Category — Politics

Swedes Consider Business Climate in India as Favorable

The embassy of Sweden in India and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce released the 9th edition of their Business Climate Survey report for India, wherein 65 percent (a massive jump from the only 15 percent in 2013) of Swedish multinationals put India as a favorable destination to do business. This survey reflects the views of some of the biggest Swedish companies such as  Ericsson, IKEA, Volvo,  Scania, and Electrolux .•

NDTV reports that among the 160 of the 170 companies in India that took part in the survey, 64 percent of them claimed to be satisfied to be doing business in India; 80 per cent of the companies claimed they would be going ahead with their India investment plan as usual. “There are some challenges as well like the bureaucracy. Companies find it difficult to get licenses easily,” Anne Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, told the publication.

Part of a questionnaire for surveying the business climate in India

The Economic Times says that the key findings in the Business Climate Survey 2016/17 include:

  • The direct and indirect jobs created across the country by Swedish companies in India shows an increase of 20% since 2014
  • Goods and Services Tax matters: 3 out of 4 companies say the reform contributed positively to the business climate in India
  • 45 Swedish companies are a part of “Make in India”
  • 8 out of 10 companies invested as per plans or more last year
  • 8 out of 10 say they will increase their investments in the coming years
  • 7 out of 10 companies are involved in skills development, either through business operations or community development programs

 

May 25, 2017   No Comments

U.S., India Collaborate on Building Radar Satellite

NASA and India’s ISRO – the Indian Space Research Organization – will jointly build a satellite called NISAR or the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite which could be the world’s most expensive Earth imaging satellite, and will cost the two countries over 1.5 billion dollars.

In a meeting in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K.Radhakrishnan, Chairman ISRO, signed two documents to launch the NASA-ISRO satellite mission.

“NISAR is the first big collaboration between NASA and ISRO, certainly on radar  but just in general as well. This is two frequency radar:  it is an L-band 24 centimeter  and S-band 13 centimeter. S-band is being built by ISRO and L-band by NASA. It is a major collaboration both in terms of the technical building of the satellite as well as working together across the Pacific between India and U.S.,” said Paul A. Rosen, a scientist working on the NISAR satellite project.

The NISAR satellite will be launched in 2021 from India using ISRO’s  Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, reports NDTV.

US and India Flags

May 25, 2017   No Comments

India Finalizes Rates for new GST Tax

At a two-day meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in Srinagar, the capital of India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, India finalized tax rates that will apply to different goods and services from July 1. A panel comprising federal and state finance ministers fixed the rates for over 1211 items under the Goods and Services tax.

Goods
No tax will be imposed on food items such as fresh meat, fish chicken, eggs, milk, butter milk, yogurt, natural honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, flour, bread, and salt to mention a few. Stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, and bangles, are some of the non-food items which will not be taxed.

A 5% tax will be applied on items such as fish fillet, cream, skimmed milk powder, frozen vegetables, coffee, tea, spices, and edible oil for example. Kerosene, coal, medicines, stents and lifeboats will also be taxed at 5%.

A 12% tax will be levied on frozen meat products , butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits in packaged form, animal fat, sausage, fruit juices, savory snack items. Ayurvedic medicines, tooth powder, incense, coloring books, picture books, umbrellas, sewing machines, and mobile phones also fall in this tax bracket.

An 18% tax slab will be applied to refined sugar, pasta, cornflakes, pastries and cakes, preserved vegetables, jams, sauces, soups, ice cream, instant food mixes, and mineral water to name a few. Tissues, envelopes, tampons, note books, steel products, printed circuits, cameras, speakers and monitors also fall in this tax slab.

A 28% tax – the highest in the GST systemwill be levied on chewing gum, molasses, waffles and wafers coated with chocolate, and aerated water. This tax slab also includes items such as paints, deodorants, shaving creams, after shave lotions, shampoos, dyes, sunscreen, wallpaper, ceramic tiles, water heaters, dishwashers, weighing machines, washing machines, vending machines, vacuum cleaners, shavers, hair clippers, automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft for personal use.

Services

No Tax on Education and Healthcare services, hotels and lodges with tariffs below $15. The services that are currently exempt shall continue to be exempt under the GST regime. Services by government, and foreign diplomatic missions are also covered in the exemption list.

A 5% tax will apply to transport services such as railways, and economy class air transport,  cab aggregators, and small restaurants.

A 12% tax will be levied on hotels that do not have air conditioners, business class air tickets, fertilizers, and work contracts.

 An 18% tax slab will apply to hotels that have air conditioning and that serve liquor, telecom services, IT services, branded garments, insurance, and financial services.

A 28% tax will be applied to 5-star hotels, betting on races, and movie tickets.

Input tax credit will lower all taxes. E-commerce establishments will deduct 1% tax at source before paying suppliers. The GST Council will take up taxation of gold and other precious metals and items such as packaged foods, footwear and textiles at the next meeting on June 3, India’s Finance Minister Jaitley said. Taxation of lottery service has also not been decided yet reports the Economic Times.

“Several process related changes can now be undertaken as the passage of the rules has paved the way for the introduction of the most significant tax reform in India,” said M.S. Mani, senior director at Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP.

Taxes

May 20, 2017   No Comments

India and U.K. to Cooperate in Urban Transport

During the three-day visit of India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari to Britain, India and the United Kingdom  signed an understanding on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy planning, technology transfer, and institutional organization of transport.

Transport For London Logo

Transport For London

The Press Information Bureau of India reports that Transport For London will share with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways its expertise on the mobility and efficiency of transport systems, and methodologies to facilitate the planning and delivery of mobility solutions including ticketing, passenger information, major project financing, infrastructure maintenance strategies and behavioral change, and public transport promotion.

Transport For London coordinates all of London transport, including the London metro, the bus network, Dockland Light Rail, water transport, and cable car.

 

May 17, 2017   No Comments

India, Japan Strengthen Defense Cooperation

In a visit to Tokyo, to attend an annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, India’s Arun Jaitley, who is both the Minister for Finance and Minister for Defense, told his Japanese counterpart, Tomomi Inada that India will pursue a strategic partnership with Japan for regional peace and stability.

Aircraft Carrier

The Washington Post says that a trilateral naval exercise among the U.S., India and Japan has been planned in  July as a way of strengthening cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. “This is all reflective of the level of cooperation our armed forces have with each other,” Jaitley said.

 

May 17, 2017   No Comments