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Maruti to stop selling diesel cars from April 2020

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PUNE: Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker, in a biggest announcement said it would stop making diesel cars beginning April next year and forecast a weak rate of growth for the current fiscal year, blaming uncertain fuel prices and the onset of stricter BS VI emission norms.

The company will need to invest in upgrading its technology, including for diesel cars, to meet the country’s stricter emission norms that come into effect next year.

In fact, from April 1, 2020 when the new BS VI emission norms kick in, Maruti Suzuki’s diesel engines will not be ready to meet the more stringent emission norms.

 

Also, the high cost of upgrading existing diesel engines to the BS VI norms forced the company, which sells one car out of two bought in the country, to take such a decision.

At present, more than half of Maruti Suzuki passenger vehicle range has a diesel engine option. Models that had a diesel engine include the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Dzire, Baleno, Ertiga, Ciaz, S-Cross and the best selling Vitara Brezza.

Diesel cars constitute about 25 to 30 per cent of all Maruti Suzuki sales. But the company will try to focus on compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid technology driven vehicles to compensate the vacuum created by the phasing-out of diesel vehicles.

“From April 1, 2020 we will not be selling diesel cars in the country,” RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi.
He said the company will phase out all diesel cars from its portfolio with effect from April 1, 2020.

Bhargava said substantially higher development cost will make diesel car a non-viable option for price-conscious consumers.

“We have taken this decision so that in 2022 we are able to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency norms, and higher share of CNG vehicles will help us comply with the norms. I hope the Union government’s policies will help grow the market for CNG vehicles,” he said.

Bhargava also said he expected production and sales to grow between 4 and 8 per cent for the ongoing financial year. Last year, it sales grew by just 6.1 per cent.

While Maruti Suzuki’s growth forecast is in sync with the broader industry outlook, high levels of discounting by Maruti had resulted in disappointing quarterly margins.

The company also said it has earmarked a capex of Rs 4,500 crore for the current fiscal.

The company reported a 5 per cent year-on-year de-growth in March quarter profit, dented by weak operating performance and muted sales volume.

The New Delhi-based firm’s net profit during the quarter fell to Rs 1,795.6 crore, down from Rs 1,882.1 crore clocked in same period last year.

Standalone revenue from operations grew by 1.4 per cent year-on-year to Rs 21,459.4 crore in Q4 with sales volume de-growth of 0.7 per cent year-on-year.

The company sold 4,58,479 vehicles during the quarter.


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CBDT refutes social media rumours on ITR filing, says no change in IT return forms

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New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has refuted rumours in social media regarding difficulties in filing return of income by taxpayers, stating that no change has been made in income-tax return (ITR) forms.

“No changes have been made in any of the Income-tax Return (ITR) forms including ITR-2 and ITR-3 since the notification made on April 1 2019, i.e. on the 1st day of the Assessment Year 2019-20,” CBDT said.

“It is reiterated that there are no changes in the notified ITR forms; only the utility has been updated to facilitate the taxpayers. Therefore, the assertion that numerous changes have been made in ITR-2 and ITR-3 on July 11, 2019, does not give a correct picture,” it added.

 

There were reports in social media that the taxpayers were facing difficulties in filing return of income in ITR-2 & ITR-3 due to large scale changes in the ITR form on July 11.

CBDT stated that the software utility for e-filing of all the ITR forms were released long back. The utility for e-filing ITR-2 and ITR-3 was released on May 2 and on May 10 respectively.

However, the software utility update is a dynamic process and is continuously taken up as per the feedback received from the users/filers to ease their experience in electronic filing of returns, it added.

CBDT further clarified that the updating of utility does not hamper filing of return as the taxpayers are allowed to file using the utility which is available at that point of time.

“For example, more than 85 lakh taxpayers have filed returns in ITR-1 till date by using the said utility, which has also undergone update later. Therefore, the impression that the taxpayers are not able to file return due to changes in ITR form is also not correct as more than 1.38 crore taxpayers have already filed their returns by using the utility released till date. Even though the utility is being updated regularly to provide ease to taxpayers, the returns filed by using the previous version of utility will continue to be valid,” it said.

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Lagarde resigns as IMF chief, starting race for her successor

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Washington: International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde submitted her resignation from the global crisis lender, citing more clarity about her nomination to lead the European Central Bank as European legislators approved a new top bureaucrat.

Lagarde said in a statement her resignation was effective Sept 12, firing the starting gun for the IMF’s search for her successor, which is likely to be another European.

“With greater clarity now on the process for my nomination as ECB President and the time it will take, I have made this decision in the best interest of the Fund,” Lagarde said in a statement.

 

She said her resignation would expedite the selection for the next head of the IMF.

IMF succession is expected to be a major topic of discussion among G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Chantilly, France, near Paris amid concerns that slowing global growth and trade conflicts will pressure vulnerable economies.

Lagarde’s resignation, first reported by Reuters, came two weeks after her nomination on July 2 for the ECB’s top job. She did not immediately quit the IMF because of uncertainty over whether the new European Parliament would support her and other new EU leadership positions, sources told Reuters.

Her nomination was part of a package of top officials agreed by EU governments that included German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president, who drew Green party opposition.

Later on Tuesday, von der Leyen was approved by the European Parliament in a 383-327 vote.

The European parliament will hold a nonbinding vote on Lagarde’s appointment, which is expected to be finalized by EU leaders at a regular summit on Oct 17-18.

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Centre to launch portal to help Jet Airways staff find jobs, in touch with SpiceJet and IndiGo

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Mumbai: The government may not have extended support to now-defunct Jet Airways, but it has promised to facilitate employment to job-less airline staff.

The Civil Aviation Ministry is in touch with other private airlines such as SpiceJet and IndiGo to assist Jet staff get meaningful employment.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that a website would be launched listing staff of Jet Airways and help find employment in other private entities.

 

“We are also producing a website which is ready. I wish I had the capacity of telling you that the website is up. Every employee would be listed there and the prospects for their re-employment or employment will be facilitated by the government,” Puri said while replying to Members in the Rajya Sabha on the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The Minister, however, said that government cannot assume responsibility for a business failure conducted by a private party.

Referring to Jet Airways, Puri said he was sensitive to (business) failure and willing to see what can be done within the governmental system to cushion that failure.

“But to suggest that a private sector entity goes belly up and the government has to take the responsibility I don`t think that is correct,” the Minister said.

Run out of cash, Jet Airways had suspended its entire operations on April 17. Subsequently, the government re-allocated its slots and foreign traffic rights to rival carriers. Lenders to the airline led by State Bank of India (SBI) have initiated bankruptcy proceedings against it after all attempts to rope in a buyer failed.

Before the airline suspended its operation, it had nearly 20,000 staff on its rolls. Several hundreds of them are learnt to have joined other carriers.

Replying to Members on the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019, he also countered a comment that airfares had gone up.

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