India: A potential global Fintech hub

Manoj Kashyap, Global Fintech Leader, PwC US

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During my week-long visit to India I was pleased to witness an industry that is buzzing with FinTech activity. My discussions and one-on-one meetings with various traditional FS firms, FinTech startups, investors and regulators that were organised by PwC India FinTech team and the breakfast session on FinTech - attended by 20+ FS industry leaders - revealed that the industry is bullish specially towards payments, lending, customer experience, personal finance and blockchain which is in-line with our Global FinTech Survey 2016 findings.

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India gears up for the 4th Industrial Revolution

Sudipta Ghosh, Leader, Data and Analytics, PwC India

‘Industry 4.0’ stands for the fourth industrial revolution. It focusses on the end-to-end digitisation of all physical assets and their integration into digital ecosystems with value chain partners. It has been used to describe the journey industrial companies are taking towards a complete value chain transformation.

Across the globe, industrial products majors are investing in digital technologies to either get closer to their customers or drive operational efficiencies. This trend is also very visible in India.

According to the PwC’s Industry 4.0: Building a digital enterprise report, more than a quarter (27%) of the Indian industrial companies in this survey have rated their level of digitisation as high, and this value is expected to rise to 65% within the next five years. Globally, this number is expected to grow from 33% to 72% during this period.

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Impact of the 7th Pay Commission

Ranen Banerjee, Leader, Public Finance and Economics, PwC India

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The Union Cabinet recently cleared the 7th Pay Commission. This is going to have a positive effect on consumption as well as savings and consequently on growth. A part of the payout comes back to the government by way of taxes that will also partially help in meeting the funding requirement.

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100% FDI in Defence and Aviation sector

Dhiraj Mathur, Partner, Aerospace and Defence, PwC India

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Government has liberalised the FDI regime in India and has announced 100% FDI in Defence and Aviation.

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Budget 2016: Not enough to start-up the Startup India mission

Abhishek Goenka, Partner, Tax & Regulatory

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There was much anticipation from Budget 2016 on what it would bring for the vibrant start-up community in India. After the huge fanfare surrounding the release of the Startup India Action Plan, it was expected that the budget would have all the details on how these early stage companies could get some relief.

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Budget 2016: Income Declaration Scheme – too good to be true?

Abhishek Goenka, Partner, Tax & Regulatory

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If there was one proposal that I was least expecting in the recent Union Budget, it was another amnesty scheme. We often lament that it is the anticipation of these schemes and the predictable frequency in which they are announced–whether for black money overseas, or for service tax–that actually encourage the parallel economy. This scheme provides that any taxpayer can declare undisclosed income and pay tax at the rate of 30% on the declared income, surcharge at the rate of 25% of taxable income and penalty at the rate of 25% of taxable income. This translates to an effective tax rate of 45% without any reference to the period of default.

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Budget 2016: Dispute resolution – the devil is in the details

Frank Dsouza, Partner, Direct Tax

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What does it take to prevent a dispute? And if it does arise, how it can be resolved in a timely and fair manner are one of the hallmarks of a robust and tax friendly legislation and administration. In the Indian context, dispute resolution has been challenging, primarily on account of the fact (i) that there is no effective ‘settlement’ process (the statutory Settlement Commission operates in limited circumstances); and (ii) the presumption of guilt to invoke levy of penal consequences heightens, if the tax payer doesn’t contest income adjustments carried out by the Revenue.

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Time to bank on anti-corruption compliance

Rahul Lalit, Partner, Forensic Services

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India continues to witness newer and interesting trends in regulatory developments.

In a recent landmark development, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed a new judgement that will expand the scope of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 bringing all private bank employees under the ambit of the anti-graft law, which, was so far been only applied against corrupt government officials.

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Make In India: Steering manufacturing growth

By Bimal Tanna, Partner and Leader, Industrial Products

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Over the last few years, the manufacturing sector in India has witnessed a slowdown in its growth trajectory. Investment interest in manufacturing has ebbed as the industry is facing issues such as, muted domestic demand, inadequate infrastructure, expensive cost of capital, lack of clarity on taxation matters, archaic labour laws along with delays in land acquisition and environmental clearances.

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Reverse innovation can drive Make in India Automotive

By Kavan Mukhtyar, Partner, Management Consulting

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The Indian Automotive industry started its globalisation journey with the setting up of Maruti Suzuki in the mid-1980s. For the next more than 30 years, innovation has mostly flown from Japan, Korea, Europe and US to the India based automotive OEM and component industry. This happened through various channels including subsidiaries, joint ventures, technology licensing, and alliances.

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The opinions expressed in the blogs are personal.