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Repercussions of Jaitley’s budget on Indian diaspora in Oman

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Image source: huffingtonpost.in

Oman: The Indian expatriates in Oman hailed India’s annual budget of 2016-17 which was presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday in New Delhi. Expats said that easing of customs declaration and an increase of free baggage allowance will be helpful for Indians living outside the country.

The latest budget also proposed to amend provisions dealing with the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) of the Non-Resident Indians, which are currently subjected to a higher rate for NRIs without the permanent account number (PAN) card. The proposed amendment will ensure that higher rate of TDS is not imposed on furnishing alternate documents.

The budget also makes an ease on custom baggage rules for international passengers. “The filing of baggage declaration will be required only for those passengers, who carry dutiable goods,” Jaitley said in his budget speech.

“Expats had also hoped for a simplification of income tax processes and more relief on TDS. Besides, there is nothing on housing or an immediate relief in prices of basic commodities and personal taxes to create savings for the future for us,’’ said Sunil Kumar, an Indian expat living in Oman.

Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group, the largest retail chain in the Middle East said that Jaitley is clearly highlighting the growth pillars of the economy by insuring rural, social, agriculture, skill, business and tax reforms. He also described it as a sensible budget which will make a positive impact on many sectors.

“I am happy that the government has stressed on the ‘Make in India’ campaign by providing tax and duty benefits and these will go a long way in strengthening the manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure facilities of India. The Finance Minister’s focus on agriculture was keenly awaited and will enhance expenditure on the rural and agriculture sectors, which in turn will enhance food security and boost exports. According to me, the ‘three years of tax holiday’ for start-ups is one of the most exciting announcements of this budget. The next generation of skilled entrepreneurs are our future and this will bring in the much-needed impetus. Another highlight would be the 100 per cent FDI (foreign direct investment) in food processing business. This will be news to many international players, who are looking to set up business in India and we all must welcome this.”

“Being a retailer, obviously, I am pleased to note that the minister mentioned retail as the largest service sector employer in the country and many more jobs opportunities can be created, provided the regulations are simplified. From a common NRI’s point of view, the easing of customs declaration and increasing of free baggage allowance are a welcome step,” Yusuffali added.

Reacting to the budget, K V Shamsudheen, the chairman of Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, while speaking about the third budget, said that it focused on total infrastructure development including agriculture, health, social development, education, and daily life of the common people. Under the budget 2016-17, the government has targeted to double the income of farmers by 2022 (Fifteen per cent of India’s economy is based on the agriculture sector).

“This will change the face of India by making it an economic super power in the future. Indian diaspora’s remittances are among the world’s highest and NRIs contribute a big amount towards the foreign currency reserve of the country. “We have been proposing to the government to utilize NRIs’ financial resources, expertise, experience and business contacts for the development of the country,” he said.

He added: “We have two important initiatives ‘Make in India’ and the ‘National Skill Development Mission,’ which can be developed successfully with the participation of NRIs. Even though we are keen on this proposal,” he added.

According to the current price chart, a female passenger can hold only 32 grams of gold jewellery and a male passenger can take only 16 grams of gold jewellery with them, which is too little.

All the items carry from abroad are based on quantity but gold is based on value.

“So, we request allowance for gold jewellery to be raised to 50 grammes for male passengers and 100 grammes for female passengers and also request that gold allowance is based on weight as per the rule,” Shamsudheen said.

Lateef Shahdad, a Chartered Marketer said that it is the time to see the implementation of the budget, said it is a ‘rational one’ and expressing approval for the number of measures.

(With inputs from Times of Oman)

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GES 2017 : Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad charms the women centric Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by India and United States

Being invited by Prime Minister Modi, Ivanka Trump is in Hyderabad for GES 2017. The event is focused on women entrepreneurs from all across the globe, this is the first time GES is being held in South Asian country

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Ivanka Trump visited India for GES 2017
Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad (VOA)
  • Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi at GES 2017, Ivanka Trump said,”from your childhood selling tea to becoming PM, you’ve proven that transformational change is possible.”

  • Prime Minister Modi emphasising on bilateral relations said,”the GES 2017 event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also showcases the close ties between the US and India.”

Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to US President Donald Trump arrived Hyderabad to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit, GES 2017 co-hosted by India and the United States. The three-day summit, from November 28-30, is being held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) and Hyderabad International Trade Expositions (Hitex).

Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (VOA)

Ms Ivanka Trump is leading a delegation of senior White House officials and American entrepreneurs. The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ and will include 1,200 young entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, mostly women.

“I encourage everyone here to come together, learn from each other and find new ways to lift barriers in our society so that women are free to innovate, empowered to succeed and able to leave our children a brighter future,” Ivanka Trump told delegates in the event’s opening speech Tuesday.

Ivanka’s appearance with Modi at the opening of GES 2017 was preceded by a bilateral meeting which the Prime Minister Modi described as “wonderful”, before they went out to meet entrepreneurs who showcased their work for presentation. Being women centric event, two of the India’s most powerful women External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman were also present.

GES 2017 : Ivanka Trump in India
Ivanka Trump with Prime Minister Modi (Narendra Modi Twitter)

The summit began with cultural events showcasing India’s rich culture. This year’s summit theme clearly demonstrated the commitment of the India and United states to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive. India is one of the country where women are at highest pedestals in social and professional life.

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Ivanka also gave credit to the Modi government for lifting 130 million people out of poverty. “Women still face steep obstacles in starting, owning and growing their businesses. We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors,” Ivanka said to loud cheers from a packed enthusiastic audience.

Ivanka’s visit also affirms that the Trump administration sees India as a major strategic partner in south asia and wants to engage with India more. Growing trade and business between India and United States sends a strong signal to the world.

by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Important Tips to Follow if you wish to Expand Business Overseas

Want to spread your business overseas? Here is all you need to do for Spreading your business internationally.

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Tips to expand business overseas
Tips to expand business overseas. Flickr

One of the first things people notice when they branch out into doing business internationally is how big a role social norms play in business dealings. It’s the same in North America, but the contrast is much more jarring when dealing with a new country, new etiquette, and new expectations. Whether you are applying for financing from a lender or opening a new branch of your business overseas, it’s important to understand that how you conduct yourself can have a profound impact on the success (or failure) of your business. Here are a few general guidelines to help you conduct business in a variety of regions around the world.

In Asian boardrooms, meeting participants will typically be arranged by seniority. This is also the order in which they should be greeted, and the order in which you should pass out your business cards. This is a sign of respect. Speaking of business cards, be prepared to hand out many more in Asia than you would in North America. There is a ceremony around exchanging business cards in countries such as Japan. Be sure to invest in a business card case, as it is seen as rude and inappropriate to keep them in your wallet or pocket.

In some Middle Eastern countries, note that it is quite normal for a male client or colleague to grasp another man’s hand while walking together. Although this may seem unusual to North American sensibilities, it’s considered a sign of trust in some parts of the world.

It’s also a good idea to bear in mind that questions that may be perceived in North America as being simple small talk may actually consider quite rude and intrusive in some countries, such as questions about marital status, children, age, etc. In professional situations, it’s always best to err on the side of being too impersonal rather than to risk being considered nosey.

Gift-giving in a business setting is complicated in some cultures. In some cases, for example, it is considered improper to open a gift in front of the giver, so be aware of that if you are presented with a gift.

Manners are a very big point of difference among different cultures. For example, it is perfectly acceptable and actually expected, that diners will eat a sandwich with a knife and fork. Similarly, belching and slurping one’s food is considered rude in some cultures, but quite acceptable in others. It is considered socially unacceptable in countries such as Japan to be seen blowing one’s nose in public.

When it comes to professional attire, you can never go wrong erring on the side of conservative, no matter where you are in the world. Women should take special care to dress more modestly, as it can be a serious culture misstep to dress too revealingly.

When you do business with other countries, it’s important to know the business and legal issues that may arise, but never forget that business is, as the heart of things, a people-first endeavor. The more you can be aware of and respectful of the social expectations, manners, and etiquette in the region in which you are doing business, the more professional you will be perceived. And that can go a long way toward helping you to solidify meaningful business connections around the world. If you aren’t sure how to act or what to do, always educate yourself before you arrive. Not only do you not want to look foolish, you also don’t want to be insulting. There are lots of resources online and in books to help you navigate these challenging waters.

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Will India be able to travel in the Bullet Train Soon? Yes, Say Railway Officials; Indian Railways Target Completing the Project Before the August 2022 Deadline

The foundation stone for the Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train was laid in Ahmedabad by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14

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Bullet Train
Railway Board Chairman held a high-level meeting in Rail Bhavan last Thursday which was attended by Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu, and Niti Aayog Vice Chairman. (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : Unfazed by opposition criticism, Indian Railways is working overtime to push ahead with the much-talked about the “Bullet Train” project, aiming to complete it ahead of the August 2022 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, who has a reputation of a turnaround man, has taken up the task of monitoring and chairing the periodic review meetings of the project that is estimated to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore ($15 billion).

Lohani held a high-level meeting in Rail Bhavan last Thursday which was attended by Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Central government officials, Principal Secretary-rank officials of Gujarat and Maharashtra, officials of NHSRCL (National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited), officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the General Manager of Western Railway.

A senior railway board member, requesting anonymity, told IANS, “The railways is in no mood to delay the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. Lohani will now hold a review meeting once every three months… And even on weekly basis, if required.”

Emphasising on the government’s intention, the official said, “The attendance of the Niti Aayog Vice Chairman, the Japanese Ambassador and the CRB in the review meeting is a clear signal that the government is taking the project seriously and there is no scope for any delay.”

“The CRB wants Indian Railway officials to take lessons from their Japanese counterparts about meeting deadlines,” he said.

The opposition has attacked the government for taking up a project at a huge cost instead of focusing on safety, a dire need of the time, and on schemes to improve passenger amenities.

The official said it was also decided at the meeting that “a road map for consultancy and civil engineering works will be prepared by January 2018”.

A ministry official associated with the Bullet Train project said a report on the signalling system and electrical reports would be ready by April 2018. According to him, the tracks and most of the signalling system would be brought from Japan.

The foundation stone for the Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train was laid in Ahmedabad by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14.

Of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent for 50 years. And the repayment will begin only after 15 years.

The railway official said that to encourage the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, “an appeal will be made to Indian and Japanese companies to make use the opportunity to work together”.

Meanwhile, the officials of the government of Maharashtra and Gujarat assured the railways of their help in land acquisition and smooth shifting of raw materials to construction venues.

A three-level monitoring committee was also constituted, including the Vice Chairman of Niti Ayog and Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister.

A working group led by Managing Director of NHSRCL Achal Khare and consisting of representatives of the ministries concerned, and the representative of JICA, has been formed. Besides the two committees, a technical expert committee led by the Managing Director of NHSRCL has also been formed.

Of the 508 km stretch, 92 per cent (468 km) of the route will be elevated, six per cent (27 km) will be in tunnels and the remaining two per cent (13 km) will be on the ground .

The high-speed train would also pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea.

Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

The distance will be covered in two hours and seven minutes if the train stops at four stations — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes.

According to Railway Ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train would be 320 kmph and the maximum speed would be 350 kmph.

 

(Editorial note : This article has been written by Anand K. Singh and was first published by IANS. Anand can be contacted at can be contacted at anand.s@ians.in)