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Indian Retail stores face 30% loss

The CAIT last month wrote to the government seeking a “blanket ban” on festive season sales conducted by the e-commerce giants.

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New Delhi, Oct 3 : As Amazon and Flipkart vie for $4.8 billion in festive sales, malls and offline retails stores are witnessing a massive drop in footfall and are set to lose nearly 30 per cent in sales in just a couple of days.

Online retailers like Amazon and Flipkart in India are expected to generate about $4.8 billion in sales from September 25 to October 29, mitigating the impact of the general economic slowdown.

About 80 per cent of these sales are likely to occur between September 29 and October 4 – the period in which Flipkart and Amazon are organising their ‘Big Billion Days’ and ‘Great Indian Festival’ sales, said global market research firm Forrester.

According to Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), offline retail sales have dropped about 30 per cent due to the ongoing online sales in the last 3-4 days.

“The discounts they are offering are unbelievable, which is even lower than the lending cost. The customer who are suppose to come to the market have diverted to the online market,” Khandelwal told IANS.

According to Satish Meena, Senior Forecast Analyst with Forrester, the growth (year-over-year) in online retail spending during the five days of festive sales will take a hit, from 93 per cent in 2018 to 32 per cent in 2019.

In 2019, 74 per cent of Indian online buyers research products online before purchasing them in-store. “The influence of digital on offline purchases will be the key area of brand investment in the near future in India,” said Meena.

Khandelwal said that in the festive season, people do extra spending apart from their routine spending and the sales rise, ranging from utensils, garments to home furnishing and vehicles.

“Because of deep discounts and malpractices of the online players as there is no regulator on the e-commerce industry, the government too has not taken any action. These companies have made the Indian e-commerce market a free playground, playing the game with their own set of rules,” the CAIT executive stressed.

The CAIT last month wrote to the government seeking a “blanket ban” on festive season sales conducted by the e-commerce giants.

“By offering deep discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 80 per cent on their e-commerce portals, these companies are clearly influencing the prices and create an uneven level playing field which is in direct contravention of the policy,” CAIT said in a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

CAIT said that the practice of deep discounts offered by various e-commerce platforms during the festive season goes against the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules.

According to Khandelwal, people in the offline trade increase their inventory in general but this time, offline retail sellers have not even increased their stocks because in the past few years, they have seen that their increased festival inventory remains a dead stock and their capital is blocked.

“Malls are in a bad shape. Retail outlets there are not able to recover even the rent of per square feet area as footfall has decreased tremendously,” he added.

Cities

Kerala on high alert for Cyclone Burevi: Vijayan

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Pinarayi Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2 : Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said that the state is on a high alert in view of Cyclone Burevi.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi called to find out about the state’s preparedness. We informed him that all possible steps have been taken… we are waiting for more weather updates and accordingly the necessary action would be taken,” he said.

Vijayan said that according to the present updates, it is expected to enter Kerala by Friday noon.

“Districts like Thiruvananthapuruam, Kollam, Pathanamthittta, Kottayam, Alappuzha Ernakulam and Idukki districts could have the impact of very heavy rains besides heavy winds also. People should not venture out at all. The seas also would turn very rough. Winds with speed ranging from 30 kms to 60 kms are also expected,” he added.

Vijayan said that eight teams of the National Disaster Rescue Force have already arrived, besides the Air Force base at Sulu, near Kovai is already on high alert, while the Indian Navy also is ready.

“In case of a need, we have identified 2,849 relief camps and by now 13 are already functional. If the situation warrants, depending on the weather updates, people will be evacuated. All the district authorities have been told to take appropriate action depending on the needs and none need to wait for clearance. The ongoing Sabarimala pilgrimage will be regulated, if a situation arises,” he said.

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Cities

Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

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Cyclone Nisarga

Amaravati: In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.

The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.

Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.

“We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours,” Prakasam’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.

Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.

“We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives,” said Kaushal.

The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.

“Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water,” he said.

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.

Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.

They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.

On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.

In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.

They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.

Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.

On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.

–IANS

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Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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