OPINION, P2 IDEA EXCHANGE EXPRESS ADDA The hole in the budget TABU NK Singh ‘The characters were not aspirational but that’s what drew me to them’ Page 8 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM Vol II No. 358 ‘We have authority to revisit anything... Not bound by anything but the terms of reference’ Page 4 LEISURE Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM THE MANWHO REDEFINES THE IDEAOF ‘GOING OUT’ MUMBAI SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2018 16 Pages, `8 FINANCIALEXPRESS ON SUNDAY READ TO LEAD PUBLISHED FROM:AHMEDABAD, BENGALURU, CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, HYDERABAD, KOCHI, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, PUNE GST COUNCIL MEET INDIA-FRANCE LET'STALK DEATH As passive euthanasia and a living will are legalised, the move brings into focus the dismal state of palliative care in India, making the country one of the worst places to die in Page 7 ODD & EVEN India can stand tall in a trade war: Mahindra FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 10 CONCERNED OVER THE stag- nation in revenue flows, the GST Council on Saturday stuck to a plan to start the e-way bill mechanism for tracking interstatemovementofgoodsabove a certain threshold from April 1, but for administrative feasibility, staggered its enforcement on intra-state transport overthe next fourweeks. The Council,however,could not reach a consensus on a revampedreturnsfilingsystem that is at once simplerandmilitatesagainstevasion,and,therefore, extended the current systemwheretaxpayerspractically file only the summary return GSTR-3BtillJune30. Asperan earlierplan,theGSTR-3Bwasto bereplacedwithcomprehensive triplicate returns byApril 1. The group of ministers headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi and 'IT experts'will deliberate on how to simplify the returns filing system without compromisROHNIT PHORE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, March 10 of tax at source (TDS) and collection of tax at source (TCS) by another quarter,to June 30. The e-way bill mechanism requires a supplier or recipient to generate such bill if goods worth over `50,000 are being moved over a distance of more than 10 kilometres.While the systemwill be in place forinterstatemovement, statesinfour groups will implement the system for intra-state movements infourweeklyphases,tobecompleted bythe end ofApril. ASSERTING THAT INDIA can “stand tall in a trade war”, noted industrialist Anand Mahindra has said the world needs access to the country’s fast-growing large economy amid the US hiking tariffs on certain steel imports. “Not sure why Indian markets seem so perturbed by the threat of global tariff wars. Small,exportfocusedcountries stand to lose. Countries with large domestic economies can easily withstand tariff threats. The world needs access to the fastest-growing large economy —India,” Mahindra said in a tweet. He said MNCs wanting access to India’s markets will have to manufacture locally, which theywill. Continued on Page 11 Continued on Page 11 Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia speaks as finance minister Arun Jaitley and MoS finance Shiv Pratap Shukla look on at the 26th meeting of the GST Council, in New Delhi on Saturday PTI ing on its ability to check evasion and give a report in due course, finance minister Arun Jaitley said. These two are crucial antievasion measures—comprehensive returns filing and eway bill— and have been hanging fire for long due to technical deficiencies, as well as industry’s complaints of high compliance burden. The Council also deferred implementation of otherantievasion measures, such as reverse charge mechanism (RCM),provisionfordeduction QuickPicks Prabhu gets additional charge of civil aviation ministry Commerce and industries minister Suresh Prabhu was on Saturday given additional charge of the civil aviation ministry, a day after the resignation of TDP's Ashok Gajapathi Raju was accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said. “The President, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that Suresh Prabhu shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” the spokesperson said. All-year sales are in fashion Instead of 2-3 seasonal sales, stores now offer discounts all year to clear inventory JHARNA MAZUMDAR Mumbai, March 10 ONCE UPON A time, seasonal salesatbrick-and-mortarretailers were highly anticipated events for consumers, usually happening about three times a year—postsummer,winterand monsoon—for a period of 15 to 20 days each time. However, in the last couple of years,retailers are offering discounts almost every alternate month. This year, consumers arestillenjoyingthebenefitsof endofwintersaleseventhough it is March. Says Rajneesh Mahajan, executive director of Mumbai’s Inorbit Mall, “Select brands are continuing with sales and promotions even as the fresh stock for summer is on display.In fact,a fewbrands have adopted the strategy of offering discounts all through the year and have a separate sectionwithin the store to displaydiscounted merchandise. This helps them to get rid of the old stock,while customers get to see the new stock as well, which many end up purchasing.” In 2017-18, brick-andmortar retailers offered discounts almost every alternate month. The aggressive discounts started post demonetisation(inmid-December2016 and continued till March Rafale deal win-win for India, France; at heart of ties: Macron E-way bill from April, easier returns delayed ● GSTR-3B extended till June SPOTLIGHT Chef Shaun Quade on why food should be fun Page 9 Wardrobe wonder ■ Retailers are forced to offer aggressive discounts as sales decline and inventory piles up ■Mid-season sale is a regular phenomenon in the US and Europe, Indian retailers are adopting it now ■A few brands have a separate section within the store to display discounted merchandise ■Usually, up to 50% discounts are offered, in some cases they go up to 70% 2017), then the next sale was announced before GST was introduced (from May 2017 till August), and soon after the festiveseasongotoverinOctober,discountswereannounced from mid-December, which many retailers are still continuing with. Retailers were forced to offer aggressive discounts as sales declined and inventories piled up to lure customers to their stores. Rajesh Vig, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, feels it’s a good strategy, one that helps brands and retailers to not onlyclearold stocks,but also attract customers to the store, which helps in selling fresh stock at the same time. While sales have improved, expertscautionthataggressive discounts are likely to impact margins of retailers by at least 10-15%. ALDO is continuing with a 50% off, Charles & Keith is offering discounts up to 70%, Global Desi offers 50% off, ethnic wear brand Jashn is still going with a flat 50% discount, 109F and Fusion Beats are offering buy-2-get-1-free offers, noi offering up to 50% discount Kraus and United Colours of Benetton are offering up to 50% off, Steve Madden is giving up to 40% off and Swedish retailer H&M has discount going up to 70% on select items.“Usually in a year, offline and online retailers hold two large sales during the end of the season. However, this year, despite a pre-GST sale, not everything got sold. Add to that a flat festive season. The ongoing sale is an effort by sellers to not only liquidate old stock, but also slow-moving items,” says Rajat Wahi, partner (management consulting) at consulting firm Deloitte India. Expertssayretailersusually holdstockforfourtosixweeks, which has jumped to more than eight weeks, indicating high inventory due to slow movementfromshelves.“With a rather bad festive season, when customers refrained from spending on clothes and other fashion items,discounts are being offered on items that did not sell,” said Vasanth Kumar, executive director, Max Fashion. Continued on Page 11 Branded content: Are marketers doing it right? CHANDNI MATHUR Mumbai, March 10 IT’S NO SURPRISE that digital media is what marketers are currently focusing on,considering its proliferation and the captive audience that is present across devices. With the average digital consumer spending over two hours per day on social networking, brands have more than a fair shot of getting attention on digital. Enter branded content. The storytelling within branded content picks up where banner ads leave, helping brands drive engagement with audiences. Interestingly, The State of Video Marketing 2018 report by Wyzowl mentions that 83% consumers would consider sharing a branded video with their friends that they enjoyed, while 85% people maintain that they would like to see more videos frombrandsin2018.However, not everysuch strategyworks. Storytelling with branded content will be effective when the brand is integrated seamlessly and meaningfully into the plot without being intrusive. Continued on Page 11 ON TUESDAY HOW ‘BRANDED’ IS YOUR ‘CONTENT’? ● Nations ink 14 pacts; big boost to defence,nuclear energy cooperation FE BUREAU New Delhi, March 10 IN A MAJOR expansion of strategic ties, India and France on Saturday inked 14 pacts in key areas of defence, security, nuclear energy and protection of classified information, besides resolving to deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and step up joint efforts to contain terrorism. Both countries committed to increase bilateral trade to 15 billion euro by 2022 and “timely relaunching”of negotiations on the India-EU free trade agreement. The agreements were signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, including on the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The visiting leader asserted that the sea lanes cannot be places for hege- Prime Minister Narendra Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady Brigitte Macron, in New Delhi on Saturday monic power play, in a clear reference to China.The pacts included reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces of the two countries and another on protection of classified or protected information, an agreement that comes in the backdrop of the Indian government refusing to divulge details of the multi-billion dollar Indo-French Rafale fighter jet deal. “Our defence cooperation is very strong and we consider France among the most PTI trusted defence partners,” Modi said at a joint media event with Macron. He said the pact on reciprocal logistic support between the armed forces was a"golden step"in defence relations. Modi said both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation in ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight, as the Indian Ocean will play a key role in ensuring regional peace and stability. Continued on Page 11
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