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Industry needs to follow developers in going green
Almost every developer in the country is seriously considering converting all future developments into green buildings and industries also should move towards it as going green would prove to be super-beneficial for them, feel industry leaders.
 
Speaking at the CII Green Business summit, Naushad Forbes, Director, Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd, which specialises in energy conservation, pointed out, “There is huge potential for green businesses both from demand (user) side and from supplier side. The total potential for energy savings works out to be Rs60 billion a year.”
 
Industry leaders from India and representatives from the UK government also highlighted that there are opportunities galore for green businesses worldwide, and especially in India.
 
Vicky Treadell, British deputy high commissioner for Western India, said that the country is well positioned to embrace transition to a low carbon economy and bring about a ‘green revolution’, but that a sense of urgency was needed to achieve the transition.
 
Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd, said, “There is now a much greater focus on energy conservation in the industry, for achieving efficiency and competitiveness. Also, the initiatives under the National Action Plan on climate change taken by the government will make India one of the most efficient carbon consuming economies in the world.”
 
Talking about developers going green, Mr Godrej said, “It is heartening that we already have about 425 buildings in various stages of completion, with a footprint of over 300 million sq ft, planned as green buildings.” He said it now makes strong business sense for developers to go green given that initial investments in the case of ‘platinum’ buildings are recovered within three years.

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Singapore most tax-friendly economy; India, US at bottom in survey
GuideMeSingapore.com, a portal that provides accurate and up-to-date business-oriented information about Singapore, has said that a comparison of the tax burden faced by start-ups in six economies reveals significant variation with that country coming out as the most tax-friendly jurisdiction.
 
The survey compared tax policies of six countries—UK, USA, India, Australia, Russia, and Singapore. Among the six countries considered, the report said that the tax burden imposed on new firms is the least in Singapore while it is highest in India and the US.
 
To illustrate its findings, the report considered a case of a hypothetical start-up firm that expects to make an annual income of $300,000. Such a firm will have a total tax bill of $34,000 in Singapore while it would face a tax bill of about $60,000 in Russia, $63,000 in the UK, $90,000 in Australia, $100,000 in US, and $102,000 in India.
 
"The historical trend of corporate tax rates in Singapore over the last five years shows consistent reduction. Per government's stated policies, this trend is likely to continue in Singapore whereas in most other countries this trend is pointing upwards due to the rising budget deficits that these governments face," said Jacqueline Low, director for corporate services, Janus Corporate Solutions, which owns the GuideMeSingapore.com portal.
 
The lowest tax in Singapore is one of the reasons why India's National Stock Exchange's index Nifty was losing business to Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). According to SGX data, Nifty futures generated 20% volume on the exchange out of 62 million contracts of all major Asian indices traded on it last year. SGX has been taking away a major portion of NSE volumes, which may be a cause of worry for the Indian bourse.
 
However, there are numerous reasons for which many overseas investors, including institutional investors, prefer to trade on SGX Nifty. The main reason being costlier securities transaction tax (STT) and stamp duties charged in India. In Singapore, the transaction costs are only two to three basis points of the trade.
 
Besides the lowest tax structure, SGX has extended trading hours that start as early as 6.30 am and goes till 6 pm. This may be the reason for a move in India to extend trading hours from 9 am to 5 pm on the bourses.

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