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Transforming 1.4 million kirana stores can generate 3.2 million new jobs, boost retail consumption: Report

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The Accenture-Trust For Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) report outlined a strategic approach for unlocking value by transforming kirana stores through a seven-stage framework.

The transformation of just 10 percent of the 13 million kirana stores (traditional grocery retailers) in the country could boost the retail consumption by more than 5 percent and generate about 3.2 million new jobs, a report said on Thursday.

The Accenture-Trust For Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) report outlined a strategic approach for unlocking value by transforming kirana stores through a seven-stage framework.

These include factors like store location and layout, technology, store funding, and product placement, the report titled 'Transforming Kirana Stores to Drive Economic Growth' said.

"The rapid changes in consumer behaviour and acceleration of online commerce, mandate that the Indian retail ecosystem transforms to meet (the) emerging consumer needs," Accenture India Market Unit lead Piyush N Singh said.

As the lifeline of the Indian retail sector, a digital-led transformation of kirana stores can result in significant economic gains, including a nearly 1 percent employment growth in India, he added.

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Nervous traders pull markets down again ahead of Budget

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mumbai: Indian stocks dropped on Friday for the sixth straight session in a late sell-off as nervous traders trimmed bets ahead of Budget announcements by finance minister on Monday. A weak opening in European markets also soured sentiment. Sensex ended down 588.59 points or 1.3 per cent at 46,285.77 and Nifty ended down 182.95 points or 1.3 per cent to close at 13,634.60.

With this fall, Sensex and Nifty have corrected 7.8 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively from all-time highs hit  on January 21 and have equaled the losing streak of last September when indices fell for six straight days. This is also the first time since May 2020 that the indices have posted two straight weekly losses.

Markets across the globe have seen a big move since March and valuations are no more cheap. So some corrections at various points will happen. Typically, they also happen ahead of an event like the Budget, where people turn cautious and want to see if any change in taxation rates are there,” said Rajat Rajgarhia, CEO, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities. “Post budget, focus will shift on economic recovery, corporate earnings and global sentiment,” said Rajgarhia.

The latest bout of correction in the market is the first big fall in the otherwise near vertical rally seen since March 23, 2020. The correction mirrors the sentiment in global markets, which have been unsettled of late by a bounce in the dollar, signs of liquidity squeeze in China and concerns over retail trading frenzy in the US. Owing to these concerns, markets have weakened ahead of the Budget day.

Bank of America Securities said the Budget is likely to be growth focused. “We expect Budget to step up capex, recap PSBs, push asset sales/break government monopolies, see sops for real estate, tax cuts for lower income groups & potential for creation of 'bad bank',” said Bank of America Securities.

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Nervous traders pull markets down again ahead of Budget

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mumbai: Indian stocks dropped on Friday for the sixth straight session in a late sell-off as nervous traders trimmed bets ahead of Budget announcements by finance minister on Monday. A weak opening in European markets also soured sentiment. Sensex ended down 588.59 points or 1.3 per cent at 46,285.77 and Nifty ended down 182.95 points or 1.3 per cent to close at 13,634.60.

With this fall, Sensex and Nifty have corrected 7.8 per cent and 7.6 per cent, respectively from all-time highs hit  on January 21 and have equaled the losing streak of last September when indices fell for six straight days. This is also the first time since May 2020 that the indices have posted two straight weekly losses.

Markets across the globe have seen a big move since March and valuations are no more cheap. So some corrections at various points will happen. Typically, they also happen ahead of an event like the Budget, where people turn cautious and want to see if any change in taxation rates are there,” said Rajat Rajgarhia, CEO, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities. “Post budget, focus will shift on economic recovery, corporate earnings and global sentiment,” said Rajgarhia.

The latest bout of correction in the market is the first big fall in the otherwise near vertical rally seen since March 23, 2020. The correction mirrors the sentiment in global markets, which have been unsettled of late by a bounce in the dollar, signs of liquidity squeeze in China and concerns over retail trading frenzy in the US. Owing to these concerns, markets have weakened ahead of the Budget day.

Bank of America Securities said the Budget is likely to be growth focused. “We expect Budget to step up capex, recap PSBs, push asset sales/break government monopolies, see sops for real estate, tax cuts for lower income groups & potential for creation of 'bad bank',” said Bank of America Securities.

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Is it time to expand maternity leave for adoption of children across age groups?

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Women are entitled to maternity leave for adoption, only if the child is below three months of age at that time. This has posed several challenges to women who chose to adopt.


Natasha Sikdar*, an assistant professor at a Kolkata-based engineering college adopted a six-month-old girl child in 2020. She presumed that she would be entitled to maternity leave by her institute but was denied one citing the law.

"Since I had some reproductive issues and had reached the age of 36 years, I decided to go for adoption. The adoption process itself took more than a year and I really needed time off to spend with the baby. But my workplace refused leave since it is legally not mandatory," she added.

The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act states that 26 weeks of paid maternity leave will be available to all working women for pregnancy and child-birth.

However, when it comes to adoption the law states provides only 12 weeks of maternity leave from the time the child is handed over to them. This too is applicable only if the child is below the age of three months. Women adopting children above three months are not legally entitled to any leave.

Internationally, the leave laws are similar for adoption and maternity. For instance, the US allows for upto 12 weeks leave for maternity and adoption at companies with 50 or more employees. This is available for men and women.

In India, the absence of proper leaves for adoption of children above a certain age is a cause of concern. Organisations do not permit such adoption leaves, justifying their actions by saying that there is no legal provision for it.

Human resource heads, especially at mid-size and small companies, told Moneycontrol that it isn't feasible to offer long adoption paid leaves.

"Paid maternity leave of 26 weeks for upto two pregnancies for women employees is itself a costly proposition. If you add adoption leaves to it, this wouldn't be sustainable," said the head of human resources at a Mumbai-based insurance broking firm.

He added that this would in fact be counter-productive and could lead to companies consciously avoiding the recruitment of female staff of a certain age group.

For women, not having access to leaves post adoption can often be a nightmare.

Sanchita Mukherjee*, who is a senior investment professional at a Mumbai-based bank told Moneycontrol that when she adopted a 4-year-old boy in 2019, he took a lot of time to adjust to the surroundings.

"He had separation anxiety and would react aggressively whenever I stepped out to go to the office. It was very difficult for me and I needed atleast two to three months to be with him and care for him. That itself was denied to me citing law," said Mukherjee.

She finally decided to take a sabbatical in 2019 and now offers investment consulting services as a freelance professional.

Psychologists state that especially in cases of adoption, it is critical that the parents spend time with the child on a full-time basis atleast for the initial  few months.

Trisha Kamath, who is a Delhi-based child psychologist told Moneycontrol that adopted children who are left in the care of creches or nannies in the initial one to six months of adoption could see issues related to anxiety or attention issues.

"When you bring a child home, it is a new environment for him/her. They would look upto the parents for complete attention and care in the first few months so it is also crucial that the partners are able to give the child the time," she added.

But in the absence of defined leave in the law, corporates use this as a loophole to deny these facilities.

Danica Lobo*, a 30-year-old advertising professional in Mumbai had to switch three jobs in a two-year period in search of an organisation that would be accommodative towards an adoption.

"I would have to run around for documents, attend court hearings and meet multiple stakeholders for the initial adoption process in 2016. I finally adopted a one-year-old girl in 2018 but wasn't even granted a week's leave by my company. I quit that job and then quickly switched two companies in the hope of a 'flexible leave policy'. But I was denied even two days of work-from-home a month post adoption citing work pressure," he added.

For Lobo, Mukherjee, Sikdar and many other women who adopt a child after a lengthy legal process in India, the basic requirement is atleast a three-month leave that they can use to spend with the child.

When a 26 weeks leave facility is available for child-birth, why not start off with atleast 12 weeks of adoption leave irrespective of the age of the child?

*Names changed to protect identity

Is it time to expand maternity leave for adoption of children across age groups?

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Women are entitled to maternity leave for adoption, only if the child is below three months of age at that time. This has posed several challenges to women who chose to adopt.


Natasha Sikdar*, an assistant professor at a Kolkata-based engineering college adopted a six-month-old girl child in 2020. She presumed that she would be entitled to maternity leave by her institute but was denied one citing the law.

"Since I had some reproductive issues and had reached the age of 36 years, I decided to go for adoption. The adoption process itself took more than a year and I really needed time off to spend with the baby. But my workplace refused leave since it is legally not mandatory," she added.

The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act states that 26 weeks of paid maternity leave will be available to all working women for pregnancy and child-birth.

However, when it comes to adoption the law states provides only 12 weeks of maternity leave from the time the child is handed over to them. This too is applicable only if the child is below the age of three months. Women adopting children above three months are not legally entitled to any leave.

Internationally, the leave laws are similar for adoption and maternity. For instance, the US allows for upto 12 weeks leave for maternity and adoption at companies with 50 or more employees. This is available for men and women.

In India, the absence of proper leaves for adoption of children above a certain age is a cause of concern. Organisations do not permit such adoption leaves, justifying their actions by saying that there is no legal provision for it.

Human resource heads, especially at mid-size and small companies, told Moneycontrol that it isn't feasible to offer long adoption paid leaves.

"Paid maternity leave of 26 weeks for upto two pregnancies for women employees is itself a costly proposition. If you add adoption leaves to it, this wouldn't be sustainable," said the head of human resources at a Mumbai-based insurance broking firm.

He added that this would in fact be counter-productive and could lead to companies consciously avoiding the recruitment of female staff of a certain age group.

For women, not having access to leaves post adoption can often be a nightmare.

Sanchita Mukherjee*, who is a senior investment professional at a Mumbai-based bank told Moneycontrol that when she adopted a 4-year-old boy in 2019, he took a lot of time to adjust to the surroundings.

"He had separation anxiety and would react aggressively whenever I stepped out to go to the office. It was very difficult for me and I needed atleast two to three months to be with him and care for him. That itself was denied to me citing law," said Mukherjee.

She finally decided to take a sabbatical in 2019 and now offers investment consulting services as a freelance professional.

Psychologists state that especially in cases of adoption, it is critical that the parents spend time with the child on a full-time basis atleast for the initial  few months.

Trisha Kamath, who is a Delhi-based child psychologist told Moneycontrol that adopted children who are left in the care of creches or nannies in the initial one to six months of adoption could see issues related to anxiety or attention issues.

"When you bring a child home, it is a new environment for him/her. They would look upto the parents for complete attention and care in the first few months so it is also crucial that the partners are able to give the child the time," she added.

But in the absence of defined leave in the law, corporates use this as a loophole to deny these facilities.

Danica Lobo*, a 30-year-old advertising professional in Mumbai had to switch three jobs in a two-year period in search of an organisation that would be accommodative towards an adoption.

"I would have to run around for documents, attend court hearings and meet multiple stakeholders for the initial adoption process in 2016. I finally adopted a one-year-old girl in 2018 but wasn't even granted a week's leave by my company. I quit that job and then quickly switched two companies in the hope of a 'flexible leave policy'. But I was denied even two days of work-from-home a month post adoption citing work pressure," he added.

For Lobo, Mukherjee, Sikdar and many other women who adopt a child after a lengthy legal process in India, the basic requirement is atleast a three-month leave that they can use to spend with the child.

When a 26 weeks leave facility is available for child-birth, why not start off with atleast 12 weeks of adoption leave irrespective of the age of the child?

*Names changed to protect identity

Is it time to expand maternity leave for adoption of children across age groups?

http://sharetipsinfo.comJust get registered at Sharetipsinfo and earn positive returns

www.ShareTipsInfo.com

Women are entitled to maternity leave for adoption, only if the child is below three months of age at that time. This has posed several challenges to women who chose to adopt.

Natasha Sikdar*, an assistant professor at a Kolkata-based engineering college adopted a six-month-old girl child in 2020. She presumed that she would be entitled to maternity leave by her institute but was denied one citing the law.

"Since I had some reproductive issues and had reached the age of 36 years, I decided to go for adoption. The adoption process itself took more than a year and I really needed time off to spend with the baby. But my workplace refused leave since it is legally not mandatory," she added.

The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act States That  26 weeks of paid maternity leave will be available to all working women for pregnancy and child-birth.

However, when it comes to adoption the law states provides only 12 weeks of maternity leave from the time the child is handed over to them. This too is applicable only if the child is below the age of three months. Women adopting children above three months are not legally entitled to any leave.

Internationally, the leave laws are similar for adoption and maternity. For instance, the US allows for upto 12 weeks leave for maternity and adoption at companies with 50 or more employees. This is available for men and women.

In India, the absence of proper leaves for adoption of children above a certain age is a cause of concern. Organisations do not permit such adoption leaves, justifying their actions by saying that there is no legal provision for it.

Human resource heads, especially at mid-size and small companies, told Moneycontrol that it isn't feasible to offer long adoption paid leaves."Paid maternity leave of 26 weeks for upto two pregnancies for women employees is itself a costly proposition. If you add adoption leaves to it, this wouldn't be sustainable," said the head of human resources at a Mumbai-based insurance broking firm.

He added that this would in fact be counter-productive and could lead to companies consciously avoiding the recruitment of female staff of a certain age group.

For women, not having access to leaves post adoption can often be a nightmare.

Sanchita Mukherjee*, who is a senior investment professional at a Mumbai-based bank told Moneycontrol that when she adopted a 4-year-old boy in 2019, he took a lot of time to adjust to the surroundings.

"He had separation anxiety and would react aggressively whenever I stepped out to go to the office. It was very difficult for me and I needed atleast two to three months to be with him and care for him. That itself was denied to me citing law," said Mukherjee.

She finally decided to take a sabbatical in 2019 and now offers investment consulting services as a freelance professional.

Psychologists state that especially in cases of adoption, it is critical that the parents spend time with the child on a full-time basis atleast for the initial  few months.

Trisha Kamath, who is a Delhi-based child psychologist told Moneycontrol that adopted children who are left in the care of creches or nannies in the initial one to six months of adoption could see issues related to anxiety or attention issues.

"When you bring a child home, it is a new environment for him/her. They would look upto the parents for complete attention and care in the first few months so it is also crucial that the partners are able to give the child the time," she added.

But in the absence of defined leave in the law, corporates use this as a loophole to deny these facilities.

Danica Lobo*, a 30-year-old advertising professional in Mumbai had to switch three jobs in a two-year period in search of an organisation that would be accommodative towards an adoption.

"I would have to run around for documents, attend court hearings and meet multiple stakeholders for the initial adoption process in 2016. I finally adopted a one-year-old girl in 2018 but wasn't even granted a week's leave by my company. I quit that job and then quickly switched two companies in the hope of a 'flexible leave policy'. But I was denied even two days of work-from-home a month post adoption citing work pressure," he added.

For Lobo, Mukherjee, Sikdar and many other women who adopt a child after a lengthy legal process in India, the basic requirement is at least a three-month leave that they can use to spend with the child.

When a 26 weeks leave facility is available for child-birth, why not start off with atleast 12 weeks of adoption leave irrespective of the age of the child?

*Names changed to protect identity

Budget 2021: How COVID-19 pandemic has stretched Income Tax Return last date since Budget 2020

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Amid coronavirus pandemic, the Income Tax (I-T) department had extended the return filing deadline three times. The July 31 due date was extended till November 30 in May 2020. Later it was again extended till December 31

The last date to file income tax returns (ITR) was on January 10 for the financial year 2019-20 (assessment year 2021-22).

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Income Tax (I-T) department extended the return filing deadline three times. The due date of July 31 was extended till November 30, 2020 and was again extended till December 31, 2020.

In view of the challenges faced by taxpayers, the I-T department has further extended the deadline by 10 days till January 10, 2021.

Those whose accounts are not required to be audited and those who usually file their return using ITR-1 and ITR-4 forms need to file ITR on January 10.

January expected to see record GST collection: Report

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After clocking record collections in December 2020 at Rs 1.15 lakh crore, the January 2021 GST collection is expected to be in the range of Rs 1.21-1.23 lakh crore and may still have an upside, SBI Research said in a noted on Thursday.GST | Representative Image

GST | Representative Image

With record GST collections expected in January at Rs 1.21-1.23 lakh crore, the shortfall in state GST can be narrowed to a minimal Rs 11,000 crore, according to a report.

Ongoing efforts to plug the leakages in GST collection has been bearing fruit since September.

It has helped the government borrow marginally less. As of January 22, it had borrowed Rs 11.46 lakh crore, and the remaining gross borrowing of Rs 1.6 lakh crore is expected as per the calendar year, taking the total gross borrowing to Rs 13.03 lakh crore, lower than Rs 13.10 lakh crore earlier.

The SGST collection for states is 12 per cent lower at Rs 1.87 lakh crore in April-December 2020 and the allocated IGST is 13 per cent lower at Rs 1.26 lakh crore.

The GST cess collection has stood at Rs 60,312 crore, 17 per cent lower than last year. The combined amount of SGST, allocated IGST and cess stands at Rs 3.73 lakh crore, which is 13 per cent lower but is equal to 58 per cent of their budgeted SGST of Rs 6.49 lakh crore.

If the Centre keeps 60 per cent of the IGST revenue, then the states could be staring at a shortfall of around Rs 67,000 crore.

After clocking record collections in December 2020 at Rs 1.15 lakh crore, the January 2021 GST collection is expected to be in the range of Rs 1.21-1.23 lakh crore and may still have an upside, SBI Research said in a noted on Thursday.

If 50 per cent of the IGST collected is disbursed to the states by March, then the state GST shortfall can narrow down to only a minimal Rs 11,000 crore after taking into account the full compensation cess, the report added.

Meanwhile, the government''s surplus cash balances have increased significantly recently to Rs 3.34 lakh crore as on January 28, from Rs 1.08 lakh crore in September 2020 and Rs 2.26 lakh crore in December.

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Petrol price at Rs 101.80 per litre in Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar

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Across Rajasthan, the price of petrol is above Rs 93 and diesel more than Rs 85 per litre.Representative image (Source: Reuters)

The cost of premium petrol has reached Rs 101.80 per litre with a hike of 38 paise in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan. The petrol price has increased to reach Rs 93.86 per litre and diesel price to Rs 85.94 per litre in capital, Jaipur.

Across Rajasthan, the price of petrol is above Rs 93 and diesel more than Rs 85 per litre.

Prices of petrol and diesel across the country are market-determined and attract uniform central excise duty. But, their prices differ from state to state because of the wide variations in the local levies or value-added tax (VAT).

The VAT on diesel prices is 28 percent whereas VAT on petrol was in access of 38 percent, according to an official notification released by the Rajasthan government in May 2020.

VAT ranges from 20 percent to 33 percent on petrol and 16 percent to 23 percent on diesel in the neigh bouring states. Petrol in Rajasthan is costlier by 8 to 10 rupees and diesel by 4 to 11 rupees than other states.

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Budget 2021: How Budget 2020 changed Income Tax filing in India

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Budget 2020 was also the longest budget speech by any finance minister that lasted for 160 minutes.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in budget 2020 had announced the launch of a new personal income tax regime which can help the middle-class save taxes and also scrapped dividend distribution tax (DDT) with a slew of measures to boost the Indian economy suffering from a slowdown.

Budget 2020 was also the longest budget speech by any finance minister that lasted for 160 minutes.

The FM has proposed a new slab structure wherein individuals can save taxes provided deductions and exemptions are not availed, an option has been provided to the taxpayer to pay tax as per existing slabs by availing deduction/exemptions.

Nirmala Sitharaman halves customs duty on import of newsprint, lightweight coated paper to 5 percent. The budget has provided an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore for quantum computing over five years to break into this technology. Customs duty increased on footwear and furniture.

Sitharaman said direct taxes are the lowest, simplest, and smoothest. FM also proposed a scheme to bring down litigation indirect taxation scheme; 4.83 lakh direct cases pending in various appellate forums. Vivad se Vishwas' scheme for direct taxpayers whose appeals are pending at various forums.

Registration of charity institutions to be made completely electronic, donations made to be pre-filled in IT return the form to claim exemptions for donations easily. 15th Finance Commission has cut state share of central taxes by one percentage point to 41 percent. Tax on Cooperative societies proposed to be reduced to 22 percent plus surcharge and cess, as against 30 percent at present.

Income Tax Act to be amended to enable faceless appeal. The budget proposes deferment of tax payment by employees on ESOPs from startups by five years. Around 70 of more than 100 income tax deductions and exemptions have been removed, in order to simplify the tax system and lower tax rates.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government intends to remove all income tax exemptions in the long-run.

Individuals opting for taxation under new rates will not be entitled to exemption/deductions including under Section 80C and 80D, LTC, housing rent allowance, the deduction for entertainment allowance, professional tax, and interest on self-occupied/vacant property.

The 30 percent slab, which was stuck for nearly a decade at Rs. 10 lakh, has finally moved to Rs. 15 lakh – an increase of a whopping 50 percent under the new regime. Income up to Rs 5 lakh is now exempted from tax, and lower tax rates apply on income between Rs 5 lakh and 15 lakh if taxpayer don’t claim deductions.

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