New York: Apple Inc is putting a lot of energy in India with an aim to launch all its initiatives, including retail, in the country where it has an “extremely low” overall market share, the technology giant’s CEO Tim Cook has said.
India, the third largest smartphone market in the world, has huge opportunities for Apple, Cook said. “… We have extremely low share in that market overall,” Cook said during Apple’s second quarter 2018 earnings call yesterday. He said the company is “putting a lot of energy” in India and working with the carriers in that market, and “they’re investing enormously on the LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks.”
Cook noted that the infrastructure in India has come “quite a ways” since Apple began to put a lot of energy in the Indian market “because of their leadership and so forth.”
Apple’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Luca Maestri said during the conference call that Apple’s Mac set a new March quarter revenue record, including new records in both the Americas and Greater China.
“We sold 4.1 million Macs, generating year-over-year growth in many emerging markets including Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and India,” Maestri said.
Cook said in India, Apple set a new first-half record. “So we continue to put great energy there and try to – our objective over time is to go in there with all of our different initiatives from retail and everything else. And so we’re working toward those things,” he said. Describing India as a “huge market”, Cook said many people will be moving into the middle class over time in the country, referring to the tremendous consumer opportunity that presents to global companies.
On China, Cook said he believes it is a phenomenal country with lots of opportunity both from a market and an app developer point of view. Apple has almost two million application developers in China that are writing apps for iOS and the App Store, and “they’re doing unbelievably creative work and innovative work.
So we look at China holistically, not only as a market.” “But my own personal view of China is that it’s a great market…and feel very bullish on the opportunity and the environment there,” he said. Cook was asked if he feels the iPhone market is saturated and not much room is left for growth even as potential exists in emerging markets like India.
“I don’t buy the view that market’s saturated. I don’t see that from a market point of view or – and certainly not from an iPhone point of view,” he said. Cook stressed that the smartphone market is like the best market for a consumer product company in the history of the world. “It’s a terrific market, and we’re very happy to be a part of it,” he said.
Income Tax return processing time to reduce from 63 days to just 1 day
Mumbai:The Union Cabinet approved an integrated income-tax e-filing and centralised processing centre (CPC) portal, which will reduce the return processing time from 63 days to just one day. The new portal is also expected to process the refunds within one day of filing of tax returns, in huge relief for taxpayers. However, one will have to wait for 18 months to see its launch.
“Earlier, taxpayers would face troubles because of delay in refund processing and the CBDT used to spend a lot of money every year as interest on pending refunds, which will be history now,” Union minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting here.
Last month, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra had said a simplified return form and process would be put in place soon in which the department would process the self-declaration made by the taxpayer. The new Rs 4,241-crore project will incorporate these changes.
“This is a laudable initiative and will go a long way to ease tax compliance, and enhanced experience for taxpayers. However, the real success of this will be measured when it brings ease to a common man and is accompanied by changes in the culture of the tax authorities at the operational level,” said Neeru Ahuja, partner, Deloitte India.
Currently, the e-filing portal and the CPC work separately. While e-filing is being managed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the CPC is run by Infosys.
In the bids invited by the government, Infosys emerged as the lowest bidder and it would develop the ITR-CPC 2.0 project in 18 months from now, Goyal said.
Under the new system, Infosys will handle end-to-end solution — from e-filing to return assessment to refund processing. The CBDT and Infosys would work in a revenue-sharing model, sources in the know said.
Goyal said ramping up scrutiny was not the mandate of the new portal. Currently, about 0.3 per cent of the I-T returns are scrutinised, he said. The system intends to resolve taxpayer grievances as well as tax demands from the CBDT faster and equitably, he said.
“The decision will ensure horizontal equity by processing returns filed by all categories of taxpayers across the country in a consistent, uniform, rule driven, identity blind manner. This will assure fairness in tax treatment to every taxpayer irrespective of their status,” a government release said.
But even under the new ecosystem, only those applications which are clean would have the chance of getting processed in a day, sources said.
About 23 crore I-T returns have been processed, along with Rs 2.62 trillion worth of refunds, till September 2018 cumulatively. Of this, refunds worth Rs 1.83 trillion have been processed in 2018-19, said Goyal.
Lenders considering resolution plan for Jet Airways: SBI
Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said lenders are considering a resolution plan for Jet Airways to ensure long-term viability of the debt-laden company.
The SBI statement comes a day after the crisis-hit airline said discussions were “progressing well” with stakeholders on a comprehensive resolution plan that also contemplates equity infusion and consequent changes in its board of directors.
There are rising concerns over financial health of Jet Airways, whose shares have also taken a beating at stock exchanges.
“We would like to state that lenders are considering a restructuring plan under the RBI framework for resolution of stressed assets that would ensure a long-term viability of the company,” SBI said in a statement.
It said the restructuring plan for the cash-strapped airline would need approval from boards of lenders.
“Any such plan would be subject to approval of boards of the lenders and subject to adherence and clearance, if required, from the RBI and/or Sebi (takeover code, ICDR regulations.) and Ministry of Civil Aviation and in compliance with all regulatory prescriptions,” the statement said.
Shares of the airline are trading 4.24 per cent lower at Rs 259.50 apiece on BSE.
NGT slams Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore as per its 2018 order
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) slammed German auto major Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore in accordance with its November 16, 2018 order and directed it to submit the amount within 24 hours.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel took strong exception to the non-compliance of its order by the automobile giant and asked it to give an undertaking that it will submit the amount by 5 PM Friday.
“Why have you not complied with our order when there is no stay. We will not give you any further time,” the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, said while asking Volkswagen to submit an affidavit of compliance after deposit.
The tribunal deferred the matter for hearing after it was informed that the Supreme Court is also seized of the issue.
On November 16 last year, the tribunal had said that the use of ”cheat device” by Volkswagen in diesel cars in India leads to inference of environmental damage and had asked the German auto major to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).