Monday, December 26, 2016

Implementation of GST in India

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has approved the draft Central GST and State GST laws. The council has an  agreement  on compensation also in respect of proceeds on cess on sin goods and on other sources. However, due to demonetization, market growth rate has slowed down leading to less revenues of state governments. States may expect additional compensation to bridge the revenue gaps due to demonetization. However, the major issue in GST council is of dual control. This issue has not yet resolved. If the demand of states for dual control is allowed, it will be against the spirit of the GST i.e. one law for one nation. The barrier is the provisions of Integrated GST. The Integrated GST (IGST) is meant for inter-state supplies. On inter state sales, the Centre would levy IGST and will share the tax collected with the states. Once it is agreed that the Centre has the responsibility to tax inter-state supplies, the maintainance of check-posts at state borders is not necessary. The government is considering to convert check post digital through electronic receipts to facilitate movement of goods from one state to another. In my opinion, if check posts are meant for checking the movement of goods from one state to another and ensuring proper revenue collection, the inbuilt provisions of IGST would be more appropriate than the physical control at check posts. Government may consider smart passes at tolls of GPS system to track the movement of goods vehicles. 
A lot of time and efforts have been taken to implement the GST at the earliest with target financial year 2017-18. However, due to prolonged discussion in GST Council on remaining differences over IGST and dual control, even if the matter is resolved, passing/amending the laws by Parliament and state assemblies within March 2016 will be a herculean task. Thereafter, a lot of rules, procedures, forms etc. need to be developed for compliance of laws. Therafter only, companies will be able to issue an invoice and upload it to the GST Network in compliance with all the rules. The success of GST depends on the its simplicity in the matter of compliance which ensures the taxpayers that they do not face undue harassment and they of ease of access.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Progressive Budget of Government of India: Budget-2016

Indian Federal Budget 2016-17 is clearly focused on giving thrust to the rural economy. The Federal Government has been maintaining fiscal prudence by way of reducing budgeted fiscal deficit from 3.9% (2015-16) to 3.5% (2016-17). Recapitalization of public sector  banks to the tune of INR 25000 crore equivalent to USD 3.73 billion will strengthen public sector banks. The measures taken for 100 Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Assets Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) through automatic route will improve the efficiency of banking sector. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking a lot of steps for reforming banking sector so that fund flow and credit cycles improve. (for details visit
The backbone of Indian economy is still Rural India dependent on agriculture and small industries. The major share of budget allocation in this sector, which is a welcome step to strengthen Indian economy.
The domestic financial market has received a boost from the much-awaited Federal Budget. The short term outlook has turned positive for the rupee. Significant short-term supports are 68 and 68.25. The threat of falling rupee has now eased.
The Federal Budget 2016 has made a series of policy initiatives and schemes that aim at encouraging startups and existing Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (“MSME”). They key objective of such schemes were to eliminate the common challenges startups come across, and ensure that MSMEs in the country get a fillip.Some of the key proposals/schemes are highlighted below:
Ø  Tax deduction @ 100% of Profits for the 3 of first 5 years of Profits Any start
Ø  Reduction in Corporate Tax in case of New manufacturing companies incorporated on or after March 1, 2016 have been provided an option to adopt a reduced corporate tax of 25% plus surcharge and cess. In absolute terms, 27.55% (where the income exceeds Rs 1 crore but does not exceed Rs 10 crore) or 28.84% (where income exceeds Rs 10 crore) provided such companies do not claim profit-linked or investment-linked deduction or do not avail of investment allowance and accelerated depreciation. This change is envisioned to provide the much needed boost to the manufacturing sector and the 'Make in India' campaign of the government, considering the capital-incentive nature of the manufacturing industries.
Ø  Exemption of Long Term Capital Gains on investment into eligible start-up
Ø  Extension of tax holiday benefit for SEZs commencing activity before Mar 31, 2020

Thus Indian Government is focusing on manifold growth like agriculture, industrial (Make in India and Start Ups), financial and money market. Now Indian economy is fastest growing economy in the world with more than 7% growth rate in GDP. In coming years, it may grow at much faster pace if these initiatives are successfully implemented. I say it is a progressive budget for all sectors.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Highlights of Indian Rail Budget 2016

Our Social Media Team presented a social media plan for Indian Railway in Social Media Class in Maxwell School of Syracuse University, USA in December 2015. Mostly, our recommendations have been incorporated in the Indian Rail Budget 2016. Highlights are as under:

Customer Interface
1. Interaction and feedback through social media & dedicated IVRS system.

2.Mobile Apps: Integrate all facilities into two mobile apps dealing with ticketing issues and for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions.

3. Improving customer interface Through various apps and social media platform skilling our front-end staff and those we employ through our service providers, information boards in trains enumerating the on-board services and also GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding upcoming halts. Work underway on installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000 screens across 2000 stations for enabling real time flow of information to passengers. 

Congrats social media team!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Live Tracking of Social Media: The Case of G20 Antalya Summit

During G20 2015 Summit hosted by Turkey in Antalya on 15-16 November 2015 a live social media track of the Summit had been run through website. As social media turned the news feed into a real-time phenomenon, keeping track of it and making a live showcase would have been too. Antalya case may be seen as a pilot. 

Here is the Social Media Factsheets of #G20 World Leaders under 33 selected indicators.

The website is still running for those who want to follow and compare social media performances of G20 leaders.

Spiral of Silence… What?

A predominant connotation arising when we talk about social media is free speech. A Pew Research Center study evolving out of pre-internet era human behavior insight called spiral of silence shows that it is not always the case.

Spiral of silence suggests that people have a tendency “not to speak up about policy issues in public—or among their family, friends, and work colleagues—when they believe their own point of view is not widely shared”.

Conducted right after Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of widespread government surveillance by the Government of United States of America, the study claims “previous spiral of silence findings as to people’s willingness to speak up in various settings also apply to social media users.”

For those who are interested in the findings here is the full report:

PBWorks: Making it as easy as…

Okay! Here comes a confession. When our professor asked us to develop a wiki for our class presentation about wikis we were a little bit shocked. Our inner voice was like “What! Are we supposed to develop a wiki and we have only one week for that?!!”. However, it did not took too much time to get rid of our fear. When we looked at PBWorks, that our professor suggested, we saw the possibility of developing a wiki within minutes and like a hot knife through butter.

Actually their original name was PeanutButterWiki arising from the idea that they wanted making a wiki is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. They surely did it. They deserved the name and no longer need it!

They have a number of products customized for different customer profiles like agencies, new businesses, educational purposes, etc. and it seems so far it has already been used and tested by customers differing in nature.

If anyone is interested or in need of a collaborative content management tool, I suggest PBWorks. It is available through webpage. They are serving on a freemium base, meaning you can use a number of their services for free and if you would like to enjoy further functionalities or existing functionalities with more capacity you have to pay for it.

PBWorks software is available only in English for now. This suggestion goes for them: Do not deprive the rest of the World from enjoying an easy collaborative content creation.

We are all knowledge workers. Why not work with fun and enjoyment!..