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GST composition scheme: Relief to small restaurants and traders

The GST council has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to make the composition scheme more attractive. The five-member committee is considering the need to reduce the GST composition rate for small business and traders. The enterprises under small and medium enterprises may opt for this scheme tillMarch 31, 2018. The small and medium enterprises that have an aggregate turnover of up to Rs one crore may opt for composition scheme and the tax rates applicable will be as follows: For Traders: 1% For manufacturers: 2% For Restaurants: 5%; dhabas/roadside eateries/small restaurants may have to pay a rate lesser than existing 5 per cent. A differential GST rate for non-AC restaurants will be applicable Also, the GoM, convened by Assam’s finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has agreed to inv...

Gender role for good: Chennai gets a Women Bio-tech incubator

India seems to be taking its women entrepreneurs seriously. Union Minister of Science & Technology, Dr Harshvardhan recently inaugurated a Women Bio-tech Incubator at the Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society in Chennai. The facility has been inaugurated during IISF, 2017. Dr Harshavardhan said during inauguration that, “Globally there has been a special focus on addressing the issues related to Women in Science and framing policies which support the same. In India we have laid special emphasis on empowerment of women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed upon the need for special programmes which not only technically empower the women but also create employment opportunities.” Dr Harshvardhan also released a book – Genesis of Biotech Park – on this occasion. Women power I...

After knee implants and stents, now non-essential drugs get a price cap

In an amendment that may upset the Indian Pharmaceutical companies, the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) now aims to change the price-setting method. This would bring the non-scheduled drugs under price control. The Non-scheduled drugs are those that are outside the price-control regime. There are about 370 drugs that are currently under the price control. The proposal by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) suggests scrapping the current method of fixing the ceiling price of drugs that are listed on the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). The New pricing As per the amendment the new drugs will also come under the pricing cap. Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance says that it would compromise the growth of the pharma industry as...

Despite insurance, India’s poor still paying for healthcare

It has been nine years of India’s ambitious Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) but it seems that it hasn’t relieved the poor from any burden of the healthcare costs. The RSBY is an insurance scheme that covers nearly 150 million Indians. In a recent study by a global journal—Social Science Medicine—it is found that insurance scheme has not red`uced the personal expenditure of the beneficiaries in healthcare instances. What is RSBY? The RSBY offers medical insurance of up to Rs 30,000 for a BPL family of five members. It is limited to in-patient treatment or hospitalisation. A BPL family is defined in two ways: BPL family in Urban setting: Any family that has an ability to spend Rs 33 or less per day BPL family in Rural setting: Any family that can spend Rs 27 or less per day It is remar...

Aadhaar authentication may soon be directed from Aadhaar mobile app

Upping the ante of Aadhaar enabled transactions, the government is planning to make Aadhaar authentication process easier. The government may soon initiate Aadhaar verification by linking it with mAadhaar phone app. It needs mention that the app already exists, it is only the verification that would get linked with the app now. Rise in Aadhaar transactions The rise in Aadhaar Payments using the biometric ID has been phenomenal. Over 148.3 crore Aadhaar authentications (using the unique ID) were made last month. Over 100 crore transactions were made in August. More than 31 crore OTP (One Time Password) transactions have been recorded in the recent past. And hence the government plans to make all Aadhaar authentications based on OTPs. Doing away from mobile network The UIDAI network has perf...

Why wait for the first move? Bank loan scheme for women entrepreneur-Part II

IndiahHub in a series brings to you the loan schemes exclusively for women. Here is the second part of some of the most popular schemes for women entrepreneurs. Orient Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme Offered by: Oriental Bank of Commerce Tenure: To be paid in Seven years Details: The scheme is for women of small-scale industries who hold a 51% share capital individually or jointly in a proprietary concern. No collateral is required for loans ranging ₹10 lakhs to ₹25 lakhs.  A concession on the interest rate of up to 2% can be availed.  Cent Kalyani Scheme Offered by: Central Bank of India Details: The scheme is offered to support women who are starting a new venture or expanding or modifying an existing enterprise. The loan can be availed who are involved in village and cottage industries, micr...

“Every Indian district to have a Passport Seva Kendra soon”

If government is to be believed, every district in India may soon have its own Passport Seva Kendra. Addressing a gathering at a Passport Seva Kendra in Jammu on Oct 15, Union Minister of State in PMO and Development of North Eastern Region, Dr Jitendra Singh said the government is going to open Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) in every district of the country. The minister was in the state to inaugurate Passport Adalat cum Mela in Jammu. The post-offices in Kathua and Baramulla will soon house the Passport Seva Kendras for the convenience of the people living in hilly and remote areas of the state. A Passport Kendra complex would be constructed in Jammu also. The land for this purpose has been identified and work will be started soon. Why Passport Seva Kendra (PSKs)? The PSKs have...

SC to hear petition against mobile, bank accounts linking with Aadhaar

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition that challenges the central government’s move to link all mobile connections and bank accounts with Aadhaar number. The petition filed by Dr Kalyani Menon Sen challenges that Aadhaar linking is violation of fundamental right to privacy and it sees all citizens including elder, women and students in same light as money-launderers. The petition challenges the Rule 2(b) of PMLA 2nd amendment rule (Prevention of Money-laundering Act) that mandates submission of Aadhaar number for individual clients, companies and partnership firms that make financial transactions of and above Rs 50,000 and credit even small “foreign” remittances in local accounts. The non-compliance with Aadhaar would lead to rendering of in-operational status of bank account i...

Trouble tracking pension: Now an app to ease retirement hassles

Retirement is meant for comfort but the formalities that follow post-retirement are not easy at all. Keeping this in mind, the Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions Ministry has a pensioners’ portal to facilitate the procedure to access retirement benefits. Taking the move further, the central government has, now, launched a mobile application for retiring central government employees. How would the app help? The app would help them in monitoring the progress of their pension settlement. The app would also help the retired employees to assess their superannuation funds and record complaints, if any. It would provide a pension calculator too. The mobile app extends the same information on mobile handset which is available on the portal of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfar...

Why wait for that first move? Top schemes for women entrepreneurs

If you are a woman entrepreneur and want to establish your own business, Here are a few financing schemes by public banks which you should know. Read these and share it with your fellow ambitious women.  Annapurna Scheme Offered by: State Bank of Mysore Preference: Food catering industry, business of package meals, snacks, etc. Details: Amount can be used to fulfill the working capital needs like buying utensils and other kitchen tools & equipment. A guarantor is required for this loan. The assets of the business are being pledged as collateral security. Maximum amount of money granted is ₹50,000 which is to re-paid in monthly installments of 36 months. The lender doesn’t have to pay the EMI for the first month. Interest rate is determined by the market rate. 2. Stree Shakti Package Fo...

First in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Gorakhpur gets a startup café

Just like dreams, entrepreneurship has no boundaries. It doesn’t have a fixed terrain either. Keeping this is mind, two friends have started the concept of co-working space in Gorakhpur. This shared working space is the first in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The startup boom has already made the concept of co-working spaces popular. Shared working spaces provide primary infrastructure to the entrepreneurs, who often work on shoe-string budgets and also provide valuable opportunities to collaborate and network. Scope of co-working space Nearly $400 million per year as investment is expected to get poured in for setting up of co-working spaces for the next five years. The idea is still untapped in various parts of India, The co-working space in Gorakhpur  is established by Arunn Gupta  and his scho...

Mail on the move: Tamil Nadu gets a mobile post office

Tamil Nadu postal department has launched a mobile post office at St Thomas Mount head post office in Chennai. The inauguration was made to mark the celebration of National postal week. The mobile post office would meet the postal requirements of new settlements. It would also provide booking facility to public during late evenings. Why mobile? The same facility would be stationed at five different locations in Chennai during its working hours. Depending on the response and requirement, more mobile post offices are planned to be launched in future. The post office would offer services from 1 pm to 7:30 pm. Facilities It would also facilitate stamps sale, speed-post and other services. It will NOT offer savings bank account and postal life insurance. Unique “My Stamp” An individual may avai...

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