New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Amit Malviya and industrialist, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw were on Monday locked in a fiery argument whether she funds the Independent Public Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF), which in turn supports anti-Modi propaganda.
As panelists on a TV debate, Malviya and Shaw were part of a heated argument on Shaw funding this new age media which is a Modi baiter. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has joined the chorus against intolerance of the government after comments by Rahul Bajaj.
Malviya said that since Shaw is on the show he would like to tell the viewers that she and her company funds the IPSMF and is among the biggest donors. IPSMF funds vicious new age media which routinely runs vicious anti government propaganda, Malviya said.
"Nobody makes a point about it," he said.
Shaw reacted angrily to the comment by Malviya and denied that her company funds IPSMF.
However, a perusal of the Foundation's records show that Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is listed among the major donors.
The donors include Shaw, Aamir Khan, Azim Premji Philanthrophic Initiatives, Piramal Enterprises, Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, Rohini Nilekani Philanthophies, Rohinto and Anu Aga Family Discretionary No 2 Trust, Manipal Education and Medical Group, Cyrus Guzder, Lal Family Foundation, Sri Nataraja Trust and Unimed Technologies, Quality Investment, Tejaskiran Pharmachem India and Viditi Investment.
The IPSMF in turn has given grants to several media outlets. These include The Print, The Wire, The Caravan, The News Minute, The Ken, Swarajya, Live Law.in, Down to Earth, EPW, Alt News, CG Net Swara, Dool News, East Mojo.com, Gaon Connection, IS., IP Podhu, Khabar Leharia, Max Maharashtra, Pragati, The Better India, wtd News, Satyagraha, Weekly Sadhana, Suno India, India Development Review, Janjwar, Sikkim Chronicle, The Bastion, among others.
Denying the intolerance charge, Malviya said that earlier governments made policies meant to benefit select corporates. He said the Modi government wants fair and equitable policies which are not meant to please or favour. He said that earlier, corporates had disproportionate impact on businesses.
Shaw said that Any criticism offered by India Inc is being seen as anti-national or anti-Modi government which is ridiculous. She added that captains of industry are worried to speak their mind, so that they are perceived to be anti-government.
By Nirbhay Kumar
New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms have topped the list of customers complaints list for over-charging ever since the new indirect tax regime Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out on July 1, 2017.
Restaurateurs came second, followed by entertainment and media firms.
As per official data, as many as 42 consumer complaints were registered against various FMCG companies with many of them found to be not passing the benefits of lower tax rates.
As GST rates were cut across various categories in the GST Council meetings to reduce tax incidence on consumers, the companies were expected to pass on the benefit by lowering prices in proportion to the rate reduction.
It was, however, found that many companies had not passed on the benefit of lower tax and indulged in profiteering. Complaints were later filed against them and the GST anti-profiteering watchdog National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) took up the cases.
Some of the FMCG majors like Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Procter & Gamble India (P&G) and Nestle were found to have profiteered from the lower tax regime.
In the latest case, the NAA last week ordered Nestle to deposit Rs 73.15 crore with Consumer Welfare Fund for not passing GST rate reduction benefit to consumers. The FMCG major has, however, said that it will consider appropriate action after studying the same.
Experts said that it is very difficult for FMCG companies to assess the exact impact of the lower tax given that they have multiple similar products in one category.
Moreover, they sell products for as low as Rs 2 for a shampoo pouch and when the rate is lowered they are not in the position to exactly assess the impact on price. Even if the assessment is done and it is found that the price should be lower by 30 paise, transaction becomes difficult as currency of that amount is not available.
"Because of multiple products of similar kind it is difficult for FMCG companies to arrive at a particular price. There are very small units like toffee selling for Re 1. In this case it will be very difficult to arrive at net impact of rate cut," said Amit Bhagat, Partner, Dhruva Advisors.
Besides FMCG, many restaurants are also facing complaints with 14 cases being lodged. Two complaints were filed against sanitary ware firms. Media and entertainment firms have six complaints against them.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)