Here are the India Business News Headlines 19th January 2017:
- GST Council has cut tax rates on 29 products and 54 services at its 25th meeting and also agreed to make the process of filing tax returns simpler. Services where GST rate has been cut include legal assistance provided to the government and its agencies, admission to theme parks and small housekeeping services provided by e-commerce firms such as UrbanClap. A final decision on the revamp of the return filing process is yet to be taken. As per indicators, the GST Council is thinking of doing away with forms such as GSTR 2, dealing with purchases and GSTR 3, a comprehensive return.
- Auto parts makers have told the government that an abrupt move to large-scale adoption of electric vehicles could lead to massive job losses of about 1.5 million in the sector. Auto component suppliers are already making huge investments to shift to BS-VI technologies to be implemented in April 2020.
- ShareChat, an Indian social media platform which supports various regional languages, has raised $18.2 million in a Series B funding round led by Xiaomi Singapore and Shun Wei Capital. The company will use fresh funds to expand its technical capabilities and hire across segments including machine learning and artificial intelligence. It had earlier raised $4 million in a Series A round in November 2016. ShareChat currently has about 8 million monthly active users.
- myGate, offering mobile-based security solutions for gated communities, has raised Rs16 crore in its first round of funding led by Prime Ventures Partners. The funds will be used to invest in technology and scale to 2 million homes across seven cities in India. myGate’s solution comprises of a mobile app for security guards and residents, with an option for voice calls for non-smartphone users. The system has various features like visitor entries, automatic visitor authentication, kids’ safety alerts, staff attendance, vehicle parking management and tracking, etc.
- One of the oldest microfinance institutions in India, Village Financial Services, is looking to sell a 10% stake to raise “growth capital” as lenders like it are facing pressure from other microfinanace institutions like Bandhan and Ujjivan that have turned into banks to reduce their cost of funds. This is the first time the founders of the privately held Village Financial will dilute their ownership in the company.
- Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group plans to invest Rs.1,000 crore in India over the next five years to open wholesale stores. The group’s retail arm Siam Makro PCL will open 15 wholesale cash and carry stores in India starting with Delhi-NCR, over the next three years under a new brand ‘Lots Wholesale Solutions’. The group currently runs cash and carry businesses in Thailand, Myanmar, China and Cambodia, having 123 outlets in Thailand and 60 outlets in China.
- A group of entrepreneurs have started a petition against the ‘Angel tax’ being demanded by the Income Tax authorities. Many startups received assessment notices and orders in 2017 to pay a sizeable portion of funds raised as Income Tax.
- WhatsApp has launched a separate free app for businesses called ‘WhatsApp Business’. The app allows businesses to make a detailed profile and contact their customers regularly, though customers can still mark the messages as spam if they so desire. In India, 84% of Small and Medium businesses think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers. In India the App will be rolled out in the coming weeks; currently its being launched in various countries like Italy, Indonesia, US, UK, Mexico.
- Tiger Global backed online fashion brand LimeRoad is set to enter into offline business and may open about 3000 stores in the next three years with the first one opening in Surat in two months. These stores will be franchised and run by the sellers.