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Govt eyes Make in India push for electronics to curb forex outflow

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Mumbai :’The government expects demand for electronic products to reach $400 billion by 2023-24. This would be a huge foreign exchange outflow, which may further widen our trade deficit with other nations. Hence, the government plans to push local electronics manufacturing to cut down on their import bill.’

India should have specific benchmarks on direct tax on the lines of China and Vietnam if it wants to create a globally competitive electronics industry, the India Cellular & Electronics Association has said.

The electronics body has suggested that verticals other than mobile phones should also be given a push.

 

‘The new draft policy touches upon the industry pain points and attempts to address them’

The ministry of electronics and IT has released a draft electronics policy, which aims to create a $400 billion turnover in the electronics manufacturing ecosystem by 2025. However, as the majority of the amount is linked to mobile phones, experts feel that momentum should be created in other verticals also.

“The draft policy recognises the progress made in the mobile phone and related component ecosystem in the last three years. It lays down almost complete responsibility of achieving $400 billion by 2025 on mobile phones and components. We have to create a huge momentum in other verticals also while consolidating the mobile phones segment and that is a correction which has to be made,” chairman of ICEA Pankaj Mohindroo told Business Standard.

He further said the government needs to benchmark more specifically in direct taxes with geographies like Vietnam and China. “We cannot establish a globally competitive electronics industry without these benchmarks,” he added.
In the draft policy, the government has proposed to provide suitable direct tax benefits for setting up a new manufacturing unit or expansion of an existing unit.

The policy also proposes to promote a forward looking and stable tax regime, including advance intimation to the industry to plan investments in the form of phased manufacturing programme in various segments of electronics, with a sunset clause.

‘We have to create a huge momentum in other verticals also while consolidating the mobile phones segment’
It has also been recommended to increase income tax benefits on expenditure incurred on research and development in the electronics sector.

However, of the $400 billion turnover in the electronics manufacturing ecosystem, $190 million is slated to be achieved from mobile phones. The proposed policy aims to double the target of mobile phone production from 500 million units in 2019 to one billion by 2025 so as to meet the objective.

According to the draft, the government plans to end the modified special incentive scheme with plans that it will find easier to implement such as interest subsidy and credit default guarantee, among others.

Modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS) was launched in 2012 and provided for capital subsidy of 25 per cent for the electronics industry located in the non-SEZ area and 20 per cent for those in the SEZ areas.

“The government expects demand for electronic products to reach $400 billion by 2023-24. This would be a huge foreign exchange outflow, which may further widen our trade deficit with other nations.

“Hence, the government plans to push local electronics manufacturing to cut down on their import bill,” said Hanish Bhatia, senior analyst, Devices & Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research.

Production of mobile handsets, TVs and LED products (such as light bulbs) has gone up significantly in the recent past, primarily due to adoption of a robust duty structure in conjunction with PMP and incentivisation of local manufacturing through schemes such as M-SIPS.

“The new draft policy touches upon the industry pain points and attempts to address them. For instance, exemption of duty and easier passage on capital equipment/machinery in India will encourage global firms to set up their manufacturing operations in India. Similarly, the government wants to boost the component supplier ecosystem by incentivising via investment-linked deductions and subsidies,” Bhatia said.

The government also wants to make India an export hub for electronics goods, targeting African and SAARC nations as key markets.


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Air India to start new domestic and international flights from next month

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Air India on Wednesday announced that various new flights would begin from next month on domestic as well as international routes in order to meet heavy demand of seats during the summer vacation.

The national carrier said it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Mumbai-Dubai-Mumbai route from June 1.

Moreover, it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Delhi-Dubai-Delhi route too from June 2 by operating two new flights using its B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

 

“The airline will offer one way Economy class promotional fare of Rs 7777 (all inclusive) from both Delhi and Mumbai to Dubai for sale and travel up to July 31, 2019,” Air India said in a statement.

On its domestic front, Air India said it will introduce new flights on Bhopal-Pune-Bhopal route and Varanasi-Chennai-Varanasi route from June 5.

“The number of flights on Delhi-Bhopal-Delhi will be increased from present 14 flights per week to 20 flights per week by introducing third frequency to the historical city of Tals,” the statement added.

The national carrier would be increasing its flights on Delhi-Raipur-Delhi route from existing seven flights per week to 14 flights per week.

According to Air India, the number of flights per week would be increased on routes such as Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Delhi, Chennai-Ahmedabad-Chennai and Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai.

The flights per week would also be increased on Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi route and Mumbai-Vizag-Mumbai route, the statement added.

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Sensex gains 140 pts ahead of election outcome

Press Trust of India

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex jumped 140 points Wednesday, driven by gains in banking and auto stocks ahead of the general election results.

After swinging over 300 points during the day, the 30-share index ended 140.41 points, or 0.36 per cent, higher at 39,110.21. The gauge hit an intra-day high of 39,249.08 and a low of 38,903.87.

In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty rose 28.80 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 11,737.90.

 

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 4.84 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Tata Motors, SBI, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, HDFC, Vedanta, L&T, Kotak Bank, Maruti and Axis Bank, ending up to 2.92 per cent higher.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, ITC, PowerGrid, TCS and HUL ended in the red, slipping up to 2.34 per cent.

According to experts, investor sentiment turned positive this week after most exit polls forecast a win for the Narendra Modi-led NDA. The results of the seven-phased polls will come out Thursday.

Unabated foreign fund inflows too buoyed market mood here, traders said.

Foreign institutional investors net bought equities worth Rs 1,185.44 crore on Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors sold shares to the tune of Rs 1,090.32 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated marginally to 69.68 against the US dollar.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at USD 71.72 per barrel, higher by 0.64 per cent.

Globally, bourses in Asia ended on a mixed note, while those in Europe were trading in the green in early deals.

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Database inadvertently exposed but did not include personal data: Chtrbox

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Mumbai-based Chtrbox, which was allegedly responsible for leaking data of millions of Instagram users, has said database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed but that did not include any sensitive personal data.

The company termed the reports of private data being leaked as “inaccurate” and acknowledged that “a particular database for limited influencers was inadvertently exposed for approximately 72 hours”.

“This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self reported by influencers,” it said in a statement late Tuesday night.

 

On Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram said it is investigating whether a third-party – Chtrbox – improperly stored its user data in violation of its policies after reports that information of millions of users being available online allegedly in an unsecured database emerged.

These reports said the database found online – with over 49 million records – contained information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts. The database was allegedly traced back to Chtrbox.

The reports had said apart from public data (like bio, profile picture and number of followers), the database also allegedly contained users’ private contact information such as email address and phone number.

An Instagram spokesperson had said the company is “investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies. It’s also not clear whether the phone numbers and e-mails in Chtrbox’s database came from Instagram”.

Chtrbox, in its statement, asserted that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by the company.

“Our database is for internal research use only, we have never sold individual data or our database, and we have never purchased hacked-data resulting from social media platform breaches. Our use of our database is limited to help our team connect with the right influencers to support influencers to monetize their online presence, and help brands create great content,” it added.

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