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Thursday,22-October-2020

Business

Deadline for filing IT returns for AY 2019-20 now November 30

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Income-Tax

In a major relief for taxpayers, the Centre on Wednesday announced extension of the due date for filing income tax returns for assessment year 2019-20 by a couple of months to November 30, 2020.

The decision has come in the wake of many taxpayers facing difficulty in filing their income tax returns due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

The last date for filing returns for AY 2019-20 was extended earlier till September 30, the third such extension during the pandemic. It has been further extended till November to provide more time to taxpayers.

“On further consideration of genuine difficulties being faced by taxpayers due to the Covid-19 situation, CBDT further extends the due date for furnishing of belated & revised ITRs for Assessment Year 2019-20 from 30th September, 2020 to 30th November, 2020,” the Income Tax Department said in a tweet.

The government has already extended the date for filing income tax returns for AY 2020-21 to November 30.

Business

Real estate sentiments improve in July-September: Report

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Real-Estate

The pandemic-hit sentiments among the real estate stakeholders improved in the July-September quarter, according to a report.

The 26th Knight Frank-FICCI-NAREDCO Real Estate Sentiment Index Q3 2020 Survey has demonstrated significant improvement in future sentiments scores, for the next six months.

“The ‘Future Sentiment Score’ for Q3 2020 is in the optimistic zone at 52 points, up from 41 in the previous quarter,” said a Knight Frank India statement.

Further, the ‘Current Sentiments Score’ — for the past six months — also recorded a significant improvement from the previous quarter low of 22 points to 40 points in Q3 2020.

It noted that the revival in sentiments can be attributed to the upturn seen in the real estate business, especially in the residential segment, in the third quarter of 2020 as a result of the unlocking process.

A score of above 50 signifies ‘Optimism’ in sentiments, a score of 50 means the sentiment is ‘Same’ or ‘Neutral’, while a score below 50 shows ‘Pessimism’.

Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director of Knight Frank India said, “An increase in real estate activities has been a great morale booster for the sector. Quarter 3, 2020 (July-September) saw residential sales volumes increase to 55 per cent of pre-Covid levels, showing signs for revival. Low home loan rates and discounts/ attractive offers for residential homes, have pushed sales velocity in the third quarter.”

“Even while the volumes are yet to catch up to the pre-Covid levels, the spurt has been instrumental in perking up sentiments. Similar positivity is visible for the office sector as well, where we have seen a revival of leasing activities,” he said.

Baijal added that the return of end -users in the market, especially in the residential segment is a matter of cheer for the entire sector, as it indicates economic confidence and long-term commitments. The festive season in Q4 2020 is likely to further support the revival of the real estate sector.

“We are hoping that the government and allied agencies will encourage this growth with more supportive decisions,” he said.

Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO was of the view that the housing demand is expected to rebound strongly due to the pent-up demand on the parameters of safe and secured investment. The buyers are reaping the accrued benefits of lower stamp duty and lower risk weightage on home loans now linked to the loan-to-value ratio by the RBI.

“The consumption cycle has once again moved back into an optimistic zone salvaging the economic recovery. This will lead to economic recovery followed by real estate revival. This revival will improve employment and resuscitate GDP growth by 2021,” he said.

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Business

Swiggy onboards 7K new restaurants, delivers over 10 cr orders

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Swiggy

Online food delivery platform Swiggy on Thursday revealed it has onboarded more than 7,000 new restaurants a month on Swiggy which is 3,000 more than the pre-covid times, along with delivering 10 crore orders since the beginning of the lockdown.

Nearly 6,000 new restaurants are small and medium restaurants compared to 3,500 in the pre-covid era and there has been a five-fold increase per month in onboarding fine-dine restaurants for online deliveries, Swiggy said.

“Our pan-India food delivery has recovered around 80-85 per cent of pre-Covid order value. In many markets, it is at 95 per cent, some even over 100 per cent,” the company said in a statement.

In the IPL 13 season, Swiggy is seeing major cities reaching pre-covid recovery values.

During the ongoing cricketing season, the Tier 2, 3 cities have performed exceptionally well recording a double-digit growth over the first weekend itself, the company informed.

Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad are the most active metro cities while Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Lucknow are the most active tier-2 cities this cricket season.

“Almost over 200 cities have now reached 90 per cent of their pre-Covid GMV (gross merchandise value) levels with more than 70 cities seeing a full recovery to their pre-Covid levels,” Swiggy said.

Certain micro pockets within the country have also reached 200 per cent of their pre- COVID value.

Big food delivery markets such as Bengaluru and Chennai are seeing very fast recovery.

However, due to a lot of the customers migrating from these metros into tier 2 and 3 cities, they have reached their 80 per cent GMV levels.

“With offices resuming operations, we can expect the working population to migrate back to the metros in the near future and reach full recovery,” Swiggy said.

Swiggy’s Jumpstart Package has supported over 50,000 restaurants in the last four months.

“Over 15,000 restaurants have leveraged Jumpstart for the ‘Best Safety Standards’ tag and over 10,000 restaurants leveraged it for boosting their business,” it said.

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Business

Dr Reddy’s Labs hit by a cyber-attack

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cyber-attack

One of Indias largest pharma companies, Dr Reddys Laboratories has been hit by a cyber-attack and has isolated its data services.

Dr Reddy’s said in a statement, “In the wake of a detected cyber-attack, we have isolated all data center services to take required preventive actions.”

Commenting on this development, Mukesh Rathi, CIO, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said, “We are anticipating all services to be up within 24 hours and we do not foresee any major impact on our operations due to this incident.”

In the morning, Dr Reddy’s Labs stock was trading down by more than 3 per cent after reports that its plants worldwide had been shut down due to a data breach.

Dr Reddy’s Labs website is also not functioning although the company is yet to give a clarification on the status of its plants and what exactly is the data breach.

As per reports, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ plants in India, Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States were impacted by the data breach. It has shut down all production units after a breach in the server.

The share price of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories fell on the report of the data breach. The stock was trading 2.94 percent lower at Rs 4,898.45.

The development comes days after the company received approvals for clinical trails of Sputnik vaccine for Covid 19 in India.

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