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Temple Money from ‘Hundis’ not to come under Tax Scanner, says Central Government

Golden Temple in Amritsar announced on Thursday that they would no longer accept such currency notes from devotees

Donation box, Jagannath Temple, Puri. Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 11, 2016: The cash deposited by temples from the offerings placed by devotees in donation boxes or ‘hundis’ will not come under the tax scanner, a Finance Ministry official said on Thursday.

“For temples, there is an exemption that if the money is from the donation boxes, we will not ask questions. There is no limit on that (deposits),” Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told IANS on the sidelines of the two-day Economic Editors’s Conference here.

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He added that charitable trusts of temples will, however, not be exempt as they have to maintain records of devotees giving donations.

“In temples there are trusts. One is charitable trusts… For them, there is restriction that if any donation is taken in cash, they have to show the name and address of the person. This is true for all charitable trusts,” Adhia told IANS.

Following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the government, the authorities at the Golden Temple in Amritsar announced on Thursday that they would no longer accept such currency notes from devotees.

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Over 100,000 devotees visit the Golden Temple every day and the cash offerings run into lakhs of rupees.

“We have instructed our employees not to accept demonetised currency notes at the ‘prasad’ and offering counters,” a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) official told IANS, but added they cannot stop devotees from putting the banned currency notes into the ‘golak’ or chest.

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He said all SGPC-run institutions in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have been instructed to deposit old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on priority basis with the respective banks.

The government announced demonetisation of high denomination notes on November 8 midnight. The Finance Ministry has said that small cash deposits up to Rs 2.5 lakh in individual accounts will not call for any inquiry by the tax department. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?