OPINION, P2 MIND & GAMES It is‘Fail’on the report card DEVICES THAT WILL TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE IDEA EXCHANGE HS Phoolka AI that responds to your voice. Next-generation wireless networks. If this year’s biggest consumer technology trends have a familiar ring, there’s a reason for that Page 10 ‘If 1984 guilty had been punished, there wouldn’t be Mumbai 1993, Gujarat 2002, these lynchings’ Page 4 Follow us on Twitter & Facebook. App available on App Store & Play Store WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM LEISURE ACROSS THE AISLE, P CHIDAMBARAM Vol XVII No 63 KOREAN CONNECTION NEW DELHI SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2019 16 Pages, `10 (Patna `11, Raipur `10) FINANCIALEXPRESS ON SUNDAY PUBLISHED FROM:AHMEDABAD, BENGALURU, CHANDIGARH, CHENNAI, HYDERABAD, KOCHI, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NEW DELHI, PUNE WHAT'S INSIDE AGRI DISTRESS Loan waivers no solution, says Niti Aayog’s Chand ● Feels Centre should ensure access to formal credit, efficient crop insurance ■ SPOTLIGHT, P7 Green foundation Architects across the country are engaging more and more with ecological, or biological, architecture, preferring to use resources and materials closest at hand. Easy on the environment and sustainable, such buildings are not only eco-friendly, but also have great longevity ■ WORDS WORTH, P5 Mighty battles A detailed overview of the struggle for supremacy between Iran & Saudi Arabia QuickPicks ‘Timely data on NBFCs can avoid repeat of IL&FS-type crisis’ IN THE immediate aftermath of the IL&FS crisis, there was a liquidity challenge in terms of raising capital for non-bank finance companies (NBFCs), reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The government felt that the regulations have to be tweaked in a way for funds to be channelised into the NBFC sector, said Subhash Garg, economic affairs secretary. “Non-bank finance companies should work to develop an instrument to channelise household savings into the sector,” Garg said. PAGE 3 Trump threatens years-long government shutdown PRESIDENT DONALD Trump threatened to keep the US government partially shut for months or years on Friday after he and Democratic leaders failed to resolve their dispute over Trump’s request for $5.6 billion to build a wall on the Mexican border, reports Reuters. After Democratic congressional leaders refused Trump’s requests at a meeting in the White House Situation Room, the Republican President threatened to take the controversial step of declaring a national emergency and building the wall without Congressional approval. ODD & EVEN ROHNIT PHORE PRASANTA SAHU & PRABHUDATTA MISHRA New Delhi, January 5 INSTEAD OF POPULIST mea- sures such as farm loanwaivers or fiscally unsustainable Rythu Bandhu-type income support schemes, the Centre should ensure more farmers have access to institutional credit, it should formulate a more efficient crop insurance scheme and prevail upon the states for effectiveimplementationofthe minimum support price policy, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand has said. “The best package for farmersisonethatcanensureremunerativepricesfortheircrops.All other things like loan waivers will not be that meaningful,” he told FE.Thanks to the new MSP policy that promises 50% return over cost of production ❝ The best package for farmers is one that can ensure remunerative prices for crops. Other things like loan waivers will not be that meaningful — RAMESH CHAND (A2+FL),the average realisation in most crops thisyearhas been higherthanthepreviousyear,he said. Even if the procurement hasn’trisenmuch,thepolicyhas hadanimpactonmarketprices. Forpaddy,theaveragepricerealisation byfarmers is 7% higher in October-December 2018 thaninthesameperiodin2017, Chand said. On the criticism that in the case of many crops farmers are stillbeingforcedtoselltheirproduce at belowMSPrates,Chand said states need to be held accountable for implementation of the MSP scheme, under whichcostofprocurementupto 25%ofproductionisfundedby GST payers not fully compliant ● A large section of GST registrants fails to pay tax by not filing returns Expanding base of taxpayers July 2017 98.5 74.6 FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 5 17.7 11.4 EVEN AS THE Goods and Ser- vices Tax (GST) taxpayer base soared 32% between the tax’s launch in July 2017 and November2018,asizeablesectionof theregisteredassessees continue to fail to file the monthly returns by the designated deadline. Official data tabled in the Parliament on Friday showed that of the 98.5 lakh regular taxpayers in November last year, about 29% hadn’t filed the summary return (GSTR3B) for the month. The corresponding numbers for July 2017 were 74.6 lakh and 14.2%.Of course,the number of non-filers for the relatively recent periods will reduce more than for earlier months. If a taxpayerdoesn't file the summaryreturn,it also means she hasn't paid the taxes. The deadline for filing returns for a particular month is on the 20th of the subsequent month. In fact, more than 15% eligible taxpayers Nov 2018 (All figures in lakh) Regular taxpayers Composition taxpayers hadn’t filed returns for any month since April this year. Between July 2017 and March 2018, the number of non-filers is lesser, as many taxpayers showing nil liability tend to file returns months afterthe deadline.Tax officials saywhile this trend is not ideal for compliance, many of these taxpayers usually have no liabilityand hence theirfailure to filereturnsdoesn’timpactrevenue collection. Similarly, the firms opting for the benign composition scheme within the GST ambit have increased by 55% to 17.7 lakh in November 2018, compared with 11.4 lakh in July 2017.Thenon-filersconstitute at least 15% in this categoryin all quarters since July2017. Continued on Page 11 Data privacy issues still simmering ● Activists air concerns in meet with govt ■ Proposed changes are that social media platforms will need to give info to any govt agency within 72 hours ■ Activists state such moves could endanger freedom of expression KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, January 5 THE GOVERNMENT’S MOVE to amend Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, totraceandinterceptmessages on social media platforms, has met with some resistance by advocacy groups related to internet freedom.At a meeting READ TO LEAD Indian film industry,which has always ‘borrowed’ ideas from the west, has now turned its gaze towards east Page 9 convened by ministry of electronics and information technology with activists on Saturday, the latter voiced their concerns, stating that such movescouldendangerfreedom of expression. The basic elements of the proposed changes are that social media platforms will be required to give assistance to anygovernmentagencywithin 72 hours of request; they will alsoneedtotracetheoriginator of the information on their respective platforms; the platforms will need to remove access to unlawful acts as ordered by an appropriate government agency; and the platforms need to deploy automated tools to remove and disableaccesstounlawfulinformation orcontent. Continued on Page 11 the Centre.“If states procure at least25%,thepriceofcropswill find support in the market,” he added. Even in case of paddy and wheat, where robust procurement has taken place over the past so many years, the overall procurement is about 30% of the production. It is not that procurement needs to be 80% or even 50% for it to have the desired impact on the market, he said.The second priority of the government should be to make available adequate credit to fund-starved farmers to buy farm inputs. As per a Nabard survey, only 36% of farmers take loans from institutional sources.As manyas 48% farmersdonottakeloansduetovariousreasonsandoftheremaining 52%,70% take loans from institutionalsourceswhileothers get credit from private moneylenders. “Whenthespendingonloan waiveris so hugewhile the benefitislimitedtoonly36%,there is no justification,”Chand said. Even as farm loans waivers are the flavour of the season,with political parties vying to outdo one another in write-offs, official data shows that in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, fresh agricultural loans in 2015-16 weremuchhigherthantheestimated value of crop output in thatyear,clearlyindicatingthat much of the funds don’t really go into agriculture. Thirdly, whenever there is some natural calamity, the insurance payment to farmers must be prompt and adequate, Chand said. Due to a spate of farm loan waivers,the number of loanee farmers (for whom insurance is mandatory) coveredinbothkharifandrabiseasonsdeclinedby19%from4.36 crore in 2016-17 to 3.54 crore in 2017-18. Continued on Page 11 Mallya is a fugitive economic offender ● Hearing on confiscation of properties to start in February PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, January 5 WEEKS AFTER A UK court ordered his extradition, former liquor baronVijayMallya, accused of defaulting on loans of over `9,000 crore, received another blow as a Mumbai court declared him a fugitive economic offender (FEO). Mallya on Saturday became the first businessman to be declared an FEO under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, which came into existence inAugust 2018. The Enforcement Directorate had moved the special court for FEOA for this purpose. The agency had requested the court that Mallya, currently in the United Kingdom, be declared a fugitive and his properties be confiscated and brought under the control of the Union government,as provided under the Act. “The application of the ED is partly allowed. Vijay Mallya is declared as fugitive eco- Vijay Mallya nomic offender under Section 12 (i) of the FEO Act,” said judge MS Azmi in the order. Hearing on the second part of ED’s plea — confiscation of properties — will start from February 5. Incidentally, the same court is also hearing ED’s plea to declare diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi FEOs in the Punjab National Bank fraud case. Continued on Page 11 AgustaWestland: Michel received money from other defence deals too: P3 Nirav Modi: 'Can't return for safety concerns, case politicised': P3
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