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Friday, December 29, 2017

Is the Digital Payment System a more burden on tax payers money?

Is the Digital Payment System a more burden on tax payers money?

As per information available under RTI as published in public domains, the following is the cost of printing of Indian Currency: 



Denomination (Rs.)
Cost of Printing (Rs.)
5/-
0.48 
10/-
0.96 
20/-
1.50 
50/-
1.81 
100/-
1.79 
500/-
3.09 
2,000/-
3.54 


Govt. of India currently in power is promoting use of digital payment discouraging cash payments. Besides other advantages, one of the advantage has been presented as saving on the cost of printing the currencies. Is it really a saving or there is some hidden agenda to ensure business for preferred payment gateways. However, the Govt. of India is not taking any step towards transaction fee being charged from the consumers towards making payment through digital modes. As an example if you are getting petrol from a petrol pump for Rs 200/-, the consumer need to pay Rs. 200/- in cash and if he is opting to pay through debit cards (which enables his account to be debited instantaneously) he is required to pay almost Rs. 212/-.

With the recent introduction of subsidy for transactions up to Rs. 2,000/-, the cost of the petrol worth Rs. 2,000/- become Rs. 2,008/- ( restricting the debit card transaction fee at 0.4%) . An amount of Rs. 8/- is being paid from the tax payers money to the merchant. Someone seems to be getting assured business at the cost of tax payers. Had this money paid by cash, it would have cost Rs. 2,003.54 and realising that life of the currency may be somewhere around one year, the additional cost towards printing the currency of Rs. 2,000/- would have been nothing whereas the digital payments might put additional burden on the tax payers. Lets assume 100 digital transactions per merchant per day, the additional burden on tax payers money to the tune of Rs. 2,92,000/- per merchant per year whereas the cash transaction would have cost of Rs. 3.54. Rest need to be imagined. Figures may vary but the principle need to be understood as to why the tax payers money be used for business industries including banks despite a fact that the cost is being saved by the business. Ideally the benefit of the cost reduction need to be passed onto the consumers if there is any iota of ethics in the business. Instead of passing on the benefit of the cost saving to consumers, the Govt of India is putting burden on tax payers money which is beyond any understanding. 

There are other cost involved in cash payments like distribution cost, insurance cost, withdrawing and depositing with banks, security risks etc. in the cash transactions but that is the burden mostly on the merchants and banks for which both have to come forward and encourage the digital payments as the cost is being saved only by them and not put a burden on tax payers money.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Aadhar- Stereotypic Customer Care of UIDAI

The customer care departments of any company, Government Departments should be the mirror of the respective companies/departments etc. It gets reflected from the way it handles the querries from the public.

Recently I had a chance to interact with the customer care of Aadhar UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) with an objective to get mobile number registered with Aadhar card. Usually such facility need to be available to the public for online submission. However, the same is not available despite claiming as IT enabled. A message was sent to UIDAI by an email on 31st July 2017, the content of which are reproduced:

"The orginal mobile number registered with my Aadhaar has been surrendered and therefor new mobile number is to be registered. Can you please let me have the procedure to be followed specially if any online system available. As mentioned the earlier number is not working now and OTP delivery is not possible. I request for an easy process to get updation of mobile number.
I am based in New Delhi in Indraprastha Estate"
Customer Care Department of UIDAI responded on 9th August 2017 with:

"Thank you for bringing this matter to our notice.
Your case (20170808017248) has been registered with us. Please find below our response against your query:
Query 1(Subcase Id :2017080801724801)
You can certainly make changes to Name, Address, Gender, Date of Birth, Mobile Number and Email ID 
you  had provided during Aadhaar enrolment. You can get information updated in following three ways:
1. Online mode through our website (http://resident.uidai.net.in/
2. By visiting any Aadhaar Kendra (Permanent Enrolment Centre) 
3. Send request by Post on the below address by enclosing self attested copies of relevant UIDAI listed 
proof of Identity, proof of address and proof of date of Birth documents:
a) UIDAI Post Box No. 99, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034, India.
Note: Mobile Number Update is NOT allowed for requests sent via Post.
For further details please visit UIDAI resident portal at http://resident.uidai.net.in
We appreciate your patience and thank you for contacting us. 

Jai Hind
Aadhaar Sampark Kendra 
UNIQUE IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY OF INDIA (UIDAI) "

It seems the Customer Care did not read the query properly as the response was not matching with the query
raised.Therefore the mail as received from UIDAAI was responded immediately on 9th August 2017 with:

"Thank you for your response on the stated query. However, it seems the query is not properly understood.
 I have visited your site. As stated earlier, for change in the mobile number, the application issues an OTP 
which gets delivered to the already registered mobile. When the same number is not in possession then in 
that case how can we proceed further. The change in mobile number is necessitated only when the old 
number stands surrendered.  In case there is any other provision of getting OTP either through email or 
through any other mode other than the same number, then it would have been possible to change the
 number."
Surprisingly the response received from the Customer Care was not less shocking. It responded on 18th August
2017 as: 
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our notice.
Your case (20170818001848) has been registered with us. Please find below our response against your query:
Query 1(Subcase Id :2017081800184801)
You can certainly make changes to Name, Address, Gender, Date of Birth, Mobile Number and Email ID 
you  had provided during Aadhaar enrolment. You can get information updated in following three ways:
1. Online mode through our website (http://resident.uidai.net.in/
2. By visiting any Aadhaar Kendra (Permanent Enrolment Centre) 
3. Send request by Post on the below address by enclosing self attested copies of relevant UIDAI listed 
proof of Identity, proof of address and proof of date of Birth documents:
a) UIDAI Post Box No. 99, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500034, India.
Note: Mobile Number Update is NOT allowed for requests sent via Post. 
For further details please visit UIDAI resident portal at http://resident.uidai.net.in
We appreciate your patience and thank you for contacting us. 

Jai Hind
Aadhaar Sampark Kendra 
UNIQUE IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY OF INDIA (UIDAI) "



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Restaurant Industry- Whether GST leading to Profiteering


Goods and Service Tax (GST) has been implemented in India w.e.f 1st July 2017 with much fanfare. One of the key point as highlighted by Prime Minister of India is that it will result into reduction in the prices to the consumers. With the newspaper reports the dream was becoming true when the automobile industries came up with the substantial reduction in the prices of high end luxury car. Our Prime Minister in his talk "mann ki baat" referred to a letter from a poor person stating that due to implementation of GST in the country has resulted cost reduction to make it affordable to ordinary person. Yes it is true that the car prices of high end models have come down due to GST. Is it really true for daily needs of ordinary citizens. One of the daily need is the consumption of food items.

An advertisement of Jago Grahak Jago as appeared in the Times of India on 5th August 2017. A scanned copy of the advertisement titled "GST to make common man's plate affordable and full" is reproduced:


As can be seen in the advertisement, the rates of the food items are expected to remain at least at the same level if not reduced as lot of the items used in food items are either zer percent tax or at the same level what it was before GST. It also implied that the cost of manufacturing to the restaurant should either get reduced or should remain at the same level. As in my previous posts, I have brought out a fact about one of the restaurant Le-Chef at Sector 37 Faridabad who was providing an ordinary vegetable thalli for home delivery at Rs. 142 inclusive of VAT prior to implementation of GST and supplied the same thalli at Rs. 162/- inclusive of GST at composition scheme which as per GST Council is 5%. Therefore the increased cost of the food items was on the contrary to the objectives as highlighted by our Prime Minister.  The author could succeed in their menu card of both era i.e Pre-GST and Post-GST era and the scammed copies of the same are reproduced.

Pre- GST Menu Card:


Post- GST Menu Card:
 
The Restaurant Le Chef have opted for composition scheme of GST that means is liable to pay GST at the rate of 5%. Prior to the implementation of GST, the consumers were liable to the following taxes"
      
                 1. VAT: 12.5%
                 2. Service Tax: 15% on 40% of food value i.e 6% of the invoice which is not chargeable for home delivery orders.

In an ideal situation, the cost to the diners should get reduced by 13.5% in case of dining in the restaurant and there should be reduction by 7.5% in case of home delivery orders. Whereas on the contrary the prices for the consumers have gone up by as high as even 48% suggesting that the restaurant might be adapting to profiteering just misleading the consumers impact to be of GST. This increase is at a time when the Restaurant has come out with a menu card with 15% discount as it is the habit of any retailer/ business house to increase the prices, offer some discount for some period and later on withdraw the discount scheme. The following tables is based on the study of prices of some items selected from the menu card bringing out the facts substantiating the profiteering of the restaurant. GST Council and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is expected and appealed to immediately step in to check profiteering business of the restaurant industry. A copy of this article is being mailed to the GST Council.

Dine-In Orders:



Home Delivery Orders: