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HEALTHCARE’S DILEMMA: BALANCING PUBLIC NEEDS WITH BUSINESS SENSE

Even 1,500 gloves, 616 syringes, 11 bottles of human albumin and a bill of nearly Rs 16 lakh for a fortnight in the paediatric ICU at Fortis Gurugram could not save seven-year-old Adya Singh from dengue shock syndrome in mid- September. “When Adya was here, kids would be playing till late. Now, it’s like the life of our society has been taken away with her,” said her mother, Deepti, trembling as she held back tears. The white lights and cameras that television news channels had been glaring at her at the open-air basketball court in her Dwarka society were finally packed up and the reporters that came with them, gone. Suddenly the silence became unsparing. Around the time that Adya breathed her last, a rare dengue-linked syndrome also claimed a 34-year star banker and ET 40 under 40 winner within a week of hospitalisation in a leading suburban Mumbai private trust-led hospital, known for its celebrity Bollywood and business patients. In retrospect, even as the doctors have confessed, in private to the family, that there was possibly an error of judgment on their part, but such sympathy seems hollow for the parents and their two surviving daughters. The plight of the Singh family though made national headlines and triggered a Twitter takedown, forcing minister of health and family welfare JP Nadda to come out in support of the family and initiate a probe. Even the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India’s drug pricing watchdog, jumped in to demand copies of the bills and names of the medicines that Fortis administered during those grueling 15 days. What made Adya’s father, Jayant Singh, even more despondent is the stoic response from the hospital defending its stand as having followed “standard operating procedures” and justifying costs that soared by a lakh rupees every single day.

INDIAN IT FIRMS SPEND MORE ON EDUCATION AS PART OF CSR: NASSCOM

BENGALURU: Indian IT firms are spending more on education as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), said industry apex body Nasscom Foundation on Wednesday.

“Education remains the focus area of IT firms’ CSR activities, with 76 per cent of multi-national companies reporting highest spend on it, followed by 18 per cent on gender equality and 12 per cent on hunger and poverty in fiscal 2016-17,” said the Foundation at its CSR Leadership Conference here.

According to a survey that the Foundation conducted with global CSR platform Goodera, 62 per cent of the Indian and multinational companies have spent 100 per cent of their CSR funds on education and allied social activities in the last fiscal.

“The industry has accepted the 2 per cent CSR rule with more IT firms declaring 100 per cent utilisation of their CSR budget,” said the survey report titled “Catalysing Change”.

Smaller firms below Rs 100 crore turnover are also fully using their CSR funds. While 58 per cent of large firms and 53 per cent of medium firms are spending 100 per cent of their CSR budget, 73 per cent of small firms spend 100 per cent of their CSR budget.

“Only 5 per cent of IT companies reported spend of less than 50 per cent of their CSR budget,” said the report.

“The IT industry has been at the forefront of social development initiatives and it is heartening to see the industry emerging as one of the most efficient and innovative adopters of corporate social responsibility.”

The survey also revealed that 43 per cent of multinationals worked with central and state governments in their socio-economic projects in 2016-17.

ADANI, HINDUJAS JOIN RACE FOR JAYPEE INFRA

NEW DELHI: At least three high-profile bidders — Adani Group, Hindujas and Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Group — have entered the fray to invest in Jaypee Infratech, taking the number of suitors past 20.

The move comes as Jaiprakash Associates, which holds a majority stake, has been virtually ruled out of the race to stay in control of the company facing insolvency proceedings. Jaypee Infratech is yet to deliver around 25,000 flats in Noida and also manages the Taj Expressway that connects the Delhi suburb with Agra.

JSW had earlier submitted a joint proposal with Jaiprakash Associates and was in talks to acquire around 30% stake. Sources told that the fresh offer is on a standalone basis and makes the company one of the top bidders for the 12 high-profile companies facing action under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The Sajjan Jindal Group is eyeing Bhushan Steel and Monnet Ispat among companies on the block as part of the insolvency crackdown ordered by the Reserve Bank of India.

The interest from three big players will offer comfort to Jaypee Infratech lenders.

Jaypee assets: Companies eye Taj Expressway

The Ordinance promulgated last week was seen to result in less aggressive bidding in Jaypee after promoters of companies that have been nonperforming assets (NPAs) for over a year were made ineligible to submit bids under the 180-day resolution process.

The insolvency professional is looking at investors to raise Rs 2,000 crore for completion of the flats and villas. At the last meeting of the committee of creditors there was also a proposal for lenders to pump in Rs 500 crore to resume construction but a decision was deferred with the banks eyeing funds from the new investors.

FINANCE MINISTRY, EXPORTERS SPAR OVER GST REFUNDS, CLAIMS

NEW DELHI: The revenue department and the exporters are sparring over unpaid refunds and tax credits that have accrued to businesses since Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented in July.

The finance ministry put out a release saying that exporters have claimed integrated GST refunds of Rs 6,500 crore during the first four months of the rollout, while input credit claims added up to Rs 30 crore.

But exporters contested the numbers. Citing discussions during an official meeting, exporters claimed that the finance ministry had said that Rs 6,500 crore was around 15% of the overall dues to exporters.

“On this basis, the total outstanding refund would be to the tune of Rs 43,000 crore. Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has no figure of GST refund due to services exports as the same is not routed through customs or where shipping bill is filed. The quarterly exports of services is to the tune of $50 billion,” said a source.

While the tax department advised exporters to file claims in proper form with matching shipping bills to facilitate early settlements, businesses said that problems with the system were making it tough to comply.

Many exporters using inland container depots have told the commerce department that their IGST refund claims were not traceable. Since they have received duty drawback, the shipping bills have moved into ‘history basket’ of the system. As a result, export manifest at the gateway port, which is now being filed, is not getting linked with the shipping bill to facilitate the claim.

EMPOWER LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN STAFF TO DRIVE HOME SUCCESS

Mumbai: There are several best practices for leadership. However, not all are created equal. Nor can one pinpoint a practice that can solve a leadership problem. Based on data from over 62,000 leaders and HR professionals from across 2,400 organisations globally, DDI’s Leadership Databank has culled out a few proven practices that can help leaders navigate.

Aligning with the business: DDI asked HR professionals to categorise themselves into one of three roles: Reactor, Partner, or Anticipator. It also asked line managers to categorise the role they believe their HR team members play. It found Anticipators employ talent analytics to do their jobs and help the organisation plan for the future, providing the most value to their organisation. Unfortunately, the percentage of Anticipators (either self-designated by HR, or categorised by line managers) is disappointingly low. But if HR could move from Reactor to Anticipator, considerable rewards could be gained: Anticipators are over 60% more likely to be strongly connected to their company’s strategic planning process early on. This connection pays off big time for these companies, as they are three times more likely to have stronger leadership bench strength and six times more likely to have exhibited stronger financial outcomes compared to organisations in which HR involvement in strategic planning is non-existent..

Getting the most out of your leadership pipeline: DDI’s research looked at financial metrics for each of 150 publicly-traded companies, including profitability, earnings per share, five-year rate of return to investors, and stockholder equity. Only when organisations were successfully extending their leadership development programmes across all three levels — frontline, mid-level, and senior-level — did they financially outperform their peers. There was a meagre jump of two percentile points on the financial composite from successful programmes at zero levels to succeeding for only one level. Companies that have moved away from leadership development as an event and instead position leadership development as a planned, integrated learning journey are 2.5 times more likely to be in the top 20% of organisations on the same financial composite described above.

Creating the right context for leader growth: For leaders, from playing golf to cooking a gourmet meal, there are skills that need to be modelled, practised with constructive feedback, and reinforced over time. The same methodology, known as behaviour modelling, turns out to be highly effective in learning new leadership behaviours. According to DDI, three quarters of the 18,338 leaders in its sample showed an increase in the use of effective leadership competencies after participating in behaviour modelling development programmes — in which participants are exposed to positive models of the target behaviours and have opportunities to practice their new skills. Some of the 10 competencies in which leaders improved most in these types of programmes include building trust, communicating effectively, and coaching for success. Better yet, these leaders drove quantitative improvement for their companies in productivity (up 36%, on average), sales (up 114%), and turnover (down 77%).

TRAI FIRM ON FREE DATA TO CONSUMERS IN NON-DISCRIMINATORY WAY

New Delhi, Nov 29 () Regulator Trai has stuck to its recommendation of allowing free data to consumers in non- discriminatory manner by third-party aggregators while agreeing to telecom department’s views that government money can be used for connectivity rather than supporting free data scheme to rural subscribers.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) noted that data had become affordable due to tariff war in the telecom sector, and that “concern with regard to availability of affordable data services has been mitigated”.

“…the authority tends to agree with the views of DoT (Department of Telecom) that a larger focus is required on connectivity, content availability in local language and digital literacy. The resources could therefore be effectively utilised to address the said issues,” Trai said responding to telecom department’s views on its free data recommendations.

In December last year, Trai had recommended that a “reasonable” amount of free data access – say a 100 MB per month – be provided to rural subscribers and the scheme could be funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

However, the DoT subsequently pointed out that cost of an internet enabled mobile handset was a bigger “obstacle” than the tariff of internet access, and that the latter had already been addressed to an extent through market competition.

The DoT questioned whether it would be worthwhile to provide a subsidy to those rural subscribers who already owned smartphones. The telecom department opined that the applicability of the proposed scheme was “limited”, thus undermining its reasonability and tenability.

Trai, on its part, justified its recommendations saying they were in sync with the larger objectives of the USO scheme. It also highlighted that India had the highest unconnected population in the world, as per state of Broadband 2017 report.

At the same time, Trai stood firm on its other recommendation relating to introduction of third party ‘aggregators’ to facilitate and incentivise free data.

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