03:02 pm Great news for all the startups out there, the government of India has come up with a series of changes that will benefit the startup ecosystem including the startup owners and Angel Investors. The Tax exemption threshold has been increased to Rs 25 Cr/- as compared to Rs 10 Cr/- earlier which caused worry among startup entrepreneurs. This new rule will bring relief to at least 16,000 Startups out there. The Government also widened the definition of startups so that number of business can be recognized as startups and can avail the benefits of the new startup policies laid by the government. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu also told reporters that “Startups Valuation was a contentious issue and we have clarified this”. Also, the startup recognition period has raised to 10 years as compared to 7 years earlier, which means that any business running more than 7 years but less than 10 years will also be recognized as startups.
03:02 pm The World’s largest local Video player “MX Player” has made its biggest move in India with new premium content on its platform. India’s biggest entertainment platform with more than 175 Million Monthly Active Users will be launching 5 new MX original Series starting Wednesday. Officials say that MX player will launch about 25 new Shows for next 12 months. All this premium content will be free and will be available from February 20. About 650 Million Downloads and 70 million Daily active users MX player has always been a market leader in the Video Viewing space. Even though MX player is one of the latest platforms to enter into the Original Web Content space, with its massive number of users it can easily get a huge piece of pie in the web content space. One of the biggest advantages of MX player is that it combines Offline video viewing, Online Video Content and music streaming (gaana) in one single app. MX player is planning to launch over 1,00,000 hrs of Video Content in association with TVF, SonyLIV, Arre, Alt Balaji ans some more.
09:02 pm Ride-hailing startup – Ola Cabs is in discussions to invest money in Pune Based Carpooling Startup “sRide” as per the sources. sRide is a carpooling startup launched in the year 2016 with an angel funding of 1 million Dollars. This 3-year-old startup is running its operations in different parts of the country namely Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru as mentioned in their website. The deal is still not finalized yet but it seems like Ola will invest around Rs 30 Crores for an equity stake of 26%. If this deal gets finalized the valuation of sRide will shoot up to anywhere between Rs 120-160 Cr. Not only Ola but many Indian Investors are now investing in mobility space startups looking at their rising demands in many cities. In this round of funding along with Ola, some other venture capitalists may also be participating as per the sources cited above.
09:02 pm Air India is facing very critical issues in paying back the debts it holds. Officials estimate a humongous debt of Rs 55,000 /- Crores. Air India is even delaying its employees’ salaries to cope up with the debt. The National Air carrier is losing its money year after year and still, it’s not been able to generate revenue in the mid of tough competition. It even sold some of its real estate properties to raise an estimated amount of Rs 250 crores to manage its operations. Industry experts with such a huge debt, no airlines can sustain their business for a long period. But at the same time, Air India has even launched a new international Flight Named as “Express” from Gujarat’s Diamond City-Surat. The Flight arrived on surat at 11:30 pm on Saturday with 75 Passengers and the passengers were received by Air India CEO Shyam Sundar and some other dignitaries along with him. The New Flight will fly four times a week in this new route as said by the officials.
05:02 pm Reliance Industries Chairman Mr Mukesh Ambani and his wife Mrs Nita Ambani visited the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai to offer the first invitation of their son Akash Ambani's marriage with his childhood friend Shloka Mehta. Their younger son Anant accompanied them. Both the father and the son were found outside the temple while Nita offered the first invitation to Lord Ganapathi, who is the main deity at the Siddhivinayak temple. Nita also offered other rituals in front of the main god as part of their invitation. Shloka and Akash went to the same school in Mumbai and have been in a relationship or a long time. Shloka is the youngest daughter of Indian diamond merchant, Russell Mehta, the managing director of Rosy Blue India, the Indian arm of the family-owned Belgian-Indian diamond company Rosy Blue.
01:02 pm GSTN will focus, amongst others, on the development of new return filing, further improving the user interface, and Business Intelligence and Analytics. Improvement in User Interface on the basis of feedback is a continuous process. Few important initiatives/improvements made for better User Experience are: Questionnaire for filing GSTR-3B to avoid errors by taxpayers. Option to generate pre-populated Challan by the system to avoid depositing Cash in the wrong Head by the taxpayers. Introduction of one-click Nil return filing. Suggested utilisation of ITC informed to the taxpayer for discharging tax liability. Contextual help for GST transactions like Registration, Returns, Payment, etc. GSTN has started work on BI & Analytics. Different scenarios of BI have been identified on which work is going on such as Persona-based Analysis, Predictive Analysis, Fraud/Anomaly Detection, Statistical Scoring, 360-degree view of taxpayers, Circular Trading & Network Analysis, etc. Further, GSTN shares data with tax authorities on the following: Mis-match between figures reported in GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B. Mis-match between figures reported GSTR-3B and that computed by the system in GSTR-2A. Taxpayers who have generated e-way bill but not filed tax returns Comparison of GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B for liability analysis, GSTR-2A & GSTR-3B for comparison of ITC being claimed by taxpayers, and analysis regarding taxpayers who have generated e-way bill but not filed tax returns are being done and the reports generated are shared with tax authorities for taking appropriate action. This was stated by Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in a Written Reply to a Question in Lok Sabha.
12:02 pm India’s exports to China have grown after several years. India is poised to achieve its highest ever exports to China this fiscal. Between April-December 2018, exports were USD 12.7 billion which is closer to last year’s exports of USD 13.33 billion. The Department of Commerce took the initiative to identify and share with Indian exporters and other stakeholders, specific lines where the US would lose competitiveness in China and where India had an export potential and encouraged the exporters to seize this opportunity. Several B2B meetings with Chinese buyers were facilitated through the Indian embassy in Beijing. Chinese grape buyers were invited to visit Indian grape farms and related units under Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA). The growth in India’s exports to China has been driven by marine products, organic chemicals, plastics, petroleum products, grapes and rice. Recognizing the regulatory environment in China, which remains a challenge for the Indian exporters, the Department of Commerce signed three protocols in the last financial year: In June 2018, protocol on export of Indian rice to China (to include non-basmati rice) was signed in the presence of the leaders of the two countries at Qingdao, paving way for export of Indian rice to China, which commenced in small quantities subsequently, and now needs a major ramp up by the businesses on either side. On 28th November 2018, the protocol for export of Indian fishmeal/fish oil to China was signed during the visit of the Chinese Vice Minister to India. On 21st and 22nd January 2019, the protocol on export of Indian tobacco to China was renewed and signed paving way for exports of Indian tobacco to China. While some of India’s concerns have been addressed, more efforts are required for greater market penetration in China. India is hopeful of soon signing protocols for export of Indian soybean meals, cakes and pomegranates to China in the near future, as these are in advanced stages of discussion. Discussions are on with the Chinese side for early announcement of Chinese import quotas for sugar and rice for 2019 so that Indian exporters are able to plan their exports well in time. While the protocols have been signed for several items, the actual exports need to be ramped up substantially. Indian exporters are being encouraged to seize this opportunity and take advantage of the recent developments. In light of US duties on Chinese products, similar steps have been taken with regard to Indian exports to the US also.
02:01 pm The CBI has filed a case against former ICICI bank chief Chanda Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon head Venugopal Dhoot in a case linked to alleged irregularities in loan. The investigating agency searched the Videocon headquarters in Mumbai and Aurangabad in Maharashtra on Thursday. Chanda Kochhar quit as CEO and Managing Director of the ICICI Bank in October over the case, which involves a loan of Rs. 3,250 crore to the Videocon Group in 2012. The case exploded last year when a whistleblower alleged that Ms Kochhar's husband Deepak Kochhar and her family members benefited from the dealings.
12:01 pm Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to New Delhi, met here with Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation. During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and ways to enhance cooperation, particularly in the fields of civil aviation, food security, infrastructure and food storage. They also reviewed the potential for the exchange of food crop exports, as well as raising levels of commercial and investment relations.
05:01 pm Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India. They explored prospects for further cooperation between the UAE and India, building on the strong existing ties between the two countries, and discussed ways to facilitate cross-pollination of successful experiences. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit that drew the participation of a high-level UAE delegation, led by Dr. Al Zeyoudi. In his keynote address at the Summit’s inauguration ceremony, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, "The UAE and India enjoy long-standing and cordial relations across multiple fronts. Backed by the political and people-to-people interactions, bilateral trade continued to soar despite global headwinds. Valued at US$180 million per annum in the 1970s, the balance of trade volume between India and the UAE is now worth $57 billion, making India the largest trading partner of the UAE, while the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner – after China and the US. 2018 saw a flurry of investments by UAE companies in India, and the UAE-India relationship has entered a vibrant growth phase with bilateral trade on track to exceed $100 billion by 2020." The UAE Minister noted that the UAE hosts one of the largest Indian expatriate community in the world, comprising more than 3.3 million people. Members of the Indian community in the UAE have helped the Indian economy flourish through their hard-earned remittances. The UAE is currently the largest source of remittances to India that amounted to an astounding $13.82 billion in 2017. He added, "As we look back at our achievements, they energise us and give us the confidence that a lot more can be done together. We aspire to see the trajectory of the UAE-India ties continue to soar, entering new areas of cooperation and dynamism." At the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show, held on the sidelines of the summit, Dr. Al Zeyoudi, accompanied by Dr. Al Banna, inaugurated the UAE pavilion and viewed the products on display.