Wednesday 28 February 2018

Dream big, set life goals and invest wisely!

With the changing times, priorities of today’s aspirational India have changed. Let’s start with the most amazing question. WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO? A 23-year-old me would want to do an epic road trip from Mumbai to Tawang before I turn 25. A 30-year-old would plan to spend a week on privately owned island luxury resort in Seychelles.

Life is full of surprises and adventure. People inspired by the idea of new adventure may be interested in bungee jumping, surfing or rock climbing. With an advent of globalisation, people are looking for satisfaction beyond settling down in life.

Life coach experts believe that one should plan strategically and focus on realistic goals. Activities like adventure tourism, world travel, international executive educational degrees, destination wedding have become equally important when compared with a steady job or family-run business. As life has evolved, so have the life goals.

To achieve all of your #LifeGoals, one needs to systemically plan his/her financial investments. That way, you will always get what you want. With sound financial planning and sound financial investments, life maximisers can get maximised benefit from their investment.

To achieve life goals which you will cherish for the rest of your life, one needs to think beyond the regular savings approach. The mix of security and long-term return investments could easily beat inflation and help you maximise your savings. This is where ULIPs stand apart as the perfect investment product.

ULIPs or Unit Linked Insurance Plan is a long-term investment plan that offers the combined benefit of investment and insurance. These plans invest a portion of your premium in capital markets and allow you to invest in debt, equity or balanced funds depending upon market conditions or your risk appetite. To mobilise the best of your hard-earned money, capital market investments under ULIPs are managed by experts who can maximise your investments according to the market conditions. ULIPs bring a modern-day approach towards insurance investing.

Bajaj Allianz, one of India’s leading private insurer has launched value-packed goal-based ULIP. Bajaj Allianz Life Goal Assure, a one-of-its-kind ULIP, has been designed to provide investment benefits and life cover to life maximisers, the new generation of investors in India.

Bajaj Allianz Life Goal Assure has two unique benefits that are one-of-theirs-kind for ULIPs in India. One of the key features is Return of life cover. This feature of Bajaj Allianz Life Goal Assure guarantees that the policyholder will get back the cost of life cover when the policy matures, thus enhancing the value of their corpus on maturity. Furthermore, for those who do not opt for one-time lump-sum maturity benefits, the Return Enhancer feature of this plan offers 0.5% additional returns on periodic instalments over the period of five years. During this period, the customer's fund value will continue to participate in funds of his or her choice.

In addition to these features, Bajaj Allianz Life Goal Assure offer value-packed benefits like Fund Booster, wherein an additional fund-value amount is added on the date of maturity. For long-term investments above Rs 5 lakh annually for more than 10 years, loyalty additions are added to the fund value as a reward for paying premiums regularly and staying invested in the policy. There are also options to decrease sum assured, change Premium payment terms and unlimited free switches between funds for return maximization. Investors should also note that investments in ULIPs enjoy tax benefits under Section 80C and 10(10D).

Finally, one must also look at the legacy of Bajaj Allianz Life’s fund performance. The company has a reliable company portfolio which has consistently delivered one of the best CAGR returns, breaking benchmark indices over a long-term horizon of three, five and ten years. Most of the ULIP funds from Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance enjoy high performance rating from the coveted Morning Star ratings agency.

People who constantly on-the-go can visit Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance official website. The revamped website is designed to guide customers through every step of their Life-goal planning and purchase. Dream big, stay invested and achieve your #LifeGoals.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Expats ❤️ India

Working in India is in demand as expats here earn more than double salary than the global average.

With the world opening up its markets for business, multi-national companies have established their business presence all over the world. Due to regional and religious disturbances, the global economy is going through turbulent times. Countries like India, China and ASEAN economies have cushioned the damages with its high growth markets. In the words of PM Modi, India has 3Ds to offer to the world - Democracy, Demography and demand. India is the youngest democracy in the world. Doing business all over the world is made possible by the personal and professional commitment of expats. Expats, despite being having political and cultural difference make key decision making roles for the organisation. HSBC Expat Survey is an online survey taken in 46 countries with the input from lakhs of expats working globally. The report sheds some unique insight on expats living in India and Indians working abroad.

Key Findings - HSBC Expat Survey

- Singapore is the world's best overall destination for expats.
- New Zealand is the best destination for an experience. 58% of expat respondents felt an improvement in the quality of life.
- The Netherlands is the best destination for family. Expats feel it has one of the best education and healthcare systems.
- Switzerland is the best destination for economics. It is the highest rank country for confidence in the local economy and political stability.
- 41% of expats feel that the move has given them a positive outlook on life.
- 62% of expats own property somewhere in the world, with 9% both at home and abroad.
- USD 99,990 is the average income of an expat.
- 47% of expats retired abroad did so for a better climate and 44% for an appealing lifestyle.

Expats ❤️ India

India draws many expats for work and financial opportunities, but new arrivals often find an improvement in family ties. Family forms an essential part of the Indian culture, thus reflecting in family-friendly labour laws. Pregnant women here enjoy one of the highest paid leaves. India enjoys a higher work-life balance than other European or American countries.

India is always on the move. India has earned its fastest growing economy tag due to consistent large-scale economic reforms. Expats living in India are confident in the local economy. Despite having many regional and national political parties, India enjoys political stability due to its democratic style of functioning.

India has recently taken a giant leap in Ease of Doing Business. More than half of expats living in India feel that it is easy to start and do business in India. Expats in India also enjoy one of the highest salaries in the world. An average expat working in India draws an annual salary of USD 1,76,000.

India has a long way to go. Mumbai, the financial capital of India currently lacks world-class infrastructure. Morning and evening rush hours are deadly with more than 10 deaths in the super jam-packed Suburban railway system. Mumbai is investing heavily in developing metro systems and expressways, but higher domestic demand and limited supply may not be enough. Despite this, real estate prices in Mumbai rival to Manhatten.

Despite being looted and tortured by white skins for several hundred years, Indians strongly believe in Athihi Devo Bhava (Guests are equivalent to God) and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The World is one family). Expats working in India feel that their family life is improved significantly. Expat children easily make good friendship with Indian kids. The role of common language - English also plays a significant role in nurturing cordial relations.

In contrast, the HSBC expat survey reports that Indians working abroad draw lower salary than the global average. Expats working in India's largest city, Mumbai can typically expect to bring home a sizable $217,165 salary whereas Indians expats working abroad draw an average salary of USD 86,000.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Virgin Hyperloop signs MoU to develop network between Mumbai and Pune

Virgin Hyperloop has signed MoU with Government of Maharashtra to develop the network between Mumbai and Pune.

Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Sir Richard Branson announced the Framework Agreement in the presence of the PM Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route. This historic signing at the Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence 2018 event. The event portrays Maharashtra as an investment destination and showcases its infrastructure projects.

Recognizing the Maharashtra government’s contribution to the country’s economy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “51 per cent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors. The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of change thinking and improving conditions in the country. Maharashtra government was ahead of all other Indian states in terms of infrastructure spend and the state is on its way to achieving its bold vision of a trillion dollar economy.”

“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry.”

Pune to Mumbai via Navi Mumbai International Airport in just 25 minutes.

The Hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25-minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive megaregion. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route eventually will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with greater opportunities and social and economic mobility. The Hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and next-generation logistics.

The Pune-Mumbai route could result in USD $55 billion (INR ₹350,000 crores) in socio-economic benefits (time savings, emissions and accident reduction, operational cost savings, etc.) over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One. The 100% electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.

The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route will be an economic catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India’s world-class manufacturing, construction, service, and IT sectors and aligns with Make in India initiatives.

The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will begin with a six-month in-depth feasibility study which will analyze and define the route alignment including environmental impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory framework, and cost and funding model recommendations. The feasibility study will build upon the findings of the pre-feasibility study signed in November 2017 between the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and Virgin Hyperloop One.

The project will enter a procurement stage upon the successful completion of the feasibility study to determine the public-private partnership structure. Construction of the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route would commence after procurement and will be completed in two phases, beginning with an operational demonstration track built between two points on the route. The demonstration track will be constructed in two to three years from the signing of the agreement and serve as a platform for testing, certifying, and regulating the system for commercial operations. The second phase will target to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route in five to seven years. Future projects could also extend the route to link central Pune with the New Pune International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai with Pune’s industrial economic zones.

“The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will ultimately be executed by a public-private partnership which will save taxpayer money while delivering a transport option that will help the State of Maharashtra support economic growth, improve sustainability, and meet the transport demands,” said Kiran Gitte, CEO of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

The city of Amaravati and Vijayawada also plans to develop a hyperloop network. India is now considering a 10,000km long high-speed bullet train network. While bullet train is tested technology for long distance travel, a close intra-state travel could be served well by Hyperloop.

– Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Ayushman Bharat health insurance will cover 50 crores Indians in just Rs 12,000 crores

Hospitals in India
Saifee Hospital, Mumbai

Ayushman Bharat aka ModiCare will be the world's largest government-sponsored health assurance scheme.

How much does it take to cover almost 50% of India's 'mammoth-size' population? Not much, actually. The useless debates on the Indian media and the over-estimation by India's weak opposition would have come to halt if both of them would have done some basic research. Forget research, most of these daily debaters didn't even invite insurance experts on the panel. Although the budget 2018 brings a ray of hope for farmers and India's poor, Indian media was disappointed with little changes in tax slabs. Some sections of Indian media being completely clueless starting calling Ayushman Bharat as 'a hoax to win votes'.

Swasth Bharat = Saksham Bharat

The general budget 2018-19 was aimed at making path-breaking interventions to address health holistically, in the primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both prevention and health promotion. 

The initiatives are as follows:-  

Health and Wellness Centre:- The National Health Policy, 2017 has envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. These centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services.  These centres will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. The Budget has allocated Rs.1200 crore for this flagship programme. The contribution of the private sector through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres is also envisaged.

National Health Protection Scheme:- The second flagship programme under Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.  This will be the world’s largest government-funded health care programme. Adequate funds will be provided for smooth implementation of this programme.

The National Health Protection Scheme aka 'ModiCare' will be the world's largest government-sponsored health assurance scheme. The much-appreciated ObamaCare in the US had approximately 30 crore enrollees. The United Kingdom through its National Health Services offers free healthcare to its 10 crore ordinary citizens at public hospitals. The 2017 UK budget allocated 6.3 million pounds for spending in NHS. India's newly announced NHPS will cover all of India's 50 crore poor citizens at the public as well as the privately operated hospitals.

'ModiCare' will cover nearly 50% of India's population is just Rs 12,000 crore

Insurance experts firmly believe that India's 10 crore poor families can be covered in just Rs 12,000 crores. Since healthcare is a state subject, 50% of the cost of premium will be borne by state governments. Rs 6,000 crore annually, from the central government is a small amount of India's 25 lakh crore general budget. As India grows, the 'ModiCare' scheme is likely to be expanded to all of its 128 crores + citizens and later we be can even be linked with retirement benefits, like the one's offered in ObamaCare. Currently, only 5% of India's population is covered by a health insurance.

Health insurance for India's poor is a not an initiative, as India's weak united opposition said. The Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana covered most of the blue-collar workers with Rs 30,000 year. The newly announced NHPS has been a talk-of-the-nation as Rs 5 lakh per year is enough to treat life threating diseases like cancer or cardiac illnesses. Various states in India have announced health insurance scheme but only Rajasthan's mass health coverage scheme comes close to 'ModiCare'.

Rajasthan's Bhamasha Swasthya Bima Yojana, tendered in December 2017, will cover nearly 4 crore poor people of Rajasthan state. The project of Rajasthan's state-sponsored insurance was bagged by New India Assurance Ltd. This is one of the largest health insurance schemes in the country as it gives health cover for cashless treatment of 1,401 diseases - of Rs3,00,000 for 663 critical and Rs30,000 each for 738 general illnesses. The total insurance premium involved in Bhamasa Swasthya Bima Yojana is more than Rs1,200cr per annum with the State bearing Rs. 1,261 per family.

As the spread increases in insurance, the premium is expected to lower further. Rs 1,261 per family in Rajasthan could be reduced further to Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per family in India. The tenders for NHPS are likely to be announced in Q1 2018 and the L1 bidder (that is the lowest bidder) for each state or tehsil will be selected. It is utmost important to maintain actuarial price for the successful implementation of this mammoth-sized project. This is India's golden chance to improve the standard of living of its poor citizens. With the demand for qualitative healthcare in small cities, the supply of multi-specialty quality hospitals are expected to reach the length and the breadth of this country. 

According to, the economies of scale and scope can do wonders for India. It is a humongous task, a case study for the world to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by the Year 2030. With the sincerity of purpose, honesty and giving-it-back attitude, India will be successful in this project. It's much appreciated that India's powerful man, the Prime Minister, is committed towards his duty towards Right to Qualitative Healthcare.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Friday 9 February 2018

Competition Commission of India fines Google for search bias

CCI Google

The Competition Commission of India has fined Rs 135.86 crores to Google India for search bias.

The Competition Commission of India has found Google to have abused its dominant position in online web searches and web search advertising services in India. The complaint was filed by Limited and Consumer Unity & Trust Society in 2012 against Google India Pvt Ltd., Google Ireland and Google LLC.

The CCI order against Google noted that the changes made in Search Engine Research Page can affect legitimate product improvements and thus could give undue benefit to companies which can list first on a 'Google Search'. Google, being the most widely used search engine due to its dominance on web results, is under obligation to discharge its special responsibility. The regulator said the penalty is being imposed on Google due to infringement of anti-trust code.

The CCI has also observed that Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen the position in the market for online syndicate search services. The competitors were denied access to online search syndication services market due to such conduct. However, CCI did not find any contravention in respect of Google's specialized search design (OneBoxes). Adwords, online intermediation, and distribution agreements.

The penalty amount of Rs 135.86 crore translates to 5 percent of the company's average total revenue generated from India operations from its different business segments for the financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015, according to the CCI order. The company will need to deposit the fine within 60 days, the commission said.

In June 2017, the European Union fined Google parent Alphabet a record $2.9 billion antitrust fine against the company for allegedly abusing the power of its dominant search engine. EU ordered the search engine to treat competing for shopping services "no less favorably" than its own.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Monday 5 February 2018

CSR Data Portal on MCA will enhance accountability and transperancy

CSR Data Portal MCA

Information regarding Corporate Social Responsibility for private limited entities and corporates can now be tracked on Ministry of Corporate Affairs' website MCA21 registry portal. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs launched the National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal today in the presence of P.P. Chaudhary, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs and Law & Justice. The FM said that the initiative is a significant step towards driving accountability and transparency for corporate India. By making the portals accessible to general public, it will ensure a high level of compliance and also in institutionalising and consolidating the CSR activities.

The government further mentions that National CSR Data Portal would capture information on CSR activities filed on the MCA21 registry in their financial statements. The filed information would provide a snapshot of CSR activities carried out by companies. The CSR portal would contain all the filed information, which can generate pre-defined reports with respect to expenditure across states, districts, development sectors, etc. 

The CSR Data portal would also provide feedback on projects to be given by registered users and generate predefined reports and customised reports. The move reflects government's commitment in leveraging technology for smart governance. Corporate Data Portal would help in becoming a potent enabler for greater transparency and creation of tools for stronger Corporate Governance.

Both the portals launched by the government aims to bring 100% transparencies in corporate governance. The open data of 4 million filings from 1.2 million companies will be accessible to general public, corporates and philanthropists, besides bringing together CSR contributors, implementers and beneficiaries and aligning CSR activities with national development goals.

The National CSR Data Portal will capture information on CSR activities carried out by eligible companies, filed on the MCA21 registry in their financial statements. The filed information provides a snap shot of CSR activities carried out by companies. The CSR portal contains all filed information, which can generate pre-defined reports with respect to expenditure across states, districts, development sectors, etc. The Portal also provides for feedback on projects to be given by registered users. The open access to data is expected to help researchers, improve quality of data filed by companies, as well as involve intended beneficiaries in giving valuable feedback to companies.

While the Corporate Data Portal aims at making all the financial and non-financial information of the companies available in a user friendly format to the general public. It also has facility to generate pre-defined reports and also customised reports.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Public Information Bureau.

Thursday 1 February 2018

All you need to know about #Budget2018

  • Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presents general Budget 2018-19 in Parliament.
  • Budget guided by mission to strengthen agriculture, rural development, health, education, employment, MSME and infrastructure sectors
  • Government says, a series of structural reforms will propel India among the fastest growing economies of the world. Country firmly on course to achieve over 8 % growth as manufacturing, services and exports back on good growth path.
  • MSP for all unannounced kharif crops will be one and half times of their production cost like majority of rabi crops: Institutional Farm Credit raised to 11 lakh crore in 2018-19 from 8.5 lakh crore in 2014-15.
  • 22,000 rural haats to be developed and upgraded into Gramin Agricultural Markets to protect the interests of 86% small and marginal farmers. 
  • “Operation Greens” launched to address price fluctuations in potato, tomato and onion for benefit of farmers and consumers.
  • Two New Funds of Rs10,000 crore announced for Fisheries and Animal Husbandary sectors;   Re-structured National Bamboo Mission gets  Rs.1290 crore.
  • Loans to Women Self Help Groups will increase to Rs.75,000 crore in 2019 from 42,500 crore last year.
  • Higher targets for Ujjwala, Saubhagya and Swachh Mission to cater to  lower and middle class in providing free LPG connections, electricity and toilets.
  • Outlay on health, education and social protection  will be 1.38 lakh crore. Tribal students to get Ekalavya Residential School in each tribal block by 2022. Welfare fund for SCs gets a boost.
  • World’s largest Health Protection Scheme covering over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families launched with a family limit upto 5 lakh rupees for secondary and tertiary treatment.
  • Fiscal Deficit pegged at 3.5 %, projected at 3.3 % for 2018-19.

  • Rs. 5.97 lakh crore allocation for infrastructure
  • Ten prominent sites to be developed as Iconic tourist destinations
  • NITI Aayog to initiate a national programme on Artificial Intelligence(AI)
  • Centres of excellence to be set up on robotics, AI, Internet of things etc
  • Disinvestment crossed target of Rs 72,500 crore to reach Rs 1,00,000 crore
  • Comprehensive Gold Policy on the anvil to develop yellow metal as an asset class.
  • 100 percent deduction proposed to companies registered as Farmer Producer Companies with an annual turnover upto Rs. 100 crore on profit derived from such activities, for five years from 2018-19. 
  • Deduction of 30 percent on emoluments paid to new employees Under Section 80-JJAA to be relaxed to 150 days for footwear and leather industry, to create more employment. 
  •  No adjustment in respect of transactions in immovable property where Circle Rate value does not exceed 5 percent of consideration. 
  • Proposal to extend reduced rate of 25 percent currently available for companies with turnover of less than 50 crore (in Financial Year 2015-16), to companies reporting turnover up to Rs. 250 crore in Financial Year 2016-17,  to benefit micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Standard Deduction of Rs. 40,000 in place of present exemption for transport allowance and reimbursement of miscellaneous medical expenses. 2.5 crore salaried employees and pensioners to benefit.
  • Relief to Senior Citizens  proposed:-
  • Exemption of interest income on deposits with banks and post offices to be increased from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000.
  • TDS  not required to be deducted under section 194A. Benefit also available for interest from all fixed deposit schemes and recurring deposit schemes.
  • Hike in deduction limit for health insurance premium and/ or medical expenditure from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 under section 80D.
  • Increase in deduction limit for medical expenditure for certain critical illness from Rs. 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and from Rs. 80,000 (in case of very senior citizens) to Rs. 1 lakh for all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.
  • Proposed to extend Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020. Current investment limit  proposed to be increased to Rs. 15 lakh from the existing limit of Rs. 7.5 lakh per senior citizen.

  • More concessions for International Financial Services Centre (IFSC),  to promote trade in stock exchanges located in IFSC. 
  • To control cash economy, payments exceeding Rs. 10,000 in cash made by trusts and institutions to be disallowed and would be subject to tax. 
  •  Tax on Long Term Capital Gains exceeding Rs. 1 lakh at the rate of 10 percent, without allowing any indexation benefit. However, all gains up to 31st January, 2018 will be grandfathered.
  •  Proposal to introduce tax on distributed income by equity oriented mutual funds at the rate of 10 percent.
  • Proposal to increase cess on personal income tax and corporation tax to 4 percent from  present 3 percent.
  •  Proposal to roll out E-assessment across the country to almost eliminate person to person contact leading to greater efficiency and transparency in direct tax collection.
  •  Proposed changes in customs duty to promote creation of more jobs in the country  and also to incentivise domestic value addition and Make in India in sectors such as food processing, electronics, auto components, footwear and furniture.
Source - PIB.

Note: We do not take editorial responsiblity from this article. The article has been captured from Press Information Bureau, Govt of India.