 13 years, India gets rating upgradation," the minister added. The minister said that with the introduction of GST, market barriers had been removed. Also, demonetization had made the country less cash currency oriented and made it more digitised. "Our track record for the last three years speaks for itself and we intend to move on that. We will maintain fiscal prudence," Jaitley added. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, who was at the press meet, said the ratings upgrade was a welcome collateral for government actions.  

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