Retail industry incurs Rs500 crore loss due to strike

The Union Budget announced last Monday had imposed a 10% excise duty on branded retail, making branded apparels costlier by 10%-15% even as the government plans to introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) by next year

Mumbai: Malls and branded apparel outlets across the country remained closed on Monday in response to a day-long strike called by retailers to protest the proposed 10% excise duty on branded apparels in the Union Budget. A trade association put the loss due to shutdown to around Rs500 crore, reports PTI.

"We estimate that the retail industry will lose around Rs500 crore due to the strike. The estimated loss from Mumbai alone is around Rs100 crore," Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA) Secretary Viren Shah told PTI.

Major retailers such as Shoppers Stop, Pantaloon, Westside, More, SKNL, Arvind Brands, Provogue and Benetton among others, remained closed to press home their demand of a roll-back in the excise duty on what they described as "the already burdened garment industry."

There are over 10,000 branded retail stores in the country.

The government in its budget proposals last Monday had imposed a 10% excise duty on branded retail, making branded apparels costlier by 10%-15% even as it plans to introduce Goods and Services Tax (GST) by next year.

Branded apparels are defined as any registered or labelled garment with a turnover of more than Rs1.5 crore annually.

"The excise duty came as a surprise, especially as the government plans to introduce GST next year. However, I think the tax is just a pressure tactic of the government to make all the states accept GST," Mr Shah said.

The size of the garment industry is estimated at around Rs1,50,000 crore.

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Indian cos plan aggressive hiring over next 3 months: Survey

Staffing services firm Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey revealed that India's net employment outlook-an indicator of recruitment intentions-rose to 51% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the three-month period starting April

New Delhi: Reflecting the bullish employment market, Indian corporates plan to recruit new personnel at a hectic pace over the next three months, with the manufacturing industry expected to offer the strongest hiring prospects, reports PTI.
Staffing services firm Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey released today showed that employers in India have the strongest hiring intentions for the 2011 second quarter.

India's net employment outlook-an indicator of recruitment intentions-rose to 51% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the three-month period starting April. The same stood at just 43% for the first three months of this year.

"Employers (in India) from manufacturing, finance, insurance, real estate, public administration and education and wholesale and retail trade report strongest hiring plans to date," Manpower said.

The manufacturing sector leads the way with a hiring outlook of 56%, followed by finance, insurance and real estate (55%).

"This is the highest employment forecast since we started the survey in 2005 and is higher than witnessed in the pre-crisis period," Manpower India head (sales & marketing) Namr Kishore told PTI.

India is benefiting from the global economic recovery, especially in the US. Overall demand has gone up resulting in robust hiring trends, Mr Kishore noted.

In the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008-09, many firms had resorted to massive layoffs to cut down costs.

The findings are based on a survey of 5,112 employers across the country.

According to the report, employers in the south have the strongest hiring expectations, reflected in a net employment outlook of 58%. It is followed by north (54%), east (53%) and west (43%).

Meanwhile, Manpower's survey-which also covered 38 other countries-revealed that employers in India, Taiwan, Brazil, China, and Turkey have the strongest second-quarter hiring expectations.

European countries, which have been rattled by the sovereign debt turmoil, particularly Greece, Spain and Ireland, as well as Italy, recorded "the weakest forecasts globally", it added.

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Govt to complete budgetary exercise by 24th March

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will initiate the discussion on the budget in the Lok Sabha today and will reply on the debate on Thursday, according to parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal

New Delhi: The government proposes to complete the exercise for passage of general budget for 2011-12 in Parliament by 24th March 24, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said yesterday.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will initiate the discussion on the budget in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and will reply on the debate on Thursday, Mr Bansal told reporters here.

The discussions on the budget will be taken up in the Rajya Sabha on 9th and 10th March, he said, adding that the finance minister will reply to the debate in the Upper House on 11th March.

The Lok Sabha will discuss demands for grants of only four ministries-rural development, external affairs, mining and road transport. In the Rajya Sabha discussions will take place on demands of ministries of tribal affairs, minorities affairs, defence and civil aviation.

Guillotine will be applied in the Lok Sabha to discuss the demands of other ministries on 17th March.

Guillotine is a parliamentary procedure to curtail debate on demands for grants of various ministries to ensure timely passage of the finance bill, which completes the budgetary exercise.

The Finance Bill, which incorporates tax proposals for 2011-12, will be taken up for discussion on 21st and 22nd March in the Lower House and the entire process would be completed by 24th March, Mr Bansal said.

Mr Mukherjee had unveiled the budget proposals for 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha on 28th February.

The budget session is being curtailed due to the forthcoming assembly elections in five states-West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

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