IndiGo Pratt engine replacement number shoots up

NEW DELHI: The number of snag-prone Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines that IndiGo needs to change in just over a month has risen from 120 to over 130 now, adding to the woes of the airline. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will now next month decide on giving the airline to more time given the volume of engine replacement.
“Originally, the number of PW engines that required to be replaced on IndiGo Airbus A320 Neos was 120. After intense boroscopic and piston seal examination, the number now will be more than 130,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar said. Any IndiGo A320/321 Neo with an unmodified PW will not be allowed to fly from February 1, 2020, although the regulator may extend the date.

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IndiGo recently said the regulatory requirement to have only modified – and hopefully less snag-prone – PW engines on all its Airbus A320/21 Neos by January 31, 2020, is “likely to have an impact on future capacity”.
Regarding the DGCA directive to have only modified PW engines on all its Neos by January-end, the presentation says, the airline had said it is “in talks with manufacturer (PW) for additional modified engines”. And on the “ground a Neo with unmodified PW engine for each new or leased Neo with modified engines” order, it says: “We are working with manufacturers PW and Airbus to get sufficient spare engines to mitigate the risk,” while admitting the issue is “likely to have an impact on future capacity. Expect a year-on-year capacity increase of 15%-20% in Q4 FY20 and 22-23% in FY20”.

IndiGo is the world’s largest customer of Airbus A320 Neo family of aircraft with 635 of these yet to be delivered at the rate of one plane a week for the next 13-14 years. It currently has almost 250 aircraft in its fleet, including about 100 A320/21 Neos.
After a series of PW engine snags on the A320/21 Neos, the DGCA has asked the airline to have only modified engines on all of the close to 100 Neos in IndiGo’s fleet currently by next month-end. This meant the airline needs to change over 110 engines to keep all those planes flying from February 2020. To enable that, the regulator recently asked the airline to ground a Neo for replacing unmodified engine each time it inducts a new or leased Neo with both modified engines.

Highways sector to see Rs 15 lakh crore investments in 5 years: Gadkari

NEW DELHI: The government’s endeavour for world-class infrastructure will continue unabated with commitment to pump in another Rs 15 lakh crore in the highways sector in this five-year term, says Nitin Gadkari, the man in charge of India’s infrastructure.

Armed with the new Motor Vehicles Act, e-tolling and instruments like InvIT, for Road Transport and Highways minister Gadkari “funds have never been a problem or will be a problem” when it comes to highways or infrastructure building.

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“We have spent Rs 17 lakh crore in the highways and shipping sectors combined in the last five years…Coming five years will see infusion of Rs 15 lakh crore in highways sector alone to provide world-class roads including 22 green expressways,” Gadkari told PTI in an interview here.

The minister said with e-tolling coming into force, the toll income alone will cross Rs 8,000 crore per annum as ever since the FASTag system has been made mandatory at national highways, toll income has seen a jump of Rs 25 crore per day.

A total of 10 million FASTags have been issued till mid-December ever since the government made FASTags mandatory to facilitate digital payments to ensures hassle-free movement across 523 toll plazas. Some relaxation has been given on booths for the time being.

“Ever since the FASTag system has been introduced, it has resulted in increase of Rs 25 crore in toll income per day, which is expected to go up. We expect over Rs 8,000 crore per annum on account of e-tolling,” Gadkari said.

On the agenda for year 2020 is completing the about Rs 12,000-crore Char Dham project for all weather connectivity to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

Besides, he said efforts are on to complete a highway through Uttarakhand for making the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra easy and about 75 per cent of the work has been completed. Currently, the famous pilgrimage place can be reached only through the arduous Lipulekh pass and Nathu La route, opened by China in 2015.

Terming the passage of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 as one of the landmark achievements, Gadkari said its impact will soon be visible with reduction in accidents, which are a cause of major concern.

“There have been encouraging reports that people are following traffic rules.. I am confident in the coming years, there will be huge reduction in accidents,” Gadkari said, adding that there was shortage of 22 lakh drivers pan India and this will be fulfilled by quality training to drivers in driving centres.

Challans worth about Rs 700 crore were issued across the country till November, as per the government.

Nod to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) and monetise national highway projects will prove another milestone in highways development, the minister added.

InvITs are instruments on the pattern of mutual funds and are designed to pool small sums of money from a number of investors to invest in assets that give cash flow over a period of time.

The Cabinet in December authorised NHAI to set up InvIT, which will enable it to monetise completed national highways that have a toll collection track record of at least one year and NHAI reserves the right to levy toll on the identified highway.

It will also facilitate corpus of special institutions to be invested in the infrastructure sector.

“We expect pension and other funds to come forward,” he added.

The minister said roads and highways are the lifeline of the economy, connecting remote and far-flung areas and ensuring efficient transportation on regional as well as pan-India basis and added that development of national highways has a multiplier effect in terms of facilitating trade and enhancing the overall economic development of a region.

On TOT (toll, operate, transfer), he said NHAI has identified more operational national highway stretches under nine more TOT bundles.

So far, the first bundle of TOT projects comprising 10 stretches has been monetised by NHAI. An amount of Rs 9,681.50 crore was generated from the first TOT bundle, while bidding process of TOT bundle 2 was cancelled. Later, NHAI awarded nine project stretches under TOT bundle-3 on November 29 for an amount of Rs 5,011 crore.

Further, the fourth TOT bundle comprising six project stretches has also been invited by NHAI with bid due date of January 14, 2020 with Initial Estimated Concession Value (IECV) of Rs 2,165.77 crore.

The minister said that under Bharatmala, the ministry has identified stretches for development of about 26,200 km length of economic corridors, 8,000 km of inter corridors, 7,500 km of feeder routes, 5,300 km border and international connectivity roads, 4,100 km coastal and port connectivity roads and 1,900 km expressways.

In a big relief to exporters, SBI withdraws e-BRC charges

NEW DELHI: In what can be termed as a major relief to exporters, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to withdraw charges levied on the issuance of Bank Realisation Certificate (e-BRC) for the export of shipments.

Banks charge Rs 1000 as e-BRC fee for every shipment exported from the country. SBI decision to withdraw e-BRC charges came after the intervention of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

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A source from Commerce and Industry Ministry told ANI that,” SBI has informed that e-BRC charge has been reduced to nil for all Export Credit Customer. SBI has further agreed to reverse the charges if wrongly levied by its field formation.”

The issue of high banking charges for the issuance of e-BRC was raised by exporters in the meeting chaired by the Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on December 19.

The exporters said that SBI has raised the charge for issuance of the same to Rs 1000. Thereafter, Commerce and Industry Minister instantly took up the matter with SBI asking them to review the charge as such charges raise the transaction cost of exports making them less competitive.

Talking to ANI Dr Ajay Sahai, DG and CEO Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO) termed it a big relief for exporters.

“SBI has already done it. Taking lead from SBI now we will request other banks to follow it. There are around 1.5 lakh total active exporters and 25 per cent exporters are a client of SBI, so 40,000 exporters will directly benefit by the decision of SBI,” said Sahai.

“This decision has set a trend and we will request other banks to withdraw this charge and reverse the fees paid so far by exporters. e BRC fee was charged by the banks since July 2019. Commerce and Industry Minister has played a very big role for withdrawal of this charge,” he added.

Around 40 representatives from the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) and Export Promotion Councils met with Commerce and Industry Minister on December 19 and raised their voice against e-BRC charged by Bank. Following which, Minister Piyush Goyal spoke to SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar and on the very next day, SBI decided to withdraw and reverse the charges collected so far.

e-BRC was charged on every shipment of exporters. On an average if a exporter is exporting 50 shipment in a year then he has to pay Rs 50,000 for his shipments.

FIEO DG Sahai also said that such a timely intervention by Minister will not only exude confidence among exporters that we can approach the Government for immediate redressal but will also motivate the community to focus on long term target of contributing towards US$ 5 trillion economy.

No possibility of any change in GST slabs, rates until revenue stabilises: Sushil Modi

NEW DELHI: States are not in favour of increasing GST rates at a time when there is a consumption slowdown and it is not the right time to bring down the number of slabs under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Sushil Kumar Modi, deputy chief minister of Bihar and convenor of group of ministers on IGST, said on Saturday.

There is no possibility of any change in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates till the revenue stabilises, Modi said while speaking on the theme ‘India: Roadmap to a $5 trillion economy’ at FICCI’s 92nd Annual Convention here.

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“I want to assure you that not a single state… (and) the union government is ready to raise the tax rates,” he said.

“At a time when the economy is in a slowdown, if you cannot cut the tax rate to boost consumption, do not increase the rates too. At these times you cut the duties and tax rates, and not increase them,” Modi said.

On the chances of any reduction in GST rates, he said, “Till the time GST revenue does not stabilise, we cannot think of decreasing the tax rates. In fact, there is no possibility of any change in slabs and tax rates, hike or cut, in the near future.”

There have been a shortfall in GST revenue collections against the projections. It crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark after a gap of three months in November with the revenue growing by 6 per cent to Rs 1.03 lakh crore during the month.

The collection was Rs 95,380 crore in October.

Modi also informed that now onwards the GST Council has decided to consider any change in tax rates only once in a year and rather than doing so in each and every meeting.

The latest meeting of the GST Council took place earlier this week, where the government fixed a uniform tax rate of 28 per cent on both state and private lotteries, which is to come to effect from March 2020.

In the previous various meetings of the GST Council, the government cut the rates on various services and goods, amidst GST collections remaining below expectations, with an aim to boost demand.

He also said that the time is not right to bring down the number of slabs under GST from the current five (0, 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cents) to 3 slabs.

Modi, who was the finance minister of Bihar when value-added tax (VAT) was administered in the country, said he is closely watching the execution of GST and enriching the process with learnings from eight different countries.

Compared to the pre-GST period, 99 per cent of the goods and services have less taxes levied on them post-GST, he said.

Fake invoicing has become a major issue and the government is looking for ways to check the menace, Modi said.

Stagflation knocking at our doors: Bengal finance minister

KOLKATA: West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra on Saturday said that India is facing the prospects of a possible stagflation due to low growth and high inflation.

“Stagflation is knocking at our doors. This is due to stagnation following low growth and high inflation”, Mitra said at an event organised by West Bengal Garment Manufacturers and Dealers Association here.

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He said that as per new data, India’s GDP growth rate is likely to be 4.6 per cent for the current financial year.

Fitch Ratings on Friday has cut its growth forecast from previous estimation of 5.6 per cent to 4.6 per cent for the financial year 2019-20.

Mitra said that when India’s growth rate is nosediving, West Bengal’s growth rate is on an upward trend, coupled with low levels of poverty and rising employment rates.

Talking about the textiles industry in the state, he said that the sector should target an annual revenue of Rs one lakh crore by 2023.

He said that the sector provides direct employment to 20 lakh people and indirect employment to 50 lakh.

Mitra said that the state is in process of setting up seven textile parks in and around the city, the largest one being at Nungi on the western fringes of the metropolis where the government would invest Rs 400 crore for building 11 lakh square feet of space.

According to him, bank loans to the MSME sector of the state is likely to cross Rs 70,000 crore during the current fiscal.

Boxing Day 2019: What’s actually worth it and which deals to ditch

Boxing Day can be a chaotic holiday for many Canadian shoppers, especially for those hunting for the best deals.

And while interest in Boxing Day shopping has declined only 34 per cent of Canadians plan to spend that day, according to a November survey by the Retail Council of Canada many are still setting their alarms early on Dec. 26.

READ MORE: Boxing Day isn’t all about screaming retail deals

If you count yourself among Boxing Day shoppers, there are certain guidelines to follow so your trip is fruitful and not a waste of time, says Barry Choi, a Toronto-based personal finance expert.

Without proper planning in advance, you might be scuttling around in-store or online, distracted by the number of perceived “deals,” which can lead you to overspending.

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How to figure out what to buy

To combat the onslaught of signs and emails from stores advertising discounts, write down in advance what you actually need to buy, Choi said. 

“You should basically be buying anything that you’re planning to buy anyways,” he said. “If you’re thinking about buying a new TV, you should probably wait until Boxing Day… that’s the time when things go on sale.”

Browse flyers in advance, as stores usually send them out or post them online, he said. Then you can create a list of which deals you’re going for and only buy those items you had planned to purchase.

“Try to stay focused because the last thing you want to do with Boxing Day, it’s so easy to see those deals, and if you’re getting a discount, you’re just tempted to buy it,” he said. 

Items that are usually good deals on Boxing Day include anything Christmas-related, like wrapping paper, cards or decorations.

READ MORE: Canadian shoppers turn to Black Friday for holiday shopping more than Boxing Day

Anything a store has overstocked for the holidays is a good option as well, which could include clothing, toys, video games or electronics from big box stores, he said. 

“Quite often, you see big sales on those items because they’re just trying to clear everything out that they didn’t sell for over the holidays.”

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Electronics end up being some of the most valuable buys for Boxing Day, as it’s a good opportunity to replace what you have or upgrade to a new model, says Jessica Moorhouse, a Toronto-based financial counsellor and millennial money expert. 

“I’d suggest doing your research now to know specifically what brand or item you want, write down its current regular price then, on Boxing Day, try to find it for the cheapest price possible,” she said via email.

A surprising deal not always associated with the shopping holiday is a potentially cheaper phone plan, Moorhouse said. 

“That’s how I was able to reduce my phone bill by $20 per month,” she said. “Keep your eye out for promotions … though it’s easier to go to the retailer or kiosk in-person.”

Travel deals are another promotion that some people aren’t aware of, Choi adds.

“It’s usually a good time to buy because what they’re trying to do is get confirmed sales for the new year, so if you can get 15 to 20 per cent off when you wanted to go anyways, that’s a good deal,” he said. 

Using sites like Red Flag Deals or Rakuten will help you find more alerts about discounts and give you cash back on your purchases, he said. 

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What you should try to avoid 

Along with the deals that will be worth your while, there are also common mistakes many people make other than being distracted by too many discounts, Choi said. 

Buying summer items on Boxing Day isn’t worth it, especially patio furniture, he said. 

Christmas debt and money management

Christmas debt and money management

“I like to avoid … anything that’s two seasons in advance,” he said, adding any patio furniture on sale might be older than you’d like. 

A gym membership is also a Boxing Day purchase that Choi never thinks is a good idea, especially if it’s on impulse after indulging over the holidays. 

“Most people end up not going to the gym and not using that membership,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you should wait until February or March and ask: ‘OK, am I really going to the gym?’” 

To truly understand why you may want to buy more than you need, like an unused gym membership, practice asking yourself why you want to engage with Boxing Day in the first place, says Chantel Chapman, a Vancouver-based finance coach. 

READ MORE: How to budget for the Christmas season

“When you’ve spent the time mindfully coming up with your plan, you are going to be more specific when you go in to shop, and it’s easier to stay on course,” she said. “Rather than thinking, ‘Well, it’s Boxing Day, I’m just going to see what I can find.’”

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Practicing awareness and mindfulness, even when in the middle of shopping, can keep you from straying from your plan, she said. 

“Slow down, take a deep breath and then go back to the question: ‘Why do I need to buy that?’” she said. 

If you want to spend Boxing Day online

Buying online might save you the hassle of parking and wading through crowds at the mall or a large department store, she said. 

It may be more advantageous to grab some Boxing Day deals online, as some retailers launch sales in advance of Dec. 26, even by Christmas Eve, Choi said. 

“You can actually take advantage of Boxing Day early and you don’t need to line up in the early hours,” he said. Generally speaking, most deals available in-store are also online, and often, there’s more stock, he said. 

You could also use browser extensions online that will catch deals and promotion codes that you might have missed, like Honey or, he says. 

“You should be browsing, not even realizing there’s a sale, and you’ll have an extension… so it’s really easy to find deals,” he said. 

READ MORE: Friends, bosses and in-laws: How much should you spend on holiday gifts?

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Despite the deals, Canadians still prefer bricks-and-mortar channels, with 40 per cent believing Boxing Day discounts are better in-store, according to a 2019 survey by the Retail Council of Canada. 

But Choi says he still understands the excitement that comes with waking up early and physically heading to a store for deals. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re hoping to get out of the day, as long as you follow your plan, he says. 

“Like your Christmas list, you should have a Boxing Day list and try to stick to it,” he said, adding that if you’re unable to get an item on your list like a laptop, it’s OK to pick something else.

“But if you didn’t need that laptop, then don’t buy a laptop,” he said. “A deal is not a deal if you didn’t need it to begin with.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

5 gifts that can save money for anyone on your list

The best kind of gift is a thoughtful one, and what’s better than giving friends and family a new way to save money? From technological gadgets to personal grooming items, anything that helps your loved ones keep more dollars in their pockets is a gift that keeps on giving.

READ MORE: Gifts under $50 for everyone on your list

Here are a few ideas to do just that this holiday season:

1. A multi-cooker

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Whether you’re using the pressure-cooker function to whip up a fast meal or pushing the slow-cooker button before heading out to work in the morning, a multi-cooker can help you cut down your food bill. This kitchen gadget makes it much easier to tackle cost-effective menu options like roasts, stews and curries. A good multi-cooker will also tenderize a tough cut of meat, which means you don’t have to choose sirloin tip if you can’t afford it. And both in pressure-cooker and slow-cooker mode, the pot will handle dried legumes without prior soaking, meaning you can cross canned beans and lentils off your grocery list.

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While Canada’s Instant Pot remains the best-known multi-cooker, there are now several competing options in that category. Here are the product reviews from U.S.-based Consumer Reports (CR).

READ MORE: Top holiday tech gifts of 2019

2. A smart thermostat

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A programmable thermostat can shave up to US$180 (C$237) a year off your heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Star program, which rates consumer products based on their energy efficiency. That’s a savings of up to 20 per cent on the average American’s energy bill, U.S. data shows.

The idea is to let your home cool off a bit in winter — and heat up in the summer — when you’re away. If you’re gone for a good chunk of the day most of the week, having a heating and cooling schedule can make a big difference. For example, research shows that for every degree Celsius (1.8 F) you lower your thermostat at night or while you’re out, for a minimum of eight hours, you can save up to two per cent on your heating bill.

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While you can do that with a low-tech programmable thermostat, the “smart” version makes the process even easier. Users can control their smart thermostat through an app on their phone, including adjusting the temperature remotely and reviewing energy consumption statistics in real-time.

READ MORE: All the best gift ideas under $25

3. A safety razor

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Whether it’s your face or your legs, safety razors can deliver a remarkably close shave at a fraction of the cost. The vintage double-edge blades are making a comeback among hipsters along with a slew of other old-fashioned shaving products. Sleek stainless steel razors are also popular among zero-waste consumers fed up with sending disposable plastic shavers to the landfill. But grandpa’s shaving style, it turns out, is also budget-friendly. While it’s possible to spend upwards of $50 on a safety razor, Canadians can buy a pack of 50 blades for less than $15 on Amazon. That’s a bargain, especially for women, who can easily drop $25 on a six-pack of refills for a reusable plastic razor.

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And while the safety razor revival is more often associated with men, a traditional shaver with a longer handle lends itself well to women’s needs as well, according to Refinery29.

READ MORE: The ultimate holiday list for the nerd in your life

4. A shoe-shining set

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Another old-fashioned ritual worth rediscovering is shoe-polishing. Dusting off, moisturizing and shining your leather shoes on a regular basis will significantly prolong the life of your fancier footwear. A shoe-polishing set should include a horsehair shoe brush, a leather cleaner, a leather conditioner — which helps prevent creases and cracks — and shoe polish, according to Wirecutter. For buffing, though, all you’ll need is an old, cut-up cotton T-shirt.

Needless to say, your leather loafers will last a lot longer if you avoid wearing them outside in the snow. Still, if you do end up with salt stains on your footwear, the best way to remove them usually involves white vinegar, a soft cloth and a lot of elbow grease, according to Esquire.

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READ MORE: Top trending, best selling gifts of 2019

5. A French-press coffee maker or stovetop espresso maker

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Railing against the cost of store-bought lattes has become a personal finance trope. There’s no denying that daily caffeinated indulgences can have a significant impact on your bottom line. But a fancy coffeemaker that feeds on pricey pods may not save you that much money, either.

A French press is a much more effective way to trim down your coffee budget. An added bonus is portability, which means you can keep one at work and avoid any unsavoury office brews.

If you’re an espresso lover, consider a stovetop coffeemaker like a Bialetti. The two-piece whistling coffeepot is many Italians’ go-to for a mean cup of Joe and will make for a statement piece in your kitchen.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Finance ministry asks tax officials to identify, book tax evaders through data analytics

NEW DELHI: In a bid to meet ambitious tax target amid economic slowdown, the finance ministry on Friday held a review meeting with tax officials and directed them to make special efforts to identify and book tax evaders through data analytics and information sharing.

The meeting chaired by revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey deliberated on sharing information between GST and income tax departments about all such taxpayers who have taken high input tax credit (ITC) but the information does not match with their personal income tax return submitted to I-T department, sources said.

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Also, the GST information would be made available to income tax departments to identify the cases of suppression of personal income or tax evasion by showing lower GST turnover or taking refund from GST fraudulently.

The officials were told to get into a campaign mode to recover past arrears, sources said.

In furtherance of its concerted efforts to augment tax collection in the coming four months, the department of revenue conducted this meeting with senior income tax officials including all its principal chief commissioners and chief commissioners to strategise and achieve direct tax collection target of Rs 13.5 lakh crore despite recently announced corporate tax relief of Rs 1.45 lakh crore by the government.

Directions were given to the taxmen to put forward special efforts to identify and book tax evaders through data analytics and information sharing and also share findings with GST officials to initiate stern actions against wilful tax evaders or those using fake invoices or inflated or fake e-way bills, source said.

However, officials were asked to ensure that the genuine taxpayers shall not be troubled but none of the tax evaders should go scot free.

Officials were also told to communicate with taxpayers that they must genuinely file their taxes before the taxman/notice of the tax department reaches them, sources said.

It may be noted that the government is taking all possible careful measures to curb tax evasion and leakages in its anti-evasion drive.

Earlier this week, the GST council in its 38th meeting decided to lower the limit of ITC outgo from 20 per cent to 10 per cent before invoices are loaded.

To genuine taxpayers who have mistakenly missed out some information in their tax return, tax authorities have provided them an opportunity to submit their revised returns as well, sources said.

It may be recalled that earlier this week, the finance ministry put its GST tax collection targets to Rs 4.45 lakh crore for the remaining period of this financial year with targeting of Rs 1.1 lakh crore per month with Rs 1.25 lakh crore for a single month.

PNB scam: Fresh chargesheet names Nirav Modi’s brother

MUMBAI: The CBI on Friday filed a supplementary chargesheet in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, naming fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi‘s brother Nehal and four others as accused.

Besides Nirav Modi, the charge sheet named his brother Nehal Modi, suspended deputy general manager at PNB Sanjay Prasad, and Nirav Modi’s associates Amit Magia, Sandeep Mistri and Mihir Bhansali.

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Bhansali, Mistri and Nehal Modi are out of the country and summons should be issued against them, the CBI said while submitting the charge sheet in the court of Judge VC Barde.

Special public prosecutor A Limosin said the agency has added fresh charges of `destruction of evidence’ and threatening the witnesses in the supplementary charge sheet.

Nirav Modi had sent Nehal to Dubai with the intention of “destroying the evidence and obstructing the process of justice”, the chargesheet said.

Nehal Modi along with other accused coerced “dummy directors” of Dubai-based firms which were controlled by Nirav Modi into “shifting” to Cairo in Egypt, the agency said.

Nehal also told the staff of Nirav Modi’s Hong Kong- based firms not to come to India to take part in the probe, the agency alleged.

These directors of Nirav Modi’s Dubai and Hong Kong-based companies told the CBI that they were asked to sign certain documents to show that they were the real owners of the companies, it said.

Nirav Modi had also made threatening calls to these directors, the CBI said.

These shell companies were shown as engaged in export-import of jewelery with Diamonds R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds, the firms allegedly involved in the scam.

The dummy firms in Dubai and Hong Kong were the beneficiaries of “Buyers’ credit” obtained from oversees banks on the strength of Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) fraudulently issued by PNB officials, the CBI said.

After the registration of case in PNB scam, 50 kg of gold and 4 million Arab Emirates Dirahm lying in the bank accounts of dummy companies were taken out by the accused, it said.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly cheated PNB to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore by fraudulently obtaining LoUs from its Mumbai branch.

Sunil D’Souza to lead Tata Global, Ajit Krishnakumar to be COO

MUMBAI: Whirlpool India MD Sunil D’Souza will succeed Tata Global Beverages’s current chief Ajoy Misra who retires in March 2020.
D’Souza’s appointment indicates that Tata Global chairman N Chandrasekaran has opted for an external candidate to manage the affairs of the non-alcoholic beverages company.

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Tata Global has always been helmed by Tata veterans with the exception of Homi Khusrokhan. The former Glaxo chief joined Tata Global as its MD on a three-year assignment in 2001.

D’Souza, who joined Whirlpool in June 2015, has more than 20 years of experience in consumer-driven industries across Asia. He also had a 15-year stint with PepsiCo before joining Whirlpool.

Misra, who joined Tata Global from sister company Indian Hotels in 2011, was supposed to retire in March 2019 but was given a one-year extension. Tata Global, through Egon Zehnder, had been searching for candidates for the top position for some time and now have finalised D’Souza.

D’Souza resigned from Whirlpool on December 17. His resignation will be effective from April 3, 2020, the consumer durables maker had said.

Ajit Krishnakumar, senior vice-president in Chandrasekaran’s office at Tata Sons, the parent of Tata Global, will be the chief operating officer of the non-alcoholic beverages company. The son of former Tata Global vice-chairman R K Krishnakumar, he has been handling strategy and mergers & acquisitions at Tata Sons.

Tata Global’s revenue has grown during Misra’s time as CEO and his tenure has had some defining moments, like the company signing a joint venture with Starbucks in 2012 and acquiring the consumer business (salt and pulses) of Tata Chemicals in May.
Tata Global, to be renamed Tata Consumer Products to reflect its changing portfolio, is the sixth largest company in the Tata Group in terms of market value.
The leadership’s challenge is to improve the performance of Tata Global, which is facing slow growth in its tea and coffee categories in India amid weak consumer demand and low household spends. India is the biggest contributor to the company’s revenue, followed by Europe and the US.
The management will also have to ramp up the portfolio of Tata Chemicals’ consumer business even as it plans the company’s entry into new segments like home and personal care.