No concessions for Apple, but govt to review mobile manufacturing policy to boost the sector

apple_reutersNEW DELHI: The government won’t offer any special concessions to Apple but is reviewing its entire policy on mobile phone manufacturing as part of an effort to promote the ‘Make in India’ initiative, officials said. This could meet some of the demands that Apple has made apart from benefitting other phone makers as well.

Apple had sought the concessions to set up plants in the country. The issue will be examined in depth at a high-level meeting with Apple executives next week. On Apple’s wish list is said to be a 15-year customs duty holiday on the import of iPhone kits, new and used capital equipment, and consumables. Apple’s requests are being considered by three government departments — revenue, industry and information technology.

IPHONE

India needs to support an iconic brand like Apple for the success of the Make in India campaign, officials said. “Our import duty is high,” one of them said. “As long as they are getting into exports, our objective should be to give them lowest duty so as to ensure that their product is competitive. Hence we may even relook at the policy as a whole.” Another official said no decision had been taken but that concessions cannot be given to just one company. “Normally, similar dispensation has to be given to others similarly placed,” he said.

The Make in India programme is aimed at encouraging investment in manufacturing to drive job creation in the country and thereby boost growth and raise incomes to lift people out of poverty.

Apple had earlier sought permission to set up fully owned retail outlets by forgoing the compulsory 30% local sourcing rule on the ground that it was bringing cutting-edge technology to India. The finance ministry didn’t allow the exemption.

Explaining the rationale behind a fresh look at the trade policy, the first official said India cannot be isolated from the rest of the world. “India has to follow same set of principles prevalent elsewhere which has helped players to become global manufacturers,” the official said.

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In its application submitted to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the commerce ministry, Apple has sought full duty exemption on manufacturing and repair inputs (raw materials), yield loss on inputs, components, capital equipment (including parts), and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and services/repair for a period of 15 years for both domestic and export markets. Currently, 12% duty is levied on fully imported phones while 12.5% countervailing duty is charged on the import of mobile phone equipment, discouraging global manufacturers from setting up production bases in India.

Apple is betting big on the India market where it currently holds a market share of just 2% as growth slows in developed markets like the US and China.

Apple’s products are manufactured in six countries — mostly in China but also in South Korea, Japan and the US.

As many as 42 companies make mobile phones in India, including Chinese firms Huawei and Xiaomi. No other company has approached the government for any incentives, people with knowledge of the matter said.

During his visit to the country last year, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook had said India was the next big market for the company. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged Cook to set up factories in India when they met during that trip.

[“source-ndtv”]

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

HIGHLIGHTS

  • EU sent letters to WhatsApp and Yahoo
  • Said they had concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy
  • Asked Yahoo to communicate all aspects of the data breach

European privacy watchdogs said on Friday they had sent letters to WhatsApp over its sharing of information with parent company Facebook and Yahoo over a 2014 data breach and its scanning of customer emails for US intelligence purposes.

European Union data protection authorities said they had serious concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy in which it would share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, its first change in policy since Facebook bought the messaging service.

The authorities, known as the Article 29 Working Party, “requested WhatsApp to communicate all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and urged the company to pause the sharing of users’ data until the appropriate legal protections could be assured.”

A spokeswoman for WhatsApp said the company was working with data protection authorities to address their questions.”We’ve had constructive conversations, including before our update, and we remain committed to respecting applicable law,” she said.

The watchdogs also wrote to Yahoo over a massive data breach that exposed the email credentials of 500 million users, as well as its scanning of customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials.

They asked the company to communicate all aspects of the data breach to the EU authorities, to notify the affected users of the “adverse effects” and to cooperate with all “upcoming national data protection authorities’ enquiries and/or investigations.

“Yahoo was invited to provide information on the legal basis and the compatibility with EU law of any such activity,” the watchdogs said in a statement regarding the email scanning.

The Yahoo and WhatsApp cases will be discussed by regulators in November.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: WhatsApp, Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Privacy, Encryption, European Union, EU, Apps, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

EU Privacy Watchdogs Warn WhatsApp on Privacy Policy, Yahoo on Breach

HIGHLIGHTS

  • EU sent letters to WhatsApp and Yahoo
  • Said they had concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy
  • Asked Yahoo to communicate all aspects of the data breach

European privacy watchdogs said on Friday they had sent letters to WhatsApp over its sharing of information with parent company Facebook and Yahoo over a 2014 data breach and its scanning of customer emails for US intelligence purposes.

European Union data protection authorities said they had serious concerns about WhatsApp’s recent change in privacy policy in which it would share users’ phone numbers with Facebook, its first change in policy since Facebook bought the messaging service.

The authorities, known as the Article 29 Working Party, “requested WhatsApp to communicate all relevant information to the Working Party as soon as possible and urged the company to pause the sharing of users’ data until the appropriate legal protections could be assured.”

A spokeswoman for WhatsApp said the company was working with data protection authorities to address their questions.”We’ve had constructive conversations, including before our update, and we remain committed to respecting applicable law,” she said.

The watchdogs also wrote to Yahoo over a massive data breach that exposed the email credentials of 500 million users, as well as its scanning of customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials.

They asked the company to communicate all aspects of the data breach to the EU authorities, to notify the affected users of the “adverse effects” and to cooperate with all “upcoming national data protection authorities’ enquiries and/or investigations.

“Yahoo was invited to provide information on the legal basis and the compatibility with EU law of any such activity,” the watchdogs said in a statement regarding the email scanning.

The Yahoo and WhatsApp cases will be discussed by regulators in November.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: WhatsApp, Yahoo, Yahoo Mail, Privacy, Encryption, European Union, EU, Apps, Internet
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Policy terms can’t be changed during free look period

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What are the important riders that can be bought with a basic term life plan?

—Kunal Gupta

Common riders available with a term life plan include: accidental death, permanent disability, and critical illness. Critical illness rider with a term plan is recommended. This helps avoid a separate pre-issuance medical check-up for a critical illness plan, and the premium is fixed for the term of the policy. The other two benefits—disability and accidental death—are better bought independently, in an individual accident insurance policy. Individual accident insurance policies have several advantages—no pre-issuance medical tests, fixed premium at any age, and lower rates than rider premiums charged by life insurers.

My father had bought a term plan in my name. He passed away last month. How do I make the claim?

—Rupali Beohar

You need to first inform the insurer about your father’s demise. You should mention the date, place and cause of death. Intimation via email is considered valid. Send the following documents to the insurer: filled-up claim form, death certificate, policy document and nominee details. Insurer may ask for more documents based on the stated cause of death. Other documents that are sometimes asked for are: hospital discharge summary, postmortem report, and copy of first information report (FIR), in case of unnatural death.

What is a free-look period? Can I get the terms changed in it?

—Ravi Sinha

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) allows the policyholder to opt out of a policy after its purchase, within 15 days from the date of receipt of policy document. In this period, the insured can examine the complete policy documents, and if the terms do not meet her expectations she can cancel the policy. The entire premium will be refunded after deducting stamp duty, administrative charges, and mortality charges.

This period does not allow an insured to alter the terms of the policy. Any modifications, if required, would be done with a new contract. Under a free look period, the insured can either accept or cancel the policy.

We are a start-up firm run by 5 co-founders, all in their 40s. We wanted to buy life insurance. Is it better to buy a group or individual cover?

—Sarthak Sharma

There are three advantages of a group policy: it’s cheaper than buying individually; at low sum assured, some of you may get a waiver for pre-issuance medical check-up; and in the future you can expand the group to cover other employees. The disadvantage is that premiums can be revised annually. So, premium may rise in subsequent years. But you are better off opting for a group cover as it’s usually cheaper than individual covers.

[“Source-Livemint”]