LTC scheme: Consumer electronic players eye boost in festive demand


The government’s LTC Cash Voucher Scheme and Rs 10,000 festival advance to its employees will provide more liquidity to the customers for discretionary spends and boost demand, said and appliance industry players.

The move will help the industry, which is now witnessing encouraging signs of revival helped by factors such as pent-up demand and normal monsoon boosting agricultural output, according to the and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA).

“The special festival advance schemes will provide more liquidity to the customers for discretionary spends. With the upcoming festive season, this will augur well for the consumer durables segment,” said CEAMA President Kamal Nandi.

Traditionally, the festive season, which starts in the northern region from Dussehra and goes up to Diwali, roughly accounts up to 25 per cent of the total sales, as the Indian customers make many of their big-ticket purchases such as appliances during the festive season.

During the pandemic, consumers have appreciated the value appliances add to their lives as they are looking for comfort and convenience at home with the adoption of the ‘work from home’ format.

“The industry is

Firms likely to move court against arrest provisions under GST laws


Companies are likely to file a petition in the Orissa High Court (HC) next week challenging constitutional validity of jail provisions under the goods and services tax (GST) laws.

While the government claims that companies are booked under GST laws for fraudulently claiming the input tax credit (ITC), experts find loopholes in the provisions, particularly those related to arrests.

According to the Orissa HC’s observation in a case pertaining to jail of a businessman, 1,620 cases of fraudulent claims for ITC involving a sum of Rs 11,251.3 crore were registered during 2018-19. The number of cases stood at 535 involving a sum of Rs 2,565.40 till June 25 during 2019-20, the court said.

Abhishek Rastogi, partner at Khaitan & Co, who is arguing the cases of arrest of businessmen in various courts, said the Section 69 of the central GST Act is arbitrary since it gives powers to GST commissioners to arrest a person if he has “reasons to believe” that the person has claimed fraudulent ITC.

Commissioners can order up to five years of arrest of a person who he has reasons to believe is engaged in

Trade bodies urge Centre to set up shipping regulator to control surging freight charges


Several trade bodies have urged

the Centre to set up a regulator to deal with the rising charges, amid the problem of container shortages that exporters are facing.

Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) claimed that lines are demanding high charges as inward traffic from different countries, particularly from China, has declined for which the exporters are required to pay a higher amount for outbound consignments.

“Imports from China have fallen and the liners have increased rates. No company likes to sail empty after delivery of export consignments,” Sanjay Budhia, chairman of CII national committee on exports and imports, told PTI.

He said all the exporters across the country are facing this problem.

“This is leading to a situation where cargo is lying at ports. We urged the government to set up a regulator to control the freight rates,” Budhia said, adding that exports have started to pick up despite the coronavirus crisis.

After contracting for six months in a row, the country’s exports grew by 5.27 per cent to USD 27.4 billion in September.


Monetary policy review: RBI expects ‘modest’ recovery in Jan-March


Six months into FY21, the (RBI) released its first estimate of economic growth in 2020-21 as its October monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting ended on Friday.

Accounting for the impact of the pandemic, real gross domestic product (GDP) in FY21 will fall 9.5 per cent, the MPC noted in its statement.

In that, the RBI gave quarterly estimates. After a 24 per cent fall in Q1, the central bank expects real GDP to fall 9.8 per cent in Q2, shed 5.6 per cent in Q3, and grow 0.5 per cent in Q4, with January-March marking the first quarter of a “modest” recovery.

As growth recovers, the MPC said inflation would moderate towards the range 4.5-5.4 per cent in the remainder of FY21.

It will further ease to 4.3 per cent in the first half of 2021-22, it noted, but with caution about “substantial” risks to the outlook if supply-side responses were not strong enough. The committee said growth was its priority this time, and the inflation surge was transient in nature.

“The MPC is of the view that revival in the economy from an

No change in export policy of iron ore pellets; opinion under review: Govt


The government on Thursday said there has been no change in the export policy of iron ore pellets not manufactured by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd, rebutting charges levelled by the Congress that Rs 40,000 crore worth of the product was exported in violation of rules by some private players, causing loss to the state exchequer.

Issuing a clarification, the Department of Commerce said that a notification, dated September 26, 2014, was issued, as per which the export policy of iron ore pellets manufactured by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd (KIOCL) was amended to ‘free’ from ‘canalised’.

In that notification, a policy condition was also added that the export of the pellets manufactured by KIOCL is to be done by KIOCL, Bangalore or any entity authorised by them, it said.

“However, there has been no amendment to the export policy of Iron Ore Pellets not manufactured by KIOCL,” it added.

The government also clarified that the legal opinion from Deputy Legal Advisor, Department of Legal Affairs “has not been endorsed” by the senior officials of the department and cannot be taken as the official legal view on

Only 25% aware of energy efficient appliances in India, shows data


India has successfully provided metered electricity connections to 97 per cent households, but barely 25 per cent are aware of energy efficient appliances, said a recent report by the Council of Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW).

The report also pointed out shortcomings in the awareness programmes organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

The study by CEEW found that 40 per cent of households ranked appliance cost as the most important factor in a purchase decision, followed by other parameters, including brand popularity, durability and energy savings.

After almost a decade and a half since launch of the ‘Standards & Labeling’ (S&L) programme, only a quarter of the electrified Indian households have heard of ‘star labels’, said the report. The awareness is relatively lower among the rural population.

“Low awareness about BEE star labels highlights the need for year-round and sustained awareness campaigns, in regio­n­al langu­ages and thr­ough diverse media, to capture the attention of consumers in smal­ler towns and rural areas,” the CEEW said. The report comes after a recent CAG observation on consumers paying extra for star-labelled appliances even though they were not

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