ADDENDUM : How to deal with anxiety ?
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"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." - Corrie ten Boom

"Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems" - Epictetus

"Okay, so, flying," I started, taking a deep breath and focusing on the thing I loved most in the world. "Flying is … great. It feels great when you're doing it. It's fun. Pure freedom. There's nothing better." Dylan smiled, a slow, easy smile that seemed to light up his whole face. "So the first thing we're going to do," I told him, "is push you off the roof." - James Patterson, Fang

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SCOPE for developing global leaders in public sector

Leaders need to be equipped with competencies to enable them become  globally competitive
 

 
Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, AUGUST  28 :
Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) organised the 6th  Advanced Global Leadership Program  with the objective to develop global leaders in public sector enterprises here. Mr Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, MMTC, Mr Atul Chaturvedi, former Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) and  Prof Sougata Ray, Program Director addressed the inaugural session. The program was organized in academic collaboration with Indian Institute of Management - Calcutta.

SCOPE's Advanced Global Leadership Program aims at igniting the thought process of senior executives of public sector enterprises to prepare and groom them for higher leadership positions in the future. In today's time when the world is a global village, leaders need to be equipped with competencies to enable them become globally competitive. Mr Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, MMTC


In his opening address  Mr Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, MMTC said SCOPE's Advanced Global Leadership Program aims at igniting the thought process of senior executives of public sector enterprises to prepare and groom them for higher  leadership positions in the future. In today’s time when the world is a global village, leaders need to be equipped with competencies to enable them become  globally competitive.
In his special address  Mr Atul Chaturvedi, former Chairman, PESB said that the  leadership in public sector need to be conscious of the economic environment, hone their skills to meet competition and rise above short term perspective for the future of their organizations. Leaders need to think of future and act today to create impact for future, added Mr. Chaturvedi.


Giving the program perspective  Prof  Sougata Ray, Program Director, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta said that the program has been designed keeping in mind the need to prepare senior level executives for Board level positions in the Indian public sector.

Aadhaar based DBT results in
over Rs 83,000 cr disbursals

SC ruling on privacy leaves scope for biometric usage in social schemes: ASSOCHAM
 

Thesynergyonline Ecoomics Bureau

 NEW DELHI, AUGUST  27 :
Amidst the debate on possible fallouts of the Supreme Court judgement pronouncing privacy as fundamental right, on Aadhaar related government schemes,   an ASSOCHAM–Thought Arbitrage Report Card of three years of the Narendra Modi Government has noted that the biometric cards have facilitated as much as Rs 83,184 crore to beneficiaries of the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes, without the notorious leakages of the past.

 

“Real benefit of Jan Dhan and Aadhaar is finally reflected in the number of beneficiaries of government DBT schemes. The amount of funds transferred under DBT schemes between 1st January 2013 and 31st March 2017 is Rs 83183.79 crores but the real achievement lies not in the amount disbursed, rather in the fact that these amounts were disbursed with minimum leakages or malpractices and that is important in terms of good governance,”  the study said.

 

Coincidentally, the ASSOCHAM –Thought Arbitrage study has been released just about the time when the nation would now be debating  about the impact of the Supreme Court judgement on privacy on Aadhaar cards –based schemes.

 

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes have resulted into weeding out 3.34 crore duplicate consumers under PaHAL and a further 2.33 crore ration cards being deleted, bringing transparency in governance of subsidy. Total savings under DBT has been  Rs 49,500 crores till December 2016. DBT savings have been highest under the PaHaL scheme, amounting to Rs 26,408 crores till December 2016.

 

 

Aadhaar-based DBT scheme

"The landmark verdict by the 9-judge Constitution Bench does provide a window for the Aadhaar related government schemes. While commending to the Union Government the need to put in place a robust regime for data protection and a sensitive balance between the individual interests and legitimate concerns of the state, the judgement clearly stated that " the legitimate aim of the state would include for instance , protecting national security….. and preventing the dissipation of social welfare benefits". Australia Business Week in India is a significant platform which can be leveraged by Australian businesses to take a closer look at what India has to offer and to engage with potential partners and customers in specific areas of mutual business opportunity

ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat on the Supreme Court judgement

Mr Rawat said when the apex court talks about prevention of “dissipation of social welfare benefits”, therein lies a window for Aadhaar cards, in so far as its applicability on the DBT and other welfare measures is concerned. 

 

Total subsidy paid under DBT in 2016-17 is  Rs 74,502 crore. The new target is to cover 534 schemes in by March 2018, out of which 300 are cash schemes and more than 200 are in-kind schemes. Hence, Cash Subsidy paid under DBT is expected to increase to  Rs 1 lakh crore subsequently.

 

Rating it, on the Performance Matrix,  as a scheme with“ Significant Progress Made”, the ASSOCHAM report card  of the government  said the ‘Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)’  is the back bone of financial inclusion, and the first step of creating bank accounts for hitherto uncovered population has been done quite efficiently within a short span of time.   Even the Brookings Institute in its Financial and Digital Inclusion Report has rated India with among the top countries on score with high government commitment and regulatory environment but in their view adoption of financial and digital inclusion needs to be enhanced. 

I have received much more from the country than what I have given, says President


Thesynergyonline News Bureau

NEW DELHI, JULY 24 :
The President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, received books and reports related to Rashtrapati Bhavan today (July 24, 2017) at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India.

 

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that he was overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude to the people of India for the trust and confidence they reposed in him. He was humbled by their kindness and affection. He stated that he had received much more from the country than he had given.

 

The President congratulated and extended a warm welcome to Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President-Elect and wished him success and happiness in the years to come.

 

The President said that in Rashtrapati Bhavan, we tried to build a humane and happy township. He stated that in last five years he learnt from his travels across the length and breadth of the country. The President said that he learnt from his conversations with young and bright minds in colleges and universities, scientists, innovators, scholars, jurists, authors, artists and leaders from across the spectrum. These interactions kept him focused and inspired.

 

The books presented today to the President were (1) 'The Innovation President' by the Vice President of India, Mohd. Hamid Ansari and (2) 'Selected Speeches of the President (Volume-IV) by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The reports presented were 'Conserving and Upgrading of the President's Estate – Select Projects: The Mukherjee Years 2012-2017' by Dr. Thomas Mathew, Additional Secretary to the President; 'Health Status and Age Assessment of the Trees of Rashtrapati Bhavan' by Dr. Savita, Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and 'Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan Phase –II' by Dr. AGK Menon and Ms. Swapna Liddle from INTACH.

 

The book presentation function was followed by a cultural programme and dinner which was attended by the President-elect, Vice President, Prime Minister, Union Ministers and other dignitaries. Details of books and reports released: The book 'The Innovation President' provides a summary of efforts made by the President in reinforcing close coordination between public programmes and policies and inclusive innovation ecosystem. This book contains the speeches of the President dealing with innovations at different levels and sectors in the country. Lessons from other countries have also been incorporated as also the examples of innovations in innovation clubs in various universities. The glimpses of awards given to creative communities and grassroots innovators, technology students add to the content of the inclusive innovation system.

 


'Selected Speeches of President'- (Volume-IV) is the final volume of the four part series containing important speeches delivered by President Pranab Mukherjee in the fourth and fifth years of his Presidency. The first three volumes had selected speeches from President Mukherjee's first three years in Office. The speeches included in this volume are into five sections: (i) The Nation, Parliament, Constitutional Bodies and Armed Forces; (ii) Important Days and Events, eminent personalities and commemorative events; (iii) Banquet Speeches and Foreign Visits; (iv) Award Functions, and (v) Education and Conferences. All four volumes of speeches of the President have been brought out by Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

The report "Conserving and Upgrading of the President's Estate – Select Projects: The Mukherjee Years: 2012-2017" chronicles select conservation, preservation and development projects undertaken in the last five years by the President's Secretariat. This covers 27 conservation and development works undertaken in the 13th Presidency. It details the steps taken for the conservation and restoration of several buildings in the President's Estate and at "Ashiana" (The Presidential Retreat located at Dehradun).

 

'Health Status and Age Assessment of the Trees of Rashtrapati Bhavan' was conducted by the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun between July 2016 to June 2017 to determine the age of important trees as per requirement; to record pathological and entomological problems on the trees of Rashtrapati Bhavan and to identify trees having physiological and related stress including edaphic causes.

 

'Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan Phase –II' was drafted by INTACH after carrying out detailed documentation and it provides reasoned recommendations for the efficient future management of the Rashtrapati Bhavan building. Proposals for the conservation of the Rashtrapati Bhavan was drawn up based on this detailed documentation and on its heritage value and prevalent conditions, taking into account the specific characteristics and requirement of the building as the residence and office of the President of India.

 "The heads of strong old age are beautiful / Beyond all grace of youth"
― Robinson Jeffers

To be an IAS officer remains among preferred
choices for youth: ASSOCHAM survey


Thesynergyonline News Bureau


Youth

"It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life." - W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage
Youth  


 


NEW DELHI, JULY 11 :
"Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying "yes" begins things. Saying "yes" is how things grow. Saying "yes" leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say "yes'."
― Stephen Colbert


To be a civil servant, more specifically, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, remains among the top most preferred choices for the youth, as is evident from a sharp rise in the number of the applicants for the coveted positions, an ASSOCHAM Paper has noted.

As many as 11,35,943 candidates took the civil services preliminary examination in 2016 as compared to 9,45,908 in the previous year, with number of aspirants increasing by almost two lakhs, as per the data sourced from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

The Paper said the IAS remains the top most choice for the aspirants who are enamoured by the clout and powers, much improved salaries- perks and above all, the social status that goes with the civil servants in the drivers' seats of administration. A field survey of over 650 appearing for the civil services examination by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) endorsed this view.


While traditionally, the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) has been the second best choice for the aspirants because of its "cool" and "intellectual" nature of the job, more and more youth are now falling for the Indian Police Service (IPS) if they cannot make it to the IAS.

"Again the power, position and social status are the driving forces, though the job involves security risks especially in some of the troubled regions, requiring a different kind of personal commitment," the paper noted.

It also found that there has been an increase intake in the civil services from some of the economically backward states like Bihar, Odisha. " This may also be possible because more and more boys and girls from the advanced states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra are opting for high end private sector jobs either in India or abroad; after completing engineering and MBAs again from global educational institutions", remarked the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

As per the official data, in 2015, a total of 4,65,882 candidates took the civil services preliminary examination as compared to 4,51,602 in 2014.

However, it has also been noted that some of the students from high end business schools and engineering colleges are also opting for the civil services. "Here, the driving force is the desire to make a difference to the society, more than anything else".

"In those days, we imagined ourselves as being kept in some kind of holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. And when the moment came, our lives -- and time itself -- would speed up. How were we to know that our lives had in any case begun, that some advantage had already been gained, some damage already inflicted? Also, that our release would only be into a larger holding pen, whose boundaries would be at first undiscernible." - Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending [-]
"Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don't. They just want the fun of eating it all over again. The matron doesn't want to repeat her girlhood, she wants to repeat her honeymoon. I don't want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again." ? F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

 

SCOPE pleads level playing in RTI Act


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

Mr R K Mathur, Chief Information Commissioner, Mr Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, MMTC and Dr U D Choubey Director General, SCOPE at a meet on RTI Act , 2005


NEW DELHI, JULY 06 :
Two-day's National Meet on RTI Act, 2005, organized by Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), was inaugurated by Shri R.K. Mathur, IAS, (Retd), Chief Information Commissioner here today. Shri Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, MMTC and Dr. U.D. Choubey Director General, SCOPE also addressed the participants.

 

Mr R K Mathur, Chief Information Commissioner, in his address complimented SCOPE for its initiative towards smooth implementation of RTI Act.

 

He said that CEOs of the company should look at RTI as a tool for good governance.
He advised PSEs to ensure proactive disclosures under Section 4 of RTI Act, as it will bring down number of queries, save time and will reduce fake news. With regard to disclosure of commercial information of PSEs, he said that the PSEs should use their good judgment in disclosing commercial information in the overall interest of the company.

 

Mr. Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, MMTC in his address said RTI has served dual purpose of improving governance and making development more inclusive for the masses. This meet will further facilitate understanding of the act as well as bringing awareness about latest notifications, amendments, new rules & guidelines etc, on RTI Act.

 


Dr U D Choubey, Director General, SCOPE in his address said Public Sector Enterprises have embraced the RTI in true letter and spirit. He strongly pleaded for level playing by bringing private sector under ambit of RTI Act. A PSE must also have the same privileges in seeking information from a private sector enterprise. Such a level-playing field between government and non-government sectors rests on the principle of equity, especially when the listed private player and NGOs are holding public money through shareholders and financial institutions.

 

Record inflation augurs perfectly well
for GST launch: ASSOCHAM


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


NEW DELHI, JULY 04 :
With retail prices growing by the slowest pace in the last four years by mere 2.18 per cent  it is the perfect time for the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), from inflation point of view, as this particular macro fundamental is placed at an ideal position for the roll out of the country’s most ambitious tax reform, the ASSOCHAM has said.

“The retail inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at a four year low of 2.18 per cent in May, 2017.  Likewise, the Whole Price Index measured inflation was mere 2.17 per cent for the latest month, providing an ideal platform for the GST.
With Monsoon showing a good spell in its initial phase, the prices should further ease for a large number of items.  While the weighted average of net tax incidence would be lower post-GST, consumer prices in any case have seen a drastic fall in the last one year from 5.76 per cent in May 2016 to the 2.18 per cent in May this year.  For consumer food prices, the drop in inflation on CPI scale has been even sharper from 7.47 per cent to 1.05 per year –on-year”, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

Thus  ASSOCHAM said while the GST may face some initial hiccups, the broad and the most important macro matrix is “perfectly placed”.  “So, even if there is some increase in some of the items because of shuffling of tax incidence, abundant supply side would ensure prices ruling easy”.

There are several consumer related items which are witnessing a subdued inflation between 1-3 per cent and the situation is not going to change in any significant way in the months to come.  “So, it all boils down to implementation. If we can make it smooth, hand holding the traders and increasing awareness at the consumer end, the dramatic shift in India’s taxation should be a happy experience for the industry, trade and consumer”.

Even the global crude oil prices are trading below USD 50 per barrel and the outlook does not seem to be that of an upturn, thus helping India’s macro picture , that should aid the GST roll out without any price pressure on the consumers. 

 “Besides, in the backdrop of subdued consumer demand, there is no reason for the industry not to pass on any benefit accruing from the GST. The top priority for the industry today is to step up its capacity utilization by increasing production, helped by consumer demand. The current situation, in any case, does not support any extra gains to the producers, who would like to see the volume increase. Any incidence of tax cut should only help the demand and volume growth”, the chamber said.    

 

"Not one of us knows what we can do, until one fine day, we stand up and do it."
- H.P. Wood, Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet
 

 

Govt willing to provide protection to domestic pipe manufacturers against unfair trade practices


GST to be marginally beneficial for steel industry; NPA resolution depends on pick up in steel demand & prices


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, JUNE 14 :
The Union Government has categorically stated that though it is willing to provide protection to the domestic pipe manufacturers against unfair trade practices, the industry must also act responsibly, a top Steel Ministry official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.

"While we are willing to give protection to domestic pipe manufacturers against unfair trade practices, it comes with a sense of responsibility.So please be very-very responsible, charges of cartelisation then become very-very difficult to fend off as prices start rising dramatically," said Mr Syedain Abbasi, joint secretary, Ministry of Steel while addressing an ASSOCHAM summit on 'India Pipeline: Opportunities in infrastructure, energy, water & slurry.'


Stating that it is not in government's interest to buy steel at prices which are very-very high, Mr Abbasi said, "Then if people gather and say that look these controls have to go then ultimately it will be the pipe industry which will be the loser."


He urged the pipe industry to look at it very hard and very carefully. "We want to provide you the protection so that you can survive, beyond that if you want to do then you will have to compete in the open market without any protections."

Noting how efforts have been renewed after the new US president took over to limit the import of steel and steel products to a significant extent in to the US, Mr Abbasi said, "In such a situation, when stronger economies in the world are looking at protecting their industry, we have to be very clear that our domestic markets also require to be protected against unfair trade practices. That is something, at least in the steel industry, we are very clear about."


He said that after the policy on Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products (DMI&SP) had come there were concerns expressed by the press and by organisations like GAIL, IOC as well as the Petroleum Ministry about a significant hike in prices.

"My request would be that while we are willing to provide protection, it would become very-very untenable to us to continue if you suddenly find that the prices in the next tender for GAIL pipeline have gone up by 30 per cent," said Mr Abbasi.


Terming the impact of goods and services tax (GST) on steel industry, 'marginally beneficial,' he said that in raw material - duty will come down by 1-1.5 per cent.

"Even in steel products while it is 18 per cent but a lot of double taxation has been moved out then again there will be an impact of 1-1.15 per cent," said Mr Abbasi.


On resolution of non-performing assets (NPAs) in steel sector, he said that it depends not only on GST and DMI&SP but also on pickup in steel demand, prices and other related factors.
Mr Abbasi informed that after the intervention of Prime Minister's Office (PMO) the problems created by the railways in giving 'way leave agreement,' to cross the slurry pipeline either underground or over-head across railway land have abated.

"This is again a huge market for pipe manufacturers to exploit and I would request the pipe manufacturers to promote with ministries and state governments as in terms of transportation and logistics this is a far cheaper, environmentally safer and better option," said Mr Abbasi.


"This is something which needs to be promoted all across and pipe manufacturers would be doing themselves a disservice if they do not have a strong promotional arm to promote these issues," he added.
He further said that even the Steel Ministry is also working in terms of promotion of steel by looking at replacement of a lot of cement and concrete with steel because it is quicker to implement and in terms of life-cycle costs it is cheaper.


He also highlighted that there has been a constant refrain in the pipe manufacturing industry that capabilities do not exist in the country to manufacture API grade steel or that they are too costly, especially which require X-65 and above.

"I would like to assure the pipe manufacturers that there are enough capabilities within the country to manufacture those grades of steel whether it is plates, coils or sheets and we would encourage you to buy from domestic producers," he said.

"I assure you that they would be competitive because they also have to compete with global players and though we have ensured that we have given protection under anti-dumping to HR coil and CR coil and others, we have given it at basic grade prices there is easily $100 cushion in terms of what our basic grade are imported at and what is actually the prevailing international price for your API grade, so you would find them receptive to being competitive," added Mr Abbasi.

On the slurry pipelines, he said that if you look at what is going to happen in the steel industry, India is poised for enormous growth. "Across the globe, the only country which is showing significant growth in terms of market is India."

He added that Pipe industry in India has a great future as it has exported enormous quantities of pipes all over the world and the quality of manufacturing is well-known internationally and with renewed stress on infrastructure and Make in India, the best days of pipe industry are ahead of them.

 

"Books and minds only work when they're open."
― James Dewar


Deal with NPAs in flexible, pragmatic
way ,says ASSOCHAM


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


NEW DELHI ,JUNE 10 : "Never let practical concerns stand in the way of your desires."
― Marty Rubin


Reviewing the state of economy, ASSOCHAM's Managing Committee, the top most organ of the apex chamber, has most urgently and strongly impressed upon the government and the RBI to take a pragmatic approach while resolving the complex issue of non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks so that the same can be nursed back to health and the biggest hurdle to growth is removed.

 

It also expressed concern that the RBI, in its credit policy review yesterday, has missed yet another opportunity to lower the policy interest rates and help revive the industrial and overall economic growth.

 

"The national wealth is not segregated into private sector or public sector resources. Whatever the circumstances, most of which beyond the control of the promoters, might have been, all out efforts must be made to resurrect the stressed or non-performing assets. It will be only when a realistic assessment of the state of the stressed or NP assets is done and commercial decisions are taken by the banks or other intermediaries without fear of being haunted that the gigantic problem could be resolved," the ASSOCHAM said, airing the collective views of its Managing Committee comprising country's top industrial houses, professional bodies and organisations representing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

 

Summing up the deliberations, the ASSOCHAM President Mr Sandeep Jajodia said, the terms of different schemes for resolution of the NPAs should be flexible and liberal enough to be accommodative, rather than being rigid. "Once an account is turned into NPAs, the avenues for working capital are choked which hastens the curtains on the enterprise. Thus, whatever chances are there for survival and revival of a stressed enterprise or a project, are gone once the working capital requirements are not met".

 

He said there are several incomplete projects, especially in the real estate sector, where the developers have run out of cash at a stage where the projects are almost near completion. "With little more cash, the projects can be completed and handed over to those who have booked the same; it could be win : win for all the stakeholders: families or entities which booked the flats or commercial space, developers and the banks. But the banks need to be supportive and the government must encourage them".


He also said, for converting standard account into an NPA, the 90 - day limit for non-payment of interest or principal should not be treated sacrosanct. "Because, the moment an account becomes an NPA, all finance channels are chocked". Besides, the NPA resolution would also lead to cleaning up of the bank balance sheets. The RBI itself has underscored the need for revival of the banks' health and uptick in the private sector investment.


The Managing Committee also said that as indicated by the latest data of GDP for the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal, the NPAs and the lack of private sector investment are the biggest road blocks for the economic growth. Unless we bring a sustainable growth of at least 8-9 per cent across the spectrum, we will not be able to generate jobs; so the stakes are high.



Besides, the interest rates need to come down further with inflation at the retail level staying below three per cent. Moreover, full transmission of the policy rates should be ensured. "While the bulk of the deposits have been mobilised by the banks at the CASA (Current Account Saving Account) of 3-4 per cent, most of the borrowers are charged a double digit and plus rates. Such a large gap cannot be justified and are a big drain on the balance sheets which are under heavy leverage".

 

The top policy making body of the chamber also took note of the July 1 roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax. "While, the GST would no doubt be a game-changer for the Indian economy over a medium and long term, the teething troubles cannot be ruled out. The tax authorities have so far been quite supportive and we hope that even after July 1 a friendly approach towards the tax-payers would be followed with a common objective of making GST a success. The unintentional lapses should be dealt with in a friendly manner rather than in an adversarial way".

 

The chamber also expressed optimism that the Monsoon would be normal this year as well, and the agriculture would remain a major trigger for growth. "However, farmers should be equally helped for an overall development of the economy". The policy and fiscal support along with active involvement of the state governments would go a long way in improving the lot of the farmers, the chamber President said.


He also said a close watch needs to be kept on the unfolding and somewhat uncertain geo-political situations in the Middle East, while new situation in the US should be met with new solutions. At the same time, India must also be pro-active in dealing with the post-Brexit scenario both with the United Kingdom and the European Union.

 

Developed states not adding to skill
sets; face big gaps: Study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

NEW DELHI, MAY 29 :
The most economically developed states are not adequately adding to skill sets , which may result in the severe shortages of skilled manpower in the coming years, with Maharashtra leading the table followed by Tamil Nadu, according to an ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage Paper. Other states which lack in creating skilled manpower include Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, said the paper.

 


By 2022, the biggest deficit in supply of skilled labour force is expected to be faced by Maharashtra, with the number pegged at 48.9 lakh persons, according to the paper. Tamil Nadu comes close second with shortage of 46.3 lakh.


"These two states together account for more than 70 per cent of the skills deficit in these seven states (mapped by the paper) with highest per capita NSDP and large skill gaps. Haryana and Gujarat are expected to face shortage of approximately 13 lakhs and 11 lakhs persons respectively by 2022. Kerala, Himachal Pradesh. and Punjab are likely to witness skills shortage of about five lakhs each by 2022,", it said.  

 

In terms of verticals, construction, building and real estate would have incremental human resource requirement of 31 million in the next five years, while retail sector would need about 17 million additional work force. Other sectors generating employment opportunities through skill up- gradation include beauty and wellness (10 million), transportation and logistics (12 million), furniture and furnishing (7.2 million) and handloom, handicrafts (6 million). Textiles and clothing would require additional 6.3 million people and tourism and hospitality 6.5 million.


"Our mapping of the skills shortages suggest that committing resources to training and skill upgradation would serve the twin purpose of employment creation as also helping the industries to grow in a cost effective manner," said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

 

"I think there needs to be a meeting to set an agenda for more meetings about meetings."
― Jonah Goldberg

Dharmendra Pradhan meets visiting PM
of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

MoS (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan meets visiting Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth  


NEW DELHI, MAY 26 :
The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan met Prime Minister Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth of Mauritius who is on a two- day visit to India for bilateral meeting. It is the first overseas visit of Prime Minister Jagnauth to India following his taking over the office as PM of Mauritius in January 2017.


In his meeting Mr Pradhan discussed the strong and ongoing engagement with Mauritius in the hydrocarbon sector. Since 2006, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), India's PSU refinery, has been supplying petroleum products to Mauritius.


Both countries are presently working towards further deepening the engagement in the oil and gas sector. Both also discussed on the bunkering and oil jetty projects that are being jointly taken up by MRPL, Indian Oil Corporation along with State Trading Corporation of Mauritius (STCM).


Both of them discussed on cooperation in the natural gas sector in Mauritius. In this regard they decided that a delegation from Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) will visit Mauritius at the earliest to have detailed discussion with authorities and stake holders in Mauritius.


Mauritius, under its 'Vision 2030', wants to develop as a regional hydrocarbons trading hub. In the meeting Mr Pradhan conveyed India's continued support to Mauritius in meeting its energy requirement and also expressed India's commitment in Mauritius becoming a regional petroleum hub, through requisite oil and gas sector infrastructure development.

 

ASSOCHAM writes to Mines Ministry on
transfer of captive mines within group cos

 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

"Our member companies are delaying intra-group restructuring, in absence of any clarity on transfer and imposition of transfer levy between group companies," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM in a communication addressed to Mr Arun Kumar, secretary, Ministry of Mines

Which, he said otherwise could have resulted amongst others in consolidation of business operations, synergies, unlocking shareholders value and above all better corporate governance structure
 
NEW DELHI, MAY 16 :
Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has reiterated its plea with Ministry of Mines seeking exemption from blanket levy of charges on any transfer of captive mining lease obtained otherwise than through auction, without any exemption on such levies on transfers within group companies, where the effective management control of mining lease does not change.

"Our member companies are delaying intra-group restructuring, in absence of any clarity on transfer and imposition of transfer levy between group companies," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM in a communication addressed to Mr Arun Kumar, secretary, Ministry of Mines.


Which, he said otherwise could have resulted amongst others in consolidation of business operations, synergies, unlocking shareholders value and above all better corporate governance structure.
ASSOCHAM is rest assured that government policies would not stand in the way of such benefits arising out of intra group restructuring and would implement changes clarifying the term, 'transfer of mining leases for mines alienated otherwise than through auction,' exempting imposition of charges in transfers wherein effective control of mining lease does not change.


Previously in its request letter dated December 14, 2016, the chamber highlighted that the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 facilitated banks and financial institutions in liquidating stressed assets together with sale of units/assets by regulatory orders or otherwise.


However, a blanket levy of transfer charge on any transfer of captive mining lease obtained otherwise through auction, without any exemption ins a cause for concern for industries which hold and depend on captive mines for their continued operations.


As such lack of any specific exemptions in the scope of transfer as referred to in the current law prevents the stakeholders from undertaking transfers of mining leases even within their own group entities whether by way of restructuring or undertaking mergers and amalgamations or otherwise.

It noted that manufacturing units with captive mines operate such units through various subsidiary companies. "Such companies falling within the same group structure often undertake corporate restructuring for the purposes like – consolidation of business and operations, achieving synergies in operations, simplification of group structures, unlocking shareholder value, achieving greater economies of scale, reduction of shareholder tiers and better corporate governance structure."

ASSOCHAM also highlighted certain positive outcomes of an exemption in levy of charges to transfers within group companies where effective management control of mining lease does not change.


Some of these positive externalities are - consolidation of companies and simplification of multi-layered structures relating to the same; promotion of goal of restricting extremely complicated corporate holding structures; assist in making effective owners also actual owners of operating company thereby increasing its accountability and oversight; reduction of ambiguity in regulatory framework; ease of doing business and better allocation of resources within the group companies.
ASSOCHAM had also highlighted that a blanket levy of transfer charges on any incident of transfer not only impacts the operation of captive mines, but also on cement, steel and other such industries that are reliant on captive mines for their own continued operation, development of critical infrastructure and growth of the economy.


As such with a view to facilitate ease of doing business and to ensure efficient allocation of resources, ASSOCHAM had urged the Centre to amend the Mineral Rules 2016 to provide that transfer of captive mining leases within the group companies where there is no change in the effective control and management should be freely permissible and not subject to a levy of transfer charge.


It also suggested that to obviate any ambiguity in this regard, the exemption may be based on a shareholding threshold.

 

Pun on village

"There is a beautiful village in every country."

"There you'll find the place I love most in the world. The place where I grew thin from dreaming. My village, rising from the plain. Shaded with trees and leaves like a piggy bank filled with memories. You'll see why a person would want to live there forever. Dawn, morning, mid-day, night: all the same, except for the changes in the air. The air changes the color of things there. And life whirs by as quiet as a murmur...the pure murmuring of life." ? Juan Rulfo, Pedro Páramo

" The inertia of a jungle village is a dangerous thing. Before you know it your whole life has slipped by and you are still waiting there."

"In the great cities we see so little of the world, we drift into our minority. In the little towns and villages there are no minorities; people are not numerous enough. You must see the world there, perforce. Every man is himself a class; every hour carries its new challenge. When you pass the inn at the end of the village you leave your favourite whimsy behind you; for you will meet no one who can share it. We listen to eloquent speaking, read books and write them, settle all the affairs of the universe. The dumb village multitudes pass on unchanging; the feel of the spade in the hand is no different for all our talk: good seasons and bad follow each other as of old. The dumb multitudes are no more concerned with us than is the old horse peering through the rusty gate of the village pound. The ancient map-makers wrote across unexplored regions, 'Here are lions.' Across the villages of fishermen and turners of the earth, so different are these from us, we can write but one line that is certain, 'Here are ghosts.' ("Village Ghosts")" ? W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore

"Village is a place where you can find peace,unity,strength,inspiration and most importantly a natural and beautiful life"

""I was born for the peaceful life, for rural quiet: the lyre's voice in the wild is more resounding, creative dreams are more alive. To harmless leisures consecrated, I wander by a wasteful lake and far niente is my rule. By every morn I am awakened unto sweet mollitude and freedom; little I read, a lot I sleep, fugitive fame do not pursue. Was it not thus in former years, that I spent in inaction, in the shade, my happiest days?" - Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

 

 

Set up stressed assets funds for NPA
resolution, says ASSOCHAM

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

NEW DELHI, MAY 08 :
While lauding the resolute steps being taken by the government and the Reserve Bank of India to tackle the stressed assets in the banking system, the ASSOCHAM has suggested also creation of Stressed Assets Funds (SAFs) with active participation of the cash rich public sector firms to turn non-performing assets (NPAs) into the performing assets. The chamber would be fully cooperating with the government and the Reserve Bank of India in finding immediate and sustainable resolution of the non-performing assets of the public sector banks, expecting a pragmatic and a practical approach by the lenders and the regulators in the face of the situations on the ground in different sectors of the economy, that remain under stress.

 

The ASSOCHAM suggested creation of some kind of a Stress Asset Fund (SAF) which can help in revival of the assets under high leverage. "Once these assets are brought back to shape, the pay-backs to the SAF can take place. Different forms of the SAFs can be thought of, including some of which can be neutral to creating a hole in the government finances. Some of the cash rich public sector companies can be encouraged to participate either in the SAFs or take over some of the assets where the present promoter wants to exit.

 

With the green shoots in several of the sectors, this could even be an opportunity for the government or special purpose vehicles to buy assets at much lower valuations", the chamber said. Lauding the government's move to amend the Banking Regulation Act, along with enabling changes in other related laws, the chamber said while empowering the RBI to help the banks by way of oversight committees was a welcome move, more would be required.

 

"The key would be to have persons of high integrity on these oversight committees, which then should be given all out support from the government to help the lenders resolve the top NPA accounts within a time bound period. What is equally important is that the persons mandated with the task can rest assured that they would be no fear of vigilance bodies after decisions involving some losses for the sake of reviving the stresses assets are taken in good faith," said ASSOCHAM President Mr Sandeep Jajodia.

 

Once the resolution mechanism worked out by the individual banks or Joint Lenders' Forum is approved by the RBI's Oversees Committees, the bank officials implementing the resolution should be given a free hand without any fear of future probes, so that viable commercial decisions are taken. In cases where the stressed assets or NPAs can be turned back into healthy assets, the existing promoters should be extended adequate working capital for the purpose. He said barring very few and exceptional cases, most of the NPAs in stressed sectors like steel, power, telecom or infrastructure, have resulted from adverse business cycles marked by crash in commodity prices , making investments worth several lakhs of crores of rupees unviable.

 

"This is a world wide phenomenon". What is important is that in some of the sectors, policy measures like the ones seen in steel, are seen to be helping. A similar approach is required in power, roads, ports and airports. The issues between the concessionaires and the state authorities as also with the green tribunals should be resolved without any delay and the projects be brought back on viability route. It impressed upon the RBI to quickly clear all the pending applications from foreign investors for setting up Asset Reconstruction Companies in India, giving them a clear-cut framework for business of asset reconstruction.

"The world grows ever complex. More urban. Less peaceful."
― Fennel Hudson, A Meaningful Life - Fennel's Journal - No. 1

SCOPE for bringing NGOs
under ambit of CAG & RTI


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, MAY 06 :
Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar coinciding with CSR Fair 2017 organized by Department of Public Enterprises, Dr U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE emphasized the need of bringing those NGOs who are utilizing public money for CSR under the ambit of CAG and RTI and undertake social audit through an independent agency.

 

Dr. Choubey highlighted the contribution of public sector enterprises towards CSR. PSEs have undertaken CSR activity in letter and spirit.

 

Dr. Choubey informed that CPSEs incurred about Rs. 4,100 crore in 2015-16 as against Rs2450 crore in 2014-15.

 

He emphasized the need of larger proportion of allocation under CSR to rural areas as around 70 percent of our population lives in villages.

 

DG, SCOPE called for providing integrated facilities for internal roads, health, sanitation, education, skill development, internet etc. Tiny and micro industries could be set up and such product could be marketed through appropriate supply chain management. This will enhance the economy in villages and increase the Human Happiness Index, Dr. Choubey added.

 

"Giving evidence against one's employers was the first step to unemployment." - Eoin Colfer, The Opal Deception 

Employment generated under PMEGP
fell 9.5% y-o-y in FY16: Analysis

Amount approved under credit guarantee fund fell by over 6%

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


Employment

"...treasure what it means to do a day's work. It's our one and only chance to do something productive today, and it's certainly not available to someone merely because he is the high bidder. A day's work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you'll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to." - Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
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NEW DELHI, MAY 01 :
The number of employment opportunities generated under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) fell from over 3.5 lakh in 2014-15 to 3.2 lakh in 2015-16 thereby registering year-on-year decline of over 9.5 per cent, noted an analysis conducted by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

 

"Besides, the number of projects set up under the PMEGP also reduced from over 48,100 in FY15 to about 44,300," noted an ASSOCHAM analysis of data compiled by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.


Uttar Pradesh topped with over 43,000 jobs generated under the PMEGP in FY16 but the number of jobs reduced from over 48,600 that were generated in FY15 thereby registering year-on-year decline of over 11 per cent.

 

Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar and Odisha are four other states in this regard.

 

"The PMEGP is an effective scheme aimed at reducing unemployment and generating sustainable employment opportunities in rural and urban India, but there is a need for banks and other institutions must put in collaborative efforts in place to meet the targets of this programme," said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the chamber's analysis.

While the number of credit proposals approved under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) increased significantly from just over four lakh to over 5.1 lakh between 2014-15 and 2015-16, the approved amount under this scheme got reduced from Rs 21,200 crore in FY15 to over Rs 19,900 crore in FY16 i.e. a fall of over six per cent.

Even the number of MSMEs benefitted as part of Marketing Assistance and Technology Up-gradation programme also reduced from 359 in FY15 to 303 in FY16.

 

Besides, the number of trainees under the Entrepreneur Development Programmes Scheme also reduced significantly from over 1.4 lakh in FY15 to just over 66,000 in FY16.

 

While the number of MSMEs benefitted under Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme reduced from over 7,200 in FY15 to just over 5,000 in FY16, the amount of subsidy released also declined by over 28 per cent during this period.

 

The number of new ideas approved as part of Entrepreneurial Development of SMEs through Incubators have increased from 143 in FY15 to 145 in FY16.

 

Even the number of programmes conducted by Intellectual Property Facilitation Centre (IPFC) have increased by over three times i.e. from 21 in FY15 to 69.

Odisha's Department of Agriculture and Farmers" Empowerment signs MoU the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

NEW DELHI, APRIL  21 :
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers" Empowerment (DOA&FE), Government of Oclisha,, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Friday signed a memorandum of u Understanding (MoU) to further the objectives of improving the lives of smallholder farmers and promoting inclusive agricultural transformation in Odisha. In the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnak. Tthe agreement was signed by Mr Hari Ballav Mishra, Director of Agriculture and Food Production, Government of Odisha and Dr Nick Austin. Director of Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The MoU will formalize a partnership between the State Government and the Foundation to accelerate the State’s agriculture programme and improve the lives of smallholder farmers in Odisha.

The MoU will allow the Government and the Foundation to partner on agriculture projects, including a project to improve data management, analysis and use within the Department of Agriculture.


Other activities may include expansion of biofortified crops in Odisha, generating evidence on policy issues pertaining to farmers' income, land, women in agriculture, and crop diversification and developing joint programmes on soil diagnostics and agronomic inputs targeting.

The first project to be initiated under the MoU will build a data management system that supports the Department of Agriculture in using data to make evidence-based policies. The project will combine data from Government sources into a single platform to help the Department monitor and improve its work. It will support the creation of a Technical Support Unit (TSU) within the Government to develop the system and train users. The project will be governed by a Advisory Committee chaired by the Principal Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers" Empowerment, and will leverage the knowledge of local and global experts in data and agriculture.

“Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.”  ~Astrid Alauda

Indian nutraceuticals industry to touch
US$ 8.5 billion by 2022: study

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau



NEW DELHI, APRIL 18 :“Mainstream medicine would be way different if they focused on prevention even half as much as they focused on intervention"

Indian nutraceuticals market is expected to cross from a value of US$ 2.8 billion in 2015 to a value of US$ 8.5 billion by 2022, according to the joint study brought out by ASSOCHAM and RNCOS.

 

In 2015 India accounted for a share of around 2 per cent of the global market. By 2022 the share is anticipated to increase to a value of approximately 3 per cent owing to India,s large population base, increasing urban belt and awareness, according to a study on 'Indian Nutraceuticals, Herbals, and Functional Foods Industry', jointly conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and RNCOS.

 

 


Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came

Sharp rise in ACs, power back up
devices this summer: ASSOCHAM

Thesynergyonlinne Economics Bureau


NEW DELHI, APRIL 15 :
"Summer was here again. Summer, summer, summer. I loved and hated summers. Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That's why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe."
- Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


Onset of early summer with sudden rise of temperature in most parts of India has given a big boost to Air conditioner (ACs), inverters, generators and air coolers with demand estimated to be going up between 35-45 per cent this season as compared to last year, an ASSOCHAM survey has indicated.

In all the major cities, the demand for AC has seen a sharp pick up in the last three weeks with the trend growing up by the day, as heat and dust goes up, particularly in northern, western and eastern parts of the country. According to the market survey based on feedback from the retailers and distribution chain, the ACs market is expected to increase by 40-45% this year. The apprehensions of deficient rains because of possible El Nino would add to the demand for the electric gadgets including the power back up devices like generators and inverters, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest paper.

Seizing the opportunity, the consumer finance companies are offering tempting offers claiming zero interest options, adding to the demand surge, the survey noted.

  • April

    "TO what purpose, April, do you return again? Beauty is not enough. You can no longer quiet me with the redness Of little leaves opening stickily. I know what I know. The sun is hot on my neck as I observe The spikes of the crocus. The smell of the earth is good. It is apparent that there is no death. But what does that signify? Not only under ground are the brains of men Eaten by maggots. Life in itself Is nothing, An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs. It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

  • Summer

    "Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth…It has no day." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • "Autumn"

    "To Autumn Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness! Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core." - John Keats, The Complete Poems" - Timothy Findley, The Wars

  • "The seasons bring to life the living lyre"

    "Summer The seasons between spring and autumn, comprising in the Northern Hemisphere the warmest months of the year: June, July and August. The period of finest development, perfection, or beauty previous to any decline; the summer of life." - Cecelia Ahern, The Year I Met You

  • "The summer in you calms the winter in me." ? Saiber, The Summer in You

    ""I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers: Of April, May, of June, and July flowers. I sing of Maypoles, Hock-carts, wassails, wakes, Of bridegrooms, brides, and of their bridal cakes." - Robert Herrick

 

 


In bigger markets and well off areas, the demand for split air conditioners is witnessing a sharp rise , though the base remains low. "As the window space is an issue in growing cities, the split ACs are preferred. Besides, the segment has caught the imagination of the better off and upper middle class people, though the price differential between the window and split is upward of 30 per cent", ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat remarked.


The survey noted that the customer is lot more conscious about energy saving devices thanks to high cost of electricity. The awareness about the star ratings for the electric devices is on the rise , which is a good sign, said Mr. Rawat.


With the increase in demand for electricity and peak hour shortages still seen in several states like UP, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, among others, the demand for the power back up devices like invertors and generators is expected to rise by 20-25 per cent this summer over the same period last year. Such devices are in more in demand in tier-II and tier-III cities.


Though air coolers are giving way to air conditioners, the product design for the former has really seen quite an improvement. Some of the high end air coolers are coming in compact design and shape. However, the key lies in their difference in pricing and power consumption as compared to ACs.
While people sweat it out, the business opportunities in the ongoing summer are there for asking, the ASSOCHAM survey said.


AC maintenance companies reported a 100 per cent jump in demand over the past week alone while residents grappled with stifling conditions in homes and offices, reveals the survey.

"Each meeting occurs at the precise moment for which it was meant. Usually, when it will have the greatest impact on our lives." - Nadia Scrieva, Fathoms of Forgiveness

 


 

43rd AGM of SCOPE held

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Mr Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE and CMD, MMTC and Dr U D Choubey, Director General, SCOPE addressing the Governing Council Members.
 

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29 : The 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Governing Council of SCOPE (the apex body of PSEs) was held on Wednesday (December 28, 2016.

Mr. Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE & CMD, MMTC and Dr. U.D. Choubey, Director General, SCOPE addressed the Governing Council Members. Large many representatives of PSUs were  present on the occasion.

 

 Mr. Ved Prakash, Chairman, SCOPE in his address informed  that SCOPE has transformed its role to become more proactive to enable the PSEs to compete in today’s highly dynamic global environment. 

He thanked Chief Executives of member PSEs for the support extended to SCOPE all these years for the sustained performance and growth of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) in India. 

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"The payment of legitimate taxes should be considered as part of the process", says Aurn Jaitley

FM : There is a need for move towards
a mindset of voluntary compliance

Payment of due tax is a responsibility of every citizen; Coordination between the Central and the State administration is important for smooth transition of GST regime so that the taxpayer of the country does not suffer.

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Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


Legimate taxes

The Finance Minister also reminded the officers that India's economy is undergoing major changes and that shall continue to challenge them to be capable officers at every stage of their career. The Finance Minster stressed on the 'Culture of Correctness' and 'Fairness' that every officer should follow in their work as Revenue Officers. He also wished NACEN well in the construction of the new Training Campus and Academy in Palasamudram, Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh. He concluded his address by motivating the officer trainees to train well and become officers who can lead this country into economic glory.
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 26 : The Union Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley said that there is an urgent need for change in mindset and India has to move towards a mindset of voluntary compliance. He said that the payment of legitimate taxes should be considered as part of the process and nobody should think that tax evasion is acceptable.

 

The Finance Minister further said that the payment of due tax is a responsibility of every citizen. The Finance Minister was delivering the inaugural address after inaugurating the Professional Training Course of 68th Batch of IRS (C&CE) Officer Trainees at National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) in Faridabad (Haryana) on Monday.

 

Addressing the young IRS Officers, the Finance Minister inspired them to be hardworking and efficient while ensuring integrity and credibility in their careers. The Finance Minister expressed his faith in the probationers to be able to carry-out the onerous task of smooth rolling-out and administering the new indirect tax administration system i.e. Goods and Services Tax (GST). Mr Jaitley impressed the gathering the importance of coordination between the Central and the State administrations in smooth transition from the old to the new Indirect Tax regime so that the taxpayer of the country does not suffer.

The Finance Minister also reminded the officers that the economy of the country is undergoing major changes and that shall continue to challenge them to be capable officers at every stage of their career. The Finance Minster stressed on the 'Culture of Correctness' and 'Fairness' that every officer should follow in their work as Revenue Officers. He also wished NACEN well in the construction of the new Training Campus and Academy in Palasamudram, Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh. He concluded his address by motivating the officer trainees to train well and become officers who can lead this country into economic glory.
 

The Finance Minister also reminded the officers that the economy of the country is undergoing major changes and that shall continue to challenge them to be capable officers at every stage of their career. The Finance Minster stressed on the 'Culture of Correctness' and 'Fairness' that every officer should follow in their work as Revenue Officers. He also wished NACEN well in the construction of the new Training Campus and Academy in Palasamudram, Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh. He concluded his address by motivating the officer trainees to train well and become officers who can lead this country into economic glory.


Along with the Union Minister of Finance,Mr Arun Jaitley, Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC), Mr. Najib Shah, Members of the Central Board of Excise and Customs – Mrs Vanaja Sarna, Mr Ram Tirth and Mr S Ramesh also were present on the occasion with their presence. The function was also attended by senior district authorities including the Municipal Commissioner of Faridabad, Ms. Sonal Goel.

 


Earlier, the event commenced with traditional lighting of the lamp and presentation of a sapling to the Union Finance Minister.

 

In his welcome address, the Director General of NACEN, Mr P.K. Dash spoke about the history of NACEN and introduced the 68th Batch to the gathering. The strength of 68th Batch of IRS(C&CE) is 186 officer trainees, consisting of 32 female officers and 154 male officers, including 5 Bhutanese Officers. The average age of the batch is 28, with the youngest probationer being 23 years old. The batch consists of 50 per cent engineers, 16 per cent Doctors, 11 per cent MBAs, 3 per cent Law graduates, 2.2 per cent PhD awardees, 11 per cent Masters and 4.9 per cent Bachelors degree holders. The Director General also thanked the Finance Minister for backing NACEN's efforts to develop a new state-of-the-art world class academy at Palasamudram, Andhra Pradesh.

 

The Chairman, CBEC, Mr. Najib Shah in his address talked about the content and process of training that the IRS (C&CE) probationers undergo while at NACEN. He also stressed on the importance of the IRS(C&CE) Officers in guarding the economic frontiers of the country as well as facilitating the trade for which CBEC has taken lot of initiatives in the recent past.

 

"Humanity is not without answers or solutions regarding how to liberate itself from scenarios that invariably end with mass exterminations. Tools such as compassion, trust, empathy, love, and ethical discernment are already in our possession. The next sensible step would be to use them."
― Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays

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Click here to expand : FICCI CSR Summit and Awards 2016

 

Conference on "Strengthening CSR Ecosystem
in India for Sustainable Impact" held

 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Strengthening CSR Ecosystem in India for Sustainable Impact'
"The first step towards creating an enabling environment is to include key external stakeholders such as governments, incubators and public institutions experts. The FICCI CSR Summit and Awards is one such platform to engage, discuss and share experiences."
As for Korean companies in India, it has been challenging to localize their initiatives and bring efficiency which is a common problem faced by MNCs. Right now there are 500 Korean companies in India but soon the number will touch 1000 because of the booming Indian industry. Despite success stories of Hyundai, LG, Samsung in CSR space, there is a huge prospect for refining the model."
Padma Bhushan Mrs Rajashree Birla, said, "CSR is increasingly becoming a business strategy and it can reap accelerated results and success when CSR vision is parallel with the business vision."
"The first step towards creating an enabling environment is to include key external stakeholders such as governments, incubators and public institutions experts. The FICCI CSR Summit and Awards is one such platform to engage, discuss and share experiences."
 


Women empowerment

The 6th Korea-India CSR Forum was one of the highlights of the conference. Alluding to the six years of association of Korean Embassy in India with FICCI, Mr. Hyun Cho, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in India, said, "What can justify the constant efforts to create this dialogue is the underlining belief that if we work hard on issues, discuss the content, we can improve anything including our CSR initiatives. Even in Korea, CSR is evolving to cover more and more business ethics and human rights".
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 NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 24 :
The FICCI CSR Summit 2016 concluded which was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the theme'Strengthening CSR Ecosystem in India for Sustainable Impact'.

 

The conference provided a platform to exchange ideas about strengthening CSR ecosystem in India for sustainable impact.

 


In the inaugural session, Padma Bhushan Mrs Rajashree Birla, said, "CSR is increasingly becoming a business strategy and it can reap accelerated results and success when CSR vision is parallel with the business vision."


Dr A. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said, "The first step towards creating an enabling
environment is to include key external stakeholders such as governments, incubators and public
institutions experts. The FICCI CSR Summit and Awards is one such platform to engage, discuss and share experiences."


The 6th Korea-India CSR Forum was one of the highlights of the conference. Alluding to the six years of association of Korean Embassy in India with FICCI, Mr. Hyun Cho, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in India, said, "What can justify the constant efforts to create this dialogue is the underlining belief that if we work hard on issues, discuss the content, we can improve anything including our CSR initiatives. Even in Korea, CSR is evolving to cover more and more business ethics and human rights".

 

Mr. Hyun Cho added, "As for Korean companies in India, it has been challenging to localize their initiatives and bring efficiency which is a common problem faced by MNCs. Right now there are 500 Korean companies in India but soon the number will touch 1000 because of the booming Indian industry. Despite success stories of Hyundai, LG, Samsung in CSR space, there is a huge prospect for refining the model."

 

The forum delved deep into the strategies adopted by Korean companies in India with a round of
discussion with CSR heads of exclusive Korean companies and professor of Korean studies. India Korea relations has made great strides in recent years and has become truly multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high level exchanges.

 

During the conference exclusive discussions on various aspects of CSR such as on sustainable skill, inclusive development of people with disabilities, women entrepreneurship and sustainable wash solutions, were organized.

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Citations

 


Women's contribution growing significantly in India's economic development

"Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, One Stop Centre, Kaushal Vikas, Mahila Kosh and other such schemes aimed at empowering women are being implemented across states," says Ms Krishna Raj. 00ff33 66ccff ffff99 00ffcc

 

Women's contribution growing significantly
in India's economic development

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Women empowerment

Highlighting the role of trade and industry in promoting women empowerment, Ms Raj said, "More and more women need to be encouraged to take benefit of all such government schemes, industry bodies have a significant responsibility of promoting awareness as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives."
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 23 : The Centre is working towards getting various women-centric schemes and policies implemented at various levels across states in India, Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Ms Krishna Raj said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.

"We are getting various policies for women empowerment implemented across states to further boost their contribution in India's economic development," said Ms Raj while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM summit on 'Enterprising Women: Rise up the ladder.'

"Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, One Stop Centre, Kaushal Vikas, Mahila Kosh and other such schemes aimed at empowering women are being implemented across states," she said.

"There is a need to promote awareness about various schemes floated by the government for women empowerment, more so in rural centres," she added.

The Union Minister said that through such schemes, women are not only getting trained but are also setting up their own businesses and are promoting employment at various levels.

Highlighting the role of trade and industry in promoting women empowerment, Ms Raj said, "More and more women need to be encouraged to take benefit of all such government schemes, industry bodies have a significant responsibility of promoting awareness as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives."

"It is not just at the urban centres, but women are significantly contributing towards growth and development of almost every sector today," further said the Union Minister.

She also said that women need to become fearless and raise their voices against the wrongdoings.

In her address at the ASSOCHAM conference, Aam Aadmi Party MLA, Ms Alka Lamba stressed upon the need for women to shed all inhibitions about the society's view about them but instead work towards becoming independent without getting bogged down by negativity.

"Women have been facing challenges in every sphere of life as such they should not wait for society and people to change their mindset but instead remain positive and work towards reaching their goal," said Ms Lamba.

Urgent need to promote innovative and environment-friendly urban transportation suitable for India : Mandaviya



Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


Crude rise

He said people should ride bicycles to promote a more sustainable and friendly form of urban mobility thereby linking it to positive values such as social equity, environment friendly and healthy mode of transport.
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 23 : There is a pressing need to promote research and innovation for devising a sustainable urban road transport model that is suitable for India, Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Mr Mansukh L Mandaviya said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.

"We have so many new and renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, bio-fuel, electric and hybrid vehicles, automation and other such technologies, all of this is important, but we should come up with our own model based on traditional and indigenous ways and means as that would be more apt," said the Union Minister while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on 'Sustainable Urban Transport.'

"It is not necessary that a model which has been successful in a particular country will also prove to be fruitful for India, we need to devise our own model to tackle traffic related problems at urban centres," he added.

He said people should ride bicycles to promote a more sustainable and friendly form of urban mobility thereby linking it to positive values such as social equity, environment friendly and healthy mode of transport.

"More and more people should begin to embrace the bicycle as an alternative for stimulating a more sustainable urban mobility," said Mr Mandaviya.
 

Mr Mandaviya also talked about further promoting inland water transport.

 

 
SCOPE seminar.

Interest cut to be far cry as dollar,
crude rise: ASSOCHAM Paper

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Crude rise

Commenting on the situation, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said, "we are slowing moving away from a highly beneficial position of low crude oil prices and a stable and strong rupee which made the landed cost of energy quite cheap. This has helped the government finances as also benefited the consumers. Now, we are getting into the reverse position where crude oil is firming up and rupee is becoming weaker. Thus, it would be a double whammy of increased import bill in dollar terms and on top of it, higher landed cost on account of weaker rupee .
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 18 : The prospects for cut in the policy interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be adversely affected by continuous pressure on rupee against dollar, firming of the US interest rates along with the hardening of the crude oil prices, an ASSOCHAM Paper on the unfolding Macro Picture noted.



"It is true that there is an ample liquidity in the banking system following demonetization and lowering of inflation both at the WPI and CPI levels, but then this cannot be taken as a normal situation. Once the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes are replaced and fresh currency is injected back into the system fully, the ball game would change. Besides, there are certain commodities like sugar and wheat which are witnessing firming of prices," the Paper pointed out.

It said, the biggest risks are emanating from the unfolding global scenario marking sharp strengthening of the US dollar , raking in international money back into the American economy. Most of the Emerging Markets have witnessed huge outflows, exerting pressure on their currencies. "While India may get consolation from the fact that we are less affected, the fact is we are amongst the largest crude oil importers in the world and net importing country. So, the dollar strengthening has a direct and immediate impact on the country's overall balance of payment position and would lead to inflation in the medium term".

Commenting on the situation, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said, "we are slowing moving away from a highly beneficial position of low crude oil prices and a stable and strong rupee which made the landed cost of energy quite cheap. This has helped the government finances as also benefited the consumers. Now, we are getting into the reverse position where crude oil is firming up and rupee is becoming weaker. Thus, it would be a double whammy of increased import bill in dollar terms and on top of it, higher landed cost on account of weaker rupee ".

 

According to the ASSOCHAM Paper while weaker rupee is good news for the Indian exporters,
they would face greater competition from the peers like China, Vietnam, the Philippines
and Bangladesh. "The Chinese currency is melting against dollar , helping its exporters
in the process. Thanks to weakening of the Renminbi, Japan has overtaken China as the largest
holder of the US treasuries".

 


Among the domestic challenges, the play-out of the demonetization remains to be seen in terms of impact on the Gross Domestic Product while uncertainty over implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has increased.

"Thus, however much we in the industry might like to see lowering of interest rates, the macro picture may be make it a difficult proposition", the Paper noted.

 

"How hurtful it can be to deny one's true self and live a life of lies just to appease others."
― June Ahern

Need to inspire commitment in our workforce:
Pranab Mukherjee, President of India

To know much and taste nothing-of what use is that?”  ― Bonaventure

 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Spirituality

"Spirituality is important for any individual. At times, it is confused with religion but spirituality carries a deeper meaning in its strong connect in our daily lives, including our workplace. Being spiritual is being devoted, including devotion to one's work. Working harder for the growth of the nation is an act of devotion in itself. "
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 16 : A workforce that is motivated and content, work with devotion and passion, strives for achievement and betterment, indicates the power of a spiritual and honest mind, said President Mr Pranab Mukherjee at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi on Friday.


Spirituality means embodying kindness, compassion and selflessness. If these values flourish in our offices and factories, they would become happy and productive workplaces, the President said while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM World Confluence of Humanity, Power & Spirituality Programme here at New Delhi.

Their effect will transmit to the wider community. At the organisational level, companies have to look at how they are upholding their values. How congruous are their actions with regard to what they espouse as their values? How ethical are their actions and how fair are their practices? What behaviours in their employees are they rewarding ? Are these behaviours consistent with their values? Is there trust within the organisation and is the organisation trusted by the outside world for its integrity?", said President of India.

India is a nation with a large young population. The youth is our greatest strength and our beacon of hope for a brighter future. We have to ensure that our rich civilization values are instilled in them. If business leaders and other stakeholders come together, we can actualize the potential of our bright young minds. As we strive for higher levels of socio-economic development, we need to ensure that we remain connected to our values, said Mr. Mukherjee.

In today's world which is becoming more and more insular, it is imperative that we use spirituality to guide us in our thoughts, deeds and actions. Spirituality shows us how to treat others. All religions profess values for reformation of the human being. The Gita says and I quote: "Perform all work carefully, guided by compassion", said President of India.

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Organisations have to ensure that their culture-the way they do things promotes a spirit of inclusion and collaboration. Working towards self-actualization has to be a way of life for the employees. An organisation that believes in and works towards spirituality at workplace will ensure that its people have every opportunity to self-explore, seek a higher purpose and behave with others with kindness and selflessness.


Spirituality is important for any individual. At times, it is confused with religion but spirituality carries a deeper meaning in its strong connect in our daily lives, including our workplace. Being spiritual is being devoted, including devotion to one's work. Working harder for the growth of the nation is an act of devotion in itself.

Human life is full of challenges and contradictions. On the one hand, we are continuously racing against time running towards fulfilling our life ambitions. Amidst work pressure and the anxiety to prove ourselves, we are also driven by the desire to look for peace of mind and achieve inner satisfaction. There diverse threads are not very difficult to integrate but to comprehend them, we have to delve deeper to understand the true meaning of life. This platform, to my mind, should help us to clarify come of our doubts and concerns.

 

Spirituality forms the support base of the moral and social principles which has made mankind civilized. We belong to a country and a civilization that has always attached great importance to spiritual thought. It is one of the many gifts India has given to the world. From ancient times to modern age, India has been a guiding light among nations when it comes to spiritual leadership.

"Consequences need not be the obstacles that I dread, but the direction that I need." - Craig D. Lounsbrough
 
 

Demonetisation a short term challenge :
Dr Arvind Subramanian, CEA

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

"Dr Subramanian said one of the challenges for the Indian economy in the short term is to manage the demonetisation fall-out "How do we manage demonetisation in the next few weeks and months", he said, adding however, that this would be a short term phenomenon.
On the hike in US interest rates, the CEA in the Finance Ministry said "This was anticipated and expected. My own view is that on this the Indian economy is very well cushioned to absorb the impact of this. The RBI policy also took account of this in a very sensible way. There may be some short term things. This is not something we need to worry about".
Listing the global challenges to be dealt with by the Indian economy, Dr. Subramanian said while the strengthening of US dollar would be of less concern, the main headwind can be felt in the form of weakening of Chinese currency and those of other competing economies.
As for the rising crude oil prices, he said there would be some ups and down. "If it persists there would be some implications but I don't think oil prices are going to surge to a level which is difficult to handle for India".

SCOPE

On the demand from the ASSOCHAM for lower rates in the goods and services tax (GST) Dr. Subramanian said the lower and simple taxes are always preferable but there was a strong case for inclusion of real estate and electricity into the GST value chain. He echoed the views express by ASSOCHAM president Mr. Sunil Kanoria and several others senior members of its managing committee who shared their perspective about state of Indian economy particularly after the demonetisation of high value currency notes.
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NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 15 :
Asserting that the Indian economy is "very stable" at macro level, the Chief Economic Advisor Dr Arvind Subramanian today said, managing demonetisation is a short term challenge for the next few weeks and months.

 

Addressing the ASSOCHAM Interactive session in New Delhi, Dr. Subramanian said one of the challenges for the Indian economy in the short term is to manage the demonetisation fall-out "How do we manage demonetisation in the next few weeks and months", he said, adding however, that this would be a short term phenomenon.

 

Referring to some important global developments like the latest hike in the US Federal Reserve rates and firming up of crude oil prices, he said the Indian economy is well- cushioned to cope up with these events.

 

On the hike in US interest rates, the CEA in the Finance Ministry said "This was anticipated and expected. My own view is that on this the Indian economy is very well cushioned to absorb the impact of this. The RBI policy also took account of this in a very sensible way. There may be some short term things. This is not something we need to worry about".



Asked about the outflows from the emerging markets, he said after the US elections there were already big fund flows from the emerging markets. "But given that India is in bright spot, the impact on us would be much smaller", said Dr. Subramanian.

 

As for the rising crude oil prices, he said there would be some ups and down. "If it persists there would be some implications but I don't think oil prices are going to surge to a level which is difficult to handle for India".



On the demand from the ASSOCHAM for lower rates in the goods and services tax (GST) Dr. Subramanian said the lower and simple taxes are always preferable but there was a strong case for inclusion of real estate and electricity into the GST value chain. He echoed the views express by ASSOCHAM president Mr. Sunil Kanoria and several others senior members of its managing committee who shared their perspective about state of Indian economy particularly after the demonetisation of high value currency notes.

Listing the global challenges to be dealt with by the Indian economy, Dr. Subramanian said while the strengthening of US dollar would be of less concern, the main headwind can be felt in the form of weakening of Chinese currency and those of other competing economies.

Listing the global challenges to be dealt with by the Indian economy, Dr. Subramanian said while the strengthening of US dollar would be of less concern, the main headwind can be felt in the form of weakening of Chinese currency and those of other competing economies.

 

He said it is not only the Chinese currency but also from Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh which would become more competitive. This could affect India's competiveness in the export markets. He said if the Indian economy has to grow by 8 per cent, then exports must expand by 15 per cent.

 

But key factor to watch, in the unfolding global scenario, would be whether the developed countries would be able to 'handle' more exports especially that of services from developing countries like India.


Dr. Subramanian also pointed out several key economic reforms undertaken by Indian economy in the recent past. This included passage of GST Constitutional Amendment Bill which he described as the "mother of all achievements".

 

The other reforms included the passage of the bankruptcy law allowing easy exit, Adhaar bill making the direct benefit transfer schemes functional and institutionalizing of the monetary policy committee in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

 



 

 

 

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