RBI may cut rate on April 4

MUMBAI: Slowdown in growth impulses is expected to drive the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee to cut interest rates in its maiden policy for FY20 on April 4.

Despite growth in deposits lagging credit growth, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das is expected to announce a 25-basis point reduction in the repo — the rate at which the RBI lends to banks — by 25 basis points.

In addition to anticipating a rate cut, banks are also waiting to see what policy tweaks the RBI announces, along with its monetary policy. In terms of an earlier timeline, banks were to force large corporates to shift to bond markets from April.

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The RBI has already diluted its stance on two main policy issues — the need to link retail loans to an external benchmark from April 1 and the need to adopt Ind AS accounting standards.

“Given the benign inflation trajectory is well within RBI’s target of 4% we are likely to see another 25-bps rate cut on April 4,” said Shanti Ekambram, president, consumer banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank.

She added that consumption has eased and the investment cycle is still slow and the April rate cut is unlikely to be the last for the year. Even after a 25-basis point cut in the repo rate in February, lending rates have hardened as banks looked at ways to increase deposits.
To address liquidity concerns, the RBI undertook a rupee-dollar swap with banks which resulted in nearly Rs 35,000 crore of liquidity being injected into the banking system before the fiscal year-end.

If the RBI cuts the repo rate, the benchmark will be back at 6% as was the case in April 2018. Former RBI governor Urjit Patel had announced two rate hikes — in June 2018 and August 2018 — when rising oil prices threatened to fuel inflation in India.
Goldman Sachs, which had said that the RBI was likely to hold rates, has now revised its view to a rate-cut. Besides cutting its interest rate, the RBI is also expected to take measures to ensure that borrowers get the benefit of rate cuts.

SoftBank’s top executive Alok Sama to leave firm

BENGALURU: Alok Sama, a St Stephen’s College graduate, who has helped SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son steer his biggest deals like the $32-billion purchase of UK’s ARM Holdings and the $59-billion merger of US telcos Sprint and T-Mobile, is leaving the firm after a five-year stint, according to two sources.

The 56-year-old executive, who was also closely involved in SoftBank’s early India investments into online marketplace Snapdeal and ride-hailing major Ola, will continue to be a senior adviser even as he leaves his post of president and CFO of SoftBank International Holdings. “He is likely to take some time off but is looking at different opportunities in investment management and advisory besides areas like distressed assets in India,” said this source, adding that Sama has yet not finalised his future plans.

He will continue to represent SoftBank on the boards of SB Energy, the renewable energy joint venture with Bharti and Foxconn in India besides SoFi, a San Francisco-based online lender.

Sama’s exit is “amicable” and he plans to work with the Japanese telecom and internet major on the potential on future deals, said one of the sources close to SoftBank.
The development comes after SoftBank said last year it was probing the source of “unsubstantiated attacks” against Sama and Nikesh Arora, the expected heir apparent of Son, who left abruptly in June 2016.

TOI had reported in May 2017 that Sama was not going to be a part of the $100-billion Vision Fund launched in late 2016 and headed by Rajeev Misra. Besides working on large M&A deals, Sama was also instrumental in several other large transactions at SoftBank — the $10-billion partial exit from Alibaba, the $8.6-billion sale of Supercell to Tencent, and the restructuring of ownership in Yahoo Japan.

An MBA from Wharton, Sama had spent close to 17 years of his career at Morgan Stanley in various roles, which also included setting up investment banking and capital markets business in India. In 2005, he set up Baer Capital, which launched private equity and a real estate fund in India.

Kotak Bank first lender to charge for UPI use

BENGALURU: Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which has been leading the digital payments push since demonetisation, will no longer be free to use for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions as Kotak Mahindra Bank has become the first lender to charge beyond a monthly limit of 30 transactions from May.

Several other banks have held discussions with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella payments body that manages UPI, to bring fees and cap the number of free monthly P2P transactions from one bank account, said sources.

Kotak Mahindra, in an email notification to some of its account holders, said it will charge Rs 2.50 for every transaction worth Rs 1,000 or less while the same would be Rs 5 for transactions of more than Rs 1,000. This will be applicable across all platforms, including Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay, three players who now control 90% of the transactions.

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A Kotak Mahindra Bank spokesperson defended the move, saying that 95% of its customers do an average of 5-10 UPI transactions per month. A PhonePe spokesperson said the company will not charge users for P2P transactions while Paytm and Google Pay did not immediately offer a comment.

For UPI, which clocked 674 million transactions worth over Rs 1 lakh crore in February, at least 80% of the transactions are P2P as P2M (peer-to-merchants) remains a smaller use-case. Incidentally, many kirana shops or unorganised businesses take payments via UPI from consumers, which are P2P in nature even though the money is going to a shop owner or a small business.

While bigger consumer-focused banks like SBI or HDFC Bank are yet to levy such fees, executives of new-age payments firms said charging P2P transactions goes against the idea of UPI and would have a negative impact on the digital payments ecosystem, driving consumers to opt for cash payments.“If SBI starts charging for UPI, it will have a much bigger impact.

Also, it’s clear banks don’t see much value for them in UPI and their own UPI apps haven’t been a great success. The cost model is such that the remitter bank pays for every P2P transaction. The remitter bank will have to pay money to NPCI, the payments service provider and the bank receiving the money. So it’s a revenue loss for these banks” said a senior executive of a Delhi-based payments player.

Part of these measures is also being seen as curbing misuse of platforms. This comes after NPCI itself imposed a restriction of 10 transactions per-day for P2P transactions from the same account in October last year to curb misuse of the platform by deal-seekers to gain cashbacks and other incentives.

Vijaya and Dena make BoB second largest PSB

MUMBAI: With Dena and Vijaya banks merging into Bank of Baroda (BoB) from April 1, the state-owned institution has consolidated its position as the second-largest public sector lender on all fronts after SBI. The bank now has a balance sheet of over Rs 15 lakh crore, 9,500 branches and 13,400 ATMs.

For corporate borrowers of Dena Bank, the merger comes as a major relief. These customers were earlier finding it difficult to obtain loans as their bank was facing lending restrictions under RBI’s prompt corrective action (PCA). Dena Bank CEO Karnam Sekar is tipped to join Chennai-based Indian Overseas Bank, while R A Sankara Narayanan, CEO, Vijaya Bank, is likely to take charge of Canara Bank in Bengaluru.

Branches of Dena and Vijaya banks, which were both founded by Indian entrepreneurs in the 1930s and nationalised in 1969 and 1980 respectively, will retain their identity for a few months.

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While they will continue to display their erstwhile signage, it will now include a strip which says ‘Now Bank of Baroda’.

BoB, in a statement, said that new branches will get the benefit of its technological prowess in artificial intelligence and analytics to boost cross-selling.

It will also provide forex services to customers of Vijaya and Dena banks. Bank of Baroda CEO P S Jayakumar, whose term was to end in September 2018, had been given an extension to see through the merger.

BoB also promised to maintain the best of the merging banks. “Unique programmes of Vijaya Bank like plantation financing will be available to customers of the other two banks,” said BoB in a statement.

This is the first three-way merger of banks in India. Among PSU banks, while SBI has maintained its leadership for decades, the number two position has moved between banks. PNB, BoB, Bank of India, Canara Bank have all occupied the number two position on various parameters at different points of time. The merger puts BoB in the clear lead. Borrowers of the smaller banks stand to gain as BoB has a lower lending rate, which will apply for all new loans.
Depositors in some categories would also see lower returns on the renewal of their fixed deposits. While IT integration is expected to take several months, account holders will have the advantage of a much wider home bank ATM network. The customers will also continue to use the same account number, IFSC code, and MICR code. They will also continue to use their current chequebooks and ATM cards.

However, in future there is the possibility of branch mergers as there are several instances where branches are close to each other particularly in Gujarat where Bank of Baroda and Dena Bank both have a strong base.

Buyer can’t wait indefinitely for flat: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has upheld orders of a state consumer commission and the national commission to refund payment with interest to a homebuyer for over seven years’ delay in handing over possession of the flat he had booked with a Kolkata-based builder. The court said a buyer cannot be required to wait indefinitely for possession of his house.

“A buyer can be expected to wait for possession for a reasonable period. A period of seven years is beyond what is reasonable. Hence, it would have been manifestly unfair to non-suit the buyer merely on the basis of the first prayer in the relief sought before the state consumer disputes redressal commission,” a bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Hemant Mehta said while hearing a case filed by the builder, Kolkata West International City Pvt Ltd, against the order for refund passed by the state and national consumer commissions.

The SC pronounced the verdict last Monday. Welcoming the order, an umbrella association of home buyers – Fight for RERA tweeted, “Landmark judgment from Hon’ble Supreme Court on refund to buyer from developer. Hope this will set at rest arbitrary orders being passed by RERA authorities denying refunds on their own despite #RERA provision there for refunds.”

In this case, one Devasis Rudra had paid Rs 39.29 lakh in 2006 to the builder and as per the agreement the house was to be handed over by December 31, 2008 and there was a grace period of six months. But the house was not handed over on time.

In 2011, Rudra filed a complaint before state consumer commission seeking possession of the house or refund of the amount he had paid with 12 per cent annual interest. He also sought compensation of Rs 20 lakh. The state commission directed the developer to refund the money with interest at 12 per cent and compensation of Rs 5 lakh. When the builder challenged the order in the National Commission Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), it reduced the compensation amount to Rs 2 lakh while upholding the rest of the state commission’s order.

Giving its verdict on whether the buyer was entitled to seek refund or was barred from doing so, having claimed compensation as the primary relief in the complaint, the bench said, “Even in 2011, when the buyer filed a complaint, he was ready and willing to accept possession. It would be manifestly unreasonable to construe the contract between the parties as requiring the buyer to wait indefinitely for possession.”

While participating in recent RERA workshops organised by the housing ministry, some of the regulators had announced that they were not allowing refund in certain cases to ensure that the projects get completed. They had also pushed for barring home buyers from approaching consumer forums since these entities often pass order for refund and don’t consider the implications on completion of projects.

Searching for the best mattress: How much do you need to spend?

Mattress shopping can be overwhelming. There are air beds, water beds, futons, pillow tops, and then inner spring, smart gel, and memory foam mattresses, to name a few. And there’s just as much variety in price.

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A quick scroll through Amazon.ca reveals a number of spartan-looking pads selling for less than $200. At the high end of the spectrum, though, the sky is the limit. If only a bespoke, luxury mattress hand-crafted and signed by a devoted artisan will do, get ready for price tags in the tens if not hundreds of thousands.

SLEEP, PART 1: Sleep deprived? What missing too much sleep might be doing to your body
SLEEP, PART 2: How to wake up early without hating your alarm clock

But how much do you need to spend to buy your way to some quality Zs?

WATCH: Here’s how sleep works

How mattresses affect your sleep

There’s little question that where you sleep affects your slumber. A mattress that feels too hard may restrict the flow of blood to whatever part of the body you’re resting on. This will cause you to change position so you can relieve the pressure, but that tossing and turning will probably disrupt your sleep.

A mattress that feels too soft, on the other hand, may cause you to wake up with a sore neck or back.

The trouble is, though, there there is no science to determine what’s too hard or too soft for most people.

WATCH: Having a baby? Don’t expect to sleep for at least six years

When it comes to how mattresses affect sleep, “we know nothing,” said Charles Samuels, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary.

There are no clinically valuable studies showing what constitutes a good mattress or what kinds of mattresses suit certain types of people, he added.

READ MORE: How to wake up early without hating your alarm clock

Whatever research is available has been commissioned by companies “for the sole purpose of selling mattresses,” Samuels told Global News.

When patients ask what kind of mattress they should buy, he tells them it’s entirely a personal choice.

“You can’t advise people in general terms about how to pick a mattress,” he said. “Some people can sleep on the floor.”

That said, though, there is no question that finding the mattress that’s right for you is important, Samuels said.

Foam mattresses, for example, tend to retain heat. If you run hot at night, “they can be very uncomfortable,” he added.

It’s also well-known that inner spring mattresses tend to transmit more vibration across the mattress. If you’re sharing your bed with a partner who tosses and turns or wakes up much earlier that you, you might want to opt for a different kind of pad.

WATCH: Charles Samuels discusses the importance of sleep for our health

Are more expensive mattresses better?

While doctors remain agnostic about mattresses, U.S.-based Consumer Reports (CR) has conducted its own independent testing — and ranking — for hundreds of them.

CR has come up with its own methodology, which involves measuring things like whether a mattress maintains the natural curvature of the subjects’ spine and whether it provides even pressure on both sides of the body for back sleepers. The durability test involves a medieval-torture style treatment, whereby a machine pushes and pulls a 308-pound wood roller across the mattress 30,000 times. A good mattress, CR says, will show no sign of damage, sagging or change in support even after that kind of maltreatment.

CR ranks the mattresses based on those specific traits rather than overall quality and comfort, which it says are entirely subjective and affected by factors such as body type and sleeping position.

READ MORE: Sleeping in on weekends can help you live longer, study finds

Still, how do mattresses with price tags well into the thousands of dollars stand up to the testing compared to those that cost just a few hundred bucks?

According to Haniya Rae, associate content manager at CR, there’s little correlation between price and quality.

“Some of the best-ranking mattresses in our ratings cost around [U.S.] $1,500 [C$2,014]. Some of the worst-ranking mattresses also cost around $1,500.” she told Global News via email.

And most mattresses in CR’s durability testing hold up to 8-10 years of simulated usage, regardless of price, she added.

WATCH: The best way to wake up, according to science

Tips for buying a mattress

Try it out

Since your own comfort is the only metric that matters when buying a mattress, make sure you put your new pad to the test.

“We recommend that consumers try out a mattress in store for at least 15 minutes before deciding,” Rae said.

In general, she added, the longer you’re able to try a mattress, the lower the chance you’ll regret your purchase. CR also advises changing positions while you’re lying down because, even if you always fall asleep one way, you’re likely to move during the night.

If you’re buying a mattress from an online direct-to-consumer company like Canada’s Endy Sleep or New York-based Casper, you usually get a generous trial period of around 100 nights. The mattress is shipped to your doorstep in a box, but if you don’t like what you feel, both companies say they’ll send someone to pick it up for free and provide a full refund.

Still, you should make sure to hang on to your old mattress until you’ve made up your mind, Rae advised.

“Some bed-in-a-box companies might specify that you have to keep the mattress at least a month, but return it before [the trial period] is up, making it hard for some to keep their original mattress around long enough to decide if they like the new one or not,” she added.

Both Endy and Casper, though, told Global News that their customers are free to return their mattresses at any point during the 100 days.

READ MORE: Why a regular bedtime is good for your health

Read the fine print

In general, it’s a good idea to read the fine print on returns and refunds — whether you’re buying in store or online.

Look for whether the retailer or manufacturer is going to pick up and haul away your old mattress and whether you’ll get a full refund for returns or will be charged a re-delivery or restocking fee, she said.

WATCH: Good sleep leads to a healthier heart

Understand your warranty

Most mattresses have warranties that range from 10 to 25 years and cover only manufacturing defects, according to CR. And watch out for warranties that don’t offer full coverage unless you also buy a box spring of the same brand.

Also, if you decide to remove your mattress tag, make sure to keep it, as the information on it will serve to identify your pad if you have a warranty claim, according to the Better Sleep Council, the consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association.

WATCH: Excessive sleep, lack of sleep can lead to cognitive impairment, study finds

Check your new mattress

On delivery day, make sure to inspect your mattress from top to bottom. You may want to take photos and call customer service immediately if you notice dirt, strains or other damage, CR advises.

India’s oldest jeans company is weaving a new business

Blue jeans have been synonymous with Arvind Ltd for more than three decades. After all, the 88-year-old Ahmedabad-based textile company was the first to manufacture the indigo-dyed blue denim cloth in the country.
Sanjay Lalbhai, 62, now chairman of Arvind, recalls how the first lot of indigo-dyed denim, made by Arvind sometime between late 1985 and 1986, was technically not denim at all. A thick white cotton twill was printed indigo-blue using a saree-printing machine and then tested to see if it washed like denim.

Lalbhai explains that for a fabric to be considered authentic blue denim, the warp or the longitudinal yarn in the fabric has to be dyed with indigo before the weaving. The transverse thread, or the weft, must be white. The afterwash look of the fabric is the key.

By 1986, the Arvind top brass had been mulling over denim options for two years. That journey had started a few years earlier when former adman-turned-entrepreneur Rajiv Badlani set up the Flying Machine jeans brand in 1980. Badlani, who had married into the Lalbhai family, was importing denim to make Flying Machine as suitable material was not available in India. He wanted Arvind to make denim in India. Arvind, on its part, was looking for a product to take on the competition in textiles, which was becoming more and more commoditised.

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The company, then called Arvind Mills, acquired Flying Machine in 1984. But the equipment needed to make authentic denim required big investments and no one was sure it would work. Therefore, the first “India-made denim” came out of a saree-printing machine, and went on to become Flying Machine jeans. The brand’s success led Arvind to invest in the technology required to make denim in 1986 and set up India’s first denim manufacturing plant, at Naroda Road in Ahmedabad.

By March 1987, Arvind Mills was producing authentic denim. Since then, the Naroda factory has seen many innovations in fabric weaving and dyeing — for instance, the use of a rota-spray machine for space dyeing hand woven ikkat. However, Arvind’s most advanced weaving unit today is in Gandhinagar’s Kalol, about 23 km from Naroda.

Set up in 2011 with German company PD Composites, the joint venture weaves glass fibre into technical textiles. Glass fibre textiles are used to make factory-wear, auto-interiors and windmill blades, as well as structural pieces that can be used to make ladders or even bridges. The two units look vastly different. While the one in Kalol is clean and modern, the one in Naroda is a typical old textile mill. White, the colour of glass fibre, dominates the new factory, whereas indigo dye dominates the fabric and walls at the Naroda unit.

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If denim was Arvind’s big bet in the 1980s, technical textiles are one of its bigger bets now, along with other businesses such as water and wastewater treatment as well as garment production for international players. These could be the future of Arvind Ltd, which completed a three-way division of the company in November 2018.

The branded retail play (which includes Arrow, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger and Flying Machine) is Arvind Fashions Ltd and the much smaller engineering arm has been hived off as Anup Engineering. More than 60% of the value of the original company has now moved to the branded retail arm.

Arvind Ltd now wants to use the textile business to fund newer businesses. But the key trick will be to ensure there is a balance between older businesses that provide a higher return on capital and the newer ones that need investments to ensure minority shareholders get their due.

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Lalbhai says: “The demerger was logical. Shareholders had invested in Arvind because they wanted to be invested in one of the different businesses. A collection of mature businesses did not make sense, either for shareholders or for analysts. The demerger was aimed at unlocking value.”

When other businesses mature, he says, they can also be spun off, just like the brands business. The importance of branding is not lost on the Lalbhais, the descendants of royal jewellers of the Mughal era. Their family surname was Sheth. However, in the 1960s, they decided to use Lalbhai as the surname after Lalbhai Dalpatbhai — the great-grandfather of Sanjay Lalbhai who set up the Saraspur Manufacturing Company in 1897 to produce cotton yarns, thus starting the Arvind legacy.

In an interview with ET Magazine, Lalbhai says he dropped Sheth from his name while in school. But he signs his name as Sanjay Shrenik, using his own father’s name as the second name. “My father would also sign as Shrenik Kasturbhai, using only my grandfather’s name.” But his sons Kulin and Punit use Lalbhai in their signatures.

The demerger of surnames aside, a question everyone is asking is if splitting the company had something to do with a succession plan for Kulin and Punit, both in their thirties. There is already a certain visible division of work between the brothers. Punit Lalbhai deals with advanced materials and new businesses such as water, while Kulin Lalbhai focuses more on Arvind’s branded business as well as the corporate functions. Father Sanjay says the trinity operates the arms of the companies together. He stresses that there is no “artificial division” in the business.

“There are certain areas that Kulin and Punit work on, four or five areas each. But there are also functions that cut across companies. As a group we have always believed in letting professionals run the business. Not just now, but from my grandfather’s time. We come in when the promoter’s intervention can be useful and effective,” the senior Lalbhai says.

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The Lalbhais classify their businesses into three categories: mature businesses like textiles (denim, wovens, voiles); garments business or ones that promise great value creation like brands and engineering; and finally water, glass fibre textiles and Arvind Internet, the digital business that helps offline retailers migrate to omnichannel retailing.

In the new avatar of Arvind Ltd, the textiles business brings in 80% of the group’s operating profits. Lalbhai says many parts of the business, like denim for example, have fully depreciated machinery and a virtually negative working capital — as they also buy material on credit. It is going asset-lite by tying up with third parties for basic weaving and dying, instead of replacing older machines. Therefore, with little capital (equity+debt) at play, this business has a very high return on capital employed.

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With textiles, Lalbhai is keen to ramp up the garment production business of Arvind, which has a labour-intensive model. The company is trying out a new model at its garment making units in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi and in Bavla in Gujarat by providing dormitories for women, especially from tribal regions. The workers are also imparted skill training or college education, and are expected to complete the training in four years.

There are aggressive plans to increase the workforce in Bavla to 12,000 from 1,500 and in Ranchi to 7,500 from 2,000. The plan is to have more than 80% women employees in both locations. The company also benefits from the payroll incentives of these state governments.

While these centres build capacity, Arvind is also offering global garment brands solutions such as fabric research and development and production, among others. It has already invested in a unit in Ethiopia to make the most of the tax advantagefrom there to Europe. An example of the research and development work is the rapid action chinos — trousers that can take the wear and tear of sporting activities — that Arvind developed recently.

Vicksit Mehta, the mustachioed creative director of Arvind, whose team worked on developing the trousers, says sustainability is the key to succeed in the global garment space today and much of the research that happens at Arvind focuses on that.

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Mehta, who dresses in jackets and ties that look anything but formal, has been with the company for 15 years. Under Mehta, the creative arm of Arvind has notched up many wins, working with all top global garment brands. So will the renewed garments play and the newer businesses enthuse the market to invest in Arvind Ltd again?
In a post-demerger report in November, Kashyap Pujara, the head of research at Axis Capital, said: “Investors were mainly playing Arvind for the scale-up of its B2C brands & retail business which requires relatively lower capital intensity (versus textiles) and commands far better valuation multiples (15-20x EBIDTA). Investors viewed the mainstay business, textiles (~80% of consolidated EBIDTA) as strong cash cow which funded the brands & retail scale-up.”
Chairman Lalbhai says the focus should be more on the return on capital employed (ROCE) and less on the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), as the textile business is now moving towards an asset-lite model and, therefore, capital investments would be less. The two businesses that were moved out of Arvind Ltd — Anup Engineering and Arvind Fashions — were listed in early March.
There were initial stutters, as the stock price of Arvind Fashions kept hitting its upper circuit filter every day. The combined market capital has inched up to Rs 8,989 crore on March 29, 11% more than its pre-demerger value in November. Around the time demonetisation was announced in November 2016, the Arvind Ltd scrip had crossed Rs 10,000 crore in market capitalisation — and that should be the first milestone for the combined valuations of the new entities to cross.

India does have huge potential, real question is speed of growth: Indra Nooyi

NEW YORK: India has a huge potential and the real question is the speed of growth and how many roadblocks it is willing to remove, former PepsiCo chairperson Indra Nooyi has said.

Nooyi, in October last year, stepped down as the CEO of the global beverage giant, after 24 years with the company, the last 12 as its CEO.

“The country does have huge potential, talent wise, population, everything, the country has huge potential. The real question is the speed of growth and how many roadblocks are we willing to remove,” Nooyi said responding to a question on India and its growth potential during an interaction hosted by the Consulate General of India in the city on Thursday.

“India has got to do what is right for India. I am not the person to opine on that. India has got to do what is right for India, just as Europe should do what is right for Europe,” she said.

Nooyi was the guest speaker at the ‘New India Lecture’ series, organised by the Consulate under the aegis of consul general Sandeep Chakravorty and in partnership with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

On the various geo-political uncertainties around the world and their impact on the global economic and social sphere, she said there have been many times in the past where there has been geopolitical uncertainty.

“It’s been in different forms but it’s always been there. Big companies just learn to power through.”

Nooyi said she has always said that “when you go into any country, you have got to act as though you are the citizen of that country. You can’t go in there and say everything is going to be done my way. Except the ethics and governance aspect, everything else is local.

“As long as you go into a country and develop a local model and execute it locally, you live within the rules of that country. Don’t compromise your corporate governance principles. You have got to be aware of politics, be sensitive to all the minefields, but don’t play in them, don’t take a voice in them because that is a losing proposition,” she said, adding that if companies have knowledge of what’s going on but they just focus on doing their business, they will be successful.

Nooyi, answering a question on where does she see a balance between online retail and brick and mortar, said “if there is a shake out in retail, I won’t blame it on Amazon. That’s just retail getting efficient. Amazon is just improving the customer experience. Traditional retailer created a lot of friction in the system, and where there is friction, there is Amazon to take out the friction.”

During the fireside interaction, Nooyi said growing up in India, she was surrounded by a tight-knit and multi-generational family and every member of the family stepped into parenting and disciplining the young children.

“That confidence that we all got, growing up, and that incredible sense of responsibility that education was important, listening to the elders was very important and striving to do better and better all the time and being held accountable for that made a profound difference to my life.”

She added that in many ways “I would say that my success today is the result of my childhood, my upbringing and India. All of that has had a profound impact on me.”

Roll-out of new, simplified GST return forms deferred

NEW DELHI: The pilot project envisaged for rolling out simplified monthly GST return forms from April 1 has been deferred and the new forms would be made available once they the notified and the software is ready.

The GST Council had in July last year decided that the simplified GST return forms — Sahaj and Sugam — would be rolled out on a pilot basis from April 1, 2019, while mandatory filing across the country would kick in from July.

In July last year, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had come out with the draft GST returns forms and sought comments from stakeholders.

Under the new return filing format, taxpayers who have no purchases, no output tax liability and no input tax credit in any quarter of the financial year would have to file one ‘Nil’ return for the entire quarter. Facility for filing quarterly return shall also be available by an SMS.

The new return filing format would replace the current requirement of filing final sales return GSTR-1; but as per the plan, summary sales return GSTR-3B would continue for some time.

“The pilot project of new return filing has been deferred. New date would be decided. The forms would be notified first; following which, the pilot would be launched. Systems are being developed for the new forms,” an official said.

Small taxpayers, with turnover of up to Rs 5 crore in the last financial year, can file quarterly return with monthly payment of taxes on self-declaration basis.

The return form ‘Sahaj’ is for businesses which make supplies to only consumers (B2C). It includes details of outward supplies and inward supplies attracting reverse charge as well as summary of inward supplies for claiming input tax credit (ITC).

Also, such B2C businesses will have to show harmonised system nomenclature (HSN)-wise summary of supplies and interest and late fee liability details along with payment of tax and verification. HSN is a code number to specify a particular product.

Besides, businesses making supplies to both businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C) have to file returns form ‘Sugam’. It includes summary of supplies made and tax liability, summary of inward supplies for claiming ITC, along with details of interest due and tax payment.

When goods and services tax (GST) was rolled out from July 1, 2017, a three-stage monthly return filing system was set up — GSTR-1 (sales return), GSTR-2 (purchase return) and GSTR-3 (final returns based on GSTR-1 and 2 matching).

However, with businesses facing trouble, the GST Council decided in November 2017 to keep filing of GSTR-2 and 3 in abeyance. It also introduced a simpler GSTR-3B to facilitate easier return filing and tax payment.

Andrew Scheer to discuss newly imposed carbon tax in New Brunswick Monday 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will be in New Brunswick on Monday, the day a federally imposed price on carbon will go into effect.

READ MORE: N.B. legislature continues to grapple with impending carbon tax

The party says Scheer will be in the southwestern community of St. George Monday afternoon, where he will take questions and discuss the impact the carbon tax will have on the province.

The $20-per-tonne carbon tax is slated to go into effect in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario on April 1, resulting in a significant increase in the price of gasoline.

The carbon price will go up until $50 in 2022.

WATCH: Carbon tax ‘not an environmental plan,’ Scheer says

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Trudeau calls the tax a “price on pollution” and says it will be an incentive for companies to lower emissions, but Scheer has said it’s a “bogus” way to do so.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said in the legislature last week that he intends to continue to fight the carbon tax. Trudeau, who was in southwestern New Brunswick last week, said he “regrets” that the New Brunswick government “doesn’t think that putting a price on pollution is important.”

“It’s the 21st century. We know climate change is real. We know that one of the challenges we have is that pollution has been free. We need to put a price on it,” Trudeau said last week.

READ MORE: Carbon tax to kick in next week — but details for small businesses not yet finalized

Scheer and the Conservatives have committed to doing away with the tax if elected this fall.

With files from The Canadian Press