OPINION, P2 SUNDAY STORY AMIT SHAH Debate,questions, but no answers IDEA EXCHANGE Sugata Bose ‘So where is the Mahagathbandhan that will challenge the BJP?’ Page 4 ACROSS THE AISLE , P CHIDAMBARAM Vol XVII No 40 ‘Next election isn’t about who will be PM... It is about what kind of India we want in the future’ Page 9 Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM LEISURE DELHITHROUGH ITS RUINS NEW DELHI SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018 14 Pages, `10 (Patna `11, Raipur `10) SPOTLIGHT DELIVERING TO BHARAT FINANCIALEXPRESS ON SUNDAY READ TO LEAD An attempt to make the national capital’s majestic monuments and crumbling ruins known Page 8 PUBLISHED FROM:AHMEDABAD, BENGALURU, CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, HYDERABAD, KOCHI, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, PUNE POLL PROMISES NTPC Q1 profit slips 1% on rise in expenses A roof for all by 2022,vows Modi FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 28 ● Assures better living conditions; to build 1 crore houses Due to dismal internet penetration, a significant part of the country’s rural population still remains off the e-commerce grid. Identifying the huge aspiration among the rural population for better-quality goods, assisted e-commerce platforms are working to bring the rural population into the e-commerce fold Page 7 WORDSWORTH CHIMERAOF SUCCESS Jugaad Yatra is yet another book on jugaad, but one that drives home the point that it’s a problem and not a solution. That India needs to aim for perfection and not make-do Page 5 MIND & GAMES Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik visits an exhibition on urban development mission, in Lucknow on Saturday FE BUREAU Lucknow, July 28 PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Saturday promised that by 2022, the government will provide a roof to all homeless people.“The government is trying to provide a roof over every head by 2022. Keeping this in mind, 54 lakh houses have been sanctioned in urban areas in the last three years. More than 10 million houses have been handed over to the public, not just in cities, but even in the villages.We aim to build 1 crore houses by 2022,” he said in Lucknow. Hisvisit to UttarPradesh to PIB mark the third anniversary of his government’s three flagship schemes — AMRUT, PMAY (urban and Smart Cities Mission — was accompanied by the launch of 95 urban development projects worth `3,897 crore in the state. “These schemes will transform the urban landscape of UP and the poor will not only have a roof over their heads, but will also be entitled to betterfacilities like potablewater, mechanised transportation and clean cities,”he said. Addressing a seminar on Transforming Urban Landscaping, the Prime Minister said like Indore, Hyderabad The water level of river Yamuna breaches the danger level, prompting evacuation of people from low-lying areas. Over 500 people have died in rain-related incidents in the past few days across the country, with more than 50 dead in two bus accidents alone on Saturday PRAVEEN KHANNA ● Body seeks more autonomy for UIDAI KEY RECOMMENDATIONS ■ Only public authorities approved by the UIDAI or entities mandated by law be given the right to request for identity authentication panel on data protection has recommended that the Aadhaar Act be amended ‘significantly’to bolster privacy safeguards and mooted that only public authorities approved by the UIDAI or entities mandated bylawbe given the right to request for identity authentication. The panel — whose views onAadhaar are captured in its 213-page report, but are not part of the draft Personal Data Protection Bill,also submitted by it to the government on Friday — seeks greater auton- ■ For entities that do not perform a public function, but where identification of individuals may still be required, only offline verification ofAadhaar numbers with the consent of the Aadhaar holder should be used for identity verification ■ UIDAI should be autonomous in its decisionmaking, functioning independently of the user agencies in the government ■ UIDAI should be vested with powers akin to a traditional regulator for enforcement actions omy, both functional and financial, for the Aadhaarissuing body. The panel asserted that the Unique IdentificationAuthor- ityof India (UIDAI) should not only be autonomous in its decision-making,functioning independently of the user agencies in the government, tion company NTPC’s profits slipped in the three months to Juneby1.1%y-o-yduetohigher finance costs and depreciation charges. Revenue from operations increased 14% to `22,703.6 crore. NTPC’s coal consumption grew nearly 17% to 43.1 MT in this period. The power generation behemoth spent `1,241.9 crore on employeebenefits,ariseof16%, whilefinancecostshavegoneup by 36% year-on-year (y-o-y) to `1,219crore,itsaidonSaturday. Continued on Page 11 NCR HOUSING DREAM NBCC might take up stalled projects SURBHI PRASAD New Delhi, July 28 NBCC IS ‘INTERESTED’ in tak- ing over stalled projects in the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway area, Anoop Kumar Mittal, project management consultant, chairman and managing director of the state-run company, has said. “We will hire another company and get the projects completed...For this wewillchargeourconsultation fee,”Mittal said. Last week, the Amrapali group informed the Supreme Court that it is in talks with NBCC for it to take over and complete under-construction ‘Amend Aadhaar Act to bolster privacy guards’ THE JUSTICE SRIKRISHNA A growing body of research suggests that our bodies function optimally when we align our eating patterns with our circadian rhythms Page 10 Flood alert SRIKRISHNA PANEL REPORT PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, JULY 28 WHEN TO EAT? and Pune, very soon the Lucknow and Ghaziabad civic bodies in Uttar Pradesh would also raise municipal bonds underAMRUT. Stating that the mindsets of people are changing as faras subsidies are concerned, he said chief minister Yogi Adityanath had told him that 46,000peopleinthestate,who had seen progress in their economic situation, returned the houses provided to them by thegovernmentunderpoverty alleviation schemes. He also went around an exhibition on flagship missions of urban development and interacted with PMAY(U) beneficiaries and launched various projects related to urban housing and infrastructure and the smart city scheme. Hitting back at Congress president Rahul Gandhi forhis ‘chowkidar-bhagidar’remarks, saying he took the remark as a compliment, Modi said: "I am a ‘bhagidar’ of that poorfamily which is forced to sell his land for medical treatment, of the homeless,ofilliteratechildren, and of the unemployed. I take this allegation as a an honour,I am proud to be a ‘bhagidar’ of the pain suffered by the poor. STATE-OWNEDPOWER genera- but also bevestedwith powers akin to a traditional regulator for enforcement actions. It has prescribed that UIDAI should be granted powers to impose civil penalties on various errant entities and be armed with power to give directions, issue cease and desist orders to state and private contractors in cases involving statutoryviolations or non-compliance, and for actual or impending privacy breach. “The Aadhaar Act needs to be amended significantly to bolster privacy protections and ensure autonomy of the UIDAI,” said the report by the panel, a telling statement given the numerous reports of personal information being allegedly compromised with increasing use of biometric identifier Aadhaar in an array of services. The recommendations of the committee also assume significance as the Supreme Court has reserved its judgment on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. “...it is salient that the data protection regime proposed by the committee will require close introspection by the government on various aspects pertaining to the existing functioning of the UIDAI.Currently,theAadhaar Act is silent on the powers of the UIDAI to take enforcement action against errant companies in the Aadhaar ecosystem,” the report said. Citing‘several instances’in the recent past of companies wrongly insisting on Aadhaar numbers, those using the numbers for unauthorised purposes and those leaking the numbers, the report said these episodes can affect informational privacy and 'requires urgent redressal’. projects.The statement comes after an empowered committee headed by Union housing secretary Durga Shankar Mishra asked NBCC to explore the possibility of completing the much-delayed projects of Amrapali, Jaypee group, Unitech and 3Cs Company. Jaypee and Amrapali are already facing insolvency, whileUnitechmanagingdirectoris in prison,with the matter in the Supreme Court. Mittal, however, said the state-run construction companywill take up projects only if theyare commerciallyviable for them. Continued on Page 11 QuickPicks Shareholders back Deveshwar’s extension as ITC chairman SHAREHOLDERS OF DIVERSIFIED conglomerate ITC have approved re-appointment of its nonexecutive chairman YC Deveshwar for another two years to February, 2022, reports FE Bureau. Close to 90% of the cigarette-to-soap maker's shareholders who voted supported the resolution to extend Deveshwar's tenure. The Kolkata-based diversified conglomerate had sought shareholders' approval to re-appoint Deveshwar, 71, for two years to February 3, 2022 from February 5, 2020, given its increasing size and complexity. ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE GST-free sanitary napkins? Manufacturers say it's a misnomer Makers of niche products like organic and biodegradable pads feel GST waiver will not help them or even consumers ANANAYA BANERJEE New Delhi, July 28 "SO MANY PEOPLE lobbied WHY COST WILL NOT REDUCE BY 12% To understand the manufacturers’ rebuttal to the government's move one has to understand the concept of input tax credits. Under the Goods and Services Tax, a trader (manufacturer) pays tax at every stage of the process. Thus, a sanitary pad manufacturer will pay tax while buying raw materials, and pay tax again for selling the product. To negate this double tax, manufacturers pay the output tax (for selling the product), while they are refunded the entire tax paid on the input (raw materials). To gain a better perspective of how the exemption will affect the cost of production, let us assume: pads rather than manufacture them,Indiancompaniessuchas hismightloseoutonbusinessto foreign imports."This mayeven Cost of one pad = `2.3 (`2 is production cost, 30 paise is input tax credit as GST on raw materials is 12-18%) If selling price = `2.8 + GST (34 paise) » behind the government in the past year, it is good to see that theylistened to the public,” says Nisha Bains of Purganics, an organic sanitary pad company. Yet Mumbai-based Bains,who hailsthedecisionofthegovernment to exempt the 12% tax charged on sanitarynapkins on behalf of consumers, calls it a partial move. "What exactly is GST-free? Are the rawmaterials GST-free? Are the imports GST-free? It should be probed further," she says,urging the government to see both sides of the coin, for consumersaswellasthemanufacturers. While activists and mass manufacturers rejoice, many a local manufacturer like Bains are still paying the input tax for all the raw materials, as well as imports,that go into the makingoftheirnicheproducts, which include environmentfriendly and biodegradable napkins. Another Mumbai-based startup, Saral Designs, which provides end-to-end solutions in the space of menstrual hygiene, feels the lack of input tax credit (that was covered by the government until now) will affect the Indian ecosystem of localmanufacturersastheywill have to spend more towards increasingtheaccesstosanitary napkins.“The GST exemption will benefit importers of sanitarypads more than local manufacturers,"feels Kartik Mehta, co-founder,Saral Designs. What Mehta means is that once it gets cheaper to import Distributor would pay `3.14 to manufacturer In this case, the manufacturer earns `1.1 (money paid by distributor minus difference of output and input tax minus cost of production or `3.14 - `0.04 `2) per pad Thus, before exemption, tax paid by manufacturer to government = 4 paise (Output tax 34 paise - input tax of 30 paise) Now, even though output tax ceases to exist, they will still incur 30 paise tax on input/raw materials. leave the market flooded with Chinese or other low-cost imports, going against the 'MakeinIndia'policy,especially This translates to a saving of only 4 paise per pad To keep profit margins intact, makers can only reduce the price by 4 paise on a pad priced at `2.8, which is a reduction of 1.4%, in real terms, instead of the 12% expected by the consumer Hence, the final price reduction for consumer will be much lesser than 12% forSMEs,” he says. Moreover,even though output tax has been waived, input tax remains the same for the manufacturer. So to keep margins intact, they will be able to reducecostsofthenapkinsonly nominally and not the 12% expected bythe consumer. To the government's credit, in a report on July10,2017,FM Arun Jaitley had declared, "ReducingtheGSTrateonsanitary napkins to nil will result in complete denial of input tax credittodomesticmanufacturersofsanitarynapkinsandzero ratingimports."Thereportwent ontospecifyhowsuchastepwill putdomesticallymanufactured sanitary napkins at a huge disadvantagevis-à-vis imports, whichwill be zero rated. So how can the government back up this tax exemption now? As per Amar Tulsiyan, a social entrepreneur who works towardsmenstrualhygieneand awareness, the government should back up their'first step' byensuringthatlocalmanufacturersdonotsuffer."Myrecommendation to the government is to relax import taxes and duties on raw materials,as well asspendonawareness,asevenif manufacturers make pads, someone has to break the taboo,"hefeels.Thesocialentrepreneuraddsthatthisconversation is crucial because as many as 25-27 crore women in India stilldonotusesanitarynapkins. "The female workforce of India cannot afford to miss out onfivedaysofworkamonth,"he says.Thesolution,hebelieves,is widespread awareness and availabilityofsanitaryproducts. "With the GSTexemption there willbean'easeofdoingbusiness' for local entrepreneurs (as they willnothavetoregisterforaGST certification).Hence,women in rural India can be enabled to participate in door-to-door sales,increasing access foreven theremotestareas,”hesuggests.
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