Wednesday, 28 June 2017
New Delhi: As the deadline to launch the biggest tax reform in the history of independent India nears, there is understandably some nervousness over what the Goods and Services tax (GST) regime will mean for the aam aadmi. It may not fuel headline inflation since most daily use products will be at neutral or lower taxation rate, but the transition from multiple taxation levies to a country-wide single system will not be without glitches. The worst to be hit under GST regime will be small businesses, the informal sector. These companies will find it hard to operate in the short to medium term, much like the demonetization era where their businesses were also hit the hardest.
To begin with, the compliance costs will be daunting for small traders where as big businesses will be better able to absorb such shocks. In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said that GST is a technology driven taxation system which requires mandatory compliance through digital technology only. "It is a fact that as of now, nearly 60 percent of small businesses in the country have yet to adopt computerization in their existing business format. Therefore, though traders want to comply under GST, perhaps they may not be able to do so for want of technology. " The CAIT has sought an alternate mechanism to enable traders without requisite technological prowess to also comply from the law on day one, which is 1 July.
CAIT further states that half of the nearly six crore small businesses fall under the threshold limit of Rs 20 lakh and do not require registration under GST. Another about one crore traders may opt for 'Composite Scheme' but will have to get registered under the new tax regime. Remaining about two crore small businesses do not fall under any indirect tax law and will have to comply with the new rule mandatorily. " A large number of these businesses do not own computers since under the current VAT regime most of the tax compliance was done through paper formalities¦." CAIT said.
Analysts at brokerage firm Philip Capital seemed to echo what CAIT said. In a note to clients last week, analysts said that larger companies are clearly better prepared for GST implementation with their IT systems in place. Smaller companies typically follow the lead of larger companies and will implement with a lag. For larger consumer companies, this better readiness could translate into marketshare gains "both in staples and discretionary. So the key beneficiaries of GST would be biggies like HUL, Colgate Palmolive, Havells, Asian Paints, Titan Industries, Bajaj Electricals and Crompton Greaves.
Taking the example of auto components, analysts at Credit Suisse said in their note to clients that the supply of unorganised goods seem to have dried up in the last month or so. Locally made unorganised batteries were hard to find as they were out of stock, and tyre dealers said that shipments of Chinese tyres have not really recovered post demonetisation. Though the analysts said it was yet to become clear if this is due to the unorganised players putting on a wait-and-watch hat or due to trade insisting on tax paid goods due to compliance fears under GST, they also noted that dealers thought the unorganised market will find it very difficult to operate in the GST era.
Take the local battery market with limited or no branding and largely tax evaded. Here dealer stocks were hard to find and the retailers alluded to the lack of supply from local/unorganised manufacturers in the past few weeks. Likely reasons for this could be: (1) the supply chain is now insisting on buying only tax paid/complaint goods and thus tax evaded batteries are not being bought by the trade, (2) unorganised players want to wait and watch until the dust settles post the GST implementation and will then take a call on resuming supply.
Analysts also say that share of the informal segment in the tiles industry will decline from 40 percent currently to 20 percent, a Mint report said. Similarly, nearly 60 percent of the ready-mixed concrete market is unorganised. In the light electrical segment, more than 35 percent of the businesses are in the informal sector. Industries like dairy, jewellery, air conditioners etc have highest component of informal sector " over 70 percent. These sectors may witness greater difficulties in complying with GST norms than those sectors where large, formal sector businesses exist. Economists say that the informal or unorganised sector accounts for nearly 50 percent of India's gross domestic product and is responsible for more than 80 percent of total job creation in the country. Analysts at brokerage DBS said given the scale of the changes under the GST regime, implementation will be challenging.
The extent of readiness amongst businesses, consumers and the collection network will be the biggest challenge apart from the regulatory machinery. The government believes that some 80 percent of businesses (using the previous tax system) have already registered for the new GST network. Most large companies are geared up but the same is not true of small and mid-sized firms, especially in the unorganised sector. Teething issues are to be expected but should fade in subsequent months.
Monday, 26 June 2017
Most of us wouldn't consider the toilet a 'clean' place, but hygiene expert Stephanie from Expert Home Tips revealed to NetDoctor two common mistakes that turn it into a real health hazard.
Mistake 1: Not closing the lid when you flush
Despite many of us being brought up to 'put the toilet lid down' after use, a Scrubbing Bubbles survey found that 68 per cent of men flush with the toilet lid up. What's so wrong with this? Well, it turns out there's some scientific reasoning behind closing the lid before you flush.
Stephanie points out that the role of the flush is to take away the toilet bowl contents. This contains various bacteria including Salmonella and Shigella in high quantities. The flush must be powerful in order to carry waste away, and can fire up to 15 feet in the air as a result.
The dirty, contaminated water from our flush lands on other surfaces in our bathroom, be that the sink, floor, or worst of all, our toothbrushes!
Stephanie advises: 'The safest thing to do with regards to preventing the spread of germs in the bathroom, is to put the toilet seat down before flushing. This keeps any germs inside the toilet bowl, away from other surfaces we come in contact with.'
What happens when the flush isn't enough? Most of us turn to a toilet brush, but Stephanie has identified this as another area of concern:
Mistake 2: Not letting your toilet brush dry
Using the toilet brush to scrub away faecal matter and then storing it away in the holder whilst wet is a common mistake. The bacteria found in stools is transferred to the toilet brush, before being placed back into the toilet brush holder, which provides perfect conditions for germs.
Stephanie adds: 'Bacteria thrives in moist environments, so storing your toilet brush in this way encourages germ multiplication. In order to minimalize this risk, the toilet brush should be bleached after each use to kill germs, then left to sit over the toilet bowl until dry. It can them be replaced in the holder.'
Most of us can't imagine going to the loo without having a toilet brush handy, but some expert are very much against them.
The authors of The Cleaning Bible advise against using toilet brushes completely, calling them, 'an unworthy compromise for strict hygiene.' Instead, they recommend using rubber gloves and cleaning products to get the job done.
Friday, 23 June 2017
Using a speedy laptop is infinitely more satisfying than staring at a frozen screen for minutes/hours/days on end.
If you want to give your laptop a spring clean, we've got some tips covering the latest versions of Windows and macOS.
How to clean up Windows
The most effective way to clean up the clutter on Windows is to remove apps you don't use: They take up disk space, they take up memory, and they give the operating system unnecessary work to do. In Windows 10, you can uninstall apps from the Apps section of Settings (which also shows you which apps are taking up most room).
After you've dealt with apps you don't need, you can turn your attention to personal files. Again, be ruthless with the ones you don't actually need-free tools like CCleaner and Duplicate File Finder can help you hunt down files that aren't doing anything but taking up room, though you do get full control over what's erased and what isn't.
Windows actually has its own cleaning tool that you can find by typing "disk clean-up" into the search box on the taskbar, and clicking on the top match. Select the types of files you want to remove, from temporary installation files to old antivirus definitions (click on any entry for more information), then select OK to start the clean up process.
To really tidy up Windows, you need to get it back to something approaching the state it was in when it was first installed, and thankfully the latest versions of the operating system make this much easier than it used to be. If you open Settings then click Update & Security, you can find the relevant options under Recovery.
Click Get started under Reset this PC to roll back your Windows software. You have the option to keep your personal files in place if you wish, but all apps and settings will be removed, so it's important to make sure you've got backups of your important data and know how to reinstall your applications again. It's a drastic move, but it can make a big difference in cutting down on the clutter and digital debris on your system.
How to clean up macOS
A lot of the clutter-cleaning tips we mentioned above for Windows also apply to macOS. For example, you can start by uninstalling all the applications you're not actually using very much-on macOS this is done by dragging the relevant icon from the Applications window to the Trash, or clicking and holding an icon in the Launcher and clicking the cross icon, or using the built-in uninstaller to get rid of a program.
Then, it's on to files-do you really need all those vacation photos your cousin sent you? Or downloaded movies you're never going to watch again? The latest Sierra version of macOS comes with built-in tools that can help here: To find them, open Spotlight (Cmd+Space) then type "Storage Management" and open the top hit.
All of the options here can help you remove files you don't need on your system, whether it's old emails that can be archived or iTunes movies that are safely backed up in the cloud. Work through the recommendations as you need to, or click through the individual entries on the left (applications, documents, and so on) to take a more hands-on approach.
If you feel the tools integrated into macOS just aren't doing an effective enough job, you can enlist the help of a third-party program like CleanMyMac, which covers everything from redundant program files to old mail attachments. It's smart enough to know what you need to save and what can be safely jettisoned too.
Finally, as we mentioned for Windows, a complete system reset is the most drastic and also the most effective way of cleaning up macOS-just make sure all your important files and folders are backed up first. You need to reboot your machine and launch the Disk Utility to get started, and Apple has a full guide to the process.
From Esquire UK