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Amazon to lay off staff in US, Canada and Costa Rica by today: Report

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Reuters | | Posted by Aryan Prakash

Amazon.com Inc will cut some jobs in the United States, Canada and Costa Rica by the end of Wednesday as part of its plan to lay off 18,000 employees, the e-commerce giant said in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

The layoffs are the latest in the U.S. technology sector, with companies cutting their bloated workforce and slashing costs to reverse pandemic-era excesses and prepare for a worsening global economy.

The company is terminating 2,300 employees in Seattle and Bellevue, according to an update on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) site. The U.S. labor law requires companies planning a mass layoff to inform employees 60 days before the closure.

Amazon.com Chief Executive Andy Jassy said earlier this month the cuts, about 6% of the company’s roughly 300,000 corporate employees, would mostly impact the e-commerce and human resources divisions.

Microsoft said earlier on Wednesday it would cut about 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2-billion charge.

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Union Budget 2023 to be tabled in Parliament today. Here are 5 big expectations

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Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Union Budget 2023 in the Lok Sabha in a few hours from now. It will be the last full budget of the Narendra Modi government before it faces the general elections in the summer next year.

When the finance minister begins her address at 11 am, the Indian middle class and India Inc would be keenly waiting for some relief in wake of global meltdown.

On Tuesday, the Economic Survey tabled in Parliament pegged India’s real growth in the range of 6-6.8 per cent depending on the downside and upside risks. The survey underlined the fact that the global agencies continue to project India as the fastest growing major economy despite the Covid-19 shocks, the Russia-Ukraine war and the policy rate hikes by the central banks across the world.

UNION BUDGET 2023: FULL COVERAGE

Later, chief economic advisor V Anantha Nageswaran said that the Indian economy is poised to do better on the back of the reforms undertaken by the Centre and expected to clock a 6.5-7 per cent growth in the remaining part of the decade. He added that the inflation by and large is likely to be ‘well behaved’ in the upcoming fiscal barring headwinds.

Here are the five big-ticket expectations from Nirmala Sitharaman’s fifth budget.

1. Income tax relief: The salaried professionals are the taxpayers who have the most expectations from the Budget. The middle class has been hit the hardest by increasing prices of essentials and fuel price hike. The expectations are rife that the finance minister may tweak income-tax slabs to provide middle class a much needed relief. Recently, Sitharaman said she identifies herself as a middle class and understands the pressure faced by the section.

2. Real estate sector: The real estate sector has managed to bounce back following the dry spell due to Covid-19 pandemic. The housing sector is eyeing a robust demand in the upcoming financial year. The key expectations include relaxations in taxes, reduction in stamp duty, reduction in GST on raw materials like cement and steel. Arihant Infrastructures, CMD, Ashok Chhajer told ANI that the government should focus on reducing home loan rates. “The government should reduce home loan rates. The affordable housing segment, which is capped at 45 lakh, should be changed to 60-75 lakh which is the average cost of a house in Metro cities and 2-tier cities,” said Chhajer.

ALSO READ: After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023

3. Healthcare: The healthcare sector is expecting more spend on boosting the health infrastructure in the country. According to the Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament, the Centre’s share in the total health expenditure increased from 28.6 per cent in the financial year 2014-15 to 40.6 per cent in 2019-2020. The survey stated the government has also strengthened health infrastructure and prepared itself to address present and future needs, PTI reported.

4. Railways: The Railway budget is included in the Union Budget which will be tabled today. The expectations of general public include controlling train ticket fares, focus on cleanliness in trains, increase in number of trains among others. The students have demanded that Railways run separate trains for them to appear for exams in other cities.

5. Manufacturing: The experts have high expectations from the budget as they feel it will re-energise the manufacturing sector which is trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic impact. The sector is expecting new policies, concessions and other schemes for growth.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)


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Ahead of Budget 2023, debt cost of states rises to 7.68%: Report

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PTI | | Posted by Yagya Sharma

In the second-highest auction so far in FY23, 13 states raised 25,800 crore in debt capital from markets on Tuesday, paying a higher price as the cost rose by 4 basis points to 7.68 per cent.

The latest auction is 9 per cent higher on-year basis but was 19 per cent lower than indicated for this week in the auction calendar, according to a note by Icra Ratings.

Also Read| After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023

The weighted average cut-off or the interest rate payable annually by the states, rose by a further 4 basis points to 7.68 per cent over the past auction, Icra Ratings chief economist and head of research & outreach Aditi Nayar said in the note.

She said while the weighted average tenor rose to 15 years from 13, the yield curve was inverted at the longer-end. Accordingly, the spread between the 10-year state bonds also called state development loans and the benchmark G-sec (Government Securities) yield rose to 33 basis points from 30 basis points last week.

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After ‘smart recovery’ from Covid, what do MSMEs expect from Budget 2023

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The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector has posted smart recovery from pandemic-induced shock, with the goods and services tax (GST) paid by the sector in fiscal year 2022 exceeding the pre-pandemic level in FY20, the Economic Survey tabled in parliament on Tuesday noted. Despite a difficult economic environment, the sector demonstrated resilience as Centre took numerous cushioning steps to improve access to market and credit, it read.

The data from the 2023 survey shows that Goods and Services Tax paid by Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises increased to Rs. 5.5 lakh crore in FY22 from Rs. 5 lakh crore in FY20, which even came down to about Rs. 4.7 lakh crore in FY21.

ALSO READ: What the economic survey reveals

Economic survey highlighted Covid had a significant negative impact on the sector’s performance. “While the contribution of the MSME sector to overall Gross value added (GVA) rose from 29.3 per cent in FY18 to 30.5 per cent in FY20, the economic impact of the pandemic caused the sector’s share to fall to 26.8 per cent in FY21,” it said adding that MSME contribution to the manufacturing sector’s GVA also marginally fell to 36.0 per cent in FY21.

Now that the Economic Survey 2022-23 paints a positive picture for the sector, Budget 2023 will be closely watched to see Centre’s outlook for the sector. Hindustan Times spoke to industry experts to know their expectations from the upcoming budget.

ALSO READ: Economic Survey: GDP to grow at 6.5% in 2023-24 compared to 7% this fiscal

“The good news is that the post COVID economic revival in India has been robust and momentum is building. Much of this growth can be attributed to surge in private consumption, higher capex, firming up of corporate balance sheet, credit growth to small businesses (30.5% rise in between January and November, 2022) and return of migrant workers to cities and towns”, Rohit Arora, co-founder and chief executive officer, Biz2credit and Biz2X, said.

Sheetal Bhalerao, chairman, and managing director, Wardwizard Food and Beverages Ltd,”The upcoming budget for FY23-24 is expected to provide measures that will make doing business in India easier, especially for the MSMEs. We anticipate greater support for these MSMEs, as they are the backbone of the Indian economy and their growth will create jobs and promote innovation”.

ALSO READ: Budget 2023: Delhi traders write to FM Sitharaman, seek relief for middle class

According to Rakesh Kaul, executive director and CEO of Clix Capital, NBFCs have played an important role in making credit available to small businesses in India, allowing them to grow and scale. Given that MSMEs account for one-third of the country’s GDP, 48% of exports, and create 111 million jobs, he says, the government must protect their interests. “This is absolutely indispensable if India aims to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025.”

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