Speed of economic recovery a ‘pleasant surprise’: Niti Aayog’s Rajiv Kumar


Vice Chairman on Friday termed the speed of India’s economic recovery as a “pleasant surprise” and said manufacturing shows a positive growth that confirms a rebound.

India’s economy recovered faster than expected in the September quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 per cent and held out hopes for further improvement on better consumer demand.

“Speed of #economic recovery springs a pleasant surprise. #Manufacturing shows a positive growth which is the confirmation of a rebound of demand led recovery,” Kumar said in a tweet.

The gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the 2020-21 fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021) as the coronavirus lockdown pummelled economic activity.

With the gradual opening up from June, the economy has picked up, according to official data released on Friday.

Manufacturing clocked a surprise 0.6 per cent growth in July-September after it had shrunk by a massive 39 per cent in the preceding quarter.

Continuing its good showing, the agriculture sector grew by 3.4 per cent,

Uber, Ola surge price capped; 10-hour break must for taxi drivers


Ride-hailing aggregators such as and have been brought under the Centre’s regulation, implying greater scrutiny and stringent penalties for any non-compliance related to passenger fare and labour rules like working hours of drivers. Government control over the cab tariff structure tops the list of regulations. The new norms, as per the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020, have mandated a cap on surge price, preventing aggregators from charging more than 1.5 times of the base fare.

The new legal framework would also mean a driver working with Ola, or similar aggregator cannot be logged in for more than 12 hours in a day. There has to be a mandatory 10-hour break after working for 12 hours. For cancellation of bookings, either by the driver or the rider, the penalty has been fixed at 10 per cent of the fare, but it cannot exceed Rs 100.

The cab aggregator stares at suspension of licence on multiple grounds —if it fails to ensure safety of its riders, if it charges higher rates repeatedly and in case it fails to comply with the contractual obligations towards drivers. If the aggregator receives

Tips for getting on top of self assessment tax return deadline


Whilst the 2018/19 tax year end may seem like a distant memory, the 31st January 2020 deadline for filing online Self Assessment tax returns is fast approaching.

Here is a handy checklist to help business partners, those who are self-employed and others with taxable income to prepare for the end of the month with the help of their accountants – and without breaking a sweat.

First time filing a return? Register. If this is your first time filing your tax return online, it’s vital you ensure that you have requested a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) if you don’t already have one, and activated your account using the code sent to you in the post. As it can take up to 10 working days to receive your code, it’s important to register today to avoid missing the 31st January deadline and having to pay a fee.

Pile up your paperwork. Before you or your accountant can submit your return, you’ll need various documents including your National Insurance number, a record of your untaxed income from the 2018/19 tax year, proof of any income you’ve been taxed on already such as your P60 or P45, details of any pension or charitable

Over 19 quarters taken to clear unsold real estate inventory, says Ind-Ra


The Covid-19 pandemic-triggered lockdown had increased the number of quarters taken to clear unsold inventory to over 15 at the end of 2019-20 (FY20). This number has increased to over 19 quarters at the end of the first half (H1) of 2020-21 (FY21), exacerbated by muted sales in the first quarter (Q1) and slow recovery in the second quarter (Q2), said India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), quoting data analytics firm Liases Foras.

Of the six key markets, Hyderabad and Bengaluru had the least inventory, while Chennai had the maximum unsold inventory, followed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in H1FY21, it said.

Residential sales were down 50 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to 68 million square (sq.) feet (ft) in H1FY21 across the major six cities. Delhi-National Capital Region and Bengaluru saw maximum decline YoY in H1FY21 (over 55 per cent) due to the lockdown. Also, the share of total sales for the affordable housing segment (homes valued up to Rs 50 lakh) witnessed slight decline (33 per cent) YoY, compared to H1FY20 (35 per cent).

“The residential sector continues to underperform as an asset class, impacting investor demand. Hyderabad remains the only

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