Lulu Group to bring Toys `R’ Us to India in September; plans Rs 300cr investment in retail

download (3)Source: ETRetail.com, July 19, 2017

Bengaluru: Lulu Group’s retail initiative Tablez will bring Toys `R’ Us, one of the world’s largest toy store chains, to India in September. The first destination will be Bengaluru, where it will come up in the Phoenix Mall in Whitefield and where it will compete with the UK-based Hamleys.

Tablez will simultaneously bring Babies `R’ Us, the specialty baby products retailer of the Toys ‘R’ Us group, to the city.
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Rs 2600 crore incentive package for leather sector likely soon

Source: The Economic Times, July 20, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government is expected to announce soon a Rs 2,600 crore incentive package for the leather and footwear sector to boost exports and job creation, sources said.

The package has already been approved by the expenditure finance committee and a draft cabinet note has been circulated to different ministries for their views.

The proposal, mooted by the commerce and industry ministry, has sought tax incentives for the ‘Indian Footwear, Leather, and Accessories Development Programme’.

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U-Grow – the European baby and mother care brand now in India

Source: ETRetail.com, July 15, 2017

The European baby care brand is planning to invest USD 2 million in the country to build their brand in addition to the launch of more than 80 products in the market.

European brand for a wide range of baby care products—U-Grow is making a grand entry in India to cater the growing demand of innovative, high-quality baby care products that are based on today’s technology. The company is marking its debut in India with more than 80 products and has appointed ‘Sunheri’ as their partner in India.

Mr. Gerald Paul Kherkhes, Business Head, Europe Team, U-Grow said, “We intend to conquer the market segment with products to satisfy our customers’ needs, promoting quality, affordable health, and safety. We will expand U-Grow across pan India in metro and Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities. We are investing USD 2 million in the Indian market to place the brand. U-Grow products will be available in all the leading baby stores & pharmacies across India. We do have plans to come online with U-Grow. The brand will be present on the portals like Amazon, Firstcry.com, Flipkart, Paytm, Groffers, BigBasket and Ebay.”
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Govt may spend over Rs20,000 crore on six new IITs

Source: LiveMint.com, July 17, 2017

New Delhi: The central government is looking to spend above an amount of Rs20,000 crore to build six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) it first announced in 2015, at least two government officials said.

Of this, Rs7,000 crore will be spent in the first phase ending in March 2020 and the rest over the next four years ending in March 2024, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

New IITs incur less expense in the first couple of years as they operate from temporary premises with limited staff, research work, course and students. The union human resource development ministry, the officials said, is in the process of moving the expenditure finance committee (EFC) to get approval for the first phase. After this, it will ask the EFC to approve the rest.

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IRDAI issues new norms for mediclaim policies

download (1).jpgSource: The Economic Times, July 13, 2017

CHENNAI: Many customers only realise at the time of making a claim that their health insurance policy does not cover certain medical conditions or ailment. Policyholders usually depend on what has been told to them by their insurance agents, who sometimes overstate the coverage. To prevent such cases, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked insurers to group together all policy exclusions upfront in the policy document.

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Foreign tourist growth hits a 10-year high

download.jpgSource: Business Standard, July 13, 2017

Foreign tourist arrivals are growing at the highest pace in more than a decade, primarily due to a sharp rise in visitors from Bangladesh.

Arrivals from the neighbouring nation have surged 58 per cent in the first five months of this calendar year, ensuring 16 per cent growth in foreign visitors.

India saw 4.2 million foreign tourists till May, against 3.6 million in the same period last year, growth of 16.3 per cent against an increase of 8.7 per cent for the period under review in 2016, government data showed. About 861,000, or one in five, visitors to India came from.

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Home ministry gives security clearance to GSTN

download (1).jpgSource: Financial Express,  July 05, 2017

New Delhi: The home ministry has given security clearance to the GSTN, the information technology backbone of the Goods and Services Tax regime, paving the way for its operationalisation soon. Security clearance to the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), a not-for-profit private limited company, was delayed as the home ministry was examining threat perception to national security from any of the stakeholders, a ministry official said. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which replaces a host of taxes levied by the central and state governments, has come into force from July 1. In the GSTN, five private institutions have 51 per cent equity — HDFC Bank Ltd (10 per cent), HDFC Ltd (10 per cent), ICICI Bank Ltd (10 per cent), NSE Strategic Investment Corporation Ltd (10 per cent) and LIC Housing Finance Limited (11 per cent).The central government has 24.5 per cent equity in the GSTN, whereas state governments, two Union territories and the empowered committee of state finance ministers together hold another 24.5 per cent stake in it. The procedure for granting security clearance to the GSTN involved background checking of its office-bearers and others concerned.The GSTN has been working overtime to ensure a smooth registration, and all the tax assessees have been given a provisional ID, using which they can start transacting business with the implementation of the GST.

When a business entity registers under GST, it is given a provisional GSTIN. After that, in the second stage, the entity has to log in to the GSTN portal and give details of its business such as the main place of business, additional place, directors and bank account details. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had earlier opposed the majority stake for private entities in the GSTN and written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.