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May 28, 2015

GIA uncovers the Fascinating World of Diamonds in Bhopal

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GIA uncovers the Fascinating World of Diamonds in Bhopal
Bhopal – Diamond enthusiasts, hobbyists and connoisseurs have the exciting opportunity to learn more about the cherished stone – including the qualities that add to its value and jewellery buying tips – from one of the world’s leading experts in gem and jewellery education.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America)will conduct its practical five-day programme on diamonds in Bhopal beginning June15.

Students in GIA’s Diamond Grading Lab class work with real diamonds and professional gemmological instruments to uncover the fascinating world inside these gems.

The class teaches both technical and practical ways to observe and evaluate diamond quality, and the basics of the famous GIA-created 4Cs (colour, clarity, cut and carat weight) of diamond quality.

Students also learn how the 4Cs can affect value and the ways in which diamond treatments can affect the appearance of a stone.

Taught by experienced and qualified GIA instructors, the course is ideal for hobbyists, jewellery enthusiasts, connoisseurs, students and working professionals interested in diamonds.

For more details about the course and about GIA in India, call 09009992055 or Toll free 1800 102 1566or visit www.giaindia.in, email eduindia@gia.edu.
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Insecticides India Ltd registers a Profit Growth of 37% this Fiscal

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Insecticides (India) Limited
New Delhi, May 28: Insecticides (India) Ltd (IIL), India’s leading agro chemicals manufacturing company, reported robust growth in the fiscal ending March 2015, riding on increasing penetration across the country and variety of new products to meet different requirements of Indian farmers.

IIL clocked an increase in net profit of 37 % as against the last financial year, with the net income of the company rising 12 % against the 2013-14 fiscal. At the same time, the quarterly results at the end of March 31, 2015 showed an increase in net income of almost 20 % as against the quarter ending March 31, 2014.

The company’s net income from sales during the period April, 2014 to March 2015 stood at Rs 964.19 crore as against Rs 864.08 crore during the preceding financial year. As compared to Rs 135.24 crore net income from sales in the quarter ending march 2014, the quarter ending March 31, 2015 produced a net income of Rs 160.84 crore.

IIL recorded impressive growth across all key performance indicators including Turnover, Profit after Tax (PAT) as well as Earning per Share (EPS).

The basic and diluted EPS this fiscal stood at Rs. 43.26 as against Rs. 31.50 in the corresponding period of last year, a growth rate of 37 %.

Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd. (IIL), said he expects growth to be even better this year.

“Last year the climatic conditions were erratic, and farmers also suffered losses due to less rainfall during the kharif season and excess rainfall during the Rabi season. Still, IIL has registered impressive growth. The annual figures are encouraging and clearly indicate a continued growth of market for our products. Our efforts to achieve greater penetration and raise awareness among farmer about judicious use of agrochemicals have brought rich dividends for us. The products launched over the past 2-3 years including Hakama, Pulsor, Xplode and Logo have led the growth figures. With predictions of a timely monsoon, we expect to continue on the growth trajectory,” he said.

The leading and most popular brands in the kitty of IIL include Nuvan, Pulsor, Hakama, Lethal, Victor, Thimet and Monocil. Last year, IIL launched Mycoraja, its first bio-product equipped to promote healthy growth and greater nutrient absorption in a wide range of crops from rice, wheat and vegetables to oilseeds as well as cotton.
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1000 Franchise to Host 4th Franchise Expo RISE in Jaipur

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1000 Franchise Set to Host 4th Edition of the Biggest Franchise Expo
1000 Franchise Welcomes You at R.I.S.E: The Biggest B2B Franchise Expansion Show
Jaipur, May 28: Those seeking to pursue business ownership will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with high-level executives of top franchise brands during the event of 1000 Franchise.

RISE - an initiative by 1000 Franchise to bring together brands, investors and business opportunity seekers all at one place – is going to be held on May 31, 2015 at Hotel Lemon Tree in Jaipur. Event is sponsored by Little Millenium. The event will be attended by national as well as international brands, organizations and businesses, willing to chalk out expansion opportunities, market their trademark and grant franchising rights to investors & opportunity seekers.

After successfully completing its 3rd edition RISE is coming up with its 4th edition, the exhibition will provide a platform to ​the ​brands from diverse industry verticals and niches to showcase franchise opportunities to potential entrepreneurs and serious investors. It also gives an opportunity to business seekers and those looking to grow an existing business to join hands and gain valuable knowledge as well as industry insight.

Considering RISE a great platform for networking and growing, Rohit Rathore, Founder and Director at 1000 Franchise speak about his motive, “Our main aim is to deliver remarkable results by helping brands to expand their network and to support investors in making strategic and informed decisions. We give our best assistance to the individuals in selecting the best franchise opportunity and starting their own business with the experienced and expertise of the franchiso​r.”

The organization of RISE for the 4th time in a row is followed by the success of the franchise expansion show in its earlier editions, which attracted over 30 brands and a number of young people and entrepreneurs. The show is aimed at providing enormous opportunity to business owners in the facets of franchising, licensing and retailing.

Some of the popular brands which will be exhibiting at RISE, Jaipur Event include Little Millennium, Presto Wonders, Krish Educare, Sanfort School, Sesame Street pre-school, SKI Capital Services, Sams Pizza, Dixy Chicken, Shanti Juniors, Brew Berry, Yup Foods, Gift Gallery, Kohinoor, Wellness Path Care,, Nestle Move N Pick, Pachouli Spa, WoW vada pav, 3H Kitchen, Footkraft, WLCI, StudioOne, Gianis, Kaya Deals, Orane, Senorita’s, 34 Chowringhee Lane, Gelato Vinto, Srchies Gallery, Naturals Unisex Salon and Spa, and a lot more.
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Barracuda namesChris Ross as Senior Sales VP, Global Channels

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Barracuda namesChris Ross as Senior Sales VP, Global Channels
India May 28: Barracuda Networks, Inc. (NYSE: CUDA), a leading provider of cloud-connected security and storage solutions, today announced that storage and channel veteran Chris Ross has joined the company as its senior sales vice president, global channels. Ross brings over 23 years of technology experience, 15 of those being in storage software, most recently as the vice president of worldwide sales at Arcserve.

At Barracuda, Ross will work with channel teams around the world to drive new strategies and accelerate implementation of Barracuda’s recently strengthened partner program. Announced on April 6, 2015, the program updates include a focus on establishing global consistency across all levels of the partner program, expanded deal registration, increased discounts for certain products, and a new MSP program for qualifying partners.

“It’s great to have Chris on board to help lead the global channel efforts at Barracuda,” said Michael Hughes, SVP, worldwide sales, Barracuda. “Chris provides valuable channel experience, which will help execute the goals aligned with our updated partner program – his joining Barracuda further positions us to rapidly grow and strengthen our channel community across the globe.”

Ross joins Barracuda from Arcserve, where he was vice president of worldwide sales. Prior to Arcserve he held a number of VP and GM roles at Bakbone Software, Symantec and PowerQuest Corporation where he worked to build channels, drive growth and develop sales and marketing teams.

“It’s a great time to join Barracuda, and I am looking forward to helping establish even greater channel engagement and ensuring that we continue to expand our channels and drive recruitment campaigns for resellers,” said Ross.
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Interview with Akul Tripathi

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Interview with Akul Tripathi


1. What triggered the passion to host a travel show?



I have always prioritized travelling. It has been my first love. I cherish the freedom in the wandering. And too often and much to the chagrin of my reluctant bankers, work has been sacrificed at its altar. Equally satisfying has been acting which remained something I did bits off, all through my growing-up years. The thought of how great it would be to host a travel show did cross my mind often, but the variety that was popular on television - the cosmetic look at family resorts and the few historic monuments would always distress and frustrate. Then along came Epic and suddenly, there was somebody looking for what I had always enjoyed. To be honest, even then, I was just gung-ho on researching and writing (and ofcourse eyeing the opportunity to recce). This is when Monia decided that I should have a go at hosting it and then like most things destined to be, it just fell into place.




2. Did you enjoy travelling to all those places? Have you visited all these remote locations before?


I enjoy travelling to places which have fallen off the map as at most times, the only reason is that there is no longer a road leading up to there anymore and no place of worship is functional. I must also say, I enjoy the quiet without the throng of people crowding at monuments. I have visited quite a few of the places featured in Ekaant before, while traveling with the Wilson College Nature Club, which is how I knew of them and some others on the wish list were checked because of Ekaant.




3. Why did you choose talking about abandoned places of India?


To give a voice to those who had no one speaking for them. Who is to decide which is a history that must be remembered and one that must be forgotten? All we know and should aspire to know about history is incomplete until all its players have had their say in it. And they are all interlinked. So until we know why these abandoned places lie desolate the way they do, our knowledge about why the ones that are still living in one sense or the other will remain incomplete.

And ofcourse the stories are fresh and new - and make for great television viewing.


4. What parts of India can we hope to see in the coming episodes?


(Laughs) All over we hope. Of course subject to the auspices of the great Indian bureaucracy and the magnificent Indian monsoon obliging and blessing us on our travels.




5. Which was your favourite location? And why?


I can almost sense the hurt other locations feel when I try moving one up the ladder. So leaving the locations and the histories aside, I confess I am partial to Ladakh. Its just the geographical part of the country that I feel the most alive in...




6. When not hosting, what can we find you doing best?


Travelling to more places without a camera following me and me holding one instead. I enjoy reading and tinkering with technology. And did I forget to mention playing with my dogs and sipping coffee on my mum’s swing - sometimes simultaneously?




7. What kind of roles / TV shows attracts you the most?


I have always been keenly attracted to history, crime, the supernatural and other intellectually stimulating software made for television, movie or print. Regrettably there are few of these that we produce in the Indian market, so a large chunk is from western shows. The Newsroom, Luther, Broadchurch, Elementary, DaVinci’s Demons are the recent addictions. Looking to get my hands on Marco Polo and need to watch some more of Vikings and Black Sails.




8. How attached are you to Indian History and Mythology?


Oh! Extremely. And the more you try to find out about it, the larger it begins to appear. It is never ending and that is good for me. Sorted for this life time. Though history sometimes manages to trump the fantastical mythology. And it gets even better when you can’t tell the two apart.




9. Do you prefer doing shows on TV or doing Bollywood films?


Catch 22! No safe way of answering that, is there? But honestly, I have the experience of only one movie and in comparison have done significantly more television shows. The nomad in me loves the fast pace of television - but all too often the devil that guards my love for detail agonizes over the luxurious time that films offer to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.
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May 27, 2015

Doctor Introduces a new Device for Spine Surgery

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Doctor Introduces a new  Device for Spine Surgery
New Delhi, May 27​: Slipped disc is a common problem, which affects approximately 1% of the population at any given time. It usually affects people between the ages of 30 to 50 years. But these days, it is not bound to any age group or gender. It commonly occurs in people whose occupation involves frequent bending and lifting. However slipped disc is not the only cause of backache/leg pain. These aches can often result from diseases like spinal tumor, infection, T.B. ,cancer spreading to spine, osteoporosis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, fractures, congenital diseases etc.

But thanks to the latest advancements in medical technologies, serious health diseases have now become curable. Determined for the same, Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra Director of Neuro and Spine Department at New Delhi based Sir Gangaram Hospital has successfully taken spinal surgeries to an altogether new level. Dr Satnam Singh Chhabra has recently introduced a new device to provide relief to patients suffering from savior slipped disc and compressed nerves. Gaining popularity under the same banner, Satnam Device has been submitted for patent rights by the name of Satnam Device for Endoscopic Surgery.

The device is now being used by numerous hospitals in India, providing a sigh of relief to patients suffering from the agonizing pain.

Dr Chhabra explains; Nowadays, surgery for slipped disc is performed through a tiny (about 1.5 cms) incision in the back with the help of an endoscope. The surgery grants patients the relief to go back home within 12-24 hrs of getting operated. Additionally, such patients can also easily walk and use the toilet the very same day, besides getting fit to resume office in a few days time. Generally the idea of undergoing a spinal surgery often puts people on tenterhooks given the risk of paralysis or fear of getting bed-ridden and depending on others. Such is the mindset of patients that they’d rather suffer the pain than get operated. However with modern surgical techniques on the go, such complications are extremely rare.

Satnam Device for Endoscopic Surgery is a special tube which is placed into the back of patient through a minor cut in the skin. Surgery is performed through this tube under endoscopic view on LED monitor. The device gives enormous magnification and clarity of vision which in turn minimizes the risk to normal nerves.
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Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon Convocation 2015

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Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon Convocation 2015
New Delhi, May, 27: Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, a premier management institute in the country, held its 4th Annual Convocation for the class of PGPM (Energy) 2013-15 and PGPM 2014-15 today at the Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park, New Delhi. The event also witnessed commencement ceremony of the new batch PGPM (2015 -16) in the presence of Chief Guest, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Honorable Union Minister for Railways, GOI and Guest of Honor, Dr. Sudhakar V. Balachandran, Professor at College of Business Administration, University of Illinois, Chicago. The venue was brimming with energy reflecting the sense of anticipation among the students wearing ceremonial graduation regalia, waiting to receive their graduation certificates. At this year’s convocation ceremony, 105 students got graduation certificates out of which 38 students were from PGPM-Energy (Post Graduate Program in Management-Energy) 2013-15 and 67 from PGPM 2014-15 (Post Graduate Program in Management).

The Chief Guest for the occasion, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Railways delivered the convocation address and handed over the certificates to the graduating students in the presence of Dr. B. S. K. Naidu, Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, Mr. Mohan Lakhamraju, Vice-Chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Dr. Himadri Das, Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, faculty, students and parents.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Suresh Prabhu shared ““Every time we achieve a landmark, we start realizing that we still have to achieve more and that helps us to move further in life. We should never think that we have learnt everything and we don’t need to learn more. If we think that we have finished learning then probably we are never going to learn more in life. Going further, he added that the students who are graduating now are going to be highly benefitted by the growth trajectory that our country is currently going through. Even after reaching to the top in life, one must learn to bend to reach even higher and to enjoy one’s success. Bend and Mend must be the golden rule to follow in life,” said the honorable minister.

Congratulating the graduating students through a video congratulatory message, Dr. Bala V Balachandran, Founder, Dean and Chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management, said, “I am extremely delighted to share students’ happiness on this joyous occasion” and he congratulated every graduating student. He further added that “there is a saying that goes – ‘Aspire to inspire before you expire’. If one has to grow in the system and become a leader, then one has to have that attitude. We should be ambitious in life and must chase our dreams with compassion and integrity said, Dr. Balachandran. He wished all the students that they will be able to exhibit the talents that they have developed for the betterment of the society. He wished all the students great success in all their endeavours.”

Expressing his thoughts on the occasion, Dr. B. S. K. Naidu, Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, said“advised students on stress management. He elaborated on the fact that stress has become inevitable in one’s life and it is imperative that we all learn how to curb the habit of carrying our stressful thoughts all the time. He further explained that by over thinking and worrying we only waste our time whereas by proper planning and with actions taken well in advance one can very much get rid of stress. Going further he explained that by understanding the importance of prioritisation of work and attending to urgent matters first followed by important ones and then the less important ones, we can improve our efficiency. “I am certain that all of you will take these lessons and skills you have learnt at Great Lakes and would prove to become responsible leaders and contribute towards better future for our country.”, added Dr. Naidu.

Wishing the graduating students the very best, Dr. Himadri Das, Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon, said, “Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon, said, “students and alumni our considered to be strengths of any institute and I am extremely proud of all our students, and I am sure that with all the knowledge and talent that our students possess they will do wonders in their respective chosen fields.”. He further added that “today Great Lakes is a highly recognizable brand in the Indian management education space known for its quality and international perspective. With multiple programs that cater to the entire professional community, an established presence at Chennai and Gurgaon, academic alliances with several reputed and world famous universities across the globe, in-house capabilities for exceptional, cutting edge research and with the motto of going from Good to Great in the next decade, Great Lakes has set itself on a mission to become one of the best B-school destinations in the world.”

Delivering the vote of thanks, Mr. Mohan Lakhamraju, Vice-Chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management said, “I would like to share with students the fact that success does not come easy, every commendable task involves hardship, sacrifice, perseverance, failure and its own challenges. We should always try to learn from these underlying facts that often get subsumed as we get too busy in marvelling at the success. He also stressed that as we grow in life the meaning of success changes, our goals and ambitions change with time. It is the lessons learnt from failures and challenges from the past that help us in keep growing in life. This is the quest for learning that we try to inculcate in our students. While congratulating the students, he said “I believe that all you would do great in life by crossing every barrier that would come in your way with your never say die spirit.”

As a part of the convocation ceremony, a number of academic honors were handed to the meritorious students. In the PGPM Energy batch, gold medals were awarded to Ms. Rekha Joy for Academic Excellence and to Mr. D N Sai Srinu for Best Outgoing Student. In PGPM batch, gold medals were awarded to Mr. Pawan Tripathi for Academic Excellence and Ms. Saakshi Singh for Best Outgoing Student.

The ceremony was followed by a formal welcoming of the PGPM Class of 2015- 16 with the commencement address byGuest of Honor, Dr. Sudhakar V. Balachandran, Professor at College of Business Administration, University of Illinois, Chicago. Addressing the new batch, Dr. Sudhakar Balachandran inspired the students by sharing his mantras for achieving success. He expressed, “to reach heights one should not be easily content with achievements, we should always set higher targets and then must strive harder to reach those targets”. Further, Dr. Balachandran shared what he calls as “three ingredients for becoming successful”, first is to carefully set target that one thinks of as success and then taking steps to achieve the goal with complete focus without getting deviated. Secondly, one must perform all the duties without having expectations for results, in the end, it is not the result that counts but the perseverance, hard work, diligence and efforts involved in achieving the goal. Thirdly, the students must respect each other, their faculty and the curriculum they are going to study in the institute.

The students of Great Lakes Gurgaon have also performed exceptionally well in several events and competitions and have won a sizeable number of them. Some of the achievements include publishing of case titled ‘Should Cairn India Venture in to Offshore Drilling’ at Richard Ivey, prepared by PGPM Energy students Ajay Srinivas Raghavan and Kartikeyun, the PGPM student Manoj Sinsinwar secured the 5th position in Snapdeal’s “The Next CEO” in the annual Management fest held at IIM, Lucknow, students of PGPM Energy Sushant Kadyan and Shashank received the best project award in the Eco Home Building Competition organized by International Youth Society and so on.

The Energy Management class of 2013-15 was well received by the industry and the average compensation received was Rs. 8.74 lakhs p.a. with the highest being Rs. 13 lakhs. The batch of 2015 received a bouquet of offers from companies across Energy, IT, Internet Business, Consulting, Analytics and Healthcare sectors. The list of companies that participated in the process included names likes Aon Hewitt, Atlanta Energy, Bharat Light and Power, Cognizant, Deloitte US, E Valueserve, Genpact, HCL, HT Media, Indiamart, KPMG, Mahanagar Gas Ltd., NIIT Technologies, Shopclues, Sterlite Grid, Sun Edison, Window Force Management etc.

The 1-year PGPM program (2014-15) graduates also had excellent placements across marquee companies with average compensation of Rs. 9.84 lakhs with the highest being Rs. 13.45 lakhs. Some of the companies that participated in the process were Cognizant Business Consulting, Deloitte, Droom, Genpact, Groupon, Zomato, Delhivery, Knowlarity, Maveric, MuSigma, ShopClues, American Express, PagalGuy, Makaan.com and so on. The profiles offered included Consulting/ IT Consulting, Sales & Marketing and Operations.
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Nature International helps Traffic Police of Gurgaon to beat the heat

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Nature International helps Traffic Police of Gurgaon to beat the heat
Gurgaon, May 27: With the city temperature crossing 40 degrees Celsius, traffic police are sweating it out, standing for hours on the road exposed to the scorching heat, noise and air pollution. With the mercury shooting up mercilessly, it becomes very difficult for traffic sergeants deployed on the streets of Gurgaon to man the thoroughfares. To beat the scorching heat, Sh. Sharad Goel, President, Nature Internationaldistributed water flasks to the cops of Gurgaon traffic police here on Wednesday. The distribution took place in Traffic Tower in the presence of Sh. Navdeep Singh Virk, Commissioner of Poilce, Gurgaon, Smt. Bharti Arora, Joint Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon and Vinod Kaushik, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon and almost all senior officers were present on the occasion. Around 360 flasks were distributed to the cops ranked inspectors and below. The flasks can store 2 liters of water and keeps the water cool for a longer period of time.

“I have personally felt that the traffic police who are on duty are forced to drink water from here and there which is usually not purified and in turn affects their health. Keeping this in mind we thought of initiating this distribution “said, Sh. Sharad Goel, President Nature International.

Sh. Navdeep Singh Virk, Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, said “This is a very noble initiative and we appreciate and thank the Nature International and Sh. Sharad Goel for this thought”.

The same distribution was done last year as well and Nature International has also requested the Gurgaon Traffic Police to let them conduct an Asthma Check Up camp for the Traffic Police of Gurgaon.
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BIG MAGIC with Kavita Kaushik on Sunday

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BIG MAGIC with Kavita Kaushik on Sunday
Mumbai, May: BIG MAGIC, the ultimate comedy destination from Reliance Broadcast Network has recently launched the weekend omnibus of their flagship shows like Total Nadaniyaan, Narayan NarayanChulbuleNaradkiNatkhatLeelayeen, HarMushkilKa Hal Akbar Birbal. Starting 24th May, every Sunday will be special as the channel ropes in gorgeous and talented Kavita Kaushik to take over as the host of the omnibus. 

The versatile actress has not only won millions of hearts with splendid performances, but has also been well received as an anchor for many prestigious shows.

While audiences sit and enjoy their favorite shows, Kavita will be seen upping the entertainment quotient with her humour and wit. With Sunday maha episodes, the actress will be seen introducing the show and the characters while taking the viewers through episodes that have already aired. The omnibus is a huge advantage to viewers, as they can catch the episode highlights that they may have missed the previous week.

Do not miss this hilarious joyride of your favorite shows only on BIG MAGIC with Kavita Kaushik, every Sunday at 11.30 AM and 5.30 PM
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May 25, 2015

Government Initiative on Ease of Doing Business

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Government Initiative on Ease of Doing Business
by K R Sudhaman

The make in India campaign, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day last year, will remain only on paper without government making concerted effort to improve the ease of doing business and justifiably this has received top priority of the NDA government during the last one year. India, which is among the bottom in World Bank’s index of ease of doing business, has dropped down two places to stand at 142nd out of 189 in World Bank’s latest ranking, underscoring the tough task that lies ahead of government. The NDA government, which wants to make India a business-friendly country, has therefore has initiated several steps in the last several months to put Indian economy back on rails.

In the ten metrics used to measure ease of doing business in the World Bank's 2015 report, which covers the period from June 2013 to May 2014 (when the UPA was in power), India came close to the bottom in two categories. It stood a wretched 184th in the category Dealing with Construction Permits, and 186th in Enforcing Contracts. On the bright side, India stood 7th, an improvement of 14 places, when it came to Protecting Minority Investors. It is the only category in which India has shown an improvement from 2013, when it was ranked 21 in this category and 140 in the overall ease of doing business.

India has a lot of potential of attracting international business but the 'ease of doing' business has to be improved, according to Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. German companies are very optimistic about India and it would be win-win for both the countries if only ease of doing business improved. India is setting up Industrial corridors like the Mumbai-Delhi , Chennai-Bengaluru, Chennai-Vizag and Ludhiana-Kolkata Several Japanese, German, British, French, US and Chinese companies are keen to set up manufacturing units in those industrial corridors. But procedural hurdles delayed the process and Modi government has taken the necessary major first steps that are expected to bear fruity in the coming months and years.

Steinruecke, who is not alone in voicing the concerns of both domestic and foreign investors, said India's place in the list of ease of doing business is still in the wrong place and a lot of improvement has to come, particularly the rules and regulations. The bureaucratic hurdles and harassment by revenue officials make investors wary. Despite the huge market foreign investors do not see India as top priority as a result.

With Modi Government coming to power things have changed for the good and this has been acknowledged by Steinruecke himself who said the approach of Modi to make things easier is the most important thing.

Tax rules are complex all over the world but the retrospective tax brought by the previous UPA government two years back following the Vodafone tax dispute caused more harm than good and NDA government particularly finance minister Arun Jaitley has given an assurance this would not invoked by his government in future.

Aware of the perception about India, Modi government has promised to improve India’s position 50th position by 2017 from present 142. The task is not going to be easy but the Indian Prime Minister has already taken big strides setting in motion several initiatives in this regard. The recent conduct of coal auction and spectrum auction in a transparent manner fetching government revenue over Rs 3 lakh crore is one such action. The insurance reform bill, that raised the FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent has been passed in Parliament is another. The bill, which had been hanging fire for almost a decade has been passed and there are already forward movement by some of private insurers to raise foreign holdings. The reforms carried out by the Government since June one last year when considered for the doing business report next year will improve India’s ranking considerably, according to Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim too had said as early July last year after Modi government assumed office that India could jump 50 spot by just implementing the Gujarat Model of reforms.

The department of industrial policy and promotion has already taken number of initiatives to improve the environment for doing businesses.

They included simplifying the application form for industrial licences and making the process online through the eBiz website, exempting a large number of defence equipment from compulsory licensing, and extending the initial validity period of industrial licences from two years to three so that there is enough time to obtain necessary clearances from authorities. The government has also raised FDI cap for defence to 49 per cent and in hi-tech areas, it could consider up to 100 per cent on a case-by-case basis.

Apart from Insurance bill, the government has amended the companies act relax or drop some of the difficult provisions for business. It has raised FDI cap on pension funds to 49 per cent in line with insurance. The ordinance to allow e-auction of coal mines have been passed by Parliament and first set of e-auction of coal mines have already happened. The long awaited mines act too has been amended. The bill to amend land acquisition act, which was first brought in the form of an ordinance was recently passed by Lok Sabha. It could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha, where opposition parties are in majority as it had been referred to joint parliamentary committee and it is widely expected that it would get passed in the monsoon session of parliament after adopting some of the amendments of opposition. According to KPMG-CII survey on ease of doing business that lack of an effective land acquisition process is one of the key issues that came in the way of pushing projects. The survey also identified unfavourable taxation regime some of the other reasons high cost of starting a business. India continues to falter on various sub-indices such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes, trading across border, enforcing contracts or resolving insolvency and rightly Modi government has initiated steps to deal with these issues.

The Goods and Services Tax, first proposed in 2004-05 has been hanging fire and missed several deadlines since 2010. It goes to the credit of Modi government for GST bill getting through the first hurdle with its passage in the Lok Sabha earlier this month. But the bill has been referred to a select committee in the Rajya Sabha resulting some delay but just as land bill, the GST constitution amendment bill is widely expected to be passed in the monsoon session, well in time to enable rollout of the game-changing indirect tax reform measure from April one 2016. Once rolled out, this destination based tax will bring about single common market in the country besides getting rid of the present system of tax on tax. Apart from widening the tax base, this will reduce overall incidence of tax but at the same improve revenue collections of both states and the centre.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has already made certain recommendations to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on streamlining investment approvals and provision of utilities including an appropriate labour development ecosystem. The government has already moved on several issues and several states too have taken initiatives reform labour laws. The union government too is moving towards allowing unviable companies up to 300 employees to close down without permission. Recently government freed several PPP highway projects by providing exit route for some of the stuck projects. This has freed Rs 40,000 crore of stuck investments in highways for deployment other highway projects. Also government has taken several steps to get several stalled projects in the power and other infrastructure sectors get them going by clearing them at the highest PMO level. The Modi government has taken several steps to put the creaking railway back on track by adopting innovative funding and signing MOU with LIC for lending up to Rs 1.5 lakh crore for railway projects in the next five years. Also FDI up to 100 per cent is allowed in some areas of railways. The government has taken the bold, though unpopular, measure of raising passenger and freight fares, with the plan to deploy the additional revenue to significantly upgrade safety, electronic signals and coach quality. Government has improved ease of doing business by clearing Rs 3.3 lakh of stuck infrastructure projects apart from Rs 6.6 lakh crore of projects cleared earlier.

The central government has decided to rank states on the basis of ‘ease of doing business.’ The system is expected to generate competition among the states and also help investors to choose the place to invest. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has circulated 98 ‘action points’ to state governments on ‘creating an enabling framework for stimulating investments in manufacturing with specific timelines for each action.’ The ranking, to be done with the help of a consultative agency, is expected to be in place by June 2015.

The Union Budget 2015 too announced steps towards ease of doing business in India. The budget proposed to introduce a regulatory reform law that will bring about a cogency of approach across various sectors of infrastructure. This will help infrastructure companies that have multiple businesses like ports, power, roads and airports.

The budget further simplified the procedures for Indian corporate to attract foreign investments. It has done away with the distinction between different types of foreign investments, especially Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) that comes under portfolio investments, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Among the states, the Andhra Pradesh government has inked an MoU with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to work on 'Ease of Doing Business' in the state. Under the Make-in-Maharashtra campaign, Maharashtra Chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, has also tabled a bill to amend the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act to this effect. This means industries seeking expansion or new initiative in the Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation (MIDC) areas will not have to take permission from the local body or municipality in that district or town. Madhya Pradesh Chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has claimed that the state will be made number one in ease of doing business. Rules, laws and processes in the state will be simplified to boost industry and business, while unnecessary permissions will be abolished.

At the central government level, India has also reduced the number of mandatory documents required for import and export of goods to three in each case. The move will lead to reduction in transaction cost and time. Presently, around 10 documents are needed to fulfil the official obligations. Other initiatives include digitising the process of applying for industrial licences. The new five-year Foreign Trade Policy unveiled in April also included ease of doing business as a key focus area.

Prime Minister Modi’s pragmatic governance approach has ensured that approvals for over 400 projects with investments over $70 billion have been expedited.This will help expedite the approval of more than 400 projects, with estimated investments exceeding US$70bn. A crucial administrative reform that has happened is to abolish 30 Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and empowered GoMs (EGoMs) set up by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to tackle cross-jurisdictional issues involving more than one ministry. These GoMs and EGoMs only slowed down decision-making considerably. Administrative aspects of such issues are now tackled by Cabinet Secretariat resulting in speeding up of project clearance. Those issues that are related while those related to policy aspects are now dealt with by PMO

Another significant decision is to replace the Planning Commission, created in 1950 and inspired by Soviet-style central planning, with a think-tank of experts drawn from public and private sectors – one that is better aligned to meeting 21st century requirements. These are some of the positive steps taken government to improve ease of doing business and this would only improve further in coming months and years to get the Indian economy back on high growth path of 8-9 per cent annually to be fastest growing economy in the world in the next decade or two.

*Sh. K R Sudhaman is a senior business journalist and has served as Editor in Press Trust of India, TickerNews and Financial Chronicle (PIB Features)
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