Mumbai : Infosys Ltd. has returned to stability, almost a year after the appointment of a new chief executive ended a tumultuous period at the Indian software and services company.
Chairman Nandan Nilekani, speaking on the sidelines of Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore, said that the turnaround is complete. “This is all very much from the past,” he said of the board turmoil that engulfed the company last year. “I’ve been chairman now over a year. We have an excellent CEO in Salil Parekh. Infosys is really on a very stable and forward-looking path.”
Investors seem to agree. The Bangalore-based company’s shares are up almost 30 percent this year, compared with a 3.1 percent gain in 2017. In the latest quarter, Infosys booked more than $2 billion in deals and net income topped projections. Parekh, who formally took over in January, has focused on stabilizing the company after public wrangles between its board and co-founders culminated in the dramatic exit of the well-regarded Vishal Sikka.
“The future of India’s IT services is bright because all over the world, the businesses and even governments are going through a huge digital transformation,” Nilekani said. “Be it automobile, retail, financial services, in every industry there is massive reinvention going on.”
The same is true for Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys’s bigger rival, which in April became India’s first company to top $100 billion in market value in more than a decade. Both are adjusting to the adoption of automation in key areas such as financial services, while immigration curbs hamper its ability to move workers into its largest market of the U.S. India’s $167 billion-IT services industry is now investing in cloud computing and artificial intelligence to jump-start growth.
Nilekani also pointed to Aadhar, India’s biometric national ID system, as an opportunity for companies like Infosys as well as a tool of empowerment for individuals.
Using iris-scanning technology, the database lets people identify themselves, while private companies have embraced it as a way to authenticate job seekers, blood donors and loan applicants.
“Historically, data has benefited companies and governments,” the Infosys chairman said. “India’s unique infrastructure, thanks to Aadhar, thanks to its regulations, has the ability for every individual to access his own data and put it to good use. We call that data empowerment, which means a person can use his own data to get a loan, better health care, better education.”
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).