(Eds: Updating with more quotes) New Delhi, Jun 15 (PTI) It is turning out to be bonanza time for consumers as companies, ranging from apparels to car manufacturers, woo them with attractive discounts ahead of implementation of the GST next month. While apparel manufacturers are trying to liquidate old stock ahead of the new tax regime, automobile companies are attempting to draw buyers to showrooms with attractive limited period discounts of up to Rs 2.5 lakh across a range of vehicles sold in the country. Brands such as Levis, Reebok and Woodland are currently on a clearance mode offering high discounts. “The retailers do not want to keep much of stock because the remaining stock will move to the GST regime and the margins would then vary. No brand can sell the entire stock before July 1 but they are trying to do the maximum,” Woodland Worldwide MD Harkirat Singh told PTI.He said the GST has come just ahead of the usual seasonal discount and the brands have slightly advanced their offers. Woodland is currently offering up to 40 per cent discount on maximum of its items. On select items the discount is even more. An employee at an exclusive store of Levis here at the Capital said the company sent instructions to “clear old stock by offering these discounts as soon as possible because of the GST”.Levis is offering buy-two get-two scheme on most of its items. Similarly, footwear majors Reebok and Bata are also offering up to 50 per cent discount. Future group multibrand retail format Centrals Chief of Marketing & Head of Customer Loyalty Jitendranath Patri said discounts have also been offered keeping in mind Ramzan shopping.advertisementThe GST Council has decided to tax man-made apparel up to Rs 1,000 at 5 per cent, while those costing above Rs 1,000, will attract 12 per cent. At present the total tax incidence is around 8 per cent depending upon the states. On the automobiles front, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, Mahindra and Mahindra and Ford India have all come out with different schemes that are valid for June only. Dealers of the countrys largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki are offering discounts between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000. Similarly, M&M is offering benefits ranging between Rs 27,000 on Scorpio to Rs 90,000 on XUV500 till June 30. Hyundai Motor India dealers are offering discounts ranging between Rs 25,000 on Elite i20 and all-new Xcent to Rs 2.5 lakh on premium SUV SantaFe. Honda Cars India, on the other hand, is offering up to Rs 14,500 discount on its hatchback Brio, Rs 50,000 on compact sedan Amaze, Rs 17,000 on premium hatchback Jazz and Rs 60,000 on B-RV under a special scheme valid during June.”We are giving price protection to the customers for cars retailed from June 10 to June 30 which means that customers will buy the car at pre-GST price now. Post GST implementation whatever the difference in ex-showroom price it will be returned back to the customer by the dealer,” a Honda Cars India spokesperson said.Japanese carmaker Nissans dealers are also offering benefits of up to Rs 80,000 on sports utility vehicle Terrano and around Rs 25,000 on small car Micra.Industry analysts said the companies have been forced to come up with the discounts as potential customers have held back on purchases expecting prices to come down after the implementation of GST. Under the GST rates, cars will attract the top rate of 28 per cent with a cess in the range of 1-15 per cent on top of it.While small petrol cars with engine less than 1,200 cc will attract 1 per cent cess, that with a diesel engine of less than 1,500 cc will attract 3 per cent cess. Large cars with engine greater than 1,500 cc and SUVs with length more than 4 metres and engine greater than 1,500 cc will attract a cess of 15 per cent. Already, Ford India has announced discounts of up to Rs 30,000 on its compact SUV EcoSport, sedan Aspire and hatchback Figo to pass on benefits of new tax rates under GST. German luxury car maker Audi has slashed prices of its models in India by up to Rs 10 lakh till June 30. Rival BMW also said it is offering “benefits up to 12 per cent” on ex- showroom prices that include GST benefits. Besides, Mercedes Benz has announced reduction of prices of its vehicles produced in India by up to Rs 7 lakh. Tata- Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has cut prices of select models by up to Rs 10.9 lakh. In the two-wheeler space, niche bike maker Royal Enfield is pre-emptively extending the GST benefits to its customers while Bajaj Auto has also announced reduction in prices of its motorcycles by up to Rs 4,500 to pass on the expected benefit of GST to customers.advertisementThe Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA) said discounts are being offered as traders are worried over cash flow.”The nearing of GST has caused a discomfort amongst the traders as they are worried over the cash flow that might occur during GST implementation therefore, offers are being introduced,” said CEAMA President Manish Sharma.He further said that businesses will be normalised over the next two-three months of operations. PTI PRJ KRH MSS RKL MR MKJ
The Indian batting line-up have received a lot of flak for their poor show in England as the hosts clinched the five-match series with a 60-run victory in the fourth Test in Southampton. England bowled out India for 184 after setting a 245-run victory target and took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.A host of pundits have lambasted the Indian batsmen for failing against swing bowling, but former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels that they will fare much better against Australia when the they tour Down Under later this year.Save skipper Virat Kohli (544 runs in 4 Tests) and partially Cheteshwar Pujara, most of the Indian batsmen could not perform up to their potential.READ – Virat Kohli gutted as India lose Test series: We were not good enough”It is not easy to play swing bowling. Trust me when Australia travel to England for Ashes next year, it won’t be easy for them also. England is the only place where the ball swings that much primarily due to conditions. You just can’t land in England once every three years and be successful,” Watson told PTI during an interaction.However, the former all-rounder feels that India’s tour of Australia at the end of the year would be much better compared to England.”Look, if you check records, Indian batsmen of late have done well in Australia. Virat has scored loads of runs and I remember a fine century by (KL) Rahul at the SCG. Even Rahane scored a few runs,” Watson, who played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is for his country, said.advertisementREAD – ‘Kohli sublime as batsman but not so hot as captain'”In Australia, the kookaburra will stop swinging after first 10 or may be 15 overs unlike Dukes which can swing all day. I don’t think bounce would be that much of a problem.”For Watson, it is a global phenomenon that teams are not travelling well and India shouldn’t be blamed for their performance.”I don’t think any international team is playing swing bowling well these days and that is reflective in the performance on overseas performance,” said Watson.READ – Pushed England to earn victories, did not lose easy: Kohli after series lossHowever, Indians, who have grown up playing on turners, have once again flopped against Moeen Ali like the series of 2014.India have also not negotiated Australia’s Nathan Lyon well but Watson feels that a quality spinner will always be a difficult proposition for any batsman.”Look at Shane Warne’s track record. He got wickets all around the world and knew how to bowl on Day 4 and 5 tracks. Ditto for Lyon or Moeen, who know how to make best use of fourth and fifth day track,” said Watson.READ- England win series vs India: Ben Stokes, Sam Curran savour special dayTalking about India’s tour of Australia that starts with limited-overs series in the last week of November, Watson said he is concerned about how Australia will score big first innings total in the absence of their banned skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.”The biggest challenge for Australia will be to post big scores in the absence of Warner and Smith. These two were instrumental in Australia getting big scores. Like Tim Paine is a capable man of leading Australia. He has the requisite leadership qualities but I am more concerned about the batting than captaincy,” the 37-year-old said.READ – England’s lower order made all the difference: Kohli on series lossWatson named Usman Khawaja as one of the players who will have to play a big role for Australia.”Usman Khawaja is a phenomenal player and I believe now he will be given a long rope. I am hoping that he will do well and expect him to take a lot of responsibility. He has just scored a fine hundred against India A (in Bengaluru). Apart from Usman, I would love to see Shaun and Mitch Marsh do well against India,” he said.
Former Pakistan captain and bowling great Waqar Younis feels Sarfraz Ahmed and his boys can pull off an upset this World Cup, much like they did in 1992 by winning the coveted trophy.”It is 27 years since Pakistan won the World Cup for the first time and this year feels like it did back then,” Waqar was quoted as saying by ICC.”No one gave us a chance and we arrived as the underdog. But the momentum came and we won the whole thing, that is the beauty of Pakistan cricket.”I was not part of the team because I was injured just before the World Cup, but I remember the team coming home. The whole country was out on the streets, the lights were on and we had a trophy parade.”It was party-mode, it was a carnival. Hopefully, that will happen again, but there is work to do,” said Waqar who coached Pakistan, besides being credited with the man who really put the reverse into swing bowling.In 262 ODIs, Waqar has taken 416 wickets while in 87 Tests, he has returned with 373 wickets to his name.”I think Pakistan arrive as underdogs and they need to start well. If they lose a couple of early games, then it will be an uphill task for them after that.”If they don’t start well then the negativity from series defeats to England and Australia could seep back in. They have been losing a few games and need to win early so settle nerves.”advertisementSince winning the Champions Trophy in 2017, Pakistan have won only two of the seven series they have played. The first of these was against a dismal Sri Lankan side and the second was against Zimbabwe. Three of the series defeats have been whitewashes.Despite that, Waqar feels if Sarfraz and Co. can get their fielding right, they have talent in their arsenal to pull it off.”The positive for Pakistan is that they have started scoring big totals. They have showed they are capable of scoring 300 plus and we saw that in their series against England.”The batsman have got used to the surfaces very quickly and have piled on the runs. They are all in good form, especially Babar Azam and Haris Sohail,” he said.Pakistan lost the series to England 0-4 but managed to put up 300+ totals on three occasions.Waqar said the top four looks sorted for Pakistan with Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq doing well.”Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq have also done well so the top four looks really good. That issue has been solved.”But the biggest issue for me is the fielding. The fielders looked out of sorts in the series against England and that could shake their confidence.”I am sure that will get a bit better but if the fielders don’t take their chances and catch balls and stop the extra 15 or 20 runs then they could struggle.”Waqar said he looks forward to watching Mohammad Amir in action, adding the overall bowling is headed in the right direction although they looked all over the place against the mighty English.”The bowling is moving in a good direction, with Wahab Riaz coming back into the side and Mohammad Amir restored. I am intrigued to see how Mohammad Amir gets on.””He is a match-winner, there is no doubt about that. If he gets some rhythm back, then he could be the difference for Pakistan.”On the flip side, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain are so talented and have long futures ahead of them. I am excited to see what they can do.”Pakistan will take on West Indies in their opener on May 31.”That first game against the West Indies will be vital. It is will be worth watching that! Both are very exciting teams and very unpredictable, you never know what you are going to get.Trent Bridge is a flat pitch too so there will be runs and it will be a fun game.Despite everything having gone on in the last couple of months, the country is behind the team. They all believe these guys can win the World Cup. If we can get off to a strong start, then you never know this team has a history of producing magic,” the 47-year old said.Also Read | ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan team profileAlso Watch:
Showcasing the work of three budding artists, Strokes from the East, a group art exhibition by Kolorbox captures the nuances and diversity of human experience across space and time. The first edition of the three day exhibition will kick off on 28 June in India Habitat Centre. The three artists, Dilip Oinam, Sandeep Jigdung and Deenabandhu Marndi, come from Manipur, Assam and Orissa, respectively. Their works shall bring alive the local milieu of their birthplace as the artists set down to paint the picturesque landscapes of Manipur, Assam and Orissa. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Known for his larger than life solitary figures, from innocent children to women and couples, Oinam’s paintings are drawn from his personal experiences and mythologies. The multi-layered, complex and painstaking treatments in his works enhance the element of drama. Currently, he is based out in Delhi and has done many group shows. Jigdung is counted as one of the contemporary faces of art in the North-East. His works predominantly reflect his experiences of the place of his birth. The vivid and dominating greens in his canvas can almost be considered as a tribute to his vision and impression of the North-East. His current series of work, again characterized by shades of green, is a celebration of both nature and human existence. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUsing photoink, Marndi depicts people and faces, realistically. His take on art is said to have a semi-autobiographical resonance. He is believed to draw from his memories and experiences of growing up in rural Orissa to articulate his humanistic view of life.Interestingly, their lives have been influenced by experiences out of their native states. Oinam who hails from Manipur is a BFA graduate in painting from the Delhi College of Art; coming from Assam, Jigdung did his MFA from College of Art in Delhi; and Marndi settled down in Delhi after completing BFA from Orissa. All these factors play a role in their lives that are inextricably linked with their existence. Watchout for a dash of metrolife leaving its impressions on the Eastern landscapes.WHERE: India Habitat CentreWHEN: 28 -30 June, 11 am to 8 pm
Corrections & AmplificationsBitcoins, in case you haven’t already heard all the buzz about them, are virtual coins traded directly between two individuals online. They’re exchanged anonymously without a trace and without ever passing through a single bank or other financial institution.As a business owner, questions likely arise. How much is a Bitcoin worth? Should my business accept them? Is it legal? Is this the payment method of the future?There’s a lot to consider before deciding if accepting the decentralized, crypto-currency is right for your company. Here are four common questions about Bitcoin, explained:1. What are Bitcoins and how much are they worth? They are essentially pieces of computer code — mathematical algorithms, actually — that represent monetary units. Bitcoins are purchased online using real analog money via Bitcoin exchanges and private sellers. They’re then used to trade goods and services on the internet, sometimes illegally. However, more reputable online vendors are beginning to accept Bitcoins, including WordPress, Reddit and dozens of Etsy vendors.Approximately 11 million Bitcoins are currently in circulation. In all, only 21 million will be generated through the year 2140. A single Bitcoin is worth approximately $117 U.S. dollars, according to Tokyo-based Mt. Gox K.K., the leading Bitcoin trading exchange. Values can fluctuate dramatically from day to day.Related: The Bitcoin Buzz and How Young Entrepreneurs are Cashing In2. Are Bitcoin transactions safe?They are generally considered safe. Bitcoin transaction are secured using what’s called public key cryptography encryption, a two-part encryption process that involves a combination of public and private data. Each transaction is publicly verified by the peer-to-peer community network of Bitcoin users.But Bitcoins are merely code, and cybercriminals can hypothetically hack them. Cybercriminals recently attacked Mt. Gox and Bitcoin-stealing malware continues to spread via Skype.3. Why would I want to accept them as payment? Bitcoin can be attractive to business owners mainly because there are zero bank or credit card transaction fees to accept it, which can lead to higher profit margins, more competitive pricing and the ability to operate globally at lower cost. Also, Bitcoin transactions are not subject to tax since Bitcoin is not an official form of money issued by any government. And Bitcoin transactions are completed instantaneously and anonymously, without having to go through a third-party bank, credit card company or PayPal.But the U.S. Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has issued rules about Bitcoin transactions and the IRS is expected to follow suit.4. How can I begin accepting Bitcoin payments? The first step is to create an account with a Bitcoin merchant solution that can help you accept Bitcoins. Mt. Gox is the most popular choice, but there are several others to choose from, including BitPay and BitMerch. Exchanges like these convert Bitcoins to U.S. dollars and other currencies for a nominal fee. For example, Mt. Gox charges up to 0.6 percent from each party for each payment.Next, you’ll want to post an image on your main website or online store that reads “Bitcoin accepted here.” If you sell goods and services from a brick and mortar location, your customers can pay in Bitcoins using a mobile phone app like Paytunia Bitcoin Wallet or Blockchain. Both require a QR code, so be sure to place one near your checkout area.Related: A Look at ‘Bitcoin’ Currency Corrections & Amplifications: A previous version of this story misstated how many Bitcoins are expected to be in circulation by the year 2140. In all, only 21 million will be generated. How Success Happens Listen Now May 20, 2013 Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 3 min read