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New Delhi: As union cabinet approved changes to the GST Bill suggested by a Rajya Sabha committee, the government on Thursday said it is currently working on the rates to be implemented for the proposed reforms to India’s indirect tax regime.
“Working closely on GST rates. Reasonable rates are key to its success,” Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted.
“Passage of bill in parliament to take us to next activities,” he said.
The cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to some changes recommended by a parliamentary panel, notably an extra 1 percent levy to compensate the states for potential tax losses.
“Yes, the cabinet has approved some of the suggested amendments (by the parliamentary panel),” an official said after the meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.
The report of the committee, headed by BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav, was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on July 22.
“Administratively, we are taking all steps for both the Center and states to meet the April 2016 deadline,” Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters here after the panel presented its recommendations.
According to sources, some of the suggestions accepted on Wednesday by the cabinet include a definite commitment to compensate states for the losses on account of moving to a unified pan-India indirect tax regime for five years, compared with a vague expression “may compensate” in the original bill.
The far-reaching indirect tax reform seeks to create single Indian market by subsuming most indirect taxes levies of the central and state governments, such as excise duty, service tax and value-added tax that is seen as facilitating tax compliance, and curbing inflation through better supply chains.
But for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to get legal sanction is a lengthy process, given the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strength in the upper house.
Being a constitution amendment bill, it needs passage in parliament with two third majority, following which at least 15 state legislatures have to ratify it, before being sent to the president for assent.
As of now, the Congress, the Left and the AIADMK have not made up their minds as yet.
The opposition is mainly opposed to the proposal for a 1 percent additional tax on goods travelling from one state to another, as it is felt it would not only push up prices, but also have a cascading effect.
Just ahead of the cabinet meeting, Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily, also the chair of the parliamentary panel on finance, expressed his reservations.
“Right from the beginning, we have been telling that there is no need for effecting such amendments through a series of ordinances. There is some deficiency in this government,” Moily told reporters on the margins of a seminar organised by leading industry chamber Assocham.
“They first act, and then think. But they should first think, and then act. The land bill is one such example. Even GST is an example,” he said.
“But there is a big process involved. This (the amendment) will be only a constitutional framework for GST. The Centre has to pass a GST Act. Each state will then have to pass a GST Act. It is a long way off.”
The select committee report, which by a majority endorsed almost all the GST bill provisions, is however marked by dissent notes from the Congress, AIADMK and Left parties.
In case of the provision for levying 1 percent additional tax by states, the committee suggested the levy should only apply to “all forms of supply made for a consideration”.
According to the bill, when goods move from one state to another, an additional one percent tax would be levied, but the opposition said it would lead to a cascading effect.
The committee however retained the representation of the Center and states in the GST Council at one third and two third, despite demands to reduce the Center’s representation to one fourth.
The union government has set the target to reform India’s indirect tax regime from April next year, and had earlier proposed 100 percent compensation to states for the first three years.
As robots evolve to do more work around us, the UK-based humanoid robot manufacturer Engineered Arts has infused more human-like facial expressions into one of its robots, which may leave you with an eerie feeling.
In a video posted on YouTube, the robot called 'Ameca' displays various human expressions, like appearing to "wake up" from sleep, as its face shows confusion and frustration when it opens its eyes.
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Once awake, 'Ameca' starts looking at its hands and arms, opens its mouth and raises its eyebrows, just like a human does.
At the end of the video, Ameca smiles and holds a welcoming hand out towards the viewer.
According to Engineered Arts, the humanoid bot is currently unable to walk and it is working towards giving it the ability in the near future.
"Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, 'Ameca' is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction," says the company.
The 'Ameca' hardware is a development based on its own research into humanoid robotics and built on its advanced 'Mesmer' technology.
Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.Unsplash
Also read: NASA humanoid robot dances to technology
Engineered Arts is slated to put 'Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.
"Human-like Artificial Intelligence needs a human-like artificial body. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful 'Tritium' robot operating system," the company posted on its website. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Humanoid Robot, Ameca, Technology)
Microsoft has disrupted the activities of a China-based hacking group, gaining control of the malicious websites the group used to attack organisations in the US and 28 other countries around the world.
The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) said in a statement that a federal court in Virginia granted its request to seize websites of the hacking group called 'Nickel', enabling the company to cut off Nickel's access to its victims and prevent the websites from being used to execute attacks.
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"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations," said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft.
Obtaining control of the malicious websites and redirecting traffic from those sites to Microsoft's secure servers will help the company protect existing and future victims while learning more about Nickel's activities.
Also Read : Fortnite : A Gold Mine for Hackers
"Our disruption will not prevent Nickel from continuing other hacking activities, but we do believe we have removed a key piece of the infrastructure the group has been relying on for this latest wave of attacks," Burt said late on Monday.
To date, in 24 lawsuits - five against nation-state actors -- Microsoft has taken down more than 10,000 malicious websites used by cybercriminals and nearly 600 sites used by nation-state actors.
"We have also successfully blocked the registration of 600,000 sites to get ahead of criminal actors that planned to use them maliciously in the future," the tech giant informed.
"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations."Unsplash
In some observed activity, Nickel malware used exploits targeting unpatched on-premises Exchange Server and SharePoint systems.
"However, we have not observed any new vulnerabilities in Microsoft products as part of these attacks. Microsoft has created unique signatures to detect and protect from known Nickel activity through our security products, like Microsoft 365 Defender," the company noted.
Nickel has targeted organisations in both the private and public sectors, including diplomatic organisations and ministries of foreign affairs in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : hacking, China, Microsoft, website, victim, intelligence, attack, malicious, traffic, server, company, disruption, lawsuits, cybercriminals, vulnerability.)
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Chip manufacturer MediaTek on Monday announced that it is focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, substantial expansion in Research and Development capabilities.
MediaTek's plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips.
"We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country's technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs," Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said in a statement.
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In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world, the company claims.
MediaTek Dimensity 9000 features a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.
It packs a 10-core Arm Mali-G710 that takes care of graphics processing, the report said.
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.Unsplash
Also read: Realme Unveils First 5G Smartphone
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.
The chipset can handle screens with up to a 180Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolutions. It is also the first chipset to have an 18-bit image signal processor, offering the ability to capture 4K HDR video using up to three cameras at the same time, or still photos using up to a massive 320MP sensor. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: 5G, smartphones, Mediatek)