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Restaurants delist from online food platforms

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Zomato

New Delhi, Aug 15 Challenging the deep discounting practices of online food delivery platforms like Zomato Gold and EasyDiner, over 300 restaurants in Gurugram under the umbrella of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Thursday observed a #Logout campaign.

According to a report in Inc42.com, these restaurants reportedly delisted themselves from “platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, Nearbuy, MagicPin among others”.

“The situation is now aggravated through the anytime, anywhere, any-day discounting behaviour by aggregators. So now restaurants have come together to detox consumers from discount addiction,” NRAI president Rahul Singh was quoted as saying.

Home-grown restaurant search and delivery platform Zomato last month introduced the “Infinity Dining” plan for its “Gold” subscribers that allows them to have unlimited a la carte at partner restaurants.

“For the same price that users would spend on a typical two-course meal, they can now order anything and everything you want from the entire menu (yes, the entire menu!) with unlimited servings of their favourite dishes,” Gaurav Gupta, Chief Operating Officer & Co-founder, Zomato, wrote in a blog post.

Zomato said its Gold subscription programme has grown almost 100 per cent in the past eight months.

The plan has been introduced in partnership with 350 restaurants – with at least a 3.5 rating — in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The restaurants under the NRAI in Delhi and Mumbai have also reportedly threatened to delist from these dining platforms.

Last month, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) officials met representatives from online food delivery firms like Zomato and Swiggy and offline industry leaders and directed them to sit and solve their differences and boost equitable growth in the industry.

The meeting was called to discuss issues such as deep discounting and opening up of private label brands by the online food platforms that has affected the operations of offline restaurants across the country.

Sources had told IANS that both online food delivery platforms that also included Uber Eats and Foodpanda and the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) along with other offline hotels and restaurant associations gave their set of recommendations and justifications to the DPIIT officials on their concerns.

Another grudge from offline restaurant owners was that food delivery platforms used technology to study dishes that their consumers like and created their own private labels along with deep discounting.

The online restaurant aggregators argue that they have created employment for thousands of people and must get support from the government.

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Attack at Aramco, trade optimism to boost oil prices: Expert

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Mumbai, Sep 14 : Drone attacks at the world’s largest oil processing facility of Aramco in Saudi Arabia and the recent optimism in US-China trade relations could boost oil prices, analysts have said.

The drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the Kingdom’s Interior Ministry said.

Owing to subdued demand and trade tension, Brent Crude declined for the fourth consecutive session on Friday.

Brent crude oil prices closed on Friday, slightly higher than the $60 barrel.

“News of attack on a major oil producer as well as the easing of trade tension will certainly boost the oil prices,” Anuj Gupta of Angel Broking told IANS.

However, experts noted that the global growth concerns could cap the gains in the oil prices.

The Saudi Press Agency, citing a statement by the Ministry, said that the drones caused the fire at the refinery in the city of Abqaiq in the Kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province, as well as the blaze at the Khurais oil field, around 150 km from Riyadh.

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Aadhaar compulsory for new dealers from January

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Bengaluru, Sep 15 : Verification of the unique identification number (Aadhaar) would be compulsory for new dealers from January 2020 to curb malpractices in paying Goods and Services Tax, said GST Network’s group of ministers’ Chairman Sushil Kumar Modi.

“All new dealers will have to submit their Aadhaar number for authentication from January 1. Though currently optional, it has been made mandatory from the New Year (2020) to curb fake invoices that came to light after the new tax regime came into being from July 1, 2017,” Modi told reporters here after a meeting of the group on Saturday.

Modi is also the Deputy Chief Minister in the Janata Dal-United (JD-U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar.

The GST Network has also decided to complete online refunding from September 24 from the central GST or the state GST.

“We have also decided to unveil the simplified new returns system from January 1,” said Modi on the occasion.

The next GST Council meeting will be held at Panaji in Goa on September 20.

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Govt sets up Rs 10,000 cr fund for housing projects

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New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) With a focus on completing construction of unfinished units, the government on Saturday opened a special window of Rs 10,000 crore fund to provide last mile funding for housing projects which are non-NPA and non-NCLT and are net worth positive in affordable and middle income category.

The government will also relax the ECB norms for financing home buyers of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in discussion with RBI, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She said the home buyers are already Operational creditors in case of NCLT stuck housing projects.

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