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Which was the best entry level product and was a GOLDEN PRODUCT in those years it is now a in gloomy environment.

Parle-G world's No 1 selling biscuit: Nielsen
Parle-G, the glucose biscuit brand from Parle Products, has consolidated its position as the world's largest selling biscuit brand, says a report by Nielsen.

Ratna Bhushan

, ET Bureau| Mar 03, 2011, 04.39 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Parle-G, the glucose biscuit brand from the country’s largest biscuit maker Parle Products, has consolidated its position as the world’s largest selling biscuit brand, says a new report by market researcher Nielsen.

The study, for last year, says Parle-G has topped brands like Kraft’s Oreo, Wal-Mart’s private labels and Mexico’s Gamesa in voulme sales to lead the Rs 11,295-crore Indian biscuits category.

The Nielsen study adds India is the world’s leading market for biscuits, ahead of the US, Mexico, China, Argentina, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey and Spain. While India showed a volume market share of 22%, the second slot was occupied by the US at 13%. The top three countries -- India, US and Mexico -- contribute over 40% of the total biscuits 10 largest markets for biscuits in volumes sales.

Going by the data for the year 2009-10, the volume sales of Parle-G is bigger than the fourth largest biscuit consuming country – China.

Industry analysts say the Rs 5,000-crore Parle’s focus on the volumes segment and competitive pricing backed by strong distribution, especially in rural markets has led the rise.

Of the overall 40 brands across biscuits, chips and confectionery that Parle Products makes, Parle-G contributes 50% to the firm’s topline, Parle Products group product manager Mayank Shah said.

"Though Parle-G is available across multiple packs spanning Re 1 to Rs 50, our top selling packs are priced at Rs 4 and Rs 5," Shah said.

The brand is exported to SAARC countries, the US, Europe and parts of Africa.
With universal acceptance, affordable packs and wide distribution, the category has been attracting players ranging from cola and snacks maker PepsiCo, to cooking oils firm Marico, to milk foods drinks maker GlaxoSmithKline.

The category has been a traditional stronghold of Parle and Britannia, followed by ITC, Cremica and Priyagold. UK’s United Biscuits launched McVities digestives biscuits in the country last year, while Kraft is widey speculated to be entering this space.

Parle-G world's No 1 selling biscuit: Nielsen


People not buying our biscuits, but we will raise prices anyway: Parle INTERVIEW
By: Prachi Gupta |
Published: August 21, 2019 6:22:24 PM

Parle's Mayank Shah talked about why the biscuit industry seeks a saviour in government, Parle’s plan to increase product price even amid slowdown and why Parle could be forced to lay off thousands of employees.

Parle is the iconic brand of Parle-G biscuits.

Biscuit maker Parle is mulling another price hike for its standard biscuit brands including Parle-G (Glucose), Marie, and Milk range despite a slump in sales, as the industry reels under high raw material prices and GST cost, Parle Product’s category head Mayank Shah told Financial Express Online in an interview. The company is trying to cope up with high procurement prices of raw materials and also with high GST slab on both premium and standard cookies, Mayank Shah added. While Parle, along with other FMCG company bears the brunt of ongoing demand slowdown, Parle’s move to increase prices is counter-intuitive and the same would be a further blow to the demand, Mayank Shah conceded. But, the company may be forced to do so as it tries its best to avoid losses.

Mayank Shah talked about why the biscuit industry seeks a saviour in government, Parle’s plan to increase product price even amid slowdown and why Parle could be forced to lay off thousands of employees. Here are the edited excerpts with Mayank Shah’s interview with Prachi Gupta.

Britannia recently said that people are thinking twice even to buy Rs 5 priced products. What do you think about that?
We are on the same page as Britannia. People are thinking twice before buying our Rs 5 Gluco pack, Marie biscuits and milk pack. We too are seeing a slowdown in those varieties.

Would you go on to say that this is a sign of recession?
I would not say recession. It is too strong a word. I am saying slowdown. We are hopeful that this will not turn into a recession. We hope that sanity will prevail.

Why is Parle laying off employees? What has led to that?
What has happened is biscuits which were sold at Rs 100 per kg and below, I am talking about value products here, categories like glucose, Marie and milk, they were subject to higher GST rate. We’ve been requesting the government to reduce GST. In fact, it is not even a reduction in GST; we are just asking them to tax it at the earlier rate. So, prior to GST, these were exempted from excise, only sales tax was there.
What the government has done is they have clubbed biscuits which are premium in nature with the standard biscuit and subjected it to 18% GST. We have been requesting government for the last two years as it is not fair and is unjust to the middle and lower-income group. There is no processed food available in the market that is Rs 100 and below per kg in India. If you tax the common man’s food at 18% GST, it is not right.
The biscuit industry undertook a price hike after the anticipation of one and a half years that the government will accede to our request. These are extremely price-sensitive categories. What aggravated our situation was the slowdown in the economy. Coupled with price hike and slowdown, there was a dip in demand. As a result of that there a 7-8% slip in sales of these products. The situation is really grim because of the slowdown.

When was the last time that the government was approached with this issue?
We have continuously been in talks with the government. The issue was raised as recent as the election. Because of the election code, you are not allowed to do multiple things hence we were lying low but we have been talking to the government otherwise.

While biscuit makers have the GST issue, what is driving the slowdown for other FMCG companies?
Overall there is a slowdown but our problem is a little different. Our problem is increasing prices in price-sensitive category. If you are dealing in an extremely price-sensitive category and price hikes, the demand is going to take a hit. What is hurting us more is the general sentiment in the economy and general slowdown. So, it’s a double whammy. We are asking the government for some GST relaxation which is rightly due to us.
Today we have nothing to fight with. I cannot keep my rate same, nor can I take care of the economic situation.

In case the government does not help, what is the next step?
We are very hopeful that the government will look into this because everybody is worried about the state of the economy and from our talks with the government, it has been very pro middle and lower-income group.

But if things do not turn out as hoped, what is the plan ahead?
We would try our level best to ensure that we retain our prices and do all things as much as possible. Beyond that, it would be beyond our hands to do anything. We might take some stringent steps in that case to ensure that we are not losing money on these varieties.

So, you have already hiked the prices of these varieties. Do you plan to roll back to the previous prices?
No, we would have to increase the prices further because the raw material prices are again shooting up. So, you know that would be further decremental to the demand. We hope that the government will immediately intervene and help us out.
Maybe we will have to hike the price, maybe we will get leaner. We will do everything possible to remain profitable and not sell at losses. Otherwise, we would be forced to sell at losses if price not hiked.

In June, you said the slowdown is expected to go away in two-three months.
Yes, that was the expectation but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

If the government reduces the GST as asked by the biscuit industry, when is that expected to yield results?
Immediate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is intervening in the matter and the government does want to revive the demand.

People not buying our biscuits, but we will raise prices anyway: Parle INTERVIEW


Parle-G is worst hit; volumes have declined by 7-8%, says Mayank Shah of Parle Products
Parle Products, makers of the iconic Parle-G biscuits, says that Parle-G is the worst hit. The country's most favourite biscuit has been de-growing and if it continues, the company would be forced to lay off as many as 10,000 people working across its various factories
twitter-logo Ajita Shashidhar Last Updated: August 22, 2019 | 19:11 IST

Parle-G is worst hit; volumes have declined by 7-8%, says Mayank Shah of Parle Products

Parle Products, makers of the iconic Parle-G biscuits

The tepid quarter results of biscuit-maker Britannia clearly shows that the economic slowdown has hit categories as basic as biscuits. Varun Berry, managing director, Brittania, pointed out that consumers are not willing to buy even a Rs-5 pack of biscuits. Now, Parle Products, makers of the iconic Parle-G biscuits, says that Parle-G is the worst hit. The country's most favourite biscuit has been de-growing and if it continues, the company would be forced to lay off as many as 10,000 people working across its various factories. In conversation with BT's Ajita Shashidhar, Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products, talks about the difficult times.
Edited excerpts:
Business Today: When we discussed the consumption slowdown in May just before the new government took over, you had mentioned that sales of brands such as Parle-G and Monaco that usually witness a spike of 8-9 per cent in an election year (as lot of political parties buy them in bulk) did not see the same growth this time. However, you were optimistic that sales will pick up once the new government takes over. There seems to be more bad news now, what do you think has gone wrong?
Mayank Shah:
We are surprised, as the slowdown has continued. We are in a slightly different space compared to others. Most players are asking for favours from the government. We are not doing that. We are asking for fairness in certain categories. Biscuits are divided into two categories - there are biscuits above Rs 100 per kg and biscuits below Rs 100 per kg. The ones below Rs 100 were earlier exempted from excise duty, there was lower tax (Parle-G, Marie etc fall in that bracket). In the GST era, they clubbed both the categories together, and imposed 18 per cent tax, which is not fair. The government had promised that it would correct it but unfortunately nothing has happened. We were forced to take a price hike, as a result of which the demand dipped. These are extremely price sensitive categories and when demand went down, we tried to revive the demand. There was a double blow. The price hike impacted the demand and the mood of the economy didn't revive.

Mayank Shah, Category Head, Parle Products

BT: By how much did you increase the price?
We reduced volumes, so we did an indirect price hike. We have cut down the grammage of a Rs-5 pack from 70 grams to 65 grams since December 2018.
We have been talking to the government too. While they are in agreement with us, they need to take concrete action. All that we are asking is to put it in the right slab. Bread, for instance, has no tax at all. We are not asking for that. Toast and rusk are subjected to 5 per cent tax despite toast being available at Rs 150 per kg. We are talking about biscuits below Rs 100. We told them to continue charging 18 per cent on biscuits above Rs 100. We are ready to pay that, as consumer can afford paying that kind of money. We are hopeful the government will take a concerted action.
BT: What are consumers saying, why aren't they buying something as basic as a biscuit?
Consumers are saying that the pack size has become smaller, so, they would rather buy something else. They tend to buy something that is loose, not coming from the organised sector. It's a loose proposition for everyone, as the consumer is settling for an inferior product. The government is not earning taxes and the companies are not getting sales either.
BT: How are your premium products doing?
The growth rate has tapered, but premium products are still growing. From a growth of 25 per cent, they have dipped to 8-9 per cent, but they are still growing, whereas the likes of Parle-G are declining. The volumes of Parle-G have declined by 7-8 per cent.
BT: What are you doing to prop up consumption?
Everything that was within our reach we have already done. Now it's time for the government to act. We have tried our best to ensure that we push our product more. We have offered trade discounts and told our consumers that this is the best value you will get at this price, but it has not worked.
BT: What are the wholesalers and the distributors saying?
They are perplexed too. This is the first time they are seeing a sustained decline in demand and dip in volumes. They are wondering as to why consumers are not even asking for commonly used products such as biscuits.
BT: Has the decline been more in the rural markets?
Absolutely. These categories are popular in rural India, so we have seen more sluggishness there.

BT: Why do you think political parties didn't buy your biscuits during elections?
One of the reasons could be the strict auditing of spends by all political parties. The Election Commission was stringent about not exceeding spends. Cost-cutting happened at every level as they had to fit their entire spends within a particular budget. Usually we see a growth of 8-9 per cent in consumption during elections, but this time it didn't happen.
BT: Has this slowdown been the most difficult one for you?
Yes. It is not that we have not taken price hikes earlier. The consumer understands that and is not really averse about paying a higher price for a good product. But this time, the price hike along with a general economic slowdown has made it even more difficult. The government has to take some concerted steps to revive the economy immediately. We are asking for what is rightfully due for a category of biscuits, which costs less than Rs 100 per kg. They were subject to lower taxes earlier, and we fail to understand why it has been put under such a high GST slab. There is no rationale to it. The government has reduced GST for many categories such as footwear and hotels. I wonder what stops them from doing it for biscuits.
BT: Rural consumers are as aspirational as the urban consumers and would want to consume premium products as well. In fact, that is the reason most biscuit companies have been talking about democratisation of their premium offerings. Keeping that in mind, don't you think one of the reasons why demand has dipped for Parle-G is because it has lived its life?
No. There are certain biscuits which are staple. I may eat Mexican food today or Lebanese tomorrow, but that doesn't mean I will completely give up my staple food, which is roti and dal. Parle G will always be staple, it will always be consumed. Consumers will not substitute a staple like Parle-G. A chocolate-filled biscuit is more of an indulgence, but an average Indian starts the day with consuming Parle G dipped in his/her morning cup of tea.
BT: Is the situation that bad that you are talking about laying off people?
It is a logical outcome. If you manufacture 1,000 tonnes of biscuits every month and you have employed 1,000 people and suddenly there is a dip in demand and your manufacturing comes down to 800-900 tonnes, you will have to let go off some people. If you don't let go off those people, you will have to pass on the costs to the consumer and that will lead to a further dip in demand. It's a vicious cycle.
We are hoping for a long-term solution so that demand revives. The root cause is high taxation. In the the long run this category will thrive and grow only if we give the right kind of value to consumers. Erosion of demand has happened for over two quarters.
BT: By how much has the production dipped?

In the first quarter, our production dipped by about 7-8 per cent.
Also Read: India's July petrol imports highest in at least eight years: oil ministry
Also Read: Indians pawning the family gold amid credit crunch
Also Read: Parle-G, Netflix, Swiggy join in on Sacred Games 2 hilarious meme fest

Parle-G is worst hit; volumes have declined by 7-8%, says Mayank Shah of Parle Products


Parle-G, Netflix, Swiggy join in on Sacred Games 2 hilarious meme fest
Sacred Games 2: Netflix, Swiggy and Parle-G partake in a fest of sacred memes.
twitter-logo BusinessToday.In New Delhi Last Updated: August 22, 2019 | 14:08 IST

Parle-G, Netflix, Swiggy join in on Sacred Games 2 hilarious meme fest

Sacred Games 2: Parle-G, Swiggy, Netflix jump in a hilarious conversation

Sacred memes are here! After a scene involving Bunty, Kanta Bai and Ganesh Gaitonde sparked the inevitable game of memes, Parle-G, Netflix and Swiggy have all jumped in the conversation. What started everything is a scene - without giving any spoiler, except for a dialogue - that showed Bunty and Gaitonde in a telephonic conversation. Bunty tells his boss, "Yaha Parle-G khaana pad raha hai kaali chai mein dubokar." (Here we have been reduced to having Parle-G dipped in black tea)
Following this, internet jumped in with its creativity. Not only did this scene spawn hilarious "broke at the end of the month" memes, Parle-G took the discussion to a different level all together. Turning this into a marketing strategy, Parle-G shared an image saying, "Every startup entrepreneur during his initial days: Yaha Parle-G khana pad raha hai, kaali chai mein dubokar," and followed it up with multiple such images about students, graduates and artistes' initial struggles.

23 people are talking about this

It was not long enough before Netflix replied to Parle-G's image that read: Every artist trying to break ground: Yaha Parle-G khana pad raha hai, kaali chai mein dubokar.

402 people are talking about this

Netflix tweeted: "Season 1: 0 mentions of Parle-G. 0 hit songs written by Bunty. Season 2: 1 mention of Parle-G. Bunty becomes a world-famous producer, casino owner and lyricist. Coincidence? We think not."

341 people are talking about this

Swiggy saw an opportunity there and did not miss it. "Parle-G, should we send chai?" it tweeted.

41 people are talking about this

Netflix got back to them and said, "It's the end of the month. Please send kaali chai."

45 people are talking about this

Swiggy replied, "End of month hua toh kya hua? Apun ke pass bade discounts hai. Doodhwali chai ka balidaan nahin dena hoga." (What if it is the end of the month? We have big discounts. You won't have to sacrifice milk tea."

51 people are talking about this

This hilarious conversation between Netflix, Parle-G and Swiggy left everyone with thousands of memes and a pat on their back.



Zee Entertainment Q3 profit drops 38% to Rs 349 crore, revenue falls 6%
Zee Q3 results: Advertising revenue fell 15.8 per cent YoY to Rs 1,230.80 crore due to tough macro-economic environment; subscription revenue rose 15.4 per cent YoY to Rs 713.70 crore
twitter-logo BusinessToday.In New Delhi Last Updated: January 21, 2020 | 20:16 IST

Zee Entertainment Q3 profit drops 38% to Rs 349 crore, revenue falls 6%

Consolidated revenue of Zee Entertainment fell 6 per cent to Rs 2,119.60 crore

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) on Tuesday reported 37.87 per cent year-on-year (YoY) decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 349.43 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2019.
"The Essel Group-owned firm had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 562.38 crore in the corresponding quarter last year," ZEEL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Consolidated revenue of Subhash Chandra-led media company also fell 6 per cent to Rs 2,119.60 crore compared to Rs 2,252.75 crore in the same quarter last year, dented by decline in advertising revenue.
Revenue from advertising segment fell 15.8 per cent to Rs 1,230.80 crore during the December quarter due to tough macro-economic environment. The company said that most of its advertisers were going through a slow-growth period and that led to a cut in advertising spends.
The subscription revenue for the quarter rose 15.4 per cent YoY to Rs 713.70 crore. Domestic subscription revenue jumped 21.7 per cent to Rs 631.70 crore during the quarter under review.
Also Read: As media industry battled worries, OTT took centre stage in 2019
Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the quarter declined 25 per cent to Rs 565.80 crore, while margins stood at 27.6 per cent.
ZEEL's total expenditure in Q3FY20 stood at Rs 1,482.90 crore, higher by 5 per cent YoY compared to Q3FYI9.
Also Read: Buzz around Zee, Sony, Viacom 18: What's up in the media world?

Commenting on Q3 earnings, Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, ZEEL, said, "I believe that the worst phase is behind us and we will start seeing an improvement from the next quarter. The proposed changes to the tariff order by TRAI are being challenged in the court and we are awaiting the final verdict. However, I am confident that our strong portfolio of channel across markets will enable us, to navigate any regulatory changes in the most efficient manner."
"We are preparing for the launch of two more channels over the next few months. We also continue to invest in original content for ZEE5, to create a rich content library that will make it a really compelling offering for consumers. These investments will help us grow ahead of the industry once this transient slowdown phase has passed," Goenka said.
Ahead of Q3 results, shares of Zee Entertainment closed Tuesday's trade at Rs 283.95 apiece, up 4.86 per cent, on the BSE.
By Chitranjan Kumar

Zee Entertainment Q3 profit drops 38% to Rs 349 crore, revenue falls 6%


नोबेल विजेता Abhijit Banerjee ने चेताया- बड़ी मंदी के छोर के नजदीक है भारत, मांग सबसे बड़ी समस्या
•Jan 8, 2020

226K subscribers
देश की अर्थव्यवस्था और GDP इस वक्त एक महत्वपूर्ण टॉपिक है. देश की डंवाडोल अर्थव्यवस्था के बारे में अब अभिजीत बनर्जी ने चेताया है. अर्थशास्त्री और नोबेल पुरस्कार विजेता Abhijit Banerjee ने भारत की अर्थव्यवस्था को लेकर क्या चेतावनी दी है? क्या पड़ेगा इसका आम जन-जीवन पर असर जानिए जनसत्ता के साथ।


India close to tipping point of major recession: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee

Speaking at an event with Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee said that the critical problem in the economy currently is demand, which needs to be stimulated.

Money Economy Thursday, January 09, 2020 - 16:35

TNM Staff Follow @thenewsminute

India is close to a tipping point of a major recession, said economist and Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee this week, amidst the government stating that growth in the country is going to decelerate to 5% in 2019-2020.

Speaking at Indian Express’s Express Adda with Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee said that the critical problem in the economy currently is demand, which we should definitely stimulate.

“So, we don’t look like an economy that is growing fast but nothing else is happening that looks like an economy is growing fast,”

Abhijith Banerjee

If you look at every macro statistic other than GDP, this looks like 1991. Exports are shrinking, imports are shrinking, investments are not happening. It looks like 1991. That’s the year when GDP shrunk. So, we don’t look like an economy that is growing fast but nothing else is happening that looks like an economy is growing fast,” he said.
When questioned what he would tell his peer from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said that corporate taxes should not have been cut.

“At the risk of being censured by my macroeconomist friends, I would say right now forget about the budget deficit and the deficit target. In any case - we have forgotten about it. We have a fictitious kind of accounting system in which we always meet our targets but, I think we can forget about it and forget about the inflation targeting as well because that was, I think, the origin of the mistake. Let it rip [the economy] a bit. I think we are really extremely close to the point where we could be tipping into a major recession. I do think we want to be open-handed right now,” he added.
India's GDP growth has been forecasted to dip to an 11-year low of 5% in the current fiscal, mainly due to poor showing by the manufacturing and construction sectors, government data showed this week. As per the advance estimates for 2019-20 by the National Statistical Office, the growth in real GDP during 2019-20 is estimated at 5% as compared to 6.8% in 2018-19.
A World Bank report also said that India's growth rate is projected to decelerate to 5% in 2019-20 amid enduring financial sector issues, and that the country's GDP was likely to recover to 5.8% in the following financial year.

India close to tipping point of major recession: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee


Didn’t ban cryptocurrencies, only ring-fenced banks from associated risks: RBI tells SC

This statement came as a response to a petition filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in the Supreme Court.

Money Cryptocurrency Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 18:34

S. Mahadevan

Contrary to the general opinion that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are banned in India, the Reserve Bank of India has conveyed to the Supreme Court that digital currencies are not banned. RBI says it has only ring-fenced banks and other regulated entities from dealing in the currencies that could result in losses for them.
This statement by RBI is part of a 30-page response in the form of an affidavit that the banking regulator had submitted to the apex court in a case filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The appeal by IAMAI to the Supreme Court was in objection to RBI’s circular in 2018 where it had stopped the banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies which amounted to banning legitimate business transactions.
Reserve Bank of India has explained in its affidavit to the Supreme Court that it was not against any technological innovations. However, cryptocurrencies have earned the reputation of being used for illegal transactions and for funding terrorist activities. Money laundering is another activity associated with the virtual currencies. The regulator therefore wanted that the financial institutions in India which are regulated by it do not fall a prey to the risks associated with dealing in cryptocurrencies.
The central bank had offered similar advice to the Indian government as well not to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs) and asset funds based on virtual currencies in the country. This too has been disclosed by RBI in that affidavit.

The cryptocurrency debate is raging in many countries across the world. Those in favour of cryptocurrencies claim it is the currency of the future and governments should adopt them in the economy. Those opposing point out how volatile the currency, particularly Bitcoin has been and how gullible public have lost billions of dollars of their hard-earned money chasing fortunes in Bitcoin. There have also been cases of massive hacks through which the cryptocurrency assets held in exchanges have been wiped out overnight, leaving the owners of these currencies with nothing to show.
The next hearing on the case in the SC is fixed for January 21, 2020.

Didn’t ban cryptocurrencies, only ring-fenced banks from associated risks: RBI tells SC


Super User
Citing Nielsen data, industry officials said growth in the FMCG sector has declined in the past four quarters consecutively since July-September 2018 – both by value and volume – as consumers down-traded to lower-priced daily use products in urban markets and rural growth slowed.

Drop in demand may force Parle to lay off up to 10,000 employees
I do not understand what harm bad economy is doing to India. Everyone is happy and busy in there daily chores.

If Parle is not able to sell it cheap biscuits then what is big issue and how does Indian economic health is related to it.
Who wants to eat such unhealthy and junk food even if it is coming cheap.
Then tomorrow you may say since TATA was not able to sell Nano Car hence Indian economy is in bad shape.

There are many other biscuits available in market and they are selling well and same is true for cars.

Now people do not want cheap things but they go for value products.

Instead of biscuits people eat chips, Maggi, Momos, Chowmien as general snacks.

Layout of Labour is healthy thing and not bad thing for economy. Things are becoming automated and less labour intensive day by day, tell is this thing good or bad for economy.

Only bold leaders can take bold decisions. If Parle has to pay GST like other competitors what is big issue about it and what can PM do in this matter.

If labour being layed off is skilled then they will find better jobs elsewhere, why to crib.

Plus once labour is gone and unit has gone sick that Industrial Land can be sold to Housing and Real estate developers, this will bring astronomical profits to Parle, as Land rates are very high in that area.


'No more cuts in corporate taxes': Abhijit Banerjee's advice for Budget 2020
3 min read . Updated: 04 Jan 2020, 12:21 AM ISTIANS
  • 'Get the money in the hands of the people, and they will spend and create demand,' said the Nobel laureate at an event in New Delhi
  • 'It can be a frightening governance problem. I would be petrified if I was living in a border area,' said Banerjee about CAA

Abhijit BanerjeeEsther Duflo
New Delhi: Dressed in ethnic Indian wear and precipitating an almost rock-fan reaction from those in attendance, Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo on Friday stressed on the need to ascertain that every system in the world ensures dignity for every individual as a core belief.
"We just can't treat the economically backward as failures, that would be a very Victorian approach," said Banerjee during the launch of the duo's book "Good Economics for Hard Times", published by Juggernaut, here on Friday.
Staying away from jargons, and talking about their work to an audience that mostly comprised youngsters from different walks of life and not just economics, the duo, which donated their Nobel Prize money to the Weiss Fund administered by Harvard for research in development economics, ensured that the session punctuated with humour stayed relaxed and interactive.

During "The Juggernaut Dialogue" moderated by mediaperson Prannoy Roy, Esther Duflo pointed out that it was wrong to assume that giving handouts to the poor made them lazy.
Banerjee said that their research had shown that the same made them enthusiastic. "We have tested this theory across countries. Also, why do we always tend to blame these individuals when there are sharks all around?
"If the poor are given assets, for example cows and goats, and basic training to start a business, over a period of time they inculcate a confidence to stand on their feet and make ends meet. This was first tried in Bangladesh and seven other countries later," Banerjee said.
As part of his advice for the upcoming Union Budget, Banerjee said it was important that there were no more cuts in corporate taxes.

"It needs to be understood that the corporate sector is not short of cash. Just that it is not investing. What you need to do is get the demand side going. Get the money in the hands of the people, and they will spend. This government has ensured that almost everybody has a bank account; therefore the infrastructure is in place. Several measures can be taken to arrest the downward slide of the economy," Banerjee said.
At a time when farm loan waivers have become an almost everyday news, Banerjee stressed on the need to have a well-oiled machinery that can provide relief to the distressed.
"I don't think waivers are very efficient. If a drought destroys crops, only those farmers who had taken a loan would get a waiver, for others, there is absolutely nothing. They won't get any kind of relief," he said.

The duo along with Sendhil Mullainathan co-founded J-Pal (the Abdul Latin Jameel Poverty Action Lab), which has offices in every continent. It conducts studies in 80 countries, with the largest set-up being in India boasting of 200 staff members.
"When we were studying the impact of women as head of panchayats, a field officer said that they were merely puppets. However, our research proved that they may be shy and not talk much, but had done some remarkable work in creating infrastructure," said Duflo.
Banerjee elaborated on what he calls 'nudges' and how they can be instrumental in achieving goals.
"One may think that a small reward/reminder is inconsequential, but it can go a long way. While studying the penetration of immunisation in Udaipur, we came across a very low number. But when people were assured of a kilogram of dal if they came forth for regular dosage, the percentage went up several times," Banerjee said.

Talking about the gap between research and action, Duflo insisted that actionable part of research is at the heart of what J-Pal does.
"Yes, sometimes there are clashes with policymakers, but then one has to be patient. In fact, we have noticed that they too are showing more interest. Whenever a policymaker wants to implement something, we can help with staffing to ensure that he has the right people to oversee things on the ground," Duflo said.
Lamenting that the banking sector lived outside the world of small businesses, Banerjee added, "They know who are capable entrepreneurs. Why not approach them?"
When asked about the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Banerjee said, "It can be a frightening governance problem. I would be petrified if I was living in a border area. What is disturbing is the enormous power some people will have in their hands. Such decisions should not be made with a swift bill."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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