Amidst auto sector slowdown, GST Council mulls tax cuts for Hybrid vehicles. Defunct Jet Airways may see a light at the end of the tunnel as Synergy Group and RA Creator get shortlisted as potential buyers. Food-delivery platform Swiggy launches concierge service Go to take on Dunzo. Apple Watch can now track you in your sleep.
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Going Down: India’s Services PMI declined to 52.4 In August after July’s year-high of 53.8. Though this is still higher than the 50-mark separating growth from contraction, the fall in services PMI alongwith manufacturing PMI (which is at a 15-month low) has pushed the composite index down to 52.6 from the previous 53.9. (A historical overview of the services PMI can be found here.)
This comes on the heels of the recently released GDP numbers, which showed the Indian economy growing at 5%, the lowest rate in six years.
Clutching at the Straw: Amidst a severe drop in sales in the auto sector, the GST Council is examining a rate cut for hybrid vehicles By doing away with the cess, which will bring down the tax rate from 43% to 28%.
Currently, all four- and two-wheelers for commercial or personal use - except electric vehicles, bicycles, rickshaws, etc — are now in the 28% GST bracket.
However, the move is likely to face backlash from the states, fearing loss of revenue.
Flight At the End of the Tunnel: As per reports, South-America based Synergy group and Russian Fund Treasury RA Creator have been shortlisted To bid for the grounded Jet Airways which has earlier this year shut down operations due to lack of funds.
Ready, Jet, Go: The Resolution Professional had received three EoIs on the 31 August deadline. The third application from the Panama-based Avantulo group, did not make it to the shortlist.
Here's a list of its previous suitors.
Synergy Group is reportedly willing to invest up to INR3,000cr in Jet. However, the investment is conditional and will be taken forward only if lenders of the airline take a large debt haircut. They have also insisted in the conversion of their debt into equity.
Swiggy Good to Go: Food delivery startup Swiggy has launched Swiggy Go– a concierge service to enable consumers and businesses to deliver laundry, forgotten keys, documents and just about anything.
Bring It On: The service, currently available only in Bangalore, would directly pit Swiggy against Google-backed hyper-local concierge startup Dunzo.
The Dawn of a New Era: As per this Livemint report, one can observe a stark contrast to late stage funding in Indian technology startups today vs 2014, when the first breed of domestic unicorns began to appear…Those days, every large deal had one common name - Japan’s SoftBank. Things have however, changed around the block. Pension and sovereign wealth funds are moving in, loaded with money, risk appetite and willingness to wait for long.
A deep dive into this here.
Watching You While You Sleep: Apple will reportedly add a sleep tracking feature in the next Apple Watch. It would work by tracking the user’s movements through the night using the accelerometer and the heart rate sensor in addition to the microphone to listen for sounds. Using this data, Apple will provide you a report on the quality of your sleep. Of course, to use this feature you’d have to go to sleep wearing the Apple Watch.
Zuck Wants Your Face: Facebook said it will make available to all users its face recognition technology while giving them an option to opt out. This feature was available to some users since December 2017. It notifies a user if their profile photo is used by someone else Or if they appear in photos where they have not been tagged. Meanwhile, the social media site will discontinue its Tag Suggestions feature, which has been embroiled in a privacy-related lawsuit since 2015.
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