This may not be the La Liga or the English Premier League, but the World Cup has its own flavour. This is reflecting on TV sales
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association's (FIFA) World Cup is underway and football lovers wanting to watch their favourite stars like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka score goals are looking to get themselves new TV sets. The sales for sets in India's football-crazy States have increased and many TV manufacturing companies, at least for the next month, are specifically setting their sights on these States to push sales.
States like West Bengal, Goa, Kerala and parts of the North East-especially Assam and Meghalaya- where football is popular-are pushing the sales of TV sets. "Our focus for the World Cup is restricted to these States, as that's where the action is coming from. There is a football frenzy taking place," said Anand Ramadurai, general manager, marketing, Onida.
The rise in sales is not just limited to the States where football is extremely popular-there also seems to be marginal hikes in sales in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Delhi and Orissa, according to officials.
Firms expect a substantial rise in sales during June to July compared to the same period last year thanks to the World Cup-some are even expecting more than 100% growth in their sales. "World Cup (TV) sales have been very encouraging, especially in the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) segment where we expect an overwhelming response. The growth is very substantial, over 100% in both sales quantities and values," said Saurabh Dhoot, director, Videocon. While Onida sees a rise of 10% to 12% in LCD TV sales in the next month, Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TV sales are expected to grow at their annual rate of 3% to 4%.
"The sales for flat panels has picked up from the 1st week of June, especially in Kerala and West Bengal," said Manish Sharma, director marketing, Panasonic India.
Consumers are choosing LCDs over CRTs, according to industry officials. "The consumer is looking for the upgrade from CRT to LCD and that's where lies the critical issue of availing this opportunity and creating big volumes," Mr Dhoot added.
Mr Ramadurai also added that consumers have been delaying their purchases and waiting for prices to drop. "LCD prices have been dropping consistently over the past 18 months or so. LCDs (32-inch) are today available for even Rs25,000, which was unheard of only a year or so back. The drop in prices has been different across companies," he said.
There also seems to be a demand for 'Ultra Slim' TV sets. "(For) this World Cup, the major impact is due to (the) competitive price band in (the) Ultra Slim category, which is the major value driver," added Mr Dhoot.
This has resulted in many firms looking to aggressively promote their products in States where football is popular. They are launching various schemes for new TV sets.
Haier India has launched a 'Free Kick offer' which gives the consumer a scratch card scheme, where on purchase of an LED or LCD TV above 81cm, a customer can win 100% cash back or an autograph from Haier's brand ambassador John Abraham, on an Adidas track jacket.
Videocon is promoting consumer offers in satellite LCDs. The scheme is supported by both outdoor & print advertising, in-shop promos and contests.
It has also introduced a money-back scheme called 'Paisa Vasool offer" on satellite LCDs where the consumer gets a two-year subscription free.
Onida is offering a 'World Cup to World Cup' four-year warranty plan in States like West Bengal and Goa. It's also offering consumers scratch card money-back offers for consumers in the North East and Kerala. Onida is promoting its offers through regional TV and print ads.
Tongue firmly in cheek, Panasonic India's offer is called 'Hand of God'. This entitles the consumer to a sure-shot gift upon the purchase of a plasma or LCD TV.
If Parliament procedure is complete and it becomes a law, it will be implemented from 1 April 2011, revenue secretary Sunil Mitra said after releasing the revised DTC draft
The government today said that it will introduce a draft legislation on the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), which would replace half-a-century old Income Tax Act, in Parliament in the forthcoming monsoon session, reports PTI.
"If Parliament procedure is complete and it becomes a law, it will be implemented from April 1, 2011," revenue secretary Sunil Mitra told reporters after releasing the revised DTC draft.
On the proposed tax slabs, Mr Mitra said, they would be reflected in the draft legislation to be placed before Parliament.
He said the revised draft has sought to address major concerns of stakeholders. These include treatment of the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT), taxation of long-term savings, capital gains and housing loans. MAT paid by eligible companies to be computed based on profits and not on assets and retirement funds to continue to be exempt from tax on withdrawal.
The government, Mr Mitra said, had received 1,600 comments on the first draft released last year.
The bill, overhauling India's direct tax laws, will be referred to the standing committee of Parliament after introduction.
The Parliament panel, he added, would again consult the stakeholders, Mr Mitra said.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had promised in his Budget speech to implement the new direct tax laws from next fiscal.
The Intimation of Disapproval (IOD), occupation certificate and building completion certificate will have to mention the carpet area separately for getting a green signal from the municipal body
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) will soon implement a regulation according to which developers are supposed to mention the actual carpet area while approaching the authority for approvals of their project plans.
“Developers are supposed to mention the actual carpet area while getting all the three certificates—the IOD, occupation certificate and building completion certificate,” said Swadhin Kshatriya, commissioner, MCGM.
The authority will also scrutinise the actual sale agreements of the buyers (which have to mention the actual carpet area and super built-up area separately) before issuing occupation certificates to developers.
“The developers will only get the occupation certificate after the sale agreements are verified. The sale agreement has to mention the carpet area and super built-up area separately. The State government will pass the notification within one month on the same,” added Mr Kshatriya.
The Maharashtra Housing Department is also actively participating to curb the sale of properties mentioning the super built-up area. The department will standardise the definition of carpet area in the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA).
“There is no standard definition of carpet area. Every developmental control regulation has a different definition of carpet area. We are going to standardise the definition of carpet area by including it in the MOFA itself,” said Sitaram Kunte, secretary, housing department, government of Maharashtra.
Developers in Mumbai are vigorously using the super-built up area and misleading consumers. In November 2008, the Maharashtra government came up with a housing policy which stated that sales of all properties should be done on carpet-area basis. However, developers still do not sell the properties on carpet-area basis because they get a chance to play with the free Floor Space Index (FSI) by including it as part of the super built-up area and they charge the consumers for the same.
“The ministry should speed up the process of turning the regulation into law and implement it effectively. They have been talking about it since a long time,” said Vinod C Sampat, advocate and proprietor, Vinod C Sampat and Co.
The regulation was supposed to become a law within three months of the draft legislation. By March 2009, it should have been a law, but it is not being followed. The authorities are now speeding up the process to make the draft into a law and implement it immediately.
“Developers have drastically raised the super built-up area of new properties. From 50% super built-up area, it has almost reached 100%,” said Pankaj Kapoor, founder, Liases Foras.
However, with the increase in super-built up area, the cost of properties has also doubled over a period of time. Consumers are getting lesser space at a higher cost. For example, if an apartment of 1,000 sq ft carpet area had a saleable area of 1,400 sq ft in Kandivali (a Mumbai suburb) in 2005, at that time, the apartment was priced at Rs2,500 per sq ft. But now, an apartment of 1,000 sq ft is quoted as 2,000 sq ft saleable area. Taking the current cost into consideration, the same apartment is priced at around Rs8,000 per sq ft. The total cost of the apartment has jumped to Rs1.60 crore.
“Today developers are talking of flower beds, which are 12 feet wide—how can you call it a flower bed? Developers are bucking the system openly and blatantly and no one is telling them anything,” said Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd.