Thursday, July 17, 2014

A pragmatic Budget, say auto industry leaders

Mr. Anirudh Bhuwalka, MD and CEO, AMW Motors Ltd.: “This is a very pragmatic budget with the Finance Minister addressing several issues to invigorate growth related to housing, infrastructure, manufacturing and the finance sector. The increase in FDI limits on insurance and defence, while expected, is a welcome step. The FM’s commitment to 4.5% fiscal deficit shows prudence. While the budget is not “big bang” given the fact that he has had only six weeks, he has built in continuity as well as a new direction to spur growth. The execution will be critical, especially in the large number of areas where PPP is involved, but overall the budget has given optimism that we are on track.”

Mr. A. Ramasubramanian, President, AMW Motors Ltd.: “The measures for development of infrastructure development like highways, industrial corridors, housing, manufacturing , FDI in Defence sector and power projects are welcome and will contribute to demand generation for commercial vehicles, which have seen record lows in recent years. The Finance Minister’s announcement for tax holidays for infra projects with long gestation periods will encourage more entrants into the sector. The budget has attempted to address issues in several sectors of the economy, but industry will pin its hope on implementation, which has been an issue in the past.””

Mr. R.N. Rao, Director - Sales & Marketing, AMW Motors Ltd.: “The speeding up of highway projects and development of 8,000 km of roads will give a boost to M&HCVs as also the measures announced in the power and housing sectors. Excise concessions for the automobile industry are being continued and recent trends in the commercial vehicle sector give us cause for cautious optimism. The recovery of the industry is closely linked to so many infrastructure and consumer sectors that it will be some time before an uptick in demand is continuous and healthy. However, the budget has sent positive signals for our sector.”

Andhra Chamber hails Budget proposals

Mr. C. Nagendra Prasad, Vice-President of the Andhra Chamber of Commerce, commenting on the Central Budget for 2014-2015, observed: “Hon’ble Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister deserves congratulations of the trade and industry for presenting a Balanced and growth oriented Budget. The Budget focused mainly on development of agriculture, rural roads and village projects. Proposals to revise the MSME ceiling upwards, setting up of new industrial clusters, formation of 7 industrial cities, investment allowance at 15% for manufacturing units, etc., will generate more production and enhance employment opportunities for the youth. Removal of retrospective taxes from the current year is a great relief for major industries and large-scale investments in the manufacturing sector.

Inviting FDI for urban development and other selective sectors, Tax Holiday for Solar Power Projects in Tamil Nadu, setting up of 16 New Port projects, revival of Special Economic Zones will promote industrial growth in the country. I am happy that proposal for setting up of Visakha-Chennai Industrial Corridor, Development of Krishnapatnam as Industrial Smart City and establishment of Agricultural University in Andhra Pradesh will help development of rural sector”.

Adequate funds allocation for job creation enabled sectors like handlooms and textiles, allocation of Rs. 10,000 crores in venture capital fund for entrepreneurship development will boost the capital market.

Extending Advance Ruling in Indirect Taxes for Private Limited Companies and setting up of Settlement Commission to facilitate quick dispute resolution will help the Corporate Sector to a great extent.

Reduction in Customs and Central Excise duties for certain electronic and consumer goods will help to boost the industry and also benefit the consumer.

GM India introduces Chevrolet Complete Care Programme

General Motors India has announced the launch of an industry first customer care initiative called “Chevrolet Complete Care” programme. The comprehensive customer care initiative ensures a unique ownership experience with assured low cost of maintenance for Chevrolet customers across India.

“Customer satisfaction is at the center of everything we do at GM India. More than just their vehicle, it’s the service experience which makes customers feel truly satisfied,” said Mr. Arvind Saxena, President & Managing Director of GM India. “With the introduction of ‘Chevrolet Complete Care’ programme, we are offering a never-before unique bouquet of complete-peace-of-mind service offerings to our customers which will include the industry-first Chevrolet Promise – assured low cost of maintenance, Exclusive Warranty packages, Chevrolet U-First Customer Centric Programs and Apps and a Round-the-clock 24x7 Roadside Assistance Program which is free for 3 years with all new car purchases”. Roadside Assistance package is also available for existing customers at a nominal cost provided the vehicle is not more than 5 years old.

Elaborating on the unique Chevrolet Promise, Mr. Saxena said: “The Chevrolet Promise is industry first and remains unique by virtue of our commitment to refund any excess periodic or scheduled maintenance cost at the end of 3 years or 45,000 km, whichever is earlier vis-à-vis the committed periodic maintenance cost to the customer at the time of sale of the car. The Chevrolet Promise is valid for Chevrolet Spark, Beat, Sail Hatchback, Sail Sedan and the Cruze.”

Customers will be offered best-in-class warranty on their Chevrolet vehicles under Extended Warranty. In addition to the standard best-in-class warranty of 1,00,000 kilometers/3 years, customers can extend the warranty of their vehicle by up to two more years or up till 150,000 kilometers at a nominal cost. Apart from the standard and extended warranty for the vehicle, customers will now also be offered warranty on Spare Parts and Accessories for the first year or 20,000 kilometers whichever is earlier.

Free round-the-clock 24/7 Roadside Assistance will be provided to Chevrolet customers in the event of vehicle breakdown or accident for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase of new cars. “The 24/7 Roadside Assistance also provides a host of unique support services such as vehicle towing, flat-tyre change, out of fuel assistance with limited free fuel, key lockout, battery jump-start and taxi benefit for the customers. Furthermore, under the Chevrolet U-First programme, our women customers [Vehicle registered in the name of Women customers] will be provided free pick-up and drop off of their Chevrolet cars for service, by the Chevrolet Authorized Workshops,” Mr. Saxena added.

GM India has also developed digital applications such as the Chevrolet Service Estimator Online tool available on the Chevrolet India website, which helps calculate periodic service costs, and the My Chevrolet India mobile application, which helps locate& contact the nearest authorized Chevrolet service station. All these packages further improve the overall ownership experience of Chevrolet vehicles under the Chevrolet Complete Care programme.

A Budget with cautious approach envisaging long-term growth: Hindustan Chamber chief

Mr. Hasmukhlal D. Vora, President, Hindustan Chamber of Commerce, in a press release, said the maiden Budget presented by Mr. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance, in Parliament is a very cautious approach, envisaging the long-term growth.

The positive aspects of Budget are fiscal consolidation, showing the fiscal prudence, measures to control inflation, housing incentives, provision of PPP model in many projects including infrastructure projects.

There are lot of clarity on Defence, real estate FDI, and insurance sector FDI raised upto 49% will ease the fund flow.

New initiatives on Solar energy creation, infrastructure, long term credit to agriculture, promotion of entrepreneurship, revive SEZ, new Port connectivity, mining is a welcome move.

Globalisation helps channelise external Finance to India. Changes in Financial Sector Legislation Reforms (FSLR) in bond market, currency derivative market, ADR, GDR has given needed clarity to fund managers from abroad to come to India.

Marginal increase in personal income tax and senior citizen is a small measure of relief to the individual investors. The increase in exemption U/s 80C is a good move. In order to promote small investors savings, and girl child education and marriage, enhanced benefits are given.

Retrospective tax will be evaluated by a special committee throws transparency in legal entanglement in earlier cases. Uniform KYC norms across financial sectors is really a benefit for investors. Revamping Indian accounting standards to international standards by 2015-16 is laudable.

On SME front, the manufacturers will get 15% investment allowance on purchase of plant and machinery more than Rs. 25 crores till March 2017. Tax holiday for power transmission products manufactured by SME’s are good relief.
Moderate changes in customs and central excise is quite normal.

In short the budget is paving way for a big picture roadmap of future development.

A growth-oriented Budget, says Grundfos Pumps chief

Expressing his views on the Budget, Mr. Ranganath NK, Managing Director, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt. Ltd., stated: The Budget was as I had expected. There is focus on bringing growth back, reduce inflation and maintain fiscal deficit targeted.”

There are no radical changes for short term gains. The right things have been said, and there need to see a consistent approach over the next few years to achieve the targets.

Many initiatives have been started, albeit some with only a token Budget allocation. But it is a good start.

The increase in FDI limits, defence expenditure and allocation of funds for smart cities is commendable.

The intention for 24x7 power, clean water and sanitation for all by 2019 is a good start and is welcomed. What came as a surprise is the Rs. 400 crores allocation for one lakh solar pumping systems. This is perhaps the beginning of the great initiative in demand side management. There is an intent to make things better for manufacturing, which can create jobs.

According to him, elementary education gets a fillip with funds for teacher training and so does agriculture. No significant changes have been made to direct and indirect taxes which could have been considered.

All said, a Budget which is appropriate for the times with no radical changes, he added.

Donato Montanari and Lou Hermans join VDMA Machine Vision Board

Donato Montanari, General Manager of the Machine Vision Business Unit of Datalogic Automation srl, Monte San Pietro in Italy, and Lou Hermans, Chief Operating Officer at CMOSIS bvba, Antwerp in Belgium, were elected by the VDMA Machine Vision members to strengthen the Board of the VDMA Machine Vision unit. The election was conducted as a result of the decision taken at the last Members’ Assembly of VDMA Robotics + Automation with regard to the opening of the association to European members.

“Becoming a member of VDMA is natural for CMOSIS since we already have a very good working relationship with many members of its Machine Vision Group. There is a big potential for stepping up the technological leadership of our group if we work closely together, and VDMA Machine Vision provides an excellent platform for us to do so”, said Lou Hermans.

Donato Montanari said: “I would like to thank the VDMA and its members for the opportunity of serving on the Board. As a non-German member, I will make it my first goal to increase the number of non-German companies in the association. I am convinced that European companies can bring a different and complementary perspective to the machine vision industry.”

CII terms Budget proposals pragmatic, growth-oriented

CII notes that headline inflation, which has eased to a four-month low of 5.43 per cent in June 2014 as against 6.01 per cent in the previous month has been brought about by a fall in food and fuel prices even as manufacturing inflation has recorded a marginal rise. What is noteworthy is that items such as rice, wheat, vegetables
and onions, among others have shown a decline.

“The moderation in inflation together with the rebound in industrial production as per the recently released data, provides a positive signal that the structural bottlenecks afflicting the economy could be gradually showing signs of receding and green shoots of recovery could be around the corner”, said Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.

In this context, the Budget has provided a bold and positive thrust to agriculture. It is hoped that the measures announced in the Budget for agriculture would be implemented on the ground which would address the supply side bottlenecks and pave the way for stable inflation regime for food products.