Budget 2018: With India’s macros worsening, budgeting for FY19 is not going to be easy. Rising crude oil prices will widen the CAD, and the government will have to find more money for oil subsidies even as higher imported and local inflation will push up prices and the cost of money.
Budget 2018: Cut taxes, ease labour laws and spend more – It’s time to be bold, Mr Arun Jaitley
Budget 2018: With India’s macros worsening, budgeting for FY19 is not going to be easy. Rising crude oil prices will widen the CAD, and the government will have to find more money for oil subsidies even as higher imported and local inflation will push up prices and the cost of money. But given it is the last full-fledged budget before the next general elections, the government should go all out with a bold mix of reform measures, a jump in capex and tax-cuts to put more money in people’s pockets. Indeed, the uptick in global growth and trade is a big plus for exports.
Illicit tobacco: Here is what this new study has revealed
Big Tobacco in India has, time and again, cited massive losses of tobacco revenue from illicit cigarette sales to argue against higher taxation on cigarettes as also larger pictorial warnings on the packet. The Tobacco Institute of India notes that illegal cigarette trade comprising smuggled international brands and locally manufactured cigarettes that evade taxes account for a fourth of the cigarette industry in India. It pegs the revenue losses from the sale of illicit cigarettes at Rs 13,000 per annum. But findings of a study published in The BMJ contradict this.
How MapmyIndia is planning rival to Google Maps
Location technology company MapmyIndia will be launching an alternative to Google Maps in the next two months. It is also targeting the two-wheeler segment for providing an in-built navigation system, a feature which is currently offered only in four-wheelers. MapmyIndia is upbeat about offering an alternative to Google Maps. “The alternative maps will be rolled out in the next two months. Besides, as part of our monetising plans in the industrial space, we will be launching an in-built, easy-to-use GPS for two-wheelers. We are in talks with an OEM for launching the product,” MD Rakesh Verma said. However, he did not elaborate on the nature of the GPS for two-wheelers and its usage, though he did confirm that this would be a factory-fitted navigation system.
Why high levels of NPAs must be added to subsidy cost
Given the government’s thrust on facilities for the poor, it is almost certain there will be a big increase in most programmes for the poor, from low-cost housing to schemes like MNGREGA. From Rs 1,700 crore in FY16, for instance, urban housing schemes—Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and credit-linked subsidy scheme—saw their outlay increase to Rs 5,400 crore in FY17 and a target of Rs 7,400 crore in FY18. Kotak Institutional Equities expects this to rise further to Rs 11,200 crore in FY19. In the case of rural India, it expects a 30% jump in the FY19 allocation for various programmes. For the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural), allocations rose from Rs 10,100 crore in FY16 to Rs 16,000 crore in FY17 and a budgeted Rs 23,000 crore in FY18—Kotak estimates this will rise to Rs 34,500 crore in FY19.
Netanyahu to meet biz leaders, pay tributes to 26/11 victims in Mumbai today
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have a packed schedule during the Mumbai leg of his visit tomorrow, when he will have breakfast with business leaders, pay tributes to Mumbai terror attack victims and attend a ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event among other engagements. PM Netanyahu landed at the airport last night for the Mumbai leg of his six-day India visit, a senior official told PTI. He will have a ‘power breakfast’ with select business personalities, including Anand Mahindra, Ajay Piramal, Adi Godrej, and Chanda Kochhar. He will later address the India-Israel Business Summit at the iconic Taj Hotel in South Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the summit. There may be a one-on-one meeting between Fadnavis and Netanyahu, after which the chief minister will host a lunch for the Israeli premier and his delegation, they said. This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony for 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims.