Two-thirds Indians view entrepreneurship positively

Apr 19, 2016 0

New Delhi–Two-thirds of Indians view entrepreneurship positively, a report by Amway said here on Tuesday.

The India Entrepreneurship Report 2015 by Amway said tangible enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is a good sign to earn a livelihood in India, with nearly two-thirds of the respondents viewing it favourably.

Amway“Kerala (78 percent), Punjab (77 percent) and Uttarakhand (76 percent) were the states with most positive attitude towards entrepreneurship,” the report said.

According to the report, 73 percent believe that anyone can be trained/educated to be an entrepreneur. Nearly 50 percent of respondents are considering to start their own business. About 45 percent of all respondents said that the environment to begin a business in their state has improved over the past five years and 63 percent respondents sighted ‘fear of failure’ as the biggest obstacle in starting one’s own business.

Research partner Nielsen India surveyed 250 households in each of the 21 states across 50 different cities.

One male and one female member in the 21-65 age group were interviewed from each household, taking the total no of respondents to 10,768 individuals.

The report was unveiled by Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

“The contribution of MSME sector (micro, small and medium enterprises) in India, is much less as compared to some of the developed nations. This needs to change. It is critical that there is entrepreneurship led boom at the grassroot level so that India can leverage the demographic dividend to the maximum possible extent,” he said.

“The understanding of motivations, attitudes towards entrepreneurship, offers valuable insight to the policy makers,” he added.

“We are aiming to engage different stakeholders on what drives entrepreneurship in India and contribute to the ongoing discussions on the role of skill development and self-employment in improving employability of the youth,” Anshu Budhraja, chief executive officer, Amway India, said. (IANS)

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India today is key market for global Net giants: Morgan Stanley

Apr 19, 2016 0

New Delhi–India has emerged as a key market for some of the global Net companies even though it is yet to make the cut to the top league in terms of revenue contributions, says a study by Morgan Stanley.

The top investment banker reached the conclusion based on app downloads in India over the past 12 months for the offerings from these global internet giants. The study also says the country has quite a few commonalities with Brazil.

“WhatsApp had 55 million downloads in India in the past 12 months, making it the Number 1 country with a 35-percent market share,” says the study. “WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the largest instant messaging services in India followed by Hike.”

The study says India also ranks among the top three markets in terms of app download for internet companies such as Amazon, Uber, Candy Crush, LinkedIn and Facebook.

“US accounted for the largest share for all these companies. India or Brazil filled in the Number 2 position for each of them,” the study says. “We were surprised by the fact that Twitter ranked 5th in India in terms of app downloads.”

The top three slots for Twitter were taken by the US, Brazil and Japan.

“We believe tracking the Brazilian internet market closely could raise some interesting insights on the Indian market, as both countries seem to have common traits and are in the same growth cycle,” says the study.

But the study finds the monetisation levels to be low in India.

“Interestingly, while India accounted for 13 percent of the app downloads for Candy Crush, it only accounted for 0.2 percent of its revenues. On the other hand, while the US accounted for 14.4 percent of app downloads, it generated 61.4 percent of revenue for Candy Crush.”

India had over one billion subscribers of mobile phone services and 140 million for broadband in both wireless and wireline modes as on January 31 this year. (IANS)

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IAS officer jailed in Noida plot allotment case

Apr 18, 2016 0

Ghaziabad–A CBI court here on Monday sent IAS officer Rajiv Kumar to judicial custody in Dasna jail after he surrendered before the court for abuse of power in a Noida plot allotment scam.

The former deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) and presently in waiting list for new posting, surrendered before the CBI court on Monday. It sent him to jail after taking him into judicial custody.

Kumar, a former principal secretary (appointment) in the personnel department in UP government, surrendered before the court after losing his case in Allahabad High Court.

His accomplice and the then chief executive officer (CEO) of Noida, Neera Yadav, has already surrendered before the same court. She is presently serving a three-year jail term awarded in 2012.

Neera Yadav, who was the chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh and the chief executive officer (CEO) of Noida, along with Rajiv Kumar, the then DCEO of Noida, were convicted by the local CBI court to three-year jail terms.

They were also slapped a financial penalty of Rs.1,00,000 each in two cases pertaining to the illegal allotment of plots during their tenure in Noida in 1994.

CBI special judge S. Lal at Ghaziabad, pronouncing the judgment in the Noida plot allotment scam, said the court found them guilty of abusing their position and, therefore, convicted them to three years’ jail along with a financial penalty of Rs.1,00,000 and Rs.50,000 in two cases.

Both the penalties — jail and the cash fine — were imposed simultaneously on the two accused. The conviction was awarded under section 120(B) of IPC (criminal conspiracy) and section 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant) read with section 13(1)(D) (using corrupt and illegal means) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The accused were granted bail after the pronouncement of the judgment after furnishing personal bonds of Rs.1,00,000 each.

Neera Yadav and Rajiv Kumar were found guilty in a case wherein Kumar allotted a plot No.86/51 and later transferred the allotment to a prime location in sector-14A as plot No.27.

A piece of adjoining land measuring 105 square metres was also clubbed with the plot and allotted to him. The court found Kumar guilty of abusing his position as deputy chief executive officer (DCEO).

The Noida Entrepreneur Association filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court which then ordered the CBI to investigate the case.

Complying with the Supreme Court order, the CBI on February 26, 1998, registered a case against Neera Yadav and others including Deputy CEO Rajiv Kumar.

The CBI filed the chargesheet in October 16, 2002. After a 10-year trial, the court of CBI special judge convicted the UP cadre senior IAS officers in 2012.

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India to consider 14 Foreign Direct Investment proposals in April 29 meeting

Apr 18, 2016 0

New Delhi–The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) will be considering as many as 14 FDI proposals, including that of Axis Bank and Wockhardt, in its next meeting to be held on April 29, a statement said on Monday.

The meeting to be chaired by FIPB chairman and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, will also consider proposals of Aurobindo Pharma, One97 Communications, Macmillan Publishers International and Advanced Enzyme Technologies, amongst others.

The inter-ministerial panel will also take up proposals from Fans Asia, DCNS, Rafique Dawood, Janalakshmi Financial Services, etc, a FIPB notice said.

The FDI proposals, which do not fall under the automatic route, need to take approval from the board.

During April-December 2015, FDI increased by 40 percent to $29.44 billion as compared to $21.04 billion during the same period in 2014.

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India seeks suggestions on foreign tax credit rules revision

Apr 18, 2016 0

New Delhi–The government is seeking to revise the foreign tax credit (FTC) rules with the finance ministry on Monday seeking public opinion on its proposed draft.

“The draft rules for grant of foreign tax credit are uploaded on the website of the Income Tax Department at for comments from stakeholders and general public,” said a finance ministry statement.

A non-refundable tax credit for income taxes paid to a foreign government, the FTC is applicable to anyone who has either worked abroad or has investment income from a foreign source.

According to the proposed draft, the credit for foreign tax shall be available against the amount of tax, surcharge and cess payable under the Income Tax Act but not in respect of any sum payable by way of interest, fee or penalty, while no credit shall be available in respect of any amount of foreign tax which is disputed in any manner by the assessee.

A committee was set up by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to suggest the methodology for grant of foreign tax credit after examining the various issues related to it. The draft rules take into account its report and provisions of the Income Tax Act. (IANS)

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Ola, Uber suspends surge pricing after Kejriwal warning

Apr 18, 2016 0

New Delhi– Online cab service providers Uber and Ola on Monday suspended their surge pricing after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal threatened “strict action” against over-charging cabs.

“Given the threat to the livelihood of our partners, at the expense of reliability, we are temporarily suspending surge with immediate effect,” Uber tweeted.

Uber did not specify if the surge pricing would resume after the second phase of the odd-even traffic scheme ends on April 30.

Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

It also pledged to work with the Delhi government to provide reliable mobility solutions to people in the city, “especially at a time when the citizens need us the most”.

Ola cab services also announced rollback of “peak pricing” in Delhi NCR.

“To make the govenment’s odd-even initiative a success, Ola has temporarily pulled out Peak Pricing in Delhi NCR,” its business head (north) Deep Singh said in a statement.

Kejriwal warned of strict action against online cab aggregators, specially Ola and Uber, over arbitrary surge pricing, a technique used by the cab aggregators to hike the fares owing to higher demand.

The Delhi government on Monday directed the impounding of taxis charging exorbitant fare from the public.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai had said that apart from impounding taxis, they would also seize the licences of the taxi drivers and cancel their permit.

He said the order was applicable to all kinds of cab services including online aggregators as well as private taxis, radio taxis and black-and-yellow taxis.

The demand for taxis has shot up on account of the odd-even traffic scheme that started on April 15 and will run till April 30.

Under the scheme, aimed at battling pollution, diesel and petrol driven private vehicles with odd registration numbers can ply only on odd dates and those with even registration numbers on even dates.

Passengers complained that taxis were over-charging taking advantage of the scheme.

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Vijay Mallya’s passport suspended

Apr 15, 2016 0

New Delhi– The diplomatic passport of beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is currently in Britain, has been suspended with immediately effect for four weeks, the external affairs ministry announced on Friday.

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Time ripe to re-focus on public investment, revive gloal trade: Jaitley

Apr 15, 2016 0

Washington–Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that it was time to sharpen the focus on public investment and work towards reviving global trade.

“We feel that the efficacy of monetary policy instruments has reached its limits and that its pass-through has not been seamless. The time is ripe for a re-evaluation of the fiscal policy space, with a greater focus placed on public investment,” the minister said here.

He was speaking at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting on “Global Economy and Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth”.

“Our individual and collective efforts to restore growth back to pre-crisis levels have met with limited success. The distribution of risks to the global economic outlook continues to remain tilted to the downside and global growth continues to disappoint,” the minister said.

According to the minister, the key downside risks which could derail the fragile global recovery were — weak demand, tighter financial markets, softening trade and volatile capital flows.

He, however, said: “India has consistently recorded the highest growth figures in the world for the last three quarters. We expect this momentum to continue, assuming a normal monsoon.”

The minister also said that in the current year, the G-20 growth strategy would focus on identifying reforms which had the potential to act both as a short-term stimulus and have a positive impact on growth in the long run. The point of difference, however, is regarding the approach to be adopted for formulating the Structural Reform Indicators.

“While some of the members are of the view that a top down approach has to be formulated, India, along with other members, believes that we need a country-led process,” the minister said.

A challenge to keep in mind, Jaitley said, was the importance of ensuring that a balance was maintained between addressing domestic priorities of member countries with the international role that each G20 member had to play.

“Therefore, we should also consider undertaking an analysis of the possible negative spillovers of policy actions. At the moment, the recent use of negative interest rate policies has been identified as an area of concern by members,” the minister said.

Saying that India had always emphasised the need for globally co-ordinated policy decisions as remedy to the global economic turbulence, Jaitley said: “We also appreciate the efforts being undertaken by the Chinese government in rebalancing their economy and in particular in reducing excess capacity in several sectors. This would create necessary space for manufacturing activity in other countries.”

Declines in both imports and exports were recorded in all G20 economies in 2015. “We, therefore, need to articulate an effective and tangible policy response to revive the trade engine of the global economy. Countries must avoid trade protectionist measures, and refrain from competitive devaluations.”

The minister said: “We should also take note of the asymmetry in the global financial safety net. While advanced economies have access to swap lines in order to smooth currency shocks, emerging market economies, which are highly dependent on reserve currencies both for borrowing and for international transactions, do not have recourse to these.”

Global and regional financial safety net and oversight needed to be augmented, including through new financing mechanisms, the minister said. (IANS)

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Gold down sharply after dollar strengthens

Apr 14, 2016 0

Chicago– Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Thursday as the US dollar rose sharply, putting pressure on the precious metal.

The most active gold contract for June delivery fell $21.8, or 1.75 percent, to settle at $1,226.50 per ounce.

Gold_ShotThe precious metal was put under pressure as the US Dollar Index rose sharply, reaching above a 95.1 level during intraday trading but is at 94.82, representing a 0.4 percent gain by 18.25 GMT, Xinhua news agency reported.

The index is a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies.

Gold was put under further pressure as a report released by the US Department of Labor on Thursday showed the weekly jobless claims falling by 13,000 to a 253,000 level during the week ending on April 9. Analysts note that this report was much better than expected and is a sign of strong US employment.

Stronger US equities also put pressure on the precious metal as the US Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 28.93 points, or 0.16 percent, as of 18:30 GMT. Analysts note that when equities post losses, the precious metal usually goes up, as investors are looking for a safe haven, while the opposite is true when the US equities post gains.

The precious metal was prevented from falling further as a report released by the US Department of Commerce on Thursday showed the consumer price index rising by a worse-than-expected 0.1 percent. Analysts note that this is a sign of soft inflation data, but is not necessarily a bad sign for the US economy in the wider sense of things.

Silver for May delivery lost 15.2 cents, or 0.93 percent, to close at $16.173 per ounce. Platinum for July delivery dropped $10.1, or 1.01 percent, to close at $992.90 per ounce. 

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Meet Sanjiv Gupta, man seen as potential buyer of Tata Steel UK

Apr 6, 2016 0

Mumbai– He has emerged as the man to watch out for when Tata Steel initiates the formal process to sell its UK assets. Meet Sanjiv Kumar Gupta, founder of the UK-based Liberty House.

Gupta is the key man British Business Secretary Sajid Javid met in London on Tuesday, just before flying to Mumbai for a meeting with Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry. Gupta, in fact, has already indicated his intention to stop widespread job losses in Tata Steel UK.

Sanjiv Kumar Gupta

Sanjiv Kumar Gupta

“I am pleased to report we had a positive meeting today. UK government appears highly supportive and is proactively engaged in finding a long-term solution,” Gupta is quoted as saying after his meeting with Javid.

“The next step is for Tata (Group) to define the formal sales process and request indications of interest from potential buyers. We await further details on this and then will assess our own next step.”

For the record, Liberty Group has revenues approaching $5 billion, covering steel, raw materials and non-ferrous metals, while employing more than 2,000 people globally. It also produces about 5 million tonnes per annum of steel and steel products.

Gupta is also not new to takeovers.

Ten days ago, Tata Steel UK announced it has reached an accord to sell its Clydebridge and Dalzell steel facilities in Scotland. The deal involved the sale of the two plants to the Government of Scotland, which was to, in turn, sell them on to Liberty House.

Prior to that, Gupta’s group had acquired a 1.5 million tonnes per annum steel plant in Wales that was set up as an integrated producer of steel based on electric arc furnace route with downstream hot rolling mill.

This complex was shut for over two years, before Liberty’s takeover. Now the mill’s operations have commenced and plans are on the anvil to eventually revamp the steel melting shop and grow the rated capacities of the mill — a testimony to Gupta’s turnaround skills.

Liberty’s other investments include medium-sized mills and service centres in markets such as India and Ghana to strategic stakes in large producers, like a 2.5 million tonne per annum mill for steel and value added products.

As per the group’s website, it operates from four financial hubs in London, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong with a network of offices spread across 30 countries around the world.

And “SKG”, as Gupta is called by his peers, comes from a successful business family of Punjab. The 44-year-old left for Britain when he was 12 years old as a resident student at St. Edmunds College, Canterbury, in Kent.

He graduated from the Cambridge in 1995 and was subsequently awarded his Master’s from Trinity College. Since then, he has been trading in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

“From 2000 onward, SKG’s focus has been on growing the trade in steel, metals and raw materials while developing the industrial asset base of the group,” the Liberty website said.

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